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Medical Marijuana
7:43 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Medical Marijuana Bill Advances

Iowa's Capitol
Credit Photo by John Pemble

A bill to allow Iowa families to travel to other states and bring back a form of medical marijuana advanced   in the Iowa Senate.   Mothers of epileptic kids pushed  hard for the legislation, saying  cannabis oil can help relieve  their children’s seizures.

    

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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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Talk of Iowa
4:18 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

"Field of Dreams" Turns 25

The Kinsella farmhouse from the set of the 1989 Academy Award nominated film "Field of Dreams." Roughly 7,000 tourists visit every year.
litlnemo

25 years ago an Iowa farmer and baseball fan started hearing voices in his corn field.  The film "Field of Dreams," touched millions in a profound way and left behind a baseball diamond in Dyersville that has taken on a life of its own.

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Breaking
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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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Public, Private Partners Key to Local Food Success

Ashley Turk is a member of Food Corps, a service program that supports local food systems. In northeast Iowa, Turk and other organizers maintain a robust network that connects growers with clients.
Credit Amy Mayer/IPR

As Food Corps service member Ashley Turk navigates her way through a brand-new greenhouse in the courtyard at Waukon High School in the northeast corner of Iowa, she points to a robust supply of red and green lettuce leaves growing neatly in rows.

“It’s huge,” she says. “We cut it off and it just keeps growing.”

The greenhouse lettuce is among the offerings in the school’s salad bar. And students will soon be growing carrots, tomatoes and other vegetables, Turks says.

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Arts and Culture
5:39 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

From Russia with Love

Ten Russian students visited the Cedar Falls IPR studios Tuesday.
Credit IPR's Tony Dehner

  A group of ten Russian journalism students visited the Iowa Public Radio studios in Cedar Falls Tuesday. They are part of an exchange program with Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo. The project is known as Challenge Our Bias, Midwest-Russian Alliance on Dialogue and Education or COMRADE. The Russian  students are on a whirlwind tour of Iowa with stops at media outlets in Waterloo, Iowa City and Des Moines.

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Education
2:29 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

"Big" Ideas at an Innovative Iowa School

Student McKenna Cole stands with poplar trees used in her experiment to treat wastewater.
Shawn Cornally Iowa BIG

Most high school classwork goes unseen after it’s graded, but a group of teachers in Cedar Rapids is trying to change that. Today on River to River - host Ben Kieffer takes a look at Iowa BIG. This group is a project-based school that gets students out of the classroom, working on projects with a lasting impact on the community... projects including investigations on so-called cancer-causing products, gender bias, robotic prosthetics, and wastewater treatment.

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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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Arts and Culture
9:30 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Remembering Jason Molina, A Musician Who Refused To Look Back

Jason Molina performs in Barcelona with Magnolia Electric Co. in 2009.
Credit Jordi Vidal / Redferns

Musician Jason Molina influenced many of his peers and sold tens of thousands of records for a small independent label from Indiana. Molina died at age 39 a little more than a year ago from organ failure due to alcohol abuse. But now two new releases are paying tribute to the musician. Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters has more. 

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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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Sports
2:36 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

105 Years of Iowa's Drake Relays

800 meter record holder Randy Wilson at the Drake Relays in 1978
David Peterson

Hundreds of Olympic gold medalists have competed at the Drake Relays, but the event isn’t just for the track and field elite; it’s also a career highlight for many high school athletes.

Today on Talk of Iowa, 105 years of the Drake Relays. Host Charity Nebbe talks with Relays Director Brian Brown and Pulitzer Prize Winning photographer David Peterson. Also, Knoxville's Randy Wilson joins to remember his record winning 800 meter race - a record that still stands today.

The Drake Relays - history, highlights, and what it means to Iowa.

