Ben Kieffer

River to River and Java Blend Host

Ben Kieffer joined Iowa Public Radio in 2000 and is host of IPR’s daily noon talk show River to River, which he also helps produce. Since 2001, he has hosted and produced IPR’s weekly, live music program which features artists from around the state and the country called Java Blend.

Prior to joining IPR, Ben lived and worked in Europe for more than a decade. He reported firsthand the fall of the Berlin Wall and covered the Velvet Revolution in Prague. Ben has won numerous awards for his work over the course of more than 20 years in public media.

Ben holds an adjunct faculty position at The University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where he teaches courses on interviewing and radio news. He is a native of Cedar Falls and a graduate of the University of Iowa.

Ben’s favorite public radio program is Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.

Ways To Connect

The TR Agency

In this encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host Ben Kieffer will chat with Korby Lenker.

Bengt 1955 / flickr

With at least one million gallons of crude oil and ethanol passing through Iowa on a single freight train, derailments like the one last week a few miles from Dubuque are a major concern.

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The deadline to sign up for insurance under Iowa’s health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act is Sunday. 

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams has been suspended without pay for six months. Jon Stewart says he’s leaving The Daily Show.

Karl-Ludwig Poggemann

Leaders around the globe are meeting in Minsk in an attempt to ease the fighting between pro-Moscow rebels and Ukrainian forces over ground in Eastern Ukraine. 

Sanofi Pasteur

Measles is on the rise in the U.S. More than 100 people nationwide have been diagnosed in January alone.

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter denies that there’s a political agenda behind a new proposed funding formula for Iowa's three state universities.

Image provided by artist.

In this encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host Ben Kieffer will chat with Tallgrass.

Gerry Gaffney / Flickr

The Iowa Department of Public Safety has proposed legislation that would make hand-held cell phone calls while driving illegal and would make texting while driving a primary offense. 

Lindsey Moon / Iowa Public Radio

What do you throw away? Do you think about it? Do you care?

Sanofi Pasteur / Flickr

Earlier this week in the midst of a measles outbreak at Disneyland, Rand Paul stated that vaccinations should be voluntary.

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Thomas Frank, a cultural columnist for Salon, says that President Obama’s legacy might be more about what he didn’t do when he was in office.

Mohamed Somji

In parts of Afghanistan, some families without sons pick a daughter to dress and live as a boy - a practice known as bacha posh.

Photo by John Pemble

Today Governor Terry Branstad announced the details of a bill to toughen penalties for repeat domestic violence offenders.

Greg Slick

In this encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host Ben Kieffer will chat with Snowblink.

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Ahead of Super Bowl Sunday, former NFL place kicker Nate Kaeding talks with Ben Kieffer about how the league is handling the problem of domestic violence.

Teddy Llovet / Flickr

While the Seahawks are fighting one showdown this weekend, many across the world have their eyes on a different bird battle: Horned Owls vs. Bald Eagles.

Global Panorama / Flickr

Research conducted at the University of Iowa and the Iowa City VA Health Care System could one day cure diabetes.

Ben Kieffer / Iowa Public Radio

The Battle of the Bulge ended 70 years ago this month. Iowan George Dane was caught in the middle of it.

Megan Khines / Flickr

It's colorless, odorless, and more prevalent in Iowa than any other state. Radon gas is causing 400 deaths in Iowa every year.

World Economic Forum / Flickr

This weekend, pro-Moscow rebels - backed by what NATO says is the open participation of Russian troops - restarted the war in Eastern Ukraine. 

Graham Gardner

In this encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host Ben Kieffer will chat with The River Monks.

Frank Guido

Iowa has a shortage of skilled workers, leaving jobs in some of the most thriving industries unfilled.

Dimitris Kalogeropoylos / Flickr

The connections seems simple: the more time you're on Facebook, the more your grades suffer. 

SV Johnson / Flickr

In her State of the Union response, freshman Senator Joni Ernst repeated an anecdote from her victory speech evoking her "down-home" upbringing.

fusky / Flickr

When Troy Van Voorhis became a chemistry professor at MIT, he started getting questions from his students: Did science eliminate the need for religion? Did you have to be an atheist to be a good scientist?

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As President Barack Obama enters his last two years of the presidency, he faces a Republican majority in Congress.

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In the budget proposal he released last week, Governor Branstad quietly cut funding for two of Iowa's four mental health institutes.

David Stoltze has been driving for Uber for about a month now. He says the work is pretty straightforward. 

Image Provided By Artist

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host Ben Kieffer will chat with The Nadas.

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