Iowa towns

Yew Kwang / Flickr

When thinking of U.S. – China relations, small town Iowa rarely comes to mind. But a few Muscatine residents are working to change that, by building stronger cultural, educational, and corporate relations between the two countries. Host Ben Kieffer speaks with four Muscatine residents who recently returned from a trip to China.

Amy Mayer

Nearly one-third of Story County voters requested ballots for early voting. But as Iowa Public Radio’s Amy Mayer reports, many people remain loyal to in-person voting on Election Day.

Clay Masters / IPR

Both President Obama and Mitt Romney descended on Dubuque Saturday in the final days of their campaigns. Both candidates were promoting their own brand of change.

GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney flew into the Dubuque airport and greeted a crowd of more than 2,000 people in a hangar behind a sign that read “REAL CHANGE ON DAY ONE”.

Appearing with Romney was his wife Ann and NASCAR legend Richard Petty… who offered a race car driver’s perspective on the economy.

A crowd of nearly one thousand packed a gymnasium at the University of Northern Iowa Friday afternoon  to hear Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan tell them why he and Mitt Romney should lead the country.

Cliff Jette / The Gazette

Seattle has Pike Place Market, Detroit has Eastern Market and Los Angeles has Grand Central, now Cedar Rapids has New Bo City  Market. On the first half of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with organizers of the New Bo City Market and in the second half, she speaks with individuals responsible for the comeback of the newly restored Paramount Theater that was damaged by the 2008 flood in Cedar Rapids.

John Pemble

Ballet Des Moines is trying something new this year: hiring dancers for a six month residency.  It’s the first time Ballet Des Moines has six full time professional dancers to perform modern and classic productions for an entire season.
 

Pat Blank IPR

The trial for a former Bosnian Serb leader began today in The Hague with him defending against allegations of genocide and crimes against humanity in the Bosnian war in 1992-1995.  At the same time an American,  Tamir Waser who serves at the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo, is traveling in Iowa stopping in Waterloo and Des Moines. Both cities have large Bosnian populations.   He talks with Iowa Public Radio’s Pat Blank

Clay Masters / IPR

The attention often centers on agriculture when a drought hits. But new Iowa Department of Natural Resources numbers show the state’s stream flows are well below normal and groundwater levels are reaching historic lows. There's a ripple effect in how the drought will affect the state’s fish.

Hancher

Over a year ago the band “Stew and the Negro Problem” visited Iowa City to learn about the town and write songs based on their observations. Now they’re back in town and are going to perform the songs they've created. Host Charity Nebbe talks with band member Mark Stewart, "Stew", about his songs which were inspired by the black angel, flooding, and a local book shop.

J. Stephen Conn / flickr

The town of Hampton is recognizing the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution with a week long "Libertyfest" celebration. Shawn Dietz, mayor of Hampton, wants to emphasize the historical document's impact on the nation. Though the event falls during election season, Dietz says the festivities honor patriotism and not partisanship.

Dietz joined "River to River" host Ben Kieffer in a discussion on the festivities.

Emily Woodbury / IPR

The Bonobo Hope Great Ape Trust Sanctuary in Des Moines is home to a ground breaking thirty year old language research project, at least one superstar Bonobo, and recently it has become home to controversy and funding shortfalls that may end the project. Host Charity Nebbe takes you inside Bonobo Hope.

Clay Masters / IPR

Republican Steve King and Democratic challenger Christie Vilsack met in Hampton Monday night for another debate. It was the first time the incumbent met his opponent on ground that wasn’t part of his old district.  The two differed on just about every issue including controversial Iowa voter ID laws.

Dean Borg

      With the wind energy tax credit about to expire at the end of this year….power companies are using favorable fall weather to install more towers across Iowa’s landscape.

      Cranes are working in an Eastern Iowa cornfield near Mechanicsville to build what will be the tallest wind generator in North America.                  

 Two towers….one concrete and the other steel…..and the generators are being built by Acciona (AX-SEE-OH-NA) which has a plant in West Branch, Iowa.

Romney campaign

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney made a campaign stop at a manufacturing plant in Bettendorf Wednesday - not far from where President Obama wrapped up his three-day campaign swing through Iowa a week earlier.

A Burlington Middle School is now named after a key scientist in NASA’s Voyager program.  Today the Edward Stone Middle School opens for classes and Ed Stone returned to the hometown where his journey as a space scientist began. 

