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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
4:13 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Bring Back the Bacon: Hog Virus Slowing

Healthy hogs that made it to market last year fetched a high price. But millions of piglets were lost to porcine epidemic diarrhea virus.
Amy Mayer/IPR file photo

Bacon and pork chops could become cheaper this year thanks, in part, to fewer pigs getting sick with the virus that devastated hog farms in 2014.

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Talk of Iowa
3:54 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Darwin Day

Statue of Charles Darwin at the Natural History Museum in London
CGP Grey / flickr http://www.cgpgrey.com/

Charles Darwin has a birthday next month, and science lovers all over the world will take time to celebrate the man who unraveled so many of the mysteries surrounding our origins, and those of our fellow animals.

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Health
3:11 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Lawmakers Weigh Closing Two of State's Four Mental Health Facilities

The Indepenence Mental Health Institute in Independence, IA opened in 1873.

Iowa lawmakers from the House and Senate weighed the benefits of closing two of the state's four mental health institutes, during a joint subcommittee today.

Under Gov. Terry Branstad’s proposal the Clarinda and Mt. Pleasant facilities would close, consolidating adult psychiatric services at Independence and Cherokee mental health institutes.  Clarinda has 9 inpatient psychiatric beds and Mt. Pleasant 15.

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World War II
12:25 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Under Siege and Overtaken--an Iowan Remembers the Battle of the Bulge

Veteran George Dane with his dog tags.
Ben Kieffer Iowa Public Radio

The Battle of the Bulge ended 70 years ago this month. Iowan George Dane was caught in the middle of it.

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Statehouse and Politics
7:23 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Gas Tax Dreams

Activists at Wallace Building for Transportation Day
Joyce Russell/IPR

A coalition of cities, counties, and economic development officials lobby lawmakers for better roads.  

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Statehouse and Politics
10:02 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Testifying to add Fine Arts to Iowa's Core Education

Leon Kuehner, executive director of the Iowa Alliance for Arts Education, testifies before the Iowa Senate Education Committee about amending Fine Arts to Iowa Core’s education.
Photo by John Pemble

Arts advocates made their case at the Capitol during a Senate Education Committee meeting.  They want lawmakers to make fine arts part of the Iowa Core for K-12 education.  Leon Kuehner, executive director of the Iowa Alliance for Arts Education and a former band director, says the arts are a fundamental part of education. 

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Politics Day
5:20 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

The Iowa Freedom Summit "is almost as big as Iowa Caucus night"

Joni Ernst SOTU response word cloud
Emily Woodbury worldle.net

The Koch brothers announced this week that they intend to spend $889 million in the 2016 presidential race, double the amount spent by the Republican National Committee in 2012.

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Arts and Culture
4:01 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

How to Cuss "Politely"

Maybe cartoons do it best
Credit healthguidance.org

Euphemisms can be used for many purposes, but perhaps none more useful than substituting for swear words.

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Radon
3:43 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Iowa's Dangerously High Radon Risk

A radon testing kit
Megan Khines Flickr

It's colorless, odorless, and more prevalent in Iowa than any other state. Radon gas is causing 400 deaths in Iowa every year.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
9:28 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Obama Proposes More Funding to Fight Superbugs

Iowa State's Hans Coetzee says increased funding for veterinary research on antibiotic use on the farm will be welcome.
Amy Mayer/IPR file photo

In the budget President Obama is sending to Congress he’s asking for more than a billion dollars to combat antibiotic resistance, and some of that money would focus on animal agriculture.

Antibiotic resistance can make common medications ineffective, meaning sick people don’t get better and doctors have fewer options to treat bacterial infections.  

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
9:22 am
Wed January 28, 2015

What Farming Fish "Organically" Could Mean

Troutdale farmhand Vince Orcutt pulls out rainbow trout ready to harvest in Gravois Mills, Mo.
Kristofor Husted/Harvest Public Media

When it comes to organic certification, there are strict guidelines for food producers to follow. 

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Education
8:50 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Private and Community Colleges Prepare as Competition Heats Up

Eighty-seven percent of the students at the Cornell College campus in Mount Vernon, Iowa are from other states or nations.
Cornell College Photo

The new emphasis on funding Iowa’s three state universities according to the number of students who are state residents is dramatically increasing competition.  The 26 private and 15 community colleges in the state are preparing.

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International News
4:45 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

A Personalist Regime: Putin's Hold on Russia

UI Political Science Professor Bill Reisinger says Putin's personalist regime is less stable and less effective than other types of authoritarian regimes.
World Economic Forum Flickr

This weekend, pro-Moscow rebels - backed by what NATO says is the open participation of Russian troops - restarted the war in Eastern Ukraine. 

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Books
11:49 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Lucid Dreaming, Plain and Simple

book cover
Courtesy of Robert Waggoner

In his new book, author Robert Waggoner argues that lucid dreaming is not only useful, but also simple to learn.

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News
5:30 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Loess Hills Cemetery Mystery

Only a few grave markers remain at South Jordan Cemetery, which dates back to 1882
Rick Fredericksen Iowa Public Radio

A murky story continues to baffle amateur historians in the Loess Hills. It stretches back to early statehood, when a pioneer settled in Monona County and gathered workers on his farmstead. Now, there’s an effort to bring notoriety to a one-acre plot that served as a communal burial ground. 

