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Science and Technology
12:42 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Renewable Materials Research Gets Government, Industry Funding

These are some samples of bioplastic and biocomposite products developed at Iowa State University.
courtesy of Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites

With cellulosic ethanol now being produced in Iowa, researchers at Iowa State University hope to convert some of the by-products into useful renewable materials. 

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Talk of Iowa
12:37 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Amy Tan's Latest Novel, The Valley of Amazement

Author Amy Tan
Ronald van Holst

In her best-selling novels, Amy Tan has explored mother-daughter relationships that resonate across all cultures.

In her latest novel, The Valley of Amazement, she does it again. In this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Tan about her latest novel, the photo that inspired it, and writing her very first sex scenes.

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Arts and Culture
12:00 am
Thu December 11, 2014

A Cameroonian Writer Spins African Tales

Cameroonian writer Ngwah-Mbo Nana Nkweti
Credit Ngwah-Mbo Nana Nkweti

Writer Ngwah-Mbo Nana Nkweti injects her Cameroonian heritage into stories about people who share her same multicultural background.

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Arts and Culture
3:03 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Begonias & Dead Horses: The Best Folk & Classical Music of 2014

Cover art for Runa's Current Affairs album. Karen Impola ranks it number two on her list of the best releases of 2014

It was a good year for chamber music, orchestras, fusion and harmonies. That's according to two of IPR's music hosts who shared their favorite recordings of 2014.

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Politics Day
2:51 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Implications of the Senate Committee Torture Report

U.S. Senate Committee hearing in 2013
John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV

During his administration, George W. Bush said the detention and interrogation of terrorism suspects was humane and legal.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Grain Glut Clogs Railways, Rivers, Roads

An MFA Agriservices worker monitors the soybean chute as the barge fills up on the Missouri River in Glasgow, Mo.
Kristofor Husted/Harvest Public Media

For the Midwest’s major crops, this harvest season was a big one. With winter setting in, the race is on for farmers to ship out their harvest so it’s not left out to spoil.

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
4:45 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Nobel Laureate Has Iowa Friends

Kailash Satyarthi, children's rights activist and 2014 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
Comissão de Educação, Cultura e Esporte

One of the two laureates receiving the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in children’s rights was nominated by U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin.

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Wildlife Day
2:56 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Bald Eagles in Iowa: A Comeback Story

Charity Nebbe

The population of bald eagles in Iowa appears to be plateauing. That’s according to wildlife biologist Jim Pease.

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Environment
2:14 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Grassley Wants Wind Tax Credit to Go Further

Iowa wind farms generate much of the state's electricity.
Brooke Raymond

Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley says the Senate will soon vote on the long-delayed tax extenders bill. The legislation groups more than 50 tax breaks, including wind energy incentives.

Because Iowa is a leader in wind energy production, Grassley has been vocal on the need to extend the tax credits. But Grassley says the bill doesn’t go far enough.

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Environment
1:35 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Grassley Says Congressional Republicans Will "Neuter" EPA Proposal

Debate continues over proposed changes to the federal oversight of waterways. The Des Moines River is among those affected by the pollution the rule aims to improve.
John Marvig

A proposal to modify the Clean Water Act, known as the Waters of the U.S. rule, will face stiff opposition come January, says U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley.  That’s when both the House and the Senate will be held by the GOP.

Grassley and other Republicans have spoken harshly against the recommendation from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers, which would increase federal oversight of U.S. waterways.

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Statehouse and Politics
12:21 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Iowa Gets an F for Campaign Disclosure

Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board director Megan Tooker hopes to improve Iowa's laws regarding campaign donation disclosures.
John Pemble/IPR

Iowa has received a failing grade for its laws governing campaign finance reporting for state offices.   

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
5:26 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Iowa Driver's License Goes Virtual

Iowa Department of Transportation director Paul Trombino explains the state's new digital driver's licesnes, which will be available next year.
Joyce Russell/IPR

Iowa motorists will soon be able to show identification by pulling out a cellphone.

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Holiday Book Guide
4:25 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

IPR's 2014 Children's Holiday Book Guide

Wikimedia Commons

Do you have a young bookworm on your Christmas list?

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River to River
2:30 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Are We Still One Nation Under God, and Does It Matter?

The Eastern Iowa Coalition of Reason billboard
Eastern Iowa Coalition of Reason

Our country is very much identified as "one nation under God," however, the number of non-religious Americans has risen dramatically.

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Statehouse and Politics
1:55 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Lawmakers: We'll Follow School Funding Law

Iowa Statehouse
John Pemble/IPR

Lawmakers of both major parties predict that next year schools will get early word about state funding .

