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Taxpayer Trust Fund
9:34 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Republican Tax Credit Shrinks

401kcalculator.org/flickr

A Republican-sponsored tax credit will be so small this year that many taxpayers may not even notice it.     

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Education
12:00 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Hopeful Africa Aids Schools in Kenya

Hopeful Africa founder Moses Bomett at a Des Moines coffee shop near downtown.
Credit Rob Dillard

Two young Central Iowans have been helping to fund schools in Kenya since they were teenagers. Hopeful Africa started as an after-school club is now a serious nonprofit.

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News
5:30 am
Fri January 2, 2015

Ash Borer: On the Ground Report

A draw knife is used to expose larvae feeding beneath the bark
Rick Fredericksen Iowa Public Radio

One of the biggest stories concerning Iowa’s natural resources last year was the onslaught of an insect that will wipe out tens of millions of ash trees across the state. Iowa Public Radio’s Rick Fredericksen closed out 2014 with a field trip to a forest south of Des Moines, known as “ground zero.”

Four of us climbed aboard an all-terrain vehicle for an excursion along remote hillsides, across ravines, and over a creek, arriving in a densely timbered patch of eastern Lucas County. Jeremy Cochran is District Forester for the Department of Natural Resources.

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Year in Review
3:39 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

2014: The Year in Politics

John Pemble Iowa Public Radio

In 2014, Gov. Terry Branstad won an unprecedented sixth term as Governor of Iowa, and Iowans elected the state’s first woman to Congress when Republican Joni Ernst won her seat in the U.S. Senate. 

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Year In Review
3:35 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

Remembering Those We Lost: 2014 Obituary Show

Cemetery in Nevada, Iowa
Carl Wycoff Creative Commons License

Iowa lost many notable citizens and natives in 2014. As we wrap up the year, we remember a few as a tribute to all.

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
1:15 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

Traffic Fatalities Slightly Higher in 2014

A crashed vehicle on the side of I80 in Iowa.

The Iowa Department of Transportation is reporting 321 traffic related deaths in 2014, or four more than last year.

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Health
7:28 am
Wed December 31, 2014

What's Next for Troubled Iowa Insurer?

Credit LinkedIn

The state insurance commissioner is taking over a co-op that was financed by the Affordable Care Act. 

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
5:22 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Court Sends Ex Cop Back to Prison, He Appeals

Pictured above is an ASP baton. Former officer Mersed Dautovic beat Octavius Bonds with a baton on September 12, 2008.
Wikipedia/Dmg ie

A former Des Moines police officer, who was convicted in 2012 of using excessive force, has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court in hopes of not returning to prison.

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Health
3:46 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

New Downtown Des Moines YMCA Set to OpenI

Inside the new downtown Des Moines YMCA.
Credit Rob Dillard

The cardio equipment and weight machines are in place for the opening of the new Des Moines YMCA on New Year’s Day. It’s being billed as the largest downtown YMCA in the country. 

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2014 in Review
3:00 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

IPR's Top Stories of 2014

Iowa Statehouse
John Pemble Iowa Public Radio

Data centers, legislative scuffles, and national park scandals: this year was big for Iowa news.

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Statehouse and Politics
12:31 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Concerns Over Online Voter Registration in Iowa

Credit League of Women Voters of California / Flickr

Republican Secretary of State-elect Paul Pate says he hopes to have the option for Iowans to register to vote online before the 2016 primaries. But at a public hearing  Tuesday in Des Moines, voter rights groups say it’s unfair.

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History
10:34 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Encore: Rural Iowa Women of the 1920s

Vetra, left, and sister Reva Padget, appear ready for a trip to town, circa 1930.
Courtesy of Leon Wilkinson

Before the Great Depression there was the farm recession, and times were tough for farm families in Iowa. 

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Education
5:26 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Iowa First Graders Under Scrutiny

Inside My Classroom
Marie/flickr

Schools around the state are keeping a close eye on first graders’ reading skills.

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Sleep
4:46 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

Owl, Lark, or Somewhere In-between?

Ed Yourdon Flickr

Most people consider themselves either a night person or a morning person. What if you're sleepy all day long?

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Books
4:07 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

Encore: Old Man River

Mississippi River at Lansing Iowa
Stan Oleson

Ever since the first person set eyes on the Mississippi River, the power of the river has helped to build and destroy settlements and cities.  

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Arts and Culture
10:10 am
Sat December 27, 2014

Pieta Brown's Father-Daughter Dance

"You guys know that road," Pieta Brown told a crowd in Des Moines earlier this month, describing how a row of Missouri warehouses selling fireworks inspired her song "I Don't Mind."
Credit Clay Masters / IPR

Pieta Brown's parents split up when she was 2 years old, and she spent her childhood traveling between them in the Midwest and the South.

