River to River on IPR News and Studio One

Weekdays from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

River to River is Iowa Public Radio's talk program that focuses on the news, issues and events in our state. This national award-winning program goes beyond the headlines, frames community problems, and fosters conversation. Wednesdays, Ben Kieffer is joined by political analysts from around the state to dissect the week in politics. Joyce Russell hosts Mondays during the legislative session looking at statehouse issues.

During the show, contact us at 1-866-780-9100, IPRTalk on Twitter, our Facebook page, or via email rivertoriver@iowapublicradio.org. Our theme music is by The River Monks.

Want to share an idea for a future show? Contact one of our producers:
Ben Stanton: bstanton@iowapublicradio.org
Dennis Reese: dreese@iowapublicradio.org
Emily Woodbury: ewoodbury@iowapublicradio.org
Katherine Perkins: kperkins@iowapublicradio.org
Sarah Boden: sboden@iowapublicradio.org

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Composer ID: 
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River to River
4:13 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Gerontology: Policy, Abuse Prevention, and Athletics

Flo Dietz with her Senior Olympics Gold Medal in Cleveland
Catherine Dietz-Kilen

Host Ben Kieffer talks with Claudia Beverly, the Ida Cordelia Beam Visiting Professor will be in Iowa in the coming weeks.  Hear about how to ensure seniors get appropriate and quality healthcare.  You will also hear from Tracey Robertson from the Heritage Area Agency on Aging, and two notable senior athletes to talk about physical fitness.

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River to River
1:40 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Homelessness in Iowa

A man sleeps on a bench in Downtown Iowa City on July 31, 2013. Sleeping on benches between the hours of 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. would violate an ordinance the city council is considering and could result in a $65 fine.
Alan Light Flickr

According to a study by the Iowa Council on Homelessness, in 2011 roughly 17,900 individuals in Iowa were homeless at some point throughout that year.  What are the causes of homelessness and what can communities do to help? Also, Iowa City has a new ordinance which aims to further restrict panhandling in the downtown area. 

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River to River
2:51 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Science Literacy in Iowa

Des Moines Middle School Science Fair in February 2012.
Phil Roeder Flickr

Does drinking coffee prevent dementia? Will diet soda give you cancer?  Science and health reporting is often misleading and confusing.

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River to River
3:37 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Politics Day

Canadian-born Texas Senator Ted Cruz has fueled speculation of a 2016 presidential run on the Republican ticket due to frequent visits to Iowa. However, his dual citizenship may be a political liability.
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? 

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River to River
2:10 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

News Buzz: Supreme Court, Toledo, Tapeworms, Iowa Football

Jon S / NS Newsflash

Join host Ben Kieffer for this edition of River to River that quickly moves through a variety of news stories of note: implications of an Iowa Supreme Court decision, a possible new Department of Transportation app to prevent texting-and-driving, a tapeworm diet, Iowa college football, and more.

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River to River
1:39 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

The World Comes to Iowa

A man biking through the rubble three months after the 2011 Japanese tsunami and earthquake that killed almost 16,000 people.
Kasper Nybo Flickr

The catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March 2011 was the most costly natural disaster in the history of the world and killed almost 16,000 people.  Host Ben Kieffer sits down with Daisuke Ogata, a Japanese college student visiting Des Moines for the summer, and Mary McCarthy of Drake University to discuss how this tragic event has changed U.S.-Japan relations.

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River to River
1:18 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Sexual Education In Iowa

Jeremy Wilburn / flickr

How sexually active is your teen? It turns out that 34% of Iowa high school students are currently sexually active. So what do you know about the sex-ed being taught at your kids’ school?

In the first part of our program, host Ben Kieffer learns about a nationally recognized sex education program that many Iowa schools use, which focuses on the financial impact of having a child. Then we broaden the discussion to find out what’s being taught in Iowa’s public schools and Catholic schools. What’s appropriate? What’s effective at preventing teen pregnancy?

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River to River
1:15 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Remembering the Great Flood of 1993

Flooding on Iowa roads.
Dan Patterson Flickr

It's been 20 years since the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers flooded, inundating much of the Midwest for months.  Host Ben Kieffer looks back on this extensive natural disaster that affected millions of Midwesterns with IPR corespondent Dean Borg, Lester Graham who covered flooding along the Mississippi for NPR, and Bill Stowe who worked for Iowa Power and helped coordinate the isolation of Des Moines's electrical system when the Skunk River flooded the city.

