Ben Kieffer

River to River and Java Blend Host

Ben Kieffer joined Iowa Public Radio in 2000 and is host of IPR’s daily noon talk show River to River, which he also helps produce. Since 2001, he has hosted and produced IPR’s weekly, live music program which features artists from around the state and the country called Java Blend.

Prior to joining IPR, Ben lived and worked in Europe for more than a decade. He reported firsthand the fall of the Berlin Wall and covered the Velvet Revolution in Prague. Ben has won numerous awards for his work over the course of more than 20 years in public media.

Ben holds an adjunct faculty position at The University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where he teaches courses on interviewing and radio news. He is a native of Cedar Falls and a graduate of the University of Iowa.

Ben’s favorite public radio program is Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.

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Java Blend
2:40 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Java Blend Broadcast: Love Over Gold 12/21

Tune in for a special broadcast of the new duo Love Over Gold.
Love Over Gold

This Saturday, Dec. 21, at 2 PM, we'll broadcast a recent performance by Love Over Gold on IPR Studio One's "Java Blend."

Ben Kieffer will chat with founding members Lucy Thorne and Pieta Brown throughout the broadcast to find out more about their new band.

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River to River
1:15 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Remembering the Great Flood of 1993

Flooding on Iowa roads.
Dan Patterson Flickr

It's been 20 years since the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers flooded, inundating much of the Midwest for months.  Host Ben Kieffer looks back on this extensive natural disaster that affected millions of Midwesterns with IPR corespondent Dean Borg, Lester Graham who covered flooding along the Mississippi for NPR, and Bill Stowe who worked for Iowa Power and helped coordinate the isolation of Des Moines's electrical system when the Skunk River flooded the city.

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River to River
12:20 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Iowa Native Devotes Life & Medical Expertise To Developing Country In Southeast Asia

Dr. Dan Murphy treats Timorese patients at the Bairo Pite Hospital
Bairo Pite Hospital http://www.bairopitehospital.org/

There’s a place in the world where 75% of the population still live in villages with no access to electricity, running water, or the Internet. That place is a little island in SE Asia, called East Timor.

Today on River To River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Iowa native Dan Murphy, who founded the Bairo Pite Hospital in the country back in 1999. Dan shares his experiences treating illness and disease in the area, and gives us an idea of why we should be focused on this little known developing country.

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River to River
3:10 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Politics Day

Freshman Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) spoke at the Family Leadership Summit on Friday, August 9th in Ames.
Gage Skidmore Flickr

President Obama is taking some time off this week and visiting Martha's Vineyard with his family.  Host Ben Kieffer and Thomas Schwartz, director of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch, discuss the history and politics of vacationing presidents.  Also, 2016 maybe closer than it seems with three potential Republican presidential candidates visiting Iowa 29 months before the Iowa Caucus.

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Java Blend
12:00 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Java Blend Broadcast: Hipknosis 12/14

Tune in for a special hour of Java Blend with Hipknosis..
Hipknosis

This Saturday, Dec. 14, at 2 PM, we'll broadcast a recent performance by Hipknosis on IPR Studio One's "Java Blend."

Ben Kieffer will chat with the artists throughout the broadcast to find out more about their return to touring.

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River to River
4:05 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

News Grab-Bag: Vandalized Butter-Cow, Corn Prices, Crackdown on "Montana" RVs, & Digitized Cemetery

Farmers may harvest nearly 14 billion bushels of corn this year – that’s a record and 29% more than last year. However, as a result corn prices have dropped to their lowest since 2010.

Today on River To River, we explore this topic and much more! We travel to the Iowa State Fair, talk weather and corn price predictions, find out what a digitized cemetery is, and explore a new law cracking down on Iowans who register RVs in Montana to avoid paying the 5 percent Iowa registration fee and annual registration fees.

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Java Blend
9:40 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Java Blend Broadcast: The Future Laureates 11/30

Tune in for a special hour of Java Blend with The Future Laureates.
The Future Laureates

This Saturday, Nov. 30, at 2 PM, we'll broadcast a recent performance by The Future Laureates on IPR Studio One's "Java Blend."

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River to River
1:20 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

New Urbanism in Iowa

This Chicago neighborhood is an example of new urbanism as the design emphasizes walkability and density.
Eric Allix Rogers / reallyboring Flickr

The advent of automobiles brought increased mobility to Americans, but cars also created suburban sprawl and isolation.  Host Ben Kieffer looks at new urbanism, a movement that cultivates qualities found in older communities like walkability and connectivity.

