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: 
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2014 Legislative Session
2:58 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Bill on Greyhound Racing Being Drafted at Statehouse

Greyhound racing
Alex Lapuerta Creative Commons

A bill is being drafted at the Iowa Statehouse to separate greyhound racing from the two casinos that no longer want to support it.  Host Clay Masters spoke with Senator Jeff Danielson of Cedar Falls, who says the agreement provides both a "soft landing" and a "second chance" for the greyhound industry.  That means breeders who want to quit breeding dogs for racing can receive a payout, and the Iowa Greyhound Association will get a chance to manage a track for themselves.  Currently casino revenues in Dubuque and Council Bluffs have been supplementing the purses paid at the tracks.  Daniels

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News Buzz
3:01 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

After 40 Years, Rasberry Williams and his Daughter Reconnect

Happy Friday! It's a "news buzz" edition of River to River, bringing you several Iowa news stories of the week.

Charletta Sudduth was eight years old when her father was incarcerated for shooting and killing a man outside a Waterloo pool hall, a crime he has maintained was in self-defense. Now her father, Rasberry Williams, will be released on parole to an assisted living facility, after serving nearly 40 years of a life sentence. We hear from her:

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River to River
2:12 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Red Cross Recongizes Iowa Heroes

Red Cross flag.

Heroes of the Heartland are recognized for acts of heroism  or community service by the American Red Cross of Greater Iowa.  This year’s recipients include fourth-grader Josh Little who saved a classmate from choking, and Baxter Police Officer Joe Bartello, who rescued a semi-truck driver by swimming through the vehicle’s broken windshield after it crashed and submerged in flood water.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with these impressive individuals.

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Politics Day
3:59 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Ukraine Crisis Deepens

A Ukrainian protest, February 2014
blu-news.org Flickr Creative Commons

As the Ukrainian crisis deepens, Host Ben Kieffer talks with Wayne Moyer of Grinnell College and Donna Hoffman of University of Northern Iowa about U.S. response.  Other topics include, the Pulitzer Prize awarded to the Washington Post and the Guardian for their coverage of the NSA, a new climate change study, and Stephen Colbert's new Late Night gig.

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Politics
3:57 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

The Political Gap: Campaigning and Serving as a Woman

Hillary Rodham Clinton delivering her victory speech at the Manhattan Center Studios, following the New York 2008 primary
Angela Radulescu https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/legalcode

Women currently make up 18.5 percent of the U.S. Congress. Yet Iowa is one of only two states that has never elected a woman to Congress nor had a female governor.

This hour, a look at the gender gap in politics – Why do women run for office less than their male counterparts? When they are in office, how do they govern?

Some highlights from today's guests:

Three reasons for the gender gap in political ambition: from Jennifer Lawless, Director of the Women & Politics Institute and Professor of Government at American University

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2014 Legislative Session
3:21 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Lawmakers Hold Out Hope for Texting Bill and Gas Tax

U.S. Department of Labor

The Chairs of the Iowa Senate and House Transportation Committees say they're still hopeful two key proposals can win approval in the final days of the legislative session.  A bill approved by the Iowa Senate would've made texting while driving a primary offense.  In other words, an officer could stop and ticket a driver for texting while driving, without the driver committing another moving violation.  That bill failed to win approval before a funnel deadline in the House, but Senator Tod Bowman, a Maquoketa Democrat, says the bill will likely come up again in future sessions and Represent

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River to River
3:47 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Richard Dawkins

Apes or hominoids are all descendants of a common ancestor.
en.wikipedia.org

Acclaimed evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins returns to Iowa this Saturday.  Dawkins will speak at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines at a ticketed event put on by SecularityUSA, which advocates for secularism in American government.

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Health Care
4:52 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Delivering Better and More Affordable Care to Emergency Room "Super-Users"

Dr. Joshua Pruitt at St. Luke's Hospital in Cedar Rapids
Durrie Bouscaren

Some Iowans visit hospital emergency rooms more than 15 times a year. They’re known as “frequent-flyers” or super-users of the ER. Today on River to River, how our system handles them.

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Politics Day
4:26 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Putin's Motives in Ukraine Hard to Decode

U.S. President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin at a bilateral meeting in 2012
Pete Souza Official White House photo

As protests continue in Eastern Ukraine, Secretary of State John Kerry says it's clear the chaos is being orchestrated by Russia.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Wayne Moyer, Rosenfield Professor of Political Science at Grinnell College and Jim McCormick, Professor and Chair of Political Science at Iowa State University about Russian President Valdimir Putin's motivations.  They also discuss the politics of equal pay, and the recent firing of Department of Administrative Services Director Mike Carroll.

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River to River
3:29 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Understanding the Crimean Crisis

Satellite image of Crimea.
NASA

Russia has warned that any use of force in Ukraine's eastern region could lead to civil war. This comes as Kiev seeks to regain control after pro-Moscow uprisings in three cities.  This hour, host Ben Kieffer listens to two perspectives on the crisis.

