News

Rob Dillard, Iowa Public Radio

South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham touted his 33-year military career as one reason he should be elected commander-in chief during a stop at the Iowa State Fair Monday.

He told a crowd at the Register’s soapbox American troops were withdrawn from Iraq way too soon.

“Thirty-five-hundred soldiers on the ground is not enough we need about 10,000," he says. "We need a couple of aviation battalions to take the fight to ISIL. We’re going to need embedders and trainers at the battalion level. We’re going to need air controllers to drop bombs on the right people."

John Pemble/IPR

First place winning Janie Orange and Safari Orange Marigold flowers are on display in the Agriculture Building along with other varieties of colorful petals. 8/14/2015 Photo by John Pemble. 

John Pemble/IPR

Two more Republican presidential hopefuls spoke to Iowa State Fair crowds this morning.  Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker took on members of a Wisconsin labor union, while former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina chose to use nearly all of her allotted 20-minutes taking questions from the crowd.

During Walker’s speech on the Des Moines Register Soapbox stage, members of a Wisconsin labor union began heckling the Wisconsin Governor who’s known for stripping bargaining rights from state employees. Walker told the protesters he’s not intimidated by them.

Wikimedia Commons

Across the country, rental markets are booming. That’s true in parts of Iowa, especially Sioux City.

Maynard Porter is president of the Siouxland Rental Association. He says the only advice for someone looking to rent in Sioux City right now is simple - good luck.

“You’d probably end up in a motel for a few weeks. I’ve been involved since 1979, and I’ve never seen the market like this. My crews are instructed to lock the doors, otherwise we spend an inordinate amount of time telling people the rentals are not ready yet,” he says.

Iowa Public Radio / Joyce Russell

Democrat Jim Mowrer is running for Congress again, but this time in Iowa’s Third Congressional District. He resigned from his position as vice-chair of the Iowa Democratic Party this morning.

Last year, the Iraq War Veteran and father of two sons unsuccessfully tried to unseat Fourth District Congressman Steve King. King captured nearly 62-percent of the vote.

Since that time Mowrer relocated from Boone to Des Moines. He has one primary challenger, Clive businessman Desmund Adams.

They both hope to defeat freshman Republican Congressman David Young. 

Roberto Neumiller

How many people can the Earth sustain? According to author and journalist Alan Weisman, "the planet just seems to be bursting at its seams."

Today on Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe interviews Weisman, who tackles that question in his new book, Countdown: Our Last, Best hope for a Future on Earth? She talks with him about what he learned by traveling the globe and studying different cultures and his vision of the future.

 This program originally aired February 24, 2014.

Clay Masters / IPR

CM: You’ve been spending a lot of time in Iowa recently, making a lot of weekend trips. Tell me what are two to three words that you would use to describe Iowa?

HC: Open, committed, and beautiful.

CM: Plain and simple?

HC: Yea, absolutely.

MIchael Leland/IPR

Here's what you'll see if you drop by where poultry is usually displayed at the Iowa State Fair's Avenue of Breeds.  Poultry was barred from the fair this year because of concerns over avian flu.  It's the first time since 1904 there's been no...real poultry at the fair. Photo by Michael Leland, 8/16/15

John Pemble/IPR

With the higher-profile candidates Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Bernie Sanders gone from the Iowa State Fair Sunday, the crowds waiting to see or hear presidential hopefuls were noticeably smaller.

Still, Republican Ben Carson delivered his speech from the Des Moines Register soapbox before a crowd of several hundred that spilled across the Grand Concourse from the stage area.  Carson said putting aside partisan bickering will give Americans the opportunity to solve serious problems, like the national debt.  He says it threatens to destroy the future for America’s children.

John Pemble/IPR

A foot long Corn Dogs with an large chunk of batter from one of many Campbells Concessions stands.  Campbells has been a vendor at the Iowa State Fair since 1954 when they were called Mel Little Concessions, and a Corn Dog was known as Poncho Dogs. 8/14/2015 Photo by John Pemble

facebook.com/LeonBridgesOfficial

Coming Home is the debut full-length album from Leon Bridges, the young soul singer, guitarist and songwriter from Fort Worth, Texas.  Bridges' music and visual image are very much in the tradition of early Marvin Gaye and Sam Cooke circa 1963.  It wasn't that long age that he was working as a dishwasher and playing open-mic nights around Fort Worth.  Bridges signed with Columbia Records last year, and began touring nationally this year.  Coming Home shows Leon Bridges to be utterly sincere in his approach to retro-soul.

Clay Masters / IPR

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump made a campaign stop at the Iowa State Fair Saturday. Trump passed on a popular state fair candidate event and instead gave kids a ride on his helicopter before walking around the fairState Fair officials told Donald Trump he could not land his helicopter on the Iowa State fairgrounds, so he did it less than a mile away and flew kids over the fair. He also spoke to reporters and says his brain has built a great business and will be good for the country.

Iowa Public Radio / John Pemble

It was more than 90 degrees at the Iowa State Fair on Saturday. Luckily for the presidential candidates stumping at the Des Moines Register's Soapbox in long-sleeved dress shirts, there was also a slight breeze.

The first speaker of the day was former Sen. Rick Santorum. The Pennsylvania Republican told a crowd of roughly 150-200 people that he was the only presidential candidate who was on the Islamic State's enemy list.

