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5:30 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Loess Hills Cemetery Mystery

Only a few grave markers remain at South Jordan Cemetery, which dates back to 1882
Rick Fredericksen Iowa Public Radio

A murky story continues to baffle amateur historians in the Loess Hills. It stretches back to early statehood, when a pioneer settled in Monona County and gathered workers on his farmstead. Now, there’s an effort to bring notoriety to a one-acre plot that served as a communal burial ground. 

A tale of truth and hearsay come together at this isolated cemetery between the towns of Turin and Moorhead. Retired businessman Harold Johnston gives tours of the Loess Hills, and this is one of his favorite stops.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Ranchers Rebel Over Beef Checkoff

Kansas rancher David Pfrang is one of thousands of small beef producers challenging the oversight of the multimillion dollar “beef checkoff” fund, which is used to promote the beef industry.
Courtesy Jill Toyoshiba/The Kansas City Star

From their small farms set in the rolling hills of northeast Kansas, two ranchers are raising a few cattle, and a lot of Cain.

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Statehouse and Politics
7:53 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Rastetter: Iowa Behind the Curve

Regents President Bruce Rastetter at the House Appropriations Committee
Joyce Russell/IPR

The head of the Iowa Board of Regents says Iowa is behind other states in performance-based funding for public universities. 

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Arts and Culture
3:29 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

The 2015 Wapsipinicon Almanac

The 2015 Wapsipinicon Almanac is now available. Publisher Tim Fay of Anamosa says that even after 21 issues, there has been no shortage of material to write about. 

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Legislative Day
3:08 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Narrowing the Skills Gap in Iowa with Specialized Training

Construction, manufacturing, trade, transportation and utilities, and health services make up 54.6% of Iowa’s middle to high skill job market
Frank Guido

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

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News
2:23 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

AIB College of Business Merging with University of Iowa

AIB College of Business is merging with the University of Iowa, with the AIB campus becoming UI's Des Moines campus. UI students may start classes in Des Moines as early as fall 2015.
Photo by John Pemble

Des Moines-based AIB College of Business is merging with the University of Iowa, thus increasing UI’s presence in central Iowa.

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Statehouse and Politics
1:26 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Governor Branstad Taken to Hospital by Ambulance

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad during his weekly press conference at the Capitol. Two hours later, Branstad feel ill during speaking event in Johnston & was taken to a hospital. The Governor’s spokesperson says the spell was caused by a “seasonal illness."
Photo by John Pemble

Governor Terry Branstad has been taken to a Des Moines hospital by ambulance.  Branstad's spokesman says he "fell ill" at an event this morning due to a "seasonal illness." The Governor was speaking at Du Pont Pioneer in Johnston at the time. Branstad, who is 68 years old, held his weekly news conference this morning at the statehouse. He was coughing and was quizzed by a reporter about his health.

"I've got a bad cold, and so does the Lieutenant Governor. We've had it off and on for some time... couple weeks or more."

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Statehouse and Politics
7:48 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Education Funding Dominates At the Statehouse

Iowa Capitol dome.
Credit John Pemble / IPR

  Debates over how much of a raise to give to the state's schools usually dominates early discussions at the capitol. Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell tells IPR's Clay Masters this year the debate is on time. The two discuss other education topics and what's ahead this week. 

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Profile
12:00 am
Mon January 26, 2015

New Language, New Culture, No Problem

Clemen Wilcox, a native of Colombia, is embracing life in Iowa.
Credit Rob Dillard

Clemen Wilcox counts how long she’s lived in the Midwest by the number of winters, not years. This is her 13th.

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Statehouse and Politics
2:59 am
Sun January 25, 2015

'Freedom Summit' Kicks off 2016 for GOP

U.S. House of Representative member Steve King in Des Moines at the Freedom Summit, an event he organized with Citizens United to bring national conservative leaders to speak in his home state.
Photo by Clay Masters

The Iowa caucuses are still more than a year away, but last night a parade of potential 2016 presidential candidates appeared in Des Moines Saturday. 

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News Buzz
2:15 pm
Sat January 24, 2015

How Facebook Hurts Grades

A new study from ISU suggests Facebook takes up cognitive function needed to focus on studying.
Dimitris Kalogeropoylos Flickr

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

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News Buzz
5:04 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Bread Bags--Iowa's New Cultural Icon?

Grocery leftovers or fashionable footwear?
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.

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
4:50 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

High Court Says Defendant's Good Deed Didn't Sway Jury's Opinion of Codefendant

Illustration by Eric Molinsky
Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction

The Iowa Supreme Court says the good deed of one defendant did not unfairly sway the jury's opinion of his codefendant. 

