Dean Borg


Dean Borg is an Iowa City based correspondent for Iowa Public Radio. He joined IPR in 2000, but his broadcast news career began at WOI Radio as an Iowa State University student.  Later in Cedar Rapids, he led a 32-person news, sports, weather and farm radio and television staff for The WMT Stations. His experience includes daily coverage of the Iowa General Assembly, news and documentary reports from South Vietnam and the Paris Peace Talks, moderating nationally televised presidential candidate debates, and interviewing every President since John F. Kennedy.

He holds journalism and political science degrees from Iowa State and The University of Iowa. ISU conferred its Distinguished Achievement Citation to him, the highest award given to alumni.  He is also the winner of lifetime achievement awards from The Iowa Broadcast News Association and the Northwest Broadcast News Association.

Dean's favorite public radio program is Car Talk.

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Markus Ortner

In a four to one vote in Council Bluffs, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission rejected a $174-million proposal for a casino in downtown Cedar Rapids. Commissioner Dolores Mertz of Algona cast the lone “yes” vote.

Commission Chair Jeff Lamberti said approving the Cedar Rapids Development Group LLC request, “Would be a significant precedent,” that he wasn’t willing to take. 

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad / Photo by John Pemble

Governor Terry Branstad said Monday he would consider signing a bill with limited allowances for medical cannabis to be prescribed in Iowa. During an appearance on Iowa Public Radio’s River to River, Branstad said he did not want to create more problems or unintended consequences by signing marijuana legislation.

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.

Durrie Bouscaren / Iowa Public Radio

  A proposed casino in Cedar Rapids would generate $81 million in revenue, but cannibalize $59 million from existing casinos by 2017, according to an Iowa Gaming Market Analysis study made public last night.

2013 has been a busy year for Iowa Public Radio's news team. Today on River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with reporters and correspondents about some of the most meaningful and challenging stories they covered. It's a "reporter's notebook" edition of the show.

Here is a list of the full features heard on today's show:

January 10 - Undocumented Immigrants at University

Cecil Stoughton. White House Photographs. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Fifty years ago, the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, was assassinated. Today on River to River, we remember Kennedy by talking with Iowans who remember that tragic day.

University of Iowa President Sally Mason, as well as former congressman Jim Leach, Senator Charles Grassley, Representative Dave Loebsack, presidential historian Tim Walch, and IPR's own Dean Borg, tell us where they were and share their thoughts about the national tragedy fifty years ago.

Dean Borg / IPR

A popular Central Iowa restaurant is closing this weekend.  (Saturday night; November 16th)  Iowa Public Radio’s Dean Borg reports the Suburban Restaurant, along U-S Highway Sixty-Nine north of Ames, is what its loyal customers say is an icon of “home-style dining.

Stephen Matthew Milligan / Wikimedia Commons

$81-million Bond Referendum approved for court services in Polk County

Iowa City bars will remain 21-only after 10 p.m. 

Cedar Rapids approves Local Option Sales Tax for road repair

Dean Borg / Iowa Public Radio

Most cities and towns are selling bonds to borrow money. But Iowa Public Radio’s Dean Borg  reports some Iowa cities have a big advantage in the cost of borrowing.    

Coralville’s spending on city development has conservative political groups up in arms, and at least one national organization has turned its sights to the November mayoral and city council elections. Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports. 

Politics Day

Oct 16, 2013

More than two weeks after the start of the government shutdown, a deal finally comes out of the Senate. Today on River To River, it's politics day. IPR reporter Dean Borg guests hosts, joined by political scientists: Drake University's Dennis Goldford and the University of Iowa's Tim Hagle. They discuss the negotiations taking place in Washington, public opinion of Congress, and take your questions and comments.

Dean Borg


In Iowa City, a highly visible end of an era for a fine arts icon: Hancher Auditorium’s walls will fall to demolition crews Monday – five years after the Iowa River’s  muddy flood waters surged over the stage where the world’s best dancers, musicians, and thespians once performed. Demolition crews have been working inside since early summer, gutting Hancher’s interior.

Since the 2008 flood, the University of Iowa spent nearly $2 million, using 500,0000 gallons of propane to meet FEMA requirements to keep the building climate-controlled.

chibirashka / Flickr

Prospects for a new casino along Interstate Highway 80 on Davenport’s north side may be stalling as the city considers a lawsuit.


Wikimedia Commons

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is experiencing an increase in patients without health insurance.                   

UI Hospitals Chief Financial Officer Ken Fisher says the growth in uninsured patients coincides with the state stopping any further enrollment in the Iowa Care program for low-income residents.

Iowa State University Facebook page

Iowa State University is reporting more students on campus this fall than ever before.  The University of Northern Iowa has more students than expected. And the University of Iowa reports its fall enrollment held steady.

