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.


Recent Articles
  • Ames High Ditches School Colors To Honor Celia Barquin Arozamena

      AMES, Iowa — The Ames high little cyclones are proud to be orange and black but Friday night was different.  “The student section chose to wear yellow. Yellow is not everybody’s color,” said sophomore cheer coach and ISU student Kelsie Vertanen.  It may not be the color for everyone but it was the favorite color of former Iowa State student-athlete and European amateur champion Celia Barquin Arozamena who was attacked and killed Monday on an Ames golf course.  “In […]

  • Former Friend of Alleged Killer Says Collin Richards Was Spiraling

    BAYARD, Iowa — A late night text message Monday shook Robert McCauley to his core.  “I get a text message saying the kid I grew up with is now looking at a random murder.” Robert McCauley says he was best friends with Collin Richards when the two lived in Bayard.  “I grew up with him and his brother.  Doing regular kid stuff like baseball and just playing around in the yard.” Now 22-years-old, Richards is charged with the murder of […]

  • Bayard Man Questions Justice System After Reporting Collin Richards To Police Years Ago

    BAYARD, Iowa — A Bayard man says he’s tried to hand over Collin Richards, the man accused of murdering Iowa State student Celia Barquin Arozamena, to police before — but believes there is a problem with justice in rural Iowa. “The criminals are coming out here because it’s less likely to get caught and that’s what is scaring everybody out here,” said Joel Lacey, a Bayard resident who knew Richards.  Lacey was surprised to hear Richards was out of jail […]

  • Justice System Leniency May Have Freed Celia Barquin Arozamena’s Alleged Killer Early

      DES MOINES, Iowa — With criminal activity dating back to 2014, 22 year old Collin Richards has a history with the police but also with second, third and fourth chances.  Aside from Monday’s alleged murder in Ames, Richards’ charges were primarily in Guthrie county.  In fact over fifty pages worth of run-ins with the law ranging from felony theft and harassment, to criminal mischief and drug use.  Ten arrests in just four years. Court documents show he served a […]

  • Iowa Supreme Court Arguments Could Lead To Historic Decision

      DES MOINES, Iowa — Three civil rights groups hope an Iowa case can change what they believe is causing a racial disparities across the country.  “Quite frankly it is a crisis,” said Betty Andrews, president of the Iowa-Nebraska NAACP says minorities are falling victim to pretextual stops for minor infractions such as a broken tail light.  “The proverbial driving while black,” said Andrews. On Tuesday, the Iowa Supreme Court could hear legal briefs from the NAACP, ACLU, and LULAC […]

  • Deployed Iowa Soldier Surprises Son During Football Game

      ANKENY, Iowa — As Ankeny Centennial sophomore Gabe Arredondo prepared to battle on the gridiron Thursday, his mother, Gunner Mate First Class expeditionary warfare specialist Diem Carpenter a seventeen year Navy veteran, was battling for freedom in Kuwait the last ten months.  “The flag means a lot to me.  She serves our county and I have nothing but respect for what she does to serve our country and sacrificing everything,” said Gabe.  But mom called an audible of her […]

  • Des Moines Police May Have Saved Lives With Gut Feeling at Hoover Football Game

      DES MOINES, Iowa — “We don’t want the perception that`s been tagged now to Hoover to become a reality,” said Des Moines Hoover High School Principal Sherry Poole.  Last Friday the reality was gunfire away from school grounds but near Hoover’s homecoming game.  While those shots were fired outside of the football stadiums fence line, reportedly leaving no one injured, the gunfire could have hit much closer to home had it not been for an officer’s gut feeling.  Sergeant […]

  • Iowans Pause and Reflect at Gray’s Lake 9/11 Memorial

    DES MOINES, Iowa — As Iowans enjoyed pristine weather, the reflections didn’t only come from the mirror-like water in Gray`s Lake.  “A moment to reflect when you see those flags because it’s  sad,” said Angelo Gilliam. Carefully placed early Tuesday morning in remembrance of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, it caused many to pause.  “I feel great sadness for all those that lost somebody and had watched it unfold seventeen years ago,” said Kathleen Murrin.  In the days and months […]

  • BGM Football Carrying Community On Angel Wings

      PELLA, Iowa — The production from BGM High School’s starting quarterback has been impressive but it’s not just Scott Tibbetts’ five total touchdowns in the first two games, it is what’s near his and his teammates’ heart.  “They are just doing it for their sister,” said team manager Jordyn Nikkel. She added,  “They all knew her their whole life so they are doing it for her.”  The Initials of Mollie Tibbets, Scott’s sister on the front of the Bears’ […]

  • Nike Controversy Puts Iowa-ISU Game in the Spotlight Saturday

      DES MOINES, Iowa — Nike has created a firestorm of controversy with it’s latest advertisement.  “This is who they are. It’s their 30th anniversary and so they are rehashing that rebel spirit,” said Digital Marketing Agency founder Justin Wise of Think Digital. In the Ad campaign, former San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick is heard saying, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”  Now former Nike supporters are rebeling against them.  Critics believe Nike is siding with […]

  • Flooding Leaving Boone County Residents Hopeless

      AMES, Iowa — Victor Hill of Ames wishes he could enjoy the last few moments of summer in his backyard.  “Truly lake front property, that you don’t want.” Recent rainfall has been devastating to his neighborhood.  Making mini-lakes out of backyards along 228th place in the Boone County portion of Ames.  Hill said, “It’s not just my house, it’s this house, his house, my neighbor’s house.” It’s also Kevin Culp’s house.  He says repeated rains this summer have left […]

  • Des Moines Calls On Community For Future Flood Response Help

    DES MOINES, Iowa — Two months removed from historic flash flooding and over 1,100 impacted homes, the pain felt by victims in Des Moines remains fresh today.  It’s not just losing stuff, it is a serious safety and danger issue here,” said Jamie Smith, who’s home sustained significant damage in June. In a flash flood response meeting Tuesday night, the City of Des Moines admitted response could have been more effective and more organized.  “Should we just go straight to […]