Iowa State Fair

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Media violence researchers at Iowa State University published a study this month that finds media violence affects aggressive behaviors across a variety of cultures. 

More than 2,100 participants from Australia, China, Croatia, Germany, Japan, Romania and the U.S. named three of their most frequently-watched or played TV shows, movies or video games, and then rated how often they used each title. Then researchers evaluated the violence level of the media, and contrasted that data with survey answers that looked at behaviors like physical aggression or arguing. 

John Pemble / IPR

Ten Iowans have been honored at the Iowa State Fair with governor’s Lifesaving Awards.  Two of those recipients are Craig Smith and Steve Neal from Mount Vernon.  Last March they were sitting next to their friend Adrain Ringold during a coffee club gathering. Ringold suddenly passed out and had no pulse.  Smith and Neal took him to the floor and began performing CPR.

Neal sang the classic disco hit “Stayin Alive” by the Bee Gees, while Smith began applying chest compressions.

John Pemble / IPR

A new work of art about the bond between horses and humans is at the Iowa State Fair in the century-old horse barn. Most of the 400 stalls are occupied by horses waiting for competitions, some with their human companions camping next to them, providing company and care.  At stall 406 is something different: a white fiberglass horse head hanging on a wooden mount illuminated by several work lights.

 

John Pemble / IPR

The 2016 Iowa State Fair got underway this morning with an opening ceremony at the newly-renovated Oman Family Youth Inn building.  It’s one of many fair facilities that’s been upgraded in recent years with funding from the Blue Ribbon Foundation.  Fair manager Gary Slater says since the foundation was formed 23 years ago, it has raised $125 million.

"We have completed many renovation projects, many new construction projects, that obviously would not have been possible without this public-private partnership that we have," says Slater.

John Pemble/IPR
John Pemble/IPR

There are enough state troopers roaming the Iowa State Fairgounds, so fairgoers don’t need to bring in their own weapons to protect themselves.     

That’s from Governor Branstad, commenting on the current ban on fairgoers carrying loaded guns, even  for those with concealed weapons permits.

Branstad says he supports the right to carry.

Flickr / slappytheseal

Iowa’s ban on live poultry exhibitions, swap meets, exotic sales, and other gatherings of birds is ending on New Year’s Day.

The final poultry operation that was infected with avian flu came out of quarantine this month, and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship says it considers gatherings of live birds to be safe now.

John Pemble/IPR file photo

Immigration was a hot topic Saturday at the Iowa State Fair during Bobby Jindal and Chris Christie's time at the Political Soapbox.  Protesters often interrupted during their speeches.

As Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal speaks, a group of 25 protesters chant while holding a sign saying "citizenship now."  The Republican presidential candidate says their activism is financed by big business interests.

John Pemble/IPR

At night, a woman holds a tired child while looking at the glowing lights of rides from the Iowa State Fair's Midway. 8/20/2015 Photo by John Pemble

Photo by John Pemble

Every hour, thousands of people walk up and down the Grand Concourse at the Iowa State Fair.  Near the curb of this busy street is the Des Moines Register's Political Soapbox, a small unassuming stage surrounded by hay bales.  This is where invited presidential candidates speak for 20 minutes about anything they want.

Joyce Russell/IPR

Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz delivered one red meat applause line after another to a receptive crowd today at the Des Moines Register soapbox at the Iowa State Fair.  

Cruz is  running for the Republican nomination for president.   Like other conservative candidates, he wants to dismantle most of the federal government, repeal Obamacare, and secure the borders.   

He says the fatal shooting of servicemembers at recruiting centers in Tennessee should never happen again.

John Pemble/IPR

During the hot days of the Iowa State Fair, kids cool off in a mist of water. 8/20/2015 Photo by John Pemble

Photo by John Pemble

Des Moines artist Ben Schuh was commissioned by the Iowa State Fair to create a mural on site during the 11-day event.  He is elevated 10 feet in the air by a motorized scaffolding, so he can work on the details of his drawing of the State Capitol and landscapes filled with wind turbines.  These are a few of the Iowa scenes on a 14-by-12 foot painting.  

John Pemble/IPR

Hannah Wickham’s ribbons in her guitar case for performing on the Bill Riley Stage.  It’s the Mt. Pleasant 18-year-old’s first time playing at the Iowa State Fair. 8/17/2015 Photo by John Pemble

Rick Fredericksen / Iowa Public Radio

Among other things, the Iowa State Fair is identified with its buildings: from the enormous Grandstand to the dignified Pioneer Hall. Officials have launched a campaign to restore one of the fair's most unlikely architectural treasurers: the Sheep Barn. Iowa Public Radio's Rick Fredericksen has the story.

The brick barn dates back to 1915 and hundreds of thousands of curious fairgoers, if not millions, have walked through the sprawling shelter to gawk, some of them with video cameras rolling.

Joyce Russell/IPR file

Florida Senator Marco Rubio spoke to a rain soaked audience at the Iowa State Fair Tuesday.  The Republican presidential candidate kept his appearance on the Des Moines Register Soapbox state brief because of the weather. Rubio used just half his allotted time of 20 minutes. He stuck to his standard stump speech including the story about his Cuban immigrant parents and their work ethic.