Clay Masters / IPR

One of the country’s toughest congressional races is here in Iowa. It’s between Steve King, a Republican incumbent and the state’s former First Lady Christie Vilsack - a political newcomer. Iowa’s losing a seat in the House after the election due to redistricting. Now ultra-conservative King is facing a more moderate electorate as he runs in the newly drawn 4th district. 

John Pemble

We're at the Iowa State Fair, and we're taking you with us. From the grand concourse for a Zumba lesson, to Pioneer Hall for a classic radio play, to an outdoor stage for square dancing...and monster arming wrestling to butterfly tagging. Join us for this special edition of "Talk of Iowa".

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wrapped up a two-day campaign trip to Iowa Wednesday.   At a rally in downtown Des Moines, he did not back off a controversial claim that President Obama wants to end work requirements for welfare recipients.   Iowa Public Radio’s Joyce Russell reports:

While Iowa's total population grew by 2.8 percent over the past nine years, the 2010 Census Report shows that the growth has occurred in the state's largest cities and their suburbs, while the rural areas are losing residents.

"Papergirl" Project Rethinks Street Art

Jul 24, 2012
Clare Roth / IPR

If you’re walking down the street this evening in Davenport, someone might hand you a work of art. "Papergirl" is an art movement where participants collect artworks from community members, roll it up newspaper-style, and distribute it to random passers-by via bicycles, like the paperboys of old.

Alex Heuer

The Iowa Department of Corrections operates nine institutions throughout the state, and together, they employ more than 3,000 people to supervise more than 8,000 adult inmates. On today's "River to River" we continue our summer series on Iowa towns with a look at how prisons, or correctional facilities, shape the communities where they are located.

Emily Woodbury

A town that is home to a college or university is always changing.  There are always new students, new faculty, new staff, and the population ebbs and flows from semester to semester.  On today's "Talk of Iowa" we continue our summer series on Iowa towns and cities with a look at college towns.  The pros, the cons, the economics and the history.

Clay Masters / IPR

With drought conditions now gripping more than half the country, many farmers in Iowa are waiting to see if they’ll even have much of a crop to harvest. While farm country feels the brunt of the drought, those in the city are also being hit. Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports.

factory
Christopher Dilts [Barack Obama / flickr]

Iowa ranks in the top 10 states most dependent on manufacturing, and the more than six-thousand manufacturing firms located in the state represent almost 11-percent of all employment.  We continue our summer series on Iowa towns with a look at how manufacturing has shaped the history, economy and education of Iowa communities.

1st Sgt. Duff McFadden, Iowa National Guard / flickr

A tornado devastated Parkersburg in 2008, fire gutted Grinnell in 1889, and in the 1980s Bell Plaine was laid low by the farm crisis. When disaster strikes, the repercussions can be felt for decades to come. We continue our series on Iowa towns, with communities that have been shaped by disaster.

Clay Masters / IPR

President Barack Obama made a campaign stop in Cedar Rapids Tuesday. He spent a lot of time discussing his call this week to extend the Bush-era tax cuts to the middle class. He also addressed the economy… something his presumptive GOP opponent, Mitt Romney has attacked him on. And as Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports, how he addresses the lagging economy could be what makes or breaks his reelection.  

Toby Dickens

Our summer series continues into the noon hour on "River to River". We are examining communities along our state’s border and the challenges businesses face in these areas. On today's "River to River", we take a look at the challenges businesses in the Quad Cities and Sioux City face in economic development when competing with Illinois and South Dakota tax structures.

In the 1920’s the Railroad wanted to build a line through Dallas, Iowa, but city elders refused comply with the railroad’s demands.  Mr. Melcher of the railroad decided to found his own town just a mile south and the Dallas- Melcher rivalry was born.  On today's "Talk of Iowa" we begin our summer series on Iowa towns with rivalries.

When Joe Murphy’s wife, Linda, spies an ad for a “beautiful 3-story Victorian house in need of some TLC,” the couple jumps at the chance for their dream home. Renovating it will allow them to indulge their passion for antiques and to get closer to an era they believe was a better time. Privately, Joe hopes that the project will also fill the void that has opened within their family life.

An Iowa man and his sons made a huge discovery on their Oskaloosa farm recently. Now scientists are in the process of excavating a mammoth skeleton.  We’ll hear what they hope to learn from the find. Then, 18-year-old Rae Heim of Carroll is running barefoot across the country this year from Boston to Huntington Beach, CA. She has reached Iowa – raising money for an organization called souls4soles – a Christian organization which supplies shoes to needy kids.  Rae talks with River to River's Ben Kieffer about her journey.

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