Ben Stanton

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Politics Day
3:40 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Iraq: "A Situation where there are Some Really Bad Choices"

An Australian Special Air Service patrol in Iraq during the 2003 Iraq War
Australian Department of Defence Copyright: © Commonwealth of Australia 2005; Wikipedia licensed under Fair Use

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS, has made major advances and taken control of portions of Iraq where U.S. soldiers once fought.  Three years after the U.S. military's role ended in Iraq, following a decade of conflict, Iraq has devolved into a sectarian conflict.  Host Ben Stanton talks with Jim McCormick, Professor and Chair of Political Science at Iowa State University and Wayne Moyer, Rosenfield Professor of Political Science at Grinnell College about how the U.S. should respond to the Iraqi crisis.

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River to River: From the Archives
12:13 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Growing Old and Dying in Prison

Iowa Medical and Classification Center at the Oakdale Prison near Coralville.
Ben Stanton

Today we listen back to a show, part of Iowa Public Radio's corrections series last summer, about what it is like to grow old and die in prison.

We hear from an offender who works in a hospice program. He has helped 20 fellow inmates face the end of life behind bars. Host Ben Kieffer also talk with a 74-year-old inmate about growing old. We also tour a hospice room at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville.

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News Buzz
3:19 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

News Buzz: Sports Edition

Tanya Keith and friends at a USA team soccer game
Courtesy of Tanya Keith

The World Cup kicked off yesterday in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The USA team is slated to compete with Ghana on Monday (June 16). Here with us to preview the events is Tanya Keith, who has spent the last two decades avidly following the World Cup, quite literally, from country to country, as a super-fan. Tanya is from Des Moines, Iowa.

Guest: Tanya Keith, Author of Passionate Soccer Love, soccer fan, writer, Des Moines resident

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News Buzz
2:57 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Paula Poundstone Coming to Des Moines

Paula Poundstone
Personal Publicity

Standup comedian, author, and Wait Wait Don't Tell Me panelist, Paula Poundstone, will be in Des Moines next Saturday, June 21st at Hoyt Sherman Place. She joins River to River to talk comedy style and 'tweeting' comedy.

"The first time somebody showed me Twitter, I thought it was the stupidest, most ego-centric thing I've ever seen in my life," says Poundstone. "I still think that, it's just that I enjoy it very much."

Showtime:  8:00PM / Tickets:  $31 - $46 / Call:  515-244-0507

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News Buzz
10:25 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Cheese Makers: FDA's Comments About Wooden Boards No Gouda

Storeroom for Parmiggiano-Reggiano
Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this week, there was confusion about whether or not the FDA would ban the practice of aging cheese on wooden boards. Cheesemakers were outraged at the claim that aging cheese on wood could be unsafe due to the bacteria that could grow on the porous wood.

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News Buzz
10:06 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Iowa Teacher's Invention Could Save Lives

The "sleeve" fitted on a classroom door
Fighting Chance Solutions

Since the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, there have been more than 70 shootings in schools around the country. Just this week, there was another at Reynolds High School in Oregon.

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News Buzz
4:08 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

'As Night Falls,' it's Time for David Skorton

An African bull elephant at the National Museum of Natural History. That's part of the Smithsonian which will be led by former Iowan David Skorton
Smithsonian Institution

David Skorton used to open his Iowa Public Radio jazz show like this, "As night falls over the river city and all of eastern Iowa, it's time for jazz."

Skorton is the former president of the University of Iowa, and has served as president of Cornell University, and he will become the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute next year.  You might remember his radio jazz show “As Night Falls” which he co-hosted with the late Frank Conroy.  Hear about Skorton's  expectations of his upcoming job:

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News Buzz
3:06 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

This Helmet Has a Brain

Shawn Cornally holds a student-designed helmet with concussion detection hardware. (host Ben Kieffer in background)
Ben Stanton/Iowa Public Radio

The brain on this helmet is designed with the idea of protecting your brain from a concussion. Built into it is what amounts to a small computer.  It was designed and programmed by an Iowa student.  

Different LEDs light up depending on how hard the helmet is getting jostled. This project is one of many that students might get involved in through The Big Ideas Group, which is an optional education program through the Cedar Rapids School District.

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Talk of Iowa
3:16 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Breastfeeding U.S.A.

Raphael Goetter derivitive work; https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

Thirty-five years ago, Iowa City Firefighter Linda Eaton continued to breastfeed her child at work against orders from her supervisor, and a breastfeeding discussion was launched locally and gained national attention. Today, breastfeeding is treated a little differently, but it is also very different than other cultures.  Hear the remarkable story of Linda Eaton, and also about what businesses are required to provide for nursing customers and employees, the challenges of refugee and immigrant women who breastfeed, and what barriers might prevent Americans from breastfeeding.

