Alyssa Simpson

Talk Show Production Intern
Penguin Random House

This episode origionally aired on  8-8-19

IAHilltopper / Flickr

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission recently approved the final rules for betting on professional, college and fantasy sports contests.  On Aug. 15 at noon, legal sports wagering will be allowed in-person and through a moblie app.

John Pemble / IPR

In 2018, Democrat J.D. Scholten came close to unseating long-time Republican Congressman Steve King in Iowa’s 4th District. Now, Scholten says, he’ll try again in 2020.

On this politics day edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with political scientists Dennis Goldford of Drake University and Sara Mitchell of the University of Iowa about this race, the politics of gun violence, China's exit from the US Agriculture sector and other political headlines. 

Guests Include:

Blank Park Zoo


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The Epoch Times / Flickr

Host Ben Kieffer caputures day four of RAGBRAI as thousands of riders travel from Indianola to Centerville, which is the longest ride of the week. 

Kieffer also reflects on Tuesday afternoon, when two bikers crashed into each other coming down a steep hill into Indianola.  Both riders were flown out to hospitals and were reported to be in critical condition. Kieffer talks with former Des Moines Register columnist, Kyle Munson, about past RAGBRAI accidents and the importance of understanding safe cycling.  

Host Ben Kieffer takes us through his experiences on day three of RAGBRAI starting in Winterset, traveling through South Central Iowa, crossing over Interstate 35 to the eastern side of the state and finishing in Indianola. 

Host Ben Kieffer captures sounds and experiences on day two of RAGBRAI starting in Atlantic, passing hundreds of wind turbines along the Iowa countryside and finished with a pie-eating contest in Winterset. The fourth annual "Rhubarb Rumble" pie eating relay pits Team NPR (No Pie Refused) against the Des Moines Register. You'll hear from IPR's own Clay Masters, Kyle Munson and Courtney Crowder of the Des Moines Register, and of course, Scott Horsely (aka Fork Guy) of Team NPR.

Dave Herholz / Flickr

The Des Moines Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, known as RAGBRAI, is just days away.  The recreational bicycle tour will take place July 21 through July 27 where about 10,000 registered riders from all 50 states and some international will travel through Iowa.

This week, U. S. House lawmakers voted to condemn President Trump's recent tweets aimed at four Democratic congresswomen as racist.

Atavic Art / Flickr

The current evaluation of forensic evidence might be flawed and prone to errors.  Recent goverment reports from the United States and the United Kingdom have condemned the failings of the use of forensic science.  

Gage Skidmore / Flickr


Democratic presidential candidate Eric Swalwell is out of the race, while billionaire Tom Steyer is in.  Also this week, pressure increases for U.S. Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta to resign after a controversial plea deal and a court rules that President Trump may not block his Twitter critics.

On this politics day edition of River to River, host Ben Keiffer talks with analysts Steffen Schmidt of Iowa State University and Kedron Bardwell of Simpson College about these along with other political headlines. 

Hans Reniers / Unsplash

Summer weather has settled across the Midwest - and that means heat. Homeless people, children and the elderly become more at-risk to dehydration and possible fatality as temperatures climb. 

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

This week, President Trump obtained a massive amount of money for his re-election campaign.  After the first round of Democratic candidate debates, Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren recieved top grades, according to a poll of voters.

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Keiffer talks with analysts about the debate aftermath, Trump's campaigning and Fourth of July plans along with other polictical headlines. 

AP Photo/Marta Lavandier

This week, millions of Americans will meet the cast of Democrats trying to unseat President Donald Trump.

On this politics day edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with analysts about expectations for the first round of Democratic presidential debates as well as other political headlines.

Also, we continue our series of interviews about the leadership of 2020 candidates with a home state view of Andrew Yang, entrepreneur and founder of Venture for America. 

Guests include:

Ben Kieffer

The University of Iowa has received a $115 million research award -- its largest ever -- from NASA to study the interactions between the magnetic fields of the sun and the Earth.