Rob Dillard / Iowa Public Radio

The Des Moines branch of the I Have a Dream Foundation is withdrawing from the national organization. It's changing its name and turning local.

Des Moines schools have been part of the education initiative to prepare low-income students for college for 28 years. It will now be known as the By Degrees Foundation. Its chief executive officer, Emily Westergaard, says the name change better reflects the program’s mission.

Clay Masters/IPR

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg packed a lot into his one-day trip to Iowa as he considers a run for president in 2020.

Bloomberg, who registered as a Democrat in 2018, visited an solar power company and a community college before speaking to a local chapter of the gun-control group Moms Demand Action in Des Moines. Tuesday night he attended a preview of the documentary “From Paris to Pittsburgh,” a climate change documentary he financed, which was partially shot in Iowa.

Cameron Pollack/NPR

Former President George H.W. Bush is being honored with funeral services at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. The 41st president will be eulogized by his son, former President George W. Bush, as well as a former U.S. senator and a former Canadian prime minister. Dozens of U.S. and world leaders are expected to attend the service.

John Pemble / IPR

Some members of Congress aren’t on board with the Trump administration’s new trade deal with Canada and Mexico. But Iowa’s senior U.S. Senator says the president may force their vote. 

Photo Courtesy of Venise Berry

The drive to succeed is a balancing act for many women in search of love, a career, and a family. While many romantics find comfort in classic love songs, Venise Berry relates her dating life to Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust,” in Driven: Reflections on Love, Career and the Pursuit of Happiness. Berry’s new collection of essays focuses on her experience as a career-focused woman growing up in the 70s. 

Nuns and Nudes

Dec 4, 2018
Just to Live is Holy exhibition, Dubuque Museum of Art, Dubuque, Iowa

It’s not every day that you see those two words together, but the Dubuque Museum of Art pulls it off with class.

Their exhibit “Just to Live is Holy” showcases works by internationally-known artists such as Sister Corita Kent, in addition to local artists such as Louise Kames, professor or art and Chair of the Art and Art History Department at Clarke University. Their art, along with the other artists, ranges from traditional to abstract, and in every medium imaginable.

Atsushi Hyogo / flickr

The head of Iowa’s only greyhound racing track says he expects to be in business for at least a few more years, despite a decision by Florida voters last month to close all of that state’s dog tracks. Brain Carpenter, the general manager of Iowa Greyhound Park in Dubuque, says the closing of Florida’s 11 tracks by the end of 2020 could mean fewer dogs being bred to run at other tracks, including Iowa’s.

John Pemble

Cystic Fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and makes it harder to breathe over time. It causes a sticky buildup of mucus in the lungs, and also in the pancreas and other organs.

While the condition is difficult to live with, methods of treatment have improved vastly in the past few decades.

Charity Nebbe/Iowa Public Radio

It's that time of year again! Make your list and check it twice, because here are some holiday book recommendations from some of Iowa's greatest bibliophiles. Jan Weismiller and Tim Budd from Prairie Lights Bookstore in Iowa City and Hunter Gillum from Beaverdale Books in Des Moines share their top fiction and non-fiction picks of 2018.

CBS News

The poinsettia is everywhere this time of year.  It’s beautiful, but where did this plant come from and how did it become such an important Christmas symbol? 

On this Horticulture Day edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with horticulturist Chris Currey about the long history of the poinsettia. Later in the hour, Richard Jauron joins to answer listener questions.  

Iowa Courts

Democrats have cleared an initial hurdle in a legal challenge over the state’s closest legislative race. Local elections officials will take another look at ballots tossed out in northeast Iowa’s House District 55 race. The candidates are separated by nine votes, and if a judge ultimately orders the ballots be counted, they could potentially change the outcome of the race.

Courtesy Cris Bro Hospitality

In less than a year, the Cedar Falls will likely have two convention centers.

Chris Bro Hospitality Monday broke ground on an expansion to its existing Hilton Garden Inn.  The project will add 92 rooms and include meeting space for 700 hundred people.  A second proposed development just a mile away includes a new hotel and banquet seating for one thousand.

Cedar Falls Tourism Bureau spokesperson Becky Wagner says the new development will compliment a second proposed development just a mile away.

medical marijuana
Katarina Sostaric/IPR

The company that runs two of Iowa’s medical cannabis dispensaries is calling their first weekend of sales an “absolute success.”

Iowa’s only medical marijuana manufacturer MedPharm Iowa reports it served about 120 patients at its Windsor Heights dispensary in suburban Des Moines and at least 15 in Sioux City over the weekend.

MedPharm’s General Manager Lucas Nelson was at MedPharm’s Windsor Heights dispensary. He said opening day was “a whirlwind of emotions.”