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River to River
2:59 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

News Buzz: Cyclones at the Sweet 16

Iowa State Cyclone Melvin Ejim defending Kansas Jayhawk forward Kevin Young in Ames, Jaunary 28, 2012. Ejim was chosen as Big 12 Player of the Year earlier this month.
SD Dirk

Host Ben Kieffer talks with Iowa Public Radio's Des Moines correspondent Rick Fredricksen about how lobotomies became common practice for curing PTSD in Iowa veterans after WWII.  Also, the Des Moines Register's Bryce Miller discusses the Cyclones in the Sweet 16, and the University of Iowa turns down HBO's

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Talk of Iowa
2:57 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

The Aging Challenge

Using video games to stay active
Iowa State University Extension LIFE; used with permission http://www.extension.iastate.edu/life

People are living longer, but are they living better, more healthy, more active lives?  Colin Milner is CEO of the International Council on Active Aging, and is visiting Iowa to talk about opportunities for governments, organizations, and individuals to take advantage to the changes that are ahead for people and communities.  Also on the program is Iowa State University Assistant Professor Sarah Francis, who also oversees ISU Extension's program Living Well Through Intergenerational Fitness and Exercise.

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River to River
10:29 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

News Buzz: Sports Edition

The US-Norway ice sledge hockey semi-final, March 18, 2010.
sonson

March Madness has returned and several Iowa teams are doing well.  Des Moines Register sports columnist Bryce Miller discusses this year's tournament.

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River to River
1:45 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

News Buzz: All-Vet, Farm Fatalities, Drones

Jen Hamilton-Emery

Today on News Buzz Ben Stanton fills in as host.  He tackles Iowa's All-Vet designation, farm accident fatalities and the use of drones in agriculture.

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Politics Day
4:06 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Secrets, Deals, the Senate Race, and Sanctions

Newfrontiers https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

Dean Borg guest hosts this politics day edition of 'River to River.'  Des Moines Register Political Columnist Kathie Obradovich, University of Northern Iowa's Chris Larimer, and Drake University's David Skidmore are political analysts for this program that includes Iowa, U.S., and international politics.

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Talk of Iowa
2:07 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Counterculture: The Grove Press and Barney Rosset

Jack Kerouac was one of many authors published by Grove Press
Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

Hear the remarkable story of a the man behind paperback publisher Grove Press, and how he and the books he published fit into the culture of the 1960s.  Dennis Reese hosts this talk with Loren Glass about his new book, Counterculture Colophon: Grove Press, the Evergreen Review, and the Incorporation of the Avant-Garde.

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River to River
2:03 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

CSI: Iowa

Blood spattered on pavements in London, March 27, 2010.
foistclub

Over a hundred years ago, searching for fingerprints became routine for crime scene investigation. In the intervening years the tools of forensic investigation have greatly evolved.

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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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Horticulture Day
2:10 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Time to Get Serious About Fruit Tree Pruning

Pictoscribe http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/legalcode

One of the early season lawn and garden tasks is to prune fruit trees.  Iowa State University Extension Field Specialist Patrick O'Malley is a guest on the show, here's some of the advice he imparts during the program:

1. Did you have a big crop last year? Then it might be lighter this year. That means you should consider less pruning this year.

2. You want different tiers of branches and the lowest should not be too close to the ground.

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Talk of Iowa
3:04 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

A Wife's Suicide, a Husband's Multiple Sclerosis

Although Vern was using a wheelchair or crutches at the time, Melinda helped to hold him up for this wedding photo.

After Vern Beachy lost his wife to suicide, he began writing about what he was going through.  Not just about the difficulty of the loss but also his struggles with M.S. and his fight to get out of a wheelchair.  

To write A Tear-Stained Letter, Beachy says, "I took a knife to my heart and wrote about what fell out.”  In this interview, Beachy talks about it with host Charity Nebbe.

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Talk of Iowa
1:27 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

'If You See Someone Without a Smile, Give Them One of Yours'

Gary Murphy as Bandana the Clown
Barb Swift/Studio 909

Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey clown Felix Adler from Clinton, Iowa was known to say "If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours."  He spent 20 years clowning across the country and around the world.  Hear about his time as the 'King of Clowns' and hear why he was also called the 'White House Clown.' Host Charity Nebbe talks with Adler's niece.

We also hear from two Iowa clowns, 'Silly Sally' (Sally DuBois from Ames) and 'Bandana the Clown' (Gary Murphy from Washington, Iowa) about what they do and why they love it.

