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 — Many local businesses are stringing lights for the holidays, but some Christmas trees you pass this year while shopping may be more than just decoration. Beaverdale Cares is a local organization made up of residents in Des Moines’ Beaverdale neighborhood. For the second year, they’ve teamed up with six local Beaverdale businesses to display giving trees in their stores. The trees have 50 ornaments each and describe an item that a local charity is in need […]
DES MOINES, Iowa — Taking a break from the battle to protect our nation’s freedom, about two dozen Iowa Army Reserve soldiers marched to battle homelessness in Des Moines. “We try to keep busy with community events and so this was a perfect opportunity for us to get us out there and do some army training, too,” said Staff Sgt. Ashley Edwards. Soldiers from the 361st Medical Logistics Company and the Second Battalion of the 377th Regiment Fox Company filled […]
DES MOINES, Iowa — An officer-involved shooting in Des Moines has sent one suspect to the hospital and another in custody. The Clive Police Department says at 2:34 a.m. Saturday officers attempted to pull over a gray Dodge Charger for a traffic violation near 63rd Street when the driver of vehicle refused to stop and led officers on a high-speed chase eastbound on Interstate 235. Investigators say the suspects vehicle attempted to allude officers at the 42nd Street exit in […]
DES MOINES, Iowa — Life-saving measures including CPR were not enough to save a man from a gunshot wound in the Sherman Hill neighborhood Monday. As Des Moines police continued their search for a suspect, residents say gun violence in their neighborhood is unnerving. “I’m not OK with this. It’s scary. Finding this out it worries me and it worries my wife,” said Billy Messenger, who lives down on the street that the crime occurred. Home to some of Des […]
DES MOINES, Iowa — A local brewery has hopped into the holiday spirit by adding a twist to the traditional Advent calendar. Peace Tree Brewing Company kicked off 24 Days of Beer at all three of its locations in Knoxville, Grinnell and Des Moines. The month-long event features the release of 12 different holiday-themed beers. The first is an Apple Pie wheat beer called “You’ll Shoot Your Pie Out.” It is a tribute to the classic holiday movie “A Christmas Story.” […]
DES MOINES, Iowa — After a state championship and sixteen total conference titles coaching track and field at Roosevelt High School, Joe McQuerry says the district’s decision to not re-sign him wasn’t just unexpected, he claims it was unjust. “These words were said to me, I’m not paraphrasing here. When you tell me that today’s kid isn’t tough enough for my coaching, today’s kid needs more slack and less or no consequences that just blew me away,” McQuerry said. […]
DES MOINES, Iowa — At the Des Moines International Airport it’s not just a race to see loved ones in time for Thanksgiving. It’s also a race to beat Mother Nature’s winter grip. Many passengers breathed a sigh of relief to see liftoff did not lead to an extended layover Tuesday evening. “I’m very glad. I was coming through Chicago, so I got a little nervous and I’m glad I’m here early for the holiday,” said Meredith Pintler, who lives […]
CRESTON, Iowa — If the cream rises to the top, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg has to hope he hasn’t peaked too early. “Help me build that future and start now because there is not a moment to lose,” said Buttigieg. Hundreds packed into the Creston YMCA Monday as recent polls show Buttigieg leading among likely caucus voters in Iowa just 3 months out from the Iowa caucuses. “I have a lot of favorites in the democratic party. I’m […]
DES MOINES, Iowa — Art comes in many forms but for Sandy Davis and her comic book super clan it can provide warmth. “We make scarves and we bought scarves, mittens, gloves and hats. It’s to share for anybody that needs something to keep them warm,” said Davis. Her family, some dressed up as comic book heroes like Batman, Spider-Man and Super Girl, spent Sunday wrapping well over one-hundred items around lamp posts and railings near the Des Moines sculpture […]
DES MOINES, IOWA — Kameron Middlebrooks graduated from Roosevelt in 2007 and ran under long-time boys’ track coach Joe McQuerry. “My senior year we had won the conference meet 11 years in a row,” said Middlebrooks. Earlier this week he read a petition that said McQuerry was “Unjustly released,” as head coach by the Des Moines Public Schools District. Middlebrooks said, “To be honest with you, I thought it was a joke. Coach McQuerry to me was a tough but […]
DES MOINES, Iowa — Megan Rapinoe is a two-time World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist, but Iowans got to see someone much more than just an athlete Tuesday night. “She`s a great advocate for social justice and women`s rights, gay rights and the LGBTQ community,” said Mallory Abreu, who attended the lecture series. Dakota Sanchez added, “A strong, independent female that was able to really ruffle feathers and make change.” Abreu added, a “purple-haired goddess.” These were just some […]
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — It used to be a bustling area in West Des Moines` midtown area, but the east side of 8th Street, south of Interstate 235, is now quiet and dark. However, a new multi-million dollar project hopes to spotlight a revitalization. On Monday night, city council leaders pushed their chips all in with a unanimous yes vote. “We are excited about it. We`ve been excited about this area for three to four years,” said Shane Isley, […]