This week, Havana erupted in celebration with the announcement of a new era of relations between Cuba and the United States. On this news buzz edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer sits down with Iowan Mauro Heck, who has just returned from Cuba.
Heck says that while Cuba is beautiful and the people are inviting, the country is "organized chaos."
President Obama made the announcement this week that, in the aftermath of Ferguson and other cases, the White House would call for $75 million over three years to make 50,000 body cameras available to police departments across the country.
A recent report from the Iowa Department of Human Rights indicates the number of inmates in Iowa will increase by four thousand in 10 years. The report looks at the number of people going into prison, how long they are staying, and how many people are released each year.
The Director of Research at the Iowa Department of Corrections, Lettie Prell, says prison officials have seen high numbers like this before.
“We view this forecast as being not set in stone, but as an indication of where we might be going if we don’t examine our current policies and practices."
Last year at the Iowa State Fair, Jason Powell of Des Moines said his free speech rights were violated after security guards ordered him to stop preaching on public sidewalks. Today on River to River, we find out the status of his lawsuit as well as whether he will be allowed at this year’s fair. We also find out about an Iowa developed vaccine that could cure dust-mite allergies. That and all the week’s Iowa stories on a news buzz edition of River to River.
A beloved Iowa eagle was found dead earlier this week. Indy, as his fans called him, a young male eaglet whose hatching was witnessed by thousands online earlier this spring was electrocuted by a power pole on Tuesday. The bird had a large following in the state and across the country; more than 500 people have posted condolences on the Raptor Resource Project’s Facebook page. Host Ben Kieffer speaks with their executive director, Bob Anderson, about what happened to the bird and what can be done to protect these eagles in the future.
Last summer, a Long Grove resident was arrested after police found marijuana plants in his home. Benton Mackenzie claims his family grew the plants in order to treat a rare blood-vessel cancer. This past week, the jury reached a guilty verdict for Mackenzie, his wife and child.
Host Ben Kieffer talks with Brian Wellner, crime reporter for the Quad City Times, about the circumstances, outcome of the trial and why the jury couldn’t hear his primary defense.
Des Moines Register political columnist, Kathie Obradovich, joins River to River to discuss the ongoing investigation into settlement agreements given to former state employees for their silence upon termination.
The World Cup kicked off yesterday in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The USA team is slated to compete with Ghana on Monday (June 16). Here with us to preview the events is Tanya Keith, who has spent the last two decades avidly following the World Cup, quite literally, from country to country, as a super-fan. Tanya is from Des Moines, Iowa.
Guest: Tanya Keith, Author of Passionate Soccer Love, soccer fan, writer, Des Moines resident
Standup comedian, author, and Wait Wait Don't Tell Me panelist, Paula Poundstone, will be in Des Moines next Saturday, June 21st at Hoyt Sherman Place. She joins River to River to talk comedy style and 'tweeting' comedy.
"The first time somebody showed me Twitter, I thought it was the stupidest, most ego-centric thing I've ever seen in my life," says Poundstone. "I still think that, it's just that I enjoy it very much."
Would you eat the eggs of a hen lost in virtual reality?
On this River to River segment - a proposal by Austin Stewart of Iowa State University to give real, captive chickens a true virtual experience of roaming a free range.
“All the chickens in this world would have microphones so they can squawk at one another and socialize," says Stewart.
Spoiler alert: While Stewart admits that this is not a real business proposal, he is trying to provoke discussion on our lives as people living in "boxes" as well as communication on our livestock practices.
Shirlin Kingston, a 5th grader from Ames, will represent Iowa at the 26th annual National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C. She leaves Sunday for the East coast and says the fact that she is homeschooled and gets to spend more time on what interests her has helped her succeed in the competition so far.
If she wins the national bee, she’ll win a trip to the Galapagos Islands, which is exactly the place she’s says she's always wanted to go. “It’s right next to the equator, but they have penguins there” she tells host Ben Kieffer during this River to River interview.
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:
On this News Buzz edition of the program, hear about a legislative shouting match, legalizing fireworks, the ACLU lawsuit against the Iowa Secretary of State, a survey of Iowans' thoughts on gay marriage, the Kepler mission, and a push to increase studying abroad.
Legislative shouting match and and other legislative fireworks:
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.
Lake Street Dive bassist and native Iowan Bridget Kearney appeared with her band on the 'Colbert Report' this week. She says that the bump in attention after the appearance was immediate and significant. 'River to River' host Ben Kieffer talks with Kearney in this final segment of a 'News Buzz' edition of the program.
And here is the video of their appearance on the Colbert Report:
In this News Buzz program, hear six short interviews about: the Iowa Juvenile Home, the Olympics in Russia, an embarrassing phone conversation involving the U.S. State Department, a cyber-security competition, a deadly snowmobile accident and safety concerns, and the analysis of flood prediction.
For our weekly news buzz program, we get a review of the pending U.S. farm bill that is moving through Congress, how businesses are dealing with the Affordable Care Act, modern humans have a surprising amount of genes that come from Neanderthals, an important piece of art is returning to Iowa, a new smartphone app designed in Iowa with which users can hear and see how to pronounce certain foreign language sounds, and we hear from a couple mayors of towns on this year’s RAGBRAI route.
Today we bring you four stories. First, the Iowa legislative session kicks off this week. IPR's Joyce Russell brings us inside the statehouse to give us an idea of what will and won't be worked on this year.
An otherwise healthy young boy died from the influenza virus. Patricia Quinlisk talks to host Ben Kieffer about why this flu season is different than previous years and how to limit spread of the virus.
For this News Buzz show, Ben Kieffer talks with a variety of guests about new jobs numbers, the 51% four-year graduation rate at the University of Iowa, Matt Schultz running for congress, the Director of Iowa's Public Health Department resigning, new rules for teen drivers, concerns about ice on the Missouri River, an ice fishing update, and the remarkable beginning for ISU Cyclone men's and women's basketball.
In this News Buzz show we talk with state maintenance engineer for the Iowa DOT Bob Younie about the winter driving conditions for today and the weekend, State Certified Sign Language Interpreter Lindsey Kang about what makes for good sign language, Captain Jim Steffen from the Iowa City Police Department about protecting police dogs, Dennis Lee and Daren Schumaker from Team 99 Counties, and The Des Moines Register's Kyle Munson about his coverage of odd stories about animals this year.