Katherine Perkins

News/Talk Programming Director

Katherine Perkins has done various jobs at IPR member stations since 1999.  She is now Executive Producer for Talk Shows.  As part of her job she is responsible for long-term planning and oversight for Talk of Iowa and River to River.  She continues to produce the weekly political discussion and legislative shows hosted from the Iowa Statehouse.  But, mostly she tries to stay out of the way of the hosts and producers, so they can continue to produce great programs. Before she assumed Executive Producer duties, Katherine was a talk show producer, researching topics, developing content and booking guests for Talk of Iowa and River to River, a role she has performed since 2007. Katherine’s reporting and producing have won statewide and national recognition.  She’s spent her entire career (almost 20 years) in public media, starting as a student reporter and weekend anchor for WSIU in Carbondale, IL

Katherine has a master’s degree in public affairs reporting from University of Illinois – Springfield, formerly Sangamon State University.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in radio-television from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale.

Katherine’s favorite public radio program is This American Life.

Ways To Connect

Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia

Seven potential GOP Presidential candidates are making their way to Iowa this week and next.  Host Ben Kieffer sizes up the hopefuls for the 2016 Iowa caucuses with University of Iowa Associate Professor of Political Science Tim Hagle, and Donna Hoffman, Chair of the Political Science Department at the University of Northern Iowa.  We know, the caucuses are still far away, but likely contenders are already here.  And like the holiday shopping season, it seems the Presidential vetting season is coming earlier and earlier.

Sebastian Stabinger / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

If your tree is looking a little tired with the leaves curling up and falling off, or the needles on your pine turning brown, it could be a disease. 

Barack Obama / Flickr

Several Republicans, including Iowa’s Congressman Steve King, have called for President Obama’s impeachment.

The mission of Iowa's university libraries hasn't changed, but how they fulfill that mission has.

Katherine Perkins / IPR

The Clean Air Act was most recently amended in 1990, with overwhelming bipartisan support.  Is that kind of sweeping environmental policy possible today? 

Clagett Farm CSA / Wikimedia, Creative Commons 2.0 Attribution License

Farmers' markets are hopping, CSA boxes are full to bursting, and gardens all over the state are starting to produce, but sometimes a bumper crop can be hard to handle. 

Carol M. Highsmith / Library of Congress

While some say this year's Supreme Court session was conservative, others have characterized it as consistent.

See-ming Lee / Wikimedia Commons

According to research by the Gallup organization, North Dakotans are happier than Iowans. Or rather, they have a higher state of well-being.

Katherine Perkins / Iowa Public Radio

Most people have probably taken a bag of aluminum cans to a redemption center to collect the nickel deposit.  You walk in, get them counted and collect your money.  But, what happens next?  IPR’s Katherine Perkins recently visited The Can Shed in Cedar Rapids to take a tour with owner and operator Troy Willard.  Willard says they process 1.5-million containers per week at the facility… and cans are their bread and butter.  Turns out, a lot happens after you dump that bag of cans onto the counter.

Library of Congress

During prohibition, there were people all over the United States making and selling spirits, but the people in Templeton, Iowa who were making fine whiskey were not your run of the mill bootleggers.  Host Charity Nebbe digs in to the remarkable history of Templeton Rye with Bryce Bauer, author of Gentlemen Bootleggers: The True Story of Templeton Rye, Prohibition, and a Small Town in Cahoots and historian Tim Walch.  They talk about why Iowa went dry five years before the rest of the country and how this small town set

Wikipedia

We often like to think of states in terms of red and blue, and people in terms of Democrats, Republicans and Independents.  But, the Pew Research Center finds our politics offers many more shades of gray.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with a Pew researcher about their latest political typology study and what hints it might provide for the upcoming midterm elections.  Are you a "Young Outsider," or a "Hard Pressed Skeptic?"  You can take the quiz

Jim Pease

With their long elegant necks, spindly legs and otherworldly calls, an encounter with one of Iowa's herons can take your breath away.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with Wildlife Biologist Jim Pease about his summer spent paddling many of Iowa's waterways.  On those trips he has gotten up close with Great Blue Herons, Green Herons and Egrets, some of Iowa's most impressive waterbirds.  We learn about their mating, nesting and feeding habits.