John Pemble/IPR

A 1972 Allis Chalmers is one of many restored tractors at Iowa State Fair as part of the Future Farmers of America Ag Mechanics show. 8/15/2015 Photo by John Pemble

Joyce Russell/IPR

  Ohio Governor and Republican candidate for President John Kasich attracted a crowd of about a hundred people at the Iowa State Fair today, taking his turn on the Des Moines Register’s Soapbox.      

Rain forced the event inside.  

Kasich is appealing to moderates rather than conservatives in the race for the Republican nomination.

“I ran for office because I thought I could make a difference,” Kasich says.   “I’m a Republican but it has always been my vehicle and never been my master.”  

Photo by John Pemble

There is no shortage of veterinarians for house pets, but in some rural areas of the United States there aren’t enough veterinarians to go around for livestock.  A program called Vet Camp at the Iowa State Fair recognizes this problem and it is doing something to encourage youth to explore veterinary medicine on the farm as a career. 

Rob Dillard, Iowa Public Radio

South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham touted his 33-year military career as one reason he should be elected commander-in chief during a stop at the Iowa State Fair Monday.

He told a crowd at the Register’s soapbox American troops were withdrawn from Iraq way too soon.

“Thirty-five-hundred soldiers on the ground is not enough we need about 10,000," he says. "We need a couple of aviation battalions to take the fight to ISIL. We’re going to need embedders and trainers at the battalion level. We’re going to need air controllers to drop bombs on the right people."

John Pemble/IPR

First place winning Janie Orange and Safari Orange Marigold flowers are on display in the Agriculture Building along with other varieties of colorful petals. 8/14/2015 Photo by John Pemble. 

John Pemble/IPR

Two more Republican presidential hopefuls spoke to Iowa State Fair crowds this morning.  Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker took on members of a Wisconsin labor union, while former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina chose to use nearly all of her allotted 20-minutes taking questions from the crowd.

During Walker’s speech on the Des Moines Register Soapbox stage, members of a Wisconsin labor union began heckling the Wisconsin Governor who’s known for stripping bargaining rights from state employees. Walker told the protesters he’s not intimidated by them.

MIchael Leland/IPR

Here's what you'll see if you drop by where poultry is usually displayed at the Iowa State Fair's Avenue of Breeds.  Poultry was barred from the fair this year because of concerns over avian flu.  It's the first time since 1904 there's been no...real poultry at the fair. Photo by Michael Leland, 8/16/15

John Pemble/IPR

With the higher-profile candidates Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Bernie Sanders gone from the Iowa State Fair Sunday, the crowds waiting to see or hear presidential hopefuls were noticeably smaller.

Still, Republican Ben Carson delivered his speech from the Des Moines Register soapbox before a crowd of several hundred that spilled across the Grand Concourse from the stage area.  Carson said putting aside partisan bickering will give Americans the opportunity to solve serious problems, like the national debt.  He says it threatens to destroy the future for America’s children.

John Pemble/IPR

A foot long Corn Dogs with an large chunk of batter from one of many Campbells Concessions stands.  Campbells has been a vendor at the Iowa State Fair since 1954 when they were called Mel Little Concessions, and a Corn Dog was known as Poncho Dogs. 8/14/2015 Photo by John Pemble

Clay Masters / IPR

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump made a campaign stop at the Iowa State Fair Saturday. Trump passed on a popular state fair candidate event and instead gave kids a ride on his helicopter before walking around the fairState Fair officials told Donald Trump he could not land his helicopter on the Iowa State fairgrounds, so he did it less than a mile away and flew kids over the fair. He also spoke to reporters and says his brain has built a great business and will be good for the country.

John Pemble/IPR file

It was more than 90 degrees at the Iowa State Fair on Saturday. Luckily for the presidential candidates stumping at the Des Moines Register's Soapbox in long-sleeved dress shirts, there was also a slight breeze.

The first speaker of the day was former Sen. Rick Santorum. The Pennsylvania Republican told a crowd of roughly 150-200 people that he was the only presidential candidate who was on the Islamic State's enemy list.

John Pemble/IPR

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources building contains many works of art made from 10,000 water bottles that came from the donated garbage of a large church’s single day event earlier this summer.  The blue fish is one of four archway installations using 2,400 of those bottles with colored cellophane to bring out the shape.  The DNR will recycle all of this plastic when the Iowa State Fair is over. 8/14/2015 Photo by John Pemble

John Pemble/IPR

The Des Moines Register’s Political Soapbox is a staple of the Iowa State Fair, where candidates are given 20 minutes to give a speech. This sign shows Thursday's lineup.  8/13/2015 Photo by John Pemble

John Pemble/IPR

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush made a morning stop at the Iowa State Fair Friday.

He touched on a wide-range of issues before a large crowd of several hundred at the Des Moines Register soapbox.

“I believe we’re on the verge of the greatest time to be alive if we’re strong, rebuild our military, show support for our veterans, bring back competency in government, and grow our economy at a far faster rate,” he says.

The brother and son of presidents, Bush says he’s tired of the divide in American politics.

John Pemble/IPR

  The parade of presidential candidates at the Iowa State Fair began Thursday morning with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

The Republican winner of the 2008 Iowa Caucuses is mounting another campaign after taking a break to be a commentator for Fox News.

Before a crowd of a couple hundred people at the Des Moines Register soapbox, Huckabee made the case for why he wants to be president.

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