Ongoing Coverage:

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
12:28 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Ash Borer Hits Woodlands

A log showing tunnels made by the ash borer
Rick Fredericksen Iowa Public Radio

The Emerald Ash Borer now has a foothold in Iowa’s woodlands. Officials have confirmed the destructive beetle is present in ash trees across five new counties. Rick Fredericksen has the story.

So far, the destructive pest has been mostly found in urban areas. Now, experts have revealed the state's largest woodland infestation; starting in eastern Lucas County and invading the adjacent counties of Mahaska, Marion, Monroe, and Appanoose. One official found infected ash trees for mile after mile. Paul Tauke is State Forester.

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News
8:51 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Slingshot: Made in Iowa

Slingshots are made in Spirit Lake, Iowa.
Polaris Industries

You probably haven’t seen one yet, but the newest motor vehicle made exclusively in Iowa is set to go global next year. The story from Iowa Public Radio’s Rick Fredericksen.

It is called the “Slingshot,” a futuristic-looking, three-wheeled vehicle that is part car and part motorcycle. Polaris Industries is now in full production at Spirit Lake, having added 300 workers in the factory that also builds Indian and Victory motorcycles. Chris Doucet is Commercial Director of Slingshot.

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News
5:30 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Battle of the Bulge Remembered

Lt. John Phillips, who died in 2013 at the age of 90
Gold Star Museum

Tomorrow (Dec. 16) marks the 70th anniversary of Hitler’s last ditch campaign to save Nazi Germany.  A surprise attack on Allied forces in a sprawling forest over Western Europe would become known as the “Battle of the Bulge.” Americans are remembering the largest land battle of World War Two.

Americans took the brunt of the German offensive, as the enemy stormed through Allied forces, forming a bulge in the front line. The winter of 1944 was one of the harshest in European history.

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News
5:30 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Norwalk's Gambit on Golf

Rick Fredericksen Iowa Public Radio

The golf clubs may be stored away until next spring, but some of Iowa’s 400 golf courses are still buzzing with activity, especially in a suburb of Des Moines. Iowa Public Radio’s Rick Fredericksen has the story from Norwalk.

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News
5:30 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Highway Construction Update

I-35 in West Des Moines
Rick Fredericksen Iowa Public Radio

The early snowfall signals that Iowa’s road construction season is winding down. IPR’s Rick Fredericksen reports one of the year’s biggest projects is set for completion next week. 

A $700-million budget makes this the most costly road building year in history. The massive widening project along I-35, near Iowa’s largest shopping center in West Des Moines, is set for completion next week. Mark Bortle is with the Department of Transportation.

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News
5:30 am
Thu November 13, 2014

I-oh-wah Pronunciation Guide

A page from the Iowa pronunciation guide
Rick Fredericksen Iowa Public Radio

A new Iowa pronunciation guide has been launched; an online service where you can hear how locals pronounce their cities and towns. It’s the brainchild of a classical music producer on the radio, and Rick Fredericksen has his story.

Is it (EE-lee) or (EE-leye). (Less Hills), or (Luss Hills).  For announcers on the radio, this is treacherous territory.

"When you mispronounce an Iowa place name you’re likely to get a phone call or email from someone who knows how to say it right.”

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News
11:26 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Update: Fort Des Moines Museum

Woman soldier in Iowa National Guard
Rick Fredericksen Iowa Public Radio

The historic Fort Des Moines Museum is formally reopening tomorrow morning (11-11-14)  with a Veterans Day program and public tours. Iowa Public Radio’s Rick Fredericksen has the story.

The first class of black officers graduated at Fort Des Moines in WW1. The Army’s first women trained there in WW2. Despite its rich background, the Fort Des Moines Museum went into debt and even closed for a time. A Veterans Day ceremony will announce its rebirth, according to curator Jack Lufkin.

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News
8:45 am
Thu November 6, 2014

Memorial For Iowa War Casualty

A plaque like this will commorate Marines Judge and McMann
Ken Crouse Fall of Saigon Marines Association

The last two Americans killed in the Vietnam War, including an Iowa man, will be memorialized at the site of the old US Embassy in Saigon.   


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Iowa Archives
5:30 am
Sat October 25, 2014

Remembering President Hoover

The Hoover gravesite in West Branch
National Park Service

He was an engineer, a Quaker, and president of the United States. Fifty years ago today the only native Iowan to occupy in the White House was buried at his birthplace in West Branch. We reflect back on Herbert Hoover with historical recordings

The state’s most famous public servant died at the age of 90, and thousands of Iowans watched his final return home on this date in 1964.

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News
5:30 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Iowa's Combat Medic School

Final exam for Combat Life Savers
Rick Fredericksen Iowa Public Radio

Just outside Des Moines, in a building at Camp Dodge, medics and first responders are being trained under simulated battle conditions that look and sound like an episode of “Homeland,” or “24.” IPR’s Rick Fredericksen was there for the final exam.

  

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News
11:57 am
Fri October 3, 2014

Iowa's Newest Interstate?

The new section of Highway 5 south of Des Moines opened 12 years ago.
Rick Fredericksen Iowa Public Radio

Central Iowa officials are putting the brakes on a drive to designate a new interstate that wraps around Des Moines. The story from IPR’s Rick Fredericksen. 


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News
5:30 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Barnaby: Iowa's Oldest Animal?

Barnaby is on a vegetarian diet, primarily greens, but occasionally carrots and sweet potatoes
Rick Fredericksen Iowa Public Radio

He just could be the longest living animal in Iowa, not counting humans. His lifespan predates the end of World War Two and Iowa Public Radio’s Rick Fredericksen found him living a life of luxury in Des Moines.

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News
5:30 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Star-Spangled Birthday

Joseph Giunta conducts the Des Moines Symphony
John Pemble Iowa Public Radio

One week from today (Sept. 12), a commemoration begins for the song most-identified with America. It’s the bicentennial of the Star-Spangled Banner and Iowans are getting ready for the nationwide observance. IPR’s Rick Fredericksen has the story, with a technical assist from John Pemble.

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News
9:41 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Iowa Civil War Loss Revived

Proposed engraving for Littleton Memorial Monument by designer Will Thomson
Credit Will Thompson

Iowans know the story of the five Sullivan brothers who died when their ship was torpedoed in World War Two. Now, a different family loss, that was forgotten over time, is being revived by historians in southeast Iowa. 

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River to River
2:22 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

IPR’s Rick Fredericksen Remembers a Day with Robin Williams

Courtesy of Rick Fredericksen

Robin Williams' death earlier this week sparked many stories of how he touched the lives of his fans and the people he met.

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News
5:30 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Inside "Iowa Outdoors" Magazine

Iowa Outdoors is printed every two months, with limited exposure online
Rick Fredericksen Iowa Public Radio

In this ‘digital age,’ from telephones to newspapers, there’s a rare magazine that is flourishing as a hard copy edition. Of all places, it is published by state government. We go inside Iowa Outdoors.

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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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