Roman Skaskiw is a Ukrainian-American software developer and graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop living in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv.  He sees most of the pro-Putin sentiment as fake and orchestrated

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2014 Legislative Session
3:53 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Iowa Children Stuck on Mental Health Waiting List

The Iowa Capitol
Photo by John Pemble

Children with serious mental health issues are waiting as long as two years to receive services in their communities.  Host Clay Masters talks with Tammy from Iowa City whose son has been diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome, Bipolar Disorder, Asperger's Syndrome and Oppositional Defiance Disorder.  She says services like respite care are essential for families exhausted from caring for a suicidal or angry child.  But such services aren't covered by insurance.  A children's mental health waiver is designed to cover the gap between what insurance covers and what services are needed, but the wa

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Legislative Day
3:30 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Branstad on Medical Cannabis, Juvenile Home, and Secret Settlements

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad in the Captiol's Law Library.
Photo by John Pemble

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad would support a bill with limited medical uses for cannabis if it looks similar to legislation passed in Utah.  Host Clay Masters talks with Branstad about medical marijuana, the juvenile home, secret settlements, and more on this Legislative Day edition of River to River from the Law Library at the Iowa state capitol building.

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News Buzz
4:08 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

'As Night Falls,' it's Time for David Skorton

An African bull elephant at the National Museum of Natural History. That's part of the Smithsonian which will be led by former Iowan David Skorton
Smithsonian Institution

David Skorton used to open his Iowa Public Radio jazz show like this, "As night falls over the river city and all of eastern Iowa, it's time for jazz."

Skorton is the former president of the University of Iowa, and has served as president of Cornell University, and he will become the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute next year.  You might remember his radio jazz show “As Night Falls” which he co-hosted with the late Frank Conroy.  Hear about Skorton's  expectations of his upcoming job:

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News Buzz
3:06 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

This Helmet Has a Brain

Shawn Cornally holds a student-designed helmet with concussion detection hardware. (host Ben Kieffer in background)
Ben Stanton/Iowa Public Radio

The brain on this helmet is designed with the idea of protecting your brain from a concussion. Built into it is what amounts to a small computer.  It was designed and programmed by an Iowa student.  

Different LEDs light up depending on how hard the helmet is getting jostled. This project is one of many that students might get involved in through The Big Ideas Group, which is an optional education program through the Cedar Rapids School District.

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Varnum Anniversary
2:54 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Iowa Leads Nation in Trend toward Same-Sex Marriage

Trish (left) and Kate (right) Varnum live in Cedar Rapids. Kate was the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court Case that paved the way for same-sex marriage in Iowa
Clay Masters IPR

In 2009, the Varnum decision made Iowa the third state to allow same-sex couples to marry.

Fast forward five years later, and 17 states now sanction same-sex marriage, several others allow civil unions, and a U.S. Supreme Court decision ruled a federal same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional.

Today on River to River, host Ben Kieffer takes a look at how public and political attitudes on same-sex marriage have shifted, as well as acknowledging the groups that have remained steadfast in their position.

The guests on today's program include:

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Politics Day
4:18 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Opening the Floodgates for Money in Politics

401(K)2012 / flickr

Four years after the Citizens United ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court has made a landmark decision that frees the nation's wealthiest donors to have greater influence in federal elections. Today on politics day, analysis of the court's decision.

Host Ben Kieffer talks with political analysts Stephen Schmidt and Timothy Hagle.

Also, a last-minute enrollment surge enabled the White House to meet its original sign-up target for the Affordable Care Act, a surprising victory for the Obama administration. How does this change the political landscape?

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River to River
2:12 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Technology and Health

The National Institutes of Health recommends that kids should be limited to two hours a day to screen time.
Peter Merholz

Today, kids average six hours of screen time a day.  According to a new study published in JAMA Pediatrics, children whose parents limit screen time get more sleep, do better in school, have fewer behavior problems and lower their risk of obesity.  Doug Gentile, associate professor of psychology at Iowa State University, discusses the reverse results on the studies. 

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Legislative Day
2:48 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Shifting Views on Medical Cannabis in the Iowa Legislature

Sally Gaer is mother of a 24 year old diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome who says medical marijuana would help her daughter. She is standing in the Iowa Capitol Law Library, 3/31/2014
John Pemble

Views on medical marijuana appear to be shifting in the Iowa Senate and among the GOP.

Today on River to River - what this may mean for cannabis in Iowa moving forward.

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River to River
3:46 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Board of Regents Efficiency Study

The Old Capitol on the University of Iowa, May 19, 2006.
Matt Yohe

The first of three public hearings was held today at the University of Iowa in advance of a comprehensive efficiency review by the Iowa Board of Regents.  The review is expected to generate $15-25 million in savings.

