Emily Woodbury

Talk Show Producer

Emily Woodbury has worked for Iowa Public Radio since 2011. She became a talk show producer in 2012. Her duties include researching show topics, booking guests, preparing news copy, editing audio, and directing live programming for IPR’s national-award winning shows River to River and Talk of Iowa.

She is also a member of Student Broadcasters Incorporated, which serves as an advisory board to the students who work at 89.7 FM KRUI in Iowa City. Prior to joining Iowa Public Radio, Emily worked as a news director for KRUI and as an intern for Chicago Public Media. She has won awards for her reporting and a couple of her news reports have been featured statewide on Iowa Public Radio's Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Emily has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication and a minor in political science.

During this hour of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman admitted into NASA's astronaut training program, and the first African-American woman in space. She visited the Iowa State Fair earlier this week. He also checks in with astrophysicist Jasper Halekas, co-investigator of the Parker Solar Probe mission for NASA, about the mission's spacecraft that is flying around the sun.

Jeff Dzadon/Flickr

A recent analysis ranks Iowa as having the ninth worst infrastructure in the country.

The state’s rural county bridges may be what spurred the poor rating by content and analysis company 24/7 Wall St, according to Aaron Granquist, a project manager who’s overseeing the state’s upcoming infrastructure report card.

John Pemble

 

 

Corn dogs, baby ducks, and a butter cow to boot!

 

The Iowa State Fair is a time-honored tradition for many Iowans, and has gained a reputation for being one of the largest fairs in the nation.

 

Do you remember your first fair? 

Tony Potter

 

Church can be a place of solitude, reflection, and community. For Joe Jennison, writer and director of the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group, the Catholic Church provided that space, but could also be unwelcoming at times.

His experience as a gay man in the church led him to write the one-man show Confessions of a Gay Catholic.

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Lynn Hicks, communications director for the Iowa Attorney General, about the rise in robocalls and what you can do to stop receiving future calls from scammers.

Jo Christian Oterhals

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with award-winning author Paul Greenberg about his new book, The Omega Principle, in which he explores the history, science, and business behind omega-3 fatty acids.

Greenberg is the James Beard Award-winning bestseller of Four Fish and American Catch, a regular contributor to The New York Times and is a Pew Fellow in marine conservation. 

ACF OPA

What's the extent of the problem, both in Iowa and across the U.S.?

In 2017, there were 218 calls made from Iowa to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, and there were 74 human trafficking cases reported that year. Those numbers have steadily increased since 2012.

The number of identified victims in the U.S. is on the rise. The National Human Trafficking Hotline recorded a 35 percent increase in reports in 2016.

Are underage children being trafficked?

Yes. Not only that, but a study from the Center for Court Innovation found that younger victims see more customers than older victims (the children ages 13-17 were purchased by an average of 5.4 customers per day versus 4.4 times per day for those aged 18-24).

Are traffickers always men?

No. The UN Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking found that 52 percent of people recruiting victims are men, 42% are women, and 6% are both men and women working together.

Who are the buyers?

According to a 2014 study, about 14 percent of men in the United States report having ever paid for sex, and 1 percent report having done so during the previous year. "Of a small group of highly active customers – those who sought out sex workers listed on a prostitute review website - a substantial portion of them are married white men who earn over $120,000 annually, and have graduate degrees."

Where does trafficking occur?

About 75 percent of trafficking occurs in hotels/motels, according to Stephen O’Meara, a retired human trafficking coordinator with the Nebraska Attorney General's Office. This is why advocates in Iowa are focused on training hotel and motel staff to recognize trafficking as it happens. Trafficking also happens in illicit massage parlors in Iowa.  

George Hodan

Human trafficking - illegally transporting people for forced labor or commercial sex - is one of the world’s largest criminal industries found in every state, including Iowa.

Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan

This summer, the University of Iowa’s student-run newspaper, The Daily Iowan, celebrates 150 years serving the Iowa City community.

