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The USDA’s latest update of Iowa crop shows the state with areas of “haves” and “have-nots”.

Despite abundant rains with water standing in some north Iowa fields, the USDA says topsoil moisture is short-to-very-short in nearly a quarter of the state. 

But 76 percent of the state has adequate-to-surplus top soil moisture.

  Presidential hopefuls barnstorm Iowa for months or even years in the run up to the state's first in the nation contest. Many hit all of its 99 counties, but the general election is all about the state's half dozen electoral votes. That means the campaigns treat it differently.

An efficient way to get voters is to target places like Ankeny, Iowa. New census data shows this small farm town turned bustling Des Moines suburb is the third-fastest growing city in the country. Gary Lorenz is its mayor. He says growth is more than just building roads.

In Washington D.C. the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is hard at work hoping to elect more Democrats to the U.S. House.  

In Iowa, they’ve targeted 3rd District Republican incumbent David Young for defeat.   

The DCCC has launched television ads linking Young to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.  

The ads will run in Iowa through the Republican convention.   

The ads are running in ten congressional districts across the country.  

What a weekend it's been at the 80/35 Music Festival! Here's song from TWINS, Iowa's masters of power pop. We'll have full video from all of our IPR live sessions soon!

The Chicago band Genome brought some seriously funky soul sounds to our free stage during their IPR Live Session! The Studio One team has been at the 80/35 Music Festival in Des Moines all weekend - look for full performances from our bands soon. Enjoy this tune from Genome!

Yet another great Des Moines band joined us in the middle of the day on Saturday at the 80/35 festival, as we were treated to an IPR Live Session for The Dead Line String Band! Bluegrass is alive and well in Iowa, and is well represented at the 80/35 festival every year. Have a listen!

Another Des Moines band, Easy Fruit rocked it early Saturday afternoon at the IPR stage. They had played earlier in the day at the Nationwide stage, and judging from the size of our crowd, they earned themselves many new fans! Enjoy this song from Easy Fruit's set!

It got loud early on Saturday at the 80/35 Music Festival when the Des Moines band Goldblums peformed an IPR Live Session at our free stage! Hopefully, you found one of their CDs strategically placed around the festival grounds. We love discovering great Iowa music right along with our listeners!

Our last IPR Live Session on Friday at the 80/35 Music Festival was with the Des Moines band TIRES. Their loud, energetic set was the perfect way to end the first day! Check out one of the songs from their set below. There's still time to check out some great music at the IPR free stage! Come join us!

One of our first Saturday IPR live sessions at this year's 80/35 festival was from the Iowa band SIRES, formerly known as Dylan Sires And Neighbors. It's the first of three Saturday performances from SIRES: in addition to their performance at the Nationwide stage, they'll be playing at one of the official after parties! Enjoy this song from one of Iowa's most beloved bands!

The Des Moines band The Smoothsayers made a big splash on Friday at 80/35 by announcing their new name! Pale Blue Urf packed lots of jamming goodness into their brief IPR live session. Their high-energy performance was a hit with the crowd at our stage!

We were joined by Des Moines' Courtney Krause at the IPR free stage on Friday at the 80/35 Music Festival, not long after her set at the Kum & Go stage. We had a great crowd for this very personable and energetic singer-songwriter, and she was joined by some more great musicians!

We got off to a great start on Friday at the IPR free stage at the 80/35 Music Festival with a live set from the Minneapolis band Pistol Whippin' Party Penguins! Bluegrass music has become a big part of the 80/35 experience, and we're happy to help carry that forward!

Friday was the first day of the 80/35 Music Festival in Des Moines, and once again IPR's Studio One team is on the scene with the IPR free stage! It was a special day for us, as we were treated to a solo acoustic performance by Craig Finn. Best known as the leader of The Hold Steady, Craig played a couple of songs from his second solo album, Faith In The Future.

Join us at the IPR free stage on Saturday for performances from SIRES, Goldblums, TWINS and many more great artists!

The IPR Studio One team is at this year's 80/35 Music Festival in Des Moines, and we're once again hosting many of the festival performers at the IPR free stage. On Friday we were joined by the Des Moines band Holy White Hounds. Their debut full-length album, Sparkle Sparkle, was recently released on the Razor & Tie label, and the band is wrapping up a nationwide tour. Have a listen below!

The ninth annual 80/35 musical festival starts today in Des Moines. The two-day event in Western Gateway Park features nearly 40 local and national acts.

80/35 project manager Amedeo Rossi of the Des Moines Music Coalition handles much of the booking. 

Rossi says he likes bringing interesting musicians to Des Moines, who have yet to tour in central Iowa.

As we brace for the end of storm season, wind damage and tree wounds are expected.

On this hour of Talk of Iowa Host Charity Nebbe talks with Professor and Chair of Horticulture Department at Iowa State University Jeff Iles, and Iowa State University Extension Horticulturist Richard Jauron about tree recovery. They both share advice for caring for fallen limbs. 

