Weather

Weather
11:46 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Iowa Prepares for First Major Winter Storm

UPDATE 12:35 pm Monday, January 5, 2015 - The "General" in charge of the Iowa Department of Transportation's battle plan for the approaching snow storm says they're ready to go. 

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News
6:14 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Baby It's Cold INSIDE

Many Iowans are still struggling to pay off last winter's utility bills.

The U.S Energy Administration this week predicted Midwesterners could enjoy utility bills as much as 38 percent lower than last winter. While that sounds good, the man who oversees a low income heating assistance program believes the numbers are flawed.

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News Buzz
5:29 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Iowa DREAMer Responds to President Obama's Announcement on Immigration

Justin Valas

The President's order to protect five million undocumented immigrants from deportation has been welcomed by some, condemned by others.

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River to River
5:30 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

The Solar Flare That Nearly Knocked Out Power to Tens of Millions

NASA's "Best-Observed X-Class Flare of All Time" from March 2014
NASA/SDO/AIA

NASA just released news that back in 2012, the Earth came very close to being hit by a solar flare – an event that could have wiped out electrical power for tens of millions of people.

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Environment
4:56 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Iowa's Rising Waters

Flooding closed a portion of a road in southeast Johnson County, July 1 2014
Amy Mayer Iowa Public Radio

Iowa’s rivers and reservoirs have not reached flood stages of 1993 or 2008, but many communities are still dealing with significant flooding.

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News Buzz
4:44 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Lightning Follows the Path of Least Resistance (Don't let that be you!)

The last Iowa death caused by lightning was in 2008
William Ingram

True or False - If taller things are around you, you're safe from getting hit by lightning.

True or False - You should determine whether it is safe to be outside based on the amount of seconds between lightning and thunder.

True or False - You can develop tree looking "tattoos" if you survive a lightning strike.

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News
6:30 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Siouxland Recovers from Floods

Dawn De Wit, of Rock Valley, stands beside a flooded farm field on the outskirts of this town of more than 3,000 residents in northwest Iowa.
Credit Clay Masters / IPR

  Torrential downpours in northwest Iowa caused rivers to swell… floodwaters damaged homes, businesses and farmland.  Federal Emergency Management Agency officials are assessing the area to see if it qualifies for federal help. State officials on Monday said public infrastructure sustained more than $15 million worth of damage in the state.

That doesn’t include homes, businesses and farmland in Rock Valley and other parts of the region that were destroyed.

“We’ve had a few (floods), but nothing remotely close to this,” said Rock Valley Mayor Kevin Van Otterloo.

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News Buzz
2:20 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Flooding Closes State Parks

Flooding in downtown Cedar Rapids in 2008
Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this week, a levee broke in Rock Valley, Iowa, flooding several homes and businesses. Yesterday Sioux City residents flew into action sandbagging along the river.

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Horticulture Day
2:02 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

The Polar Vortex & Emerald Ash Borer: Tough on Iowa Trees

A section of tree showing the serpentine galleries of the emerald ash borer larvae.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

It continues to be a tough year for trees in Iowa. The Polar Vortex left its mark on many trees and shrubs, and now a tenth county has been added to the list of counties in Iowa where the Emerald Ash Borer has been discovered. That county is Johnson County, and an adult female Emerald Ash Borer was found in Iowa City.

Also, listeners have their plant and garden questions answered by Jeff Iles, Professor and Chair of the Horticulture Department at Iowa State University, and Richard Jauron, Iowa State University Extension Horticulturist.

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News
5:18 am
Fri May 9, 2014

6 Years After the Flood, Last Buyout Homes Go To Auction in Mason City

Sandy Paulsen stands in front of her former home, in Mason City's historic East Park neighborhood.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

On a Saturday morning in Mason City, city officials give a group tour of eight homes once flooded in 2008, in the hopes that someone will come to buy one. and move it out of the floodplain.

It can cost thousands of dollars to pay a contractor to move a two-story, historic house, and turnout is minimal. But a handful of former residents show up to walk through their homes one last time.

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Weather
2:30 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Severe Spring Weather: What's Ahead

Severe storm season begins in Iowa
Cedar Rapids artist, Louis / flickr

This week, Iowa has been pummeled by strong winds, rain, hail, and even a tornado – with Sunday’s storm taking the lives of two Iowans.

Today on River to River, severe weather in the Midwest. Two Iowa climatologists, Bill Gallus (ISU) and Alan Czarnetski (UNI), join the program to talk about this year’s spring season.

