Dean Borg


Dean Borg is an Iowa City based correspondent for Iowa Public Radio. He joined IPR in 2000, but his broadcast news career began at WOI Radio as an Iowa State University student.  Later in Cedar Rapids, he led a 32-person news, sports, weather and farm radio and television staff for The WMT Stations. His experience includes daily coverage of the Iowa General Assembly, news and documentary reports from South Vietnam and the Paris Peace Talks, moderating nationally televised presidential candidate debates, and interviewing every President since John F. Kennedy.

He holds journalism and political science degrees from Iowa State and The University of Iowa. ISU conferred its Distinguished Achievement Citation to him, the highest award given to alumni.  He is also the winner of lifetime achievement awards from The Iowa Broadcast News Association and the Northwest Broadcast News Association.

Dean's favorite public radio program is Car Talk.


Iowa Board of Regents
5:07 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Regents Appoint Search Committee

University of Iowa President Sally Mason testifies at a budget hearing at the Iowa Statehouse
John Pemble IPR

Iowa’s Board of Regents has released the names of a 21-person search committee that’ll be recommending candidates to be the University of Iowa’s next president.

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8:50 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Private and Community Colleges Prepare as Competition Heats Up

Eighty-seven percent of the students at the Cornell College campus in Mount Vernon, Iowa are from other states or nations.
Cornell College Photo

The new emphasis on funding Iowa’s three state universities according to the number of students who are state residents is dramatically increasing competition.  The 26 private and 15 community colleges in the state are preparing.

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4:23 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Sally Mason to Retire August 1

As University of Iowa students are returning to campus this fall, President Sally Mason will be leaving. 

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11:46 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Iowa Prepares for First Major Winter Storm

UPDATE 12:35 pm Monday, January 5, 2015 - The "General" in charge of the Iowa Department of Transportation's battle plan for the approaching snow storm says they're ready to go. 

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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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Election Coverage
10:44 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Candidates in Iowa's 1st Spar in First Debate

Democrat Pat Murphy and Republican Rod Blum
Credit Photos provided by candidate's campaigns

Debating last night in Cedar Rapids, the Democratic and Republican candidates to replace incumbent  Bruce Braley in Congress sparred over issues ranging from immigration and Middle East foreign policy to the nation’s minimum wage.

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Science and Technology
11:51 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Testing New Weather Radar Over the Rocky Mountains

Rockwell Collins Senior Systems Engineer, Gregory Koenigs, explains the advanced radar displays aboard the company’s experimental aircraft which is analyzing storm clouds in the flight path.
Photo by Dean Borg

Rockwell Collins is building advanced weather radar technology that analyzes storm clouds to provide aircraft pilots with predictions for hail, wind shear, and lightning threats in the plane’s flight path.  The new radar, called “Threat Track Weather Radar” is built in the company’s Cedar Rapids and Decorah plants. Dean Borg travels hundreds of miles with engineers to see a demonstrate of this new technology in an experimental aircraft flying over the Rocky Mountains.

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4:44 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Regents Consider Boosting ISU and UNI Funding

Less than half of University of Iowa’s fall freshmen are from Iowa. There is a proposal before the Board of Regents to move some of U of I’s funding to the other state universities that have a higher enrollment of in-state students.
Credit Photo by Matthew Anderson (cc by-nc-sa)

The Iowa Board of Regents is considering reallocating funding from The University of Iowa to Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa.  The proposal says because U of I has fewer in-state students, the other universities have more students paying lower tuition.  Iowa Public Radio’s Dean Borg reports that some high school students say they were overlooked the by the state universities recruiting efforts.

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Politics Day
3:29 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Crowded Primary Contests Could Send Decisions to Conventions

Iowa's primary election is next week.  Both major parties will be choosing their candidates for the November election.  Host Dean Borg talks with Des Moines Register Political Columnist Kathie Obradovich and Donna Hoffman, Chair of the Political Science Department at University of Northern Iowa about the two congressional races drawing the most attention.  Iowa's third and first districts will be open contests, with no incumbent seeking re-election.  You can learn more about the candidates and their positions on a variety of issues

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Politics Day
2:36 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Iowa Midterm Races Heating Up

Iowa's June primary election is heating up.  Republican senatorial candidates have been debating, buying ads, and collecting big name endorsements.  But, only one will be campaigning to take incumbent Democrat Tom Harkin's seat.  Host Dean Borg talks with Kathie Obradovich, Political Columnist for the Des Moines Register and Tim Hagle, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Iowa about Iowa's primary races for Congress and U.S.

