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Politics Day
4:16 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Washington D.C. - Hollywood’s New Wild West?

Vice President Joe Biden jokes with Julia Louis-Dreyfus of the TV show, “Veep,” as she sits at his desk in the Vice President's West Wing office at the White House, April 12, 2013
Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

From the idealistic public servants of "The West Wing" to the conniving anti-heroes of "House of Cards," the portrayal of Washington D.C. in popular culture has changed significantly over the last decade.

Today on River to River - what shows set in our nation's capital say about our political climate, and what we can and cannot learn from these programs.

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News
3:50 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

2014 Iowa Senior Games to Break Records

A match for the growing sport Pickleball during the 2013 Iowa Senior Games
Iowa Senior Games Iowa Sports Foundation

Starting Thursday, the 28th Iowa Senior Games expect to bring in a record-breaking 900 participants. Iowans 50 and older can compete for titles in more than 80 events. One man plans to compete in nearly half of them.

Jim Schlick was lifting weights in his Ames home in preparation for the weekend. He’s 52 and said he’s always enjoyed staying in shape.

“As I do these dips…I’ve seen a commercial probably 20 years ago but it was a 90 year old guy barefoot skiing on TV. And I always told my family that I am going to be that guy.”

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News
5:21 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Biologists Find Correlation Between Bald Eagle Deaths and Lead Shot

Peter Eyerhalde Iowa State University

Lead shot used by deer hunters in the Upper Midwest is getting into the digestive tracts of bald eagles, according to a two-year study by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. 

Researchers found 36 percent of leftover deer carcasses in a four-state national wildlife refuge contained lead fragments, which scavenging eagles use as a food source. 

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Wildlife Day
1:07 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Tough Love and Fuzzy Cuddles: Wildlife Parenting

Porsupah Ree

Iowa’s forests, meadows, streams and subdivisions are full of baby animals right now, and every species has its own approach to parenting.

Today on Talk of Iowa, wildlife biologist Jim Pease joins to talk about parenting in the wild… with cliff swallows, rabbits, deer, bees, ducks, snakes, owls and others.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
8:19 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Drought Hammers Winter Wheat Across the Plains

Farmer Jim Haarberg of Imperial, Neb., compares the heads of wheat from two different stalks to demonstrate the stunting effects of drought.
Credit Ariana Brocious / Harvest Public Media

  Much of the Midwest and the Plains have been battling drought for years. And the current winter wheat crop looks like it will be one of the worst in recent memory, stressing farmers in the heart of the Wheat Belt – from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska.

In Nebraska, a full quarter of the winter wheat crop is rated poor to very poor, and Nebraska farmers are doing comparatively well. More than 40 percent of the wheat acres in Colorado are poor or worse; nearly 60 percent in Kansas and Texas; and an incredible 80 percent in Oklahoma.

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Talk of Iowa
2:53 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

A Food Writer Cooks through Many a Conundrum

Columnist Leah Eskin, an Iowa City native, has written about the roast chicken that was almost spoiled by a trip to the Emergency Room, the first real meal she made after being sidelined by chemotherapy, and the tart she made for her boyfriend (who later became her husband).  Eskin has been sharing her life and recipes with readers for 14 years.

This hour, Charity speaks with Eskin, the Pulitzer-prize nominated author of the Chicago Tribune's food column "Home on the Range."  Her new book is titled "Slices of Life: A Food Writer Cooks through Many a  Conundrum." (Running Press)

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News Buzz
2:19 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

"Iowa Pints" a Guide for Iowa's Brewery Boom

Iowa Pints release party flier
Facebook

Iowa brewer and author Jay Wilson first gained notoriety for his all-beer lenten fast.  Now he's back with a guide to help beer enthusiasts navigate Iowa's brewery boom.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with him about his book, Iowa Pints due out June 12th.

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River to River: From the Archives
1:56 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Fascination with the Idea of "Apocalypse"

Des Moines' Fourth Annual "Zombie Walk"
Emily Woodbury

Many of this year’s blockbusters, video games, and books are set in post-apocalyptic worlds - a growing trend in the past few years.

Today on River To River, we take a look at why this is such a common theme. Host Ben Kieffer talks with Iowans who are prepared to face an apocalyptic scenario, and he sits down with an Iowa Homeland Security representative, to find out how prepared the state of Iowa is for disaster.

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News Buzz
1:53 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

"Unprecedented" Settlement Could Mean Jail Time for Elder DeCoster

freefoodphotos.com

Host Ben Kieffer talks with Seattle, Washington food safety lawyer Bill Marler, who represented some of those sickened in a 2010 salmonella outbreak caused by contaminated eggs.  This week a settlement was reached with Quality Egg and two of its top executives, Jack and Peter DeCoster.  Marler says Jack DeCoster comes to the court with a "checkered past," that could make jail time more likely in this case.