A tale of truth and hearsay come together at this isolated cemetery between the towns of Turin and Moorhead. Retired businessman Harold Johnston gives tours of the Loess Hills, and this is one of his favorite stops.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Ranchers Rebel Over Beef Checkoff

Kansas rancher David Pfrang is one of thousands of small beef producers challenging the oversight of the multimillion dollar “beef checkoff” fund, which is used to promote the beef industry.
Courtesy Jill Toyoshiba/The Kansas City Star

From their small farms set in the rolling hills of northeast Kansas, two ranchers are raising a few cattle, and a lot of Cain.

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Statehouse and Politics
7:53 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Rastetter: Iowa Behind the Curve

Regents President Bruce Rastetter at the House Appropriations Committee
Joyce Russell/IPR

The head of the Iowa Board of Regents says Iowa is behind other states in performance-based funding for public universities. 

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Arts and Culture
3:29 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

The 2015 Wapsipinicon Almanac

The 2015 Wapsipinicon Almanac is now available. Publisher Tim Fay of Anamosa says that even after 21 issues, there has been no shortage of material to write about. 

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Legislative Day
3:08 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Narrowing the Skills Gap in Iowa with Specialized Training

Construction, manufacturing, trade, transportation and utilities, and health services make up 54.6% of Iowa’s middle to high skill job market
Frank Guido

Iowa has a shortage of skilled workers, leaving jobs in some of the most thriving industries unfilled.

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News
2:23 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

AIB College of Business Merging with University of Iowa

AIB College of Business is merging with the University of Iowa, with the AIB campus becoming UI's Des Moines campus. UI students may start classes in Des Moines as early as fall 2015.
Photo by John Pemble

Des Moines-based AIB College of Business is merging with the University of Iowa, thus increasing UI’s presence in central Iowa.

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Statehouse and Politics
1:26 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Governor Branstad Taken to Hospital by Ambulance

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad during his weekly press conference at the Capitol. Two hours later, Branstad feel ill during speaking event in Johnston & was taken to a hospital. The Governor’s spokesperson says the spell was caused by a “seasonal illness."
Photo by John Pemble

Governor Terry Branstad has been taken to a Des Moines hospital by ambulance.  Branstad's spokesman says he "fell ill" at an event this morning due to a "seasonal illness." The Governor was speaking at Du Pont Pioneer in Johnston at the time. Branstad, who is 68 years old, held his weekly news conference this morning at the statehouse. He was coughing and was quizzed by a reporter about his health.

"I've got a bad cold, and so does the Lieutenant Governor. We've had it off and on for some time... couple weeks or more."

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Statehouse and Politics
7:48 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Education Funding Dominates At the Statehouse

Iowa Capitol dome.
Credit John Pemble / IPR

  Debates over how much of a raise to give to the state's schools usually dominates early discussions at the capitol. Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell tells IPR's Clay Masters this year the debate is on time. The two discuss other education topics and what's ahead this week. 

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Profile
12:00 am
Mon January 26, 2015

New Language, New Culture, No Problem

Clemen Wilcox, a native of Colombia, is embracing life in Iowa.
Credit Rob Dillard

Clemen Wilcox counts how long she’s lived in the Midwest by the number of winters, not years. This is her 13th.

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Statehouse and Politics
2:59 am
Sun January 25, 2015

'Freedom Summit' Kicks off 2016 for GOP

U.S. House of Representative member Steve King in Des Moines at the Freedom Summit, an event he organized with Citizens United to bring national conservative leaders to speak in his home state.
Photo by Clay Masters

The Iowa caucuses are still more than a year away, but last night a parade of potential 2016 presidential candidates appeared in Des Moines Saturday. 

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News Buzz
2:15 pm
Sat January 24, 2015

How Facebook Hurts Grades

A new study from ISU suggests Facebook takes up cognitive function needed to focus on studying.
Dimitris Kalogeropoylos Flickr

The connections seems simple: the more time you're on Facebook, the more your grades suffer. 

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News Buzz
5:04 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Bread Bags--Iowa's New Cultural Icon?

Grocery leftovers or fashionable footwear?
SV Johnson Flickr

In her State of the Union response, freshman Senator Joni Ernst repeated an anecdote from her victory speech evoking her "down-home" upbringing.

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
4:50 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

High Court Says Defendant's Good Deed Didn't Sway Jury's Opinion of Codefendant

Illustration by Eric Molinsky
Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction

The Iowa Supreme Court says the good deed of one defendant did not unfairly sway the jury's opinion of his codefendant. 

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Horticulture
1:50 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Stop and Smell the Orchids

Just because its January, doesn't mean there aren't flowers in bloom. 

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Statehouse and Politics
10:26 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Iowa Tourism Against Early School Start

Mercedes Potter sits on a dinosaur at an Iowa gas station.
Mercedes Potter

Iowa’s tourism industry does not support a bill in the Iowa House that would allow school districts and private accredited schools to begin the academic year earlier than Sept. 1.  The industry worries an earlier start to the school year would deplete the high-school-age workforce during late summer.

Gaela Wilson of the Iowa Group Travel Association says tourism greatly affects small town economies since summertime dollars flow into the rest of the community.

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Health
5:45 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Grassley says Congressional Hearings Possible on Co-Opportunity

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley during a visit in 2015 to his home state’s Capitol in Des Moines.
John Pemble IPR

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa wants details of Co-Opportunity Health's collapse and isn't ruling out congressional hearings.

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