John Pemble/IPR

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources building contains many works of art made from 10,000 water bottles that came from the donated garbage of a large church’s single day event earlier this summer.  The blue fish is one of four archway installations using 2,400 of those bottles with colored cellophane to bring out the shape.  The DNR will recycle all of this plastic when the Iowa State Fair is over. 8/14/2015 Photo by John Pemble

reynermedia / Flickr

Earlier this week, a new report by the US Department of Energy showed that costs continue to decline while turbine technology becomes more efficient. All of this, along with the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, means wind energy is having a moment.

Packed House For Fiorina

Aug 14, 2015
IPR's Pat Blank

A crowd of more than 200 squeezed into the Mason City Public Library Friday morning to see Republican Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina.

John Pemble/IPR

The Des Moines Register’s Political Soapbox is a staple of the Iowa State Fair, where candidates are given 20 minutes to give a speech. This sign shows Thursday's lineup.  8/13/2015 Photo by John Pemble

Rachel Gardner / Flickr

Planting native plants in yards, gardens, fields, and roadsides is more popular than ever before, but maintaining a prairie plot is different from tending a more traditional lawn or landscape.

On this horticulture day edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks about prairie maintenance with Brad Riphagan, a field coordinator with Trees Forever. He and Iowa State University Extension horticulturist Richard Jauron also answer listener questions.

John Pemble/IPR

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush made a morning stop at the Iowa State Fair Friday.

He touched on a wide-range of issues before a large crowd of several hundred at the Des Moines Register soapbox.

“I believe we’re on the verge of the greatest time to be alive if we’re strong, rebuild our military, show support for our veterans, bring back competency in government, and grow our economy at a far faster rate,” he says.

The brother and son of presidents, Bush says he’s tired of the divide in American politics.

Iowa Department of Corrections

Earlier this month, more than 500 of Iowa’s most dangerous offenders were transferred to a new maximum-security prison in Fort Madison.

On this edition of River to River, Ben Kieffer talks with Bill Petroski of the Des Moines Register about the transfer, the differences in the new and old facilities, and the roughly $175 million cost of the prison, originally estimated at $130 million.

Photo by Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company, is attempting to swallow up the chemical operations of Syngenta, the world’s biggest producer of pesticides and other farm inputs. The proposed deal signals a change in focus for the agricultural giant, and could have ripple effects across farm country.

By its own admission, Monsanto lags behind in chemistry research. To correct that, and possibly find new ways to combine chemicals and biotech crops, Monsanto wants to buy the Swiss chemical company.

John Pemble/IPR

  The parade of presidential candidates at the Iowa State Fair began Thursday morning with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

The Republican winner of the 2008 Iowa Caucuses is mounting another campaign after taking a break to be a commentator for Fox News.

Before a crowd of a couple hundred people at the Des Moines Register soapbox, Huckabee made the case for why he wants to be president.

PaulAdamsPhotography / flickr

The history of Iowa isn't flashy, but the state is home to many fascinating stories and hidden treasures.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe sits down with Jessica Rundlett of the Iowa State Historical Society to learn about some of Iowa's most interesting hidden gems. Rundlett helped create the new Iowa Culture Mobile App, that can act as your guide on a road trip or reveal some of the historical treasures around at any given time.

Photo by John Pemble

One of the lesser known Democratic candidates for president took the stage at the Iowa State Fair Thursday afternoon.

Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb served in the Marines Corps during the Viet Nam War and he was Secretary of the Navy during the Reagan administration.

He says this military background has prepared him to be the Nation’s Commander-in-Chief.

Photo by John Pemble

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee was the first in a long line of presidential candidates to take the microphone at the Des Moines Register’s State Fair soapbox Thursday morning.

The surprise winner of the Iowa Republican Caucus in 2008 is building this campaign around what he calls “truly major changes” to the nation’s income tax system.

“Like get the Fair Tax passed and quit punishing people for their work." he says. "And once and for all get rid of the criminal enterprise known as the Internal Revenue Service. Let’s be rid of them.”

At the cultural center, Ben Schuh paints a mural of Iowa scenes which includes the skyline of downtown Des Moines.  He will continue working on his painting during the 11-day run of the Iowa State Fair.  8/13/2015 Photo by John Pemble

Larry Cotlar of Des Moines has been a fixture in Iowa sports broadcasting for many decades.  And with that kind of history, including sports reporting on WHO, Cotlar has a wealth of stories to share. And make no mistake, he's a good story-teller.   In fact, one can expect new stories as Cotlar continues his career in sports as the play-by-play voice of the Drake Bulldogs.

John Pemble / IPR

As former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton turns over her personal email server to the FBI amid allegations that she sent or received classified information through personal email accounts, it's too early to tell whether the story will hurt her presidential aspirations.  That's according to Dianne Bystrom, Director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics and Kelly Winfrey, a Lecturer in Leadership and Communication Studies at the Catt Center. 

My Farm Roots: Room to Roam

Aug 13, 2015
Photo by Abby Wendle/Harvest Public Media

The Matthew family farm, M&M&m Farms, outside of La Harpe, Ill., looks different from the farms surrounding it. It’s not filled with neat rows of soybeans or lines of corn that’s over-my-head high in late July. The Matthew’s place is a bit more disorganized and far more diverse.

Iowa Public Radio / Sarah Boden

The Des Moines and Waterloo offices of U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley are now in possession of roughly 600 toy, candy, and corn cob pipes.

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