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

Host Charity Nebbe sits down with "Studio One" host Mark Simmet and "Blue Avenue" and "Backtracks" host Bob Dorr of Iowa Public Radio's Studio One to talk about the best music of 2013.  Their picks are listed below, and you can hear excerpts throughout the show.

Mark Simmet - Best alternative/independent albums of 2013

10.  Sky Ferreira- Night Time, My Time   
She’s very young and she’s a tabloid celebrity, but her debut full-length album is catchy and creative.  It’s not disposable pop music, it’s good pop music.

Bipartisan congressional negotiators have unveiled a long-awaited budget framework to fund the government past mid-January and stabilize the government's finances into the near future. But does it have enough support to pass?

Host Ben Kieffer asks our analysts, Bruce Nesmith of Coe College and Tim Hagle of the University of Iowa, what they think of it. Also, the world salutes the passing of Nelson Mandela, and takes note of a handshake between President Obama and the Cuban President.

Christmas cactus, Norfolk Island pine, amaryllis bulbs and of course, poinsettia... plants make popular gifts.  But caring for those plants and getting them to bloom can be challenging.  Host Emily Woodbury talks with horticulturists Richard Jauron and Cindy Haynes of Iowa State University Extension about how to get these seasonal plants blooming for the season.  They also offer some gift ideas for gardeners.

Al Jazeera English

The US and Japan have refused to recognize an air defense zone above tiny islands that China and Japan both claim. Today on River to River, we find out what is behind the dispute and what escalation would mean. Also, a look at how politics abroad are affecting politics at home, and whether our country's deeply divided political system could drive some areas of the U.S. to seek more independence. Host Ben Kieffer sits down with Iowa State University political scientists, Jim McCormick and Steffen Schmidt.

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.

Candlewick Press

George Bernard Shaw said, “Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself.”  Host Charity Nebbe talks with Annie Leonard of The Next Chapter in Knoxville, Sue Davis of River Lights Bookstore in Dubuque and Jerri Heid of the Ames Public Library about the year's best books to be enjoyed by the young and the young at heart.  You can find the full list below.

Picture Books

Digger, Dozer, Dumper by Hope Vestergaard, Illustrated by David Slonim - "Lots of cute poems and great pictures." - Annie Leonard

Casey Fleser / Flickr

Garrison Keillor once said, “A book is a gift you can open again and again.”  Host Charity Nebbe talks with Jan Weismiller and Paul Ingram of Prairie Lights bookstore in Iowa City, and Mollie Loughlin of The Book Vine in Cherokee about the best books to give as gifts this year.  We've compiled the list below, along with what our reviewers had to say about each book.

Paul Ingram - Fiction

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum

Every presidency ebbs and flows.  President Obama seems to be going through an ebb, as his job approval rating drops to the lowest of his presidency.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with presidential historian Tim Walch, former Director of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum and Donna Hoffman, Associate Professor and Chair of Political Science at University of Northern Iowa, about the ebb and flow of presidencies through history, and what they can tell us about presidential popularity today.

CDC

"For virtually any health outcome...

Vaguely Artistic

In this off, off-year election local issues and races were the only things on ballots across Iowa. But, a few of those local races drew a lot of outside money and attention.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Chris Larimer, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Northern Iowa and Tim Hagle, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Iowa about whether outside interest groups influenced local races. We also look beyond Iowa’s borders at what gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey may tell us about the current state of our politics and parties.

University of Iowa Press

On a cold February night in 1897, the general store in Walford, Iowa burned to the ground.  The next morning townspeople found charred remains believed to be those of proprietor Frank Novak.  That was, until a local laborer turned up missing.  That discovery launched an investigation and cross-country manhunt.  Host Ben Kieffer gets the gruesome story from author Peter Kaufman.  It's the basis of his book Skull in the Ashes published by University of Iowa Press.

sparktography

Amid allegations that the U.S.

John Pemble / IPR

The 2013 World Food Prize is honoring Marc Van Montagu, Mary-Dell Chilton, and Robert T. Fraley, three scientists whose individual discoveries led to the creation of genetically modified crops. 

John Sonderman

Representative Steve King of Iowa’s 4th Congressional district has come to the fore in the current debate over the Affordable Care Act and the partial government shutdown.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with University Professor of Political Science at Iowa State University,  Steffen Schmidt, and the Joan and Abbott Lipsky Professor of Political Science at Coe College, Bruce Nesmith about Congressman King and how far he and other Republican representatives are willing to go in pursuit of the end of Obamacare.

