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Talk of Iowa
3:17 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

'It Felt Like Freedom'

Nick Bassett on RAGBRAI 2013
Adaptive Sports Iowa

Nick Bassett from Boone Iowa was born with a spinal tumor, and scoliosis was diagnosed when he was an infant.  In high school, the condition worsened and he was confined to a wheelchair.  Bassett joined wheelchair track and field,  and a world was opened up to him.

"It felt like freedom.  I've been bound to my disability for a lot of my life...when I got out there on the track and was able to compete against other athletes, it was the greatest feeling in the world."

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River to River
2:24 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Iowa Supreme Court: 2013-2014 Session

The Iowa Judicial Branch Building in Des Moines, Iowa.

Host Ben Kieffer examines several cases before the Iowa Supreme Court this term dealing with a wide breadth of issues including HIV criminalize, solar energy, defamation in campaign ads, and the

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Farmers Worry About Sharing Big Data

This laptop is an essential tool on Dave Beck’s farm. He uses it to design maps to apply different doses of seed, water, and fertilizer on his fields.
Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

When it comes to keeping data secure, farmers are worried about some of the same issues as the rest of us. Precision data from the farm could help drive new levels of productivity, but farmers have to decide just how much they want to share.

Precision agriculture started with satellite-guided tractors and maps recording pinpoint levels of grain yields during harvest. But farmers like Dave Beck are taking the next step. 

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iowa Juvenile Home
4:18 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Compromise Sought on Juvenile Home

Iowa's Capitol on a snowy morning
John Pemble Iowa Public Radio

As the legal battle over whether Governor Terry Branstad had the authority to close the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo plays out in court, lawmakers are coming to agreement over what changes are needed to establish a place for the state's female juvenile delinquents.  A bill in the Iowa Senate provides for a state run facility for girls, much like the one in Eldora that serves boys.  But changes to state law are needed to ensure that girls will not again be held indefinitely in isolation cells, without access to education and services.  Host Clay Masters talks with Jerry Foxhoven who served a

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Author Interview
3:39 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Time Traveling Back to the 1898 Omaha World's Fair

The Trans Mississippi International Exposition of 1898
F.A. Rinehart

There is a short list of World’s Fairs that have inspired many stories, New York 1939, Chicago 1893, St. Louis 1904.  The 1898 Omaha World’s Fair is not one of them… until now. Today on Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with author Timothy Shaffert about his latest novel The Swan Gondola which takes place on the eve of the Omaha World’s Fair.

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Statehouse and Politics
7:50 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Expanding Broadband, Preventing Bullying: Bills Likely to Advance

Credit John Pemble / IPR

This week is when lawmakers have to have their bills wrapped up so they can make to the floor to be debated in either the Iowa House or Senate. This is an election year and at the outset of the session Republican and Democratic leaders said things can get done this session despite a lot of lawmakers vying for higher office and re-election, but consensus would have to be reached early. IPR's Clay Masters checks in with Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell to talk about the early deadline dubbed funnel week by lawmakers. 

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Talk of Iowa
3:58 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Monastery Candy

Chocolate-covered hazelnut meltaways handcrafted by the sisters of Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey.
Monastery Candy

Iowa is home to many talented chocolatiers and a number of them live in a place that might surprise you. Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey is a cloistered monastic community of Trappistine nuns near Dubuque. 

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News Buzz
3:17 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

E-Cigarettes, LIHEAP, Lake Darling and More

Providing a boost from a half dozen bottled waters, dignitaries at the ‘gate setting’ of Lake Darling, add a little water to the soon to be filled lake. The ceremony concludes a $16 million multi-year project.
Joe Wilkinson Iowa DNR

In a News Buzz edition of River to River, Host Ben Kieffer talks with IPR's Clay Masters about debate over a plan to ban the sale of e-cigarettes containing nicotine to minors. 

We hear from Cedar Rapids Democratic Senator Liz Mathis about the need for emergency funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP.  She says one family found it less costly to spend a week in a hotel, rather than heat their home using propane. 

We get local reaction to a new study on the effectiveness of mammograms. 

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Talk of Iowa
2:52 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Mast Brothers' Red Wine Bonbons

The Masts recommend a full-bodied red wine and a Criollo-heavy chocolate with notes of dark fruit for their red wine bonbon recipe.
Credit Tuukka Koski / Little, Brown and Company

THE MAST BROTHERS' RED WINE BONBONS

A full-bodied red wine works best here, as it won't be overpowered by the dark chocolate.  Try a Criollo-heavy chocolate with notes of dark fruit, like Madagascar.

 GANACHE

  • Heavy cream, 1/2 cup
  • Dark chocolate, 6 ounces, chopped
  • Red wine, 2 ounces (just over 1/3 cup)
  • Unsalted butter, 1 tabled spoon

COATING

  • Dark chocolate, 8 ounces, melted and tempered

Make the Ganache

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Talk of Iowa
2:28 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

The Sweetest Part of Valentine's Day

Michael and Rick Mast hired a sailboat to ship 20 metric tons of cocoa beans from the Dominican Republic to Brooklyn, NY.
Tuukka Koski Little, Brown and Company

Every year for Valentine's Day Americans spend over $1 billion on chocolate. Host Charity Nebbe speaks with some of Iowa's finest chocolatiers from Chocolaterie Stam, Chocolate Storybook, and Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey.