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News Buzz
3:55 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Regents Change University Funding Structure

The Iowa Board of Regents has adopted a plan to change how state funding is allocated to Iowa's three Regents' universities.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with IPR's Dean Borg about the factors that will be used to set future funding levels, including numbers of in-state students and graduation rates.

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News Buzz
3:44 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Who Decides? A Third Congressional District Convention Primer

The candidates for the GOP nomination in Iowa's third congressional district. From top left, Matt Schultz, Joe Grandanette, Brad Zaun, Robert Cramer, Monte Shaw and David Young

For the first time since 2002, the GOP nominee in Iowa's third congressional district will be decided by convention.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with former Iowa House Speaker Brent Siegrist.  He was one of the candidates vying for the republican nomination in the 2002 primary.  After three ballots, and a close vote convention delegates chose then State Senator Steve King.

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News Buzz
3:33 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Repel Bugs, Gnat-urally

Bug Soother

This spring, Freda Sojka says there's only one way to describe her business: busy. 

She's the brains behind the bug repellent "Bug Soother," that has become overwhelmingly popular over the last few years in Iowa. She says she discovered the recipe for the repellent by accident. “My grandson was at my house, and I didn’t want to put anything on him with DEET in it. I threw a few things together, and it worked.”

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Horticulture
11:42 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Are They Bothering You or Biting You?

dapawprint (Flickr)

They float, swarm, harass and irritate, and they can even take down a chicken or a turkey. The gnats are back. But when we complain about “gnats,” Iowa State University Extension Entomologist Donald Lewis says, sometimes we might be misplacing blame. 

"Saying you are annoyed by a gnat is like saying you were passed on the interstate by a vehicle… It’s a two mile wide term. Ask yourself – are the bugs bothering you or are they biting you?”

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River to River
3:22 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Air Quality Concerns: Are Coal Plants to Blame?

Southend, a Muscatine neighborhood that borders the Grain Processing Corporation and Muscatine Power and Water coal plants
Adam Burke

For decades, U.S. climate change policy has amounted to, "Do as I say, not as I do." However, this week President Obama announced its boldest step yet to reduce carbon emissions. The President wants to reduce carbon emission from power plants by 30% by the year 2030.

Today on River to River, what these guidelines mean for Iowa.

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Education
8:59 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Leaving the "Summer Slide" at the Playground

Wikimedia Commons

According to the National Summer Learning Association, most elementary students lose about two months worth of math and reading skills over the summer break, a problem that is well documented yet plagues parents and educators alike. Brandi Miller is a teacher at Garden Elementary, a school that’s a part of the Des Moines Public School system on the East Side of Des Moines. As a literacy coach, she says she sees first-hand the skills students lose over the summer when they return to school each fall. “We do assessment tests, and we almost always see loss.

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Iowa Archives
5:30 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Iowans Eager for New Panama Canal

The Panama Canal will mark 100 years of operation in August.
Joe Noonan

We all make time saving short cuts every day, but none could compare to one of the most important short cuts in history. The Panama Canal turns 100 this summer and a massive expansion project has Iowans predicting good things on several fronts. 

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Politics Day
5:34 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Analysis on Iowa's Primary Results

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

Three open congressional seats from Iowa are up for grabs in this November’s midterm elections – a very rare occurrence in Iowa politics!

Today on River to River, an analysis of last night's primary results for those races. Joining host Ben Kieffer are guests Kathie Obradovich, of the Des Moines Register, and Tim Hagle of the University of Iowa.

Ben asks them about the candidates’ strengths, possible weaknesses, and he has them ponder campaign strategies each camp is likely to employ leading up to November.

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Environment
3:24 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Ending Our War with Wolves, Bears, Bobcats and Coyotes

a female gray wolf
Seney Natural History Association

As agriculture and new construction in Iowa continue to expand and occupy Iowa's wildlife habitat, humans are in contact with predators like coyotes more and more. Like a caller said today during the our broadcast, one of the ways to handle that problem is to kill the predators that threaten domestic pets and backyard chickens. 

But author John Shivik says there’s another way. “Moving forward, we need to balance lethal versus non-lethal methods of dealing with predators. We can biologically deal with the issue instead of killing them to make ourselves feel better.”  