Early Tuesday morning, without a Congressional agreement on spending, part of the federal government shut down. Today on River to River, we talk about the political implications. Who do you blame? How does a partial government shutdown impact the faith you have in the U.S. government's ability to do its work?

Host Ben Kieffer sits down with political analysts Tim Hagle (University of Iowa) and Wayne Moyer (Grinnell College), and they answer your questions and concerns.

Iowa State University

Iowa State University's President Steven Leath joins the program to talk about how the possible federal government shutdown could affect public universities, and Leath answers your questions.  In the second half of the show: the Republican Party is conflicted over who should be their next presidential nominee.  Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin takes us back to another fight over the nomination that happened 100 years ago. 

One day in 1968, the day after the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered, Jane Elliott, a teacher in the small town of Riceville, divided her third-grade class into blue-eyed and brown-eyed groups…and gave them a lesson in discrimination. 

Canada 2010 / Flickr

Host Ben Kieffer discusses the possible fiscal showdown on the debt ceiling with Donna Hoffman of the University of Northern University and Dennis Goldford of Drake University.

Also, a worrying new report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and what to make of Larry Summers withdrawing from consideration to chair the Federal Reserve.

Phil Roeder / Flickr

In 2010 three Iowa Supreme Court Justices lost their election for retention.  The defeat sparked major changes which increased transparency and public outreach at the state’s highest court.  Today Sarah Boden fills in for Ben Kieffer and discusses this new era of transparency with Todd Pettys of the University of Iowa's College of Law.

Agencia de Noticias Inter Press Service / Flickr

President Obama took his case for military action in Syria to a skeptical American public last night and asserted the need to keep pressure on the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

Stuart Seeger / StuSeeger / Flickr

It’s football season and as Iowans stream into bleachers to cheer on high school football teams concerns about head trauma at the highest level of the game is filtering down to youth levels.

Tim Hipps / IMCOM Public Affairs

Wrestling is back in the Olympics after being removed earlier this year.  Hear from University of Iowa Head Coach Kevin Jackson, University of Iowa Associate Coach of Wrestling Terry Brands, and the Manager of Communication at USA Wresting Craig Sesker.  Hear their reactions and hear what will change about wrestling in the future.

Also in this program, Iowa's First District Congressman Bruce Braley talks about whether he would support a resolution authorizing limited action in Syria, and other issues looming as Congress resumes its work.  

If things went well in your vegetable garden this year you may find yourself elbow deep in home grown tomatoes.  Or maybe you have a tree that is loaded with apples or plums.  Host Charity Nebbe, talks with Horticulturists Linda Naeve and Richard Jauron about harvesting and storing your garden bounty.

The final vote on whether wrestling will remain an Olympic sport takes place this weekend in Argentina. So will the sport many connect with the original Olympics be ousted? The “Iowa Nice Guy”, aka Des Moines actor and filmmaker, Scott Siepker has surfaced again, this time to support wrestling’s bid to regain its Olympic spot for 2020 and ’24. We talk with him in the first half hour.

House Committee on Education and the Workforce Democrats / Flickr

Host Ben Kieffer sits down with Congressman Dave Loebsack from Iowa’s 2nd District to discuss his thoughts on a potential a military strike on Syria, the stalled Farm Bill, immigration reform, and the next debt ceiling.

Wojtek Ogrodowczyk

How will Iowa’s congressional delegation vote on the question of possible military action in Syria? This show features discussion about the factors that congress will consider, why President Obama chose this path, and how his decision might affect the power of the presidency at home and abroad.

It's been hot and dry in Iowa for weeks, and our landscapes are starting to show signs of stress.  On Horticulture Day, Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe discusses the difficulties of maintaining our lawns and gardens through the heat.  Extension Horticulturist Richard Jauron and ISU Associate Professor of Horticulture Cyndi Haynes offer their expertise and advice.

President Obama is expected to highlight the Reverend Martin Luther King Junior’s economic agenda as he marks the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington. Today on River to River, Ben Kieffer hosts a discussion on how the President can successfully talk about race and class.

And, action against Syria for the use of chemical weapons seems more and more likely. We talk about the options with listeners and guests, Tim Hagle, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa, and Wayne Moyer, Rosenfield Professor of Political Science at Grinnell College.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Reconciliation, military rule or civil war--the three possible paths for Egypt. What can, or should, the U.S. do in regards to the Egyptian crisis? 

Photo by John Pemble

Guest hosts Katherine Perkins and John Pemble go to the 2013 Iowa State Fair.  They introduce us to a legally blind painter and a famous quilter.  They watch fairgoers shear sheep and clean fish.  They attend an Ecumenical church service for fair attendees and visit a memorial to honor fallen Iowa soldiers.

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