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Horticulture
1:50 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Stop and Smell the Orchids

Just because its January, doesn't mean there aren't flowers in bloom. 

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Statehouse and Politics
10:26 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Iowa Tourism Against Early School Start

Mercedes Potter sits on a dinosaur at an Iowa gas station.
Mercedes Potter

Iowa’s tourism industry does not support a bill in the Iowa House that would allow school districts and private accredited schools to begin the academic year earlier than Sept. 1.  The industry worries an earlier start to the school year would deplete the high-school-age workforce during late summer.

Gaela Wilson of the Iowa Group Travel Association says tourism greatly affects small town economies since summertime dollars flow into the rest of the community.

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Health
5:45 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Grassley says Congressional Hearings Possible on Co-Opportunity

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley during a visit in 2015 to his home state’s Capitol in Des Moines.
John Pemble IPR

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa wants details of Co-Opportunity Health's collapse and isn't ruling out congressional hearings.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Poultry Industry Worried by Bird Flu Outbreak

The turkeys in this barn on Noel Thompson’s farm in central Iowa are tested routinely for disease, including avian influenza. No bird flu has been found in the commercial poultry industry in this country.
Amy Mayer/IPR

Since a highly contagious strain of bird flu was found in the U.S. in December, many countries have closed their doors to American poultry.

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Religion and Science
5:18 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Are Religion and Science like Oil and Water?

Some believe science and religion can't coexist. Troy Van Voorhis disagrees.
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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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
4:24 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Corrections Director: I'm Embarrassed by Prison Delays

Iowa State Penitentiary
Iowa Public Radio

Iowa’s top prison official was in the hot seat at the Capitol.   

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Religion
4:20 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

The Ten Commandments' Prevalence Today

Ten Commandments Monument at Courthouse Square in Mount Vernon, Indiana
J. Stephen Conn

While many see the Ten Commandments as a simple and powerful set of laws to live by; they are also a lightning rod for controversy in this country.

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Arts and Culture
9:41 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Exploring Mississippi River Towns

Iowa Sunrise along the Mississippi River
Gayle Harper

When a raindrop falls into the headwaters of the Mississippi River, it spends the next 90 days making its way to the Gulf of Mexico.

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Health
7:13 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Telemed Abortion, Under Fire and Unique to Iowa

Planned Parenthood Rosenfield Center Manager Fiona Tubmen-Scovack (left) and Dr. Jill Meadows demonstrate telemed technology.
Sarah Boden/Iowa Public Radio

Today marks the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S.  Supreme Court ruling which over turned state laws banning abortion. 

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Education
6:15 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Battle Lines Drawn over Money for Schools

Old School
alamosbasement/flickr

A yearly battle over how much of a raise to give K-12 schools is getting underway early at the statehouse this year.   

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Politics Day
5:28 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

State of the Union 2015: Realistic Ideas or Pipedreams?

screen shot

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

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Statehouse and Politics
7:54 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Ernst Gives Response to State of the Union

Iowa's junior senator, Republican Joni Ernst, pictured at the statehouse on Friday, gave her party's response to the State of the Union.
John Pemble/IPR

The annual State of the Union address last night offered a national spotlight for Iowa’s junior senator.

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Mental Health Services
6:51 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

What Mental Health Institutes Closures Mean for Southern Iowa

The mental health institution in Independence, Iowa.
kc7fys Flickr

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

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Home Improvement Day
4:59 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Facts and Fictions of Home Improvement Shows

Home improvement television shows are fun to watch, but how much can they teach us?
Jill Flickr

A radical home makeover makes for great tv, but the projects on home improvement shows aren’t always what they seem.  

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Transportation
4:08 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Iowa Cities to Determine Regulations for Uber This Year

screenshot of Uber's log-in page

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

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Statehouse and Politics
2:51 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Organic Farmers: Pesticide Drift Kills

Farmers Union President Jana Linderman says more controls are necessary to prevent pesticides from reaching unintended fields.
Joyce Russell/IPR

Specialty crop farmers were at the capitol today complaining of damage to their produce from pesticide drift.

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Statehouse and Politics
12:04 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Grassley Wants Bankruptcy Protections for Farmers

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) says when Congress passed bankruptcy reform in 2005, it allowed farmers to sell portions of their property without paying capital gains tax. He says the U.S. Supreme Court undercut this protection in 2012.
cwwycoff1/Flickr

Iowa’s senior U.S. senator put forth legislation today to protect farmers during bankruptcy.

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