Katherine Perkins

News/Talk Program Director

Katherine Perkins has done various jobs at IPR member stations since 1999. She is now Program Director for News/Talk and Executive Producer for Talk Shows. As part of her job she is responsible for managing the sound of the news and information stream on IPR and long-term planning and oversight for Talk of Iowa and River to River. She oversees the broadcast schedule for the news and information stations that are part of IPR. She also continues to produce talk shows, but mostly tries to stay out of the way of the hosts and producers, so they can continue to produce great programs. Before she assumed Executive Producer duties, Katherine was a talk show producer, researching topics, developing content and booking guests for Talk of Iowa and River to River, a role she has performed since 2007. Katherine’s reporting and producing have won statewide and national recognition.  She’s spent her entire career (more than 20 years) in public media, starting as a student reporter and weekend anchor for WSIU in Carbondale, IL

Katherine has a master’s degree in public affairs reporting from University of Illinois – Springfield, formerly Sangamon State University.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in radio-television from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale.

John Pemble/IPR

River to River's "Home State View" series helps us understand how the presidential candidates are viewed as leaders in the states they call home. Host Ben Kieffer interviews journalists who have spent years covering the candidates. We get the little-known details about each hopeful's history. Click the "play" button to listen.

This program originally aired on April 18, 2019

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer looks back on past conversations with presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin. Then, we hear highlights from a Q&A session with Kearns Goodwin at Hancher Auditorium after her Spring 2019 Levitt lecture about leadership in turbulent times.

KIEFFER: What can you tell us about the leadership qualities that Iowans should be looking for during this caucus season?

Mary Altaffer / Associated Press

In this politics day edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Rachel Caufield, professor of political science at Drake University and Chris Larimer, professor of political science at University of Northern Iowa about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's decision to launch an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. The move comes after a whistleblower reported concerns about a phone conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

"It’s very hard keeping those traditions… something that comes from Chile. Even food. There isn’t a restaurant where we can go and eat empanadas, I have to make them. It’s hard to give him a sense of 'you're Chilean.'"
Jamet Colton

People come to Iowa from all over the world for many reasons. Moving to another country and building a new life in a new culture can be incredibly challenging. Raising kids in a culture that is very different from your own takes things to a whole new level.

Children that grow up in an adopted homeland share their parents' genes, but in many cases parents watch those children move away from tradition and embrace a new way of looking at the world. For example, many parents struggle with teaching their native language to their kids. 

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

President Trump will address the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, as his administration confronts foreign policy challenges in the Middle East and a growing political scandal in Washington.

This will be Trump's third address to the General Assembly. In the past, he has used his remarks to world leaders to put U.S. foes on notice, as well as to promote his "America first" style of diplomacy.

Matt Winkelmeyer

Nick Offerman became a household name as the meat-eating, gun-loving, Libertarian macho man Ron Swanson on the television show "Parks and Rec." But, his career choices since that iconic role have taken him in a vastly different direction. And that's on purpose.

"If I can say no, I will," says Offerman. Leaving "daylight in his calendar," has allowed him to tour as a comedian. It allowed him to do the film "Hearts Beat Loud," co-starring Kiercey Clemons. And it's allowed him to work with British author and filmmaker Alex Garland on his FX series "Devs."

AP/Ian Langsdon

President Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron are holding a press conference from the G-7 summit of world economic leaders in France. He had meetings with multiple heads of state over the weekend. The summit comes ahead of a looming recession and amid an ongoing trade war with China.

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

President Donald Trump expressed support for background checks in the days following two mass shootings in Texas and Ohio and then appeared to walk back those statements this week. Did a meeting with NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre change his mind? The President says no, clarifying that he still wants to "close loopholes," in the background check system.

cordeauphotos / creative commons

Two weeks after a mass shooting shook the nation, members of Iowa's Latino community share their reactions to the hate-fueled violence.

The shooter, who killed 22 people in El Paso on August 3rd, told police he was specifically targeting Mexicans. Now, Latino Iowans are questioning their own safety.

Andrew Marinkovich / 7 S MGMT

This program originally aired on 2-9-18. 

For Nate Staniforth, a coin trick was his gateway to magic. He was 9-years-old and living in Ames.

"I just was captivated by the idea that I could perfect this and make it look like I made a coin disappear. That's all I wanted."

So, he did the trick on the playground. "The kids didn't laugh. They didn't clap. They just started shrieking and ran away."