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River to River
12:20 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Iowa Native Devotes Life & Medical Expertise To Developing Country In Southeast Asia

Dr. Dan Murphy treats Timorese patients at the Bairo Pite Hospital
Bairo Pite Hospital http://www.bairopitehospital.org/

There’s a place in the world where 75% of the population still live in villages with no access to electricity, running water, or the Internet. That place is a little island in SE Asia, called East Timor.

Today on River To River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Iowa native Dan Murphy, who founded the Bairo Pite Hospital in the country back in 1999. Dan shares his experiences treating illness and disease in the area, and gives us an idea of why we should be focused on this little known developing country.

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River to River
3:10 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Politics Day

Freshman Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) spoke at the Family Leadership Summit on Friday, August 9th in Ames.
Gage Skidmore Flickr

President Obama is taking some time off this week and visiting Martha's Vineyard with his family.  Host Ben Kieffer and Thomas Schwartz, director of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch, discuss the history and politics of vacationing presidents.  Also, 2016 maybe closer than it seems with three potential Republican presidential candidates visiting Iowa 29 months before the Iowa Caucus.

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River to River
4:05 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

News Grab-Bag: Vandalized Butter-Cow, Corn Prices, Crackdown on "Montana" RVs, & Digitized Cemetery

Farmers may harvest nearly 14 billion bushels of corn this year – that’s a record and 29% more than last year. However, as a result corn prices have dropped to their lowest since 2010.

Today on River To River, we explore this topic and much more! We travel to the Iowa State Fair, talk weather and corn price predictions, find out what a digitized cemetery is, and explore a new law cracking down on Iowans who register RVs in Montana to avoid paying the 5 percent Iowa registration fee and annual registration fees.

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River to River
1:20 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

New Urbanism in Iowa

This Chicago neighborhood is an example of new urbanism as the design emphasizes walkability and density.
Eric Allix Rogers / reallyboring Flickr

The advent of automobiles brought increased mobility to Americans, but cars also created suburban sprawl and isolation.  Host Ben Kieffer looks at new urbanism, a movement that cultivates qualities found in older communities like walkability and connectivity.

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River to River
10:23 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Social Studies and Civics, Football Concussions and Athletics

U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan / flickr

As students prepare for classes, the social studies classroom in Iowa’s public schools might be a little different than it was when you were in school. Today on River to River, we talk about the modern social studies classroom with the Iowa teacher that won a 2013 American Civic Education Teacher Award.  And as high school football practices are starting, we talk with a coach that’s using new technology to assess concussions in athletes.

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River to River
3:05 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Connecting Military Identity To PTSD & Running RAGBRAI

Richard Kresser, one of the first people to run the entire RAGBRAI route (2013)
Ben Stanton / Iowa Public Radio

Studies estimate that at least one in every five veterans experiences post-traumatic stress disorder after returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, guest host Emily Woodbury talks with two Iowans working to change that statistic.

Steven Lancaster, an assistant professor of psychology at Drake University, discusses his new study on how a soldier's "military identity" affects their likelihood of experiencing anxiety or depression.

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River to River
1:19 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Ames Straw Poll and Sorenson Ethics

State Senator Kent Sorenson
Credit 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.

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River to River
8:24 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Herbert Hoover and a Civil War Exhibit

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum
Ben Stanton / Iowa Public Radio

In this encore edition of River to River, listen back to host Ben Kieffer's tour of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum with its Director Tom Schwartz.  Schwartz talks about the role of presidential museums and libraries in light of the recent opening of the George W. Bush Library in Dallas.  Schwartz also discusses President Hoover himself and the museum’s exhibit that commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.  It’s called Iowans and the Civil War: The Western Theater.

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River to River
1:55 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

The Supreme Court of Iowa: 2012-13 Session Wrap Up

Iowa's State Law Library located in the state capitol, which is located less than a mile from the Supreme Court Building.
RSKent Flickr
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River to River
4:13 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Speeding on Iowa's Roadways & Looking Back At The Life Of George "Bud" Day

Nathan Jongewaard / flickr

There has been a lot of talk in the past few weeks about an Iowa State Trooper who was driving the Governor back in April. He was caught doing 84 mph, given a speeding ticket and disciplined. So, what are the risks of speeding?

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River to River
2:11 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Politics Day: From a 'Grand Bargain' to Mid-East Peace

eGuide Travel / flickr

The US Treasury Secretary says that the debt ceiling needs to be raised, but can it be done without another partisan showdown? Join host Ben Kieffer to hear about what’s getting done in DC, and what is not likely to get done before politicians are again entrenched in another election cycle.  Also, have a look overseas to updates on mid-east peace talks, Egypt, and China's recent economic slowdown.  Kieffer is joined by Donna Hoffman from University of Northern Iowa and David Skidmore from Drake University.  

