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.

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.

Photo by Katherine Perkins

One of the fastest growing equine sports in the nation was showcased at the Iowa State Fair this weekend.  Iowa Public Radio’s Katherine Perkins was there to see cowboy mounted shooting.

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.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Obama spoke in Galesburg, Illinois Wednesday as part of a swing through the Midwest to talk about the economy.  Host Dean Borg gets an update from that appearance, and talks with Bruce Gronbeck, Emeritus Professor of Communication Studies at University of Iowa about the other speeches the President has been making in recent weeks.  Then, Chris Larimer, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Northern Iowa explains why the political geography of Iowa heavily favors Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley in his bid to replace U.S. Senator Tom Harkin.

The U.S. Senate reached a deal to avoid the so-called "nuclear option," which would've changed Senate rules and prohibited filibuster on nominees.  The new deal will allow nominations to face an up or down vote.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Wayne Moyer of Grinnell College and Tim Hagle of University of Iowa about the deal and what it means.  They also discuss calls to repeal "stand your ground" laws in the wake of the George Zimmerman acquittal.

Ben Stanton

Our corrections series continues by examining what it is like to grow old and die in prison. Hear from an offender who works in a hospice program. He has helped 20 fellow inmates face the end of life behind bars.  Host Ben Kieffer also talk with a 74-year-old inmate about growing old.  You'll also get a tour of a hospice room at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville.  

Chris Larimer, UNI / http://diymaps.net/ia.htm

Think you know which of Iowa's counties is most democratic, or most republican?  University of Northern Iowa Associate Professor of Political Science Chris Larimer crunched the numbers. 

http://addins.kwwl.com/blogs/decision2012/2013/06/exploring-county-level-partisanship

Emily Woodbury / IPR

In the summer of 1974, Rasberry Williams shot and killed a Waterloo man over a $30 gambling debt.  In April, Governor Terry Branstad granted Williams’ request for commutation, making him eligible for parole.  We continue our corrections series by talking about when a life sentence should be reconsidered.  Then, we learn about Skylark, which works with victims of domestic violence on commutation requests, and the Innocence Project of Iowa, which is about to file its first case.

cool revolution / flickr

On Politics Wednesday on River to River, guest host Dean Borg talks about recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions.  Guests include political analysts Donna Hoffman, Professor and Chair of Political Science at University of Northern Iowa and Tim Hagle, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Iowa.  Iowa Congressman Steve King also gives his reaction to the rulings and gives an update on the Farm Bill from Washington D.C.

Jvstin / Flickr

Why do we have prisons?  Are they for retribution or rehabilitation or protection? Also, what are the strengths and weaknesses of Iowa's corrections system? Sarah McCammon steps in for Ben Kieffer to look at how prisons in Iowa stake up against prisons nationwide. 

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. 

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