River to River

2:38 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Launch of Radiation Belt Storm Probes Delayed

Mohammed Alhadab/The Daily Iowan

NASA's launch of the Radiation Belt Storm Probes developed, in part, by University of Iowa Professor of Physics and Astronomy Craig Kletzing has been delayed.  The Atlas rocket is now scheduled to lift off on Thursday.  River to River's Ben Kieffer speaks with Kletzing about the delay, and the project's eventual goals.

River to River
11:41 am
Thu June 21, 2012

University President Sally Mason and Rural Attorneys

Receiving basic legal services such as drafting a contract or selling a house is becoming more difficult in some rural Iowa communities. Rural attorneys are retiring and many are not being replaced. I’m Ben Kieffer, and next time on River to River we’ll talk about a new collaboration between the Iowa State Bar Association and Iowa law programs encouraging young attorneys to practice in small towns. And, a conversation with University of Iowa President Sally Mason.

River to River
1:30 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Politics Day: Voter Fraud


The general election is just over four months away and some may already know how and when they’re voting. Host Ben Kieffer talks with University of Iowa Political Science Professor Tim Hagle and Associate Professor and author Doug Jones about the attempts made to improve the voting process and if the U.S. elections have gotten better. Later, Ben talks with Bill Schickel, Co-Chair of the Republican Party of Iowa and Caucus Review Committee Chairman about lessons learned from the GOP caucus counting mix-up.

River to River
2:22 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

Sleep Doctor Eric Dyken

What keeps you awake at night? This hour on River to River, Ben Kieffer talks with neurologist Dr. Eric Dyken of the University of Iowa Sleep Disorder Center. We'll hear about a new study on restless leg syndrome being conducted at the University of Iowa, a study linking sleep apnea to cancer and new research showing that most managers sleep with their smartphones. Dyken also tells us about how sleeping with a spouse can be beneficial. 

River to River
1:38 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Being in Iowa: Learning Disabled

In a weeklong series IPR reporter Rob Dillard connected with Iowans to share how their learning disability impacted their life. Host Ben Kieffer talks with doctors and people featured in the series about learning disabilities and how their lives have changed.

River to River
1:18 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Retired Hy-Vee CEO Ric Jurgens & Health and Wellness

Earlier this month Ric Jurgens retired as CEO and Chairman of Hy-Vee after 43 years with the company. The Iowa-based supermarket chain operates 235 stores in eight states. This hour on River to River, Ben Kieffer talks with Ric Jurgens about the evolution of Hy-Vee and trends in the grocery business. During the second half of the hour, we'll talk with two dieticians about healthy eating and changes to school lunch menus which take effect this year.

River to River
2:07 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Politics Day: Political Gaffes

On Politics Day, IPR’s Dean Borg talks with two political scientists, Bruce Nesmith from Coe College and Donna Hoffman from the University of Northern Iowa, about the current strategies of President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney including the recent political gaffes and how the incidents may impact the candidates. Later on, Dean talks about the potential influence Ron Paul could have in Iowa’s Republican party in light of the coming GOP state convention.

River to River
10:44 am
Tue June 12, 2012

2012 World Food Prize Laureate

Daniel Hillel

The 2012 World Food Prize Laureate is Daniel Hillel. Hillel is a pioneer in water irrigation systems, and his work transformed farming in dry desert areas in the Middle East through a trickle irrigation method. We’ll talk with Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, President of the World Food Prize Foundation, to find out more about Hillel and the award that is increasingly called, the “Nobel Prize of Food.”  And, we’ll listen back to past interviews with the 2009 and 2010 Laureates.

River to River
11:35 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Practical Wisdom

Greek philosopher Aristotle called it practical wisdom; we know it as common sense. Is there a lack of it in our society? In an encore show, listen back to when host Ben Kieffer spoke with Political Science Professor Kenneth Sharpe who, along with Barry Schwartz, wrote a book that argues much dissatisfaction with institutions comes from people within the system being unable to use their practical wisdom – or common sense. Also listen to callers who share personal stories of instances where practical wisdom was abundant, or abundantly lacking.

River to River
1:34 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

Villisca Axe Murder 100th Anniversary

One hundred years ago, an entire family was wiped out by an axe wielding killer in the southwestern Iowa town of Villisca, a crime that remains unsolved to this day. Host Ben Kieffer re-examines Iowa’s worst mass homicide with award-winning filmmakers Tammy and Kelly Rundle who made a documentary about the incident. Ben also talks with historian Edgar Epperly.

