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Statehouse and Politics
7:56 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Sen. John Culver Reflects on Bipartisanship of Congress

Former Sen. John Culver (center) with students at Simpson College.
Credit John C. Culver Public Policy Center

Former Democratic U.S. Senator John Culver served 16 years in Congress. He now lives in Washington D.C., but he’ll be back in Iowa later this week to visit the Culver Public Policy Center at Simpson College in Indianola.  

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Legislative Day
3:36 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Future Regulation of Drones in Iowa

An image of a farm from an RC Helicopter UAV
Frederic Rivollier

"Since the beginning of 2013, there has been a huge increase in the sale of really simple UAV systems," says Rory Paul, CEO of Volt Aerial Robotics, based in Chesterfield, Missouri.

With their ability to take high definition photo and video footage, UAVs (known as "unmanned aerial vehicles" or drones) bring up a number of security concerns, and they also have the potential to be put to good use. The Iowa legislature is currently considering ways to regulate these vehicles; so today on River to River, we analyze this legislation.

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Legislative Day
3:14 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Iowa Statehouse Considers Legalizing Fireworks

Jeff Golden

On the Fourth of July, Iowans may hear fireworks going off in their neighborhoods, but it is still illegal to buy and light large aerial fireworks in the state.

This legislative session, lawmakers at the Iowa Statehouse are considering whether to lift the ban on the sale and use of fireworks. State Representative Matt Windschitl and Al Esch, of the Iowa Firefighters Association, sound off with their opinions on the matter, along with River to River listeners.

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Do you feel strongly about whether fireworks should be legal in Iowa?

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Home Improvement
3:10 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Deconstruction and Reuse

Demolition of the Anna E. Waden branch library in San Francisco in 2011
David Gallagher https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/legalcode

A dilapidated outbuilding or a house in need of serious updating may look like an eyesore, but it is also an opportunity to recycle and reuse old materials.  Join host Charity Nebbe, Home Improvement Expert Bill McAnnally, and Siobhan Spain of the Center on Sustainable Communities for a talk about deconstruction.  

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Statehouse and Politics
9:48 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Appropriations to Address Shortage of State Troopers

Cuts to the Department of Public Safety during the recession have left some Iowa counties without a single state trooper in residence. Now, the shortage may be alleviated under a justice system budget bill at the Statehouse. 

Under the bill, the Department of Public Safety would receive about $6 million to hire 33 new troopers. Representative Gary Worthan (R-Storm Lake) says in the overnight hours, there are as few as 6 patrol officers on duty in the entire state.

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Statehouse and Politics
6:50 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Anti-Bullying and Rural Broadband Bills on Rocky Ground

Credit John Pemble / IPR

There are a number of signs that things are wrapping up much earlier this year at the Iowa statehouse. Republican and Democratic Leaders in the House and Senate say they are well ahead of schedule and there’s a few issues shaking out that will likely be fodder in 2014 campaigns.

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River to River
10:29 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

News Buzz: Sports Edition

The US-Norway ice sledge hockey semi-final, March 18, 2010.
sonson

March Madness has returned and several Iowa teams are doing well.  Des Moines Register sports columnist Bryce Miller discusses this year's tournament.

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News
5:06 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

ISU Graduate Stranded in South Sudan Amid War

Joe Yassin in a photograph with coworkers from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Facebook

A young man who came to Iowa in 1999 as a refugee from South Sudan, has been trapped in his home country since violence broke out in December. 

As a teenager, Joseph Yassin immigrated to Des Moines with his family, all war refugees from South Sudan.

Soon after he graduated from Iowa State University in 2011, Yassin returned to the newly independent country to work for an international development agency.

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Horticulture Day
4:01 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Field to Family

Chiot's Run / Flickr

As many of us are preparing to get outside and get our hands dirty this spring, a lot of people across the state will be doing their best to get kids involved in gardening.

Today on Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with David Burt, President of Field to Family, about their farm to school programs. Horticulturist Richard Jauron also joins to answer listener questions.

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River to River
1:45 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

News Buzz: All-Vet, Farm Fatalities, Drones

Jen Hamilton-Emery

Today on News Buzz Ben Stanton fills in as host.  He tackles Iowa's All-Vet designation, farm accident fatalities and the use of drones in agriculture.

