Many of the big ideas that have changed the world have started in small towns.Â Host Charity Nebbe talks with John Miller about his new book, Small Town Dreams: Stories of Midwestern Boys Who Shaped America, weâ€™ll talk about how the place you come from shapes who you are, how small towns have changed over the years and about some remarkable men who came from Midwestern small towns. Then, sociologist Paul Lasley talks about what it means to grow up in a small town today.
When a storm knocks out power for a few hours, it's an inconvenience; if the outage lasts much longer it becomes a crisis.Â However, not so long ago electricity was far from ubiquitous in Iowa.
Iowan Kieth Wirt was 10 years old when electricity came to his familyâ€™s farm in Panora. Like most households, the first appliance the Wirts purchased was a refrigerator, and soon after indoor plumbing.
Low propane supplies in the Midwest have driven up the cost of the fuel used by many rural families to heat their homes and businessesâ€”to the point where Senator Chuck Grassley has requested an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission.
Iowa Public Radioâ€™s Durrie Bouscaren traveled to an area in Central Iowa that depends on propane, and came back with this story.Â
This program includes Â hearing from one Iowa community that has incorporated new roundabouts aimed at easing traffic flow, and state lawmakers talk about what projects might be in store for the state, and how they might want to fund those projects. A House Republican and a Senate Democrat find agreement on one aspect of the issue: the gas tax.
Even if the rollout of the federal health law had gone off without a technical hitch, getting millions of Americans to sign up for insurance would still be a tall order. Thatâ€™s why the law includes funding for workers trained to help people find their way around the new system. But in rural states like Iowa, with populations spread across hundreds of miles, those workers face an especially daunting challenge.
Before the Great Depression there was the farm recession, and times were tough for farm families in Iowa. This hour, we focus on the lives of rural Iowa women in the early twentieth century.
Host Charity Nebbe talks with author Chris Baker about his grandmother, growing up in rural Davis County in the 1920s. Baker recently published a book including journal entries detailing her life. And, historians Dorothy Schwieder and Katherine Jellison help us understand the times.
Itâ€™s mid-morning on a bleak March day in Nilwood, Ill. And every 10 minutes or so, a car or truck pulls into the gravel parking lot in front of the south-central Illinois townâ€™s post office. Â Â
Because there is no mail delivery here, the townâ€™s 236 residents must stop in to the post office to stay connected. Staffed by one full-time postmaster and one relief person, this office provides mail service six days a week.Â Â Â As in many rural communities across the country, the post office serves as an informal community center.
At times, people living in rural Iowa struggle for access to medical specialists. The nearest pediatrician or cardiologist may be hours from a patient's home. River to River examines the state of rural health care in Iowa and now that health care is the law of the land, how will health care change in Iowa?
In recent months, several small-town Iowa reproductive health care clinics have closed. And now, more may be in danger. Bills introduced this month in Congress threaten to cut Title X funding, which provides for reproductive health care across the nation, and supplies it to places with few other options like rural Iowa.
In the Iowa Statehouse, and in statehouses across the nation, representatives are finding themselves separatedâ€”not by party lines, but by whether they come from an urban or rural district.Â This weekend, the first national Urban Ag Academy was held in Des Moines. The goal? To look at that divide and to give a voice to minority farmers.
In the Iowa Statehouse, and in statehouses across the nation, representatives are finding themselves separatedâ€”not by party lines, but by whether they come from an urban or rural district.Â This weekend, the first Urban Ag Academy was held in Des Moines. The goal? To look at that divide and to give a voice to minority farmers. More than sixty state representatives from across the country came together to in an effort to help bridge the divide between city and country.Â
July 1 is a big date for mental health care in Iowaâ€”thatâ€™s the day funding switches over to a redesigned model. The legislature approved a plan to equalize mental health care funding for low income residents across the state.Â Some counties are crying foul, saying programs will be gutted. But otherâ€™s say the change they say finally gives all counties a level playing field.