Cedar Rapids

Classical
11:43 am
Sun April 20, 2014

Mighty Wurlitzer Returns to CR in Mahler, Walton

The "Mighty Wurlitzer" at the Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids, newly restored after extensive damage in the flood of 2008.
Credit Orchestra Iowa

The 2008 Cedar Rapids flood badly damaged the Wurlitzer organ at the Paramount Theatre, but it is now fully restored, and this March was unveiled in concert. For its victorious return, Orchestra Iowa chose two masterpieces that need a huge organ: Walton’s splendid Te Deum and Mahler’s “Resurrection” symphony. With two choruses, two soloists and full orchestra, this colossal performance brought together the largest ensemble ever to appear at the Paramount. Jacqueline Halbloom produced and hosts IPR's broadcast as part of our Symphonies of Iowa series.

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Classical
11:59 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Orchestra Iowa's Beethoven 7, Italian Gems

Orchestra Iowa and music director Tim Hankewich
Credit Orchestra Iowa

Join us Sunday at noon or Monday at 7PM as Orchestra Iowa performs "the apotheosis of the dance" - Beethoven's wildly inspired Seventh Symphony - preceded by two neglected Italian masterpieces. Nino Rota is best known for his film scores for Fellini and Coppola, but was even more important as a concert composer, and double-bass virtuoso Volkan Orhon shows what we've been missing in the Divertimento Concertante. And Giuseppe Martucci's Nocturne is an inexplicably neglected beauty, as Tim Hankewich and the orchestra demonstrate in this concert recorded at the Paramount in Cedar Rapids.

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News Buzz
3:25 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Wildlife Populations Down This Winter

Iowa's deer population has been dwindling since its peak in early 2000
Geoffrey Fairchild

Today on River to River, we bring you six stories.

First, University of Iowa President Sally Mason meets with the Board of Regents for a special meeting this afternoon to discuss her remarks on how the university handles sexual assault allegations. Iowa Public Radio correspondent Dean Borg tells host Ben Kieffer what to expect out of the meeting.

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Classical
5:43 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

"Opal" Sneak Preview Live @Noon Today!

Pages from the diary of Opal Whitely, used as the basis of Robert Lindsey-Nassif's award-winning musical "Opal

Join us at noon for a live sneak preview of Opal, by Iowa’s own Robert Lindsey-Nassif - who has composed eight new songs  for his acclaimed musical and re-orchestrated it for its Midwest premiere (at CSPS in Cedar Rapids). Jacqueline Halbloom will host Robert and members of the cast; they'll perform selections and tell us more about the story of Opal Whitely, who was orphaned in a shipwreck and raised in an Oregon lumber camp, and grew up to be a well-known nature writer.

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Classical
5:27 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Iowa Arts Showcase Saturday at 11 and 5

A scene from "Opal" by Robert Linsdsey-Nassif
Credit Lyric Stage Company, Dallas, TX

Join host Jacqueline Halbloom for this month's Iowa Arts Showcase at 11Am or 5PM. Her guests include Iowa native Robert Lindsay-Nassif, speaking about his acclaimed Off-Broadway musical, Opal, to be produced this month in Cedar Rapids.

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News
5:24 am
Tue December 17, 2013

As holidays approach, Iowa food pantries see increased demand

Staff coordinate a periodic lottery for financial assistance at the Crisis Center of Johnson County in Iowa City.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

The holiday season is always a busy time for Iowa food pantries, but federal cuts have led to an increased need this year. As Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports, they’re expecting even harder times ahead.

As workers pack a van destined for a food pantry in North Liberty, food reservoir director Amanda Pieper walks the aisles of the distribution center that supplies 89 food pantries in Eastern Iowa.

"You see a lot of empty shelves… It's a good problem and a bad problem to have. It's good that it’s moving, bad that it’s not coming in."

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News
2:34 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Plans coming together for Cedar Rapids medical district

Lakota Group

Plans for developing a regional medical district in the center of Cedar Rapids are beginning to come together. As Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports, area hospitals hope that by joining together, they can compete with other cities. 

The MedQuarter in Cedar Rapids includes two large hospitals, smaller clinics, and nearby businesses. As a Self Supporting Municipal Improvement District, or SSMID, the group can levy taxes to improve the area.

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Talk of Iowa
3:39 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Creative Communities

Downtown Des Moines's residential vacancy rate is at an 18-year low of less than 3 percent. The area has seen a renaissance in the last 15 years thanks to community investments in the arts and culture.
John Pemble Iowa Public Radio

Iowa's cultural and economic shift away from the family farm created serious problems for the state.  It has also created opportunities for reinvention and creativity.

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News
4:59 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Budget cuts, uncertainty force residential care facility to close

Activities Director Rich Keenan goes through old photographs from the 32 years he's worked at the Abbe Center.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

One week before the Abbe Center’s scheduled closing, Brandie Anderson came to pack up a van with her mother’s belongings, destined for the nearby Penn Center.

