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.

Pages

2014 Legislative Session
2:04 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Governor Branstad to Sign Bills on Cannabis Oil and HIV Transmission, but REAP Funding in Question

Governor Terry Branstad
John Pemble IPR

A bill legalizing the possession and medical use of cannabis oil for epilepsy patients passed the Iowa House and Senate.  But will the Governor sign it?  In this News Buzz edition of the show, Host Ben Kieffer talks with Governor Terry Branstad about the loose ends from the 2014 legislative session and which bills will or will not gain his signature.

 

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2014 Voter Guide
2:58 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Candidate Profile: David Young

Third District Republican candidate David Young

Read this candidate profile of 3rd District Candidate David Young. He was interviewed as part of IPR's 2014 Primary Voter Guide series.

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2014 Voter Guide
1:18 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Candidate Profile: Monte Shaw

Third District Republican candidate Monte Shaw
Credit http://iowansforshaw.com/

Read this candidate profile of 3rd District Candidate Monte Shaw. He was interviewed as part of IPR's 2014 Primary Voter Guide series.

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2014 Voter Guide
10:49 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Candidate Profile: Joe Grandanette

Third Congressional District Republican candidate Joe Grandanette
Credit Facebook

Read this candidate profile of 3rd District Candidate Joe Grandanette. He was interviewed as part of IPR's 2014 Primary Voter Guide series.

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Politics Day
3:06 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Primaries a Bellweather for Iowa's U.S. Senate Race?

USA.gov

On Tuesday, six states held nominating contests and the Republican establishment scored big wins. Are the results a bellwether for Iowa’s primaries in less than two weeks?  Political analysts Dennis Goldford of Drake University and Tim Hagle of the University of Iowa give us their thoughts on the primaries for open congressional seats here in Iowa.  Host Ben Kieffer asks how the issues of minimum wage and the Affordable Care Act are being talked about by Iowa's GOP candidates for U.S. Senate.
 

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Talk of Iowa
3:22 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

An Adventure at Two Miles Per Hour

Robert Buckley's book

When Robert Buckely reached retirement, he decided he needed a new adventure and started walking... hundreds of miles in multiple countries.  He has now completed four super long distance hikes, the last one at the age of 70.  He's written about his experiences in the book Two Miles an Hour.

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Talk of Iowa
3:09 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Footin' it for Foster Care

Chris Barnett takes a break at a McDonald's on his walk across Iowa and back again
2 Give Back Facebook

There's a shortage of foster parents in Iowa, and Chris Barnett wants everyone to know about it.  To raise awareness of the need for new foster parents, Barnett is spending the month of May walking across the state of Iowa, twice.  He's reached the halfway point, and Host Charity Nebbe talks with him about his life and his mission.

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Horticulture Day
12:14 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Can't Grow Out? Grow up!

An example of vertical gardening
Craigsypoo Flickr under Creative Commons https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

When you don't have room to build out, you build up.  The same rule applies to gardening.  It's horticulture day and Host Charity Nebbe talks with Iowa State University Extension Horticulturist Linda Naeve about adding a new dimension to our garden or landscape with vertical gardening, including trellises, stakes, cages, archways and green walls.  Extension Horticulturist Richard Jauron joins in to answer listener questions.

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River to River
10:48 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Africa, Behind the Headlines

First Lady Michelle Obama
Twitter.com

The kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian girls has captured world attention.  But the Nigerian government has been unsuccessfully trying to put down an insurgency by Boko Haram for years.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Pita Agbese, Professor of Political Science at University of Northern Iowa about the social media campaign that included a photo tweeted by First Lady Michelle Obama and how that has forced the Nigerian government to act.  He also speaks with Moses Bomett, Founder and President of Hope for Africa, a non-profit that raises money to support schools in Kenya.  And he talk with Jim

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Race Relations
4:08 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Skeletons in the Closet, Hoods in the Attic

A meeting of nearly 30,000 Ku Klux Klan members from Chicago and northern Illinois
Underwood & Underwood Public Domain/Library of Congress

In Iowa, many of us are proud of our progressive history, but that doesn't mean we don't have skeletons in our closets, and even some Ku Klux Klan robes in the attic.  After World War I, life in Iowa changed dramatically, and a lot of people didn't like it.  That disorientation opened the door to the Ku Klux Klan.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with two historians from Mason City about the history of the Klan in Iowa.  We heard from numerous listeners whose families had direct experience with the KKK, including Larry in Des Moines.  Charity talked with Larry after the show, and he shared this st

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Talk of Iowa
12:07 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

The Embarassing but True Tales of Mike Birbiglia

Comedian Mike Birbiglia
Brian Friedman Wikimedia

Comedian Mike Birbiglia hit the big time by sharing his most intimate and embarrassing experiences on stage.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with him about storytelling and the power of oversharing.  Birbiglia is traveling the country right now with his latest show, “Thank God For Jokes,”  and is appearing at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines on Saturday, May 17th.  He’s also become a regular panelist on NPR’s "Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me," and filmed a role in one of the most anticipated movies of the year.  A conversation about making people laugh, the conne

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River to River
4:50 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Opinion Writing with the Resources of a Newsroom Behind It

Columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr.
leonardpittsjr.com

Nationally syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr. says extremist Islam is afraid of little girls.  More specifically, he writes, they're afraid of the women they will become.  The 2004 Pulitzer Prize winner for commentary talks with Host Ben Kieffer about some of his recent writings, including his latest novel, Freeman and why opinion writing is still important.

