Clay Masters / IPR/File

The CEO and General Manager of the Des Moines Water Works has died. Bill Stowe was known throughout the state for his steadfast commitment to Iowa’s water quality. Des Moines Water Works announced last month he’d recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. In 2017, he was part of the on-going IPR forum Public Radio on Tap.

“The biggest water quality issue facing Iowa in my view is the denial of many in leadership positions that there is a water quality problem in this state,” Stowe said to applause from the audience.

Courtesy of Thomas Dean


There was a time when tallgrass prairie once covered about 85 percent of Iowa. Today, tallgrass prairie is one of the most altered and threatened ecosystems on the planet, though more Iowans are turning back to native prairie plans in their yards and landscapes.

Katie Peikes / IPR

Vice President Mike Pence toured flood damage in southwest Iowa on Friday. He is trying to help Iowa and other Midwest states affected by flooding get disaster relief funding that is stalling in the Senate.

Kate Payne / IPR

A handful of Iowa City students, parents and grandparents joined thousands of protestors around the world Friday in calling for action on climate change.


Two years ago, an 18-inch bronze statue known as "Goddess of the Grapes" went missing from Sioux City. Now, after a multi-year mystery, Sioux City Art Center curator Todd Behrens will head to Waterloo to recover the sculpture, which was recently returned under unusual circumstances.

Clare Roth / IPR file

Iowa’s 2nd District Congressman Dave Loebsack says this will be his last term in office.  Loebsack, a Democrat, published a statement on his website Friday saying he will not run for reelection in 2020 to represent the district in the southeast quarter of the state. 

Kevin Collins/KQED

A house centipede is almost never a welcome house guest, but these creepy crawlies are actually beneficial creatures.

On this Horticulture Day edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with entomologist Donald Lewis about why centipedes and millipedes don’t deserve their bad reputation. Later in the hour, horticulturist Richard Jauron joins to answer listener questions.

State Historical Society of Iowa

Buxton, Iowa was a company town, but it wasn't like any other company town. It was founded by Consolidation Coal Company in 1900 and when the company recruited miners they did not discriminate on the basis of race. Buxton became Iowa's first fully integrated town and the community thrived until the coal ran out. On this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe sat down with author Rachelle Chase to talk about her new book, "Creating the Black Utopia of Buxton Iowa".

John Pemble / IPR

In the first month of the legislative session it’s common to see heads of large departments visit a committee to explain their budget requests. In January, the Department of Transportation asked for $259 million dollars for its highway division.

The DOT set aside $13 million a year to buy 225,000 tons of salt. Normally they use 156,000 tons in a season.  In February, Iowa received record or near record amounts of snowfall and the DOT used a lot of salt on the roads.

Courtesy wcfsymphony

This weekend, the wcfsymphony presents their “To the New World” concert on Saturday, April 13th at 7 p.m.

Executive Director Rich Frevert describes the concert as “both a musical and visual delight, as we present the artwork of Gary Kelley and the music of Antonín Dvořák.” The “unique multi-media event will give audience members the inside story of Dvořák’s inspirations during his time in America.”

Courtesy Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, Wikimedia Commons

IPR Classical’s Performance Iowa will be doing a live broadcast of the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s world-premiere of The Grant Wood Operas: Strokes of Genius performance on Sunday, April 14th at 2 p.m.

Brooklyn Museum

This week’s Symphonies of Iowa features The Quad City Symphony Orchestra and their “French Moderns” concert.

What better forces to pair up than music and art? The Figge Art Museum in Davenport and The Quad City Symphony Orchestra partnered up last fall to create a celebration of “French Moderns.”

Courtesy Wheaton College Massachusetts

Author and art history professor at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, Tripp Evans, will be joining the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre in a pre-opera talk before each performance of The Grant Wood Operas. Dr. Evans is the author of Grant Wood: A Life, a 2010 biography of Grant Wood. Dr. Evans will provide pre-show talks prior to each performance, discussing Grant Wood’s life.

Katie Peikes / IPR

It’s been nearly a month since the swollen Missouri River and its tributaries started to flood western Iowa. In southwest Iowa’s Fremont County, hundreds of homes remain evacuated, with no word of when people can go back. 

Kate Payne / IPR

Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris outlined a plan to raise teachers’ pay across the country during an event in Iowa City on Wednesday night. The U.S. Senator from California also called for addressing wealth inequality more broadly.

