Iowa towns

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.

Pat Blank IPR

The trial for a former Bosnian Serb leader began today in The Hague with him defending against allegations of genocide and crimes against humanity in the Bosnian war in 1992-1995.  At the same time an American,  Tamir Waser who serves at the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo, is traveling in Iowa stopping in Waterloo and Des Moines. Both cities have large Bosnian populations.   He talks with Iowa Public Radio’s Pat Blank

Clay Masters / IPR

The attention often centers on agriculture when a drought hits. But new Iowa Department of Natural Resources numbers show the state’s stream flows are well below normal and groundwater levels are reaching historic lows. There's a ripple effect in how the drought will affect the state’s fish.

Hancher

Over a year ago the band “Stew and the Negro Problem” visited Iowa City to learn about the town and write songs based on their observations. Now they’re back in town and are going to perform the songs they've created. Host Charity Nebbe talks with band member Mark Stewart, "Stew", about his songs which were inspired by the black angel, flooding, and a local book shop.

J. Stephen Conn / flickr

The town of Hampton is recognizing the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution with a week long "Libertyfest" celebration. Shawn Dietz, mayor of Hampton, wants to emphasize the historical document's impact on the nation. Though the event falls during election season, Dietz says the festivities honor patriotism and not partisanship.

Dietz joined "River to River" host Ben Kieffer in a discussion on the festivities.

Clay Masters / IPR

Republican Steve King and Democratic challenger Christie Vilsack met in Hampton Monday night for another debate. It was the first time the incumbent met his opponent on ground that wasn’t part of his old district.  The two differed on just about every issue including controversial Iowa voter ID laws.

Dean Borg

      With the wind energy tax credit about to expire at the end of this year….power companies are using favorable fall weather to install more towers across Iowa’s landscape.

      Cranes are working in an Eastern Iowa cornfield near Mechanicsville to build what will be the tallest wind generator in North America.                  

 Two towers….one concrete and the other steel…..and the generators are being built by Acciona (AX-SEE-OH-NA) which has a plant in West Branch, Iowa.

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.

A Burlington Middle School is now named after a key scientist in NASA’s Voyager program.  Today the Edward Stone Middle School opens for classes and Ed Stone returned to the hometown where his journey as a space scientist began. 

Clay Masters / IPR

One of the country’s toughest congressional races is here in Iowa. It’s between Steve King, a Republican incumbent and the state’s former First Lady Christie Vilsack - a political newcomer. Iowa’s losing a seat in the House after the election due to redistricting. Now ultra-conservative King is facing a more moderate electorate as he runs in the newly drawn 4th district. 

While Iowa's total population grew by 2.8 percent over the past nine years, the 2010 Census Report shows that the growth has occurred in the state's largest cities and their suburbs, while the rural areas are losing residents.

"Papergirl" Project Rethinks Street Art

Jul 24, 2012
Clare Roth / IPR

If you’re walking down the street this evening in Davenport, someone might hand you a work of art. "Papergirl" is an art movement where participants collect artworks from community members, roll it up newspaper-style, and distribute it to random passers-by via bicycles, like the paperboys of old.

Alex Heuer

The Iowa Department of Corrections operates nine institutions throughout the state, and together, they employ more than 3,000 people to supervise more than 8,000 adult inmates. On today's "River to River" we continue our summer series on Iowa towns with a look at how prisons, or correctional facilities, shape the communities where they are located.

Emily Woodbury

A town that is home to a college or university is always changing.  There are always new students, new faculty, new staff, and the population ebbs and flows from semester to semester.  On today's "Talk of Iowa" we continue our summer series on Iowa towns and cities with a look at college towns.  The pros, the cons, the economics and the history.

Clay Masters / IPR

With drought conditions now gripping more than half the country, many farmers in Iowa are waiting to see if they’ll even have much of a crop to harvest. While farm country feels the brunt of the drought, those in the city are also being hit. Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports.

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.

1st Sgt. Duff McFadden, Iowa National Guard / flickr

A tornado devastated Parkersburg in 2008, fire gutted Grinnell in 1889, and in the 1980s Bell Plaine was laid low by the farm crisis. When disaster strikes, the repercussions can be felt for decades to come. We continue our series on Iowa towns, with communities that have been shaped by disaster.

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.  

Toby Dickens

Our summer series continues into the noon hour on "River to River". We are examining communities along our state’s border and the challenges businesses face in these areas. On today's "River to River", we take a look at the challenges businesses in the Quad Cities and Sioux City face in economic development when competing with Illinois and South Dakota tax structures.

In the 1920’s the Railroad wanted to build a line through Dallas, Iowa, but city elders refused comply with the railroad’s demands.  Mr. Melcher of the railroad decided to found his own town just a mile south and the Dallas- Melcher rivalry was born.  On today's "Talk of Iowa" we begin our summer series on Iowa towns with rivalries.

When Joe Murphy’s wife, Linda, spies an ad for a “beautiful 3-story Victorian house in need of some TLC,” the couple jumps at the chance for their dream home. Renovating it will allow them to indulge their passion for antiques and to get closer to an era they believe was a better time. Privately, Joe hopes that the project will also fill the void that has opened within their family life.

An Iowa man and his sons made a huge discovery on their Oskaloosa farm recently. Now scientists are in the process of excavating a mammoth skeleton.  We’ll hear what they hope to learn from the find. Then, 18-year-old Rae Heim of Carroll is running barefoot across the country this year from Boston to Huntington Beach, CA. She has reached Iowa – raising money for an organization called souls4soles – a Christian organization which supplies shoes to needy kids.  Rae talks with River to River's Ben Kieffer about her journey.

Even if you have never heard of landscape architect Jens Jensen, you have been touched by his work. Jensen came to the United States from Denmark in 1884. He fell in love with the Iowa landscape, and it influenced his work for the rest of his life. On this Talk of Iowa, we will talk about his designs, his life, and his legacy.

Clay Masters / IPR

The floodwaters that ravaged homes, businesses and farms along a vast stretch of the Missouri River last year are not a distant memory. And as the difficult cleanup and recovery continues, concerns have intensified between those who want there to be more control of this river, and those who believe it should flow freely. In part one of a two-part report, Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters finds that common ground has yet to find traction.

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.

Depot Spared

Jun 8, 2012

A 100 year old railroad depot set for demolition this summer, will instead be the site of a birthday party. The Gilbertville Depot now belongs to a non-profit organization which is hoping to re-open it as a stop along the Cedar Valley Nature Trail.  Iowa Public Radio’s Pat Blank talks with the group’s Dick DeWater.  The birthday event is set for the afternoon of July 7th.

 

 

To learn more about the Gilbertville Depot:

Alex Heuer / Iowa Public Radio

Host Ben Kieffer continues the second hour of the special, two-part program featuring conversations he had on a recent trip to the Iowa State Penitentiary in Ft. Madison. The current building dates back to 1839 but a new prison is under construction. Ben talks with two inmates serving life sentences to find out about their lives now and how that may change at the new facility. Ben later talks with Director of the Iowa Department of Corrections John Baldwin.

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.

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.

Saving a Sullivan?

Apr 18, 2012
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.

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