Ben Stanton

Julian Partridge /

Forget the IRA for a minute.  How’s your portfolio for spending your time after retiring? Here’s a little advice and thoughts explored in this ‘Talk of Iowa’ program:

Make a plan. About a year before the retirement day, decide how you will be spending your time. Have a list of things to do: volunteering, learning a new skill, maintaining friendships and social networks, and develop ideas about how pieces of those goals can be accomplished every day.

Jimmy Emerson / jimmywayne

Residents of Northwood are back in their homes after being asked to evacuate yesterday due to an explosion and fire at the city's municipal airport.  Iowa Public Radio statehouse correspondent Joyce Russell discusses which bills in the legislature might become laws in 2014.  The Blank Park Zoo's Amur tiger has died, and what Iowa City is doing about a recent rash of sexual assaults in taxicabs.  Also, an Olympics update from the Des Moines Register's sports columnist Bryce Miller in Sochi.

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."

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:

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.

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.

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.  

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. 

Infrogmation of New Orleans / flickr

When you think of jazz you might think of New Orleans or New York City.  But in the 20s, 30s, and 40s musicians in Iowa and the surrounding states kept Iowans dancing in ballrooms, hotel dining rooms, high school gymnasiums, and by playing on local radio. Join host Charity Nebbe for this hour of jazz in Iowa from the hot jazz of the 20s to the big band sound of the 30s and 40s. Hear from Jim Oatts, leader of the Des Moines Big Band, Josh Duffee, music director of the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival in Davenport, and John Benoit professor of music at Simpson College.

Jaroslav A. Polák

For our weekly news buzz program, we get a review of the pending U.S. farm bill that is moving through Congress, how businesses are dealing with the Affordable Care Act, modern humans have a surprising amount of genes that come from Neanderthals, an important piece of art is returning to Iowa, a new  smartphone app designed in Iowa with which users can hear and see how to pronounce certain foreign language sounds, and we hear from a couple mayors of towns on this year’s RAGBRAI route. 

Blue Zones Project

Communities like Okinawa in Japan and Loma Linda in California are home to some of the longest-living people in the world. These communities are called “Blue Zones”, a phrase coined by National Geographic writer and explorer, Dan Buettner.

Almost two years ago, the Blue Zones Project became integrated in many Iowa communities, with the goal of fostering healthy behavior so residents live long and happy lives.

Thomas Favre-Bulle

In the first half of this program, host Ben Kieffer talks with two members of the new Iowa Department of Education commission charged with strengthening the core curriculum.  Guests are D.T. Magee, the Executive Director of the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners, and Tom Downs, Executive Director of the Iowa Association of School Boards.

In the second half, hear about new attention given to sexual assault, doubling of propane prices, and what is behind the latest cold weather.

Amanda Hatfield

Today's River to River examines the diagnosis of depression, treatment options, and the possibility of prescribing anti-depressants to people with mild symptoms of depression or even merely sadness. Guests also evaluate how depression in farmers is treated and viewed differently than others.

Thiago Pompeu

For this News Buzz show, Ben Kieffer talks with a variety of guests about new jobs numbers, the 51% four-year graduation rate at the University of Iowa, Matt Schultz running for congress, the Director of Iowa's Public Health Department resigning, new rules for teen drivers, concerns about ice on the Missouri River, an ice fishing update, and the remarkable beginning for ISU Cyclone men's and women's basketball.

puuikibeach / flickr

Every year on New Year’s Day a lot of people make resolutions: to lose weight, to save money, to be more organized.  Sadly, most of those resolutions fail.    Join host Charity Nebbe for this talk about making resolutions you can keep and that will actually enhance your life.  Guests include Mitch Horowitz, author of One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life, and Kevin Krumvieda, Clinical Psychologist in private practice in North Liberty. 

Ben Stanton / Iowa Public Radio. Derivative work of Anthony Godinho

As 2013 closes out, what are the most memorable, important, or significant events in Iowa from the last year? Some were joyful for many Iowans like the reinstating of wrestling to the Olympic games, some set the stage for a change in Iowa politics like the retirement announcements from US Senator Tom Harkin and Congressman Tom Latham. And some were painful like the kidnapping and murder of Kathlynn Shepard. 

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

For 25 years has ranked the best and worst jobs. Their rating is based on physical demands, work environment, income, stress, and hiring outlook. 

Host Ben Kieffer revisits conversations with a biomedical engineer and an audiologist, two jobs that made the best list.  He also speaks to an oil rig worker and a newspaper reporter, two jobs on the worst list.

