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Statehouse and Politics
7:53 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Wahlert Testifies Under Oath

The head of  Iowa Workforce Development Teresa Wahlert  took questions for nearly two hours from the Iowa Senate Oversight Committee.   One senator calls the agency dysfunctional, but Wahlert defends her leadership style.  

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Politics Day
4:56 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Politics Day: Developments in the Middle East and the 2014 Senate Race

assortedstuff / flickr

A new Washington Post forecast gives the GOP a 63 percent chance of taking the Senate in November.

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Books
4:32 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

"Dear Committee Members," Do You Really Need a Letter of Recommendation?

Wikimedia Commons

We’ve all been asked for letters of recommendation. At the end of the day, what’s the point? 

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
10:00 am
Wed August 27, 2014

USDA Predicts Drop in Farm Income

Expectations of a bumper crop of corn has caused both prices and farm profit expectations to drop.
Amy Mayer/IPR file photo from harvest 2012

Farmers’ can anticipate a sharp drop in income this year, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In fact, the USDA predicts the $113 billion earned in 2014 will be the lowest amount of net farm income in five years. That’s equal to about a 14 percent fall from last year’s record amount, thanks mostly to a massive drop in crop prices.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
8:40 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Everything Agriculture on Display at Farm Progress Show

Yellow hay rakes drew attention to the New Holland exhibit at the Farm Progress Show in Boone Tuesday.
Amy Mayer/IPR

A burst of colorful farm machinery is surrounded by demonstration fields at the Central Iowa Expo in Boone this week. The Farm Progress Show is attracting thousands of farmers, agronomists and agribusiness representatives. It’s an annual trade event that alternates between the Iowa site and Decatur, Illinois.  

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Statehouse and Politics
7:32 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Judges Claim Political Interference

The Iowa Senate Oversight Committee questioned current and former judges  who rule on unemployment benefits for laid-off state workers.    Senators are  looking into allegations that management at Iowa Workforce Development favors  employers over employees in contested cases.   

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Soil Erosion
4:22 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Combating Climate Change Through Soil Science

Much of Iowa's soil is eroded due to certain farming practices
Lynn Betts Wikimedia Commons

Iowa is nestled in the center of America’s breadbasket; one of our most precious resources is beneath our feet. But it’s a resource in jeopardy.

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Education
3:17 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Preventing Sexual Violence Through Mentorship

Grinnell College's MacEachron Field. The college implemented the MVP program on campus in 2012, first among student athletes.
Wikimedia Commons

One in five women are sexually assaulted during college. In the fight to combat that trend, peer-to-peer mentorship can make a difference.

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News Buzz
10:23 am
Tue August 26, 2014

News Buzz: Telehealth, Triathletes, and Beer Caves

Inside the beer caves found of I-380, one of six stories on this edition of Newsbuzz.
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.

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Food
9:13 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Barbecuing an “Art,” with Lots of Rules…

Kansas City Barbeque Society Master Judge Dave Compton in Iowa Public Radio's Des Moines studios
John Pemble Iowa Public Radio

For Phil Cummings, Iowa Farm Bureau Cook Off State Fair Barbeque Grand Champion, barbecuing is a family affair. 

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Environment
4:36 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Environmentalist Heads Agriculture Water Initiative

The head of a major environmental organization will lead  a new initiative to get farmers to comply with water quality standards.     But other  environmentalists are skeptical the new standards will work as long as they remain voluntary.    

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Medicine
3:35 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Beyond the Ice Bucket Challenge: Iowans Affected by ALS

Thousands of people have undergone the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness, funds or both for ALS.
Rauglothgor Wikimedia Commons

A year ago this time, the national ALS Association raised nearly 2 million dollars. This year, in the same time period, they've raised 40 times that. What changed?