Jauron and Iles also answer listener questions about stability and root systems and discuss the value of ground assessment, as well as the advantages of pruning trees young.

A striking restoration project has been completed at Terrace Hill. The governors' residence now features a reflecting pool.

Originally an outdoor swimming pool dating back to the 1920s, it may have been the first private pool in Des Moines.  It was filled in and went largely unnoticed for decades, but donations were secured to revive this piece of lost history which is now clearly visible during public tours of the old Hubbell Mansion. 

With a wave of dryness hitting the western and southeastern part of Iowa, it can be hard to keep your thirsty plants satisfied. 

During this hour of Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe talks with Iowa State Extension Specialist in Value Added Agriculture, Linda Naeve and Iowa State Extension Horticulturist, Richard Jauron about how the heat affects our plants, and the best watering strategies to keep your plants hydrated this summer. They also discuss the importance of checking leaf color and discuss how to tell if your plants are stressed.

The U.S. Senate late Thursday approved a bill that outlaws states' efforts to put labels on food products made with genetically-modified organisms and instead gives companies more leeway in disclosing GMOs.

The measure must still be passed by the U.S. House, but there are lots of questions. Harvest Public Media has been watching this ongoing battle for more than a year and we have answers for the five big questions about this latest volley in this food fight.

 

Iowans have a reputation for being non-confrontational; the phrase 'Iowa Nice' is embedded in our vocabulary, right behind 'Iowa Stubborn.' In Beyond Iowa Nice, Iowa Public Radio is inviting Iowans to share their perspectives on some of the most controversial and divisive topics in the state today in an attempt to foster empathy and find common ground. 

Nearly $240,000 in grants will be given to 14 Iowa legal non-profits that assist low-income people. This funding comes from the state's Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Account program, which has suffered extreme decreases over the past decade.

So while this year's grants total $28,000 more than what was distributed in 2015-16, the funding is still less than what some legal service organizations say they need. 

This year, 2016, marks the first election where there are as many millennials as baby boomers in the U.S. electorate.

River to River's Ben Kieffer kicks off Iowa Public Radio's summer series "Beyond Iowa Nice" by hosting a conversation on the political generation gap. He explores where boomers, gen-xers, and millennials see eye to eye, and where they don’t.  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Ninety-six-year-old Rose became a fraud victim in 2013 when she received a sweepstakes letter in the mail at her northeast Iowa home, saying she’d won a Publisher’s Clearing House prize.

"I was supposed to get $2 million," she remembers. “It was my last paycheck and I cashed that. I think I even borrowed $8,000. And then he said they would be coming over. I said, 'how many people?’ and he said there’s seven of us. So I sent the money and nobody came."

A new state law is in effect expanding access to a drug that can stop the effects of a heroin or opioid overdose and prevent it from being fatal.  

In the waning hours of the legislative session, lawmakers agreed to let family members purchase the antidote ahead of an overdose emergency.   

Earlier in the session lawmakers approved a bill allowing family members or friends to possess and administer naloxone but under that bill they couldn’t buy it.  

Kevin Gabbert at the Iowa Department of Public Health says that was a big gap.

The three-month prison sentences for two egg-industry executives has been upheld by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Last year, Jack DeCoster and his son Peter both pleaded guilty to negligence in relation to insanitary conditions at Quality Egg's Iowa-based  facilities. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as a result of these conditions, a salmonella outbreak sickened perhaps as many as 56,000 people.

    

Iowa U.S. Senator Joni Ernst met with Donald Trump on July 4th, fueling speculation that Ernst is high on his list for running mates.

On this politics day edition of River to River, Ben Kieffer talks with Donna Hoffman of the University of Northern Iowa and Kedron Bardwell of Simpson College about what Ernst would bring to the Trump ticket. 

They also discuss the impact of the FBI recommendation that no criminal charges be filed over Hillary Clinton’s use of private email servers while she was Secretary of State.

There are more than four thousand untested rape kits awaiting testing in Iowa. The Iowa Attorney General’s Crime Victim Assistance Division Director Janelle Melohn has been conducting an audit of untested kits since February. 

As of the end of June, we have almost an 80% response rate. We have 381 active law enforcement agencies in our state, and just short of 80% have responded to us. We have just over a total of 4,000 kits that have been inventoried thus far," she says. 

Sen. Chuck Grassley has sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, urging the agency to keep a policy in place that requires private Medicare insurers to cover all antidepressant medications and all immuno-suppressant drugs used for transplant patients.

CMS is considering changing this rule. In a report last month, the agency reasons that medications in these categories include a number of generic options. 

But Grassley doesn’t agree.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other international trade deals may be to blame for some of the rift between the Republican presidential hopeful and his party's leaders, says Iowa's long-time Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley.

Grassley says Donald Trump's opposition to the 12-country trade deal resonates more with the rank-and-file.

"The populists within the Republican Party probably agree with Trump," Grassley says. "But establishment Republicans—that's one of the things that they find fault with Trump about."

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