River to River
1:23 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

Iowa City Landfill Fire Update and Homeless Animals

This hour on River to River, we get an update on the Iowa City Landfill fire which currently covers 7 acres of land and is producing a toxic, tar-like liquid that is highly flammable. In the second half of the hour, we'll talk about the record number of animals in the care of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa and what can be done about the problem. 

River to River
1:48 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Politics Day - Wisconsin Recall Results

 Tuesday’s Wisconsin recall election revealed Scott Walker will retain his seat as governor. IPR’s Dean Borg talks with political scientists from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, the University of Iowa, and the University of Northern Iowa about what Scott Walker’s success in overcoming a recall election means for Democrats and Republicans. Later, Dean also analyzes the races in Iowa’s Congressional districts now that the general election ballot is set.

River to River
1:57 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Mount Everest Overcrowding and World Record Juggling in Iowa

A recent photo by Outside Magazine shows a line of 300 climbers on Mt. Everest creating a bottleneck which contributed to the deaths of four people. On this River, program, guest host Alex Heuer talks with the first Iowan to summit Mount Everest,  Charlie Wittmack , and Iowa City physician and mountain climber Chuck Huss. They’ll talk about the increasing popularity of climbing the world’s tallest peak and the implications. Then, Alex talks with the world’s fastest juggler, Iowan Mark Hanson of Kanawha. His juggling attempt was recently certified by Guinness World Records.

River to River
12:00 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Iowans in the NBA

We’ve reached the final four in the National Basketball Association Playoffs.  We’ll get insights and analysis from two Iowans who are pro-basketball lifers- Fort Madison native Ryan Bowen, an eleven-year NBA veteran who works on the Denver Nuggets coaching staff.  And West Des Moines’ Matt Bullard, who played 12 NBA seasons, and works as the color commentator on Houston Rockets broadcasts.  We’ll also hear  how they’re Iowa roots have helped them on the professional basketball stage.




River to River
12:02 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

Inside the Fort Madison State Penitentiary - Part 2

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.

River to River
1:21 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Inside the Fort Madison State Penitentiary

Alex Heuer Iowa Public Radio

Have you ever wondered what life is like behind bars? On River to River today, we aired the first of a special two-part program from inside the Iowa State Penitentiary in Ft. Madison, the oldest prison west of the Mississippi still in use. During this hour, we hear from Warden Nick Ludwick, a counselor who was taken hostage during a prison riot in the 1980’s and from offenders serving life sentences.

River to River
8:47 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Politics Day - Primary Preview

All eyes are on Texas, but attention will soon turn to Iowa's primary elections and the efforts to recall a sitting Governor in Wisconsin.  Host Ben Kieffer will analyze results and look ahead for signs of what's to come with Drake University Political Scientist Dennis Goldford and University of Iowa Professor Emeritus of Communications Bruce Gronbeck.

River to River
10:26 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Animal Tool Behavior

Tools are not only used by humans- ground squirrels kick sand in the faces of venomous snakes, mice set out markers to find their way home and apes do all kinds of things with tools - crack open nuts, apply herbal medications, open locks and doors, stir liquids, saw wood and even dig with a shovel. In a program that originally aired last June, Ben talks with the authors of the revision of the seminal book Animal Tool Behavior.   We ask if tool use is evolutionary important and what it indica

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River to River
1:51 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Wind Energy in Iowa


Following President Obama’s stop at an Iowa wind turbine blade manufacturer to warn of the pending loss of wind energy tax credits, host Ben Kieffer talks with wind energy businessman Rob Hoch from Alta who sat down with the President this week. Also, David Kreutzer, a senior policy analyst from the Heritage Foundation talks about the potential problems with wind energy. Later, Ben talks with author Philip Warburg whose new book, “Harvest the Wind”, looks at the hope and promise wind energy could bring to declining rural communities.

River to River
4:12 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Polk County Sheriff Visits Israel & Life of Secret Service Agent

Polk County Sheriff Bill McCarthy has just returned from Israel, chosen by the National Sheriff's Association to learn about homeland security measures. McCarthy talks about the experience, including learning about the mindset of suicide bombers and new security technologies. Later, members of the U.S. Secret Service are in the state, providing security for President Obama's central Iowa campaign stop. Ben talks with former secret service agent Dan Emmett about what it takes to protect the nation's top executive.

