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Statehouse and Politics
6:25 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Iowa Lawmakers Expect Early Legislative Adjournment

Credit John Pemble / IPR

The Iowa legislative calendar has the last day of the 2014 session falling late next month. Last week Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, a Democrat from Council Bluffs, said Iowa Republicans and Democrats have gotten better working together.

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Classical
6:00 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Symphonies of Iowa Presents DMSO's The Planets- Other Worlds? Concert

Credit Imagined Reality

Iowa Public Radio proudly showcases the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra and their fourth collaborative performance with the Chicago Symphony’s Beyond the Score series on Iowa Public Radio’s Symphonies of Iowa, scheduled for Sunday, March 9, 2014 at noon and Monday, March 10, 2014 at 7 p.m.

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Environment
8:00 am
Sun March 2, 2014

Rusty Blackbird Blitz in Iowa

Rusty Blackbrid
Credit G.Hoffman & C. Mettke Hoffman

Although the current weather may not feel like spring is near, many birds are already beginning to migrate. And that includes the Rusty Blackbird. But the species is declining. And that is where the Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz comes in. It’s a bird count of sorts.  The event’s Iowa coordinator Chelsea Underwood says there are several ways to identify the bird….     For more information go to www.rustyblackbird.org. Or, contact your local bird-watching group.

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News Buzz
3:25 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Wildlife Populations Down This Winter

Iowa's deer population has been dwindling since its peak in early 2000
Geoffrey Fairchild

Today on River to River, we bring you six stories.

First, University of Iowa President Sally Mason meets with the Board of Regents for a special meeting this afternoon to discuss her remarks on how the university handles sexual assault allegations. Iowa Public Radio correspondent Dean Borg tells host Ben Kieffer what to expect out of the meeting.

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Talk of Iowa
2:40 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Fighting for Education Equality

The Alexander Clark House in Muscatine, Iowa. Clark was a pioneer for African-American education in Iowa.
Alexander Clark House

Knowledge is power and throughout history groups with power have denied it to others by limiting their access to education.  Even in Iowa, always a free state, the barriers to education for African-Americans were high.

Host Charity Nebbe speaks with Richard Breaux of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Kesho Scott of Grinnell College about the history of African-American students at Iowa's universities and colleges.

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News
11:28 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

UI Students Call For Stricter Sexual Assault Policies, Mason Shares Own Experience

Mason listens to student testimony during an on-campus forum.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

Students at the University of Iowa called for the school to take a harsher stance against sexual assault, during an on-campus listening session with university officials Thursday. Female students discussed fears of walking home in the dark, or difficulties filing reports against perpetrators.  Others drew comparisons between the university’s formal zero-tolerance policies on drugs and plagiarism, but not for sexual assault.

President Sally Mason used her opening remarks to discuss her own experience with sexual assault, as an undergraduate student in Kentucky.

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Juvenile Home Spat
5:08 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Parties Spar Over Juvenile Home Bill

Credit Photo by Dean Borg

On a strict party line vote, the Iowa Senate  approved a Democratic bill calling for a facility for delinquent girls in Iowa comparable to the boy’s facility in Eldora.  But  Republicans say a state-run institution  isn’t necessary, and the private sector can fill the need.   

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River to River
3:12 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

The Teenaged Brain

chandrika221

The drama of mood swings, impulsiveness and bizarre behaviors during adolescence
can take a toll on both teens and their parents. Neuropsychiatrist and bestselling author Dr. Daniel Siegel says that there is a lot of misinformation about this developmental period.

“There are common myths that we all hear about…that are actually not only wrong, they’re misleading and in some ways they’re disempowering.  So by learning the truths you can actually understand things as they actually are and then do something about them.”

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Talk of Iowa
12:18 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Noonan: The Most Common Medical Syndrome You've Never Heard Of

Max is 6 and has Noonan syndrome
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.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
7:25 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Food Hubs Could Provide Crucial Link for Amish Farmers

Illinois Farm Bureau’s Michael Doherty, left, speaks with a group of Amish farmers at a recent food hub education meeting, as organizer Dave Bishop looks on.
Peter Gray/Harvest Public Meeting

 

Lacking the infrastructure of traditional suppliers, many local farms that want to connect to restaurants, schools and other big buyers are using the Internet to reach customers. Groups of farms are banding together to form regional food hubs, leveraging online ordering, tracking and marketing tools to cut down on costs and to try to keep local food systems viable for growers and affordable for consumers.

