University of Iowa photo

Football fans attending this Saturday’s University of Iowa Hawkeye football game with Purdue will encounter security changes.            

The UI’s interim security director, David Visin, says items that had been permitted to be carried into the stadium are now prohibited.

Joyce Russell/IPR

The NAACP held a day-long symposium Friday on the overrepresentation of African-Americans in Iowa prisons.   

The symposium addressed a wide range of issues, from racial profiling to the underrepresentation of minorities on Iowa juries.  

The NAACP cites statistics showing the overrepresentation of minorities in corrections is worse in Iowa than in any other state, in particular for drug offenses.  

Arnold Woods with the Des Moines NAACP says it’s not an abstract topic for blacks.

Joyce Russell/IPR

Governor Branstad’s broadband bill, which passed the House earlier this session by a wide margin, received a cool welcome Tuesday at its first hearing in the Democratically controlled Senate.    

This is the second year the governor has asked for incentives for telecommunications companies to expand broadband.   Democrats question whether tax breaks would result in more Iowans with high-speed internet.     

Telecommunications lobbyists crowded a committee room in the Iowa Senate, where Des Moines Democrat Janet Peterson was in charge.

William Whittaker

Did you know that Iowa is home to approximately 27,000 recorded archaeological sites? All over the state there are records of Iowans who came before us.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with William Whittaker and Mary De La Garza, authors of “The Archaeological Guide to Iowa”.

Whittaker and De La Garza touched on some of their favorite sites across the state, from the Blood Run site outside of Sioux Falls to the Palace site outside of Des Moines.

Charity Nebbe / Iowa Public Radio

English artist William Rose says the first time he saw Grant Wood’s American Gothic in person, he was surprised.


Iowa and Idaho are two completely different states. Journalist and author Tim Woodward says its time to set the record straight.

Newfrontiers /

Three open congressional seats from Iowa are up for grabs in this November’s midterm elections – a very rare occurrence in Iowa politics!

Today on River to River, an analysis of last night's primary results for those races. Joining host Ben Kieffer are guests Kathie Obradovich, of the Des Moines Register, and Tim Hagle of the University of Iowa.

Ben asks them about the candidates’ strengths, possible weaknesses, and he has them ponder campaign strategies each camp is likely to employ leading up to November.

Elizabeth Reetz

Of all the birds that make their home (even for just a season) in Iowa, we may know their common names (sparrow, robin, etc.), but not their scientific names. But the these longer names in Latin tell a lot about the description and behavior of a bird species. This hour, Charity Nebbe speaks with the co-authors of the new book, "The Scientific Nomenclature of Birds in the Upper Midwest," Iowa Citians James Sandrock and Jean Prior.

Photo courtesy of Rod Stanley

This holiday season, you may be celebrating with champagne, wine, or beer. It’s hard to believe, but it was just 80 years ago when Prohibition was repealed, and drinking alcohol became legal again. Today on River to River, Ben Kieffer sits down with historian Tim Walch to find out what it was like to live in Iowa during the Prohibition era.

In the second half of the program - A Bonnie and Clyde miniseries appeared on television this week. Did you know that in 1933, there was a famous shootout involving the famous duo? Historian Rod Stanley shares the details.

Charity Nebbe / The view from "Talk of Iowa" host Charity Nebbe's front door at sunset.

What makes Iowa stand apart from the rest of the Midwest. Tom Morain of Graceland University in Lamoni and Mike Draper of Raygun, the Des Moines-based satirical t-shirt company, sit down with host Charity Nebbe to discuss Iowa unique.

Biking in Iowa

Sep 16, 2013
jcarwil / Flickr

Cool, crisp air, beautiful fall foliage, great trails and great restaurants, autumn is a wonderful time to go for a long bike ride.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with travel writer Jennifer Wilson about bicycling destinations in Iowa.

Photo by John Pemble

Guest hosts Katherine Perkins and John Pemble go to the 2013 Iowa State Fair.  They introduce us to a legally blind painter and a famous quilter.  They watch fairgoers shear sheep and clean fish.  They attend an Ecumenical church service for fair attendees and visit a memorial to honor fallen Iowa soldiers.

Chris Larimer, UNI /

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.

Coal Mining In Iowa

Feb 18, 2013
Madrid Historical Museum

The last of Iowa’s coal mines shut down in 1994, but in the early 20th century, coal mining was the number two industry in the state. Today on Talk of Iowa, we speak with a historian and a coal miner’s daughter about what it was like to work in Iowa’s coal mines, and how these mines shaped communities.