Environment
8:31 am
Sat December 27, 2014

On the first day of 2015, take a hike!

Iowa State Park
Credit Iowa DNR

If you’re looking for a healthy way to start the New Year, take a hike. IPRs Julie Englander spoke with Todd Coffelt, the bureau chief for state parks with the Department of Natural Resources. He says on January first, Iowa State Parks are participating in America’s State Park’s First Day Hikes…

For more information on Iowa State Parks First Day Hike go to the Iowa Department Natural Resources events calendar at www.iowadnr.gov.

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Health
3:33 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

Holiday Mental Health Check

Russian mulled wine.
hc.saustrup

While the holidays may be called the most joyful time of the year, many people simply find them to be the most stressful.

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Food
12:08 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Feeding the Homeless on the Holidays

hungry people waiting for the food Sister Ludmilla Benda serves on Sundays and holidays line up around the block
Dean Borg Iowa Public Radio

For those who are apprehensive about preparing holiday meals for family guests, consider Sister Ludmilla Benda, a nearly ninety-year old woman who does it weekly for a hundred-or-more hungry strangers. 

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Holidays
10:19 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Gifts of Kindness

Mel Neal's farm after the tornado.
Photo Courtesy of Mel Neal

For a handful of us, the last year has brought gifts of life changing kindness. 

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Art
9:22 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Art and Controversy: A Sculpture Sparks Debate about Racism

The sculpture that sat on the University of Iowa's pentacrest walkway for less than four hours.
Mitchell Schmidt Photo Courtesy of the Cedar Rapids Gazette

When Turkish artist Serhat Tanyolacar depicted the robes of the Ku Klux Klan in a sculpture on the University of Iowa’s campus, he intended to protest racism. 

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Education
3:57 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Two Million to Support DMACC and Ankeny Schools

Ankeny developer Dennis Albaugh with DMACC President Rob Denson, left, and Ankeny School Board member George Tracy.
Credit Rob Dillard

An Ankeny couple is making two major gifts to support projects in their hometown. The money from Dennis and Susan Albaugh will be split between Des Moines Area Community College and the Ankeny School District.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Mon December 22, 2014

California Dairies Look to Midwest’s Greener Pastures

Dairy farmer Brian Azevedo plans to sell his dairy in Merced, Calif., and move to South Dakota.
Ezra David Romero for Harvest Public Media

California is branded as the state with happy cows, but increasingly, the dairy owners are not necessarily so happy. 

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News Buzz
3:35 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

News Buzz: Stories from Iowa, Cuba, and West Africa

Havana, Cuba
Mauro Heck

This week, Havana erupted in celebration with the announcement of a new era of relations between Cuba and the United States. On this news buzz edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer sits down with Iowan Mauro Heck, who has just returned from Cuba.

Heck says that while Cuba is beautiful and the people are inviting, the country is "organized chaos."

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Horticulture
2:10 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Greenhouse Poinsettias Created with a Virus

poinsettia blooms grown in greenhouses in the United States
Wikimedia Commons

The poinsettia, traditionally given as a gift around the holidays, is native to Northern Guatemala and Northern Mexico. 

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
11:34 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Politics Dominates the Top Ag and Food Stories of 2014

The Jamie L. Whitten Building in Washington, home to the USDA.
Wikipedia

2014 was the year even the lunch ladies got political.

Harvest Public Media was created four years ago to report on agriculture and food production in the geographic area where the majority of that takes place – the Midwest. This year, my third of counting the top ag stories of the year, I find that the issues taking center stage were set not here, but in the politics, policies and processes of Washington D.C., state legislatures or the ballot box.

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Profile
12:00 am
Fri December 19, 2014

A Playhouse for People with Down Syndrome

Megan Christofferson and her son, Bo, at GiGi's Playhouse in Windsor Heights.
Credit Rob Dillard

A newly redesigned building sits on a heavily traveled stretch of road in Windsor Heights, a Des Moines suburb.  GiGi's Playhouse is a lively spot where people with Down syndrome gain self-confidence.


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Religion
4:33 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Sisters Pleased with Vatican Report

a screenshot of the press conference held in Rome Tuesday morning to announce results of a report about nuns in the U.S.

In 2012, the Vatican accused Catholic nuns in the US of straying from church doctrine, but in a report released this week, the church now says it welcomes the efforts of the sisters.

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Books
4:20 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

When it Comes to Persuasion, Little Things Make a Big Difference

Martin found that when there is graffiti in an alley, people are more likely to litter in it.
Wikimedia Commons

You can significantly increase your ability to influence others by making very small shifts. 

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River to River
2:50 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Deer Hunting in Iowa

Deer in Mount Vernon, IA
Rich Herrmann

It’s deer hunting season. On this edition of River to River, hunting concerns in Iowa, including the problem of poaching.

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