River to River on IPR News and Studio One

Weekdays from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

River to River is Iowa Public Radio's talk program that focuses on the news, issues and events in our state. This national award-winning program goes beyond the headlines, frames community problems, and fosters conversation. Wednesdays, Ben Kieffer is joined by political analysts from around the state to dissect the week in politics. Joyce Russell hosts Mondays during the legislative session looking at statehouse issues.

During the show, contact us at 1-866-780-9100, IPRTalk on Twitter, our Facebook page, or via email rivertoriver@iowapublicradio.org. Our theme music is by The River Monks.

Want to share an idea for a future show? Contact one of our producers:
Ben Stanton: bstanton@iowapublicradio.org
Dennis Reese: dreese@iowapublicradio.org
Emily Woodbury: ewoodbury@iowapublicradio.org
Katherine Perkins: kperkins@iowapublicradio.org
Sarah Boden: sboden@iowapublicradio.org

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Composer ID: 
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River to River
3:22 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

News Buzz: A Lawsuit, a Resignation, a (Possible) Fumble, and a Lot of Birds

In this "News Buzz" show, hear about a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, the resignation of Senator Kent Sorenson, a passionate response to a football official's decision, and Iowa’s first Globally Important Bird Area.

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River to River
3:52 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

How Illicit Drugs Come to Iowa

Picture above is heroin powder. Eastern Iowa has seen an uptick in heroin use and overdose deaths in recent years.
forwardstl Flickr

In the 1990s crack cocaine was Iowa's major scourge when it came to illicit drugs. Today methamphetamine poses the most issues for communities and law enforcement though Eastern Iowa has also seen a uptick in heroin use.  Host Ben Kieffer looks at how these legal substances are trafficked into Iowa and from where the drugs originate.

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River to River
3:28 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Politics Day: The Partial Shutdown

Early Tuesday morning, without a Congressional agreement on spending, part of the federal government shut down. Today on River to River, we talk about the political implications. Who do you blame? How does a partial government shutdown impact the faith you have in the U.S. government's ability to do its work?

Host Ben Kieffer sits down with political analysts Tim Hagle (University of Iowa) and Wayne Moyer (Grinnell College), and they answer your questions and concerns.

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River to River
2:22 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Navigating the Health Insurance Marketplace

CALI / flickr

Today is the opening of the Affordable Care Act's "Health Exchange Marketplace," but many Iowans are still confused about their options. Today on River To River, we clear up misconceptions and answer the questions  Iowans have while venturing into a new health care landscape.

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River to River
2:29 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

ISU President Steven Leath

President Leath giving his annual address
Iowa State University

Iowa State University's President Steven Leath joins the program to talk about how the possible federal government shutdown could affect public universities, and Leath answers your questions.  In the second half of the show: the Republican Party is conflicted over who should be their next presidential nominee.  Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin takes us back to another fight over the nomination that happened 100 years ago. 

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River to River
2:29 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Iowans In War

Col. Bud Day and his son, George. 1956 North American F-100F Super Sabre / Hun 56-3844 - N26AZ, Detachment 1/416th Tactical Fighter Squadron fast FACs, Collings Foundation at KEFD
Christopher Ebdon / flickr

From the notable case of the Sullivan brothers in World War II, to the lesser known but significant involvement in the Civil War, Iowans have a long history of fighting for their country. Today on River To River, we close “Iowa Week” with an account of Iowa’s military history, from the Civil War, to current-day conflicts.

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River to River
3:07 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Iowa Experiments

Jane Elliott taught school in Riceville for 20 years. The day after Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered she divided her third-grade class into blue and brown-eyed groups and gave them a lesson in discrimination.

One day in 1968, the day after the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered, Jane Elliott, a teacher in the small town of Riceville, divided her third-grade class into blue-eyed and brown-eyed groups…and gave them a lesson in discrimination. 

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River to River
3:14 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Iowa Legal History

Pictured above is a bronze statue of Arabella Mansfield on the campus of Iowa Wesleyan College. Mansfield was the first female lawyer in the U.S. She resided in Mount Pleasant and passed the Iowa Bar in 1869.
Gerry Chamberlin

In 1965, 13-year-old Mary Beth Tinker arrived at her Des Moines junior high wearing a black armband to protest the Vietnam War.  Little did she know that this simple act would lead to a historic and controversial U.S. Supreme Court decision.

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River to River
8:27 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Iowa Medicine

Colin Burnett

Nearly 200-thousand babies each year are born with congenital clubfoot. On this River to River, Iowa Week continues with a look at pioneering work in medicine.  Hear about the Iowa-based Ponseti International Association which treats clubfoot.  Dr. Herman Hein will tell us about Iowa's Statewide Perinatal Program, which has helped mothers and newborn babies receive needed medical care, and the remarkable story of how the University of Iowa's College of Medicine was funded almost one hundred years ago.