Melanie Hoffert / melaniehoffert.com

Melanie Hoffert grew up on a farm in North Dakota.  Like so many others, she left.  But now she feels torn between the land and people she loves and the freedom to live an authentic life.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with Hoffert about her memoir Prairie Silence: A Rural Ex-Patriot's Journey to Reconcile, Home, Love and Faith.  In that book, she describes the month she returned to her family farm to help her father and brother during harvest.  They also discuss what it was like to grow up as a gay woman in rural North Dakota.

Leo Seta under Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0 / Flickr

Everyone knows that morel mushrooms are delicious, but our forests and fields hold a lot of other wild delicacies too.

Young for Iowa

The last round of primary elections until August was held on Tuesday.  Most of the matchups for the November midterm elections are set, including Iowa's contests.  In a surprise victory this weekend, delegates to the third district Republican convention, chose David Young, former Chief of Staff for Senator Charles Grassley, as their nominee.  That despite his fifth place finish in June 3rd voting.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Tim Hagle, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Iowa and Chris Larimer, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Northern Iowa ab

Martin Cathrae/Creative Commons

When you ask people what is important to eat, they'll tell you vegetables.  When you quietly watch, they'll mostly eat candy.  It turns out the same is true of news.  The launching board for our conversation is a new study showing that while people consistently rank news coverage of international news, business and politics as being most important to their lives, an analysis of their online behavior tells a different story.  The study sparked this recent article in

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.

Tony Baranowski

Usually, when we tell somebody about a trip, we tell them about where we went, for how long, maybe even what we drove... but on most trips the most important part is not where we went or what we did, but who we were with.  That was the case for Tony Baranowski (III) of Iowa Falls.  He talked with Charity Nebbe about his family vacations to Table Rock Lake in Missouri as a boy growing up.  He says it's only through the perspective gained as a father himself, that he realizes just how hard his father, Tony Baranowski II, worked to make sure everyone was having a good time on those trips.

Jennifer Roscoe

Summer is the time of year when seemingly reasonable people load up the car for a family road trip.  The misadventures of the Griswald family in National Lampoon's Vacation captured the trials and tribulations of this summer ritual.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with travel writer Jennifer Wilson about potential destinations on an Iowa road trip, and listeners share their family road trip memories.

Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

From the idealistic public servants of "The West Wing" to the conniving anti-heroes of "House of Cards," the portrayal of Washington D.C. in popular culture has changed significantly over the last decade.

Today on River to River - what shows set in our nation's capital say about our political climate, and what we can and cannot learn from these programs.

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Iowa brewer and author Jay Wilson first gained notoriety for his all-beer lenten fast.  Now he's back with a guide to help beer enthusiasts navigate Iowa's brewery boom.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with him about his book, Iowa Pints due out June 12th.

freefoodphotos.com

Host Ben Kieffer talks with Seattle, Washington food safety lawyer Bill Marler, who represented some of those sickened in a 2010 salmonella outbreak caused by contaminated eggs.  This week a settlement was reached with Quality Egg and two of its top executives, Jack and Peter DeCoster.  Marler says Jack DeCoster comes to the court with a "checkered past," that could make jail time more likely in this case.

The Iowa Board of Regents has adopted a plan to change how state funding is allocated to Iowa's three Regents' universities.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with IPR's Dean Borg about the factors that will be used to set future funding levels, including numbers of in-state students and graduation rates.

2014 Voter Guide

Jun 3, 2014
Vox Efx / flickr

In an effort to provide voters with information about the candidates in the 2014 primary elections, Iowa Public Radio staff contacted the Democratic and Republican candidates competing in Iowa’s open congressional races. 

Joni Ernst for Iowa

Read this candidate profile of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst. She was interviewed as part of IPR's 2014 Primary Voter Guide series.

Matt Whitaker for U.S. Senate

Read this candidate profile of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Whitaker. He was interviewed as part of IPR's 2014 Primary Voter Guide series.

Everyone knows you can grow black walnuts in Iowa.  But, there are actually a lot of other nuts we can grow too, and some of them may surprise you.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with Jeff Jensen of Trees Forever, and Tom Wahl of Red Fern Farm in Wapello about hickory nuts, pecans, chestnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts and more.  Horticulturist Richard Jauron answers non-nut related questions.

Read this candidate profile of 1st District Republican candidate Steve Rathje. He was interviewed as part of IPR's 2014 Primary Voter Guide series.

Boliver for Congress

Read this candidate profile of 1st District Republican candidate Gail Boliver. He was interviewed as part of IPR's 2014 Primary Voter Guide series. 

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