A Trip to Perry Brings Home Why We Need Immigration Reform

I went to Perry, Iowa (population 7,836) on Friday to help train a new news guy at Raccoon Valley Radio. Perry is about an hour and a half long drive away from home. I had planned to arrive mid-morning, but at about 5:30 a.m., a gut feeling told me to leave soon. So I did.

I arrived at the radio station in Perry at about 7:30 a.m. and was told the new guy was going to start his day at a Perry Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting at Quality Marble and Tile. I figured I would meet him there and arrived about fifteen minutes early. Like any good small-town news person, I introduced myself and started chatting with people, nosing around for news. I wanted to learn who was who and who had stories to tell to help the new guy get a good start.

As 8:00 a.m. approached, I wondered where my new guy was. When the Chamber of Commerce Director started speaking at 8:02, and the new guy still wasn’t there, I knew it was good that I had trusted my gut to come to Perry early. Otherwise, we would have missed the ribbon cutting.

We gathered in a circle in front of the Quality Marble and Tile fabrication shop, where they make stone cabinet tops and more. Their showroom is in Grimes. Before the ribbon was cut, the chamber director asked those assembled if they had any updates to share. Most did. It was a goldmine for potential news stories, and I passed out my business cards like I was tossing confetti.

And my news guy? He showed up at 8:18, when most of the discussion was over.

Dina Kahrimanovic, the young woman center-left in the photo to the left, did an interview with me about the business. To her right is her Uncle Niho. To her left are her mother, Samira, and her father Hajro.

By ROBERT LEONARD
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