“It doesn’t matter how you deliver a story; if it’s a great story people will read it. College students at The Daily Iowan have been writing great stories for 150 years, and they will be for a long time,” says Bill Casey, publisher of the Daily Iowan from 1976 to 2016. He oversaw tremendous growth at the paper, received a number of awards for his work, and mentored many students. 

Iowa Department of Public Health

From mumps and foodborne illness to Ebola and Zika, whenever there have been health threats in the news, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk has been there to inform Iowans. In a few days, she'll retire from her position as Medical Director at the Iowa Department of Public Health.

On this news buzz edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Quinlisk about her upcoming retirement and some highlights from her 24 years with the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Jared Krauss

The Mississippi River provides drinking water for millions of people living in cities along the water’s edge. It also carries runoff from Midwestern farms into the Gulf of Mexico.

Nutrient runoff from Iowa agriculture is one of the leading causes of the growing “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico, an oxygen-deprived section of the Gulf, which last year was recorded to be the size of the state of New Jersey.

Courtesy of Brad Anderson

As the founder of Above + Beyond Cancer, oncologist Dr. Richard Deming is used to treating patients, and going further to inspiring and encouraging cancer survivors as they challenge themselves physically as cyclists or mountain climbers.

But right now, Deming is finding himself on the other side of the treatment process, as he recovers from a serious bicycle accident that left him with a fractured collar bone, fractured shoulder blade, multiple fractured ribs, a punctured lung, and a lung contusion.

Emily Woodbury

Heading into her junior year at Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, Diamond Roundtree is an accomplished poet. She just recently published a collection of her poetry titled, Words from My Heart.

The collection includes a poem about how being bullied made her who she is today, another that explores her African American heritage, and many words designed to encourage, empower and inspire her readers.

Anjali Pinto

Anjali Pinto became a widow on New Year’s Eve of 2016 when her young, strong, 30-year-old husband, Jacob Johnson, died suddenly of an aortic dissection.

They had been planning to ride RAGBRAI together as a way to honor Jacob’s late grandmother, but instead, Pinto ended up riding across the state with Jacob’s family to honor both Jacob and his grandmother.

Emily Woodbury

Gallup polling shows that public trust in media outlets has dropped in recent years.

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks about possible reasons for the shift in public trust with NPR ombudsman and public editor Elizabeth Jensen. In her role, Jensen serves as a liaison between NPR’s newsroom and its listeners.

Iowa Public Radio news director Michael Leland and executive director Myrna Johnson also join the conversation.

Pixabay

Iowa State University psychologist Doug Gentile says that research shows parents do not use, appreciate, or agree on the age-based rating systems used for movies, television, and video games in the U.S.. 

"Only six percent of parents say that the movie ratings are always accurate, only five percent of parents say the television ratings are always accurate, and only six percent say the video game ratings are always accurate," says Gentile. "Even if they're using the ratings, often their children see things they didn't expect them to be able to see."

Kurt Bauschardt

Recent calls for civility in political and public discourse in the wake of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders being kicked out of a Washington D.C. restaurant have people questioning what civil conversations look like and whether we are indeed living in a post-civil society.

In this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks about the breakdown of civility with former Congressmen from Iowa, Jim Lightfoot and Dave Nagle, as well as former Iowa Senate President Mary Kramer, and Iowa Public Radio correspondent Dean Borg.

Cliff Jette/The Gazette

This week, the Trump administration reversed seven Obama-era policies on affirmative action that called on universities to consider race as a factor in diversifying their campuses. The Trump administration will now encourage school superintendents and college presidents to adopt race-blind admissions standards.

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks to Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen about how this may impact admissions at Iowa State, the rise in faculty resignations, and college affordability.

Corey Torpie

Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez upset a 10-term establishment Democrat in New York last week. While her district doesn’t necessarily mirror that of Iowa’s districts, a 2016 Des Moines Register/Bloomberg News Iowa Poll found that 43 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers consider themselves socialists.

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer explores what Democratic Socialism means today and why it has an appeal at this particular time in U.S. history.