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Talk of Iowa
10:15 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Retiring: 'Time to Make the Donuts'

Retirement involves expectations, plans, and perhaps a reinvention
Julian Partridge http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Forget the IRA for a minute.  How’s your portfolio for spending your time after retiring? Here’s a little advice and thoughts explored in this ‘Talk of Iowa’ program:

Make a plan. About a year before the retirement day, decide how you will be spending your time. Have a list of things to do: volunteering, learning a new skill, maintaining friendships and social networks, and develop ideas about how pieces of those goals can be accomplished every day.

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Borlaug Centennial
4:28 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Borlaug Statue Unveiling Planned

Benjamin Victor’s clay sculpture of Norman Borlaug during a one week residency at the Iowa Historical Building in March 2013. A bronzed version will be installed in the US Capitol’s National Statuary Hall on the 100th anniversary of Borlaug’s birth.
Credit Photo by John Pemble

The date’s now  set for the  unveiling of a new statue to represent Iowa in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol.  It’s a  likeness of famed Iowa agricultural  scientist and Nobel Peace Prize winner  Norman Borlaug.    The March 25th ceremony in Washington is just one part of  a lavish observance of the centennial of Borlaug’s birth.   

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Politics Day
3:51 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Putin Puts Military on Alert While Kerry Urges Caution

Ukrainians sing the national anthem during a pro-European Union rally in Kiev
Voice of America

Russian President Vladimir Putin put 150,000 Russian combat troops on high alert, rattling nerves in an already unstable Ukraine.  The move along Ukraine's border caused U.S.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Climate change could benefit some weeds

Ellen Nelson has battled invasive plants that out-compete native grasses on her grass-fed beef ranch near Bellvue, Colo. Some climate studies suggest that fight will worsen in the coming decades.
Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

Most climate models paint a bleak picture for the Great Plains a century from now: It will likely be warmer and the air will be more rich with carbon dioxide. Though scientists don’t yet know how exactly the climate will change, new studies show it could be a boon to some invasive plant species.  

A growing problem

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News
10:00 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Study: Iowa Casinos Reaching 'Maximum Penetration'

Signs for a Cedar Rapids casino line the first floor of City Hall.
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.

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Education
4:36 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

How Education Fits Into the Poverty Trap

Free and reduced lunch being served as part of the National School Lunch Program, a federally assisted meal program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service to provide food and nutrition to students living in poverty.
USDA Photo by Bob Nichols

The poverty rate of black Iowans is more than three times that of whites. For Hispanics, it is more than twice the poverty rate of whites.

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Home Improvement
3:51 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Bursting Water Pipes: Prevention in the Cold

Split water pipes
andiezoe / flickr http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

It has been a long cold winter in Iowa.  The extended time with temperatures below freezing and below zero has caused many Iowans grief as they find inoperable, broken, frozen, or even burst and leaking water pipes.  Our home improvement expert Bill McAnally joins the program to give advice and answer listener questions.

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River to River
3:13 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Which Bills Survived Funnel Week?

Iowa's Capital, Feb. 25, 2014.
John Pemble Iowa Public Radio

Last week was "funnel week" at the statehouse.  Now bills that couldn't make it through committee stand little chance of becoming law this session as lawmakers shift their focus to legislation that has more momentum to pass this year.  However many of these issues might be revived in future legislative sessions.

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Population
2:03 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Predicting the Limit of Our Population

Transport in the Sahel, Africa, where population is rapidly growing
Roberto Neumiller

How many people can the Earth sustain? According to author and journalist Alan Weisman, "the planet just seems to be bursting at its seams."

Today on Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe interviews Weisman, who tackles that question in his new book, Countdown: Our Last, Best hope for a Future on Earth? She talks with him about what he learned by traveling the globe and studying different cultures and his vision of the future.

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Statehouse and Politics
8:41 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Iowa Lawmakers Push Forward At Least 100 Bills

Credit John Pemble / IPR

Last week was funnel week at the Iowa Capitol, a time when lawmakers need to get their priority bills out of committee and into either the Iowa House or Senate. IPR's Clay Masters checks in with Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell to talk about the week ahead in the legislature.    