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Java Blend
12:52 pm
Sun August 11, 2013

Java Blend Broadcast: Ryne Doughty 11/23

Tune in for a special broadcast featuring local artist Ryne Doughty!
Credit Ryne Doughty

  This Saturday, Nov. 23, at 2 PM, we'll broadcast a recent performance by Ryne Doughty on IPR Studio One's "Java Blend."

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Java Blend
1:20 pm
Sat August 10, 2013

Java Blend Broadcast: The Candymakers 11/16

Tune in to Java Blend for an encore broadcast of The Candymakers.
The Candymakers

This Saturday, Nov. 13, at 2 PM IPR Studio One's Java Blend presents an encore performance from 2012 by The Candymakers recorded at The Redstone Room in Davenport. 

The Candymakers are a blues band with the traditions of old-school R&B, funk and soul. This young band offers a sound that is contemporary, yet keeps the essence of music past. Though the band is known for its soulful male and female vocalists, it is anchored by the collaborative genius of its blues driven guitarist, funky rhythm section and sultry horns.

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Java Blend
1:34 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Java Blend Broadcast: Dick Prall 11/9

Tune in for tales of murder and childhood memories to the tune of Dick Prall.
Aubrey Boonstra

This Saturday, Nov. 9, at 2 PM, we'll broadcast a recent performance by Dick Prall on IPR Studio One's "Java Blend."

Ben Kieffer will chat with the artist throughout the broadcast to find out more about his latest project with Wilco's Pat Sansone. 

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Java Blend
1:34 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Java Blend Broadcast: The Ericksons 11/2

Tune in for the hauntingly good sound of The Ericksons this Saturday!
Credit Photo courtesy of the artist.

  This Saturday, Nov. 2, at 2 PM, we'll broadcast a recent performance by The Ericksons on IPR Studio One's "Java Blend."

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River to River
8:24 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Herbert Hoover and a Civil War Exhibit

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum
Ben Stanton / Iowa Public Radio

In this encore edition of River to River, listen back to host Ben Kieffer's tour of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum with its Director Tom Schwartz.  Schwartz talks about the role of presidential museums and libraries in light of the recent opening of the George W. Bush Library in Dallas.  Schwartz also discusses President Hoover himself and the museum’s exhibit that commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.  It’s called Iowans and the Civil War: The Western Theater.

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Java Blend
11:02 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Java Blend Broadcast: Briar Rabbit 10/12

You won't want to miss American Songwriter featured artist Briar Rabbit this Saturday on IPR!
Credit Cynthia Hunt and James Green

This Saturday, Oct. 12, at 2 PM, we'll broadcast a recent performance by Briar Rabbit on "Java Blend."

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Java Blend
11:06 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Java Blend Broadcast: Dessa 9/28

Tune in to Java Blend for a special hour with independent word smith and hip-hop artist, Dessa
Credit Doomtree Records

 This Saturday at 2 PM, we'll broadcast a recent performance by Dessa on "Java Blend."

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River to River
1:55 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

The Supreme Court of Iowa: 2012-13 Session Wrap Up

Iowa's State Law Library located in the state capitol, which is located less than a mile from the Supreme Court Building.
RSKent Flickr
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Java Blend
11:47 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Java Blend Broadcast: The Parish Festival 9/21

Tune in for the foot-stomping, body wriggling sounds of The Parish Festival.

 This Saturday at 2 PM, we'll broadcast a recent performance by The Parish Festival on "Java Blend."

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River to River
4:13 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Speeding on Iowa's Roadways & Looking Back At The Life Of George "Bud" Day

Nathan Jongewaard / flickr

There has been a lot of talk in the past few weeks about an Iowa State Trooper who was driving the Governor back in April. He was caught doing 84 mph, given a speeding ticket and disciplined. So, what are the risks of speeding?

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Java Blend
12:47 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Java Blend Broadcast: Raldo Schneider 9/14

Tune in for a special hour of Java Blend featuring legendary Iowa artist Raldo Schneider!

This Saturday at 2 PM, we'll broadcast a recent performance by Raldo Schneider on "Java Blend."

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Live Music Events
12:00 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Java Blend LIVE Event: Kevin B.F. Burt 12/13

Join us for a free hour of electric blues with Kevin B.F. Burt!
Credit Kevin B.F. Burt

On Friday, Dec. 13,  at 2 PM at Iowa City's downtown Java House, IPR Studio One's Ben Kieffer will host a special hour of "Java Blend" with Kevin B.F. Burt.

