Matthew Alvarez

Talk Show Producer
Richard Lee / Unsplash

On this “News Buzz” edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer speaks with a variety of guest about the week’s latest news stories. This episode includes an update on a forty-year-old cold case in Davenport, what legislation made it through the first deadline at the Statehouse, and the worrying results about bald eagle populations in Iowa. 

We also hear about new research from Iowa State University that can determine the age of a fingerprint, and the many problems in getting adequate emergency medical services in Iowa.

Guests:

Ben Moon

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer speaks with Doug Peacock about his work in the wilderness, tracking dangerous animals, his fight against climate change and his crusade to save grizzly bears.

Peacock is the author of “The Essential Grizzly: The Mingled Fates of Men and Bears”, “Walking It Off: A Veteran’s Chronicle of War and Wilderness” and “Grizzly Years: In Search of the American Wilderness.”

Department of Defense

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer speaks with Jerry Yocum, vice president of the Camp Algona POW Museum Committee, historian and lead writer of “13,000 Nights: Kossuth County Men in Axis POW Camps in WWII.”

The Kossuth County enlisted men, John Muehe, Gordon Dimler, Richard Lavrenz, Howard Smith, John Spongberg and Donald Chiquet all spent more than 747 nights in German captivity. All of them survived.

Yocum said it took four years to research, document and dig deep to tell the stories of these prisoners of war.  

Guest:

Mary Altaffer / AP Photo

On this Politics Day edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with political scientists Jim McCormick and Jonathan Hassid, of Iowa State University about President Trump's unhappiness with William Barr after the Attorney General said Trump's tweeting was making it "impossible for him to do his job."

They also discuss Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, who has spent more than $400 million on his 2020 campaign so far, and what that means for elections of the future. And Ben has his guests reflect on COVID-19's impact on the Chinese economy and the state of Afghanistan today.

Lindsey Moon / IPR

Dear Experienced Iowans, 

When I told friends and family back in Texas that I would be walking onto a frozen lake, they all had the same question: “ A lake... is that safe?” Those comments where quickly followed by: “It was nice knowing ya.” 

John Pemble / IPR

On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer and IPR statehouse reporter Katarina Sostaric speak with lawmakers from both parties about a proposed amendment to the Iowa Constitution that could open the door to more abortion restrictions within the state.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

On this "News Buzz" edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer speaks with a variety of guests about the week's latest news stories. This episode includes interviews about the trial of a forty-year-old cold case in Davenport, the resignation of Troy Price as the chair of the Iowa Democratic Party, and bills that have made headway in the Iowa statehouse.

The Actors' Gang / Hancher

Tim Robbins discusses "The New Colossus," a theatrical performance and story depicting the immigrant experience, with IPR's Charity Nebbe. 

Kyle Sleichter / KCRG

Bruce Aune, a trusted news anchor at KCRG, the ABC affiliate in Eastern Iowa, is retiring this March.

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe welcomes Aune for a discussion of some of the most memorable moments in his 34 years in the anchor chair and some of the changes he’s witnessed.

Guest:

Bruce Aune, anchor, reporter

Lindsey Moon / IPR

Did you make a New Year's resolution to read more? We're here to inspire you! Talk of Iowa is launching a book club.

We hosted the first meeting at 10:00 a.m. during the live broadcast of Talk of Iowa on Wednesday, Feb. 12. Author Ayana Mathis talked about her novel "The Twelve Tribes of Hattie," and a few Iowans who read the book along with us also joined the conversation. 

Simon Fitall / Unsplash

At History Camp Iowa 2020, history buffs from all over the state will come together to share their expertise. On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe gets a preview of the fourth annual conference that's organized entirely by volunteers. 

Charity Nebbe / Iowa Public Radio

"Black Sunday" tells the story of a family living in Lagos, Nigeria. Told over 20 years, the book tells of their attempts to cling to their middle-class lifestyle and subsequent plunge into poverty. In this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with Tola Rotimi Abraham about her debut novel.

Coast Guard News / Flickr

 

From wildfires in California and Australia to category five hurricanes destroying small islands, Jerry Schnoor describes how climate change has manifested itself around the world. Iowa has experienced the effect of climate change through severe flooding and intense precipitations. 

John Pemble / IPR File

River to River host Ben Kieffer talks with Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar. 

With the Iowa caucuses just days away, Kieffer and Klobuchar discussed campaigning, impeachment, her polling numbers among black voters, climate change, foreign policy, and immigration. 

John Pemble / IPR File

River to River host Ben Kieffer talks with Democratic presidential candidate and former mayor of South Bend, IN, Pete Buttigieg less than one week away from the Iowa caucuses. 

Matthew Alvarez / IPR

A lost millennial, an Instagram celebrity, an overgrown man-child, and a precocious toddler run headlong into issues of race, class and human folly are all themes in the new novel “Such a Fun Age.”

