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.

Ways To Connect

Jaknouse / English Language Wikipedia/Creative Commons

As the work begins to replant Iowa's ash trees due to destruction by the Emerald Ash Borer, or EAB, the Chair of the Horticulture Department at Iowa State University Jeff Iles says we need to think about maintaining trees over the long term. Iles says as municipalities begin the task of replacing trees, they need to budget for ongoing maintenance. 

And EAB isn't the only good reason to replant.  It may also be needed as tree populations age.  Iles says individuals and volunteers can make a big difference in this effort, as most city budgets are tight.

Clay Masters / IPR

These are the remarks, as delivered, by former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley as he opened his Iowa campaign headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa on May 30, 2015.

John Pemble / IPR

These are the remarks, as delivered, by Donald Trump in his first visit to Iowa after declaring his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president, June 16, 2015.

TechShop / Flickr, Licensed under Creative Commons

Iowa's unemployment rate of 3.8% reflects nearly full employment across the state. But there are many industries that need workers, and that demand is reflected in the Iowa Hot Jobs report. Deputy Director of Iowa Workforce Development and the State Labor Market Information Administrator, Ed Wallace says jobs in the biosciences, health care, education, and agriculture continue to grow. The challenge lies in making sure those looking for work know which jobs are in most demand.

Penguin Random House

Dr. David Casarett was a skeptic when he set out to write Stoned. But in his quest to determine what medical evidence exists for medical marijuana, the palliative care physician found more questions than answers. Host Ben Kieffer talks with him about the book and the research needed to answer those questions.

Casarett and listeners tell stories of how cannabidiol oil has helped children with seizure disorders.  He explains what science knows about the compounds found in cannabis, and the most effective means of extracting and administering those compounds. 

John Pemble / IPR

This is the Q and A between Iowa Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at the Ag Summit March 7, 2015 in Des Moines.

R: Good morning, Governor Christie.
C: Good morning, Bruce.
R: Thanks for coming.
C: I’m happy to be here.
R: How about we get started?
C: Sure, let’s do it.

John Pemble / IPR

These are the remarks, as delivered, by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal at the Iowa GOP Lincoln Dinner, May 16, 2015.

Clay Masters / IPR

These are the remarks, as delivered, by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a campaign rally June 14, 2015 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.

John Pemble / IPR

These are remarks, as delivered by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, a Vermont Democrat, at the Story County Democrats' Soup Supper, February 21, 2015.

Photo by John Pemble

These are the remarks, as delivered, by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush at the Iowa GOP's Lincoln Dinner, May 16, 2015 in Des Moines.

Thank you all very much. I am excited to be here because this is day 541. There are only 541 days left for the end of the Age of Obama and Hillary Clinton.

John Pemble / IPR

These are the remarks, as delivered, by former Senator Rick Santorum, a Pennsylvania Republican, at the Iowa GOP's Lincoln Dinner May 16, 2015.

Thank you very much. It’s always a pleasure to follow my former colleague Chuck Grassley and the great work he does. It is great to be back here in Iowa. Thank you for having me back.

John Pemble / IPR

These are the remarks, as delivered, by former Texas Governor Rick Perry at the Iowa GOP's Lincoln Dinner on May 15, 2015.

This is the Q and A between Iowa Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter and former New York Governor George Pataki at the Ag Summit March 7, 2015 in Des Moines.

R: Governor Pataki, welcome.
P: Thank you. Nice to be here with you, Bruce.

Todd Dorman / The Gazette

Republican Party of Iowa leadership Friday morning voted unanimously to cancel the 2015 Iowa Straw Poll. 

The event, which had been scheduled for August 8 in Boone, had drawn commitments from only two Republican presidential hopefuls. Florida Senator Marco Rubio, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush had already announced their intentions to skip the event, which included a presidential preference vote. 

"We set the table and the candidates weren't coming to supper," says Iowa Republican Party Chair Jeff Kaufmann.

John Pemble / IPR

These are the remarks, as delivered, by U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham at the Iowa GOP's Lincoln Dinner in Des Moines, May 16, 2015.