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Talk of Iowa
12:22 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

"Pie is Not About Perfection"

A strawberry pie baked by Beth Howard
Katherine Perkins IPR

Pie.  Everyone loves to eat it, but when it comes to making it a lot of us would rather leave that to the professionals.

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Politics Day
3:37 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Action Urged on Nigeria, Ukraine and Climate Change

Parents of some of the Chibok kidnapping victims
Voice of America

International outrage has been sparked by the kidnapping of nearly 300 Nigerian girls.  Boko Haram, an Al Qaeda affiliated group, has taken credit for the kidnappings.  The U.S. this week pledged military and law enforcement personnel to aid in the search for the girls.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Jim McCormick, Professsor of Political Science at Iowa State University about likely U.S. involvement in Nigeria.  They also discuss the unraveling situation in Ukraine with William Reisinger, Professor of Political Science at University of Iowa.

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2014 Legislative Session
4:20 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Session Ends, Campaigning Begins

The Iowa Capitol
John Pemble IPR

The Iowa Legislature adjourned last week and even though it’s an election year, lawmakers managed to get a few big items accomplished, including a $7-billion budget and a bill that decriminalizes some forms of medical marijuana in the state. At the same time, priority bills from the governor to crack down on schoolyard bullying and expand broadband to rural parts of the state failed.

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Talk of Iowa
3:50 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Small Towns Spawn Big Ideas

University Press of Kansas

Many of the big ideas that have changed the world have started in small towns.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with John Miller about his new book, Small Town Dreams: Stories of Midwestern Boys Who Shaped America, we’ll talk about how the place you come from shapes who you are, how small towns have changed over the years and about some remarkable men who came from Midwestern small towns. Then, sociologist Paul Lasley talks about what it means to grow up in a small town today.

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Horticulture Day
11:47 am
Fri May 2, 2014

The Cicadas are Coming!

Seventeen Year Periodical Cicada
Dendroica curulea

They've been waiting in the ground for 17 years, but the wait is almost over.  In just a few short weeks, a large brood of 17 year cicadas will emerge in 46 counties in Iowa.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with Iowa State University Entomologist Donald Lewis about what to expect and how these remarkable and long-lived insects survive.

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Politics Day
2:36 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Iowa Midterm Races Heating Up

USA.gov

Iowa's June primary election is heating up.  Republican senatorial candidates have been debating, buying ads, and collecting big name endorsements.  But, only one will be campaigning to take incumbent Democrat Tom Harkin's seat.  Host Dean Borg talks with Kathie Obradovich, Political Columnist for the Des Moines Register and Tim Hagle, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Iowa about Iowa's primary races for Congress and U.S.

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2014 Legislative Session
3:06 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Neighboring States Wrestle with Many of the Same Issues

Iowa's golden dome
John Pemble Iowa Public Radio

While there are many differences between Iowa and our neighboring states, there are also many similarities.  For example, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker recently signed a bill to allow the use of a cannabis extract for the treatment of seizures, while Minnesota's state legislature is still working on a similar proposal.  In recent weeks, an effort to decriminalize the possession of cannabis oil has gained ground in the Iowa statehouse.  In this week's legislative show, Host Clay Masters talks with statehouse reporters in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Missouri to compare notes, and see

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Politics Day
4:19 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

SCOTUS Ruling on Affirmative Action Confusing

U.S. Supreme Court Justices
U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling yesterday that upholds Michigan's right to bar racial preference in college admissions.  Or, at least we think so.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Associate Professor of Political Science Tim Hagle from University of Iowa, and Joan and Abbott Lipsky Professor of Political Science Bruce Nesmith of Coe College about the ruling and what it means.  The opinions are confusing at best.  They also discuss the conflict in Ukraine, and the grassroots mobilization around a 2016 presidential run for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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Statehouse and Politics
3:54 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Limited Medical Marijuana Bill Advances at Statehouse

Sally Gaer has lobbied lawmakers for a law that would allow her to use cannabis oil to treat her daughter's seizures.
John Pemble IPR

A senate subcommittee has approved a bill that would let the parents of children with a severe form of epilepsy go out of state to get an oil-based form of medical marijuana for their children.  The bill will be considered by a full senate committee sometime after five o'clock today. 

