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Health Care
8:07 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Behind the Numbers on Your Hospital Bill

Dr. Thomas Striegel treats a patient in the emergency room
Nick Oza The Arizona Republic

In the emergency room, the last thing you want to think about is what your bill is going to look like. But, weeks later you will receive a bill in the mail; and you might experience some sticker shock.

Today on River to River, we seek to answer your hospital billing questions. Questions like: why does an aspirin cost upwards of $15, when I can get a generic bottle at the drug store at 2 cents a pop?

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Wildlife
3:56 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Birds of the Upper Midwest

Red winged blackbird
Elizabeth Reetz

Of all the birds that make their home (even for just a season) in Iowa, we may know their common names (sparrow, robin, etc.), but not their scientific names. But the these longer names in Latin tell a lot about the description and behavior of a bird species. This hour, Charity Nebbe speaks with the co-authors of the new book, "The Scientific Nomenclature of Birds in the Upper Midwest," Iowa Citians James Sandrock and Jean Prior.

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News
5:30 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Veterans: Lobotomies to Meditation

A common kitchen ice pick was a prototype instrument used in one type of lobotomy.
Rick Fredericksen Iowa Public Radio

From radical brain surgery, to drug therapy and meditation, Iowa veterans have done it all while coping with mental illness in the aftermath of war. Treatments have come a long way since lobotomies were performed on World War II vets in Knoxville.  

See the Wall Street Journal investigation

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News
5:21 am
Thu March 27, 2014

The Murky World of Emergency Room Billing

Five months after a bicycle accident, Martha Norbeck wonders if some of the charges on her ER bill could have been avoided.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

No matter how you slice it, medical care is expensive—especially in an emergency.

Martha Norbeck shuffles through paperwork as she looks back over her itemized hospital bill from a bike accident five months ago.

“Just to have the guy come to the ER to do my stitches was $460, the six stitches was $846… so that was $140 a stitch or something?” Norbeck muses. 

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Statehouse and Politics
4:51 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Greyhound Industry Fights Racetrack Bill

Photo by Rainer Hungershausen

A three-member panel at the statehouse signed off on a  bill to end greyhound racing at casinos in Council Bluffs and Dubuque.    The casinos and the communities where they’re located say dog racing is a dying sport.  But the greyhound industry is putting up a good fight.  

  

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Talk of Iowa
4:37 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

It’s Electric! Rural Electrification in Iowa

The Rural Electrification Administration erects power lines.
Credit National Archives and Records Administration / U.S. Department of Agriculture

When a storm knocks out power for a few hours, it's an inconvenience; if the outage lasts much longer it becomes a crisis.  However, not so long ago electricity was far from ubiquitous in Iowa.

Iowan Kieth Wirt was 10 years old when electricity came to his family’s farm in Panora. Like most households, the first appliance the Wirts purchased was a refrigerator, and soon after indoor plumbing.

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Politics Day
3:01 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Farmer from Iowa Comment and Castration Ad Focus National Attention on Iowa's Senate Race

State Senator and GOP candidate for U.S. Senate Joni Ernst
Squeal JoniforIowa.com

Video has surfaced of Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley at a private Texas fundraiser with trial lawyers drawing a stark contrast between a future with him serving on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and a future with GOP Senator Charles Grassley Chairing that committee.  In the video, Braley describes Grassley as an "Iowa farmer" who "never went to law school."  Slate has called it the

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Politics Day
1:46 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

'Farmer...Never Went to Law School'

Congressman Bruce Braley speaks to the crowd at the 2013 Iowa Democratic Party Jefferson Jackson Dinner in Des Moines
Gregory Hauenstein https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/legalcode

Iowa Congressman and Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley has apologized for comments he made at a January fundraiser in Texas. 

"If you help me win this race, you may have someone with your background, your experience, your voice ... on the Senate Judiciary Committee," Braley said. "Or you might have a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school, never practiced law, serving as the next chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee."

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
8:52 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Hog Farmers Differ on Packer-Owned Pigs

A proposal in the Nebraska Legislature would allow meatpacking companies operating in the state to own hogs from birth to slaughter, a change that some say would take market share from farmers.
Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

 

Nebraska hog farmers aren’t seeing eye-to-eye on a proposal that would allow meatpacking companies more control over the state’s hog industry. And farmers all over the country are watching.

Currently, a 1998 state law bans meatpacking companies from owning and raising the hogs the process. But lawmakers have proposed an end to the ban, which would allow for more vertical integration of the hog industry.

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River to River
3:16 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Honoring Veterans in Hospice

The Korean War Veterans Memorial, May 1, 2008.
Janet Crum

Serving in the military changes one's perspective on life, but often it also alters the way they face death.  Ben Kieffer speaks with Deborah Grassman, the CEO and co-founder of Opus Peace.  Opus Peace  is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help people work through trauma.

Prior to Opus Peace, Grassman worked as a nurse practitioner for three decades at the Department of Veterans Affairs. She was also the director of the VA's hospice program and personally took care of over 10,000 dying veterans.

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Talk of Iowa
2:57 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

The Aging Challenge

Using video games to stay active
Iowa State University Extension LIFE; used with permission http://www.extension.iastate.edu/life

People are living longer, but are they living better, more healthy, more active lives?  Colin Milner is CEO of the International Council on Active Aging, and is visiting Iowa to talk about opportunities for governments, organizations, and individuals to take advantage to the changes that are ahead for people and communities.  Also on the program is Iowa State University Assistant Professor Sarah Francis, who also oversees ISU Extension's program Living Well Through Intergenerational Fitness and Exercise.

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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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