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Talk of Iowa
8:33 am
Sat April 19, 2014

The Perfect Garden

Leonardslee Gardens, West Sussex, England
ukgardenphotos

Everyone wants to have a beautiful yard, but that can be a daunting task. Garden designer Lisa Orgler and ISU Extension horticulturalist Richard Jauron answer questions about the myriad of choices when planting your perfect landscape.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
3:13 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

USDA makes PED a reportable disease

The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus has killed millions of piglets.
Amy Mayer/IPR file photo

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that hog farmers are now required to report outbreaks of certain viral diseases that have spread across the country during the past year.

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News Buzz
3:01 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

After 40 Years, Rasberry Williams and his Daughter Reconnect

Happy Friday! It's a "news buzz" edition of River to River, bringing you several Iowa news stories of the week.

Charletta Sudduth was eight years old when her father was incarcerated for shooting and killing a man outside a Waterloo pool hall, a crime he has maintained was in self-defense. Now her father, Rasberry Williams, will be released on parole to an assisted living facility, after serving nearly 40 years of a life sentence. We hear from her:

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News
12:54 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Microsoft Announces $1.1 Billion Data Center in West Des Moines

A map outlines the 154-acre project area for Microsoft's new data center
City of West Des Moines

It's official: Microsoft is behind the 1.2-million square-foot data center coming to West Des Moines. 

Officials announced Friday that Microsoft will build a four-phase, regional data center costing a total of $1,126,218,400. Formerly known as Project Alluvion, the 154-acre site will house servers and computer equipment to operate web portal services like the Cloud and XBox Live. Completion is expected in early 2021.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
6:56 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Fish Farm

The waste from several tanks of Tilapia fish help feed the lettuce, kale and herbs
IPR's Pat Blank

One of Iowa's only Aquaponics facilities is marketing locally grown, chemical free vegetables and fish raised in a sustainable manner and available year round. All Seasons Harvest is located just north of Cedar Falls and grows lettuce, kale, herbs and Tilapia fish in a six thousand square foot greenhouse.  

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River to River
2:12 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Red Cross Recongizes Iowa Heroes

Red Cross flag.

Heroes of the Heartland are recognized for acts of heroism  or community service by the American Red Cross of Greater Iowa.  This year’s recipients include fourth-grader Josh Little who saved a classmate from choking, and Baxter Police Officer Joe Bartello, who rescued a semi-truck driver by swimming through the vehicle’s broken windshield after it crashed and submerged in flood water.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with these impressive individuals.

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Talk of Iowa
1:27 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Iowans in the White House

From left to right, Queen Elizabeth II, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, First Lady Mamie Eisenhower and Price Phillip. Note how the queen and first lady are wearing a similiar style of ball gown.
Courtesy of the Eisenhower Presidential Library- Museum & Boyhood Home

During the American Revolution future first lady Abigail Adams melted down the family pewter to make bullets.  The bullet mold she used will be on display at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum from April 19-Oct. 26, 2014, as part of the museum's new exhibit, America’s First Ladies.

Host Charity Nebbe, gets a preview of the exhibit with curator Melanie Weir and historian Elizabeth Dinschel.

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News
1:03 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Cedar Rapids Casino Proposal Rejected

Markus Ortner

In a four to one vote in Council Bluffs, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission rejected a $174-million proposal for a casino in downtown Cedar Rapids. Commissioner Dolores Mertz of Algona cast the lone “yes” vote.

Commission Chair Jeff Lamberti said approving the Cedar Rapids Development Group LLC request, “Would be a significant precedent,” that he wasn’t willing to take. 

News
9:48 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Mercy Hospital Expands Capacity for Mental Health Patients

There are no corners in the new inpatient units at Mercy Medical Center, as a safety measure.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

Mercy Medical Center is expanding its capacity to treat people for short term mental health emergencies on its Des Moines campus. The nearly $12 million project moves the behavioral health treatment center from a separate facility, to take up two floors of the hospital’s west building.

Dr. Sasha Khostravi directs the unit for children and teens. Often—he says—there aren’t enough psychiatric beds to meet demand. The average stay in the inpatient facility is three days.

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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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News
2:49 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

After 40 Years, Iowa Inmate Granted Parole To Assisted Living Facility

Rasberry Williams answers questions via closed circuit television from the Iowa Board of Parole.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

Iowa inmate Rasberry Williams, 68, will be released on parole after serving nearly four decades of a life sentence for first-degree murder.

