Ben Stanton

photo submitted

Noonan syndrome is a genetic condition.  The characteristic facial features include low set ears, widely spaced-eyes, bright blue or blue-green eyes, a low hairline at the back of the head, and multiple congenital problems like heart defects and an unusually shaped chest.

A person with Noonan syndrome is often short, has a broad or webbed neck, low set nipples, and bleeding problems.  Developmental delay or intellectual disability are also common.

University of the Fraser Valley / flickr

A jury has awarded a former Bedford High School football player nearly $1 million for the way the school handled the player's head injuries. The player, Kacey Strough, had a pre-existing medical condition, involving abnormally formed blood vessels in his brain, that bled after he suffered a head injury. Strough was allowed to keep practicing and playing through this injury.

On this news buzz edition of River to River, guest-host Ben Stanton interviews Dr. Andy Peterson of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics to learn about the implications of this case.

Jessica Lucia

Join host Charity Nebbe for the first of a two-part series about how children grow up.  

How do boys develop? What are their challenges and risks? During this Talk of Iowa program, Nebbe explores those questions with her guests and gets some perspective on how changes in education have affected how boys perform in the classroom.

For part two of this series, "Raising Girls" click here.

Ben Kieffer / Iowa Public Radio

For Veterans Day, join host Ben Kieffer as he travels to Washington D.C. with more than 80 Iowa veterans.

Courtesy of Iowa DOT

On this News Buzz edition of River to River, guest host Ben Stanton talks with Joyce Russell about the odd legal path of the telemed abortion case and with Johnson County Attorney Janet Lyness about certain Iowa counties refusal to honor ICE 'detainers.' Also on the program, we remember Iowa historian Dorothy Schwieder, talk to an Iowan about his world-class Ironman win and learn what exactly a beer cave is from the Gazette's Brian Morelli.

Iowa State Fair

Last year at the Iowa State Fair, Jason Powell of Des Moines said his free speech rights were violated after security guards ordered him to stop preaching on public sidewalks. Today on River to River, we find out the status of his lawsuit as well as whether he will be allowed at this year’s fair. We also find out about an Iowa developed vaccine that could cure dust-mite allergies. That and all the week’s Iowa stories on a news buzz edition of River to River.

Politicians Weigh In On Immigrant Children

Jul 23, 2014
Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

More than 52,000 have crossed the southern border since October and US politicians are having trouble finding solutions and the right rhetoric. 

Australian Department of Defence / Copyright: © Commonwealth of Australia 2005; Wikipedia licensed under Fair Use

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS, has made major advances and taken control of portions of Iraq where U.S. soldiers once fought.  Three years after the U.S. military's role ended in Iraq, following a decade of conflict, Iraq has devolved into a sectarian conflict.  Host Ben Stanton talks with Jim McCormick, Professor and Chair of Political Science at Iowa State University and Wayne Moyer, Rosenfield Professor of Political Science at Grinnell College about how the U.S. should respond to the Iraqi crisis.

Ben Stanton

Today we listen back to a show, part of Iowa Public Radio's corrections series last summer, about what it is like to grow old and die in prison.

We hear from an offender who works in a hospice program. He has helped 20 fellow inmates face the end of life behind bars. Host Ben Kieffer also talk with a 74-year-old inmate about growing old. We also tour a hospice room at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville.

Courtesy of Tanya Keith

The World Cup kicked off yesterday in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The USA team is slated to compete with Ghana on Monday (June 16). Here with us to preview the events is Tanya Keith, who has spent the last two decades avidly following the World Cup, quite literally, from country to country, as a super-fan. Tanya is from Des Moines, Iowa.

Guest: Tanya Keith, Author of Passionate Soccer Love, soccer fan, writer, Des Moines resident

Personal Publicity

Standup comedian, author, and Wait Wait Don't Tell Me panelist, Paula Poundstone, will be in Des Moines next Saturday, June 21st at Hoyt Sherman Place. She joins River to River to talk comedy style and 'tweeting' comedy.

"The first time somebody showed me Twitter, I thought it was the stupidest, most ego-centric thing I've ever seen in my life," says Poundstone. "I still think that, it's just that I enjoy it very much."

Showtime:  8:00PM / Tickets:  $31 - $46 / Call:  515-244-0507

Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this week, there was confusion about whether or not the FDA would ban the practice of aging cheese on wooden boards. Cheesemakers were outraged at the claim that aging cheese on wood could be unsafe due to the bacteria that could grow on the porous wood.

Fighting Chance Solutions

Since the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, there have been more than 70 shootings in schools around the country. Just this week, there was another at Reynolds High School in Oregon.

Smithsonian Institution

David Skorton used to open his Iowa Public Radio jazz show like this, "As night falls over the river city and all of eastern Iowa, it's time for jazz."

Skorton is the former president of the University of Iowa, and has served as president of Cornell University, and he will become the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute next year.  You might remember his radio jazz show “As Night Falls” which he co-hosted with the late Frank Conroy.  Hear about Skorton's  expectations of his upcoming job:

Ben Stanton/Iowa Public Radio

The brain on this helmet is designed with the idea of protecting your brain from a concussion. Built into it is what amounts to a small computer.  It was designed and programmed by an Iowa student.  