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River to River
2:15 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Murky Waters and Pi Day

Though Iowa’s rivers and streams may look particularly scummy or murky, the DNR says the state’s waterways are perfectly fine. The murky appearance is caused by organic matter and is safe.
Ben Kieffer Iowa Public Radio

Is winter almost over?  And how has the long, harsh season affect Iowa's waterways and aquatic life?  Also, the latest Quinnipiac poll, 2014's Cancer in Iowa report, Iowa's new tourism ad campaign and Pi Day at the Science Center of Iowa.

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News Buzz
3:17 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

E-Cigarettes, LIHEAP, Lake Darling and More

Providing a boost from a half dozen bottled waters, dignitaries at the ‘gate setting’ of Lake Darling, add a little water to the soon to be filled lake. The ceremony concludes a $16 million multi-year project.
Joe Wilkinson Iowa DNR

In a News Buzz edition of River to River, Host Ben Kieffer talks with IPR's Clay Masters about debate over a plan to ban the sale of e-cigarettes containing nicotine to minors. 

We hear from Cedar Rapids Democratic Senator Liz Mathis about the need for emergency funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP.  She says one family found it less costly to spend a week in a hotel, rather than heat their home using propane. 

We get local reaction to a new study on the effectiveness of mammograms. 

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News Buzz
3:51 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

An Iowan in Sochi and Other Stories

johnny9s / flickr

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. 

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River to River
3:34 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

The 'Core' of Iowa Education

Thomas Favre-Bulle

In the first half of this program, host Ben Kieffer talks with two members of the new Iowa Department of Education commission charged with strengthening the core curriculum.  Guests are D.T. Magee, the Executive Director of the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners, and Tom Downs, Executive Director of the Iowa Association of School Boards.

In the second half, hear about new attention given to sexual assault, doubling of propane prices, and what is behind the latest cold weather.

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News Buzz
1:34 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Icy Roads, Bad Signing, Dogs, Odd Animals, and 99 Marathons

Evan Long

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.

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News Buzz
2:22 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Cameras, Compromise, 'Codone, 'The Catch,' and Cold

A snow angel
Alan Light

In this 'News Buzz' edition of River to River, hear about new rules for traffic cameras in Iowa, a stopgap farm bill passed in the U.S. House, a new hydrocodone-related drug which is meeting opposition from Iowa's Attorney General, the Hawkeyes will meet LSU, and what's with the early bout of cold weather?

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Climate Science
3:40 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Extreme Weather in the Midwest

Durrie Bouscaren / IPR

In the period between 2008 and 2012, Iowa experienced a record amount of flooding and variability in rainfall, leading to damage that cost the state billions. Today on River to River, host Ben Kieffer asks how climate change is impacting extreme weather patterns, the economic impact, and, how we in Iowa can best prepare for the years to come.

Want more information?

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River to River
2:51 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

How Humans Tolerate Cold Weather

Inuit child sailing his toy boat with caribou-skin sails.
Library and Archives Canada

Humans developed in warm climates, but eventually our ancestors made their way into colder and more inhospitable regions.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with physiologist Kevin Kregel and anthropologist Robert Franciscus of the University of Iowa about how humans have acclimated to cold and challenging environments.

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River to River
2:13 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

News Buzz: Ethanol and Harvest Wrap Up

Nearly all gasoline sold in the U.S. contains up to 10 percent of ethanol—a corn-based liquid often added to gasoline.
Stefanie Seskin

Nearly all gasoline sold in the U.S. contains up to 10 percent of ethanol—a corn-based liquid often added to gasoline. As a renewable fuel ethanol reduces the amount of petroleum-based gasoline on the market and many farmers receive subsidies to grow corn for the biofuel. But now the Environmental Protection Agency is considering a reduction in the required amount of ethanol for the country's gasoline supply.  Harvest Public Media's Ames-based reporter Amy Mayer and host Ben Kieffer discuss the future of ethanol in the U.S.

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River to River
4:05 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Iowa's Filipino American Community and Typhoon Haiyan

Nemesia Tipait (81) was buried under the rubble of her house when it collapse during the typhoon in Barangay Kayang, Bogo City, Cebu. Neighbors rescued her and hope to rebuild her hut.
EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection World Vision

Yesterday the aircraft carrier the U.S.S. George Washington arrived off the coast of the Philippines to deliver aid to survivors of Typhoon Haiyan.  The U.N. says that almost half a million people have been displaced and it is feared that as many as 10,000 have perished.

Dr. Rosa Reyes, the business manager for the Filipino American Association, and Filipino immigrant Mary Sherrill of Waukee talk with Ben Kieffer about how the typhoon has affected the Filipino community here in Iowa. 

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News
6:45 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Five Years After Flood, UI's Hancher Auditorium to be Demolished

Hancher Auditorium has been climate controlled with propane fuel since the 2008 floods.
Credit Dean Borg

 

In Iowa City, a highly visible end of an era for a fine arts icon: Hancher Auditorium’s walls will fall to demolition crews Monday – five years after the Iowa River’s  muddy flood waters surged over the stage where the world’s best dancers, musicians, and thespians once performed. Demolition crews have been working inside since early summer, gutting Hancher’s interior.

