Born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, Justin has always had an affinity for communities with a diverse population. The opportunity to be chosen as a captain and lead his collegiate football team at the University of Northern Iowa to a national championship game provided him with invaluable experience in leadership and teamwork, while having the chance to play in the NFL added an ability to perform under some of the most stressful and high pressure situations.
His enthusiasm for reporting began when he was a sports intern at WCCO in Minneapolis. During that time, he was able to witness a large metropolitan newsroom in action. Seeing important issues resolved within the community pushed him to switch from sports to news.
Justin joined WHO-TV in July of 2015. In 2016 his detailed coverage of uncontrolled intersections won an Eric Sevareid award for general reporting from the Midwest Broadcast Journalist Association.
Before joining WHO-TV, Justin was a weekend evening news anchor and reporter at WIBW-TV in Topeka, Kansas. During his four year stop in the Capital City he contributed live reports in three Heartland Emmy Award winning newscasts, including one where he provided live reports for 11 hours after two police officers were shot and killed. He has also won a Kansas Association of Broadcasters award for in-depth reporting.
Justin considers it an honor to work in a place with a reputation for delivering in-depth and award winning news in the Des Moines area. He is always looking for a good story idea. Email him or just say hi at Justin.Surrency@whotv.com
13 Facts about Justin
1. I was a co-captain on the 2005 National runner-up Northern Iowa Football team.
2. My favorite song is When doves cry by Prince, who I’ve seen twice in concert.
3. I have played professional football with the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings.
4. In Topeka, Kansas I received an honor from the Topeka Police Department for reporting.
5. In 2015 I was inducted into my high school athletic hall of fame. Go Concordia Academy Beacons!
6. My favorite food is Lasagna -I am the only one in my family who dislikes watermelon…Yuck.
7. I have a very cute Yorkie-Australian Shepherd mixed dog named Cooper.
8. Every Christmas I have to listen to “Santa Claus is coming to town “by the Jackson 5.
9. My mom is a strong survivor of breast cancer. Go mom!
10. When I worked in Topeka, Kansas I covered Game 7 of the 2014 World Series.
11. I won two bicycles growing up and both were stolen from me.
12. I grew up in St.Paul, Minnesota and love a good cheesy hot dish.
13. My guilty pleasure would have to be Haribo Gummy Bears.
DES MOINES, Iowa — Three words: Mr. Bibbs Tenderloins. “I came with my grandparents every Friday night,” said Jamie Zaboo. Edward Barker added, “They are perfect, they’re perfect and crunchy and indescribable.” Julie Fife said, “He pounds them here himself.” It’s one of the reasons the news of owner John Essex’s death is catching so many like Edward Barker by surprise. “The people, they are just helpful. It’s like a family,” he said. Essex’s family tells Channel 13 the death […]
DES MOINES, Iowa — As the Raccoon River sprinted well past flood stage Thursday at Fleur Drive, three road closures, one on Fleur from Bell to Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, another on George Flagg Parkway from SW 23rd to Park Avenue and a third on SW 30th from Bell to George Flagg Parkway, put Jasper Winery on a bit of a secluded island from their customers. “It’s definitely hard knowing that we probably are not going to see […]
DES MOINES, Iowa — Des Moines University (DMU) may be the second oldest osteopathic medical college in the country, but they say swapping 24 acres in Des Moines for 90 acres in West Des Moines is simple math. “We have the opportunity to dream bigger than ever about possible new programs, new clinical services, research potential, the sky is the limit,” said Mark Danes, chief strategic communications officer at DMU. Des Moines City Councilman Josh Mandelbaum says the grass may […]
PLEASANT HILL, Iowa — The Mayor of Pleasant Hill is still feeling the affects of Tuesday’s Local Option Sales and Services Tax passing. “It was very joyful. We were very thrilled,” said Mayor Sara Kurovski. The 73% of Pleasant Hill voters who favored it this time was a polar opposite of the 65% who voted it down in March of last year when the city voted alongside several other cities. Mayor Kurovski said, “They were able to know this is […]
PLEASANT HILL, Iowa — The City of Pleasant Hill overwhelmingly disapproved of the Local Option Sales and Services Tax one year ago, handing down a 65 percent no vote in March of 2018. On Tuesday night, city leaders were able to flip the results due to an increase in marketing. “I definitely got a lot more information in the mail. My neighbor is a strong supporter so he came over and knocked on our door and gave us a […]
DES MOINES, Iowa — Emotions reached fever pitch Tuesday morning at the Iowa State Capitol. “My intention is to pass this bill today, as is,” said Republican State Sen. Amy Sinclair. A Senate study bill would remove the requirement school districts have to employ a school nurse. “If passed, it would be detrimental to the health of Iowa children,” said Democrat Sen. Claire Celsi. It received a passing grade from the education subcommittee with support from Sinclair and Republcan Sen. […]
IOWA CITY, Iowa — For over 20 years, the “Voice of the Iowa Hawkeyes,” has been one man. “He’s been impeccable for the past 20 years,” said University of Iowa student Sean Schumacher. Now, Gary Dolphin’s grip of the mic, at least for Iowa men’s basketball, has been ripped away the rest of this season by Hawkeye Sports Properties for a post-game broadcast comment made on Tuesday. In the broadcast Dolphin references a University of Maryland player named Bruno Fernando […]
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa –Snowfall in February has been historic. Jonathan Whitford, Valley High School’s Athletics Custodian is all too familiar with his shovel. “I’ve been told that we have five miles worth of cement sidewalks so that is a lot of work,” he said. Fortunately for him, the West Des Moines school district along with Des Moines Public School District leave the roofs alone thanks to their buildings’ ability to hold snow. “The codes did not include required […]
MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa — A snowy downtown Marshalltown is a reminder of how much time has past from an EF-3 tornado in July but the memories refuse to fade. “It was so overwhelming when we came out. We were in a safe room in the library,” said Sarah Rosenblum, Director of the Marshalltown Public Library. For seven months there have been constant reminders about the destruction. “We’ve got a lot of holes that are being created now as buildings have […]
DES MOINES, Iowa — Winter’s grip is not letting up. “If you look at the patterns from the last several winters, we get snow and it would melt, we get snow and it would melt. Now we are in a period where it is not melting,” said West Des Moines Public Services Director Bret Hodne. It is now piling up, and Hodne says snow removal is becoming problematic. “Especially in some of our streets like the cul-de-sacs, we are running […]
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — A concert scheduled at the University of Northern Iowa campus Saturday night is drawing a lot of controversy. Word spread quickly when hip-hop artist Waka Flocka Flame announced a concert at the University of Northern Iowa`s Maucker Union. University President Mark Nook claims public safety issues from local law enforcement in nearby Waterloo spread just as fast. He said he was told, “We’ve got evidence that gang members are planning to come and they are members […]
DES MOINES, Iowa — The solution seems simple on paper for Des Moines University. They currently have 1,597 students, 346 employees, 220 daily patient visits but only 723 parking spaces. “Imagine patients who come to the clinic with difficulty walking, they are diabetic or have other health issues and can’t walk well. Often they don’t find parking or have to walk a long distance,” said Mark Danes, DMU Chief Strategic Communications Officer. It is the distance the additional forty-five proposed […]