Iowa doesn’t rank high on the scale of glitz and glamor, but we have proven to be a good training ground for Hollywood stars. We all know about John Wayne, Donna Reed, and Ashton Kutcher, but that’s just scratching the surface!  We’ll talk about Iowa’s stars, from the Oscar winners to the Blue Mighty Morphin Power Ranger.

John Pemble / IPR

IPR's Sarah McCammon and Joyce Russell catch up on the week's news from the Iowa General Assembly.

Fern Kupfer’s latest book is a memoir that transports readers to Long Island in the 1950s. Charity Nebbe talks with the Ames author as she reflects on past experiences in her life, including the period she discovered she was BRCA positive, a genetic marker for cancer.

Wayan Vota / Flickr

Beginning Tuesday, January 15,  Iowa will issue driver’s licenses and state IDs that comply with a new federal program called REAL ID.  The program is being phased in as part of legislation passed by Congress in 2005.  It's aimed at streamlining security at federal facilities and for air travel.

Mark Lowe of the Iowa Department of Transportation visited our Des Moines studio to explain what changes are coming.

John Pemble

It’s opening day for the 2013 legislative session as all of the state’s law makers assemble at the capitol. Clay Masters speaks with House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer and Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, live at the Statehouse. They discuss gun laws, the state's surplus, and other issues that may unfold during the upcoming session.

Pediment Publishing

Des Moines Register columnist Rekha Basu has written numerous columns over the years about the rights of women, their daily lives, and the lives of those whose stories often go unheard. Charity Nebbe talks with Basu about her new book "Finding Her Voice,"  which is a collection of columns about the lives of women in the Midwest.

Jaarsma Bakery / Facebook

In the 1890's Iowans saw some strange things in the sky. Charity Nebbe talks with historian Steven Arts about Iowa’s UFO sightings. Then, if you’re looking for Iowa’s oldest water tower, Iowa’s oldest continuously operating hotel or if you just love Iowa trivia, Fred Stark is your man. Fred shares his extensive wealth of knowledge about the state.

Eagle.Dawg / Flickr

Analysts are saying the outcome of this election hinges on one factor – turnout. Ben Kieffer talks with Iowa party officials across the state to find out what the major parties are doing to get out the vote.Then, Greg Hamot a University of Iowa College of Education professor, and Rachel Willis, executive director at Kids Voting USA, talk about how kids perceive the candidates and the discussions parents can have with them about the election.

John Iwanski / Flickr

On Horticulture Day we spend a lot of time talking about the trees in your yard, this week we talk about the trees in Iowa’s state forests. Host Charity Nebbe talks with forester Mark Vitosh, who has been traveling around to our state forests lately and tells us about what he has seen. Then horticulturist Richard Jauron joins the conversation to answer listener questions.

Sarah McCammon / Iowa Public Radio

Early in-person voting has begun in Iowa, the first swing state to open polling sites.

Residents of the battleground state can now vote in person at their local county auditors' offices or turn them in by mail. Some areas will offer additional satellite locations.

At the Polk County Auditor's office in downtown Des Moines Thursday morning, a line of voters stretched down the block as the door opened.

Peter Clay, 62, was among the many supporters of President Obama. He says he's volunteered for the campaign on his days off from his job as a zookeeper.

The Democratic challenger in Iowa’s new Fourth Congressional District, Iowa's former first lady Christie Vilsack, came out swinging in the first face-to-face debate of the campaign.   Incumbent Republican Congressman Steve King was caught a little off guard.   

Sarah McCammon / Iowa Public Radio

On a muggy afternoon, President Obama addressed an open-air crowd of an about 10,000 people at Living History Farms near Des Moines. He says the GOP convention involved "a lot of talk about hard truths and bold choices, but nobody told you what they were."

My Farm Roots: Barb and Lynn Handy

Aug 29, 2012
Camille Phillips / Harvest Public Media

This is the seventh installment of My Farm Roots, Harvest Public Media’s series chronicling Americans’ connection to the land. Click here to explore more My Farm Roots stories and to share your own.

Romney campaign

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney made a campaign stop at a manufacturing plant in Bettendorf Wednesday - not far from where President Obama wrapped up his three-day campaign swing through Iowa a week earlier.

John Pemble

We're at the Iowa State Fair, and we're taking you with us. From the grand concourse for a Zumba lesson, to Pioneer Hall for a classic radio play, to an outdoor stage for square dancing...and monster arming wrestling to butterfly tagging. Join us for this special edition of "Talk of Iowa".

President Obama, First Lady, Wrap Up Iowa Swing

Aug 16, 2012

President Obama closed out his three-day bus trip across Iowa with an assist— from First Lady Michelle Obama. Her visit helped to highlight the president’s softer side—and remind Iowa why it holds such a special place for the first family.