Katherine Perkins/IPR

The Gazette's newest columnist, Lyz Lenz makes her Pints and Politics debut on the heels of releasing her book, God Land: A Story of Faith, Loss and Renewal in Middle America. In the discussion at Millstream Brewing in Amana, hosted by Gazette investigative reporter Erin Jordan, panelists take up topics ranging from the likelihood of meaningful gun control legislation to overtime pay for nurses at UIHC.

Guests:

University of Iowa College of Public Health

This program origionally aired 3-4-19.

The Iowa Cancer Registry's 2019 report shows new cases of most types of cancer are holding steady. Investigator Mary Charlton says the exception is cancers caused by the human papillomavirus or HPV.

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Trump on shootings: The president is speaking from the White House about the mass shootings that took place over the weekend in Ohio in Texas. Watch his remarks live.

Pedaling Through Adversity

Jul 26, 2019

 

Host Ben Kieffer continues his trek across Iowa on RAGBRAI. Thursday's ride took bikers 68 miles from Centerville to Fairfield.

On this episode of the limited-run Bike Shorts podcast, Kieffer interviews several people about how adversity inspired their participation in the ride. Sisters Abbie Buscher and Ellie Larsen talk about biking to honor and remember their late mother. Larry Jewell shares how his goal to ride RAGBRAI got him through treatment for stage 4 cancer.

We also meet a unicyclist on the route and ask the question, "Where ya from?"

Host Ben Kieffer takes us through preparations for RAGBRAI 2019, from loading up, to locating NPR's team "No Pie Refused," in Council Bluffs. We hear how teams are handling the storms and significant rain on Sunday, a 58 mile ride to Atlantic. Along the way we meet a 93-year-old doing his 7th RAGBRAI, and a couple rollerblading the 427 miles across Iowa.

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. 

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:

Lindsey Moon / Iowa Public Radio

Joyology is a student-run club created by a group of Carlisle middle schoolers that focuses on generating positivity. The members try to spread kindness by writing kind messages on sticky notes and posting them on students' lockers, sponsoring kindness challenges to encourage other students to do acts of service and much more. 

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. 

Photo by Clay Masters/Iowa Public Radio

President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden exchanged political jabs this week in Iowa. 

On this politics day edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer is joined by political scientists Jim McCormick of Iowa State University and Tim Hagle of the University of Iowa for a closer look at these high profile visits.

They also discuss Iowa ethanol and what it means for the president and other 2020 hopefuls, protests in Hong Kong over extradition laws, and former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean's testimony before Congress.

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

The House of Representatives is debating a civil contempt resolution against Attorney General William Barr and former White House Counsel Don McGahn. House Democrats want access to materials related to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The White House / Flickr

President Trump has vowed to impose tariffs if Mexico does not stem the flow of migrants to the U.S. But Republicans are pushing back. 

Gage Skidmore

Legislation that would have limited the powers of the Iowa Attorney General has been vetoed by Governor Kim Reynolds, an action seen by some Democrats in the Iowa legislature as a "power grab".

On this Politics Day edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer sits down with two political scientists to analyze the deal struck between the governor and Attorney General Tom Miller.

UIHC

  This conversation originally aired on 6-4-18. 

The Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa has been approved to use a new therapy that harnesses the immune system to treat specific forms of leukemia and lymphoma. Dr. George Weiner is director of the center and says the therapy shows great promise.

Wikimedia Commons

President Trump's escalating trade war with China is drawing criticism, even from some members of Congress friendly to his economic policies. Congress is preparing to issue a second set of federal payments to farmers facing tariffs while trade negotiations continue.

In this political discussion on River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with analysts about the politics of the president's trade policies, escalating tensions with Iran and the latest developments in the 2020 race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Flickr

Warm weather and rain has brought a beautiful bloom across the state, and with planting season upon us it's a great time to take action to prevent common pests and diseases that can plague your garden through the growing season. 

On this horticulture edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with experts about prevention and other efforts to establish a healthy garden.

Guests Include:

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:

andy mckean
Katarina Sostaric / IPR

The longest serving Republican in the Iowa House announced Tuesday he would change his party affiliation and join the minority Democratic cacus. State Representative Andy McKean of Anamosa cited increasing discomfort with the GOP's agenda and his inability to support President Trump's re-election bid in 2020. The defection shrinks the Republican majority in the chamber. 

Eighty years ago, a small dedicated group of Quakers opened a hostel to provide shelter and a pathway to a new life for refugees who fled Nazi violence and aggression in Europe. Thus began the history of the Scattergood Friends Hostel in West Branch.   

During this segment of Talk of Iowa, we hear Edith Morgan Froehlig's memories. She was 11-year-old Edith Lichtenstein when she arrived with her family at the hostel, which provided shelter to 185 refugees between 1939 and 1943.

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