Since the 2008 flood, the University of Iowa spent nearly $2 million, using 500,0000 gallons of propane to meet FEMA requirements to keep the building climate-controlled.

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River to River
3:39 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

News Buzz

The Iowa Department of Transportation will allow the state's 37 interstate rest areas to be sponsored by companies and businesses as a way to raise revenue for the DOT's primary road fund.
Jimmy Emerson / jimmywayne Flickr

Host Ben Kieffer gets the latest on news from around Iowa.  MidAmerican Energy gives an update on the power outage which left almost 40,000 Des Moines-area residents in the dark. IPR's Joyce Russell discusses changes to the problematic Toledo Juvenile Home.  The DNR has a new report which looks at drought conditions in Iowa.  Also, Dubuque native Brooks Wheelan joins the cast of "Saturday Night Live."

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River to River
3:10 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

News Buzz: Guns, Allergies, Cheapskates, and 'Cyence'

Professor Arun Somani stands next to an ISU computer that could fill a garage
Bob Elbert

This River to River includes discussion about gun laws in Iowa, high pollen counts and allergies, an Iowan who was appointed to the National Council on the Humanities, ISU has a new very fast computer, hot weather, a holiday weekend State Park preview, and Des Moines and Cedar Rapids are supposedly good places for frugal living.

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News
10:19 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Art carries meaning for new Cedar Rapids ampitheatre

Artist Tom Latka surveys the piece, "Crystal Impressions." His wife and co-designer, Jean, says they built the piece to signify the city's transition after the 2008 flood.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

"Crystal Impressions" will stand at the entrance to the new Cedar Rapids amphitheater along the Cedar River. The floodable, concrete amphitheater incorporates earthen berms and flood walls to protect some of the city's west side.

Husband-and-wife duo Tom and Jean Latka created the piece in their Pueblo, Colorado studio.

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River to River
1:39 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

The World Comes to Iowa

A man biking through the rubble three months after the 2011 Japanese tsunami and earthquake that killed almost 16,000 people.
Kasper Nybo Flickr

The catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March 2011 was the most costly natural disaster in the history of the world and killed almost 16,000 people.  Host Ben Kieffer sits down with Daisuke Ogata, a Japanese college student visiting Des Moines for the summer, and Mary McCarthy of Drake University to discuss how this tragic event has changed U.S.-Japan relations.

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River to River
1:15 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Remembering the Great Flood of 1993

Flooding on Iowa roads.
Dan Patterson Flickr

It's been 20 years since the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers flooded, inundating much of the Midwest for months.  Host Ben Kieffer looks back on this extensive natural disaster that affected millions of Midwesterns with IPR corespondent Dean Borg, Lester Graham who covered flooding along the Mississippi for NPR, and Bill Stowe who worked for Iowa Power and helped coordinate the isolation of Des Moines's electrical system when the Skunk River flooded the city.

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River to River
4:05 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

News Grab-Bag: Vandalized Butter-Cow, Corn Prices, Crackdown on "Montana" RVs, & Digitized Cemetery

Farmers may harvest nearly 14 billion bushels of corn this year – that’s a record and 29% more than last year. However, as a result corn prices have dropped to their lowest since 2010.

Today on River To River, we explore this topic and much more! We travel to the Iowa State Fair, talk weather and corn price predictions, find out what a digitized cemetery is, and explore a new law cracking down on Iowans who register RVs in Montana to avoid paying the 5 percent Iowa registration fee and annual registration fees.

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River to River
4:04 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Invasive Species: Air and Water

Emerald Ash Borer in firewood
U.S. Forestry Service Region 5

The Emerald Ash Borer is spreading through Iowa.  It has now been found in Burlington.  Hear how the insect spreads and what is being done about it.  New rules are in effect for boaters on Iowa's waterways aimed at preventing the spread of invasive plants and animals.

Also, in the second half of the program, we talk about a Cuban baseball player that defected to the U.S. while in Des Moines.  And we wrap up the hour with a discussion about the weather and how Iowa's crops are reacting.

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Talk of Iowa
4:19 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Home Improvement: Protecting Your Home From Moisture

Chad Johnston/ iamthechad Flickr

Houses in Iowa are taking on water from yesterday's heavy storm, but even if basements aren't flooded homes can still be damaged by moisture.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with home improvement expert Bill McAnally about the problems moisture can cause, as well as danger signs and what to do if a home has been effected by moisture or storm damage. Also, McAnally talks about preventing moisture problems when building or renovating a home.

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