Rick Brewer

Talk Show Producer

Rick Brewer is a northeast Ohio native with a background in history and archives. His life in audio began in 2015 after creating a history podcast called The Past Cannot Die. Soon after starting graduate school at Indiana University in Bloomington, he began reporting and producing stories for WFIU Public Radio, American Student Radio, and launched the podcast GPSG Radio. He also served as a correspondent, morning host, and podcast consultant at WFHB, Indiana's first community radio station. His work has also been heard on WFYI's Curious Mix, WAMC's 51%, and PRX Remix.

When Rick's not wearing headphones he can be found reading self-help books, running, swimming, listening to podcasts, or planning his next road trip.

Rick's favorite public radio programs are This American Life, Radiolab, and 99% Invisible.

Jessica Francis / Flickr

Cassie Mathes / University of Northern Iowa

The University of Northern Iowa has been facing a series of challenges, including a decline in enrollment, freezing tuition costs and re-branding. On this segment of River to River, host Ben Kieffer spoke with UNI President Mark Nook about these challenges as well as the new renovations on the Cedar Falls campus and what he's most looking forward to for the 2019-20 academic year.

Guest:

Mark Nook, President, University of Northern Iowa

Sthefany Nobriga / IPR

Iowans over the age of 65 are working longer than ever before, and the reasons are varied. Several retirees are still working past their retirement age and chose to live in a retirement community.

Some work because they feel the need to stay busy and it's an ideal way to keep money in their pocket, others keep working because they can't afford to support themselves mostly because they do not have enough retirement savings. 

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with researcher Brian Kaskie about this trend and speaks with several Iowans who are working into their golden years. 

Charity Nebbe / IPR

Remember those afternoons at the lake, road trips with the sun blazing through the windshield, hot summer nights? The moments that make up our summer memories are often accompanied by music. 

Vincent Delegge / UNSPLASH

Nate Sherwood grew up in a time when skateboarding was viewed as rebellious and countercultural. Now skateboarding is viewed in an entirely different light with clinics for young skaters, family skateboard outings, and cities all across Iowa constructing skateparks. This fall the City of Des Moines will be opening the Lauridsen Skatepark, which will be the largest skatepark in the United States with 88,000 square-feet of skatable surface.  

Rick Brewer / IPR

On this "news buzz" edition of River to River, Donnelle Eller of the Des Moines Register offers an update on the impact of the China trade war on agriculture and farmers, Peggy Huppert of NAMI Iowa speaks about the stigma surrounding mass shootings and mental illness and IPR's Western Iowa Reporter Katie Peikes speaks about JD Scholten's announcement to run for Iowa's 4th congressional district seat.

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:

Martin Alvarez Espinar / FLICKR

Vacation season is in full swing, and with that, we get a refresher on the most common misconceptions when traveling by plane. On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer speaks with a variety of guests about upcoming changes in the world of traveling via airplane  Specifically, what to do when going through Transportation Security Administration security, and how you can schedule your flight itinerary better.

Rick Brewer / IPR

Julie Knight met Julie Freese in a candy store in downtown Iowa City in the early 1980s. Knight had been battling Type 1 diabetes since she was ten years old and says she felt like one of the misfit toys from "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." After moving into a house together on Ash Street the two Julies, of course, became even closer. But their relationship only grew stronger after parting ways in Iowa City.

FDA


Cultivating Plant And Tree Collections

Aug 2, 2019
Madprime / Creative Commons

On this edition of Horticulture Day on Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe and Michael Dosmann, Keeper of the Arnold Arboretum, discuss how plant collections are cultivated and evolve. They converse on starting and maintaining museums of trees, such as the Brenton Arboretum in Dallas Center, Iowa that has been developing for just about 20 years. 

Dosmann says the need for plant exploration and collection has never been greater, since he says one out of five plants globally are threatened with extinction.

Blank Park Zoo


Carl Wycoff / Flickr

Volunteer fire and EMT services in the state, specifically in Iowa's rural areas, are struggling. Emergency specialists are aging out and retiring and there are not enough people to replace them. In some areas, the call response time is 30 minutes, long enough for a home to burn down.

Although there are private ambulance services in Iowa, there are some places where these services are no longer available because it isn't financially viable.

Soggy To Sunburnt

Jul 29, 2019

 

The sixth day of the annual RAGBRAI bike ride takes host Ben Kieffer 71 miles from Fairfield through Salem to Burlington.

As part of our limited-run Bike Shorts podcast series, He walks us through the details that make RAGBRAI unique, stopping to taste-test a dill pickle and pickle juice from a roadside vendor. Chad Ferris sells around a thousand pickles during RAGBRAI, which he says helps prevent and alleviate cramping thanks to the electrolytes in the juice. 