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Statehouse and Politics
7:15 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Harkin Reflects on His Legacy

Sen. Tom Harkin will retire from the U.S. Senate in January 2015 after 40 years in Congress.
Photo by John Pemble

Sen. Tom Harkin retires from the U.S. Senate in January. He discusses his congressional legacy with Morning Edition, and gives a hint to his life's next chapter. 

Clay Masters: It’s Morning Edition on Iowa Public Radio. I’m Clay Masters. U.S. Democratic Senator Tom Harkin is retiring. He’s been a member of congress for 40 years—10 years in the House, and 30 in the Senate. Sen. Harkin is with me to discuss his career, and also what’s next.  Hello, Senator.

Sen. Tom Harkin: Good Morning. Good to be with you, Clay.

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
11:52 am
Sat December 6, 2014

Limits on Expert Witness Testimony

Joe Gratz

The Iowa Supreme Court says expert witnesses cannot testify to a victim's credibility.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
6:13 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Biodiesel Boost

Credit Iowa Biodiesel

  The U.S. House this week overwhelmingly passed a package of tax incentives retroactively for 2014. Among the incentives was the reinstatement of the $1 per gallon biodiesel blenders tax credit that expired on Dec.31, 2013.

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Diabetes Research
4:00 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

An Interdisciplinary Approach to Conquer Diabetes

The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center has existed since 2009, but only found a home earlier this fall.
Oskar Annermarken Flickr

Diabetes was first named in ancient Greek civilization, but there's still much we don't know about the condition.

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2015 Legislative Session
3:59 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Lawmakers: Promises to Cities Not Cast in Stone

Iowa Taxpayers Association panelists
Joyce Russell/IPR

At a forum today, Democratic and Republican lawmakers differed sharply on whether the legislature can honor its commitments to local governments.

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News Buzz
3:58 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Clive Police Officer Sees "No Downside" to Body Cameras

VIEVU is the brand of body camera worn by Clive police officers
VIEVU

President Obama made the announcement this week that, in the aftermath of Ferguson and other cases, the White House would call for $75 million over three years to make 50,000 body cameras available to police departments across the country.

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News
3:55 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Art Depicting Ku Klux Klansman Taken Down from UI Pentacrest

A person wearing the artwork that was sitting on the University of Iowa campus Friday.
Photo Courtesy of Serhat Tanyolocar

A controversial public art piece created by a Turkish artist in 2010 was taken down after sitting on the University of Iowa campus for less than four hours Friday.

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Horticulture
11:57 am
Fri December 5, 2014

‘Tis the Season… For Ordering Garden Seeds

seed packets on display
Wikimedia Commons

For the seasoned gardener, seed catalogs have already begun to arrive in the mail.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Fri December 5, 2014

At USDA, Vilsack's Longest-Serving Secretary Since 1969

Tom Vilsack travels all over, but frequently returns to Iowa. He’s shown here in Ames in the summer of 2013 pushing for support of the farm bill.
Amy Mayer/IPR

The U.S. Department of Agriculture touches Americans from the field to the cafeteria, with a bevy of programs that include subsidies for farmers and for school lunches. 

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Music
5:07 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

A Christmas with Dan Knight

Lindsey Moon Iowa Public Radio

Do you have a favorite Christmas song? For many of us, our favorite songs have memories associated with them.

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Education
2:48 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Harkin Proposes Federal Funding for Higher Ed

Beardshear Hall on the Iowa State University campus.
Credit michelec317

Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin says he wants states that increase funding to higher education to receive matching federal grants.

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Hash Oil Arrives
11:43 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Illegal Hash Oil Smoked in E-Cigarettes

Steve Lukan
Joyce Russell/IPR

Iowa’s top drug enforcement official says a new marijuana derivative is showing up in Iowa.

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Tax Credits Scrutinized
11:17 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Google, Facebook Tax Breaks Challenged

Facebook Grand Opening in Altoona
John Pemble/IPR

State assistance to attract Google, Microsoft, and Facebook to Iowa is under scrutiny by a statehouse committee.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
7:56 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Food "Cluster" Hopes to Boost Local Food’s Economic Heft

Ashley Colpaart is the Northern Colorado Food Cluster's coordinator.
Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

More cities want to take eating local food from just a hip trend to an economic generator, but as in many grassroots movements, there can be some growing pains along the way. 

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Health
9:46 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Parents of Mentally Ill Children Rally Iowa Capitol

Parents of children with severe mental health issues who could not attend the rally asked to be represented with stuffed animals.
Sarah Boden/Iowa Public Radio

Advocates and parents of children with severe mental health issues rallied in Iowa’s Capitol Rotunda today, for the release of funding from the Iowa Department of Human Services. 

They say $6 million earmarked for services like respite care and therapy hasn’t been distributed. As a result, parents say the wait time for these services has ballooned to more than two years.

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