Katherine Perkins

News/Talk Programming Director

Katherine Perkins has done various jobs at IPR member stations since 1999. She is now Program Director for News/Talk and Executive Producer for Talk Shows. As part of her job she is responsible for managing the sound of the news and information stream on IPR and long-term planning and oversight for Talk of Iowa and River to River. She oversees the broadcast schedule for the news and information stations that are part of IPR. She also continues to produce talk shows, but mostly 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 (more than 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.

World Food Prize Foundation

Capitalism – Does it work for you? That’s the question on a 20-ft-long sign with flashing lights that’s come to Cedar Rapids. Viewers vote by pressing true or false.  Steve Lambert, the artist behind the project Steve Lambert explains his inspiration and  share some of the responses he gathered.

Also, we’ll talk about the three biotechnology scientists awarded the 2013 World Food Prize.

iowa_spirit_walker / Flickr

While 2013 has brought plenty of rain for our trees--maybe too much--the affects of last year's drought can still be seen across Iowa's landscape. Today on Talk of Iowa, we learn how to care for trees and other plants weakened by 2012's dry weather.  Horticulturalists Jeff Iles and Richard Jauron join the program.

davnull / Flickr

About half of Americans say the leak of classified information dealing with NSA surveillance serves the public interest.  Slightly more say that whistleblower  Edward Snowden should face prosecution. Host Ben Kieffer examines this split in public opinion and the claims that this surveillance has foiled dozens of terrorist plots.  Also analysis of the G-8 summit and the implications of a U.S. Supreme Court decision on voting rights.

the National Museum of American History--Smithsonian Institution / Flickr

The farm bill is legislation is worth more than $90 billion. It deals with everything from farm subsidies to crop insurance; but over 80% of this massive outlay goes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP,) which was once called food stamps.  More than 45 million people depend on SNAP, especially since the economic downturn.  However, in the current versions of the bill both Democrats and Republicans are discussing cutting funds from the program. 

Penn State / flickr

Last week, three professional storm chasers died in an Oklahoma tornado that was more than two and a half miles wide. Prominent meteorologist Tim Samaras, his son, Paul Samaras, and Carl Young, were among twenty people killed by the storms that hit Oklahoma on Friday. Today on River To River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Iowa State meteorologist, Bill Gallus, about the work of Tim Samaras and the values and risks of storm chasing.

U.S. Government

President Obama has chosen U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice to replace Tom Donilon as National Security Advisor.  Rice withdrew her name from consideration as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's replacement after drawing criticism from Republicans for statements made about the attack on the U.S.

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

Lawmakers from both political parties are calling the 2013 legislative session successful. They were able to find compromise on three big issues: education reform, commercial property tax relief, and expanding health insurance coverage. Host Clay Masters talks about the deals with Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal. Then, Statehouse reporters discuss how unusual political compromise is in the current climate.

U.S. senators of both parties are directing outrage at top IRS officials over not being informed earlier about the tax agency’s work to target conservatives, and they’re demanding answers. Today on River to River, it’s politics day. Host Ben Kieffer sits down with our analysts, Tim Hagle, of the University of Iowa, and Chris Larimer, of the University of Northern Iowa, to find out what questions are being asked, why it matters, and how much of what we’re seeing is simply political grandstanding.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is under fire for a wide-ranging subpoena of phone records at the Associated Press, as part of investigating a national security leak. That, along with continuing investigations of the IRS and the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, has sucked all the air out of Washington for several days. Host Ben Kieffer talks with political analysts Wayne Moyer from Grinnell College and Donna Hoffman from University of Northern Iowa about the scandals and how they're impacting President Obama's second-term agenda.

Recent polls indicate freshman Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is a favorite among GOP hopefuls for the White House in 2016.  Paul is coming to Iowa later this week to speak at the Republican Party of Iowa's "Lincoln Dinner."  Host Ben Kieffer gets his views on immigration reform, drones, and bridging the warring factions within the GOP.  Then, he gets analysis from Bruce Gronbeck, Emeritus Professor of Communication Studies at University of Iowa.

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

Under an agreement with the EPA, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will have to inspect 1,600 livestock facilities each year, for the next five years.  Debate at the Iowa Statehouse is centering around how many inspectors are needed to do the job.  Then, Iowa was one of the first states to approve a graduated driver's license system for teens. Since then, the state has dropped to 49th in rankings of teen driving safety.  A new Iowa law puts more restrictions on the youngest and most inexperienced drivers.

John Pemble / IPR

Friday is the last day lawmakers are scheduled to be at the Iowa Statehouse, but adjournment seems unlikely.  Host Ben Kieffer talks about the issues and the sticking points dragging out the 2013 session with Chris Larimer, University of Northern Iowa and Tim Hagle, University of Iowa.  They also discuss the President's renewed push to close the detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay and the likely Republican candidates for U.S. Senator Tom Harkin's seat.

blmiers2 / flickr

Spring is coming.  In these few remaining weeks of winter there are some things we need to get done out in the yard. Forester Mark Vitosh and horticulturist Richard Jauron will be here. We’ll talk about what we need to do before spring arrives and Mark and Richard will answer your questions.

2013 is nearly upon us, and as we get ready to usher it in, we pause to look back on 2012 and some of the lives lost in the past year.  Today, we air our obituary show.  Join us to remember Iowa soldiers killed in Afghanistan, public figures, educators and others.

Mohammed Alhadab/The Daily Iowan

NASA's launch of the Radiation Belt Storm Probes developed, in part, by University of Iowa Professor of Physics and Astronomy Craig Kletzing has been delayed.  The Atlas rocket is now scheduled to lift off on Thursday.  River to River's Ben Kieffer speaks with Kletzing about the delay, and the project's eventual goals.

John Pemble

We're at the Iowa State Fair, and we're taking you with us. From the grand concourse for a Zumba lesson, to Pioneer Hall for a classic radio play, to an outdoor stage for square dancing...and monster arming wrestling to butterfly tagging. Join us for this special edition of "Talk of Iowa".

On today's "River to River", we take look at the inner workings of the Iowa Supreme Court -  including patterns emerging that provide clues as to how individual judges view issues before the court.  Katherine talks with Des Moines attorney Ryan Koopmans who’s analyzed Iowa Supreme Court Decisions over the past year. Later, host Ben Kieffer talks with author and historian Lawrence Goldstone. Goldstone has studied the U.S. Supreme Court and its interpretation of several amendments to the Constitution.

The 2012 World Food Prize Laureate is Daniel Hillel. Hillel is a pioneer in water irrigation systems, and his work transformed farming in dry desert areas in the Middle East through a trickle irrigation method. We’ll talk with Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, President of the World Food Prize Foundation, to find out more about Hillel and the award that is increasingly called, the “Nobel Prize of Food.”  And, we’ll listen back to past interviews with the 2009 and 2010 Laureates.

We follow IPR's Katherine Perkins through her "graduation" from chemotherapy. Then, we hear about the hundreds of clinical trials for cancer patients taking place across Iowa.

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