River to River
9:16 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Politics Day

President Obama is back in the state this week, visiting a wind turbine manufacturer in Newton. We'll look at how the pending loss of two wind energy tax credits could affect Iowa's economy. Also, a new poll shows the President and Mitt Romney locked in a dead heat over who could fix the economy.  Ben's guests are University of Northern Iowa Political Science Chair Donna Hoffman and University of Iowa Associate Political Science Professor Tim Hagle. Iowa Public Radio Chief Correspondent Dean Borg joins the conversation to discuss the 1st District Primary debate held this week in Cedar Rapid

River to River
2:31 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Boating Safety on Iowa Waterways & Rescue at Maquoketa Caves State Park

This week is National Safe Boating Week, which comes after an unfortunate boating accident over the weekend on the Mississippi River which claimed the lives of four boaters and injured eight others. Host Ben Kieffer talks with Susan Stocker, Boating Safety Coordinator for the Iowa DNR and Robert Edwards, of the Maquoketa Fire Department and Rescue Squad. Edwards was one of the first rescuers on the scene of where a couple of spelunkers were trapped in a cave at Maquoketa Caves State Park – one for more than 20 hours.

River to River
3:07 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Joplin Anniversary

A former neighborhood in Joplin ten months after the tornado.
Liam Kieffer

One year after one of the deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history struck Joplin, Missouri, host Ben Kieffer takes us on trip to Joplin to talk with survivors of the disaster.

We hear from Martha Goldman and Ian Coday, the young couple who survived in their closet as the house around them was ripped away. Also, 76-yr old Carolyn Pendergraft talks about surviving in her basement while above her half century-old donut shop was destroyed.

River to River
11:44 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Technology Free Getaways

The Inn at Irish Hollow

Cell phones, computers, televisions – they seem to be everywhere we go. Join host Ben Kieffer as we explore an effort by the Tri-State Tourism Council promoting technology-free getaways in eastern Iowa, southwest Wisconsin, and northwest Illinois.

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River to River
12:08 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Dee Dee Myers & Speedo's Fastskin 3 Racing System

Iowa State kinesiology professor Rick Sharp called upon Cyclone swimmers (L to R) Amanda Paulson, Bri Carlberg and Imelda Wistey to test out Speedo's new Fastskin®3 Racing System.
Photo by ISU News Service

Join host Ben Kieffer as he talks with former White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers, who served during President Bill Clinton’s first term. Myers is the author of the 2008 New York Times best-selling book “Why Women Should Rule the World.”  She, along with former presidential advisor Karl Rove, will share insights on the presidential election Thursday evening, May 17th at Cornell College.

River to River
3:11 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

Politics Day

Mitt Romney returned to Iowa for the first time since becoming his party's presumptive nominee, and likened President Obama's economic leadership to a "prairie fire" looming on the horizon.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Steffen Schmidt, University Professor of Political Science at ISU, and Chris Larimer, Associate Professor of Political Science at UNI.  They discuss Romney's visit, Obama's talking points on JP Morgan Chase, Iowa's congressional races and Ron Paul's delegate strategy.

River to River
1:10 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Agricultural Reporters Roundtable

Dow Chemical’s so-called “Agent Orange Corn” is being criticized by some in the agriculture community but is being praised by others as weed resistance plagues farmers. Corn producers fret about a possible decline in corn prices in a record planting year, and beef producers are concerned about affects of the controversy regarding “lean finely textured beef.” This hour we talk with Rob Swoboda, the editor of Wallace’s Farmer, Dan Piller of the Des Moines Register and Iowa Public Radio correspondent Clay Masters about issues facing Iowa’s agriculture industry.

River to River
1:35 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

Legislative Wrap-up

Iowa lawmakers have adjourned for the year… and now they’ll be hitting the campaign trail armed with accomplishments.  Host Joyce Russell talks with legislative leaders, Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal and Assistant Majority Leader in the House Steven Lukan, about what they’ll highlight in legislative races.  Then, statehouse reporters, James Lynch of the Cedar Rapids Gazette and Jason Clayworth of the Des Moines Register, offer their takes on what did and did NOT get done.

River to River
1:12 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Marketing of Mom and Dave Isay

Mother’s day is this weekend.  StoryCorps founder David Isay’s book, “Mom” is based on interviews from around the country -- people talking to, and about, their mothers.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Isay.  And, he takes a look at the marketing of mom.  Many companies run ads around mother's day aimed at moms, and seeking to attach positive memories to their products.  How successful are their efforts?

River to River
1:30 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Amusement Park Attendance & Life-Saving Story

Join host Ben Kieffer as he talks with Tom Schrier of Iowa State University about his work studying how new attractions influence attendance rates at amusement parks.  Then, on July 9, 2011, Joe Gantner of Cedar Rapids set-off on a 100-mile training ride for RAGBRAI. About four miles into the trip his heart stopped and he lost consciousness.  Ben talks with Joe Gatner about the remarkable story of how he survived the ordeal and is now preparing for this year’s bicycle ride across Iowa. RAGBRAI director T.J.