News

Rachel Bearinger

Congratulations to Timur Mustakimov, winner of the second Midwest International Piano Competition! After competing this past week with nineteen other pianists in the senior division from ten different countries, Mustakimov is the winner of a $10,000 cash prize and a CD recording with the Blue Griffin label. Timur was also the winner of the new Audience Choice Award, for which he received $500.

Lessons in Lemonade

Jun 10, 2016
Pat Blank/IPR

Just in time for the hottest weather of the season, a group of young Cedar Falls entrepreneurs is learning how to make a profit selling lemonade.

The two dozen 4th through 6th graders have been paired with downtown business owners as part of a three-day camp at the University of Northern Iowa. 

Katie Bjerke runs Hatchlings and Hens, an interactive craft store. She says she’s happy to pay forward her ideas.

John Pemble

This week, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made headlines after her victory in California led many to declare her the first female nominee of a major party for president.

On this politics day edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer discusses the week’s political news with analysts Donna Hoffman of the University of Northern Iowa and Steffen Schmidt of Iowa State University. They talk about how the general election battle is shaping up after the last big day of primaries, as well as what’s next for each of the remaining candidates.

Rachel Bearinger

The 2016 Midwest International Piano Competition is nearing its climax as three world-class pianists have been selected to compete in the finals on Saturday night and perform the concerto of their choice with the wcfsymphony under Jason Weinberger. The three finalists hail from China, the United States, and Russia.

Photo by Jeremy Bernfeld/Harvest Public Media

Thursday was not the day to switch places with Chris Grundler.

Grundler, the director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was in charge of the EPA's one in-person hearing about proposed changes to U.S. ethanol policy

Kamil Porembinski / Flickr

As summer approaches many people are out in their lawn, mowing, watering and pulling weeds. 

On this episode of Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe talks with  Iowa State University Extension turfgrass specialist Adam Thoms about lawn care. 

When it comes to mowing, Thomas recommends keeping your grass around three and three and a half inches tall, and not removing more than a third of the leaf tissue. This means mowing the lawn regularly. 

Rick Fredericksen / Iowa Public Radio

One-hundred seventy-six years after James and Martha Littleton brought their children to southeast Iowa, the story of this pioneer family's profound misfortune is being honored for the first time. A monument is being dedicated next week in memory of an epic loss going back to the Civil War. 

A gleaming 25,000 pound black granite monolith was lowered into place in April, along the Great River Road in the modest little town of Toolesboro. It revives bleak memories of a more famous wartime tragedy. Dan Lilli, who is with Watts Vault and Monument Company, helped design the memorial.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Many Republicans rebuked presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for his remarks suggesting that Latino and Muslim judges would be unable to rule fairly on a trial involving the candidate. State Senator David Johnson did them one better: he left the party.

Minnesota Historical Society Press

The "Big Marsh" was a source of bounty for wildlife, native people and settlers.  When it was drained it offered up fertile soil, but what was lost?  This hour, we talk to Cheri Register, author of the new book, "The Big Marsh; the Story of a Lost Landscape" (Minnesota Historical Society Press).

Rachel Bearinger

The second Midwest International Piano Competition is in full swing at UNI’s Gallagher-Bluedorn in Cedar Falls! The world-renowned pianists and teachers serving as this year’s judges include Eric Larsen, Craig Sheppard, and Nelita True.

Iowa gets an early taste of summer toward the end of this week, with temperatures expected to climb into the mid-90’s.  Health officials, animal welfare advocates, and the National Weather Service are issuing warnings in advance of the hot temperatures.

The Iowa Department of Public Health says about 500 Iowans are hospitalized each year with heat-related illnesses.

Two baby eagles in Iowa town of Riverdale along the Mississippi have been removed from their nest to become part of a migration study. Two young eagles in Riverdale join a study to protect raptors from manmade hazards like wind turbines and power lines.

"Eagle populations have increased dramatically as of late, and increasingly eagles are moving away from large riparian corridors to interior portions of the state," says Drew Becker, fish and wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Tuesday’s primary elections set the stage for two of the nation’s most competitive congressional campaigns. In Eastern Iowa’s 1st Congressional District, Cedar Rapids Democrat Monica Vernon seeks to replace first-term Republican Rod Blum of Dubuque.

University of Northern Iowa political scientist Donna Hoffman says Vernon’s success depends voter turn-out.

Sioux Falls Argus-Leader

Paula Poundstone loves Iowa--she must, she's performing here again!  On this segment of Talk of Iowa, Charity speaks to the venerated comedian, who is returning to Iowa City for a show at the Englert Theatre on June 10. 

IPR Photo by Amy Mayer

Consumer demand, public health concerns and new federal rules all are driving the pork industry away from routine use of certain antibiotics. Booths at the World Pork Expo, a three-day event underway this week at the State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, reflect the move away from antibiotics.

Maria Rose Belding and Grant Nelson were recently honored by President Obama for their work developing and implementing a database to connect hungry people with extra food. They’re calling the program the MEANS database, which is a website that allows grocery stores, restaurants and businesses to easily donate excess food, so that more goes to hungry people and less gets thrown in the dumpster. 

Belding says the idea for the database came from her work at a food pantry in Pella, Iowa.

IPR/Tony Dehner

The Cedar Falls band Peas And Carrot stopped by our Cedar Falls studios recently for a performance an interview. It was the band's second time performing live on Studio One Tracks, and a few things have changed since then. Peas And Carrot is now a four-piece band, and vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Audrey Robinson is the band's only remaining original member.

