Alex Payne helped found the Altoona 150 committee in April 2016. It was July 2008 (Altoona’s 140th birthday) when he first approached then-Mayor Tim Burget about planning Altoona’s sesquicentennial celebration. Payne would spend the next eight years touring various celebrations across Iowa to gather ideas for Altoona’s sesquicentennial celebration.
In May 2014 he published his first book, Images of America: Altoona. He saw the book as a way to get the citizens of Altoona excited about Altoona history ahead of the upcoming sesquicentennial. Since then, Payne has worked with Burget to put together a more comprehensive book on Altoona history, which will be available during the Altoona 150 celebration, July 26-29, 2018.
Payne serves as the vice president of the Altoona Area Historical Society, co-chair of the Altoona 150 committee and is an active board member for the Des Moines Historical Society. He continues to put hours into renovations and displays for the Altoona Area Historical Museum, located in Olde Town Altoona.
Payne is a National Edward R. Murrow award winning TV producer, and two-time Emmy award nominee, for his work on KCCI 8 News this Morning. Payne started his career as a producer at WHO-HD in Des Moines, winning various state and regional awards there.
Altoona has been his home since he was born, and he has stayed here ever since. He attended Willowbrook Elementary, graduating from Southeast Polk in 2012. Payne went on to earned his associates degree from Des Moines Area Community College in 2014. He then transferred to Drake University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, with an emphasis on Broadcast News and Politics in 2016.
You can contact him by email Alex@Altoona150.org or follow him on Twitter @PayneReports.