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River to River
2:59 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

News Buzz: Cyclones at the Sweet 16

Iowa State Cyclone Melvin Ejim defending Kansas Jayhawk forward Kevin Young in Ames, Jaunary 28, 2012. Ejim was chosen as Big 12 Player of the Year earlier this month.
SD Dirk

Host Ben Kieffer talks with Iowa Public Radio's Des Moines correspondent Rick Fredricksen about how lobotomies became common practice for curing PTSD in Iowa veterans after WWII.  Also, the Des Moines Register's Bryce Miller discusses the Cyclones in the Sweet 16, and the University of Iowa turns down HBO's

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Health Care
8:07 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Behind the Numbers on Your Hospital Bill

Dr. Thomas Striegel treats a patient in the emergency room
Nick Oza The Arizona Republic

In the emergency room, the last thing you want to think about is what your bill is going to look like. But, weeks later you will receive a bill in the mail; and you might experience some sticker shock.

Today on River to River, we seek to answer your hospital billing questions. Questions like: why does an aspirin cost upwards of $15, when I can get a generic bottle at the drug store at 2 cents a pop?

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Politics Day
3:01 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Farmer from Iowa Comment and Castration Ad Focus National Attention on Iowa's Senate Race

State Senator and GOP candidate for U.S. Senate Joni Ernst
Squeal JoniforIowa.com

Video has surfaced of Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley at a private Texas fundraiser with trial lawyers drawing a stark contrast between a future with him serving on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and a future with GOP Senator Charles Grassley Chairing that committee.  In the video, Braley describes Grassley as an "Iowa farmer" who "never went to law school."  Slate has called it the

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Politics Day
1:46 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

'Farmer...Never Went to Law School'

Congressman Bruce Braley speaks to the crowd at the 2013 Iowa Democratic Party Jefferson Jackson Dinner in Des Moines
Gregory Hauenstein https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/legalcode

Iowa Congressman and Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley has apologized for comments he made at a January fundraiser in Texas. 

"If you help me win this race, you may have someone with your background, your experience, your voice ... on the Senate Judiciary Committee," Braley said. "Or you might have a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school, never practiced law, serving as the next chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee."

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River to River
3:16 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Honoring Veterans in Hospice

The Korean War Veterans Memorial, May 1, 2008.
Janet Crum

Serving in the military changes one's perspective on life, but often it also alters the way they face death.  Ben Kieffer speaks with Deborah Grassman, the CEO and co-founder of Opus Peace.  Opus Peace  is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help people work through trauma.

Prior to Opus Peace, Grassman worked as a nurse practitioner for three decades at the Department of Veterans Affairs. She was also the director of the VA's hospice program and personally took care of over 10,000 dying veterans.

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Legislative Day
3:36 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Future Regulation of Drones in Iowa

An image of a farm from an RC Helicopter UAV
Frederic Rivollier

"Since the beginning of 2013, there has been a huge increase in the sale of really simple UAV systems," says Rory Paul, CEO of Volt Aerial Robotics, based in Chesterfield, Missouri.

With their ability to take high definition photo and video footage, UAVs (known as "unmanned aerial vehicles" or drones) bring up a number of security concerns, and they also have the potential to be put to good use. The Iowa legislature is currently considering ways to regulate these vehicles; so today on River to River, we analyze this legislation.

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Legislative Day
3:14 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Iowa Statehouse Considers Legalizing Fireworks

Jeff Golden

On the Fourth of July, Iowans may hear fireworks going off in their neighborhoods, but it is still illegal to buy and light large aerial fireworks in the state.

This legislative session, lawmakers at the Iowa Statehouse are considering whether to lift the ban on the sale and use of fireworks. State Representative Matt Windschitl and Al Esch, of the Iowa Firefighters Association, sound off with their opinions on the matter, along with River to River listeners.

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Do you feel strongly about whether fireworks should be legal in Iowa?

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River to River
10:29 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

News Buzz: Sports Edition

The US-Norway ice sledge hockey semi-final, March 18, 2010.
sonson

March Madness has returned and several Iowa teams are doing well.  Des Moines Register sports columnist Bryce Miller discusses this year's tournament.

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River to River
1:45 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

News Buzz: All-Vet, Farm Fatalities, Drones

Jen Hamilton-Emery

Today on News Buzz Ben Stanton fills in as host.  He tackles Iowa's All-Vet designation, farm accident fatalities and the use of drones in agriculture.

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Music
12:28 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Vinyl's Comeback & the Rise of Music Streaming

Daytrotter albums at Ragged Records, in Davenport
Ragged Records / facebook

Today on River to River, we explore the continuing changes in the music industry...including the fact that more and more users are listening from large online libraries of music – like Rhapsody, Spotify, or Pandora – rather than purchasing individual songs or albums. We also discuss why vinyl records are making a comeback.

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Politics Day
4:06 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Secrets, Deals, the Senate Race, and Sanctions

Newfrontiers https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

Dean Borg guest hosts this politics day edition of 'River to River.'  Des Moines Register Political Columnist Kathie Obradovich, University of Northern Iowa's Chris Larimer, and Drake University's David Skidmore are political analysts for this program that includes Iowa, U.S., and international politics.

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