River to River

River to River
11:00 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Spencer Wells and Lawrence Goldstone

National Geographic explorer-in-residence Spencer Wells has been leading expeditions all over the world to collect DNA samples from different human indigenous populations.  Join host Ben Kieffer as he talks with Wells about how his Genographic Project hopes to use that DNA to map how humankind populated the planet and find out how your DNA can become part of the project.  Also, author Lawrence Goldstone on his book “Inherently Unequal: The Betrayal of Equal Rights by the Supreme Court, 1865 to 1903.”

River to River
11:00 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Politics Day

Join host Ben Kieffer as we talking about the U.S. closing its embassy in Syria this week amid growing violence there. What can or should the U.S. do?  Also, new U.S. sanctions are imposed on Iran as tensions rise between that country and Israel.  And, will GOP caucus results in Minnesota and Colorado show Mitt Romney remaining at the front of the pack?  Ben’s guests are political scientists Jim McCormick of Iowa State University and Bruce Gronbeck of the University of Iowa.

River to River
11:00 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Hazing in Iowa

The ritual of hazing is nothing new - the act of using harassment, abuse or humiliation as a way of initiating a person into a group. There have been three separate incidents across the state recently involving alleged hazing incidents within high school wrestling programs. Ben talks with University of Northern Iowa Associate Professor Jennifer Waldron about her research looking at the culture of hazing. We'll also hear from an eastern Iowa high school student who has led an anti-bullying initiative at College Community Schools.

River to River
11:00 pm
Sun February 5, 2012

Legislative Monday: Ag Compromise and Gun Legislation

Gun Rights advocates are back at the statehouse.  Host Joyce Russell talks with Representative Matt Windschitl and Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner about several bills expanding gun rights. They follow up on the 2010 law clearing the way for more weapons permits.  Also a compromise in the Iowa Senate over documenting practices at large scale livestock facilities.

River to River
1:00 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Being Gay in Iowa

All this week we've been hearing what it's like to come out to family and friends, or deal with bullying as part of "Being Gay in Iowa." Host Ben Kieffer talks with four Iowans who share their experiences with these issues and more... from running for political office as an openly gay candidate, to being put in the spotlight as part of the battle over same sex marriage.  Guests include Nate Monson, Executive Director of Iowa Safe Schools; Sharon Malheiro, Chair of One Iowa; Kate Varnum, plaintiff in Varnum v.

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River to River
11:00 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

Food Wasted

According to the EPA, more than 34 million tons of food waste ends up in landfills each year. Iowa generated nearly 3 million tons in 2010, but some Iowans are working to keep waste out of Iowa's landfills. Bakery goods that don’t get eaten or go bad, food scraps and bi-products of the food preparation process can all be recycled. In Anamosa, Endres Processing turns this waste into feed for Iowa’s livestock. We’ll hear from Brad Edwards, a manager at the plant about what goes on there and how he feeds his own cattle the processed waste in addition to traditional feed.

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River to River
11:00 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Politics Day

Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn has announced he will step down. The move comes after a so-called “virtual tie” was announced as the official result of this year’s Iowa Caucuses. Host Ben Kieffer talks with Dennis Goldford of Drake University and Tim Hagle of University of Iowa about the continued fallout from an Iowa presidential contest that was too close to call.  They also analyze results of the Florida primary and prospects for a protracted fight over the Republican nomination.

River to River
11:00 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Accordion Families

In sociologist Katherine Newman's new book, The Accordion Family, she argues that globalization and weak economies have caused households to expand and incorporate grandparents, parents and children under one roof. Ben Kieffer speaks with Newman about the challenges of loved ones living together to make ends meet. We'll also hear from an Ames family whose two adult daughters have moved back home in an effort to save money.

River to River
11:00 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

Legislative Monday: Gas Tax Increase

In October, the Governor's Transportation 2020 Citizen Advisory Commission recommended an eight to ten cents per gallon gas tax increase to generate funding for Iowa's roads and infrastructure.

River to River
11:00 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Heroin in Iowa

Deaths from heroin overdoses have spiked in Iowa in recent months and the Drug Enforcement Agency reports a cheaper, more potent version of the drug is in the state. We'll examine the drug's prevalence with Dale Woolery of the Governor's Office of Drug Control Policy and Kelly Reitzler of the Area Substance Abuse Council in Cedar Rapids.

River to River
11:00 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Regulating Lawsuit Investments

Investments call to mind stocks, bonds and real estate, but what about investing in lawsuits and picking a winner in the courtroom? We examine the growing trend of litigation financing with University of Iowa Law Professor Maya Steinitz. She sees it as a way of leveling the playing field between the haves and the have not's on the legal landscape.   

River to River
11:00 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Politics Day: State of the Union

President Obama is coming to Iowa right after he delivers his third State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. It's part of a swing through the country to promote his agenda. Host Ben Kieffer talks about the speech, the President's stop in Cedar Rapids and what he needs to do to convince voters he deserves a second term.  Guests are Donna Hoffman, University of Northern Iowa and Wayne Moyer of Grinnell College. What message would you like to send the President about the State of the Union?

River to River
11:00 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

STEM Advisory Leaders

Movers and shakers in Iowa's business and education fields gather in Des Moines this week for Governor Branstad's Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Advisory Council Meeting. STEM education brings new and innovative science and technology learning into the classroom. Ben talks with Jeff Weld, Director of the Iowa Math, Science and Education Partnership and Cindy Dietz of Rockwell Collins. Later, a conversation with organizations taking the lead in STEM initiatives.

River to River
11:00 pm
Sun January 22, 2012

Nuclear Energy Expansion in Iowa

A controversial bill to clear the way for a new nuclear power plant passed the Iowa House last year and might be considered in the Iowa Senate. Join host Joyce Russell as she talks with the President of Mid-American Energy, key state lawmakers, and representatives of interest groups who oppose the bill.