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1:03 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Cedar Rapids Casino Proposal Rejected

Markus Ortner

In a four to one vote in Council Bluffs, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission rejected a $174-million proposal for a casino in downtown Cedar Rapids. Commissioner Dolores Mertz of Algona cast the lone “yes” vote.

Commission Chair Jeff Lamberti said approving the Cedar Rapids Development Group LLC request, “Would be a significant precedent,” that he wasn’t willing to take. 

3:35 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Branstad 'Working With Legislators' Towards Medical Marijuana Bill This Session

Governor Terry Branstad at the Statehouse.
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad Photo by John Pemble

Governor Terry Branstad said Monday he would consider signing a bill with limited allowances for medical cannabis to be prescribed in Iowa. During an appearance on Iowa Public Radio’s River to River, Branstad said he did not want to create more problems or unintended consequences by signing marijuana legislation.

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Politics Day
4:06 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Secrets, Deals, the Senate Race, and Sanctions


Dean Borg guest hosts this politics day edition of 'River to River.'  Des Moines Register Political Columnist Kathie Obradovich, University of Northern Iowa's Chris Larimer, and Drake University's David Skidmore are political analysts for this program that includes Iowa, U.S., and international politics.

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10:00 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Study: Iowa Casinos Reaching 'Maximum Penetration'

Signs for a Cedar Rapids casino line the first floor of City Hall.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

  A proposed casino in Cedar Rapids would generate $81 million in revenue, but cannibalize $59 million from existing casinos by 2017, according to an Iowa Gaming Market Analysis study made public last night.

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Year in Review
2:24 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Top IPR Reporter Picks of 2013

2013 has been a busy year for Iowa Public Radio's news team. Today on River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with reporters and correspondents about some of the most meaningful and challenging stories they covered. It's a "reporter's notebook" edition of the show.

Here is a list of the full features heard on today's show:

January 10 - Undocumented Immigrants at University

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River to River
5:33 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Iowans Remember John F. Kennedy

President and Mrs. Kennedy arrive at Love Field in Dallas, TX, 22 November 1963
Cecil Stoughton. White House Photographs. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Fifty years ago, the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, was assassinated. Today on River to River, we remember Kennedy by talking with Iowans who remember that tragic day.

University of Iowa President Sally Mason, as well as former congressman Jim Leach, Senator Charles Grassley, Representative Dave Loebsack, presidential historian Tim Walch, and IPR's own Dean Borg, tell us where they were and share their thoughts about the national tragedy fifty years ago.

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9:52 am
Fri November 15, 2013

After 50 Years, Suburban Restaurant is Closing

The Surburban Restaurant North of Ames on Highway 69
Dean Borg IPR

A popular Central Iowa restaurant is closing this weekend.  (Saturday night; November 16th)  Iowa Public Radio’s Dean Borg reports the Suburban Restaurant, along U-S Highway Sixty-Nine north of Ames, is what its loyal customers say is an icon of “home-style dining.

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10:31 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Highlights around the State: Election 2013

The 106-year old Polk County Courthouse will see rennovations.
Stephen Matthew Milligan Wikimedia Commons

$81-million Bond Referendum approved for court services in Polk County

Iowa City bars will remain 21-only after 10 p.m. 

Cedar Rapids approves Local Option Sales Tax for road repair

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4:54 am
Tue October 22, 2013

As cities mull over bond ratings, debate gets ugly in Coralville

The Iowa City suburb has seen significant growth in recent years.
Dean Borg Iowa Public Radio

Most cities and towns are selling bonds to borrow money. But Iowa Public Radio’s Dean Borg  reports some Iowa cities have a big advantage in the cost of borrowing.    

Coralville’s spending on city development has conservative political groups up in arms, and at least one national organization has turned its sights to the November mayoral and city council elections. Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports. 

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River to River
3:56 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Politics Day

More than two weeks after the start of the government shutdown, a deal finally comes out of the Senate. Today on River To River, it's politics day. IPR reporter Dean Borg guests hosts, joined by political scientists: Drake University's Dennis Goldford and the University of Iowa's Tim Hagle. They discuss the negotiations taking place in Washington, public opinion of Congress, and take your questions and comments.

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6:45 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Five Years After Flood, UI's Hancher Auditorium to be Demolished

Hancher Auditorium has been climate controlled with propane fuel since the 2008 floods.
Credit Dean Borg


In Iowa City, a highly visible end of an era for a fine arts icon: Hancher Auditorium’s walls will fall to demolition crews Monday – five years after the Iowa River’s  muddy flood waters surged over the stage where the world’s best dancers, musicians, and thespians once performed. Demolition crews have been working inside since early summer, gutting Hancher’s interior.

