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Tony Webster / Flickr

In a Quinnipiac Poll conducted from October 20 to 26 in Iowa, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton are tied with 44% of likely voters backing each candidate. That polling took place before FBI director James Comey sent a document to Congress explaining there was additional evidence related to Clinton’s use of a private email server.

Amy Mayer/IPR

If Dow and DuPont succeed with their proposal to merge and spinoff three companies, one focused on agribusiness, the new companies will open a fresh chapter in the corporate histories of two titans of American industry.

Des Moines and Urbandale Police Departments

Updated information at 12:05 pm

Des Moines Police spokesman. Sgt. Paul Parizek, says Sgt. Bemino and Officer Martin were ambushed while sitting in their respective police vehicles roughly two miles apart, and there appears to have been nothing either man could gave done to prevent the attacks.

Pat Blank/IPR

Donald Trump Jr. is in Iowa today, hoping to convince millennials to vote for his father.

He spoke this morning to around 100 people at Iowa State University. Later, at a bar across from the University of Northern Iowa campus in Cedar Falls, he told the 50 people there, why he thinks his father’s campaign has been so successful.

Kevin Satoh

Twenty-five years ago today, on November 1, 1991, a 28-year-old University of Iowa student went on a shooting rampage, killing four members of the university faculty and one student: his professor Christopher Goertz, department chairman Dwight Nickolson, associate professor Robert Smith, fellow researcher Linhua Shan, and Anne Cleary, an associate vice president and professor of education. 

The shooter, a graduate student from China named Gang Lu, also seriously wounded another student, Miya Rodolfo-Sioson, before he shot himself.

Joyce Russell/IPR

State tourism officials have named three new byways through the state, including the historic Jefferson Highway.

The route was first designated 100 years ago, envisioned as the north-south equivalent to the Lincoln Highway.

It runs from Winnipeg, Manitoba to New Orleans, following Highways 65 and 69 from Northwood to Lamoni in Iowa.

New markers will go up along the historic route in time for the 2018 tourism season.

Loring Miller of Leon in Decatur County is one of the project’s boosters.

Michael Leland, Iowa Public Radio

A sociologist at Iowa State University has uncovered something that goes against common belief. He says income levels in rural areas of the state are higher than in the urban centers.

Extension rural sociologist David Peters has studied census data on income and poverty levels nationwide, and he has broken it down state-by-state. He finds the median household income in rural areas of Iowa is a bit more than $60,000, 11 percent higher than in cities. He says one reason may be three-quarters of Iowa farms are so-called “hobby farms.”

Gold Star Museum

What does it mean to live an ethical life? Is it necessary to have religious beliefs in order to have a moral code?

During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Webb Keane, George Herbert Mead collegiate professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan, and Bob Cargill, assistant professor of classics and religious studies at the University of Iowa, about these questions. 

Both argue that humans don't need religion. 

AMY MAYER/IPR FILE

Sen. Chuck Grassley says he wants FBI Director James Comey to disclose why it’s necessary to review newly discovered emails related Hillary Clinton’s private email server. The Iowa Republican, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, first made this request in a letter sent to Comey on Monday.

Grassley argues that withholding this information is unfair to Congress, the public and to Clinton.

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

While all eyes are on a recently tight presidential race, politicos in Iowa are considering another razor thin margin: that of the Iowa Senate. With a Republican governor and the GOP holding 57 of the 100 seats in the House of Representatives, the outcome of one or two state senate races could determine whether the Republicans get a Statehouse trifecta.

TATSUNORI HASHIMOTO

This week’s Symphonies of Iowa encore broadcast features the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra’s “The Moldau, Don Juan & Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto” concert. It includes music composed by Richard Strauss, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Bedřich Smetana and features young pianist extraordinaire Charlie Albright.

John Pemble/IPR

Democrats in the Iowa Senate who stood in the way of gun rights bills are now facing opposition for re-election in several districts around the state.  

The Iowa Firearms Coalition is working to defeat the incumbents, in hopes of achieving a Republican majority in the Senate.

Last year the Republican-controlled House approved bills to protect the confidentiality of gun permit holders, and to eliminate age restrictions for children handling guns with adult supervision.    In 2015 a wide-ranging gun bill would have eliminated background checks for private handgun sales.

Karen Roussel / Flickr

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with novelist Benjamin Percy about the elements that combine to create thrilling fiction: suspense, tension, urgency, and violence.

"It’s a way to safely appeal to our base desires, and safely work our way through the dark, the basement, the long drop, the tight space," he says.

Michael Leland/IPR

Iowa’s corn and soybean harvest continues behind last year, and the five-year average.

Today’s USDA update says statewide, 71-percent of the corn crop is harvested.  Central and southeast Iowa harvest work is a bit more advanced.

In Eastern Iowa, Randy Toenjes blames wet fields and too much corn, too fast.

Comic, author, and actress Jen Kirkman comes to Iowa this weekend as part of the Witching Hour Festival. On her latest special on Netflix, I'm Going to Die Alone (and I Feel Fine), Kirkman dives into the topic of her decision to not have children.

"Even the movement itself is called 'Childfree by Choice' and choice to me illustrates, you know, Coke or Pepsi, you sit there and you weigh the options. To me it was a non-instinct. It never dawned on me to even want children, ever. It wasn't even a choice."'

FLICKR / JENNIFER MORROW

The State of Iowa is increasing the amount of money it pays to the three private companies managing Iowa’s Medicaid system by $33.2 million. Gov. Terry Branstad says the increase is largely due to pharmaceutical costs, which are higher than anticipated since April when the state privatized its Medicaid system.

