Matthew Alvarez

Talk Show Producer
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Summer may be a little different this year, but it's still a wonderful time for learning and adventure. Every Tuesday, Talk of Iowa is hosting an episode meant for learners of all ages who are missing out on summer camp this year. On this epsiode of Talk of Iowa, we're taking a deep dive into the history and modern role of rock 'n' roll. 

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COVID-19 rapidly displaced students from classrooms to their bedrooms this spring. Looking toward the fall, everyone is asking: how can students safely return to learn?

On today’s episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer speaks with educators, reporters and health experts about how Iowa students may return to the classroom. Later in the hour, we hear from an expert helping track COVID-19 and a statehouse reporter who explains Iowa laws that went into effect yesterday.

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Depending on where someone lives, it may seem like the COVID-19 lockdown is a long-forgotten moment from the past. In certain parts of Iowa, many residents can be found roaming the streets without masks and without physical distancing. In other areas, stores require patrons to mask-up before entering. As cases in Iowa continue to grow, host of Talk of Iowa Charity Nebbe speaks with guests about the disparate experiences with COVID-19 throughout the state.

On this 'Newsbuzz' edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer gets a look at the guidelines just released by state education officials for school reopenings, followed by a conversation with an infectious disease specialist about the spread of the novel coronavirus and how the public can continue to protect themselves and slow the spread of COVID-19.

Matthew Alvarez / IPR

This program originally  aired 1-23-20.

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. 

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During this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with political science professor Dennis Goldford of Drake University and political science professor Jonathan Hassid of Iowa State University. 

Here are some of the headlines discussed during the podcast. 

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What if you could produce meat without having to raise or slaughter an animal?

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On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer speaks with poet, essayist and author Christopher Merrill.

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What if you have a shady spot in your lawn and you don’t want to plant hostas?

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Students around the world experienced an abrupt, anticlimactic ending to their academic year. Although students are now officially on summer break, administrators and school leaders are actively creating plans for how to safely bring students back to the classroom in the fall. 

Melissa Porter

At Drake University, there is one top dog on campus: Griff the bulldog. Unfortunately, June 30 marks Griff's last day as Drake University's mascot. In the fall, "Griff II (aka, George)" will take his place during a change of harness ceremony. To honor Griff's tenure as mascot, author Gary Porter wrote a memoir about Griff entitled "Griff: My Life as Drake's Top Dog."

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The coronavirus pandemic has made this a difficult time to sell books, an unfortunate time to publish a book and a wonderful time for many to read.

In this edition of Talk of Iowa, it’s the annual summer books show. If you’re looking for powerful fiction, a read that might challenge your ideas and broaden your mind, poetry that explores the depths of joy, or a light-hearted escape, we have books for you.  

Courtesty of Elizabeth Reetz.

Archaeologists don’t have to travel the world to dig up history. In fact there might be an archaeological dig waiting for you in your trash can. During this episode of Talk of Iowa, learn how to explore history and heritage at home with Elizabeth Reetz of the Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist.

Heath Thompson / Advocates for Social Justice

 

Protests over the recent killings of unarmed black Americans at the hands of white police officers have been occuring all around the nation. On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer brings together Cedar Rapids activists, elected officials and police to discuss the potential reforms that could come about as a result of the protests. 

Godofredo A. Vásquez / Houston Chronicle via AP, Pool

For more than two weeks, people accross the nation have taken to the streets to protest the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many other black Americans.

On this episode of Talk of Iowa we’re going to the theater. The Des Moines Community Playhouse hosts summer camps every year, usually inviting young people into the playhouse to act, sing, dance, laugh and learn. This summer their camps have gone virtual. The first week of camp is underway, but there’s still time for you to get involved in the coming weeks. They’ve also agreed to bring theater camp to today’s show.

What does it mean?

Improvise; verb, to make, invent or arrange offhand.

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On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with IPR state government reporter about the Iowa legislature's return to the Statehouse this week. Also, a conversation with Negus Imhotep about his work with Urban Dreams helping those who were in desperate straits even before these crises.

GUESTS:

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The death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers has sparked demonstrations and protest nationwide. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died May 25. Video, now seen by millions, shows Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, resulting in Floyd’s death.

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Every spring they burst forth, usually in late May or early June.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe is joined by Extension horticulturist Richard Jauron and Aaron Steil of Reiman Gardens to talk about the many different types of peonies and how to care for them.

GUESTS:

  • Aaron Steil, assistant director of Reiman Gardens
  • Richard Jauron, ISU Extension horticulture specialist

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Even though many parts of life have slowed down lately, construction work continues to move forward. But building new houses, adding additions, patios, decks, and sidewalks might affect existing trees.

Evan Vucci / AP Photo

President Trump has fired four governmental watchdogs in recent weeks.

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer is joined by political scientists Dennis Goldford and Jim McCormick for a discussion about why the United States has an inspector general and why their dismissal matters.

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While schools are closed, we're creating a series of "Talk of Iowa" episodes that will be fun and educational for learners of all ages. Every Tuesday, we'll learn about biology, and every Thursday, we'll learn about Iowa history.  

On this edition of Talk of Iowa biologists Maurine Neiman and Jim Colbert will introduce listeners to the theory of evolution.

Enrique Leira / University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer is joined by infectious disease expert Dr. Eli Perencevich to talk about protecting yourself from the spread of coronavirus with a face shield.

IPR’s political reporter Clay Masters conducts interviews with Democrats Eddie Mauro and Kimberly Graham vying to face Senator Joni Ernst in the November election.

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To wear or not wear a mask – that is the question during this pandemic.

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer is joined by psychologist Alison Phillips, of Iowa State University, to explore the psychological and sociological dimensions of donning a face mask.

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On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer speaks with legal scholars Todd Pettys and Paul Gowder from the University Of Iowa College Of Law for an analysis of cases, argued before the Supreme Court, that could chart a new course for abortion law. Also, a look at a case that could force presidential electors to vote a particular way and contemplation about the possibility of an election-year confirmation battle, in case of a High Court vacancy.  

Guests:

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On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with Aaron Steil and Richard Jauron to guide listeners on selecting vegetables and annual flowers. They also answer questions about protecting gardens and plants from overnight frost warnings, and caring for plants as they begin to grow.   

GUESTS:

  • Aaron Steil, assistant director of Reiman Gardens in Ames
  • Richard Jauron, extension horticulture specialist at Iowa State University 

Library of Congress and the State Historical Society of Iowa.

While schools are closed, we're creating a series of "Talk of Iowa" episodes that will be fun and educational for learners of all ages. Every Tuesday, we'll learn about Iowa wildlife, and every Thursday, we'll learn about Iowa history.

The nation is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. This amendment gave women the right to vote.

During this episode of Talk of Iowa, political scientist Karen Kedrowski explains how the 19th Amendment was the culmination of a long battle for women’s suffrage, but it wasn’t the end of the fight for equal rights for women.

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