Evan Long

In this News Buzz show we talk with state maintenance engineer for the Iowa DOT Bob Younie about the winter driving conditions for today and the weekend, State Certified Sign Language Interpreter Lindsey Kang about what makes for good sign language, Captain Jim Steffen from the Iowa City Police Department about protecting police dogs, Dennis Lee and Daren Schumaker from Team 99 Counties, and The Des Moines Register's Kyle Munson about his coverage of odd stories about animals this year.

John Pemble

Taped on Tuesday 12/17/13 as part of the IPR Insight Series, this is a special edition of River to River with NPR’s Don Gonyea, recorded before a live audience in Des Moines. Host Ben Kieffer asks Gonyea about the 2013 political year, his career, and his connection to Iowa. IPR also tests Gonyea’s Iowa knowledge with a bit of trivia.

Top five moments and quotes from the night:


Host Ben Kieffer is joined by Drake University's Dennis Goldford for a look at the political topics that held the attention of the country this year: immigration reform, gun laws, Edward Snowden and the NSA, a government shutdown, the Obamacare rollout, and big changes develop for the future of the Iowa political landscape.


Host Charity Nebbe is joined by IPR music host Barney Sherman to talk about the top classical music of 2013, and Karen Impola talks about some of the best folk music of the year.  Listen to some excerpts and a little info about the artist and performances. Scroll down for the full list of selections.

Barney Sherman's top classical music: [NOTE: Barney's complete list of 28 CDs can be found at this link]:

Alan Light

In this 'News Buzz' edition of River to River, hear about new rules for traffic cameras in Iowa, a stopgap farm bill passed in the U.S. House, a new hydrocodone-related drug which is meeting opposition from Iowa's Attorney General, the Hawkeyes will meet LSU, and what's with the early bout of cold weather?

Washington State Deptartment of Transportation

This program includes  hearing from one Iowa community that has incorporated new roundabouts aimed at easing traffic flow, and state lawmakers talk about what projects might be in store for the state, and how they might want to fund those projects. A House Republican and a Senate Democrat find agreement on one aspect of the issue: the gas tax.

Durrie Bouscaren

Host Ben Kieffer covers a number of topics in a roundup of the week's news including a conversation with Iowa Public Radio's Cedar Rapids reporter Durrie Bouscaren on how Iowa military contractors have been affected by the s

Property of John Little.

While most of us were enjoying Thanksgiving leftovers, 61-year-old Iowa City resident John Little was completing his 13th Ironman Triathlon in Cozumel, an island off the Yucatan Peninsula.

An Ironman Triathlon consists of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, followed by a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and ends with a marathon, which is a 26.2-mile (42.2 km) run. There are no breaks between each leg of the race. Host Ben Kieffer sits down with Little to discuss his extreme hobby, which he took up at the age of 55.

National Institutes of Health

The Iowa Department of Public Health estimates that 500 Iowans are infected with HIV, but don’t know it.  On this River to River, hear about efforts to get every Iowan tested for HIV, what prevention measures are being used today, treatment, and what it means to have HIV and AIDS today.  And we’ll hear about Iowa’s HIV transmission law and the case of a gay Iowan man living with HIV who was charged with criminal transmission of HIV.

Ben Stanton / Iowa Public Radio

Dave Stoufer tells stories about listening to kid's gift wishes, having his beard pulled, and other funny and heartfelt moments over his 40 years as Santa's helper. Stoufer has also recently written his memoirs with Santa stories.  

After western powers reached a deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program, what’s next? Today on River to River, guest host Ben Stanton sits down with political science experts Tim Hagle, of the University of Iowa, and Wayne Moyer, of Grinnell College. They talk about the deal and why it’s being met with skepticism by Israel, and some in Congress. They also discuss what happens after one party in the U.S. Senate uses a so-called nuclear option.

European Parliament

How likely are you to donate blood? Are you more motivated if you were given something in exchange for donating? A t-shirt? Maybe an umbrella?  How about a 15-dollar gift card?  On this River to River, Ben Kieffer talks a little about how our behavior is affected by the financial incentive to donate. But also the larger picture of how blood is processed, and how blood centers work to reduce the risks for recipients.  

Multicultural Family Center

Iowa is becoming more diverse.  When cultures come together, there are often challenges, but there are also tremendous rewards.  Host Charity Nebbe finds out what some Iowa organizations are doing to explore and celebrate the diversity throughout the state.