Katherine Perkins

News/Talk Programming Director

Katherine Perkins has done various jobs at IPR member stations since 1999.  She is now Executive Producer for Talk Shows.  As part of her job she is responsible for long-term planning and oversight for Talk of Iowa and River to River.  She continues to produce the weekly political discussion and legislative shows hosted from the Iowa Statehouse.  But, mostly she tries to stay out of the way of the hosts and producers, so they can continue to produce great programs. Before she assumed Executive Producer duties, Katherine was a talk show producer, researching topics, developing content and booking guests for Talk of Iowa and River to River, a role she has performed since 2007. Katherine’s reporting and producing have won statewide and national recognition.  She’s spent her entire career (almost 20 years) in public media, starting as a student reporter and weekend anchor for WSIU in Carbondale, IL

Katherine has a master’s degree in public affairs reporting from University of Illinois – Springfield, formerly Sangamon State University.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in radio-television from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale.

Katherine’s favorite public radio program is This American Life.


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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Statehouse and Politics
1:26 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Governor Branstad Taken to Hospital by Ambulance

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad during his weekly press conference at the Capitol. Two hours later, Branstad feel ill during speaking event in Johnston & was taken to a hospital. The Governor’s spokesperson says the spell was caused by a “seasonal illness."
Photo by John Pemble

Governor Terry Branstad has been taken to a Des Moines hospital by ambulance.  Branstad's spokesman says he "fell ill" at an event this morning due to a "seasonal illness." The Governor was speaking at Du Pont Pioneer in Johnston at the time. Branstad, who is 68 years old, held his weekly news conference this morning at the statehouse. He was coughing and was quizzed by a reporter about his health.

"I've got a bad cold, and so does the Lieutenant Governor. We've had it off and on for some time... couple weeks or more."

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Condition of State
10:44 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Robust or Prudent? Branstad Lays Out His Agenda

Governor Terry Branstad delivering the 2015 Condition of the State Address to a joint session of the Iowa legislature
Photo by John Pemble IPR

Governor Branstad outlined his priorities for this year’s legislative session in a thirty minute Condition of the State speech Tuesday.

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2015 Session
11:14 am
Tue January 13, 2015

Gas Tax and Increased Funding for Water Quality Possible

Iowa Capitol on the opening day of the 2015 legislative session.
John Pemble IPR

Legislative leaders agree a tight budget will sharpen the focus on priorities this session. Identifying those priorities may be the sticking point.

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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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Year In Review
3:35 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

Remembering Those We Lost: 2014 Obituary Show

Cemetery in Nevada, Iowa
Carl Wycoff Creative Commons License

Iowa lost many notable citizens and natives in 2014. As we wrap up the year, we remember a few as a tribute to all.

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Studio One
2:59 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Dependable Bands, Innovators and Pleasant Surprises: Studio One Hosts' 2014 Favorites

Cover art for TV On the Radio's album Seeds
TV on the Radio

Several dependable bands, some innovators and a few pleasant surprises made the list of IPR's Studio One hosts' favorite music of 2014.

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Science and Technology
12:27 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Resolve to be a Better Homeowner

A worker sprays foam insulation in a home
Ellzabeth Bule Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/legalcode

Home improvement expert Bill McAnally has some suggestions to help you be a better homeowner in 2015.

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Arts and Culture
3:03 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Begonias & Dead Horses: The Best Folk & Classical Music of 2014

Cover art for Runa's Current Affairs album. Karen Impola ranks it number two on her list of the best releases of 2014

It was a good year for chamber music, orchestras, fusion and harmonies. That's according to two of IPR's music hosts who shared their favorite recordings of 2014.

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Arts and Culture
3:32 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Profound Quotations can have Profound Impact

One of President John F. Kennedy's most famous quotes is etched on the JFK Memorial at Arlington National Cemetary
L.C. Nøttaasen Licensed under Creative Commons from Flickr

The profound words of another can have a profound impact on our lives.  JFK inspired a generation with, "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country."

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Alerts & Announcements
10:39 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Clock Changes Coming to NPR's Programming

Did you know that every public radio program has a clock? You may think of it as one of the ways you time your day – maybe you know that you have to be in the shower by the time the NPR newscast starts, or that you should be on your way to work before you hear Frank DeFord, or that you usually are turning into the drive as Marketplace begins each evening.  Broadcast clocks are set templates that stations use to track the timing of a show's stories and interviews, newscasts, and funding credits each day.

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Arts and Culture
11:52 am
Thu November 6, 2014

Bleeding Kansas, Iowa and the Underground Railroad

Advertisement of an anti-slavery meeting to be held on December 2, 1859, in Lawrence, Kansas Territory, on the day that abolitionist John Brown was executed.
Kansas State Historical Society

Six years before the Civil War officially began, shots were fired in the Kansas Territory in the fight between pro-slavery settlers and free staters.

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2014 Elections
1:38 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Loebsack Ready to Return to Washington

2nd District Democrat Incumbent Dave Loebsack is joined by his wife Terry as he speaks to supporters at The Mill in Iowa City
Julie Englander IPR

The lone Democrat in Iowa’s congressional delegation is looking forward to returning to Congress. Dave Loebsack says they’ve been gone too long.

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Science and Technology
12:35 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Young People Inheriting a Situation That's 'Out of Their Control'

Cracks in the ice cover of the arctic ocean. As Earth's climate warms thes cracks are allowing methane to escape into the atmosphere, where it can add to global warming.
Eric Kort, Creative Commons 2.0 NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

One of the nation's best-known climate scientists is joining a lawsuit against the government to pressure for policies to address global warming.

