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.

Ways To Connect

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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. Editor's Note: When rescuers returned to the tree in 2014, they found the prized specimen had fallen over, with no hope of saving it.

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.

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.

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.

In Uniform

Nov 11, 2013
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.

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.

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.

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.

DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge

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

End of an Era

Sep 8, 2013
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

F16 Fighting Falcon prepares for training flight in Des Moines.
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.

Rick Fredericksen / Iowa Public Radio

As Iowans take to the road for family vacations, there is new appreciation for two of Iowa’s oldest highways. The Lincoln is 100 years old, and proud of it, but Iowa Public Radio has discovered a grassroots effort to revive the Jefferson Highway too. Rick Fredericksen produces Iowa Archives, our historic audio series.

Lincoln Highway Centennial Tour Facebook page

A caravan celebrating America’s first cross-country highway will be passing through Iowa soon, with an overnight stop in Ames.

The Lincoln Highway is 100 years old, and several hundred motorists will be converging on the Midwest in two groups: one from New York City and one from San Francisco. For 460 miles, the Lincoln cuts through the center of Iowa. Today, it is a Heritage Byway; much of it is now Highway-30, but some of the earliest sections remain charming, two-lane roads.

John Mazzello is Byway Coordinator with Prairie Rivers of Iowa.

Rick Fredericksen / Iowa Public Radio

One of Iowa's most strategic pieces of of real estate is up for sale; The Des Moines Register is preparing to vacate its long time headquarters next month. Now, nearly a hundred years of history is making news again. We take a tour and listen to old recordings.

Berkshire Hathaway

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway's newest Iowa acquisition, Prudential First Realty, soon will be adopting the “Berkshire Hathaway Home Services” logo. The company has 77 agents and three offices in central Iowa, and their “For Sale” signs that now say Prudential, will be converted to Berkshire Hathaway.

Brennan Buckley is a company marketing executive in Des Moines.

Rick Fredericksen / Iowa Public Radio

History is being preserved at Arnold’s Park in northern Iowa, where the state’s oldest roller coaster is undergoing a much-needed overhaul. We get the story, and take a ride, with Iowa Public Radio’s Rick Fredericksen.

Courtesy of Mary Rogers

The former Iowan who fathered one of the world’s most celebrated architects has been pulled from the shadows of his legendary son. The father was William Carey Wright, and Iowa Public Radio tells the story of his love for music and how it influenced the life of and career of his son, Frank Lloyd Wright.

Rick Fredericksen / IPR

It was code-named Operation Homecoming, when the U.S. and North Vietnam signed a peace agreement and our prisoners of war started coming home.We remember the defining events of that time, with historic sound from our Iowa Archives project.

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.

last.fm

If you've new to the Iowa Archives project, this special broadcast is the best link to click; featuring more than 100 years of music with connections to Iowa. We've reached into our collection of historic sound treasures for old radio clips, rare recordings and cherished interviews. You will be astonished at the depth of Iowa's contributions to music, from composers, to vocalists and even places that have become music landmarks. It is like a variety show for the ages, with performances by Glenn Miller, Andy Williams, Superman and much more. Highly recommended!

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