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River to River
3:12 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Iowa Inventors

A working replica of the Atanasoff-Berry Computer, the first digital computer, invented at Iowa State University by John Atanasoff and Clifford Berry
Ray Krebs / flickr

We’ve all heard the phrase, “It’s the best thing since sliced bread,” but did you know the inventor of sliced bread is from Iowa? Today on River To River, we hear about the lives of some Iowa inventors that made an impact on their state, country, and even the world.

The Iowa inventors we cover on the show include:

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River to River
3:39 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

News Buzz

The Iowa Department of Transportation will allow the state's 37 interstate rest areas to be sponsored by companies and businesses as a way to raise revenue for the DOT's primary road fund.
Jimmy Emerson / jimmywayne Flickr

Host Ben Kieffer gets the latest on news from around Iowa.  MidAmerican Energy gives an update on the power outage which left almost 40,000 Des Moines-area residents in the dark. IPR's Joyce Russell discusses changes to the problematic Toledo Juvenile Home.  The DNR has a new report which looks at drought conditions in Iowa.  Also, Dubuque native Brooks Wheelan joins the cast of "Saturday Night Live."

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River to River
4:08 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

An Organ of Mystery

Ars Electronica / flickr

Do you ever wonder why, at a loud party, you are able to comprehend what the person next to you is saying? It’s not because they are louder… It’s due to your brain’s ability to filter and hone in on certain stimuli.

Today on River To River, we focus on the science of the brain with three prominent neuroscientists visiting Iowa. Host Ben Kieffer talks with them about their research on the sense of sound and gets their thoughts on the latest brain-science news.

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River to River
3:44 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Politics Day

Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers delivering a Canada 2020 lecture in Ottawa, CA on Nov. 6, 2012. Summers withdrew his name for consideration as chair of the Federal Reserve on Sept. 16, 2013.
Canada 2010 Flickr

Host Ben Kieffer discusses the possible fiscal showdown on the debt ceiling with Donna Hoffman of the University of Northern University and Dennis Goldford of Drake University.

Also, a worrying new report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and what to make of Larry Summers withdrawing from consideration to chair the Federal Reserve.

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River to River
3:07 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Reaching Outer Limits

NASA Blueshift / flickr

It’s taken more than three decades for NASA’s Voyager 1 to travel about 11 billion miles to reach the outskirts of our solar system and continue on into interstellar space. Today on River to River, we hear from research scientist, Bill Kurth, about his work on some of the spacecraft’s equipment that was built and operated by the University of Iowa.

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River to River
2:05 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Transparency at the Iowa Supreme Court and Post-9/11 Muslim America

Since three justices lost their seats in the 2010 retention election, the Iowa Supreme Court has worked to increase transparency and public outreach.
Phil Roeder Flickr

In 2010 three Iowa Supreme Court Justices lost their election for retention.  The defeat sparked major changes which increased transparency and public outreach at the state’s highest court.  Today Sarah Boden fills in for Ben Kieffer and discusses this new era of transparency with Todd Pettys of the University of Iowa's College of Law.

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River to River
2:31 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

News Buzz: Gun Permits for the Blind, Astronaut at ISU, and Superstitions

Mojave Desert / flickr

For this News Buzz version of 'River to River' we hear about legally blind Iowans and gun permits, astronaut Clayton Anderson will join the Iowa State University faculty, the Cyclone/Hawkeye game is tomorrow, and hear about superstitions on this Friday the thirteenth.

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River to River
1:44 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Syria: Behind the Headlines

A fountain in Hama, Syria on September 28, 2005. In February 1982 an uprising occurred in Hama. Then-president Hafez al-Assad retaliated and besieged the city. At least 20,000 Syrians died.
Klaus Wagensonner / sipazigaltumu Flickr

The crisis in Syria has been in the headlines for weeks, but the roots of the two-year-long conflict can be traced back decades. Today host Ben Kieffer gets an in-depth understanding of how history of the region brought Syria to the point of civil war, how terrorism figures in and the conflict's potential outcomes.

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River to River
3:29 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Politics Day

A building destroyed by bombing in the Aleppo, Syria on September 11, 2012.
Agencia de Noticias Inter Press Service Flickr

President Obama took his case for military action in Syria to a skeptical American public last night and asserted the need to keep pressure on the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

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Talk of Iowa
2:32 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

The Future of Football

Stuart Seeger / StuSeeger Flickr

It’s football season and as Iowans stream into bleachers to cheer on high school football teams concerns about head trauma at the highest level of the game is filtering down to youth levels.

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River to River
2:52 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Olympic Wrestling Restored

U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program SGT Spenser Mango lifts Russia's Mingiyan Semenov before losing 2-0, 1-0 in the 2012 London Olympics
Tim Hipps / IMCOM Public Affairs

Wrestling is back in the Olympics after being removed earlier this year.  Hear from University of Iowa Head Coach Kevin Jackson, University of Iowa Associate Coach of Wrestling Terry Brands, and the Manager of Communication at USA Wresting Craig Sesker.  Hear their reactions and hear what will change about wrestling in the future.

