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
  • If 515 Alive Festival Returns, First Responders Hope for Improvements

    DES MOINES, Iowa — Music lovers have worked hard to make festival season commonplace in Des Moines. “We`ve been having a lot of them for many years and this is a festival-friendly city,” said Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek. But on August 17, the annual 515 Alive Music Festival, now at Water Works Park, appeared to have crossed a line with Des Moines police and fire departments, beginning with numbers from organizers that first responders were expected to staff […]

  • ISU Fan Turns Beer Money Sign into Viral Fundraiser for Children’s Hospital

    ALTOONA, Iowa — Each Saturday in the fall, college football nation turns millions of eyes onto College GameDay, and Ames was no exception. As a joke, an ISU fan brought a sign to College GameDay asking for beer money to be sent to his Venmo account. He never expected to receive thousands of dollars like he did. Instead of using that money for beer, he is using it to help kids fighting for their lives in Iowa City. “It was […]

  • Central Iowa Football Team Vows To Change Culture Despite Halftime Forfeit

      STUART, Iowa — Losing the first two games of the season can take its toll on any team.  Not being able to finish a game due to injuries and safety concerns can destroy morale.  “Nobody mailed it in and we wondered if that would happen,” said West Central Valley Community School District Superintendent Lance Ridgely. On September 6th vs Earlham, Class 1A West Central Valley head coach Shaen Polasky was forced to call the game at halftime down 70-0.  […]

  • Des Moines Continues Talks With Controversial Building Codes

    DES MOINES, Iowa — Des Moines city leaders are overhauling the city’s development code for the first time in over five decades. Residents packed Monday night’s meeting for the sixth revision since May.  The city is proposing new building codes that would set criteria for square footage and design standards in Des Moines neighborhoods. The proposal is getting plenty of pushback.  Eleven Des Moines businesses, unions, and non-profit organizations have signed onto a letter asking the city council to reconsider. […]

  • Iowa Animal Shelters Need Help Freeing Space For Dorian Rescues

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Rescuing an animal can be fulfilling. For Austin Key of Des Moines, it was a bit of love at first sight.  He said, “I was just looking for a friend. I think I may have found him here.  You can’t really put words on it. You just click.” An “Adopt-A-Thon” event at Jordan Creek Town Center featured the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Animal Lifeline of Iowa, Animal Rescue of Carroll, Furry Friends Refuge and […]

  • Des Moines Victim Escapes With Minor Injuries Despite Bullet in His Head

    DES MOINES, Iowa — Des Moines police say a man is lucky to have escaped with minor injuries after being shot in the head Saturday night. “It certainly looks accidental and somebody was mishandling a firearm. We don’t believe it to be intentional, but there’s a real strong possibility there could be criminal charges moving forward,” said Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek. Police were called to the 1100 block of 27th Street near Drake University around 11 p.m. Saturday […]

  • Des Moines’ 10th Homicide Victim Identified

    DES MOINES, Iowa — Police have identified the shooting victim of Saturday’s homicide as 45-year-old Des Moines resident John Belcher. Initially, investigators were called out to the 1900 block of Francis Avenue around 3:45 p.m. Saturday but found no evidence of gunshots in the area. Thirty minutes later, another call came in from someone who claimed to have found a dead body inside a home in the 1900 block of Francis Avenue. The investigation and search for a suspect continued […]

  • Metro Restaurant Breathes Sigh of Relief as Dorian’s Path Shifts from Puerto Rico

    WINDSOR HEIGHTS, Iowa — Recently reaching their first anniversary, Puerto Rico Restaurant in Windsor Heights has cause for celebration.  “Yo soy Boriqua,” said head chef Elizabeth Torres proudly. Monica Torres owns the business and her family was born and raised in Puerto Rico including her sister and head chef Elizabeth.  “It`s my birthplace and where I grew up, my childhood my school my family,” said Elizabeth. Elation is taking a back seat as category one Hurricane Dorian was forecasted to […]

  • Widow Urges Outdoor and Mailbox Safety After Grinnell Postal Worker Dies From Wasp Sting

    GRINNELL, Iowa — Working his dream job for over 30 years, Grinnell knew they could count of Dwayne Kriegel to deliver the mail rain or shine. “His patrons loved him.  They set bottles of water out for him in the heat and hot cocoa for him in the winter months,” said his wife, Tammy. Last Thursday while on his mail route, Dwayne was stung by wasps while reaching into a mailbox.  Tammy said, “He was stung multiple times in his […]

  • Metro Church Empowers Community With Faith, Family and Festival

    DES MOINES, Iowa –A local church is using faith, family and a festival to build a stronger community.   “We wanted to put our love into motion and so this is our way of doing that. We understand there are a lot of people in the city underserved and we feel it’s our responsibility as representatives of christ to love the city,” said Cameron Scott, Cityscape Pastor. Des Moines’ Cityscape Church held their second annual City Love Fest at Roosevelt High […]

  • Advocate Rallies Outside Metro Walmart To End Gun Sales

          WINDSOR HEIGHTS, Iowa — He’s just one man but Robert Disney believes his message is powerful.  “I’ve had enough.  I’m sick of the gun violence we are seeing across our country.  It doesn’t matter where you are,” said Robert. Groups like Gunsdown America, March For Our Lives and the #WalmartMustAct Coalition are holding rallies near Walmarts across the country.  Urging the nation’s largest retailer to stop selling guns and providing political donations to NRA backed lawmakers in […]

  • East Village Bar Forced To Pull Plug On Live Music

      DES MOINES, Iowa — Live music on an East Village rooftop patio seems to be a natural fit.  “It`s given our customers a place before eating and after eating to relax and have ambiance with the music,” said Uriah Mixdorf, owner of the Rooftop Bar on East Grand and East 6th.  Mixdorf says the city doesn`t agree.  “Even if we remain under the city sound guidelines we aren`t allowed to have anything considered live music.  We are allowed to […]

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