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Talk of Iowa
8:14 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Before the Chefs Battle

Central Iowa chefs Tag Grandgeorge (Le Jardin,) Michael Baily (Des Moines Embassy Club West,) Tawnya Zerr (Cupcake Emporium,) and Sam Auen (Tacopocalypse) spoke with Talk of Iowa from the Des Moines studio, March 20, 2014.
John Pemble Iowa Public Radio

Before the chefs do battle at Iowa Public Radio’s Battle of the Chefs they sit down with host Charity Nebbe to talk about the food and recipes that inspire them. Chefs Sam Auen of Tacopocalypse, Le Jardin's Tag Grandgeorge, The Des Moines Embassy Club West's Michael Bailey and Tawnya Zerr from Cupcake Emporium join the show.

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Statehouse and Politics
6:25 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Investigating Iowa's Secret Settlements

Credit John Pemble / IPR

A recent investigative report by the Des Moines Register uncovered secret settlements made by the state to fired state workers. Those ex-staffers say they were let go because of their ties to Democrats. 

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
6:48 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

A Taste of Iowa Summer

Iowa Choice Harvest vegetables and fruit will soon be available throughout the state
Credit IPR's Pat Blank

A first of its kind facility in Marshalltown is bringing a taste of Iowa summer to dinner tables.  Iowa Choice Harvest frozen sweet corn and apples have been available in a few grocery stores in the central part of the state, but in April, all 107 Fareway stores will feature the products.  Iowa Choice Harvest is a group of 30 farmers who have invested in the company to have Iowa grown fruits and vegetables available year round.   CEO Penny Brown Huber was able to secure a USDA grant to study how the market would react to a facility like theirs.

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News
4:11 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

In Iowa’s Largest Counties, a Longer Wait for Trial

Breakdown of felony case processing times, Iowa's largest counties
Data provided by the Office of State Court Administration, Des Moines

Processing times for Iowa’s district courts vary throughout the state—often dependent on resources available for staff and court appearances. 

In Johnson County, a significant portion of cases take longer. The county has long struggled with a jail too small to house all its inmates and an understaffed courthouse—multi-million dollar bond issues to expand the facilities have been repeatedly rejected by voters.

County Attorney Janet Lyness says for years, space constraints have slowed the system.

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Democrats Challenge Branstad Administration
3:24 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Democrats To Investigate anti-Branstad claims

Statehouse Democrats say the legislature's oversight committee will be very busy in the coming weeks, as they look into recent allegations against  the Terry Branstad  administration.    They say the panel will first look into reports of secret settlements to fired state workers.  

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Music
12:28 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Vinyl's Comeback & the Rise of Music Streaming

Daytrotter albums at Ragged Records, in Davenport
Ragged Records / facebook

Today on River to River, we explore the continuing changes in the music industry...including the fact that more and more users are listening from large online libraries of music – like Rhapsody, Spotify, or Pandora – rather than purchasing individual songs or albums. We also discuss why vinyl records are making a comeback.

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News
9:52 am
Thu March 20, 2014

State Senator Calls for Federal Investigation Into Iowa Workforce Development

Bill Dotzler, D-Waterloo, speaks to reporters at a press conference at the Statehouse.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

After speaking with at least half of the administrative law judges who rule cases for unemployment disputes, State Senator Bill Dotzler (D-Waterloo) says he’s gathered evidence that the head of Iowa Workforce Development has pressured judges to rule against employees hoping to receive unemployment insurance benefits.  

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Drones: Coming Soon to a Farm Near You?

Agriculture consultant Chad Colby shows a room of Midwest farmers how GPS can control a high-definition camera attached to a UAV.
Peter Gray/Harvest Public Meeting

Unmanned aerial vehicles aren’t just for spies or for the battlefield. Farmers all over the country think drones can give them a leg up, too.

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Health
4:32 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Successful Kidney Donation Between Incompatible Donor-Recipient Pairs

Peter and Nerissa March are guests on Iowa Public Radio’s “Talk of Iowa”. Peter donated his kidney to a stranger and in turn his wife was able to receive a kidney from another stranger in the first kidney pair donation chain performed at Mercy Transplant.
John Pemble

Today on Talk of Iowa we listen back to a conversation from last year, where in a three day period, five people received kidney transplants thanks to something called a kidney paired transplant chain.

We find out about this life saving chain of generosity and talk to a transplant surgeon, donors and recipients of kidney transplants. Also, we learn about an organization called My Angel Foundation, a non-profit focused on inspiring Iowans to become registered organ, eye and tissue donors.

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Politics Day
4:06 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Secrets, Deals, the Senate Race, and Sanctions

Newfrontiers https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

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.