“It was just nice to know she was here, I think this was the safest place for her. My mom just wasn’t a number or a resident, she was a person here,” Anderson said.  

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Classical
11:19 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Brucemorchestra LIVE! Tonight at 7 PM

Orchestra Iowa and Tim Hankewich performing at last year's Brucemorchestra concert.
Credit Orchestra Iowa

If you can't make it to Orchestra Iowa's annual outdoor concert at the Brucemore in Cedar Rapids, tune in to IPR Classical to hear it live. Tim Hankewich and co. will perform three Russian masterpieces everyone knows (and loves!): the Polovtsian Dances by Borodin (the basis of the song "Stranger in Paradise"); the Piano Concerto no. 2 of Rachmaninoff, featuring Iowa's extraordinary Miko Kominami as soloist; and Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony, with its rich drama, colorful evocations of Russian folk music, and barn-burning finale.

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Classical
2:35 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

WCFSO, Orchestra Iowa Outdoors on IPR

Tim Hankewich conducts Orchestra Iowa at Brucemorchestra in Cedar Rapids
Credit Orchestra Iowa

Two of Iowa's finest orchestra will perform outdoors this weekend, and IPR takes you there.  At RiverLoop Ampitheatre in Waterloo at 7:30 tonight, you can hear the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony perform Dvorak's "New World Symphony" and a pair of Slavonic Dances (Jason Weinberger tells Barney Sherman about it in the first clip below). Then, Sunday night at the Brucemore Mansion in Cedar Rapids, Orchestra Iowa performs an all-Russian program - Borodin, Rachmaninoff, and Tchaikovsky - to be broadcast live as part of IPR's Performance Iowa series.

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News
5:05 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Biomaterials to breathe new life into vacant Cryovac plant

The building sits at 1125 Wilson Ave. SW, and is assessed for $2,4325,633
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

A young company from upstate New York, that manufactures packaging materials with agricultural waste is moving into an empty facility in Cedar Rapids. Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports.

The old Cryovac building on the Southwest side of Cedar Rapids has been vacant for almost five years, ever since parent company Sealed Air closed the 250-person food packaging division. The announcement came  about six months after the 2008 flood.

But now, new life is coming into the building—in the form of fungus.

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News
10:19 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Art carries meaning for new Cedar Rapids ampitheatre

Artist Tom Latka surveys the piece, "Crystal Impressions." His wife and co-designer, Jean, says they built the piece to signify the city's transition after the 2008 flood.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

"Crystal Impressions" will stand at the entrance to the new Cedar Rapids amphitheater along the Cedar River. The floodable, concrete amphitheater incorporates earthen berms and flood walls to protect some of the city's west side.

Husband-and-wife duo Tom and Jean Latka created the piece in their Pueblo, Colorado studio.

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News
4:48 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Cedar Rapids job fair focuses on veterans

Employers chat at the "Hiring our Heroes" job fair in Cedar Rapids.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

Nationally, unemployment rates for veterans are in decline, but the highest rates of joblessness are suffered by soldiers most recently returned from deployment.

Back home, finding a job can be a challenge--whether it be finding the right words for a resume, or getting re-certified for the civilian equivalent of a military job.

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Business and Economy
6:57 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Iowa Business Beat: Rockwell Collins Buys Airinc, John Deere Earnings Beat Projections

Rockwell Collins is headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Credit Facebook / Rockwell Collins

Many Iowans work for two companies in recent business headlines. In a nearly 1.4 billion dollar deal, Cedar Rapids-based Rockwell Collins announced it was buying communication system company Airinc. Rockwell Collins CEO, Kelly Ortberg, calls it the biggest deal the company has undertaken.

And the latest quarter of John Deere earnings beat analyst projections. IPR's Clay Masters talks with Sarah McCammon, who's on assignment for Marketplace this summer, about the two news-making companies. They also discuss the state's corn crop and how it compares to the cornbelt as a whole.

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Education
5:30 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Big Ideas Group ties innovation, community in Cedar Rapids

Student McKenna Cole stands with poplar trees used in her experiment to treat wastewater.
Shawn Cornally Iowa BIG

A small group of teachers in Cedar Rapids is trying a new way to inspire students to learn, by getting them out of the classroom and working on projects with community mentors. As Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports, the Big Ideas Group is wrapping up a summer pilot program, and will become an option for students across the district this Fall.

To get an idea of how this works, take 12th grader McKenna Cole, who—at a weekly meeting, explains to her fellow students why she’s working with a wastewater treatment plant to test how poplar trees can filter water.

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News
6:00 am
Fri June 28, 2013

The Geese of Cedar Rapids: A Love Story

Every year, parks employees round up hundreds of Canada Geese in Cedar Rapids. But no matter how far they're taken, they always seem to come back.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

In Cedar Rapids, Canada geese are a constant sight in parks, rivers, and pretty much everywhere else. For years the city has tried to control the waterfowl, most recently by implementing a no-feeding ordinance in public parks. Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports from the front lines.