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River to River
2:11 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

News Buzz: Funnel Week and Northwood Evacuation

Pictured above is the Worth County Courthouse in Northwood, Iowa. Yesterday, about 300 people where evacuated from Northwood after a fire broke out at the city’s municipal airport.
Jimmy Emerson / jimmywayne

Residents of Northwood are back in their homes after being asked to evacuate yesterday due to an explosion and fire at the city's municipal airport.  Iowa Public Radio statehouse correspondent Joyce Russell discusses which bills in the legislature might become laws in 2014.  The Blank Park Zoo's Amur tiger has died, and what Iowa City is doing about a recent rash of sexual assaults in taxicabs.  Also, an Olympics update from the Des Moines Register's sports columnist Bryce Miller in Sochi.

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Horticulture Day
1:53 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Starting Seeds Indoors

Common chickweed
Tico http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/legalcode

Spring may still seem far off, but now is the time to plan the garden, and in some cases it is time to start seeds indoors.  Iowa State University Extension Horticulturists Richard Jauron and Cindy Haynes are guests and give advice and answer listener questions.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Young Farmers Wait for Their Opportunity

Eric Brockmann and his family moved back to his hometown of West Point, Neb. to pursue his passion for farming.
Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

The average age of American farmers has been climbing for decades, and many say rural towns are at-risk without new blood. There are enough people who want to farm, but there’s trouble connecting beginning farmers and the communities that need them.

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Wellmark Profits Questioned
5:12 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Democrats Target Wellmark Reserves

On a strict party-line vote, a committee in the Iowa Senate today addressed  what they say may be  excessive reserves  at the state’s leading health insurance company.   The bill would give the state insurance commissioner authority to order Wellmark to give profits back to consumers depending on the results of an audit of the company’s bottom line.     An earlier audit showed the company’s reserves might be too low.     

    

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Health Care
4:38 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Ethical Questions Surrounding Brain Death

Garrett Brockway, who passed away from brain trauma a year ago and lives on through his organ donations
Courtesy of Brockway family

This winter, two stories gained national attention regarding brain-dead pregnant women and their unborn children. One husband kept his wife on life support until the baby was born, while the other husband fought to take his wife off life support.

Today on River to River, we discuss ethical questions in the emergency room. Host Ben Kieffer looks at these cases with medical professionals and with Iowans who have been through similar situations here in Iowa.

Today's guests include:

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Talk of Iowa
11:59 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Politics, Sex, AIDS, and Survival

New York, 1987
Greg Wass

Iowan Sean Strub has lead a distinguished career as a gay rights activist and advocate for people with HIV/AIDS.  He founded POZ Magazine, designed to serve those living with the disease, a community he knows very well since he has been living with HIV since 1980.

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Cellphone Insurance Stays Unlicensed
7:40 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Cellphone Insurance Bill Stalls

At the statehouse  the wheels fell off an 11th hour compromise to regulate the sale of cellphone insurance.   Some retailers offer it when you sign up for a cellphone plan.   But  store  clerks  aren’t required to be licensed to sell it.     A bill to change that set off an industry battle.   

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Politics Day
4:20 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Ukrainian Violence and Politics

Kiev City Hall on February 16, 2014
streetwrk.com Used under Creative Commons license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/legalcode

In about two weeks, the first of at least six Republican primaries will feature establishment Senate incumbents versus Tea Party challengers. Host Ben Kieffer and political analysts look at these primaries and the GOP’s bid to retake the U.S. Senate.  Also, A U.N. panel accuses North Korea of crimes against humanity, and Ukraine erupts again.  Guests are Dennis Goldford, Professor of Politics at Drake University and Jim McCormick, Professor and Chair of Political Science at Iowa State University.

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Talk of Iowa
4:08 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

True Stories Told Live

The Moth

The Moth Radio Hour has captured the hearts of public radio listeners, but before those “true stories told live” make it to the radio they are told on a stage somewhere in the United States. This Friday that stage is the Iowa City's Englert Theatre.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with Maggie Cino, director of The Moth, and the host of Friday’s event Peter Aguero.  

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
6:54 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Online Commodity Challenge helps farmers learn market tools

Robbie Maass shows his mother, Leah, the Commodity Challenge game that is helping him understand market tools. He hopes to help the family farm in Hamilton County by taking on some marketing responsibilities.
Amy Mayer/IPR

On a frigid winter day , Chad Hart tries to warm his economics students at Iowa State University to the idea of managing some of the risk of farming using the commodity markets. Because as he told them on the first day of class, farmers don’t make money planting or harvesting crops; they make money selling them. And Hart knows that marketing—managing those sales for the best profit—can be intimidating.

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