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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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Talk of Iowa
4:44 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Celine Cousteau: The Amazon has Chosen Me, and I've Listened

Explorer and Filmmaker Celine Cousteau, granddaughter of Jacques Cousteau
Drake University

At the age of nine, Celine Cousteau spent two weeks with her grandfather in the Amazon, nursing a pygmy marmoset to health and catching piranha.

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Program Changes
11:40 am
Fri September 26, 2014

IPR Talk Shows Rebroadcast, On the Media Returns

Charity Nebbe, host of Talk of Iowa and Ben Kieffer, host of River to River
Iowa Public Radio

Beginning Monday, September 29, 2014 IPR listeners will have a second chance to hear our locally-produced talk shows. 

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Unexpected Iowa
5:32 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Iowa the "Bright Radical Star"

The Iowa Constitution
IowaPolitics.com Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Iowa gained attention for the Supreme Court decision overturning a ban on same sex marriage. But the ruling was no surprise given the court's history.

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Politics Day
11:10 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Scottish Independence Vote Too Close to Call

The Scottish flag
Ian Britton Creative Commons License 3.0

A visiting Professor from Scotland says he's "terrified" about Scotland's vote on independence from the UK September 18th.

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Programming Change
4:54 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Marketplace Morning Report at a New Time

Fans of Marketplace Morning Report will be hearing business news at a new time.  Starting Monday, September 22, 2014 Marketplace Morning Report will be heard at 5:50 and 7:50 a.m. on Iowa Public Radio.

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News Buzz
4:15 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Legions Expected at Harkin Steak Fry

Tom Harkin poses with an attendee of his annual steak fry in 1990
Harkin Campaign Office

Former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton returns to Iowa this weekend. She and husband, President Bill Clinton, are the headliners at the 2014 Harkin Steak Fry.

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News Buzz
3:33 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

New Compound Could Offer Protection Against Brain Injury

Wellcome Images (Creative Commons)

A new class of compounds has been shown to protect against brain damage caused by traumatic brain injury, or TBI.

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Talk of Iowa
1:12 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Do you Pecha Kucha?

The audience at a Pecha Kucha night in Des Moines.
Courtesy of Pecha Kucha Des Moines

We're seeing a rebirth of the lecture. TED talks go viral on YouTube regularly. Now Pecha Kucha is popping up all over Iowa.

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News Buzz
11:26 am
Fri September 5, 2014

ISU Graduate and War Correspondent Terry Anderson Talks About Being Taken Hostage

Terry Anderson, the former hostage in his birth place of Lorain Ohio, on June 21, 1992.
Paul M. Walsh Wikimedia Commons

Terry Anderson, a graduate of Iowa State University, was taken captive in 1985 on the streets of Beirut after a tennis match. 

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Politics Day
3:48 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

AG Eric Holder Goes to Ferguson

President Barack Obama talks with Attorney General Eric Holder to discuss the situation in Ferguson, Mo.
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Ongoing violence in Ferguson, Missouri is being viewed through a different lens overseas.  Much of the coverage reflects pre-existing views of the U.S. 

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Iowa State Fair
11:30 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Iowa State Fair 2014

This 25-foot tall replica of the figures in Grant Wood's "American Gothic," are capturing the attention of fairgoer and amateur photographers.
John Pemble

In this special edition of Talk of Iowa, IPR Arts and Culture reporter John Pemble and Executive Producer Katherine Perkins report on the sights and sounds of the 2014 Iowa State Fair.  Listen as we attend the 75th annual photography salon and talk with the photographer who seeks to capture the spirit of the fair in his new book.  We visit a food stand that's been serving pie and beef burgers to hungry fairgoers for 65 years, and witness the awarding of a blue ribbon for mechanical innovation on the farm.  We'll milk a cow, learn about Herbert Hoover and listen to some bluegrass.  It's all

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Iowa State Fair
10:20 am
Tue August 12, 2014

The Iowa State Fair in Black and White

Goat Bridesmaid
Kurt Ullrich University of Iowa Press

A new photography book sets out to capture what the author describes as, "the joy of the Iowa State Fair."  It's Kurt Ullrich's first book, and IPR's Katherine Perkins traveled to Jackson County to find out what inspired this fresh look at an event that's 160-years-old.

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Politics Day
3:14 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

2016 Hopefuls Parading Through Iowa

United States Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky at a book signing at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.
Gage Skidmore Wikimedia

Seven potential GOP Presidential candidates are making their way to Iowa this week and next.  Host Ben Kieffer sizes up the hopefuls for the 2016 Iowa caucuses with University of Iowa Associate Professor of Political Science Tim Hagle, and Donna Hoffman, Chair of the Political Science Department at the University of Northern Iowa.  We know, the caucuses are still far away, but likely contenders are already here.  And like the holiday shopping season, it seems the Presidential vetting season is coming earlier and earlier.

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Horticulture Day
1:53 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Tree Diseases and Other Plant Problems

"Apple tree with fire blight"
Sebastian Stabinger Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

If your tree is looking a little tired with the leaves curling up and falling off, or the needles on your pine turning brown, it could be a disease. 

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Politics Day
3:58 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Politics Day: Latest Developments at Home and Abroad

Barack Obama Flickr

Several Republicans, including Iowa’s Congressman Steve King, have called for President Obama’s impeachment.

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