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Talk of Iowa
3:54 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Preserving Iowa's Soil After Flooding

Erosion in an Iowa agricultural field, April 25, 2013.
Charity Nebbe / Iowa Public Radio

After two major flooding events for Iowa in 1993 and 2008, and a number of significant flooding events in-between, Iowans need to ask hard questions about how we have altered our environment.

Today on "Talk of Iowa" we talk about agricultural and urban flooding. We'll take a look at changes we've made to our landscape that has made it more prone to flooding.  We'll also discuss both the damage flooding can cause, and some innovative ways farmers, homeowners and city planners can prevent flooding or at least minimize the damage it can cause.

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News
6:09 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Are You Smarter than a "Smart Meter"?

Curt Brenton shows Pat Hobson how to use a smart meter in downtown Iowa City. The Transportation Services Department is testing models from five different companies this week.
Credit Durrie Bouscaren / Iowa Public Radio

Iowa City is testing new parking meters for their downtown shopping district, known as smart meters. They take credit cards and allow parkers to pay with their phones, and are slowly popping up in communities throughout Iowa.

But the hard part is often teaching people how to use them.

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Performance Iowa
12:12 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Arias in April Featuring Lehar's The Merry Widow

Scene from CROT's 2012 production of The Merry Widow
Credit Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre

On May 4, 2013 at 7 p.m. Iowa Public Radio’s Arias in April concludes with an encore broadcast of Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s 2012 production of The Merry Widow. Written in 1905 by Franz Lehár, The Merry Widow tells the comical story of the wealthy widow Hanna, wooed by Prince Danilo of the fictional country of Ponteverdo in an effort to save the country’s failing economy. Lehar’s score is full of luscious waltzes, including “Vilia” and “The Merry Widow Waltz.” Daniel Kleinknecht conducts. Orchestra Iowa musicians perform as the Opera Orchestra.

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Talk of Iowa
11:14 am
Thu November 1, 2012

New Bo Market & Paramount Theatre Open in CR

Interior of the newly restored Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids, IA.
Cliff Jette / The Gazette

Seattle has Pike Place Market, Detroit has Eastern Market and Los Angeles has Grand Central, now Cedar Rapids has New Bo City  Market. On the first half of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with organizers of the New Bo City Market and in the second half, she speaks with individuals responsible for the comeback of the newly restored Paramount Theater that was damaged by the 2008 flood in Cedar Rapids.

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River to River
11:59 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Summer Series: Manufacturing Communities

Cedar Rapids 2012
Christopher Dilts [Barack Obama / flickr]

Iowa ranks in the top 10 states most dependent on manufacturing, and the more than six-thousand manufacturing firms located in the state represent almost 11-percent of all employment.  We continue our summer series on Iowa towns with a look at how manufacturing has shaped the history, economy and education of Iowa communities.

Politics
12:00 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Obama focuses on economy in Cedar Rapids

President Barack Obama campaigns at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids on July 10, 2012.
Clay Masters IPR

President Barack Obama made a campaign stop in Cedar Rapids Tuesday. He spent a lot of time discussing his call this week to extend the Bush-era tax cuts to the middle class. He also addressed the economy… something his presumptive GOP opponent, Mitt Romney has attacked him on. And as Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports, how he addresses the lagging economy could be what makes or breaks his reelection.  

Flood Recovery
3:27 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Four years after flood, Cedar Rapids still recovering

Waters rose to 31 feet in parts of the city
http://www.cedarrapidsfloodstory.com/statistics/

 

This weeks marks four years since the 2008 flood in Cedar Rapids.

The worst natural disaster in Iowa’s history dislocated tens of thousands of people from their homes and is costing many millions of dollars in public money.

As Iowa Public Radio’s Kate Wells reports, even now the impacts of the flood are everywhere you look.

Business/Economy
4:40 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

Last Call for Flooded Residents

Nearly four years after the 2008 flood in Cedar Rapids, you can still sell your damaged home to the city. That window’s about to close, however. More than 100 people have signed up for the final round of buyouts – even though they’ve stuck it out this long. Iowa Public Radio’s Kate Wells reports.

Crime, Justice and Public Safety
8:22 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Gun Violence Spreads in Cedar Rapids

Gun violence in Cedar Rapids is at an all-time high.
Police say they’re not sure what’s behind the massive spike.
And the violence is spreading to parts of town once considered safe.

Wellington Heights is not one of those parts of town. You could say it has a bad rep in Cedar Rapids,
thanks to some of the highest crime rates in the city. But lately, things are getting worse.

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Arts
5:00 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Saving a Sullivan?

First Christian Church in Cedar Rapids, which may have been designed, in part, by Louis Sullivan.
Friends of Historic Preservation

In Cedar Rapids, there’s a fight to save an historic church some believe was designed by one of America’s greatest architects. But time is running out until the building is demolished…for a parking lot. Iowa Public Radio’s Kate Wells reports.