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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River to River
4:13 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

County Partisanship and Other Politics

Iowa's county partisanship mapped out
Credit 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

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River to River
1:33 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Horse Slaughter in Iowa

StooMathiesen

A business in Sigourney Iowa could be one of the first the nation to slaughter horses after a previous ban was allowed to expire.  Join Host Ben Kieffer to hear from the CEO of the company given approval by the USDA, and hear from two people with opposing views on the matter.  Also hear a little about the politics of this issue and the horse-meat labeling scandal that came to light earlier this year in Europe.

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River to River
4:13 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Iowa's Mandatory Minimum Sentencing & Special Courts

Scott* / flickr

We continue our series on corrections in Iowa by talking about mandatory minimum sentences. What is the goal of mandatory sentences and how effective are they? What are their legal, social and economic impacts?

In the second half hour, host Ben Kieffer takes a look at Iowa’s special courts – drug courts and mental health courts, for example. We find out how they work differently than conventional courts, the case for how special courts save lives and money, and why several drug courts in the state have closed.

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River to River
3:36 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Sleep and Noise

flickr / RelaxingMusic

Do you have a sound or noise that helps you fall asleep? It turns out that sound plays a big role in brain activity and brain wave synchronization even while you're sleeping. Join host Ben Kieffer to explore the role of noise in good and bad sleep. The guest is  Neurologist Dr. Eric Dyken of the University of Iowa Sleep Disorders Center.  Our sleep doctor will also answer your questions.  

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River to River
4:02 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Politics Day: Egypt and the Middle East

The Egyptian flag in Cairo in 2011
Zeinab Mohamed

Massive protests once again in Egypt. Join host Ben Kieffer to talk about the political situation there with Iowa State University's Jim McCormick and long-time Iowa resident Dr. Hani Elkadi, a native of Egypt, who’s just returned from Cairo.  Also, hear about the larger implications of this event for the Middle East.

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River to River
12:37 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

2012-2013 U.S. Supreme Court Term Wrap-up

On Thursday, June 28th, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the Defense of Marriage Act--also known as DOM--is unconstitutional as it violates the Fifth Amendment which protects against the deprivation of the equal liberty of persons.
DonTaylor50 Flickr

The U.S.

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River to River
3:29 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Commutation, Skylark and the Innocence Project of Iowa

A view from inside the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville.
Credit 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.

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River to River
4:05 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

The Farm Crisis

Farmers from across America marched for the second year in a row to protest against the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. on February 5, 1979. An old tractor is burned in effigy in protest.
USDA / National Archives and Records Administration

The farm crisis of the 1980s meant high interest rates; it’s estimated that farmland values dropped nearly 60 percent in some areas of the Midwest during the early '80s.  But it was not just an economic disaster.  A new documentary also tries to capture the personal stories. Guest host Ben Stanton talks with the producer of "The Farm Crisis" Laurel Bower Burgmaier.  Later in the show is an update to the flood-related weather outlook for Iowa, and hear about NPR's programing changes now in effect and how they will affect Iowa Public Radio.

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River to River
4:37 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Politics Day: Supreme Court Decisions

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.

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River to River
3:33 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

The Purpose of Prisons: Where Iowa Fits In

Anamosa State Penitentiary was built in 1898.
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. 

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River to River
4:20 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

World Food Prize and Capitalism on Trial

The winners of this year's World Food Prize have ties to the biotech firms Monsanto and Syngenta.
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.

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River to River
12:18 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Surviving An Apocalypse

Steve Wilson / flickr

Many of this summer’s blockbusters are set in a post-apocalyptic world, including “This is the end”, “World War Z”, “After Earth”, and “Elysium”. Today on River To River, we take a look at why this is such a common theme this year. Host Ben Kieffer talks with Iowans who are prepared to face an apocalyptic scenario, and he sits down with an Iowa Homeland Security rep, to find out how prepared the state of Iowa is for disaster.

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River to River
3:38 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Politics Day

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.

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River to River
3:46 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Safety on the Water

Water rescue training
Peter Roome

Last week a man was killed in a boating incident on the Cedar River, and over the weekend a man had a close call while trying to rescue a child on Clear Lake.  What are the rules and what are the good and bad ideas on the water?  Also, hear about preventing recreational water illnesses.

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River to River
3:45 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Miss Iowa and Iowans with Disabilities

Nicole Kelly, Miss Iowa 2013
Jenn Cady Design Photography

The 2013 winner of the Miss Iowa Scholarship Program is Nicole Kelly.  Besides attention from Iowans, national news outlets have been interested in her story in part because of a unique attribute: Kelly was born without her left forearm.  Hear Kelly's story and a broader discussion about Iowans with disabilities with the chair of the Iowa Commission of Persons with Disabilities LaSheila Yates, who also happens to be the 2013 Mrs. Iowa International winner.

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River to River
4:27 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Iowa's New Sister-State, Kosovo

Sergeant Major David Enright (left) and Major Mike Wunn (right)
John Pemble / IPR

Governor Branstad just announced Iowa’s ninth sister-state relationship with Kosovo, a state Iowa has maintained a unique partnership with over the years. Today on River To River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Iowa national-guard members who have spent time in the region. He also explores Iowa's other sister city relations, from the Hebei province in China to Yucatan, Mexico.

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River to River
1:14 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

The Changing Role of Fathers

Pengrin

Sunday is Father's Day.  Find out about the Father’s Day Index and hear about the changing role of dads, who are increasingly stay-at home parents. How is that fact affecting families and our stereotypes?  Guest host Ben Stanton gets advice for dads to communicate with kids using handwritten letters.  

