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.
NEWTON, Iowa — Former Workers Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey thought he had a more than reasonable lawsuit. “I knew once they heard the evidence they would be supportive of the claims,” said Godfrey. A decision by jurors in a Jasper County courtroom Monday morning agreed wholeheartedly on all counts. They awarded Godfrey $1.5 million in his sexual orientation discrimination lawsuit against the state of Iowa and former Governor Terry Branstad. “I’m a little shocked, but I knew I had the […]
DES MOINES, Iowa — Nearly 600,000 low-income, poor and disabled Iowans will see an additional $386 million dollars in total state and federal dollars towards their private Medicaid. “It’s one percent less coming out of the general fund. We are starting to bend the cost curve. We’ve improved access, increased what we pay to providers and in addition to that we are placing more accountability for the Managed Care Organizations,” said Governor Kim Reynolds. That 8.6% bump from last […]
DES MOINES, Iowa — Thousands of Iowans had the 28th annual Goodguys Speedway Motors Heartland Nationals car show circled on their calendars. “It’s so amazing to look at all the American beauty of all the classic cars,” said Ben. On Saturday night, more than engines were revved into high gear after a senior citizen showed off for some children in the crowd by performing a burnout. “He did a quick little burnout because kids were sitting on the sidewalk saying […]
DES MOINES, Iowa — It takes a special American to fight for freedom. “One team, one fight,” said 1st. Lt. Dau Jok. Jok’s family already fought for their children’s future by fleeing a war-torn South Sudan and settling in Des Moines in 2003. Jok said, “For us, we have endured so much to come to where we are now.” Growing up in Des Moines, they excelled at basketball. Dau played at the University of Pennsylvania and his brother, Peter Jok, […]
DES MOINES, Iowa — Driving through the Des Moines community for Daudi Mmele will never be the same. “I heard the sounds of the gun,” said Mmele. Saturday afternoon, while driving home along 10th Street and Forest Avenue in Des Moines, Mmele was shot in broad daylight. “The gun should have shot me in the head but because I was lying on the seat, the gun shot me on the arm,” he said. A local hospital was able to remove […]
DES MOINES, Iowa — July 1, 2019 was supposed to be a day of rejoicing for more than 3,000 Iowans registered and already taking part in the state’s medical marijuana program. “We’ve seen many patients in the state of Iowa who have reduced or gotten off opioid medication when they’ve switched to a medical cannabis program,” said Democratic State Rep. and John Forbes. Gov. Kim Reynolds’ veto of a heavily bipartisan supported bill could have expanded medical cannabis use to […]
GRIMES, Iowa — In some ways, Marianne Williamson’s name is beginning to emerge in a crowded field of Democrats. “We need a realignment. We need to right the ship, not only in terms of our policy but also in terms of values in our heart,” said Williamson. The author’s presidential run is already appealing to Judy Sebern Beachy of Des Moines. “I understand her message of love as a force that can change politics,” said Sebern Beachy. It’s the way […]
NEWTON, Iowa — It may be the official food of summer but in Newton hot dogs are being served by an unusual vendor. “It is fun to get outside during the day because most other kids would be playing video games or watching TV,” said 10-year-old River Miller. Miller has set up his Heavenly Hot Dogs stand in the parking lot of his father`s Integrity Cleaning and Restoration business. River said, “Usually I start around 10 or 11 am […]
SAYDEL, Iowa — A state audit has uncovered misspent money at Saydel High School. The treasurer of a booster club for students is accused of spending thousands of dollars on herself. The state audit combed through financial transactions of the Saydel Music Boosters from August 1 of 2014 through March 31 of 2018 and found the club’s treasurer at the time, Denice Grove, improperly spent over $21,000 meant for the district’s music programs. “I think it`s really sad, especially for this […]
DES MOINES, Iowa — Regardless of the ball being fair or foul, Rae Ann Smith says it was clear that Lance Ulrich crossed a line. “He was swearing at him, saying, ‘What are you going to do old man? What are you going to do to me now?” said Smith. She witnessed the alleged assault on an umpire over a foul ball call during a Sunday men’s slow pitch league game at the Greater Des Moines Softball Complex. Smith said, […]
DES MOINES, Iowa — Instead of birds chirping, many people along Hickman Road in Des Moines woke up to a different noise Sunday morning: a chainsaw. “Worst part is when you see it you are so discouraged, but you wait on it and you get a plan of action,” said Dale Foltman, who spent Sunday morning freeing his Beaverdale neighborhood yard of storm damage. He said, “I’m going to cut and lop. It’s going to take me an hour and […]
DES MOINES, Iowa — When it comes to first response times, seconds can save lives. “It is a great benefit for our community to have one really close. This is an extremely active fire station,” said Mark Doll, the Senior Pastor at the east side Church of the Nazarene. Doll grew worried when his nearby fire station number along Easton Boulevard and Hubbell Avenue recently closed for repairs. “It definitely adds to the concern that if there’s an emergency […]