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News Buzz
2:16 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

The 'Colbert Bump' for an Iowan

Lake Street Dive bassist and native Iowan Bridget Kearney appeared with her band on the 'Colbert Report' this week.  She says that the bump in attention after the appearance was immediate and significant. 'River to River' host Ben Kieffer talks with Kearney in this final segment of a 'News Buzz' edition of the program.

And here is the video of their appearance on the Colbert Report:

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NASCAR tax break questioned
9:52 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Lawmakers Question NASCAR Subsidy

Officials with NASCAR, the new owner of the Iowa Speedway, are asking state lawmakers for an extended tax rebate to, in their words, offer  more events at the Newton track.  Some state lawmakers are questioning whether a  wealthy organization like NASCAR needs an 8 million dollar tax break.

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Arts and Culture
5:00 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Modern Folk in a Classical Music Environment

The OK Factor’s Karla Dietmeyer and Olivia Hahn demonstrate techniques used to create their modern folk music at Luther College’s Dorian Orchestra Festival workshop. They graduated from there last spring and just released their first album “Water Street”.
Photo by John Pemble

Last May when violinist Karla Dietmeyer and cellist Olivia Hahn graduated from Luther College’s music program, they had already formed the modern folk duo The OK Factor.  But to move their musical goals forward, they decided to move to Minneapolis where they developed their songs and made recordings at a friend’s studio.  Some of their concerts dates brought them back to Olivia’s home town Cedar Falls as well as the Iowa State Fair.  By the autumn, Olivia moved to Memphis where she took a day job in an office and Karla to the Atlanta area living with her parents and teaching music lessons.

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River to River
2:00 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Falling Out of the Middle Class

rwcox123

In last month’s State of the Union address, President Obama said this year he hoped to strengthen and build ladders of opportunity into the middle class. Host Ben Kieffer talks with University of Iowa sociologist Kevin Leicht and John Gallo of the Henry B. Tippie College of Business.

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Talk of Iowa
11:58 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Religion in the Digital Age

Bill Read

The internet has changed how we find information, get news, connect with friends, and for many people it also has changed the experience with faith and religion.  Guests include Elizabeth Drescher from Santa Clara University, L. Edward Philips from Emory University, and author, editor, and lecturer Phyllis Tickle.

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Health
7:11 am
Thu February 13, 2014

E-Cigarettes: Regulating a Changing Smoking Culture

Aliesha Kirby, one of Central Iowa Electronic Cigarettes' store managers, said they've never sold their products to minors and many of their customers use e-cigarettes to cut back their nicotine consumption.
Credit Clay Masters / IPR

The Iowa House voted to ban the sale of so-called e-cigarettes to minors this week. Electronic cigarettes heat liquid and nicotine into a smokeless vapor. Republicans, who control the House, blocked debate on a Democratic amendment that would have also kept similar e-cigarettes out of kids’ hands, even if they do not contain nicotine. Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters talks to the sponsor, Rep. Tyler Olson (D - Cedar Rapids) of the amendment and takes a trip to an e-cigarette shop in northwest Des Moines.

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Child Care Bill Debated
5:53 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Grieving Couple Advocates for Child Care Bill

A couple from Adel brought tearful testimony to the statehouse.    Their  infant daughter died as a result of her care at an in-home child care provider.   A Republican-sponsored bill would require more in-home day cares to register with the state.    

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Politics Day
4:02 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Olympics Don't Ease U.S. Russian Strain

U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation Michael McFaul greets President Obama
whitehouse.gov

Just outside the spotlight of these Olympic games in Sochi, Russia and the U.S. are navigating a tense point in their relationship.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Wayne Moyer, Rosenfield Professor of Political Science at Grinnell College and Tim Hagel, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Iowa about the tension and the ongoing cooperation between the U.S and Russia.  They also reflect on the U.S.

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Talk of Iowa
12:14 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Controversy Sparked by Critique of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop

higginskurt

Iowa Writer's Workshop alumnus Eric Bennett's article, "How Iowa Flattened Literature" in the Chronicle of Higher Education has ruffled feathers—especially in Iowa's writing community.  The first paragraph of the article reads: 

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River to River
3:28 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Race and Identity in Media and Society

Nathan Gibbs

On this River to River program, host Ben Kieffer talks with NPR host and special correspondent Michele Norris who will discuss her Race Card Project and how it has become much broader in scope since she launched it. Norris will be speaking Wednesday at Coe College.

Then, a conversation with award-winning broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien about race and identity as reflected in the media. Her parents had to leave Maryland in 1958 to get married due to that state’s laws against interracial marriage.