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Children and Nature
12:40 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

The Nature of Childhood

ISU Historian Pamela Riney-Kehrberg's brother Scott looks at a salamander captured in the irrigation ditch where he played as a child.
Mary Thompson Riney

Despite news reports that highlight danger, the world is actually a much safer place for children than it once was.  Accidental death rates for children were much higher in the early 19th and 20th centuries.  And yet, children who were once encouraged to go outside and play, are now highly supervised in organized sports and spend more time watching television than playing outdoors.  On this Earth Day, Host Charity Nebbe talks with historian Pamela Riney-Kehrberg about her new book The Nature of Childhood: An Enivornmental History of Growing Up in America since 1865."  In it, Kehrbe

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2014 Legislative Session
2:58 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Bill on Greyhound Racing Being Drafted at Statehouse

Greyhound racing
Alex Lapuerta Creative Commons

A bill is being drafted at the Iowa Statehouse to separate greyhound racing from the two casinos that no longer want to support it.  Host Clay Masters spoke with Senator Jeff Danielson of Cedar Falls, who says the agreement provides both a "soft landing" and a "second chance" for the greyhound industry.  That means breeders who want to quit breeding dogs for racing can receive a payout, and the Iowa Greyhound Association will get a chance to manage a track for themselves.  Currently casino revenues in Dubuque and Council Bluffs have been supplementing the purses paid at the tracks.  Daniels

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Politics Day
3:59 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Ukraine Crisis Deepens

A Ukrainian protest, February 2014
blu-news.org Flickr Creative Commons

As the Ukrainian crisis deepens, Host Ben Kieffer talks with Wayne Moyer of Grinnell College and Donna Hoffman of University of Northern Iowa about U.S. response.  Other topics include, the Pulitzer Prize awarded to the Washington Post and the Guardian for their coverage of the NSA, a new climate change study, and Stephen Colbert's new Late Night gig.

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2014 Legislative Session
3:21 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Lawmakers Hold Out Hope for Texting Bill and Gas Tax

U.S. Department of Labor

The Chairs of the Iowa Senate and House Transportation Committees say they're still hopeful two key proposals can win approval in the final days of the legislative session.  A bill approved by the Iowa Senate would've made texting while driving a primary offense.  In other words, an officer could stop and ticket a driver for texting while driving, without the driver committing another moving violation.  That bill failed to win approval before a funnel deadline in the House, but Senator Tod Bowman, a Maquoketa Democrat, says the bill will likely come up again in future sessions and Represent

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River to River
3:47 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Richard Dawkins

Apes or hominoids are all descendants of a common ancestor.
en.wikipedia.org

Acclaimed evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins returns to Iowa this Saturday.  Dawkins will speak at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines at a ticketed event put on by SecularityUSA, which advocates for secularism in American government.

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River to River
2:36 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

No More VEISHEA?

Proceeds from VEISHEA's iconic cherry pies go to HRIM program scholarships.
Bob Elbert Iowa Public Radio

On Wednesday, the rest of the 2014 VEISHEA celebration was suspended due to a riot on Tuesday that left one student with severe head injuries and extensive property damage.  Rioters in the Campustown area of Ames turned over cars, tore down light poles, and pelted police with rocks and beer cans.

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Politics Day
4:26 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Putin's Motives in Ukraine Hard to Decode

U.S. President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin at a bilateral meeting in 2012
Pete Souza Official White House photo

As protests continue in Eastern Ukraine, Secretary of State John Kerry says it's clear the chaos is being orchestrated by Russia.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Wayne Moyer, Rosenfield Professor of Political Science at Grinnell College and Jim McCormick, Professor and Chair of Political Science at Iowa State University about Russian President Valdimir Putin's motivations.  They also discuss the politics of equal pay, and the recent firing of Department of Administrative Services Director Mike Carroll.

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2014 Legislative Session
3:53 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Iowa Children Stuck on Mental Health Waiting List

The Iowa Capitol
Photo by John Pemble

Children with serious mental health issues are waiting as long as two years to receive services in their communities.  Host Clay Masters talks with Tammy from Iowa City whose son has been diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome, Bipolar Disorder, Asperger's Syndrome and Oppositional Defiance Disorder.  She says services like respite care are essential for families exhausted from caring for a suicidal or angry child.  But such services aren't covered by insurance.  A children's mental health waiver is designed to cover the gap between what insurance covers and what services are needed, but the wa

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Legislative Day
3:30 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Branstad on Medical Cannabis, Juvenile Home, and Secret Settlements

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad in the Captiol's Law Library.
Photo by John Pemble

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad would support a bill with limited medical uses for cannabis if it looks similar to legislation passed in Utah.  Host Clay Masters talks with Branstad about medical marijuana, the juvenile home, secret settlements, and more on this Legislative Day edition of River to River from the Law Library at the Iowa state capitol building.

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