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River to River
12:53 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Urban Green Space and Health

Romel Jacinto

Researchers argue that spending time in nature can reduce stress and improve health.  In cities, it can be more challenging to find nature.  Guest host Ben Stanton talks about urban nature with Kathleen Wolf, the keynote speaker at today's Trees Forever Symposium in Des Moines. 

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River to River
2:46 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Balancing Animal Welfare And Medical Advances

patries71 /flickr

Approximately a thousand chimpanzees are held in U.S. laboratories for experiments. This week the federal government announced a proposal to list captive chimpanzees as endangered, a move that would increase protections for them.  Today on River To River - two opposing views over whether this is a good idea and how it might affect advances in the field of medicine.

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River to River
3:40 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Altered Memories

Matthew Purdy

Host Ben Kieffer explores memories this hour.  First, he has a talk with ISU Assistant Professor Jason Chan about his research showing how our memories can be altered by incorrect information.  In the second half, you can hear about how memories are affected by aging.  Guests include representatives from long-term care facilities, and a woman who tells her personal story helping her husband deal with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

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River to River
3:44 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Bill Gallus Remembers Stormchaser Tim Samaras

Storm chaser Tim Samaras at work
Penn State / flickr

Last week, three professional storm chasers died in an Oklahoma tornado that was more than two and a half miles wide. Prominent meteorologist Tim Samaras, his son, Paul Samaras, and Carl Young, were among twenty people killed by the storms that hit Oklahoma on Friday. Today on River To River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Iowa State meteorologist, Bill Gallus, about the work of Tim Samaras and the values and risks of storm chasing.

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River to River
3:15 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Education Reform, Civil Liberties, And A Mt. Pleasant Correctional Facility Visit

Today on River To River, host Ben Kieffer sits down with Iowans to discuss the news items of the week. He talks with teacher and administrator at Grundy Center Community Schools, Ann Lebo, about the education reform signed by Governor Branstad.

Iowa American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director, Ben Stone, joins the conversation to talk about the NSA phone record collection, the drone ban by Iowa City Council Members, and a recent ACLU report on racial disparity in marijuana arrests.

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River to River
3:00 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

The Cutting Edge of Forensic Science

Univeristy of South Wales Flickr

Over a hundred years ago, searching for fingerprints became routine in crime scene investigation. In the intervening years the tools of forensic investigation have greatly evolved. Host Ben Kieffer speaks to Iowa State University Mechanical Engineer Daniel Attinger about his research for the U.S.

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River to River
1:39 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Susan Rice as National Security Advisor, Syria and Turkey

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice
Credit U.S. Government

President Obama has chosen U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice to replace Tom Donilon as National Security Advisor.  Rice withdrew her name from consideration as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's replacement after drawing criticism from Republicans for statements made about the attack on the U.S.

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River to River
3:24 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Does Jesus Really Love Me?

Shirley Phelps-Roper reads along during a sermon at Westboro Baptist Church. Topeka, KS. June 2011.
Dana Meinch

Where can you find community and acceptance if you are gay or lesbian and a deeply believing Christian? That’s the question journalist Jeff Chu asks in his new book "Does Jesus Really Love Me?: A Gay Christian's Pilgrimage in Search of God in America." Host Ben Kieffer speaks with Chu about his year-long,  28-state journey he took across the U.S. in exploration of how different Christian denominations discuss homosexuality and interact with gay and lesbian members of their congregations.

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River to River
3:51 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Flood Review and Outlook

In Iowa City, sand is loaded in wire mesh cages to create a barrier wall between the University of Iowa’s Mayflower dormitory and the Iowa River. 5/30/2013
Dean Borg / Iowa Public Radio

Iowans have been evacuating homes, filling sandbags, and praying to avoid a disastrous summer as rivers, creeks, and waterways surge out of their banks. Join host Ben Kieffer to hear stories from communities affected by this the wettest spring on record.  You also get a big picture look at what’s happening across the state and what’s to come from Iowa flood experts. 

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River to River
3:11 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

The Human-Dog Connection

Eric Anderson / flickr

Marine Sgt. Ross Gundlach and a military service dog, a golden lab named Casey, faced more than 150 missions together in Afghanistan, sweeping roads for bombs in the south Helmand Province. Today on River To River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Sgt. Gundlach about his experience and reunification with Casey in Iowa earlier this month. Also, anthropologist Matt Hill of the University of Iowa, on what makes our relationship with dogs so unique.

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River to River
4:02 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Living With Brain Trauma

Recently, President Obama unveiled an expansive research initiative intended to redefine how we understand the human brain. Today on River To River, host Ben Kieffer talks brain science with Daniel Tranel, director of a unique Iowa registry that tracks patients who’ve experienced brain damage, the Iowa Neurological Patient Registry. Ben also talks with a brain trauma survivor, his wife, and the therapy manager for the non-profit, On With Life. They explore what it is like to live day-to-day after an unexpected brain injury.

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River to River
3:38 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Politics Day: Upcoming Supreme Court Decisions

deltaMike / flickr

Between now and the end of June, decisions will be made on a number of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Host Ben Kieffer gets analysis on some of the biggest cases: concerning affirmative action, voting rights, same-sex marriage, and the Defense of Marriage Act. It's River to River's Politics Wednesday.  

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River to River
11:13 am
Wed May 29, 2013

The Changing Television Model

Theen Moy / flickr

This week, an entire new season of Arrested Development, a show that once aired on FOX, was released by the online subscription service, Netflix. Today on River To River, we explore the changes in the way we consume television content, and how cable companies and online subscription services are restructuring their business model for this new climate.

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