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Talk of Iowa
4:20 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Backyard Ecosystems

Carsten Tolkmit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Join Talk of Iowa for a talk with Douglas Tallamy, Professor and Chair of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware. He says “We need to change the way we interact with nature; it should not be segregated,” and that living with nature can be very rewarding. Tallamy says that Americans use plants that are mostly from Asia as decorations.  The result is a reduced biodiversity in the places we live, work, and farm.  Hear from Tallamy  about how we can connect habitats by reinstalling native plants.

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News Buzz
2:18 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Fireworks, Finding Exo-Planets, and More

Daniel R. Blume http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

On this News Buzz edition of the program, hear about a legislative shouting match, legalizing fireworks, the ACLU lawsuit against the Iowa Secretary of State, a survey of Iowans' thoughts on gay marriage, the Kepler mission, and a push to increase studying abroad.

Legislative shouting match and and other legislative fireworks:

ACLU lawsuit:

Same-sex marriage opinions:

Finding exoplanets:

Studying abroad:

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River to River
4:36 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

'Strangers Will Choose My Grave' - Ukrainian Events, Family, and Music

Mass grave in Kharkov, Ukraine
Trey Ratcliff http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/legalcode

‘Strangers Will Choose My Grave’ is part of the lyrics to a folk song that can bring a Iowan Ukrainian-American to tears.  A video of that song appears below.

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Talk of Iowa
12:18 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Noonan: The Most Common Medical Syndrome You've Never Heard Of

Max is 6 and has Noonan syndrome
photo submitted

Noonan syndrome is a genetic condition.  The characteristic facial features include low set ears, widely spaced-eyes, bright blue or blue-green eyes, a low hairline at the back of the head, and multiple congenital problems like heart defects and an unusually shaped chest.

A person with Noonan syndrome is often short, has a broad or webbed neck, low set nipples, and bleeding problems.  Developmental delay or intellectual disability are also common.

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Talk of Iowa
10:15 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Retiring: 'Time to Make the Donuts'

Retirement involves expectations, plans, and perhaps a reinvention
Julian Partridge http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Forget the IRA for a minute.  How’s your portfolio for spending your time after retiring? Here’s a little advice and thoughts explored in this ‘Talk of Iowa’ program:

Make a plan. About a year before the retirement day, decide how you will be spending your time. Have a list of things to do: volunteering, learning a new skill, maintaining friendships and social networks, and develop ideas about how pieces of those goals can be accomplished every day.

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River to River
2:11 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

News Buzz: Funnel Week and Northwood Evacuation

Pictured above is the Worth County Courthouse in Northwood, Iowa. Yesterday, about 300 people where evacuated from Northwood after a fire broke out at the city’s municipal airport.
Jimmy Emerson / jimmywayne

Residents of Northwood are back in their homes after being asked to evacuate yesterday due to an explosion and fire at the city's municipal airport.  Iowa Public Radio statehouse correspondent Joyce Russell discusses which bills in the legislature might become laws in 2014.  The Blank Park Zoo's Amur tiger has died, and what Iowa City is doing about a recent rash of sexual assaults in taxicabs.  Also, an Olympics update from the Des Moines Register's sports columnist Bryce Miller in Sochi.

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Talk of Iowa
3:17 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

'It Felt Like Freedom'

Nick Bassett on RAGBRAI 2013
Adaptive Sports Iowa

Nick Bassett from Boone Iowa was born with a spinal tumor, and scoliosis was diagnosed when he was an infant.  In high school, the condition worsened and he was confined to a wheelchair.  Bassett joined wheelchair track and field,  and a world was opened up to him.

"It felt like freedom.  I've been bound to my disability for a lot of my life...when I got out there on the track and was able to compete against other athletes, it was the greatest feeling in the world."

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News Buzz
2:16 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

The 'Colbert Bump' for an Iowan

Lake Street Dive bassist and native Iowan Bridget Kearney appeared with her band on the 'Colbert Report' this week.  She says that the bump in attention after the appearance was immediate and significant. 'River to River' host Ben Kieffer talks with Kearney in this final segment of a 'News Buzz' edition of the program.

And here is the video of their appearance on the Colbert Report:

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Talk of Iowa
11:58 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Religion in the Digital Age

Bill Read

The internet has changed how we find information, get news, connect with friends, and for many people it also has changed the experience with faith and religion.  Guests include Elizabeth Drescher from Santa Clara University, L. Edward Philips from Emory University, and author, editor, and lecturer Phyllis Tickle.

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River to River
3:28 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Race and Identity in Media and Society

Nathan Gibbs

On this River to River program, host Ben Kieffer talks with NPR host and special correspondent Michele Norris who will discuss her Race Card Project and how it has become much broader in scope since she launched it. Norris will be speaking Wednesday at Coe College.

Then, a conversation with award-winning broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien about race and identity as reflected in the media. Her parents had to leave Maryland in 1958 to get married due to that state’s laws against interracial marriage.

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