"We're dealing with healthcare costs," says Branstad. "It's not something that's going to be perfect." 

Heartland Financial USA

A Dubuque-based banking operation is merging with a similar group of banks in California. The deal is designed to expand the Iowa company’s position on the West Coast.

Heartland Financial USA is acquiring Founders Bancorp of San Luis Obispo, Calif., for around 29-million dollars in cash and stock. The deal is expected to close during the first quarter of 2017. Heartland Chairman and CEO Lynn Fuller says the market on the Pacific Ocean halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco is economically strong.

University of Dubuque

The University of Dubuque is becoming one of the rare four-year colleges to add helicopter flight training to its catalog of courses. The school is responding to a growing demand for pilots.

The University already offers a Bachelor of Science degree in flight operations, and provides flight training in fixed-wing aircraft. Beginning with the spring term in January, it will teach students how to fly choppers. The Director of the Aviation Program at Dubuque, Steven Accinelli, says potential students were asking for helicopter training because of the strong job outlook for pilots.

As promised, here's a follow-up to Part 1 and Part 2 of Halloween classical treats, based on your suggestions:

The Procrastinator's Politics - Ep.4

Oct 31, 2016

The spookiest, most chilling story of the year thus far? How about this entire election season? This episode starts with a "horrifying" tale that's too scary for the campfire, but just terrifying enough for the 24-hour news cycle. If you haven't voted yet, catch up on our election coverage: We'll talk the third congressional district race and hear from U.S. Senate Independent Candidate, Michael Luick-Thrams. 

Episode 4: 

Michael Leland/IPR

As Iowans prepare to cast their ballots next week, the race is on for control of the Iowa Senate where Democrats have a slim 26-24 majority.    If Republicans take enough seats to win the majority,   it will mean the GOP will be in charge of both houses of the legislature and the governor’s office for the first time since the 1996 election.   Republican Party of Iowa chair Jeff Kauffman says the two parties are competing hard in competitive districts across the state.

Amy Mayer/IPR

Iowa's 4th Congressional District covers 39 counties, from the northwest corner through much of north-central part of the state. It's the largest and most conservative district--38 percent of registered voters are Republicans.

That hasn't deterred Democrat Kim Weaver from launching a campaign to unseat seven-term incumbent Steve King.

In fact, it has attracted the attention of some out-of-state politicians. At an event in Ames, Congressman Eric Swalwell, (D-Calif.) who was born in the district, came through to campaign for Weaver.

Pat Blank/IPR

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told a large crowd of supporters in a Cedar Rapids amphitheater last night that he was happy to hear that the FBI is reviewing newly-discovered emails related to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s private server. 

“The biggest political scandal since Watergate, and it’s everybody’s hope that justice, at last, can be delivered,”   Trump told a crowd packed into a downtown riverfront amphitheater.

Flickr / Joe Hall

A Des Moines woman has been charged with Election Misconduct, a Class D felony, after allegedly voting twice for GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. Terri Rote says she was afraid her first ballot for Trump would be changed to a vote for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

"I wasn't planning on doing it twice, it was a spur of the moment," says Rote.* "The polls are rigged."

But Polk County Attorney John Sarcone says voter fraud in Iowa is very rare, which is evidence that Iowa’s election system is secure.

With Thanksgiving in the air, prepare to mark your calendars with the exciting arts events coming up this month in Iowa. This month’s Iowa Arts Showcase features:

·         Artist Gary Kelley speaking on his “Giving the Devil his Due” exhibit at the Figge and on an upcoming concert collaboration with the wcfsymphony

·         Julia Bullard diving into Trio 826’s Fall Residency program at the Hearst Center for the Arts

·         A recent visit with the President of OPERA America Marc Scorca

Clay Masters

Carl Bernstein is a name many remember from the Watergate era of the 1970s. On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist on the life of Hillary Clinton.

A Woman in Charge is the title of the book from 2007 that Carl Bernstein wrote about Clinton’s life, from her upbringing in Illinois to the U.S. Senate and the White House. 

What To Do With Your Fallen Leaves

Oct 28, 2016
Jack / Flickr

  To rake or not to rake this time of year? That is the question. Living in the Midwest means that the changing seasons bring about changing chores. This hour on Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe talks with  Iowa State University horticulturists Linda Naeve and Richard Jauron. 

 

If you do rake your leaves, you need to decide what to do with them. Jauron says that instead of disposing of them, try using them as mulch.

 

"If you bag them with a mulching mower, you can save them for next year and use them as a mulch."

 

pfkings / Wikimedia Commons

With rising student debt nationwide, career placement is often considered the most important marker of a successful stint at university. But Dave Gould, member of the honors faculty and administrator at the Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa, says pragmatic, salary-focused concerns can't be the only questions posed to students during their time in school.

John Pemble / IPR

A year before the Iowa caucuses, hundreds of journalists come here to cover the many presidential candidates. This month, a Los Angeles crew is in Iowa filming six 30 minute episodes of a comedy television series about being a reporter during the campaign season.  “Embeds” centers around four young reporters covering a presidential candidate struggling to stay in the race.  

Hudson Institute / Flickr

As a boy he lived in a refugee camp in his native Afghanistan. As a teenager he fled from the Taliban to England. Now, in his early thirties, Hamdullah Mohib serves as an ambassador to the U.S. from Afghanistan.

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