The Iowa Board of Parole issued the decision Wednesday after a 20-minute video interview with Williams and his supervisors at the North Central Correctional Facility in Rockwell City.  In 1974,  Williams shot and killed his neighbor, Lester Givhan, outside a Waterloo pool hall. Soon after, he turned himself into authorities, and maintained during trials afterwards that he acted in self-defense. 

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
10:00 am
Wed April 16, 2014

What You Should Know about Our Food System

Despite certainty on the farm bill finally coming down from Washington, Midwest farmers still face plenty of unknowns.
Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media file photo

Food doesn’t just come from a grocery store. Millions of farmers spend their lives producing the crops and raising the livestock that we eat and use.

So it makes sense: If you’re interested in what’s on your plate, you’re interested in what’s going on in the field.

With that in mind, here are four things you should know about today’s food system:

The new farm bill became law in February

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Tax Cut for Environment
7:23 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Tax Hike for Environment Advances

Democrats in the Iowa Senate  got the ball rolling on a bill that’s a dream come true for  environmentalists  and natural resource advocates.   The bill raises the state  sales tax for a natural resources trust fund that voters approved by constitutional amendment two years ago.  Backers added a tax cut​  to the bill to soften the blow.    

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News
5:36 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

IPR Requests Additional Funding from Board of Regents

Iowa Public Radio will be asking the Board of Regents next week to return its funding level for fiscal year 2015 to the amount it received in 2013: $944,800. 

That would be  $236,200 more than it was scheduled to receive under a strategic plan approved by the Regents three years ago, which gradually reduces Regents funding over a 6-year period.

A key part of the IPR plan is to become independent from university funding by 2017, replacing it with large donor contributions.

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Politics
3:57 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

The Political Gap: Campaigning and Serving as a Woman

Hillary Rodham Clinton delivering her victory speech at the Manhattan Center Studios, following the New York 2008 primary
Angela Radulescu https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/legalcode

Women currently make up 18.5 percent of the U.S. Congress. Yet Iowa is one of only two states that has never elected a woman to Congress nor had a female governor.

This hour, a look at the gender gap in politics – Why do women run for office less than their male counterparts? When they are in office, how do they govern?

Some highlights from today's guests:

Three reasons for the gender gap in political ambition: from Jennifer Lawless, Director of the Women & Politics Institute and Professor of Government at American University

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Culture
2:48 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

"Grand Slam" Language Session: Baseball Terminology with Patricia O'Connor

Scott McLeod

Beanball, bender, bleeder, brushback, bull pen… baseball has a language all its own. Today on Talk of Iowa, English language expert Patricia O’Conner "plays ball." Host Charity Nebbe talks to O'Connor about baseball lingo and, of course, she answers your language questions.

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News
1:57 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Dubuque and Federal Agency Settle Over Race Discrimination Findings

Joyce Russell Iowa Public Radio

The City of Dubuque has reached an informal agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, over allegations the city discriminated against African Americans applying for housing assistance. The city has denied the HUD’s claims.

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DAS Secret Payments
7:02 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Administrators Grilled Over Secret Payments

The Iowa legislature’s oversight committee questioned top administrators at the Iowa Department of Administrative Services over payments made to laid-off state workers for keeping their settlements with the state confidential.   But lawmakers still don't know where the authorization for the so-called hush money came from.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Unlocking Prairie Secrets from a Sod House

Researchers prepare to take down a section of a sod house in Gates, Neb., in order to study the bricks made of dirt.
Credit Jackie Sojico/for Harvest Public Media

 

Ecologists in Nebraska are trying to find out what the Great Plains looked like when homesteaders settled there in the 19th century. To do that, they’re working with a team of archaeologists and historians dissecting a sod house, a house built out of bricks cut from dirt.

Larry Estes has had a sod house in his backyard in Gates, Neb., for as long as he can remember. He never really thought anything about it until a year ago when a repairman asked him about it.

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