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Election Coverage
8:23 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Ernst Gets GOP Senate Nomination, 3rd District Republican Race Goes to Convention

Joni Ernst makes her acceptance speech for the GOP US Senate nomination on June 3, 2014 at the Des Moines Social Club.
Credit Joyce Russell / IPR

Democratic and Republican Primary voters went to the polls Tuesday to select candidates for the 2014 general election, but for Third-District Republicans it's not over yet. The biggest race last night was for the U.S. Senate Republican primary nomination. State Senator Joni Ernst easily won that race. IPR's Clay Masters talks with University of Northern Iowa Political Science Professor Donna Hoffman about last night's results. 

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Statehouse and Politics
5:00 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Ernst Wins Republican Nomination

Joni Ernst makes her acceptance speech for the GOP US Senate nomination on June 3, 2014 at the Des Moines Social Club.
Credit Joyce Russell / IPR

After pulling ahead late in a crowded field, State Senator Joni Ernst won the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate  to replace retiring Democrat Tom Harkin.    

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Election Coverage
11:01 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

2014 Primary Election Results

Julia Taylor

U.S. Senate - Rep

Sam Clovis

Joni Ernst ✔

Mark Jacobs

Scott Schaben

Matt Whitaker

U.S. House. Dist. 1 - Dem

Swati Dandekar

Anesa Kajtazovic

Pat Murphy ✔

Dave O'Brien 

Monica Vernon

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Health
4:52 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Nick Rhoades Talks His HIV Conviction and What Comes Next

Nick Rhoades in Iowa Public Radio's Des Moines studio
John Pemble Iowa Public Radio

In 2009 when Nick Rhoades was convicted of the criminal transmission of HIV and sentenced to 25 years in prison and lifetime listing as a sex offender, the news upended his life. He attempted suicide and had a breakdown that landed him in the University of Iowa Hospital's psychiatric ward for weeks. He spent what he describes as nine "hellish months" in jail and four in prison before his was granted relief from his sentence.

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News
4:44 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Regents Consider Boosting ISU and UNI Funding

Less than half of University of Iowa’s fall freshmen are from Iowa. There is a proposal before the Board of Regents to move some of U of I’s funding to the other state universities that have a higher enrollment of in-state students.
Credit Photo by Matthew Anderson (cc by-nc-sa)

The Iowa Board of Regents is considering reallocating funding from The University of Iowa to Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa.  The proposal says because U of I has fewer in-state students, the other universities have more students paying lower tuition.  Iowa Public Radio’s Dean Borg reports that some high school students say they were overlooked the by the state universities recruiting efforts.

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Talk of Iowa
3:36 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Dorothy Garlock and Iowa's Romance Writers

  Romance novels are now the top-performing category on the best-seller lists, generating nearly $1.5 billion dollars in profits for the publishing industry each year.   Almost every state has a Romance Writers of American chapter, including Iowa.  

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Election Coverage
9:33 am
Tue June 3, 2014

2014 Voter Guide

Credit Vox Efx / flickr

In an effort to provide voters with information about the candidates in the 2014 primary elections, Iowa Public Radio staff contacted the Democratic and Republican candidates competing in Iowa’s open congressional races. 

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Environment
5:02 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Iowa DNR Stocks More than 100 Million Walleye into Iowa's Lakes

A DNR worker stocks fish into a lake in California
Wikimedia Commons

After pulling a few all-nighters netting, sorting and spawning fish, Iowa’s fisheries supervisors are ready for a break. They’ve spent the last month working to ready the more than 100 million walleye fry, fish less than 2 inches in size, that get stocked into Iowa’s lakes and rivers every year.

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Politics
3:13 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

When Politics and Religion Meet

The phrase, separation of church and state, "doesn't clarify as much as it obscures," says Dennis Goldford of Drake University
Wyoming_Jackrabbit / flickr

State money is helping to build a new Christian park in Sioux City. Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, a Satanic statue will be erected outside a courthouse, next to the Ten Commandments.

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News
3:39 pm
Sun June 1, 2014

Cowboy Church

Members of the Double J Wranglers Larry Wildeboer, Jim Gates and Jim Meyer
IPR's Pat Blank

  A musical group from Northeast Iowa has found a way to combine their love of the Old West with their faith and they’re sharing it with others.

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2014 Voter Guide
12:19 pm
Sun June 1, 2014

Candidate Profile: Joni Ernst

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst
Credit Joni Ernst for Iowa

Read this candidate profile of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst. She was interviewed as part of IPR's 2014 Primary Voter Guide series.

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2014 Voter Guide
11:54 am
Sun June 1, 2014

Candidate Profile: Matt Whitaker

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Whitaker
Credit Matt Whitaker for U.S. Senate

Read this candidate profile of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Whitaker. He was interviewed as part of IPR's 2014 Primary Voter Guide series.

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