River to River
11:00 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Chief Justice Mark Cady and Congressman Steve King

Last week, the Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court addressed the legislature. He cited budget constraints and requested $10 million in new funding.  Join host Ben Kieffer as he talks with Chief Justice Mark Cady.  Later in the hour, Ben talks with Iowa’s fifth district Congressman Steve King.

River to River
11:00 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Certified Caucus Results and Dr. Jane Goodall

Certified results from the Iowa Caucus contest of January 3rd now show former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum leading former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney by 34 votes.  We get analysis of what this means from University of Iowa political science professor Tim Hagle and Iowa State University political science professor David Petersen.  Later in the program, host Ben Kieffer talks with globe-trotting icon and U.N. Messenger of Peace Dr.

River to River
11:00 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Politics Day

Voters in South Carolina go to the polls Saturday, January 21st and there will be one less candidate in the Republican field. Host Ben Kieffer, looks ahead to the voting and back on the latest GOP Presidential debate with Iowa State University's Steffen Schmidt and Coe College's Bruce Nesmith. They also talk about Jon Huntsman's departure and whether Mitt Romney takes on a sense of inevitability if he does well in a third nominating contest.

River to River
11:00 pm
Sun January 15, 2012

Encore Edition: Being African-American in Iowa

On this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day we listen back to a program from September of last year. As part of IPR's Being in Iowa series, we examine the African-American experience in Iowa. Ben's guest's are Waterloo East High School Principal Dr. Willy Barney, counselor Shannon Harrington and Des Moines University Medical Director Dr. Carolyn Beverly.

River to River
11:00 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Life in the Next America and Lead-free solder

Host Ben Kieffer talks with PBS senior correspondent and former “Talk of the Nation” host Ray Suarez who will deliver the 2012 UI Health Care Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

River to River
11:00 pm
Wed January 11, 2012

Congressman Braley and New Video Games Research

The 112th Congress convenes next week.  We'll check in with Iowa 1st District Congressman Bruce Braley on his priorities, including working with the Postal Service to streamline costs in an effort to keep a number of small town post offices open. Later, Iowa State University Associate Professor of Psychology Doug Gentile sheds light on new research understanding the positive and negative ways in which video games can affect cognition and behavior. 

River to River
11:00 pm
Tue January 10, 2012

Politics Day: New Hampshire Primary

Voters in New Hampshire are weighing in on the Republican Presidential race.  We analyze the results of the first-in-the-nation primary with Josh Rogers of New Hampshire Public Radio, Granite State political analyst Arnie Arnesen and Tim Hagle, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Iowa.  Join host, Ben Kieffer, as we discuss the outcome and implications.  Who moves on to South Carolina?  Who bows out?

River to River
11:00 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Consumer Protection in Iowa

After months of battling in Washington, President Barack Obama made the controversial appointment of Richard Cordray to be the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Bill Brauch, director of the Iowa Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division about the new bureau and about consumer protection in Iowa.  We’ll also hear the story of one Iowan who lost nearly $30,000 in a credit card scam.

River to River
11:00 pm
Sun January 8, 2012

Legislative Monday: 2012 Priorities and Education

Iowa lawmakers are getting ready to convene for the 2012 legislative session.  Statehouse Reporter Joyce Russell looks ahead to priorities of Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal and House Speaker Pro Tempore Jeff Kauffmann.  Then we talk with Senator Herman Quirmbach and Representative Greg Forristall who Chair the Education committees of their chambers, and will oversee the Governor's education reform plans.  It's part of our weekly series from the Law Library at the Iowa Statehouse.

River to River
11:00 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

Legislative Session Preview

Iowa’s 85th General Assembly convenes in Des Moines at the state capitol Monday. We take this hour to check in with a few of the state’s representatives and senators and ask what is on their agendas for the 2012 session. In the first half, host Ben Kieffer speaks with Representatives Josh Byrnes from Osage and Tom Sands from Columbus Junction. Then in the second half, we'll hear from Senators Matt McCoy from Des Moines, Randy Feenstra from Hull and Rob Hogg from Cedar Rapids.

River to River
11:00 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

Changing Weather and Homeland Security Priorities

The shovels and snow blowers remain locked in the garage and golf courses are open for business- not the typical January in Iowa. Ben talks with Craig Cogil of the National Weather Service about changing Midwest weather patterns and State Climatologist Harry Hillaker checks in with his 2011 weather summary. Later, the new head of Iowa's Homeland Security Department, Mark Schouten, lays out his priorities for the coming year.

River to River
11:00 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Politics Day: Caucus Recap

Who won? Who lost? And what were the biggest surprises of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses? Ben is joined by Drake University Political Scientist Dennis Goldford for complete analysis of Tuesday's first-in-the-nation votes. New Hampshire political analyst Arnie Arnesen joins the conversation to preview the New Hampshire Primaries.

River to River
11:00 pm
Mon January 2, 2012

Inspirational Presidential Speeches

Do inspirational words of the past fit into the politics of today? We attempt to answer that question by examining some of the most influential presidential campaign speeches of the 20th century. Ben's guest is Michael Cohen, whose book Live from the Campaign Trail brings to life the words that have shaped American politics over the last century.  Consultant Jim Anderson joins the conversation to reveal the science of successful speech writing.

River to River
11:00 pm
Sun January 1, 2012

Last-Minute Caucus Push

In the final hours before the caucuses, we touch base with Iowa Public Radio reporters across the state covering the candidates. Political Science professors Dennis Goldford of Drake University and Bruce Nesmith of Coe College join the discussion to examine last-minute polling prior to Tuesday's first-in-the-nation votes.

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