Rob Dillard/IPR

Former Lt. Gov. Patty Judge is the Democrats’ choice to take on U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley in the general election in November. It was one of several primaries that will help decide who will represent Iowa in Washington next year.

At her campaign headquarters in Des Moines last night, Judge made it clear to supporters what her campaign strategy would be. Iowans can expect to see plenty of campaign signs between now and November that are a play on Patty Judge’s last name.

Rob Dillard/IPR

10:46 update

Former Pentagon worker Jim Mowrer will face first-term incumbent David Young on the 3rd Congressional District ballot this November.  He defeated Desmund Adams and Mike Sherzan in the 3rd District Democratic primary.  With nearly all precincts reporting, Mowrer had about 50-percent of the vote, Sherzan 36%, and Adams 14%.

10:42pm update

Joyce Russell/IPR file photo

An Iowa Republican State Senator is using this primary election day to change his political party affiliation, protesting the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump.

Northwest Iowa legislator David Johnson of Ocheyedan, who has served 18-years in Iowa’s legislature, issued a blistering statement after changing his voter registration to “no party.”

Senator Johnson’s statement says “mark me down as never Trump, and at the same time, never Clinton”.

Carl Wycoff

Iowa is becoming more diverse with time. While 77 percent of Iowans identify as Christian, nearly a quarter do not.

On this edition of Talk 0f Iowa, Charity Nebbe hosts a discussion on religious diversity in Iowa.

She talks with Maeve Callan, associate professor of religion at Simpson College, who gives talks on religious culture in order to humanize religious diversity and to help stop the stigmatization of minority religious groups in the state.

Rob McLennan / Flickr

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is expecting another summer boating season full of toxic, blue green algae blooms. There were a record number of beach closures in 2015 in Iowa, and the DNR is expecting this year to be the same or worse. 

The blooms release microcystin, which is a toxin released by cyanobacteria. The toxin can kill pets and cause rashes and flu like symptoms in humans.

As the weather heats up this week, Mary Skopec, beach monitoring coordinator for the Iowa DNR, says that we’ll likely start to see algal blooms that lead to beach closures.

An Iowa father testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday morning  in favor of curbing synthetic drug use. 

Mike Rozga of Indianola says his son David died by suicide after a suffering severe hallucinations in reaction to synthetic marijuana.

He says law enforcement and prosecutors don’t have the tools they need for combating synthetic drugs, which are often sold commercially.

Dean Borg/IPR

Water gleams between green rows of young corn and soybean plants in some north Iowa fields. Wild geese gather in small ponds where corn should be growing.

USDA’s weekly crop update issued Monday says, “Farmers in the northern one-third of the state are struggling with wet spots.”

Iowa State University Extension Agronomist, Paul Kassel, monitors 10 north Iowa counties stretching from Forest City to Sac City.  He says persistent, heavy rains have drowned some corn plants and slowed soybean planting.

Kristi Koser for Harvest Public Media

At the grocery store, processed foods like cereal, crackers and candy usually maintain the same price for a long time, and inch up only gradually. Economists call these prices "sticky" because they don't move much even as some of the commodities that go into them do.

Take corn, for example, which can be a major food player as a grain, a starch or a sweetener.  

Corn prices can fluctuate widely, so why don't products containing corn also see price changes? Why does your cereal pretty much cost $3 per box every week?

It's partly thanks to the futures market.

Christina Patramanis

The Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre is invading Iowa Public Radio! Join us at noon on Tuesday, June 14th for your favorite tunes from the CROT’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific. The CROT’s principal cast features Erin Bryan as Nellie Forbush, Kyle Roeder as Emile de Beque, Jessica Kasinski as Bloody Mary, and Jack Cotterell as Lt. Cable. The principals and the ensemble will treat us to a few musical gems from their upcoming performances of South Pacific.

John Pemble/IPR file photo

Today is primary day across Iowa.  A number of key races are on the ballot:

U.S. Senate Democratic Primary: Tim Fiegen, Rob Hogg, Patty Judge, and Bob Krause are running to determine who will win the party's nomination to face Republican incumbent Chuck Grassley in November.

1st Congressional District: Democrats Pat Murphy and Monica Vernon face each other in a primary for the second time in two years. The winner faces Republican Rep. Rod Blum.

wcfsymphony.org

This week’s Symphonies of Iowa broadcast features the wcfsymphony’s “Elgar’s Bike” concert. The program includes works by Josef Strauss, Timo Andres, and Edward Elgar.

Dakota Access can soon begin construction on a crude oil pipeline that will cut through 18 Iowa counties.

In a two-to-one vote, Iowa Utilities Board gave the OK to start construction.

That's despite the fact Dakota Access is waiting for project approval from the Army Corps of Engineers on 65 sites along the Iowa route.

On Thanksgiving night in 1858, two women left their Nebraska City home, and, with the help from abolitionists, Celia and Eliza traveled more than 500 miles to Chicago in search of freedom. 

Arlington Nebraska High School History Teacher Barry Jurgensen learned about them when he read the book Necessary Courage by Lowell Soike in 2013, and now he has set out on foot to recreate the Journey that Celia and Eliza took. He’s walking 527 miles across Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois with three of his students in an attempt to raise awareness about modern day slavery.

Pages