Lorie Shaull

Justice Anthony Kennedy’s announcement that he will retire from the U.S. Supreme Court this summer has put into question the future of abortion rights in the United States.

Library of Congress

Iowa Writer’s Workshop graduate Nick Dybek’s latest book tells a mysterious story set in the aftermath of one of World War I’s most horrific encounters, the Battle of Verdun.

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Dybek about his new book, The Verdun Affair: A Novel, about the battle and its aftermath.

Ben Kieffer co-hosts this "Pints and Politics" edition of River to River with Gazette investigative reporter Erin Jordan. They ask panelists to discuss the latest in national and state politics, including how the election match ups look in Iowa’s Congressional races.

Panelists joining the discussion include Gazette columnists Todd Dorman, Lynda Waddington, Adam Sullivan, Gazette reporter James Lynch, and special guest, Dianne Bystrom, who has served as director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University since 1996.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Liliana Moreno

Days after her son Sergei died by suicide, Mary Neubauer and her husband Larry Loss, decided to publicly share their story.

“It was just heartbreaking for Larry and me, as his parents, to watch this vivacious funny loving outgoing kid just disintegrate in front of our eyes,” says Neubauer, “and no matter how much we helped, or how much we loved him, we just couldn’t stop it from happening.”

On this edition of River to River, Ben Kieffer talks with Neubauer about her family’s struggle to get Sergei the mental health care he needed.

Claudia McGehee Illustration

Discussions about endangered species in Iowa often focus on the bigger, showier species that make headlines, like the bald eagle; but there are many species at risk that fly under the radar.

For instance, the Topeka Shiner, a small minnow that lives in Midwestern streams.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with ecologists and biologists who are looking out for Iowa’s smallest, most threatened species, including the Topeka Shiner, the Rusty Patched Bumblebee, the Wood Turtle, and many more.

Jacob Riis

What does it mean to be “an American?” How has that identity changed over the decades?

 

This hour, host Ben Kieffer talks with presidential historian Tim Walch and Rene Rocha, director of the Latino Studies department at the University of Iowa, about the history of immigration policy in the U.S.

 

“[Throughout history,] there are periods of tension against every group that have arrived that are different from the model or the norm, which is White Anglo-Saxon males from Great Britain,” says Walch.

 

Constancia Huff Roling

An extended voyage down the Mississippi River in a kayak hasn't always been high on Barb Geiger's list of things she wanted to do. But one Sunday morning in 2013, after weeks of preparation, Barb and her husband set off in a self-built kayak for an epic five month journey of paddling and service work. 

Francisco Osorio / Flickr

A new Iowa law banning physicians from performing most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected is being called the most restrictive abortion ban in the nation.

On this edition of River to River, Ben Kieffer discusses the law with three state lawmakers who each have very different views, including a Democrat against the change, a Republican who voted for it, and a Republican who was one of six in his party who felt he couldn’t support the law.

Emily Woodbury

Hippotherapy, or therapeutic horseback riding, uses the movement of horses to help individuals improve their neuromotor function, including coordination, balance, and strength.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe visits Miracles in Motion, where children and adults with special needs come for hippotherapy and therapeutic riding lessons. 

Mark Vitosh

In recent years, many Iowans have noticed something strange happening to the leaves on their oak trees. The leaf tissue becomes brown or purple and shrivels up, making the leaves look ripped or torn. This condition is known as “oak tatters.” 

Oak tatters has been observed since the 1980s and documented since 1995, but the cause remains a mystery.

Florida Grand Opera

Growing up outside of Kalona, Jessica Faselt didn't come from a particularly musical family. She sang in choir when she was a child, but didn’t realize the power of her voice until a concert in high school where she sang "O Holy Night" and brought the crowd to tears. 

After this experience, Faselt went on to study vocal performance at the University of Iowa. It was there that she discovered her passion for opera.

"To me, opera brings together so many art forms," Faselt says. "It's the human voice talking about the human experience through song and music."

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