John Pemble / IPR

These are the remarks, as delivered, by former business executive Carly Fiorina at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Summit April 25, 2015 in Waukee.

John Pemble / IPR

These are the remarks as delivered by Dr. Ben Carson at the Iowa GOP's Lincoln Dinner May 16, 2015.

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

This is the Q and A between Iowa Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee at the Ag Summit March 7, 2015 in Des Moines.

R: Governor Huckabee, welcome to Iowa.
H: Good to be back. Thank you.

Clay Masters / Iowa Public Radio

These are the remarks, as delivered, by U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Summit April 25, 2015 in Waukee, Iowa.

Halvard from Norway

When our horticulture experts are stumped by a caller, they turn to the experts at Iowa State University's Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic.  They identify plant diseases, weeds, mushrooms and insects.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with Entomologist Laura Jesse and Plant Pathologist Lina Rodreguez-Salamanca about the sleuthing that happens in diagnosing a plant disease or insect infestation.

Derell Licht / Flickr

The Obama Administration has lost ground in securing a pan-Pacific trade pact, after Senate Democrats refused to allow debate on a bill to grant him fast track authority to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership. 

Jim McCormick, Professor of Political Science at Iowa State University, said the aspect of moving trade agreements quickly through Congress gives Obama increased foreign power.

Clay Masters / IPR

These are the remarks, as delivered, by U.S. Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Summit April 25, 2015 in Waukee, Iowa.

Clay Masters / IPR

These are remarks, as delivered, by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, at an Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition event April 25, 2015 in Waukee, Iowa. 

Thank you.  You know after a long day I usually write some notes down, so I can be clearer on my speeches. So, the good news is that I found my notes in my jacket. The bad news is that you’re not the National Trucking Association. So, I’ll do the best I can. I appreciate you having me. 

John Pemble / IPR

Republican presidential candidate, Carly Fiorina, spent an hour-and-a-half speaking to about 75 people in a downtown Cedar Rapids coffee house Thursday morning.  She promises to restore what she calls "possibilities," in Americans' lives.

“And we knew, we knew that our lives were defined by possibilities, and our children and our grandchildren’s lives would be filled with even greater possibilities. And yet, people don’t know that anymore. And when we lose the sense of limitless possibilities that has always defined this nation, we are losing the core of who we are.”

Raymond Bryson / Flickr

What was it like to saw off dozens of legs a day during the Civil War?

  In the novel My Name is Mary Sutter, author Robin Oliveira explores an entirely new kind of medicine that emerged during the Civil War. She says the idea for the book originally came to her when she was cleaning her house. 

Dean Borg / IPR

Hillary Clinton is choosing intimate, small group conversations as she begins campaigning in Iowa, seeking the Democratic Presidential nomination.

However, during a roundtable discussion in Kirkwood Community College’s auto mechanics shop-classroom outside Monticello, Clinton outlined big goals.

“We need to build the economy of tomorrow, not yesterday, she told a group of students and school administrators. “We need to strengthen families and communities, because that’s where it starts,” she added.

John Pemble / IPR

Iowa lawmakers are facing another funnel deadline this week at the statehouse. Bills must have cleared one chamber and a committee in the other chamber in order to continue to be eligible for consideration. IPR's Julie Englander spoke with Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell about some of the bills facing this deadline. One would make it a primary offense to use your cell phone while driving. Another would make speeding tickets issued by traffic cameras more detailed.

TexasEagle / Flickr

Monarch butterflies, like a quarter of butterfly species in Iowa, are dwindling in numbers. In January, there was talk of placing the monarch on the endangered species list. 

Across the corn belt, Iowa State University Extension Entomologist Donald Lewis says that there have been 125 million acres of milkweed habitat lost in the last few decades. He says individuals planting milkweed won't make up for the lost of all those acres, but it's a start. 

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.

Photo by John Pemble

Gov. Branstad today gave his clearest signal to date that he is prepared to sign a gas tax increase into law. 

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