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River to River
2:26 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Jury Duty: The role of a juror

In Iowa for serious trials—such as those for murder or rape—the number of jurors will be 12. This number varies from state to state, in Florida the number is of jurors is the constitutional minimum of six.
elycefeliz Flickr

With George Zimmerman recently acquitted of murder in the death Trayvon Martin host Ben Kieffer looks at the role juries play in the U.S. justice system.  What are the origins of the jury and how have juries evolved over the centuries.  Also, what does the recent flourish of media attention aimed at the jurors for the Zimmerman trial reveal and distort about jury duty?

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River to River
2:53 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Recidivism

Host Charity Nebbe and Warden Patti Wachtendorf tour the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville.
Emily Woodbury Iowa Public Radio

Iowa Public Radio concludes it's summer series on Iowa's corrections system with a look at recidivism. Host Ben Kieffer learns why offenders in rural areas may be at a disadvantage when they leave prison, and also, what factors influence an offender's likelihood to return to prison? 

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River to River
3:46 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

What Emotions Tell Us About Behavior

Bart Vermeersch / flickr

Narcissism and envy, fear and panic…what do these pairs have to do with each other? And what can they tell us about human behavior?

Today, we listen back to two conversations from earlier this year. In the first half, host Ben Kieffer learns about new research on where fear originates in the brain. He talks with neuroscientist and psychiatrist Dr. John Wemme, of the University of Iowa.

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River to River
4:12 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Obama Speech Circuit and Iowa's Political Geography

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the Affordable Care Act's Medical Loss Ratio Refunds, in the East Room of the White House, July 18, 2013.
Credit 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.

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River to River
2:00 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Human Trafficking in Iowa

Human trafficking statistics for the United States from the U.S. Departmetn of State, CASTLA, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
INHERTIANCE magazine / Flickr

Even though slavery was outlawed almost 150 years ago, people are still imprisoned and exploited daily in the United States.

Human traffickers prey on the vulnerable and isolated. Often these individuals are children or teenagers hoping to escape a difficult home life, but instead are captured by predators who sell them for sex.

Today, we listen back to a conversation from November 2012. Host Ben Kieffer hosts a discussion on the prevalence of and how to stop human trafficking in Iowa and nationwide.

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River to River
2:54 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Staffing Iowa's Prisons

Warden Patti Wachtendorf shows IPR's Charity Nebbe around the Mitchellville Correctional Institute for Women.
Emily Woodbury Iowa Public Radio

Nationally the turnover rate for correctional officers is over 15%. Working in a prison is a stressful and dangerous job, but it can also be rewarding.  Today, Clay Masters speaks with a correctional officer from the Mitchellville Correctional Institute for Women joins the program to discuss what its like to work at a prison.

Also, the union AFSCME claims that the Department of Corrections has insufficient staff numbers running the state’s prison and as a result correctional officers are at risk.  Clay Masters looks into the validity of these claims

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River to River
2:30 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

5000th Point of Light

Photo submitted by outreachprogram.org

Floyd Hammer and Kathy Hamilton of Union Iowa were recently recognized for their work fighting global hunger.  Their work involves getting packaged meals to hungry children in Africa and many other places.  Floyd and Kathy talk with host Ben Kieffer about their work and what is ahead for them.

In the second half of the show, hear from Iowa author John Price about his new memoir "Daddy Long Legs."

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River to River
4:04 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Invasive Species: Air and Water

Emerald Ash Borer in firewood
U.S. Forestry Service Region 5

The Emerald Ash Borer is spreading through Iowa.  It has now been found in Burlington.  Hear how the insect spreads and what is being done about it.  New rules are in effect for boaters on Iowa's waterways aimed at preventing the spread of invasive plants and animals.

Also, in the second half of the program, we talk about a Cuban baseball player that defected to the U.S. while in Des Moines.  And we wrap up the hour with a discussion about the weather and how Iowa's crops are reacting.

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River to River
11:54 am
Thu July 18, 2013

A Listen Back to Politics and Religion

Baylor University Press

A listen back to a riveting River to River from the 2012 election season. 

The U.S. Constitution says "Congress shall make no law, respecting an establishment of Religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," and the true meaning of those words can evoke discord still today.

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River to River
11:35 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Filibuster Deal and Stand Your Ground

Jimmy Stewart in the iconic "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"

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.

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River to River
1:09 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Growing Old and Dying in Prison

Iowa Medical and Classification Center at the Oakdale Prison near Coralville.
Ben Stanton / Iowa Public Radio

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.  

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