Katie Peikes / IPR file

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is predicting more than 38 million acre feet of runoff will go into the upper Missouri River Basin this year, which will be the 6th highest on record in the last 120 years, if reached.

electronic cigarette
haiberliu / Pixabay

Three senators advanced a bill Wednesday that would raise Iowa’s minimum age for buying tobacco products and nicotine pods from 18 to 21.

Senate President Charles Schneider, R-West Des Moines, said his proposal is part of a national trend of states taking that step.

House And Senate Move To Ban Female Cutting In Iowa

Apr 10, 2019
John Pemble/IPR file

A bill getting strong bipartisan support in the Iowa legislature would make it a felony to perform female genital mutilation on an Iowa girl or young woman.

Last year a judge tossed out a federal law that had banned the practice nationwide, ruling it was up to states to prosecute such crimes. Rep. Steven Holt, R-Denison, said this bill is necessary because it’s unclear if current Iowa child abuse laws could be used to prosecute these cases here.

Pat Blank/IPR

A year after one of their classmates died in a firearms accident, junior high students at Clarksville in northeast Iowa are enrolled in the school’s first hunter safety education program. Superintendent Joel Foster says 15 year old Cain Schild’s death in an accidental shooting last May helped set the curriculum in motion. 

Official DHS photo by Jetta Disco.

President Donald Trump has signaled that he wants to get even tougher on immigration.

In this Politics Day edition of River to River, Ben Kieffer talks with political analysts, Jonathan Hassid of Iowa State University and Rene Rocha of the University of Iowa, about the politics of dealing with the surge of migrant families and children on the U.S. southern border. 

Amy Mayer / IPR file

Fears of a highly contagious and deadly pig disease have prompted officials to cancel the World Pork Expo in Iowa this June.

African swine fever has been spreading through China since August, and also is present in Europe and its namesake continent.

kim reynolds
John Pemble / IPR

Gov. Kim Reynolds said Tuesday she will meet with Iowa lawmakers this week to discuss additional state funding that might be needed for flood recovery efforts. 

“We’re going to act while they’re here [in Des Moines],” Reynolds said. “Of course we’ll do that while they’re still in session.”

The Iowa legislative session is scheduled to end May 3, but that can easily change.

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. 

Emily Woodbury/Iowa Public Radio

Everybody can get behind daily pictures of cute dogs, and 10-year-old Gideon Kidd of Cedar Falls has gone viral sharing pictures of dogs he's met on his twitter account @IvePetThatDog

Almost exactly one year ago, Gideon and his mother Rachel Braunigan launched the account, and since then Gideon has amassed more than 214,000 followers from his daily dog posting.

National Weather Service

Another major storm is headed towards the Midwest, and may impact northwestern Iowa Wednesday afternoon and evening. Known as a “bomb cyclone,” or storm that rapidly intensifies, the system will bring rain, snow and winds to the area.

This winter storm is expected to deliver the most snow to Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota. The National Weather Service predicts the northwestern part of Iowa will stay warm enough to miss out on some of the heavier snow. However, blowing snow may still cause travel frustrations.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will soon have an acting leader, after the resignation of Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. One of Iowa’s U.S. senators is concerned about turnover in the department. Homeland Security will join a number of agencies with temporary directors.


It’s been a spring to remember for the feathered residents of the North and Fish Hatchery eagle nests in Decorah.

Four eaglets have hatched in total, with only three surviving. The death of one eaglet at Decorah North follows a tumultuous year at the nests, leaden with heartbreak, missing mates, new courtships and even a couple housing renovations.

Kate Payne / Iowa Public Radio

Davenport city officials are working with the Canadian Pacific Railway to plan improvements after the company raised its tracks to avoid floodwaters along the Mississippi River. The decision is raising safety and accessibility concerns as well. 

Michael Weber / Shadow Fox Photography

For more than two decades, multidisciplinary artist Jason Snell has been challenging the relationship between music, maker, and technology to create richly engineered performances and complex soundscapes. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture

It’s too early for planting, but some farm fields in Iowa are already greening up thanks to cover crops. 

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, a look at cover crop use from row cropping to small scale vegetable farming with two Iowa farmers. 


  • Doug Adams, Humboldt-based soybean and corn farmer 
  • Carmen Black, owner of Sundog Farm and Local Harvest CSA in Solon