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Talk of Iowa
2:07 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Counterculture: The Grove Press and Barney Rosset

Jack Kerouac was one of many authors published by Grove Press
Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

Hear the remarkable story of a the man behind paperback publisher Grove Press, and how he and the books he published fit into the culture of the 1960s.  Dennis Reese hosts this talk with Loren Glass about his new book, Counterculture Colophon: Grove Press, the Evergreen Review, and the Incorporation of the Avant-Garde.

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River to River
2:03 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

CSI: Iowa

Blood spattered on pavements in London, March 27, 2010.
foistclub

Over a hundred years ago, searching for fingerprints became routine for crime scene investigation. In the intervening years the tools of forensic investigation have greatly evolved.

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Legislative Day
4:52 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Iowa House and Senate Consider Changes to HIV Law

John Pemble IPR

In the last decade, society's understanding of HIV transmission has increased and medical technology has advanced; but in the 1990s, HIV was still a scary concept, and an Iowa law reflects that fear.

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Talk of Iowa
2:03 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Iowa's Coal Mining Communities

Seymour Iowa, Big Jim Coal Mine, May 23, 1957
Seymour Herald

The last of Iowa’s coal mines shut down in 1994, but in the early 20th century, coal mining was the number two industry in the state. Today on Talk of Iowa, we listen back to a conversation with historian Dorothy Hubbard Schwieder and Kristin Redenius, a coal miner’s daughter. They explain what it was like to work in Iowa’s coal mines, and how the mines shaped communities. 

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Statehouse and Politics
8:37 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Lawmakers Funnel More Bills Forward with Primary Election Looming

Credit John Pemble / IPR

  Last week was another deadline at the Iowa statehouse for lawmakers to get more laws through committee so they can be debated on the floor.   

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
3:38 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Harsh winter kills Iowa honeybees

Honeybees may be among the many victims of this winter's extended stretches of extreme cold. The State Department of Agriculture's Apiarist, Andrew Joseph says annual winter losses among U.S. beekeepers run about 30 percent. Iowa's losses are likely to be 60 to 65 percent. He says bees that are in good shape can survive a very harsh winter, but those that have been weakened by pesticides or parasites are not likely to survive until spring.

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River to River
2:15 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Murky Waters and Pi Day

Though Iowa’s rivers and streams may look particularly scummy or murky, the DNR says the state’s waterways are perfectly fine. The murky appearance is caused by organic matter and is safe.
Ben Kieffer Iowa Public Radio

Is winter almost over?  And how has the long, harsh season affect Iowa's waterways and aquatic life?  Also, the latest Quinnipiac poll, 2014's Cancer in Iowa report, Iowa's new tourism ad campaign and Pi Day at the Science Center of Iowa.

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Horticulture Day
2:10 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Time to Get Serious About Fruit Tree Pruning

Pictoscribe http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/legalcode

One of the early season lawn and garden tasks is to prune fruit trees.  Iowa State University Extension Field Specialist Patrick O'Malley is a guest on the show, here's some of the advice he imparts during the program:

1. Did you have a big crop last year? Then it might be lighter this year. That means you should consider less pruning this year.

2. You want different tiers of branches and the lowest should not be too close to the ground.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Padlock the Milk! FDA’s Pushing to Safeguard the Food Supply

Milk is an extremely popular item on the University of Missouri campus, says purchasing coordinator Sandy Perley. "Our entire campus in a year drinks about 96,000 gallons of milk. And by our best calculation, that’s about 326 gallons a day."
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Many of the food terrorism scenarios outlined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration involve liquid.

And there’s good reason for that.

Liquids like orange juice and milk go through many processing steps -- farm, bottling plant, delivery – before reaching the consumers who drink them. And these liquids are moved, manufactured and stored in huge batches that get distributed and consumed quickly. Should a toxin be injected somewhere along the supply chain, experts believe it could have devastating human health and economic consequences.

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Talk of Iowa
3:04 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

A Wife's Suicide, a Husband's Multiple Sclerosis

Although Vern was using a wheelchair or crutches at the time, Melinda helped to hold him up for this wedding photo.

After Vern Beachy lost his wife to suicide, he began writing about what he was going through.  Not just about the difficulty of the loss but also his struggles with M.S. and his fight to get out of a wheelchair.  

To write A Tear-Stained Letter, Beachy says, "I took a knife to my heart and wrote about what fell out.”  In this interview, Beachy talks about it with host Charity Nebbe.

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