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Trump photo by Michael Vadon, Clinton photo by Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

New swing-state polls released today show Donald Trump leading Hillary Clinton in Florida and Pennsylvania and tied in the critical battleground state of Ohio.

On this politics day edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with political analysts Dave Andersen and Bruce Nesmith about results of the latest political surveys, Bernie Sanders endorsement of Clinton, and Donald Trump's announcement of his top three picks for a running-mate - Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Rick Fredericksen / Iowa Public Radio

From the outside, it looks the same as it did on opening day in 1924 when one and a half million bricks became the headquarters of the Equitable Life Insurance Company. In its prime, just about everyone in Des Moines came here to see a dentist or doctor, buy a wedding ring at Josephs, or a milk shake at King's Pharmacy.

Carl Wycoff

As outdoor playtime has dwindled for many kids in the United States our understanding of the importance of that time has grown.

"Kids are 71 percent less involved in outdoor activities now than they were ten years ago," says Dr. Stuart Brown, founding director of the National Institute for Play. "To me it's a public health issue. The benefits of play need to be understood both for personal health, brain development, and social competency. We don't somehow see play as being connected to that and yet it is."

Christine Jackowski

Keeping a household clean and free of clutter can be a constant struggle. On this edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe hosts a discussion about housekeeping, de-cluttering, and the social dynamics of maintaining a home.

She talks with Francine Jay, author of The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify, professional organizer Chaney Kurtz, and Gloria Stafford, assistant professor of interior design at the University of Northern Iowa.

Tony Webster / Wikimedia Commons

Iowa law enforcement officers are echoing comments made by Dallas Police Chief David Brown after last week’s shootings, saying, “Send us your applicants.”

Departments across the state have been actively trying to diversify their forces by reaching out to minority communities in the state, but they aren’t getting applications. Daniel Trelka  is Chief of the Waterloo Police Department.

Amy Mayer/IPR file photo

Iowa's senior senator is putting national security concerns near the top of his agenda.

Republican Chuck Grassley is introducing a bill to make the U.S. Department of Agriculture a permanent member of a committee that reviews foreign companies' efforts to buy U.S. businesses. 

Grassley says already a Chinese firm has a major foothold in the pork industry here and more food and agriculture mergers and acquisitions are pending.

shinosan / Flickr

What do parents of teenagers and an FBI special agent have in common? Negotiation is key to the job. Chris Voss, author of Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It, says the difference between high stakes international intrigue and a typical contentious daily interaction is smaller than you think.

“The difference between hostage negotiations and business negotiations is really only the stakes. I like to say, ‘Take the guns out of a typical bank robbery with hostages, you got a typical Monday morning staff meeting with the boss.’”

Andrea Joynt

IPR’s Symphonies of Iowa encore series is back! The series kicks off with the Des Moines Symphony presenting their 2015 season debut concert under Joseph Giunta with the dazzling Natasha Paremski at the keyboard. Paremski gives us a breathtaking performance of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1.

The Center for Volunteer Caregiving / Flickr

Over 317,000 Iowans care for an aging parent or loved one. While the focus is usually on the elderly person being cared for, caregivers often carry an unseen burden.

Lee / Flickr

In a report on psychiatric beds in all fifty states and the District of Columbia, the Treatment Advocacy Center found Iowa ranked dead last in terms of mental health beds per capita. Dr. Jimmy Potash, professor and chair of psychiatry at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, says that's a big problem.

Clare Roth / Iowa Public Radio

Former Congressman Jim Leach pointed to Citizens United, and the equation of money to free speech, as a key catalyst for much of the electorate's dissatisfaction with the system.

Clare Roth / Iowa Public Radio

Apocalypse and romance, mythology and high school, princesses and heroines, heartthrobs and nerds… this is the landscape of young adult literature, and it’s been growing, in numbers and in prominence. Sarah Prineas, Iowa resident and author of Ash and Bramble, says that’s because of the clamor of the audience.

courtesy of Emily Woodbury

Emily Woodbury is getting married in two months. And while she had had extensive discussions with her future husband and her officiant, she decided to seek wisdom from one more source: her grandparents.

"They met in 1956 and sixty years later, they're still together. They're really happy together, and I admire that in a way. I hope that, sixty years from now, with a bit of luck, that me and my fiance are where they're at now. So I wanted to see if they had any advice for us."

Amy Mayer/IPR file photo

The USDA’s latest update of Iowa crop shows the state with areas of “haves” and “have-nots”.

Despite abundant rains with water standing in some north Iowa fields, the USDA says topsoil moisture is short-to-very-short in nearly a quarter of the state. 

But 76 percent of the state has adequate-to-surplus top soil moisture.