Since the 2008 flood, the University of Iowa spent nearly $2 million, using 500,0000 gallons of propane to meet FEMA requirements to keep the building climate-controlled.

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Business and Economy
6:04 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Lawsuit May Stall Davenport Casino Plan

Davenport is already home to the Rhythm City casino.
Credit chibirashka / Flickr

Prospects for a new casino along Interstate Highway 80 on Davenport’s north side may be stalling as the city considers a lawsuit.


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7:55 am
Mon September 16, 2013

UI Hospitals See More Uninsured Patients

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City is seeing more uninsured patients as the state transitions into a new system for insuring low-income Iowans.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is experiencing an increase in patients without health insurance.                   

UI Hospitals Chief Financial Officer Ken Fisher says the growth in uninsured patients coincides with the state stopping any further enrollment in the Iowa Care program for low-income residents.

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7:27 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Enrollment Up, Overall, for Iowa's State University System

Credit Iowa State University Facebook page

Iowa State University is reporting more students on campus this fall than ever before.  The University of Northern Iowa has more students than expected. And the University of Iowa reports its fall enrollment held steady.

Reporting to the State Board of Regents meeting in Cedar Falls, Iowa State President Steven Leath said ISU’s enrollment of 33, 241 students is 7 percent more than last year’

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
8:04 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Harvest Begins in Iowa for Specialty Corn

A late-summer corn crop in Iowa (2012).
Credit Sarah McCammon

Harvesting is underway in Iowa of corn grown for specialized purposes.

In a field near Ankeny, Paul Mens was operating one of two corn pickers this week, specially designed for harvesting the corn ears that will be shelled at a nearby Monsanto seed corn processing plant.

“In my opinion, for what this has been through, the yield is real good," he says, referring to challenging weather this year. "You can tell where the wet spots were, where it was too wet this spring, but overall, it’s doing real well."

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
3:59 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Drought Conditions are Worsening Across the State

Many cornfields, like this one in Cedar County near Lisbon, Iowa are prematurely crisp because of expanding drought conditions.
Credit Dean Borg

The U.S. Drought Monitor’s weekly update shows drought worsening and spreading across  the state. The monitor’s report includes Iowa in a Midwest section badly needing rain.  

Iowa State University Climatologist Elwynn Taylor says this week’s report is listing more of Iowa in a severe drought category.

“And it includes now almost all of the southern part of Iowa, and almost all of the central,” he says.

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6:02 am
Mon September 2, 2013

Sioux City May End Glass Recycling

The cost of hauling glass to a recycling center often exceeds the value of the material, prompting communities including Sioux City to consider stopping collection.
Credit Dean Borg

Sioux City’s garbage contractor is asking the City Council to discontinue collecting glass for recycling.

The City Council will vote next week on the request to exclude glass from the city’s curbside pickup of recyclable materials.

Glass is easy to recycle, but expensive to haul to a recycling center - and inexpensive to make new.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
8:53 am
Mon August 26, 2013

E85 Popularity up in Iowa.

Credit Dean Borg / IPR

 Iowa’s ultra-high ethonal, E-85, fuel pumps are increasingly popular. Iowa Public Radio’s Dean Borg reports.

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River to River
1:19 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Ames Straw Poll and Sorenson Ethics

State Senator Kent Sorenson
Credit Official Portrait 83rd General Assembly

The U.S. evacuated non-essential personnel from 19 embassies in response to a heightened threat of terrorist attack this week.  And, back in Iowa, debate is renewed over the future of the Ames Straw Poll, and the Iowa Precinct Caucuses as new allegations emerge about Senator Kent Sorenson's endorsement of 2012 Presidential hopefuls.  Host Dean Borg discusses these and other issues with ISU Political Science Professor Jim McCormick and Tim Hagle, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Iowa.

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4:37 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Casino Competition in Eastern Iowa

The Rhythm City casino floats on the Mississippi River near downtown Davenport.

After nearly 25-years of being docked in the Mississippi River, the Rhythm City Casino adjacent to Davenport’s downtown business district is moving to dry land.

The impending relocation comes with prodding from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, which is worried the gambling boat isn’t competing well with casinos in nearby Bettendorf, Iowa and Rock Island, Illinois. The Commission wants the casino near I-80, and that is where veteran casino operator, Dan Kehl has options on land where he plans to open a new facility in 2015.                                    

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