River to River

Weekdays at 12 p.m. on IPR News and News/Studio One
 

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. Clay Masters 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 Kieffer: bkieffer@iowapublicradio.org
Charity Nebbe: cnebbe@iowapublicradio.org Twitter: @CharityNebbe
Dennis Reese: dreese@iowapublicradio.org
Emily Woodbury: ewoodbury@iowapublicradio.org Twitter: @EmilyWoodbury
Katherine Perkins: kperkins@iowapublicradio.org
Lindsey Moon: lmoon@iowapublicradio.org Twitter: @lindseysmoon

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Composer ID: 
518277dae1c88c51b3133b4d|518277d6e1c88c51b3133b4c

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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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River to River
2:11 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Gronstal and Paulsen Praise Statehouse Compromises

Iowa State Capitol
John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

Lawmakers from both political parties are calling the 2013 legislative session successful. They were able to find compromise on three big issues: education reform, commercial property tax relief, and expanding health insurance coverage. Host Clay Masters talks about the deals with Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal. Then, Statehouse reporters discuss how unusual political compromise is in the current climate.

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River to River
2:39 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

The Aftermath of an EF5 Tornado

Joplin, Missouri, a year after the 2011 tornado
Liam Kieffer

The deadly tornado earlier this week in Oklahoma recalls other recent tornado disasters in the Midwest. Today on River To River, host Ben Kieffer talks with survivors of the devastating tornado in Joplin, Missouri in 2011…and the twister that struck the Parkersburg/New Hartford area here in Iowa 5 years ago. Some experts join the conversation as well, to shed more light on the effect of the EF5 tornado that tore through Oklahoma.

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River to River
4:31 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Politics Day

U.S. senators of both parties are directing outrage at top IRS officials over not being informed earlier about the tax agency’s work to target conservatives, and they’re demanding answers. Today on River to River, it’s politics day. Host Ben Kieffer sits down with our analysts, Tim Hagle, of the University of Iowa, and Chris Larimer, of the University of Northern Iowa, to find out what questions are being asked, why it matters, and how much of what we’re seeing is simply political grandstanding.

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River to River
1:56 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

The Crime of Stalking

According to the Stalking Resource Center 6.6 million people are stalked in the U.S. every year.
Flickr / daniellehelm

Though stalking became a crime in the state of Iowa in 1994, it’s a difficult charge since in many ways stalking is an “invisible" crime.  Upon examining this crime River to River asks, "What should a person do if they're being stalked?" And also, "What drives stalkers to obsessively harass their victims?"

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River to River
1:40 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Facial Recognition Technology and Police Lineups

Mennecke says that digital signage systems can deteremine a person's age, gender and face.
Brian Mennecke, associate professor of information systems at Iowa State

Facial recognition technology is increasing becoming a part of life, but how is this technology being used and how much is too much?  Brian Mennecke will explain the ways digital advertisements can "read" your face and discuss other commercial uses for facial recognition technology.  Later Gary Wells joins the program to discuss his recently developed proc

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River to River
1:53 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Wind Energy in Iowa

brewbooks / flickr

Mid-American Energy is planning to invest $1.9 billion in Iowa to add up to about one gigawatt of wind generation, which could power 300-thousand homes. That means more than 600 new wind turbines are expected to be built in Iowa by 2016.  Host Ben Kieffer gets details on the project, and he gets a broader look at wind energy in Iowa with both large- and small-scale turbines. We also talk with an ISU professor a grad student working on designing a different wind turbine tower—one made out of concrete.

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River to River
1:59 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Gun Mythology In The West

Michael Martelli / flickr

In 1982, when Bruce Holbert was a young man, he accidentally shot and killed a friend. Today on River to River, University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate, Bruce Holbert will recount that accidental shooting and how he coped afterward. Holbert’s new novel Lonesome Animals is a western detective story in the vein of True Grit, and he connects it to America's fascination with the gun myth.

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River to River
3:04 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Scandals Distracting from Second Term Priorities

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder at a news conference Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Credit Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is under fire for a wide-ranging subpoena of phone records at the Associated Press, as part of investigating a national security leak. That, along with continuing investigations of the IRS and the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, has sucked all the air out of Washington for several days. Host Ben Kieffer talks with political analysts Wayne Moyer from Grinnell College and Donna Hoffman from University of Northern Iowa about the scandals and how they're impacting President Obama's second-term agenda.

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River to River
3:23 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Travels and Poetry in the Middle East

Eliza_Tasbihi / flickr

Host Ben Kieffer talks with Christopher Merrill, Director of the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program.  Merrill has just returned from a month-long trip on behalf of the program that took him to Baghdad and the Kurdish region of Iraq, Abu Dhabi, and Turkey.  He is about to leave for Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan as part of a cultural diplomacy mission for the State Department.

In this show, Kieffer also gets a weather update from the Des Moines National Weather Service about temperature swings and the lack of an Iowa tornadoes for nearly a year.

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River to River
3:09 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Inside The Gold Dome

John Pemble / IPR

Lawmakers at the Statehouse have received their final payments, pages and interns have left for summer, but the legislative session continues into May. It’s legislative day today on River to River.

Host Clay Masters discusses two bills still up for discussion: a state online sales tax bill and a bill requiring DNA testing for certain convictions. Masters also takes a look at the day-to-day in the capitol, by talking with statehouse employees that work alongside Iowa’s representatives.

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River to River
1:18 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Best and Worst Jobs of 2013

Bio-Medical Engineer is listed as #2 best job of 2013.
dbelskysuny / flickr

For 25 years, CareerCast.com has ranked the best and worst jobs.   Their rating is based on physical demands, work environment, income, stress, and hiring outlook. Host Ben Kieffer talks with a few people that are on the best and worst lists.  Find out what people in those jobs think about their ranking.  It includes a Biomedical Engineer, an Oil Rig Worker, an Audiologist, and a Newspaper Reporter.   

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River to River
4:00 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Baseball: Past, Present, Future

TR Knight, Toby Huss, and in profile, Harrison Ford
© 2013 Legendary Pictures Productions LLC

Marshalltown-native Toby Huss, plays the part of baseball scout Clyde Sukeforth in the new movie “42” – a film about baseball legend Jackie Robinson, the Major Leagues’ first black player in the modern era. Host Ben Kieffer talks with actor Toby Huss about his role, working with Harrison Ford in the film, and racism in the 1940’s.

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River to River
3:15 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

U. S. Senator Rand Paul and other Politics

U.S. Senator Rand Paul

Recent polls indicate freshman Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is a favorite among GOP hopefuls for the White House in 2016.  Paul is coming to Iowa later this week to speak at the Republican Party of Iowa's "Lincoln Dinner."  Host Ben Kieffer gets his views on immigration reform, drones, and bridging the warring factions within the GOP.  Then, he gets analysis from Bruce Gronbeck, Emeritus Professor of Communication Studies at University of Iowa.

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River to River
2:06 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Postville, Five Years Later

Flickr / zamburak

On May 12, 2008 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement descended on Agriprocessors, a kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, IA.  The raid resulted in the deportation of over 300 individuals—the largest immigration raid in Iowa’s history.  River to River looks back on the raid to examine how its affected the community of Postville and the families who were torn apart five years ago.  Also, what can be learned from Postville that can inform understanding on comprehensive immigration reform?

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