Clay Masters / IPR

  Presidential hopefuls barnstorm Iowa for months or even years in the run up to the state's first in the nation contest. Many hit all of its 99 counties, but the general election is all about the state's half dozen electoral votes. That means the campaigns treat it differently.

An efficient way to get voters is to target places like Ankeny, Iowa. New census data shows this small farm town turned bustling Des Moines suburb is the third-fastest growing city in the country. Gary Lorenz is its mayor. He says growth is more than just building roads.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

In Washington D.C. the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is hard at work hoping to elect more Democrats to the U.S. House.  

In Iowa, they’ve targeted 3rd District Republican incumbent David Young for defeat.   

The DCCC has launched television ads linking Young to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.  

The ads will run in Iowa through the Republican convention.   

The ads are running in ten congressional districts across the country.  

What a weekend it's been at the 80/35 Music Festival! Here's song from TWINS, Iowa's masters of power pop. We'll have full video from all of our IPR live sessions soon!

The Chicago band Genome brought some seriously funky soul sounds to our free stage during their IPR Live Session! The Studio One team has been at the 80/35 Music Festival in Des Moines all weekend - look for full performances from our bands soon. Enjoy this tune from Genome!

Yet another great Des Moines band joined us in the middle of the day on Saturday at the 80/35 festival, as we were treated to an IPR Live Session for The Dead Line String Band! Bluegrass is alive and well in Iowa, and is well represented at the 80/35 festival every year. Have a listen!

Another Des Moines band, Easy Fruit rocked it early Saturday afternoon at the IPR stage. They had played earlier in the day at the Nationwide stage, and judging from the size of our crowd, they earned themselves many new fans! Enjoy this song from Easy Fruit's set!

It got loud early on Saturday at the 80/35 Music Festival when the Des Moines band Goldblums peformed an IPR Live Session at our free stage! Hopefully, you found one of their CDs strategically placed around the festival grounds. We love discovering great Iowa music right along with our listeners!

Our last IPR Live Session on Friday at the 80/35 Music Festival was with the Des Moines band TIRES. Their loud, energetic set was the perfect way to end the first day! Check out one of the songs from their set below. There's still time to check out some great music at the IPR free stage! Come join us!

One of our first Saturday IPR live sessions at this year's 80/35 festival was from the Iowa band SIRES, formerly known as Dylan Sires And Neighbors. It's the first of three Saturday performances from SIRES: in addition to their performance at the Nationwide stage, they'll be playing at one of the official after parties! Enjoy this song from one of Iowa's most beloved bands!

The Des Moines band The Smoothsayers made a big splash on Friday at 80/35 by announcing their new name! Pale Blue Urf packed lots of jamming goodness into their brief IPR live session. Their high-energy performance was a hit with the crowd at our stage!

We were joined by Des Moines' Courtney Krause at the IPR free stage on Friday at the 80/35 Music Festival, not long after her set at the Kum & Go stage. We had a great crowd for this very personable and energetic singer-songwriter, and she was joined by some more great musicians!

We got off to a great start on Friday at the IPR free stage at the 80/35 Music Festival with a live set from the Minneapolis band Pistol Whippin' Party Penguins! Bluegrass music has become a big part of the 80/35 experience, and we're happy to help carry that forward!

Friday was the first day of the 80/35 Music Festival in Des Moines, and once again IPR's Studio One team is on the scene with the IPR free stage! It was a special day for us, as we were treated to a solo acoustic performance by Craig Finn. Best known as the leader of The Hold Steady, Craig played a couple of songs from his second solo album, Faith In The Future.

Join us at the IPR free stage on Saturday for performances from SIRES, Goldblums, TWINS and many more great artists!

The IPR Studio One team is at this year's 80/35 Music Festival in Des Moines, and we're once again hosting many of the festival performers at the IPR free stage. On Friday we were joined by the Des Moines band Holy White Hounds. Their debut full-length album, Sparkle Sparkle, was recently released on the Razor & Tie label, and the band is wrapping up a nationwide tour. Have a listen below!

Flickr / michellewithoneell

The ninth annual 80/35 musical festival starts today in Des Moines. The two-day event in Western Gateway Park features nearly 40 local and national acts.

80/35 project manager Amedeo Rossi of the Des Moines Music Coalition handles much of the booking. 

Rossi says he likes bringing interesting musicians to Des Moines, who have yet to tour in central Iowa.

As we brace for the end of storm season, wind damage and tree wounds are expected.

On this hour of Talk of Iowa Host Charity Nebbe talks with Professor and Chair of Horticulture Department at Iowa State University Jeff Iles, and Iowa State University Extension Horticulturist Richard Jauron about tree recovery. They both share advice for caring for fallen limbs. 

Jauron and Iles also answer listener questions about stability and root systems and discuss the value of ground assessment, as well as the advantages of pruning trees young.

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