News

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!

Flickr / michellewithoneell

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.

Rick Fredericksen / Iowa Public Radio

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.

Peggy Lowe/Harvest Public Media

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.

 

Charlotte Cooper / Flickr

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. 

IOLTA / Office of Professional Regulation, Iowa Judicial Branch

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. 

Rian Castillo / Flickr

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.  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Pat Blank/IPR

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."

Joyce Russell/IPR

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.

AUSTIN KIRK/FLICKR

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.

John Pemble

    

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.

Sgt. Rebecca Linder/Flickr

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. 

WIKICOMMONS / Lanfear's Bane

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.

Amy Mayer/IPR file photo

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."

The Elusive American Badger

Jul 5, 2016
Jon Nelson

The honey badger may be an internet sensation, but Iowa is home to an equally tenacious species of badger. 

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with wildlife biologist Jim Pease about the American Badger. 

Although badgers are rarely seen in Iowa, they do live here. Due to their independent nature it is hard to know exactly how many badgers are in state, but quite a bit is known about their lives in the Midwest.

Jon Pemble/IPR file

Iowa’s senior U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley says his senate colleague Joni Ernst would bring a lot to the GOP ticket as Donald Trump’s running mate.

Ernst met with Trump in New Jersey on Monday, and afterwards said she and Trump had, "a good conversation."

Ernst is reportedly being considered for the number two spot on the GOP ticket.

Grassley says Ernst’s military and legislative experience, and her expertise as someone from a rural, agricultural state would be assets to the New York real estate mogul. 

Visions Photography

This week’s Symphonies of Iowa broadcast features Orchestra Iowa’s “A Hero’s Life” concert. The orchestra performs works by Sibelius, Wagner, Dvorak, and Richard Strauss.

FEMA (https://www.fema.gov/mobile-app)

Floods, tornadoes and other severe weather can cause chaos in a community. With the summer severe weather season under way, the Federal Emergency Management Agency hopes its smartphone app can help people prepare for and recover from all kinds of disasters.

The FEMA app lets you upload photos, find a shelter and check on conditions for up to five different zip codes. Brenda Gustafson, a public affairs specialist in the Kansas City FEMA office, says photos are authenticated before they are shared with first responders.

Marcia Cirillo/flickr

Former Democratic Governor Chet Culver says there are interesting races on the November ballot including the contest between his former Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge and Republican incumbent Charles Grassley. 

But he says his new job as president of the Greater Des Moines YMCA will keep him from working to get Judge and other Democrats elected.  

Culver says working for the YMCA, he’ll have to appeal to both Republicans and Democrats.

“So I will take a step back from the political arena,” Culver says.  

Cabrera Photo/flickr

Children living in homes where caregivers are using, selling, or manufacturing drugs may see new protections as a result of a working group convening soon in Des Moines. 

The group will study the issue after a bill filed this year on drug-endangered children failed to pass. 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Twenty-eight immigrants will become naturalized U.S. citizens at the July 4th Iowa Cubs game in Des Moines. 

Iowa's newest U.S. citizens will line up along Principal Park's third-base line and take the Oath of Allegiance

They'll promise to support and defend the constitution, and also renounce loyalty to any foreign government. 

Independence Day in Independence

Jul 4, 2016

Lots of Iowa cities and towns are celebrating Independence Day today, but only one of them is named “Independence.”  The community of about six-thousand people in eastern Iowa is one of only 12 communities in the U.S. named “Independence.” 

The one in Iowa is celebrating not only the nation’s birthday but also its own. Today it wraps up a two-day party, including a reading of the Declaration of Independence later this morning.

Rachel Bearinger

The Cedar Valley Chamber Music Festival’s 2016 Season kicked off with a live Performance Iowa broadcast in Iowa Public Radio’s Studio One! This year’s festival takes on an Alice in Wonderland theme as the chamber players present timeless repertoire for their season entitled “Through the Looking Glass.” Hunter Capoccioni, the festival’s Artistic Director, gave us an inside view into what the season has in store. The group performed the first movement of Haydn’s Symphony No. 104, the first movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 “Pastorale”, and more.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration / Wikimedia Commons

A space probe carrying an instrument from the University of Iowa goes into orbit around Jupiter Monday, July 4.  The NASA probe “Juno” was launched in 2011 on a mission to learn more about the solar system’s largest planet. 

Bill Kurth is a research scientist at the University of Iowa, and the lead investigator of the Waves instrument.  He says it will examine radio and plasma waves around Jupiter, to understand how the planet’s auroras are formed. 

Pages