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Statehouse and Politics
11:09 am
Mon August 25, 2014

More Scrutiny for Unemployment Fraud

Photo by Kay Henderson

State officials who oversee unemployment benefits for laid-off workers  say they are beefing up their fraud investigations, even as unemployment claims have fallen.   Half the investigative staff quit when they took advantage of an early retirement offer.  

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News
9:41 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Iowa Civil War Loss Revived

Proposed engraving for Littleton Memorial Monument by designer Will Thomson
Credit Will Thompson

Iowans know the story of the five Sullivan brothers who died when their ship was torpedoed in World War Two. Now, a different family loss, that was forgotten over time, is being revived by historians in southeast Iowa. 

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Grain Elevator Failure Prompts Talk of Safety Net

Before it defaulted on loans and was shuttered by regulator, the Pierce Elevator was a major business in town.
Bill Kelly/NET News

 

In Nebraska, farmers say they’re left with about $9 million in unpaid claims when a grain elevator failed in the town of Pierce. It looks as if farmers’ losses could eventually top $4 million.

Without a financial safety net to depend on, farmers are watching this case in eastern Nebraska. They’re looking for lessons in order to avoid another massive financial wreckage in the future.

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Studio One
1:00 am
Sun August 24, 2014

Featured Release This Week From Spoon

Credit npr.org

Spoon is one of the best bands working today, with each new release eagerly anticipated.  Lead vocalist and guitarist Britt Daniel and drummer Jim Eno formed the band twenty years ago in Austin, Texas.  Since around 2001, each new Spoon record has been an affirmation of the quality of the band's work.  Daniel, Eno and the others have been involved in more side projects in recent years, yet every three or four years we are treated to a new Spoon album.  They Want My Soul is another fine record, well-crafted and brimming with rock 'n' roll excitement.

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Horticulture
3:10 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Dragonfly Swarms a Marker of Good Water Quality

Wikimedia Commons

There have been reports of dragonfly swarms in certain parts of the state this summer. 

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Arts and Culture
1:30 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Lincoln’s Last Interview Drama in Iowa Capitol

Mary Bricker, Elizabeth Klinge, and Matt McIver respectively playing the roles Mary Lincoln, Eve Harper and Abraham Lincoln during a rehearsal for “Lincoln’s Last Interview” in the House of Representatives Chamber at the Iowa Capitol.
Photo by John Pemble

A new play about one the country’s most influential Presidents will take place in a space only used by politicians.  “Lincoln’s Last Interview” only engagement is on the floor of the Iowa House in the State Capitol.  It’s being used as a stand in for the US House of Representatives.  The play is set on April 14th, 1865 where President Lincoln and his wife Mary give an interview to a reporter before leaving to see a play at Ford’s Theater.  

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Education
12:00 am
Fri August 22, 2014

A Refugee Connects with Students in Marshalltown

Aiddy Phomvisay at Marshalltown High School
Credit Rob Dillard

The marching band’s drum-line sets the tone for the first day of classes at Marshalltown High School.

Sixteen-hundred students fill the football-field bleachers as the school’s principal – Aiddy Phomvisay  – grabs a mike.

“If I could have your attention for less than five minutes," he announced. "I know that’s amazing that Mr. Phomvisay is only going to take five minutes to address the student body.”

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Classical
10:07 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Voices Meet Music in New Ways on 5 CDs

Composer Erin Gee
Credit http://ledouxclaude.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/une-annee-nouvelle-rencontre-avec-erin-gee/

In what ways could music relate to the human voice without Auto-Tune or even, necessarily, language - or, for that matter, even singing? New classical CDs are exploring a fascinating range of possibilities, and several are either by or about Iowans. In reverse chronological order, here are five standouts:

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River to River
3:05 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

What’s Happening in Ferguson Could Happen Anywhere

Protestors march on W. Florissant Ave. on the evening of August 20, 2014.
Chris McDaniel St. Louis Public Radio

State Representative Ako Abdul-Samad of Iowa’s 35th House District, says Iowans should learn from what's happening in Ferguson.

