Governor Kim Reynolds speaks before signing a bill establishing a statewide children's mental health system.
Grant Gerlock / IPR

Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a law (HF690) laying the groundwork for the state’s first comprehensive mental health system for children. It initially requires the state’s mental health regions to determine how to fix gaps in existing programs, although they won’t receive extra money this year to make changes.

Kate Payne

A portion of Davenport’s riverfront downtown district is still flooded after a line of temporary barriers failed Tuesday afternoon. Historic river levels and recent rains broke through portions of the barricade, swamping parts of the Mississippi River town.

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Former Vice President Joe Biden is visiting Iowa less than a week after making his 2020 presidential candidacy official, and Attorney General William Barr is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee to answer questions about special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. River to River host Ben Kieffer talks about these and other political developments of the week.

Guests include:

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Attorney General William Barr is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee to answer questions about special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. Watch the proceedings in the Republican-led committee live.

Kate Payne

Former Vice President Joe Biden is on a swing through Iowa this week just days after officially launching his bid for the White House.

Rob Merritt

Puccini’s last opera, Turandot, revolves around the beautiful Princess Turandot and the charming Prince Calaf. Turandot is full of “blood, violence, and fear – but also love and hope.”

Flooding on Iowa roads.
File photo by Dan Patterson / Flickr

After a weekend of heavy rain, more showers and storms were moving across southeastern Iowa Tuesday.

Runoff from the storms theatens to push the swollen Mississippi River near record flood levels. Floodwaters on the river are expected to crest this week in Iowa. In the Quad Cities, the river will come near the peak of 22.6 feet reached in 1993.

“The current forecast at Rock Island Lock and Dam No. 15 is currently 22.2 feet, coming up just a little bit short but not by much,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Mike McClure.


Now that Congress has returned to Capitol Hill, Iowa’s senior senator is resuming two ongoing policy efforts.

Renewable fuels

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) says he’s submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency in support of the plan to make the sale of E-15 legal throughout the year. E-15 contains more ethanol than the widely-available E-10 blend, but federal rules have restricted the sale of E-15 at certain times of the year.

Kate Payne

Scientists at Luther College in Decorah have found signs of disease-causing bacteria and parasites in some northeast Iowa waters. The findings could be a concern in an area known for ecotourism and water recreation.

This program originally aired on August 6, 2018.

Long before more than two million women and allies gathered in Washington D.C. for the 2017 Women’s March, and before almost daily protests against the current presidential administration spalshed across national headlines, Americans were organizing and mobilizing acts of resistance, dating back to the very founding of the nation.

W.W. Norton & Co.

This program originally aired on August 16, 2017.

This hour, host Charity Nebbe speaks live with two Iowa writers, Inara Verzemnieks and Elizabeth Dinschel.

DIY Home Improvement

Apr 29, 2019

Social media platforms like Pinterest contain more than just fun recipes and party planning ideas. They are an excellent resource for homeowners and DIY fanatics for innovative projects and building advice.

Katie Peikes / IPR file

Many people who evacuated their southwest Iowa homes last month because of flooding are now allowed to return, but standing water is preventing some from getting back.

iowa capitol
John Pemble / IPR

Iowa lawmakers wrapped up the 2019 legislative session Saturday afternoon. It was the third consecutive year with Republicans controlling the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the governor's office.

Read more to catch up on what high-profile legislation passed, what didn't, and what is still waiting for Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds' signature. 


Animal waste and nitrogen-based agricultural fertilizers contribute to nitrate runoff, which ends up in creeks, streams, rain and, eventually, water systems. Nitrate, that mix of nitrogen and oxygen, can cause serious health problems if it’s too concentrated.

The best defense is filtering, which forests are great at doing. But a new study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service suggests forests are falling behind, and heavy rains brought on by climate change are making it worse.

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

This is the last week for the 2019 Iowa Legislative Session. It was scheduled for 110 days,but ended a bit early on day 104.

This is also the last episode for this year’s podcast. On this final episode, we cover the passage of the sports betting bill. It legalizes both sports wagering and fantasy sports. In May 2018, the United States Supreme Court made a ruling allowing state to add sports wagering.  So far eight states have done so.

iowa capitol
John Pemble/IPR

In the final days of the legislative session, Republicans at the Iowa Capitol moved to block Planned Parenthood from getting government grants to provide sex education programs in the state.