Also in this program, Iowa's First District Congressman Bruce Braley talks about whether he would support a resolution authorizing limited action in Syria, and other issues looming as Congress resumes its work.  

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River to River
4:25 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Tele-Medicine Abortions / "Iowa Nice Guy" Scott Siepker / UI President Sally Mason

The final vote on whether wrestling will remain an Olympic sport takes place this weekend in Argentina. So will the sport many connect with the original Olympics be ousted? The “Iowa Nice Guy”, aka Des Moines actor and filmmaker, Scott Siepker has surfaced again, this time to support wrestling’s bid to regain its Olympic spot for 2020 and ’24. We talk with him in the first half hour.

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River to River
3:02 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack and the Digital Divide

Representative Dave Loebsack (D-IA) and Representative Mazie Hirono (D-HI) share a comment while listening to debate on the America's Affordable Health Choices Act.
House Committee on Education and the Workforce Democrats Flickr

Host Ben Kieffer sits down with Congressman Dave Loebsack from Iowa’s 2nd District to discuss his thoughts on a potential a military strike on Syria, the stalled Farm Bill, immigration reform, and the next debt ceiling.

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River to River
2:55 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Politics Day: Syria

Damascus, Syria
Wojtek Ogrodowczyk

How will Iowa’s congressional delegation vote on the question of possible military action in Syria? This show features discussion about the factors that congress will consider, why President Obama chose this path, and how his decision might affect the power of the presidency at home and abroad.

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River to River
1:51 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Binge Drinking and Safety in Schools

According to a 2004 study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology on the trajectories of college students' drinking, students drink heaviest during Spring Break followed by New Year's week.
Torch Magazine

Last month the University of Iowa was ranked as the #1 party school by The Princeton Review.  Binge drinking is a problem on not only the Iowa City campus, but on college campuses across Iowa and the U.S. What is the nature of binge drinking and what can be done to curb it?

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River to River
3:10 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

News Buzz: Guns, Allergies, Cheapskates, and 'Cyence'

Professor Arun Somani stands next to an ISU computer that could fill a garage
Bob Elbert

This River to River includes discussion about gun laws in Iowa, high pollen counts and allergies, an Iowan who was appointed to the National Council on the Humanities, ISU has a new very fast computer, hot weather, a holiday weekend State Park preview, and Des Moines and Cedar Rapids are supposedly good places for frugal living.

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River to River
2:27 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

The Farm Progress Show and The Nixon Tapes

The last group of secret recordings President Richard Nixon made while in the White House have been released by the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. The new recordings include new 94 tapes comprising 340 hours of recordings.
Trevor Manternach Flickr

Host Ben Kieffer discusses this year's Farm Progress Show with Harvest Public Media reporter Bill Wheelhouse, Iowa State University Professor horticulturalist Kathleen Delate and organic farmer Grant Schultz.   Also, this month the last group of secret recordings Richard Nixon made while president were rele

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River to River
2:28 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Politics Day: U.S. Role In Syria Conflict

President Obama is expected to highlight the Reverend Martin Luther King Junior’s economic agenda as he marks the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington. Today on River to River, Ben Kieffer hosts a discussion on how the President can successfully talk about race and class.

And, action against Syria for the use of chemical weapons seems more and more likely. We talk about the options with listeners and guests, Tim Hagle, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa, and Wayne Moyer, Rosenfield Professor of Political Science at Grinnell College.

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River to River
1:57 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

Over 200,000 people attended the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on 08/28/1963.
mikek7890 Flickr

Thursday, August 28, marks the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington.  Host Ben Kieffer looks back on this historic day with Rev. Milton Cole-Duvall who attended the March when he was a 19-year-old college student and former Iowa state Rep. Wayne Ford who was an 11-year-old boy living in Washington, D.C.

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River to River
4:13 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Gerontology: Policy, Abuse Prevention, and Athletics

Flo Dietz with her Senior Olympics Gold Medal in Cleveland
Catherine Dietz-Kilen

Host Ben Kieffer talks with Claudia Beverly, the Ida Cordelia Beam Visiting Professor will be in Iowa in the coming weeks.  Hear about how to ensure seniors get appropriate and quality healthcare.  You will also hear from Tracey Robertson from the Heritage Area Agency on Aging, and two notable senior athletes to talk about physical fitness.

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River to River
1:40 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Homelessness in Iowa

A man sleeps on a bench in Downtown Iowa City on July 31, 2013. Sleeping on benches between the hours of 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. would violate an ordinance the city council is considering and could result in a $65 fine.
Alan Light Flickr

According to a study by the Iowa Council on Homelessness, in 2011 roughly 17,900 individuals in Iowa were homeless at some point throughout that year.  What are the causes of homelessness and what can communities do to help? Also, Iowa City has a new ordinance which aims to further restrict panhandling in the downtown area. 

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