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Talk of Iowa
10:26 am
Thu August 21, 2014

The Price of Sand: Documentary Investigates Communities Divided

screenshot from the documentary
Jim Tittle

When a silica sand mining company bought 160 acres near his mother’s home in Eastern Minnesota, Jim Tittle had lots of questions.

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Talk of Iowa
9:51 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Wicker Kittens: A Look Into the World of Competitive Jigsaw Puzzling

a jigsaw puzzle contest

Former Iowa State lawmaker John Wittneben has more than 4,000 assembled puzzles in his home, and he’s not the only one.

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Education
9:03 am
Thu August 21, 2014

"A Fleet of Riding Lawnmowers": Drivers Ed, Past and Present

Drivers Education in Iowa used to be taught primarily through school. Now, many students go to private companies for their driving instruction.
Ildar Sagdejev Wikimedia Commons

Wallace Winkie taught generations of Belle Plaine teenagers how to drive. Now, his wife, Bev Winkie, has collected their stories in the book "Park It!" How much has changed in driving education since Winkie's heyday in the 50s?

Larry Johnson, coordinator for the Des Moines Public Schools' driving education, says one answer is the amount of time they're trained. Where driving education used to be taught over several months, now, some students can finish their instruction in as little as 4 weeks. 

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Thu August 21, 2014

My Farm Roots: Hard Work is a Life Lesson

Thousands of miles, and years, away from his upbringing on a Kansas farm during the height of the Great Depression, Wilson O’Connell now lives in the Boston suburbs.

 

Every year on my birthday I know there’s a thin, flat package waiting for me to open. It’s wrapped with neat corner folds and held together perfectly with just three pieces of tape – nothing wasted.

I always knock on the front and hear the crisp, deep thud of a hardcover book. I know it’s a book. And I know who it’s from.

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Politics Day
3:48 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

AG Eric Holder Goes to Ferguson

President Barack Obama talks with Attorney General Eric Holder to discuss the situation in Ferguson, Mo.
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Ongoing violence in Ferguson, Missouri is being viewed through a different lens overseas.  Much of the coverage reflects pre-existing views of the U.S. 

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Election Coverage
6:34 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Campaigns Ramp Up in Iowa’s Tight U.S. Senate Race

Congressman Bruce Braley (right), the Democratic candidate to replace Senator Tom Harkin (left), listen to the owner of La Quercia meat plant in Norwalk on August 3, 2014. The two lawmakers toured the facility and spoke to reporters about raising the minimum wage.
Credit Clay Masters / IPR

Republicans have their eye on a handful of seats they need to pick up to take control of the U.S. Senate this November. One is longtime Democratic Senator Tom Harkin, who’s retiring later this year. The open seat pits Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley against Republican State Senator Joni Ernst. Polls show the race neck and neck as the candidates have just more than two months left to campaign.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
4:37 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

New CAFO Rules

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement rally after the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission's Aug. 19 meeting.
Sarah Boden Iowa Public Radio

Totally roofed confined animal feeding operations are now required to have a permit and meet certain federal regulations for discharging manure into U.S. waterways. Iowa’s Environmental Protection Commission voted unanimously on the new CAFO rules today, at a highly emotional hearing.

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Arts
4:24 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Cancer Survivors Heal Through Art

Some of the artwork featured in the exhibit
Lindsey Moon Iowa Public Radio

When Pamela Crouch, a writer, underwent cancer treatments, she developed aphasia--the inability to remember the names of things. So she decided to create in a different way--painting birdhouses for other newly diagnosed cancer patients. 

"I was always taught that if you do something for someone else, you can't really feel sorry for yourself, it takes that pain away and you think outward."

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Politics
4:03 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Murphy: Look to Renewables, Not Frac Sand Mining

IPTV.org

Pat Murphy says he’s opposed to opening up counties in Northeast Iowa to silica sand mining.

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