“Sexual health education is what gives young people the skills to have the healthiest lives they can have,” said Planned Parenthood Executive State Director Erin Davison-Rippey. “And by defunding Planned Parenthood, you’re removing one of the most significant providers of sex education from the system.”

marijuana plants
Katarina Sostaric / IPR file

In the final hours of the legislative session Saturday, the Iowa Senate sent a bill to the governor that would expand the state’s medical marijuana program.

The bill allows for more potent medical marijuana products at the state’s five dispensaries. It would remove the 3 percent cap on THC—the chemical that makes people feel high—and replace it with a per-person limit of 25 grams in 90 days.

One exception to the limit is a waiver available to terminally ill people with a life expectancy of less than one year.

steven holt
John Pemble / IPR

Republicans at the Iowa Capitol approved a plan Saturday, the final day of the legislative session, to give the governor more power in the process of selecting Iowa Supreme Court justices and appeals court judges.

Kate Payne

Cedar Rapids is wrapping up a years-long effort to convert one-way streets back into two-ways. The change is meant to help revitalize the downtown and some are already noticing a difference.

Katie Peikes / IPR file

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working to fix the enormous levee breaches caused by flooding along the Missouri River in March. The corps' Omaha District has awarded some contracts to fill massive holes in some southwest Iowa levees.

Katarina Sostaric / IPR

This post was updated Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 2:48 p.m.

Republicans at the Iowa Capitol voted Friday and Saturday to ban publicly-funded health insurance, including Medicaid, from covering transition-related surgery for transgender Iowans.

This change to the Iowa Civil Rights Act was embedded in a budget bill on one of the last days of Iowa’s legislative session.

Amy Mayer / IPR file

Dozens of people in Sioux City turned out for a forum on protecting places of worship Thursday. The forum focused on a wide range of things from religious discrimination to active shooter training.

Esther Honig/Harvest Public Media

Among the bills passed by the legislature this session and now awaiting the governor’s signature is one allowing farmers to grow industrial hemp.

It would open up that crop to cultivation for the first time in almost 50 years. Industrial hemp once was used for clothing, rope and a wide variety of other products, but in 1970 it was lumped in with its cousin marijuana and classified as a controlled substance. That made it illegal to grow nationwide.

Under the 2018 farm bill, it’s now legal for individual states to choose to allow.

Kevin Gill / Flickr

For the first time, NASA's Mars Insight Lander has measured and recorded a likely "marsquake."

On this News Buzz edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Bill Barnhart, Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Iowa, about what it means to have an "earthquake" on another planet.

Helios4Eos / Getty Images

  On this Horticulture Day edition of Talk of Iowa, guest host Jason Burns talks to horticulturalist Richard Jauron and commercial vegetable production specialist Ajay Nair about when to plant tomatoes and how to care for them as they grow.

Then, Jauron and Nair answer listener questions.

Meanz Chan / Special To Iowa Public Radio

Lily DeTaeye's first album "Nothing To Say" is a whimsical journey, full of pop ballads and light acoustic tracks like "Footie Pajamas." As she gets ready to release her second album, prepare for something different. 

She's debuting a new single "Hurt You" in preview of her new record which is slated for an early fall release. 

Karsten Moran / Redux Pictures

  This conversation originally aired on January 29, 2018

New York Times Magazine Staff Writer Nikole Hannah-Jones is no stranger to hard conversations about race. She grew up in Waterloo, Iowa, being bused to a school across town that was mostly white, compared to her majority black neighborhood. She says she grew up spending about two hours on the bus each day. 

Pat Blank /IPR

As the spring planting season hits full speed, state public safety officials are asking motorists to check their own speed as they approach over-sized farm equipment on the road.

Iowa Highway Patrol Sgt. Nate Ludwig said traditional cars and trucks are no match for the agricultural machinery, which often weighs several tons. He said attempting to get around them could be dangerous.

US Air Force

Ten years ago, the publication of a national report on forensic science systems in the U.S. found some alarming problems that needed to be addressed. The report, "Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward," led to the creation of the Iowa State University based "Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence" (CSAFE).