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Casey Reyner

Audiophiles and live music enthusiasts of Iowa, UNITE! This is your season. Summertime is for craft beer, silly love songs, and dancing around barefoot at concerts. Am I right?!

You have been hearing our Studio One hosts Mark Simmet and Tony Dehner talk about which songs they're listening to on River to River lately. We also want to direct you to awesome live music happening this month around the state. Behold: The June Music Listical! 

Friday, June 8 --- Real Estate at Codfish Hollow

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Aubur, IA band King Of The Tramps are in the middle of a tour, and that included a stop at the Des Moines Social Club to perform live on IPR's Studio One Underground!

American Disposal Services

Iowa Public Radio will wave its stars and stripes on Flag Day with a broadcast of the Des Moines Symphony’s 24th Annual Yankee Doodle Pops Concert.

The show kicks off with the “Oh Say, Can You Sing?” contest winner, Stephanie Schneider, performing The Star Spangled Banner. Entitled An American Journey, the program then moves onto Meredith Willson’s 76 Trombones. Following that, guest vocalist Steve Lippia will perform hits made famous by Frank Sinatra such as Come Fly with Me and other patriotic classics, including God Bless the U.S.A.

John Pemble / IPR

After a tense weekend of economic negotiations with the United States' closest allies at the Group of 7 Summit, U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley is warning that President Donald Trump's tactics are threatening the state's farmers. At a tumultuous time in international trade relations, Grassley joined IPR's River to River to talk tariffs, North Korea and the Justice Department with host Ben Kieffer.

Ivy Main / Wikimedia Commons

Nine counties in southwest Iowa have been experiencing a drinking water crisis over the past 10 days after a filtration membrane malfunctioned at Creston Water Works. A boil warning was issued June 1st for the city and all the surrounding towns the water works supplied water for. 

During this River to River conversation, host Ben Kieffer talks with Scott Vicker, managing editor for the Creston News Advertiser and Chris Gordy, store director for the Creston Hy-Vee. 

dave jamison
John Pemble/IPR file

A judge has ruled former Iowa Finance Authority Director Dave Jamison should not have received unemployment benefits after he was fired over credible allegations of sexual harassment.

Gov. Kim Reynolds fired Jamison in late March, hours after two of his employees came forward with allegations of sexual harassment.

Jamison was granted unemployment benefits in April, and the governor’s office appealed that decision by Iowa Workforce Development.

This week the Miss America Organization announced it would no longer include the swimsuit portion of the competition in the pageant. That decision marks the end of an era, given that Miss America orignally started as a swimsuit competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1921. 

During this hour of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Nicole Kelly, who was Miss Iowa 2013 and is a current producer of the Miss Iowa competition. When she was crowned Miss Iowa, it was international news becuase she entered the pageant with a visible disability. 

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Des Moines hip-hop artist is having a busy year. His new EP Riot Gear was released earlier this year, and his label Media Fresh will be releasing music by additional artists this summer. We talked about all of this, and more, and heard some great music during a live performance on IPR's Studio One Tracks!

Yancas / Flickr

Along with the rich greens and beautiful blossoms of early summer come bugs— gnats, mosquitoes, ticks, and many others. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe chats with Iowa State University entomologist Donald Lewis about biting insects. 

Iowa Legislature

Back in 2016, when it was clear the Republican Party was warming up to the idea of having Donald Trump as its Presidential nominee, one state Senator from Iowa quit the Republican Party. Now, he's announced that he will not be seeking reelection as an Independent in the Iowa Senate.

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Senator David Johnson of Ocheyedan about this decision and how politics have changed in his nearly 20 years as a lawmaker in Iowa.

In recent years, Johnson says he has seen a definite political shift.

ACLU of Iowa

A Polk County District Court judge this week ordered the Iowa Department of Human Services to cover the costs of sex reassignment surgery for two transgender women.  

The ACLU of Iowa says it’s the first court ruling recognizing the rights of transgender Iowans under the Iowa Constitution and the Iowa Civil Rights Act.    

In his ruling Chief District Judge Arthur Gamble ordered DHS to approve Medicaid coverage for what’s known as gender-affirming surgery for Carol Ann Beal of northwest Iowa and EerieAnna Good of the Quad Cities.   

Maryland GovPics via flickr creative commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mdgovpics/15650599296/

According to the Iowa Democratic Party, voters in three counties reported issues related to the state’s new voter ID law. While the incidents were limited, there are concerns that confusion around the changes could impact future elections.

Iowa State University
Wikimedia Commons

As Iowa’s Board of Regents voted to increase college tuition Thursday, one board member called recent budget cuts to higher education the “worst state government attack” he’s seen on Iowa’s public universities.

“I view it that way when we are taking three great universities downhill,” said Regent Larry McKibben, a former Republican state lawmaker. “And for me as a board member, to see that happen is extremely difficult.” 

Michael Leland/IPR

Despite this past winter’s extended stretch of extreme cold, Iowa’s honey bee population is in good shape.

State Apiarist Andrew Joseph says he’s impressed with the numbers.

"Well I’m happy to say that things are going pretty well right now in this blink in time," he said. "There’s a lot of bees out there that are building up quite nicely through this spring and there are a lot of plants that are coming into bloom for them."

JOE SHEARER/WORLD-HERALD NEWS SERVICE

 

The use of consumer fireworks was legalized in Iowa last year, sparking complaints from both citizens and local law enforcement. This year, many cities have set their own rules for firework use, with some prohibiting them completely.

