Rick Fredericksen

Correspondent

Rick Fredericksen is a Des Moines based correspondent for Iowa Public Radio.  He has been producing the Iowa Archives series since 2007. Rick joined Iowa Public Radio in 1995 after 13 years abroad. Prior to joining IPR, Rick worked in commercial radio and TV in Iowa and Hawaii. For 10 years, he was bureau chief for CBS News in Bangkok, Thailand, covering stories throughout Southeast Asia. He received a Peabody Award in 1989, for CBS radio coverage of the Tiananmen Square uprising in Beijing. He has also won numerous state, regional and national awards for his reporting. As a young Marine broadcaster, he covered the Vietnam War for the American Forces Vietnam Network in Saigon.

Rick attended the Department of Defense Information School in Indianapolis, and Drake University.

Rick’s favorite public radio program is River to River.

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News
5:30 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Capitol Mower

Madeline McClure on her Toro
Rick Fredericksen Iowa Public Radio

You’ve never heard her name, but many Iowans admire her work; thousands have even sat on it.  Mattie McClure cuts the grass around the State Capitol and Iowa Public Radio’s Rick Fredericksen found her on the west lawn.

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News
5:30 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Thorazine: The Brain Drug

Mental patients received acute, intensive care in the wards of building 102
Rick Fredericksen Iowa Public Radio

It was 60 years ago when mental health professionals welcomed a new option for their patients. Instead of radical brain surgery and dangerous forms of shock treatment, doctors could prescribe a simple oral medication for the first time. An Iowa woman was a nurse during this crucial turning point and IPR’s Rick Fredericksen has her story. 

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Iowa Archives
5:30 am
Wed July 16, 2014

United Flight 232 Remembered

Impact zone at Sioux City's Gateway Airport
Iowa National Guard cameramen

Iowa's worst air disaster is being commemorated this coming weekend. It was 25 years ago when United Flight 232 wobbled into Sioux City for a crash landing that killed 112 passengers. Our historic sound project remembers that tragic day with audio recordings going back to July 19, 1989. Reporter Durrie Bouscaren contributed to this story.

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Iowa Archives
5:30 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Iowans Eager for New Panama Canal

The Panama Canal will mark 100 years of operation in August.
Joe Noonan

We all make time saving short cuts every day, but none could compare to one of the most important short cuts in history. The Panama Canal turns 100 this summer and a massive expansion project has Iowans predicting good things on several fronts. 

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News
5:30 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Miscanthus: Crop of the Future?

A stalk of miscanthus resembles a thin bamboo fishing pole.
Rick Fredericksen Iowa Public Radio

It could be Iowa’s next energy crop: a relative of sugar cane, that looks like bamboo. It’s about to become much more abundant in a state dominated by corn and soybeans. 

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News
5:30 am
Mon April 7, 2014

From Ash to ISU Keepsakes

A prototype of the ISU keepsake box.
Credit Scott Dahl / ISU Alumni Association

Iowa State University has found a silver lining in the infestation of beetles that are attacking ash trees. It’s a creative recycling story, reported by Iowa Public Radio’s Rick Fredericksen. 

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News
5:30 am
Sun March 30, 2014

Day of Insects

The emerald ash borer exhibit at the Day of Insects event.
Rickk Fredericksen Iowa Public Radio

It sounds like the title of a horror movie, but the people who attended the “Day of Insects” have an appreciation for the six-legged creatures that we share our lives with. One specimen in particular, caught the attention of Iowa Public Radio’s Rick Fredericksen.

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News
5:30 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Veterans: Lobotomies to Meditation

A common kitchen ice pick was a prototype instrument used in one type of lobotomy.
Rick Fredericksen Iowa Public Radio

From radical brain surgery, to drug therapy and meditation, Iowa veterans have done it all while coping with mental illness in the aftermath of war. Treatments have come a long way since lobotomies were performed on World War II vets in Knoxville.  

See the Wall Street Journal investigation

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News
5:30 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Indian Motorcycles Bolster Manufacturing Base

Polaris Industries has 800 northwest Iowa Workers.
Rick Fredericksen Iowa Public Radio

Manufacturing continues to be the lead sector of the economy in Dickinson County, thanks, in part, to Polaris Industries. The company has been turning out Indian motorcycles for more than six months. Part two of a two-part story. 

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News
5:30 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Indian Motorcycles: Made in Iowa

A 2014 Indian moves through the Polaris assembly line in Spirit Lake.
Rick Fredericksen Iowa Public Radio

Exactly six months after they were unveiled at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Polaris Industries cannot keep up with the demand for Indian motorcycles. The iconic brand is produced exclusively in Spirit Lake. Part one of a two part story.

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News
5:30 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Holly, Valens, Big Bopper Remembered

Credit Bob Hale

The annual tribute to Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper is winding down in Clear Lake as fans remember the plane crash that ended the careers of three talented rock and roll superstars. We talk with the man who emceed the tragic Winter Dance Party of 1955.

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News
5:30 am
Wed December 18, 2013

The Principal Singers

The Principal Singers at Illahee Hills Retirement Center
Rick Fredericksen Iowa Public Radio

It is the season for holiday classics, like Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, or the Chipmunks singing Christmas songs. But caroling is also surviving, even in corporate America.

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News
5:00 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Champion Ash Trees Threatened

The record black ash is 114' tall with a circumference of 9'.
Univ. of Iowa Arborist Andrew Dahl

Two enormous ash trees are record holders on the front line of the Emerald Ash Borer in eastern Iowa: the state's largest known white ash, in Fort Madison, and the biggest black ash in the nation, south of McGregor. Medical treatment may be on the way for the national champion black ash. 