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Talk of Iowa
2:39 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Connecting Habitats in Iowa

At one time 85% of Iowa was covered by tallgrass prairie.
USFWS Mountain Prairie

Every year more wildlife friendly habitat disappears from Iowa and many different species are paying the price.  Host Charity Nebbe discusses the importance of wildlife corridors and roadside prairies with wildlife biologist Jim Pease and Rebecca Kauten, program manager for Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management.  They explain how Iowa's species are suffering due to a lack of connecting habitat as well as both the history of the state's roadside prairies, and the pros and cons of these

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News
5:36 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Archaeologists Uncover Iowa City's Beginnings on UI campus

Project archeologists sift through dirt in a heated tent set up in Hubbard Park.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

Construction on the University of Iowa campus has uncovered the foundations of homes dating back to Iowa City’s earliest settlers.

Archeologists are now racing against the clock to dig out what they can at the Hubbard Park site, as Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports. 

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Iowa Statehouse
4:27 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Restoring Ex-Convicts' Right to Vote

A Mitchellville prisoner knits an afghan to help pay for restitution to victims
Emily Woodbury

A bill backed by Democrats in the Iowa Senate will make it easier for felons who have completed their sentences to have their voting rights restored. The bill passed a divided Senate subcommittee last week.

As the law stands, people who commit felonies must serve their sentences and pay all court-ordered compensation to victims before they can apply to the governor to restore their voting rights. The policy comes from an executive order signed by Governor Branstad in 2011.

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Iowa Statehouse
3:52 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Plans to Provide Affordable Broadband Access to all Iowans

Iowa's Capitol during a snowy winter day, February 7 2014
John Pemble

A large majority of Iowa households have broadband access, but less than half of Iowans have access to speeds at 50 Mbps or greater. This creates disparity among certain demographics and can be exceedingly expensive for the increasing number of people who work online from home.

Two proposals, from Governor Branstad and the Iowa Senate, aim to lower these gaps and provide affordable broadband access to all Iowans. Today on River to River, host Clay Masters sits down with representatives to find out more about rural broadband expansion plans being considered at the Iowa Capitol.

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News
3:33 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Valentine S.H.O.P.

S.H.O.P. members left to right: Brandon Schneider, Colby Campbell, Austin Nolan and Ben Owen
Credit IPR's Pat Blank

S.H.O.P. (the Super Hardcore Overtone Project) is a barbershop quartet on the University of Northern Iowa campus established in the fall of 2011. Members include Colby Campbell, Ben Owen, Brandon Schneider, and Austin Nolan. All four are music majors at UNI, though the quartet is entirely extracurricular and self-standing.  

The group is performing  singing Valentines (for a small fee) from Thursday, February 13th through Sunday the 16th. Their first solo show will be held Saturday night, February 15th at St. John's Lutheran Church in Cedar Falls at 7 p.m.

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Talk of Iowa
2:20 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Bittersweet and Funny: Kevin Kling

Kevin Kling
kevinkling.com

Everyone is at some point a storyteller.  

Kevin Kling is known for telling stories that are weird and wonderful.  He makes audiences laugh until they cry and he makes them cry until they laugh again.  In this 'Talk of Iowa,' Kling talks about storytelling, his upcoming residency at Central College in Pella, and his latest book On Stage with Kevin Kling.  

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
7:43 am
Mon February 10, 2014

For Farmers Who Rent, 2014 Could Be a Tough Year

With the price of corn down, farmers that rent land risk big losses if they don’t tread carefully.
fishhawk/Flickr

With the price of farmland at record levels across the Corn Belt, many farmers have been renting acres to plant. Now, with the price of corn and soybeans in freefall, farmers that depend on renting risk big losses if they’re unable to negotiate lower rents.

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Statehouse and Politics
7:26 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Branstad asks Supreme Court to Overturn Juvenile Home Order

Credit John Pemble / IPR

This legislative session has been dominated by controversy surrounding the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo. Gov  Branstad ordered its closure after the group Disability Rights Iowa found girls were being held in isolation. Four lawmakers sued Branstad to keep the home open. Last week many were surprised when a polk county district court judge ordered the reopening of the home. Governor Branstad has asked the Iowa Supreme Court to overturn the order to reopen the home. He made the announcement Friday and he is being represented by the Iowa Attorney General.

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Arts and Culture
8:00 am
Sat February 8, 2014

Iowa's real "Monuments Man"

George Stout
Credit Worcester Art Museum

Winterset is known as the birthplace of John Wayne, but the town also claims real life hero and art conservator George Stout who rescued hundreds of pieces of art work from being destroyed by the Nazi’s during World War Two.  Stout is profiled in the book, Monuments Men, and a film of the same name starring George Clooney, opened this weekend across the country. Winterset Public Library director Nancy Trask says when he was younger George Stout was quite an actor…

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News Buzz
3:51 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

An Iowan in Sochi and Other Stories

johnny9s / flickr

In this News Buzz program, hear six short interviews about: the Iowa Juvenile Home, the Olympics in Russia, an embarrassing phone conversation involving the U.S. State Department, a cyber-security competition, a deadly snowmobile accident and safety concerns, and the analysis of flood prediction. 

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