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River to River
2:11 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Politics Day: From a 'Grand Bargain' to Mid-East Peace

eGuide Travel / flickr

The US Treasury Secretary says that the debt ceiling needs to be raised, but can it be done without another partisan showdown? Join host Ben Kieffer to hear about what’s getting done in DC, and what is not likely to get done before politicians are again entrenched in another election cycle.  Also, have a look overseas to updates on mid-east peace talks, Egypt, and China's recent economic slowdown.  Kieffer is joined by Donna Hoffman from University of Northern Iowa and David Skidmore from Drake University.  

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Live Music Events
12:00 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Java Blend LIVE Event: EmJay 12/6

Stop by The Java House and catch a free live hour with up-and-coming artist EmJay!
Credit EmJay

On Friday, Dec. 6,  at 2 PM at Iowa City's downtown Java House, IPR Studio One's Ben Kieffer will host a special hour of "Java Blend" with EmJay.

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River to River
2:26 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Jury Duty: The role of a juror

In Iowa for serious trials—such as those for murder or rape—the number of jurors will be 12. This number varies from state to state, in Florida the number is of jurors is the constitutional minimum of six.
elycefeliz Flickr

With George Zimmerman recently acquitted of murder in the death Trayvon Martin host Ben Kieffer looks at the role juries play in the U.S. justice system.  What are the origins of the jury and how have juries evolved over the centuries.  Also, what does the recent flourish of media attention aimed at the jurors for the Zimmerman trial reveal and distort about jury duty?

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Live Music Events
12:00 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Java Blend Live Event: Hipknosis 11/22

Credit Hipknosis.com

On Friday, Nov. 22,  at 2 PM at Iowa City's downtown Java House, IPR Studio One's Ben Kieffer will host a special hour of "Java Blend" with Hipknosis.

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River to River
2:53 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Recidivism

Host Charity Nebbe and Warden Patti Wachtendorf tour the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville.
Emily Woodbury Iowa Public Radio

Iowa Public Radio concludes it's summer series on Iowa's corrections system with a look at recidivism. Host Ben Kieffer learns why offenders in rural areas may be at a disadvantage when they leave prison, and also, what factors influence an offender's likelihood to return to prison? 

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Live Music Events
12:00 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Java Blend LIVE Event: JD Eicher 11/15

Join us for a special free performance by JD Eicher and the Goodnights at The Java House!
Credit JD Eicher and the Goodnights

  On Friday, Nov. 15,  at 2 PM at Iowa City's downtown Java House, IPR Studio One's Ben Kieffer will host a special hour of "Java Blend" with JD Eicher.

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Live Music Events
12:00 am
Sat July 27, 2013

Java Blend LIVE Event: The Future Laureates 11/8

Join us Friday for the bright and poppy sounds of The Future Laureates!
Credit The Future Laureates

  On Friday, Nov. 8,  at 2 PM at Iowa City's downtown Java House, IPR Studio One's Ben Kieffer will host a special hour of "Java Blend" with The Future Laureates.

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Live Music Events
1:34 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Java Blend LIVE Event: Ryne Doughty 11/1

Follow the sounds of Ryne Doughty to The Java House for a special free one hour performance.
Ryne Doughty

  On Friday, Nov. 1,  at 2 PM at Iowa City's downtown Java House, IPR Studio One's Ben Kieffer will host a special hour of "Java Blend" with Ryne Doughty.

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River to River
3:46 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

What Emotions Tell Us About Behavior

Bart Vermeersch / flickr

Narcissism and envy, fear and panic…what do these pairs have to do with each other? And what can they tell us about human behavior?

Today, we listen back to two conversations from earlier this year. In the first half, host Ben Kieffer learns about new research on where fear originates in the brain. He talks with neuroscientist and psychiatrist Dr. John Wemme, of the University of Iowa.

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Live Music Events
12:00 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Java Blend LIVE Event: Andra Suchy 10/25

Join us for a special hour with original coutry artist Andra Suchy
andrasuchy.net

Notice: Cancelled due to illness. Andra Suchy will be rescheduled soon.

On Friday, October 25,  at 2 PM at Iowa City's downtown Java House, IPR Studio One's Ben Kieffer will host a special hour of "Java Blend" with Andra Suchy.

Ben Kieffer will chat with Andra to find out more about her career and music. This program is free and open to the public!

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