Reporting to the State Board of Regents meeting in Cedar Falls, Iowa State President Steven Leath said ISU’s enrollment of 33, 241 students is 7 percent more than last year’

Sarah McCammon

Harvesting is underway in Iowa of corn grown for specialized purposes.

In a field near Ankeny, Paul Mens was operating one of two corn pickers this week, specially designed for harvesting the corn ears that will be shelled at a nearby Monsanto seed corn processing plant.

“In my opinion, for what this has been through, the yield is real good," he says, referring to challenging weather this year. "You can tell where the wet spots were, where it was too wet this spring, but overall, it’s doing real well."

Dean Borg

The U.S. Drought Monitor’s weekly update shows drought worsening and spreading across  the state. The monitor’s report includes Iowa in a Midwest section badly needing rain.  

Iowa State University Climatologist Elwynn Taylor says this week’s report is listing more of Iowa in a severe drought category.

“And it includes now almost all of the southern part of Iowa, and almost all of the central,” he says.

Dean Borg

Sioux City’s garbage contractor is asking the City Council to discontinue collecting glass for recycling.

The City Council will vote next week on the request to exclude glass from the city’s curbside pickup of recyclable materials.

Glass is easy to recycle, but expensive to haul to a recycling center - and inexpensive to make new.

Dean Borg / IPR

 Iowa’s ultra-high ethonal, E-85, fuel pumps are increasingly popular. Iowa Public Radio’s Dean Borg reports.

Official Portrait 83rd General Assembly

The U.S. evacuated non-essential personnel from 19 embassies in response to a heightened threat of terrorist attack this week.  And, back in Iowa, debate is renewed over the future of the Ames Straw Poll, and the Iowa Precinct Caucuses as new allegations emerge about Senator Kent Sorenson's endorsement of 2012 Presidential hopefuls.  Host Dean Borg discusses these and other issues with ISU Political Science Professor Jim McCormick and Tim Hagle, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Iowa.

After nearly 25-years of being docked in the Mississippi River, the Rhythm City Casino adjacent to Davenport’s downtown business district is moving to dry land.

The impending relocation comes with prodding from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, which is worried the gambling boat isn’t competing well with casinos in nearby Bettendorf, Iowa and Rock Island, Illinois. The Commission wants the casino near I-80, and that is where veteran casino operator, Dan Kehl has options on land where he plans to open a new facility in 2015.                                    

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Obama spoke in Galesburg, Illinois Wednesday as part of a swing through the Midwest to talk about the economy.  Host Dean Borg gets an update from that appearance, and talks with Bruce Gronbeck, Emeritus Professor of Communication Studies at University of Iowa about the other speeches the President has been making in recent weeks.  Then, Chris Larimer, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Northern Iowa explains why the political geography of Iowa heavily favors Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley in his bid to replace U.S. Senator Tom Harkin.

cool revolution / flickr

On Politics Wednesday on River to River, guest host Dean Borg talks about recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions.  Guests include political analysts Donna Hoffman, Professor and Chair of Political Science at University of Northern Iowa and Tim Hagle, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Iowa.  Iowa Congressman Steve King also gives his reaction to the rulings and gives an update on the Farm Bill from Washington D.C.

Photo by Dean Borg

Farmers in Winnebago, Worth, and Cerro Gordo  counties have been stymied by frequent, heavy rains. Now well past optimum planting dates, thousands of acres will be unproductive this year as farmers hope to be able to seed cover crops to prevent wind and water from eroding the barren top soil.


Photo by Dean Borg



Dean Borg / IPR

The University of Iowa will soon begin demolishing its flood-damaged Hancher Auditorium. UI has shut-down the climate control that has been heating and cooling the building during the past five years.

Iowa is nearing the end of the first year of a three-year experiment with the Iowa Virtual Academy.

Flickr Creative Commons

Iowa is nearing the end of the first year of a three-year experiment with the Iowa Virtual Academy.

Politics Day

Mar 20, 2013
KP Tripathi / flickr

Future presidential candidates in Iowa, Board of Regents, Iowa state legislature, the search for a replacement for Senator Tom Harkin, and the self-reflection of the Republican Party. Guests are Dennis Goldford, Professor of Politics at Drake University and Tim Hagle, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Iowa.

Flickr / QinetiQ group

Often when we hear about unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, it pertains to military strikes and surveillance.  However unmanned aerial vehicle technology is bringing UAVs into our everyday lives right here in Iowa.   Today on "River to River" we explore the domestic uses of UAVs.

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There’s a lot of interest in expanding casino gambling in Iowa.        

Linn County’s referendum next Tuesday decides whether to allow a casino in Cedar Rapids.

There’s a similar initiative in Warren County for  Norwalk, at the southwest edge of Des Moines.

Neither have casinos now. But in the Quad-Cities - where there are three casinos along the Mississippi River - the City of Davenport is moving to purchase and operate one of them.