Photo by John Pemble

Junior high and high school students from across the state rallied at the capitol today.

A series of town hall meetings addressing the problem of bullying in schools wrapped up  in Marshalltown.  

John Pemble / IPR

A bill legalizing the possession and medical use of cannabis oil for epilepsy patients passed the Iowa House and Senate.  But will the Governor sign it?  In this News Buzz edition of the show, Host Ben Kieffer talks with Governor Terry Branstad about the loose ends from the 2014 legislative session and which bills will or will not gain his signature.


Peter Yarrow rose to fame in the 1960’s as one third of the folk trio, “Peter, Paul and Mary.” The group was known for their political activism as much as they were known for their music. Yarrow says it wasn't the music that motivated him. “It wasn’t just about the music, it was about its ability to unite people in common cause.”

A bill on Governor Branstad’s to-do list is sparking controversy  at the statehouse.  The bill addresses the problem of bullying in the schools,  especially as it occurs on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.       But how much money to spend on the  problem remains a stumbling block.   Also,  a coalition of  conservative House Republicans has its  own ideas.    

John Pemble / IPR

There are a number of signs that things are wrapping up much earlier this year at the Iowa statehouse. Republican and Democratic Leaders in the House and Senate say they are well ahead of schedule and there’s a few issues shaking out that will likely be fodder in 2014 campaigns.

JLM Photography / Flickr Creative Commons

Republican Governor Terry Branstad identified legislation to combat bullying as one of his top priorities for this legislative session.  However, a bill has stalled in the Iowa House, bogged down by 17 amendments.  Concerns have arisen in the Republican-controlled chamber over whether schools should be responsible for bullying that occurs online or off school grounds.  In his weekly news conference Monday, Governor Branstad said he plans to talk with Iowa House members about moving the legislation forward.  In the meantime, a bill is advancing in the Democratically-controlled Iowa Senate th

Students, teachers, and other school personnel turned out in Des Moines Monday for Governor Branstad’s second Bullying Prevention Summit.    The  governor  vowed to strengthen state law to combat  bullying online.    But  not everyone  agrees.   



Clay Masters / IPR

Same sex marriage is legal in Iowa and it appears to be gaining acceptance. A Supreme Court justice who was part of the ruling that paved the way for same-sex marriage was retained in a heated campaign this year. But advocates for gay teens say bullying is still a problem in schools. 

Ngo Quang Minh / flickr

On today’s "River to River", we’re taking a look at  how digital technology is revamping the way today’s students learn. Many districts are renting out laptops to students and doing away with the traditional textbook model of learning. Then, we speak with several experts on how bullying can be prevented in Iowa’s schools and communities.


Apr 20, 2012

A 14-year old Iowa boy was laid to rest this week, after family members say he was bullied online and at school. The death of Kenneth Weishuhn comes as the new film, Bully, opens in Des Moines. The documentary follows another student, Alex, who was bullied at his middle school in Sioux City. Ben talks with the filmmakers about the film, about bullying and what can be done to stop it.