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

It was a sprint to the finish when lawmakers returned to the statehouse June 3rd. Back in March, after the first Iowa cases of the coronavirus were confirmed, the Legislature started what turned out to be a two-and-a-half month break. Yesterday, June 14th, Iowa lawmakers adjourned the 2020 session.

gnuckx / Wikimedia Commons

Roses are a great way to bring color and drama to your garden. Whatever beautiful species of rose is your favorite, Aaron Steil, assistant director of Reiman Gardens, and Richard Jauron of ISU Extension offer advice to get the most out of your roses.

Charlie Neibergall/AP

In this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with political analysts Chris Larimer of University of Northern Iowa and Sara Mitchell of University of Iowa about Gov. Kim Reynolds' trip to meet with White House officials about Iowa's response to COVID-19. They also discuss Vice President Mike Pence's upcoming trip to meet with Iowa religious leaders, and get a snapshot of Iowa congressional and senate races heading into the June 2 primary.

Guests:

Katherine Perkins/IPR

The Iowa high school class of 2020 is experiencing a very different senior year than any class that has come before it. In many cases, prom has already been canceled. Year books will go unsigned. There will be no final performances or competitions. Commencement ceremonies are canceled, postponed or will go virtual. 

During a time when so many people are sick or have died of COVID-19, it may seem trivial to focus on this loss, but for seniors who have spent 13 years of schooling building up to this moment, the loss is real and sad.

Katarina Sostaric / IPR file

Democratic U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer said she’s disappointed that Gov. Kim Reynolds has not issued a “shelter-in-place” or “stay-at-home” order, despite promising to do so three weeks ago.

“In my district in particular, we make the country’s food. It is our meat processing. It is General Mills where we make cereal. It is so much a big part of that, I knew we had to do everything we could to keep those essential workers safe. I’ve been disappointed at the lack of urgency here from the state,” Finkenauer said.

Madeleine King/IPR file

We've received lots of questions about coronavirus, COVID-19, PPE, social distancing and what this means for us individually and for the economy. In fact, we've had many of the same questions as you. 

To help understand what we need to know, we've reached out to medical experts from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics about the novel coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease. 

Madeleine King / IPR File

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, workers are wondering what rights they have if (or when) their higher-ups request that they return to work. We asked Jennifer Sherer, director of the University of Iowa Labor Center about essential workers on the frontlines and evolving rules governing paid leave and unemployment benefits.

What kinds of questions have you been fielding at the Labor Center?
We’ve been hearing from workers whose concerns fall into three broad categories:

Ani Kolleshi/Unsplash

On this episode of River to River, guest host Katelyn Harrop is joined by emergency physician Dr. Hans House and Matthew Nonnenmann, associate professor of occupational and environmental health in the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa, to answer listeners' top questions about COVID-19 and the impact of the novel coronavirus.

Emily Woodbury / IPR

It's a very simple idea. A boy, a dog and a short story.

Migrate this simple idea to Twitter, and it becomes a phenomenon. As of this writing, @IvePetThatDog has more than 90-thousand followers. Gideon Kidd is the star of "I've Pet That Dog." He's a normal nine-year-old boy from Cedar Falls, who is anything but typical.

Kevin Doncaster / Flickr

The days are starting to lengthen, and gardeners are itching to do something to get ready for the growing season. So, why not start some seeds indoors?

Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe talks with ISU Extension horticulturist Richard Jauron and assistant director of Reiman Gardens Aaron Steil about the best conditions for getting seeds to sprout, and the best way to prepare seedlings to go outside this spring.

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

 

On this Politics Day edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer speaks with political analysts Megan Goldberg, assistant professor of American politics at Cornell College and Kendron Barwell, chair and professor of political science at Simpson College, about Iowa’s future in the nominating process after messy caucus results. They also discuss how Iowa's caucuses shaped the New Hampshire primary, as well as other political headlines of the week.

 

Guest Include:

John Pemble/IPR

In this news buzz edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with University of  Nothern Iowa political science professor Donna Hoffman about the latest caucus counting news and IPR's digital team about their concerns over social media in the wake of delayed results from the Iowa caucus. He also covers several other topics from the week's news.

Guests include:

Jen Theodore / Unsplash

More cut flowers are purchased on Valentine’s Day than on any other day of the year, in spite of the fact that the holiday falls in the dead of winter. During this episode of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with Cindy Haynes and Richard Jauron from Iowa State University Extension about keeping those flowers fresh for as long as possible.

Natalie Krebs/IPR

River to River host Ben Kieffer talks with political analysts about the likely impact of the Iowa Democratic Party's delay in reporting results of the Iowa caucuses Monday night. Sara Mitchell, F Wendell Miller Professor of Political Science at University of Iowa, and Wayne Moyer, professor of political science at Grinnell College agreed the delay was a black eye for Iowa and damaging to its first-in-the-nation status.

Courtesy of University of Iowa Athletics

Hayden Fry came to Iowa to coach the Hawkeye football team in 1978. When he got here the Hawks had been through 17 consecutive non-winning seasons. It took a couple of years, but Coach Fry transformed Hawkeye Football.

During his tenure, he won 143 games, the team shared three Big Ten titles, and went to three Rose Bowls. In addition to being a great coach, he was also a larger than life character. He was funny, smart, tough and could throw a temper tantrum with the best of them. His players loved him. The fans loved him. And he loved them back.

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.

Pages