Different LEDs light up depending on how hard the helmet is getting jostled. This project is one of many that students might get involved in through The Big Ideas Group, which is an optional education program through the Cedar Rapids School District.

Raphael Goetter / derivitive work;

Thirty-five years ago, Iowa City Firefighter Linda Eaton continued to breastfeed her child at work against orders from her supervisor, and a breastfeeding discussion was launched locally and gained national attention. Today, breastfeeding is treated a little differently, but it is also very different than other cultures.  Hear the remarkable story of Linda Eaton, and also about what businesses are required to provide for nursing customers and employees, the challenges of refugee and immigrant women who breastfeed, and what barriers might prevent Americans from breastfeeding.

SD Dirk

Host Ben Kieffer talks with Iowa Public Radio's Des Moines correspondent Rick Fredricksen about how lobotomies became common practice for curing PTSD in Iowa veterans after WWII.  Also, the Des Moines Register's Bryce Miller discusses the Cyclones in the Sweet 16, and the University of Iowa turns down HBO's

Iowa State University Extension LIFE; used with permission /

People are living longer, but are they living better, more healthy, more active lives?  Colin Milner is CEO of the International Council on Active Aging, and is visiting Iowa to talk about opportunities for governments, organizations, and individuals to take advantage to the changes that are ahead for people and communities.  Also on the program is Iowa State University Assistant Professor Sarah Francis, who also oversees ISU Extension's program Living Well Through Intergenerational Fitness and Exercise.


March Madness has returned and several Iowa teams are doing well.  Des Moines Register sports columnist Bryce Miller discusses this year's tournament.

Jen Hamilton-Emery

Today on News Buzz Ben Stanton fills in as host.  He tackles Iowa's All-Vet designation, farm accident fatalities and the use of drones in agriculture.

Newfrontiers /

Dean Borg guest hosts this politics day edition of 'River to River.'  Des Moines Register Political Columnist Kathie Obradovich, University of Northern Iowa's Chris Larimer, and Drake University's David Skidmore are political analysts for this program that includes Iowa, U.S., and international politics.

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library /

Hear the remarkable story of a the man behind paperback publisher Grove Press, and how he and the books he published fit into the culture of the 1960s.  Dennis Reese hosts this talk with Loren Glass about his new book, Counterculture Colophon: Grove Press, the Evergreen Review, and the Incorporation of the Avant-Garde.

CSI: Iowa

Mar 18, 2014

Over a hundred years ago, searching for fingerprints became routine for crime scene investigation. In the intervening years the tools of forensic investigation have greatly evolved.

Ben Kieffer / Iowa Public Radio

Is winter almost over?  And how has the long, harsh season affect Iowa's waterways and aquatic life?  Also, the latest Quinnipiac poll, 2014's Cancer in Iowa report, Iowa's new tourism ad campaign and Pi Day at the Science Center of Iowa.

Pictoscribe /

One of the early season lawn and garden tasks is to prune fruit trees.  Iowa State University Extension Field Specialist Patrick O'Malley is a guest on the show, here's some of the advice he imparts during the program:

1. Did you have a big crop last year? Then it might be lighter this year. That means you should consider less pruning this year.

2. You want different tiers of branches and the lowest should not be too close to the ground.

After Vern Beachy lost his wife to suicide, he began writing about what he was going through.  Not just about the difficulty of the loss but also his struggles with M.S. and his fight to get out of a wheelchair.  

To write A Tear-Stained Letter, Beachy says, "I took a knife to my heart and wrote about what fell out.”  In this interview, Beachy talks about it with host Charity Nebbe.

Barb Swift/Studio 909

Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey clown Felix Adler from Clinton, Iowa was known to say "If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours."  He spent 20 years clowning across the country and around the world.  Hear about his time as the 'King of Clowns' and hear why he was also called the 'White House Clown.' Host Charity Nebbe talks with Adler's niece.

We also hear from two Iowa clowns, 'Silly Sally' (Sally DuBois from Ames) and 'Bandana the Clown' (Gary Murphy from Washington, Iowa) about what they do and why they love it.

Carsten Tolkmit /

Join Talk of Iowa for a talk with Douglas Tallamy, Professor and Chair of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware. He says “We need to change the way we interact with nature; it should not be segregated,” and that living with nature can be very rewarding. Tallamy says that Americans use plants that are mostly from Asia as decorations.  The result is a reduced biodiversity in the places we live, work, and farm.  Hear from Tallamy  about how we can connect habitats by reinstalling native plants.

Daniel R. Blume /

On this News Buzz edition of the program, hear about a legislative shouting match, legalizing fireworks, the ACLU lawsuit against the Iowa Secretary of State, a survey of Iowans' thoughts on gay marriage, the Kepler mission, and a push to increase studying abroad.

Legislative shouting match and and other legislative fireworks:

ACLU lawsuit:

Same-sex marriage opinions:

Finding exoplanets:

Studying abroad:

Trey Ratcliff /

‘Strangers Will Choose My Grave’ is part of the lyrics to a folk song that can bring a Iowan Ukrainian-American to tears.  A video of that song appears below.