Caring For Cut Flowers

Jul 26, 2019
Neil Cummings / Creative Commons

 

 

On this horticulture day edition of Talk of Iowa, Iowa State Associate Professor of Consumer Horticulture, Cindy Haines, shares her expertise on preparing, preserving and displaying cut flowers.

She advises flowers should be cut with a sharp tool shortly before they have reached full bloom. Sunflowers, zinnias, snapdragons and dahlias are a few flowers she recommends for long-lasting cut flower displays. Simply keeping the water clean or adding a flower preservation packet is the best way to preserve cut flowers in water, she says.

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.

John Krzton-Presson / Iowa Master Gardener Program

This year the Iowa Master Gardener Program celebrates 40 years of community engagement through gardening initiatives and educational outreach. Since 1979, over 14,300 Iowans have received master gardening training. 

Chris Wilkins

Many people are willing to pay a lot of money for thrilling adventures. They ride ziplines and roller coasters, go bungee jumping, paragliding, cliff jumping, and sky diving. For some, thrill-seeking is the ultimate kind of fun. For others, the idea of getting on a plane, let alone jumping out of it, is terrifying. 

Valerija B / Pixabay

Hot and cool, wet and dry, Iowa weather can be inconsistent and the changes dramatic, which can negatively impact plants. On this Hort Day edition of Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe talks with horticulture experts about how the heat of an Iowa summer affects our plants. And we get some advice on watering strategies to keep your plants happy and healthy. 

Also during the program, Charity and our panel of horticulture experts answer listener questions on all things green and growing.

Guests include:

Mathieu Turle / Unsplash

The average American has about 38,000 dollars in personal debt, and that doesn't include mortgages. On this personal finance edition of Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe tackles the problems of personal debt with Chris Arnold, NPR Personal Finance Correspondent and a host of NPR's personal finance Life Kit podcasts, and author of A Girls's Guide to Personal Finance, Joey Beech.

Emily & Mason Kessinger / flagofdesmoines.com

You know what the American flag looks like, and the Iowa flag is labeled, so you can’t miss it, but does your city have a flag? Cedar Rapids is going through the process of designing a new city flag and there’s a grassroots movement afoot to bring back the Des Moines Flag. But what makes for a good flag design? In this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with several guests about not only good flag design but also what these flags mean to these cities.

JFK Library

President Donald Trump made history last month when he became the first U.S. President to cross the De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) into North Korea. Because diplomatic relations between the U.S. and North Korea have been hostile dating back to the Korean War, the President has many wondering about the diplomatic implications of this meeting.

Dr. Jennifer L. Graham / U.S. Geological Survey

Considered one of the cleanest lakes in Iowa, Lake MacBride was recently under a no swim advisory with DNR officials citing high levels of toxins from an algale bloom, and E. coli. These pollutants in public swimming areas has led to health warnings and the closing of some public swimming areas in lakes around the state. 

Kelly Gau

Edit

On this edition of Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe talks with art educators who took part in the state's first ever Iowa Arts Education Summit. Nearly 400 arts educators came together in Des Moines in June to share knowledge and to learn about how to implement Iowa's new Fine Arts Standards, which were adopted in 2017. 

Anna / Unsplash

On this Hort Day edition of Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe talks with Aaron Steil of Reiman Gardens in Ames about how you can get the most out of your roses and how to pick the right plants for your landscape.

Colin Wright

Traveler, writer and minimalist Colin Wright met with success as a young man. By his early twenties, he was earning six figures. At the age of twenty-four he realized that money and success wasn't adding up to happiness. In 2009, Wright quit his job, sold almost everything he owned, and decided to travel the world with just two carry-on bags. He wrote about his experiences in a blog called "Exile Lifestyle."  

AP

The city of Toronto and the nation of Canada have reason for celebration with the Raptors winning their first NBA championship this year, and so does Iowa. Raptors head coach Nick Nurse is a Carroll native who worked his way to the top of the game, and now he has a ring to show for it.

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.

Amazon

It's easy to look back and rationalize the technological progress of the 20th century. The tough part is predicting what future technologies will impact the world of tomorrow. Together, Zach and Kelly Wienersmith tackle the question of how groundbreaking tech will shape the world of tomorrow in their book "Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin Everything."

Penguin Random House

Larry Diamond is a political scientist who has spent decades promoting democracy in dozens of countries around the world. He now feels our country is facing the most serious constitutional crisis since Watergate, and perhaps since the American Civil War.

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