On this this edition of Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe speaks with author Kiley Reid about her debut novel. 

Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me / WBEZ

The caucuses are a less than two weeks away, and that means Iowa is getting some pretty special visitors. This isn’t a reference to all the presidential candidates; Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! is in Des Moines to record show in front of a sold out audience.

Carole Anne Oikawa / Flickr

In September of 2019 we learned the number of birds in North America had fallen by 29 percent since 1970.

There are 2.9 billion fewer birds today than there were 50 years ago. Some bird species, however, have increased dramatically in the past 20 years, including two species beloved in Iowa. 

As a method for processing the end of a nine-year marriage with a gay man, Kellie Kramer has channeled her energy and emotions into a one-woman cabaret show, "All the Good Men Are Gay."  Kramer, an actor and singer who hosts Iowa Outdoors on Iowa PBS, pieces together the story of love and loss through songs that range from Judy Garland to "Weird Al" Yankovic. 

Jesper Aggergaard / Unsplash

Weightlifting didn't appear on Cynthia Martin's radar until age 64, when she picked up barbells for the first time through a Cross Fit program. Just a few years later, the Marion native won the 2018 National Weightlifting Championship in Buffalo, New York. 

Rebecca Blackwell / AP Photo

On this edition of River to River host Ben Kieffer speaks with Reynaldo Leanos Jr., a border and immigration reporter with Texas Public Radio, about the crisis at the border.

Also joining the conversation are Sue Otto, Sally Hartman and Deb Schoelerman. The three Iowa women describe their visit to a tent city in Matamoros, Mexico. The city is located just over border from Brownsville, Texas. Together they detailed the harsh living conditions many refugees have had to endure.

Drake University / Flickr

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer sits down with IPR's Clay Masters, UNI's Donna Hoffman and ISU's Jonathan Hassid to recap last night's CNN Des Moines Register Democratic Presidential Debate hosted at Drake University. 

Courtesy of "Adore Us! Line" Production Team

From the creator of "Caucus: The Musical," a new song-by song parody of "A Chorus Line" showcases the 2020 Democratic candidates auditioning for Iowa voters. 

Composer, Playwright, and Producer Robert John Ford joins this edition of Talk of Iowa to discuss the opening of his musical, "Adore Us! Line." 

Element 5 Digital / Unsplash

Iowa has been hosting first-in-the-nation caucuses since 1972, but the proceedings have shifted with the years. Since the last caucuses in 2016, the DNC has mandated a new set of changes. IPR Reporter Kate Payne joins this 'News Buzz' edition of River to River to summarize how the upcoming Democratic caucuses on Feb. 3 will differ. 

Katelyn Harrop / IPR

Dear Experienced Iowans, 

What gives with the balmy weather? I’m writing to you from Iowa City, and there is no snow to be found.

I guess you can say I am fortunate. So far this winter has greeted me with unexpected sunny days, unseasonably warm temperatures and a Christmas so mild it truly reminded me of Texas.

Pete Souza / The Obama White House

In 2007, Iowa native Chris Liddell-Westefeld became a field organizer for the Obama campaign. His early start eventually led to career in White House where he spent five years working for the Obama Administration.

Right before Liddell-Westefeld's departure, he started a project to document President Obama’s historic path to the White House. Twelve years and 200 interviews later, Liddell-Westefeld has now released his book “They Said This Day Would Never Come: Chasing The Dream On Obama’s Improbable Campaign.”

Benjamin Combs / Upsplash

Have you ever been falling asleep, or waking up, and then become suddenly aware you're unable to move or speak?  

Neurologist and Director of the University of Iowa Sleep Disorders Program, Mark Dyken joins host Ben Kieffer on this edition of River to River to explain the science of sleep paralysis.  Later on, he answers questions from callers across Iowa about a wide range of sleep problems. 

IPR/Matthew Alvarez

Nearly a dozen people sat in a small room painted black and lit only by two theatre lamps, drawing attention to a DJ booth with its chrome and silver equipment glimmering.

DJ Patrick Blin stepped up to the booth, and the silence was broken by the sounds of record scratches as those watching pulled out their phones to begin filming. Smiles broke out across their faces.

This episode origionally aired on  11-7-19

Mikhail Khodorkovsky was once believed to be the wealthiest man in Russia.  In the 1990’s, Khodorkovsky rocketed to prosperity and celebrity, but his fortunes drastically changed. He ended up serving a decade in prison, and became an unlikely martyr for the movement against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Andre Wright

News fatigue is real. As the year closes out with rising awareness of climate change, international tension, multiple refugee crises, constant political wrangling, and so many important but difficult stories, Talk of Iowa pauses to focus on acts of kindness and positive connections.

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