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News
12:05 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Ash Tree Removal=$3,000,000,000+

The Emerald Ash Borer threatens millions of ash trees in Iowa.
USFS Region 5

A little green bug could end up costing Iowa billions of dollars in the coming years, as the state comes to terms with an Asian beetle sweeping across the Midwest.

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News
3:30 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Belin on the Murder Weapon

David Belin shown testifying in a still-frame from You Tube.
Credit YouTube

A Des Moines attorney was a key figure in the official inquiry into President Kennedy's assassination. David Belin investigated the rifle that made history 50 years ago.

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News
9:27 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Hugh Sidey Remembers the Moment

Cover a book authored by Hugh Sidey.
Credit mjkghk/flickr

As Americans commemorate the assassination of President Kennedy, we also remember the respected Iowa reporter who was covering the president on that fateful day in Dallas.

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Iowa Archives
11:38 am
Mon November 11, 2013

In Uniform

USA.gov

In war or in peace, thousands of Iowans have served in the armed forces.  With both archival audio and original interviews, "In Uniform" honors and remembers Iowa veterans who sacrificed and served the country since the Civil War all the way up to the War on Terror.

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News
5:30 am
Mon November 11, 2013

POW Bracelet Comes Full Circle

A POW family group launched the bracelet project to raise awareness of torture and poor conditions.
Bernie Contreras

They were known as "POW bracelets," a symbolic metal band bearing the name of a Vietnam POW, or a man missing in action. More than 40 years after the prisoners came home, a Florida man rediscovered the bracelet he wore as a teenager and traced it back to a Navy veteran in Des Moines. We interviewed both men for Veterans Day.

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News
8:41 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Bob Feller Act of Valor Award

The bronze bust that is the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award.
Credit Bob Feller Act of Valor Award Foundation

Three Americans won the inaugural Bob Feller Act of Valor Award, announced in honor of Iowa's most famous baseball player.

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News
5:30 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Mission Change for Iowa Air Guard

MQ-9 Predators will be piloted from Des Moines.
U.S. Air Force

The fight to save Iowa's last jet fighter squadron is history; Des Moines' F-16s are gone and training for the next mission is well underway.

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News
11:24 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Steamboat Exhibit Shuts Down

Cannon balls and other supplies that are being unboxed for the Steamboat Bertrand exhibit.
Credit DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge

Two years after massive flooding along the Missouri River, work to bring back a treasured museum exhibit has been halted.

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News
12:50 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

End of an Era

The wing commander's F16
Rick Fredericksen Iowa Public Radio

One-hundred-ten years after the Wright Brothers made aviation history, a ceremony was held to commemorate the end of manned flight by a unit of the Iowa Air National Guard.

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News
10:00 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Fly-in Marks 70th Anniversary of Ottumwa NAS

A Stearman trainer that was common over the skies of southeast Iowa from 1943 to 45.
Credit www.antiqueairfield.com

Stephen Black, President of Friends of NAS Ottumwa, talks about the old Stearman aircraft, which will be landing in Ottumwa at 11 o'clock Friday (August 30)., followed by another group of antique planes. The Stearmans will be on display until 12:45, when they depart for Oskaloosa. All the aircraft are scheduled to return to Antique Airfield (Blakesburg) between 3 and 4 p.m.

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Business and Economy
7:48 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Head of Economic Development Authority Concerned about Mississippi River

The Mississippi River
Credit IPR

New attention is being focused on the crumbling lock-and-dam system on the Mississippi River. Iowa officials painted a frightening scenario when they appeared before the Mississippi River Commission last week in Dubuque. 

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News
12:16 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Meals from the Heartland

1,500 volunteers prepare 250,000 meals in 11 hours at the Varied Industries Building.
Credit Rick Fredericksen / Iowa Public Radio

Among the visitors at the Iowa State Fair on opening day were 1,500 volunteers who signed up to help serve starving children. Each table had to average 2,000 meal preparations per hour.

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News
9:24 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Iowa National Guard Confronts Suicides

Chaplain Gary Selof and Major Amy Price are tasked with fighting suicides in the Iowa National Guard.
Credit Rick Fredericksen / Iowa Public Radio

The Iowa National Guard has taken some significant casualties in recent months. Since late last year, five soldiers have taken their own lives. Three former members have also committed suicide.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:30 am
Fri August 2, 2013

The Windmill Wizard

Rick Fredericksen Iowa Public Radio

At the same time utility companies erect modern wind turbines across the Iowa countryside, old fashioned windmills are rusting away on abandoned farmsteads. But there's one man who is out to preserve the crumpled icons, one windmill at a time. Meet the Windmill Wizard.

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Iowa Archives
5:30 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Days Numbered for Iowa Penitentiary

The Fort Madison prison is older than the state of Iowa
kcrg.com

One of the oldest records that Iowa still holds will be lost soon. That is when the earliest operating prison west of the Mississippi will he replaced by an all-new Iowa State penitentiary. We explore the history of the Fort Madison prison, with rare audio from WOI-TV, Sky TV and MSNBC.

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Iowa Archives
5:30 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Vietnamese Orphans and President Ford

Alan and Lorena Van Der Kamp hold pictures of son Mark. Photos on the wall are grandson Blake.
Rick Fredericksen Iowa Public Radio

Grateful Americans are honoring former President Gerald Ford this weekend at a reunion in Dana Point, California.  They owe their citizenship, and perhaps their lives, to the man born in Omaha, 100 years ago this Sunday. Iowa Archives remembers “Operation Babylift,” and the epic rescue of several thousand Vietnamese orphans. 

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News
5:30 am
Mon June 10, 2013

F-16 Noise Complaints to End

Credit Rick Fredericksen / Iowa Public Radio

Relief is coming soon for Des Moines residents bothered by noisy F-16 jet fighters. All 21 planes, with their roaring engines, will be phased out by fall. We observed flight training for the full impact.

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