Randy Darst

The wcfsymphony brings cantatas and celebrates the holidays at Waterloo’s Brown Derby Ballroom this Saturday, December 8th.

Their show, “A Baroque Holiday”, features music from the Baroque period written by Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach spent many years of his life in Leipzig, Germany, where he composed incredible music for churches in the city. At one point, he was composing a new cantata at a rate of one per week.

Katie Peikes/IPR

Iowa’s long awaited medical cannabis program began Saturday, as people with certain medical conditions were able to buy medical marijuana at five dispensaries in the state.

Heartland Youth Choir,

It's the perfect month for a choral concert, and Iowa's artists have been hard at work preparing. From university concerts to madrigal dinners to Handel in Clinton and Cedar Rapids and an Iowa premiere in Grinnell, here's what I hope will become a complete list.  I'm sure I've missed things, so please let me know of omissions or corrections (at The goal is to include everyone!


Michael Leland/IPR

Iowa’s legislative leaders say they’re not expecting to have to make mid-year budget cuts in the legislative session that gets underway in January.  But Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver, R-Ankeny, says there won’t likely be a big increase in spending, either.  He told a forum at the Iowa Taxpayers Association conference in Altoona Friday that’s because of tax cuts lawmakers passed in the last session.

Flickr/Phil Roeder


Recent reports on an Iowa-based residential school for foster children detail accounts of physical and verbal abuse, excessive restraint and segregation, and sex crimes against students.

Katie Peikes/IPR

Five dispensaries across Iowa will begin distributing medical cannabis products for approved patients on Saturday.

Marco Verch

Special counsel Robert Mueller says President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort breached his plea deal by repeatedly lying.

The president is calling Mueller a “conflicted prosecutor gone rogue.”

On this politics day edition of River to River, political analysts Jim McCormick of Iowa State University and Tim Hagel of the University of Iowa cover numerous new developments in the Russia probe.

Charity Nebbe / Iowa Public Radio

In 1949, Evelyn Birkby was living on a farm in southwest Iowa, outside of Sidney, when she began writing a weekly newspaper column called “Up a Country Lane" in the Shenandoah Evening Sentinel. She still writes that column, now for the Shenandoah Valley News, and has been for 69 years without missing a week.  


IPR blasts off this holiday season with world-class performances from across the globe and next door! Celebrate everything from Hanukah to Christmas to New Year’s Day with Iowa Public Radio.

To see a full schedule of broadcasts, please visit

iowa capitol
John Pemble/IPR file

Recounts in two competitive Iowa legislative races have confirmed the initial results. But one of the competitors says her campaign still isn't over.

bricolagelife / Flickr

Looking to inspire young readers this holiday season? Never fear! Iowa booksellers and authors are here! 

Wordshore / Flickr

This past August, John-Paul Chaisson-Cárdenas, Iowa’s then 4-H Youth Development Program leader, was fired. His termination came after he refused to follow a request to take down an LGBTQ inclusion policy that was posted to Iowa’s 4-H program website.

An investigation by the Des Moines Register has since provided details behind Chaisson-Cárdenas’ dismissal, finding that the Trump administration was behind the push to withdraw the LGBTQ guidelines in Iowa and other states.

The head of Iowa’s Department of Human Services says the state’s regional mental health system is working, despite some counties leaving their regions and joining others. In Iowa, counties group together to manage and deliver their own mental health and disability services.

Dean Borg/IPR

The CEO of Rockwell Collins’ new parent company is hoping to reassure investors about a wave of changes at the company. United Technologies announced Monday it had finalized the acquisition of the aerospace firm, and is in turn splitting into three separate companies. 

Gary Kelley/North American Review


Did you know that the nation’s oldest literary magazine is alive right here in Iowa?

The North American Review moved from the east coast in the 1960s, carrying its legacy that boasts writers like John Steinbeck, Walt Whitman, Margaret Atwood, and Kurt Vonnegut, into the Midwest.


Amy Mayer/IPR file / IPR

Iowa’s senior U.S. Senator is calling on President Donald Trump to appoint a new attorney general to replace former Iowa prosecutor Matt Whitaker. Whitaker became acting attorney general after the president forced out Jeff Sessions.

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley says Whitaker’s controversial history is attracting scrutiny.

“We got an acting attorney general? Appoint somebody and all these questions about Whitaker would go away,” Grassley told reporters on Tuesday, “unless Whitaker was his nominee. Then, of course, they’d be enhanced a great deal.”

Ronald Avery, originally from Dubuque, has lost six of ten family members to cancer. He knows first hand how hard it is to be near someone going through chemotherapy, and he knows how much the little expenses that go hand in hand with having to spend so much time in a hospital can add up. 

He founded the Avery Foundation to financially assist people going through cancer, and he's penned a book with the hopes he can make someone's journey through treatment a little easier.