Ben Kieffer

River to River and Java Blend Host

Ben Kieffer joined Iowa Public Radio in 2000 and is host of IPR’s daily noon talk show River to River, which he also helps produce. Since 2001, he has hosted and produced IPR’s weekly, live music program which features artists from around the state and the country called Java Blend.

Prior to joining IPR, Ben lived and worked in Europe for more than a decade. He reported firsthand the fall of the Berlin Wall and covered the Velvet Revolution in Prague. Ben has won numerous awards for his work over the course of more than 20 years in public media.

Ben holds an adjunct faculty position at The University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where he teaches courses on interviewing and radio news. He is a native of Cedar Falls and a graduate of the University of Iowa.

Ben’s favorite public radio program is Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.

Ways To Connect

Summer Osborne is out to change the world one soul at a time with her music.

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend" join host Ben Kieffer as he chats with the Illinois-based spiritual artist.

Budi Nusyirwan / Flickr

This month the Federal Aviation Administration released proposed guidelines for commercial unmanned aerial systems—commonly known as ‘drones.’

Mark / flickr / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

Last year's legislation that decriminalized possession of cannabis oil for treatment of chronic epilepsy has not changed much for Iowa patients hoping to use the drug for treatment.

John Pemble

So-called conversion therapy seeks to change the sexual orientation of gay and lesbian youth.

Who doesn’t love a good jam? Fire Sale certainly does. 

Wikimedia Commons

A group of men were harassing a woman in Ames when bystander Cale Truhlsen of West Des Moines stepped in to try and stop it.    

European Southern Observatory / Flickr

The Kepler mission has found thousands of potentially habitable planets. But how can we truly know if they sustain life?

Lynn Betts / USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Iowa’s newest land trust aims to connect young farmers looking for land with farmers looking to retire.

401(K)2012 / flickr

Political action committees (PACs) for presidential hopefuls are focusing on Iowa and New Hampshire - with some groups channeling up to 95% of their political donations to local politicians in the two states.

League of Women Voters of California / Flickr

Up until four years ago, Iowa felons were given back voting rights after finishing their prison sentences. 

Cjc13 / Wikimedia Commons

There’s a new music festival coming to Des Moines this summer.

The TR Agency

In this encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host Ben Kieffer will chat with Korby Lenker.

Bengt 1955 / flickr

With at least one million gallons of crude oil and ethanol passing through Iowa on a single freight train, derailments like the one last week a few miles from Dubuque are a major concern.

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The deadline to sign up for insurance under Iowa’s health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act is Sunday. 

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams has been suspended without pay for six months. Jon Stewart says he’s leaving The Daily Show.

Karl-Ludwig Poggemann

Leaders around the globe are meeting in Minsk in an attempt to ease the fighting between pro-Moscow rebels and Ukrainian forces over ground in Eastern Ukraine. 

Sanofi Pasteur

Measles is on the rise in the U.S. More than 100 people nationwide have been diagnosed in January alone.

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter denies that there’s a political agenda behind a new proposed funding formula for Iowa's three state universities.

Image provided by artist.

In this encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host Ben Kieffer will chat with Tallgrass.

Gerry Gaffney / Flickr

The Iowa Department of Public Safety has proposed legislation that would make hand-held cell phone calls while driving illegal and would make texting while driving a primary offense. 

Lindsey Moon / Iowa Public Radio

What do you throw away? Do you think about it? Do you care?

Sanofi Pasteur / Flickr

Earlier this week in the midst of a measles outbreak at Disneyland, Rand Paul stated that vaccinations should be voluntary.

Wikimedia Commons

Thomas Frank, a cultural columnist for Salon, says that President Obama’s legacy might be more about what he didn’t do when he was in office.

Mohamed Somji / Flickr

In parts of Afghanistan, some families without sons pick a daughter to dress and live as a boy - a practice known as bacha posh.

Photo by John Pemble

Today Governor Terry Branstad announced the details of a bill to toughen penalties for repeat domestic violence offenders.

Greg Slick

In this encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host Ben Kieffer will chat with Snowblink.

Wikimedia Commons

Ahead of Super Bowl Sunday, former NFL place kicker Nate Kaeding talks with Ben Kieffer about how the league is handling the problem of domestic violence.

Teddy Llovet / Flickr

While the Seahawks are fighting one showdown this weekend, many across the world have their eyes on a different bird battle: Horned Owls vs. Bald Eagles.

Global Panorama / Flickr

Research conducted at the University of Iowa and the Iowa City VA Health Care System could one day cure diabetes.

Ben Kieffer / Iowa Public Radio

The Battle of the Bulge ended 70 years ago this month. Iowan George Dane was caught in the middle of it.

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