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks to Jeremiah Terhark, owner of Iowa Fireworks Company; Tat Treeloar, Fire Chief for the city of Waterloo; and Tom Daubs, Public Information Officer for the Marion Police Department, about the upcoming July 4th holiday and the patchwork of fireworks laws across Iowa.

 

John Pemble / IPR

Iowa Democrats have nominated businessman Fred Hubbell to take on Gov. Kim Reynolds in the November gubernatorial election. Jake Porter will be the Libertarian candidate for governor.

Congressional matchups are set with two women earning Democratic spots on the ballot. Abby Finkenauer, the Democrat nominated in the first congressional district, would be the youngest woman elected to Congress if she is successful in her bit to oust incumbent Republican Congressman Rod Blum. No woman has ever been elected to Congress from Iowa. 

Dreamstime

For those of you who say that there is nothing to do in Iowa…

Listen below to hear of all kinds of interesting art and musical events that will be happening around the state of Iowa in the month of June! Events such as IPR broadcasts, symphony concerts, summer municipal band concerts, musicals, recitals, jazz festivals, theater shows, art exhibits, operas, chamber festivals, and so much more are happening right here in Iowa. So get out and enjoy the music!

Emily Woodbury

Hippotherapy, or therapeutic horseback riding, uses the movement of horses to help individuals improve their neuromotor function, including coordination, balance, and strength.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe visits Miracles in Motion, where children and adults with special needs come for hippotherapy and therapeutic riding lessons. 

Zach Wahls via facebook / https://www.facebook.com/zach.wahls/

Iowa’s largest LGBTQ rights group is celebrating the primary election victory of advocate Zach Wahls in Eastern Iowa’s Senate District 37. 

UIHC

The Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa has been approved to use a new therapy that harnesses the immune system to treat specific forms of leukemia and lymphoma. Dr. George Weiner is director of the center and says the therapy shows great promise.

Mark Vitosh

In recent years, many Iowans have noticed something strange happening to the leaves on their oak trees. The leaf tissue becomes brown or purple and shrivels up, making the leaves look ripped or torn. This condition is known as “oak tatters.” 

Oak tatters has been observed since the 1980s and documented since 1995, but the cause remains a mystery.

Florida Grand Opera

Growing up outside of Kalona, Jessica Faselt didn't come from a particularly musical family. She sang in choir when she was a child, but didn’t realize the power of her voice until a concert in high school where she sang "O Holy Night" and brought the crowd to tears. 

After this experience, Faselt went on to study vocal performance at the University of Iowa. It was there that she discovered her passion for opera.

"To me, opera brings together so many art forms," Faselt says. "It's the human voice talking about the human experience through song and music."

Heartland Marimba

On Wednesday, June 13th at noon, Matthew Coley and the Heartland Marimba Ensemble will bring their marimba music to IPR’s Studio One!  They will perform a “fun and festive selection of music from around the world.” Tune in on Wednesday, June 13th at noon for this magical live Studio One Iowa Arts Showcase broadcast!

Barney Sherman

On April 16th, Dubuque’s Michael Gilbertson taught a morning class at San Francisco Conservatory, joined a colleague for a lunch meeting, then saw a warm but puzzling text message. It was congratulating him, and he didn't know why. The texts and calls kept coming, and the reason soon emerged: the Pulitzer committee had announced the winners of its annual Music prize, for "a distinguished [composition] by an American," and Michael was one of the three finalists. He'd had no idea that he was even under consideration.

John Pemble / IPR

Democrats in the state Tuesday night nominated a Fred Hubbell, a wealthy businessman from Des Moines, to run against Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, who has never been elected to the state’s top job. The primary election also set the stage for Iowa’s congressional races in November including the nomination of Abby Finkenauer. At 28, the two-term state House represenative would be the youngest woman elected to Congress if she defeats Republican incumbent Congressman Rod Blum.

Iowa Secretary of State office

Former minor league baseball player J-D Scholten will face eight-term Republican incumbent Steve King in the November election for Iowa’s 4th District congressional seat. Scholten picked up about 51 percent of the vote in defeating two other Democrats: Leann Jacobsen and John Paschen. 

Scholten toured the expansive district in his RV, and says he believes can defeat King by continuing to meet voters face-to-face.

Kate Payne / IPR

Democrat Abby Finkenauer will face the Republican incumbent Congressman Rod Blum in the general election in November, after beating out three other Democratic challengers. 

cindy axne
Katarina Sostaric / IPR

Cindy Axne won the three-way Democratic primary election in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District Tuesday night with about 58 percent of the vote. She will face two-term Rep. David Young (R-Van Meter) in the November general election.

Axne addressed supporters at her campaign office in West Des Moines shortly after the race was called.

“I am so grateful for the support that I’ve received across this district,” Axne said. “And I know you’re all going to be by my side as we take this to a victory in November.”

John Pemble/IPR

Des Moines businessman Fred Hubbell handily won the race for the Democratic nomination  for governor Tuesday, defeating four other candidates for the chance to go against Gov. Kim Reynolds in  November.

It was a who’s who of prominent Democrats at the Hubbell watch party near Principal Park, a sign of his massive support in Polk County.   

That helped him win well over the 35 percent he needed to clinch the nomination in the crowded field.  

Hubbell thanked the supporters who took a chance on a first-time candidate.

The polls are closed in Iowa's 2018 primary election, and we have results from the Democratic primary race for governor, as well as the primary elections in Iowa's 1st, 3rd and 4th Congressional Districts. 

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