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
  • 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 […]

  • Police Catch Shooting Suspects Trying to Use Uber as Getaway Car

    DES MOINES, Iowa — Less than 20 days on the job, a metro Uber driver found himself surrounded by police and his hands in the air. Michael Street is thankful to be alive and looks at life in a different light.  “It could have gotten uglier than it was. I`m thankful to be here today,” he said. Street was Ubering through the metro when he received his first pickup of the day shortly after 2:30 p.m. Sunday near University Avenue and […]

  • Addiction Organization Brings Emotional Lesson to Iowa State Fair

    DES MOINES, Iowa — A day at the Iowa State Fair took a sharp turn for Urbandale parent Melissa Vogel.  “It was shocking as parents,” said Vogel. A trailer put up by RALI, an opioid addiction awareness group, and Code 3 is taking parents through a makeshift teenage bedroom to spot signs of drug use. “Soot underneath the spoon from being held over a lighter or heat source,” said Carrie Padgett, who lost her brother to drug addiction.  She is […]

  • Attorney Believes Relationship Context Will Clear Alleged Sexual Assault on Dowling Campus

    DES MOINES, Iowa — A woman claims the Dowling Catholic High School parking lot was a place of terror in August of 2017. A lawsuit claims she was sexually assaulted by a man who had just graduated from the school. The alleged assault happened after a school-sponsored event at the chapel. The documents name the accused man, the school, a teacher and counselor as defendants. “Obviously difficult to have these allegations brought against him or anyone,” said Elisabeth Archer, an […]

  • Investigation Continues After Man Claiming to be Uber Driver Arrested on Sexual Assault Charge

    PLEASANT HILL, Iowa — Polk County court documents allege 33-year-old Nirmal Chhetri of Pleasant Hill claimed to be an off-duty Uber driver as two women, whose phone batteries had died, were in search of a safe ride home early Sunday from downtown Des Moines. “We all have those times where you think your phone is fully charged and then magically the battery has wiped itself out,” said Pleasant Hill Captain Amy Kramer. The women admitted to police they were both […]

  • ICE Called On Lost Latino Construction Workers in Eastern Iowa

    UPDATE: The man detained has been identified as Daniel Espinosa Rodriguez.  Channel 13 has learned that he has been deported from the US twice before and was in the country illegally when he was detained in Vinton.  Anders Jose Anders was the second individual detained.  He was arrested but released. ORIGINAL STORY: VINTON, Iowa — A week ago three Latino men, reporting to their next construction job in Vinton, Iowa, had trouble finding the address so they asked for directions.  […]

  • Dog Walkers Could Become the Next Crime Fighters in Des Moines

    DES MOINES, Iowa — Like other dog owners, walking Sunny is a daily routine for Sarah Heggen. “I`m an avid dog walker. I walk her a lot throughout the summer and when the weather is nice,” she said. In her north of Grand neighborhood, Heggen wants a dog walk to be something much more: surveillance with the Dog Walker Watch program.  “This program encourages people to keep that eye out on their fellow neighbors as they are walking their dog,” […]

  • Iowans Pull Together as Nation Mourns Mass Shooting Victims

    ADEL, Iowa — Mass shootings have sent a lightning rod through the heart of America. “This is getting worse,” said Julie Higgs, who serves as a pastor at Adel’s Grace Lutheran Church. Bryce Smith is a business owner in Adel and agreed with Higgs. Smith said, “Rolling over Sunday morning and the first morning notification was yet another mass shooting 12 hours after hearing about and diagnosing another mass shooting.” The 22 dead in El Paso, Texas, and nine gunned […]

  • Numbers Game: Iowa Schools Fighting to Save Football Season Before it Begins

    MARTENSDALE, Iowa — With a football stadium less than ten years old, at first glance, Martensdale-St. Marys looks the part. “The facilities are awesome.  We’ve got an awesome football field and turf field, locker rooms are great, weight room is really nice,” said Martensdale-St. Marys football coach Derek Wharton.  Weight rooms yield bigger athletes, but Wharton says the Blue Devils’ roster is razor thin.  “Eleven people are going to be on the field at a time and we had 13 […]

  • Police Involved In Water Rescue Risked Lives Despite Not Being Dive Team Members

      DES MOINES, Iowa — In the dark of night with deadly currents rushing over two stranded boaters, Des Moines police bodycam video shows a heroic water rescue monday at the Scott Street River Bridge’s low-head dam.  “When it comes to jumping in the river and facing what they faced, that is just raw courage and full heart,” said Des Moines Police Department Sergeant Paul Parizek. Liutenant Joe Van Haalan with the Des Moines Fire Department’s wet rescue team has […]

  • Despite Predictable Deaths at Iowa Dams, Removal in Des Moines Still Years Away

    DES MOINES, Iowa — A light shined down on the heroic effort by Des Moines police and fire to save the lives of a man and woman Monday night caught near the dam at the Scott Street River Bridge.  Nate Hoogeveen serves as the Iowa Department of Natural Resources River Programs director and says the rescue is also shining the spotlight on a glaring issue.  “This latest incident does illustrate that the danger has not gone away,” said Hoogeveen. The […]

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