Rick Brewer

Talk Show Producer
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

On this Politics Day edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer speaks with Dennis Goldford, professor of Political Science at Drake University, and Sara Mitchel, F. Wendell Miller Professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa, about the latest national and interantional news in politics. Topics include reactions to North Carolina's special election, the resignation of former National Security Advisor John Bolton, the failed Taliban summit at Camp David and reflections on the changes in politics since September 11, 2001.  

Guests include:

Joe Wolf / Flickr

Iowa State University has been undergoing several changes this fall, including the development of new mobile app safety technology.

"One of our new tools that we have in place is something called the ISU Guardian App," said Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen.

IsraelMFA / Creative Commons

Following the resignation of former National Security Advisor John Bolton, experts on foreign policy found themselves recounting President Donald Trump's foreign policy record.  

Priscilla Du Preez / Unsplash

A community college in western Iowa is reaching out to countries around the world and bringing international students to the area.

Terry Murrell is the president of Western Iowa Tech Community College. He says the school is the only one in North America where South Korea sends students. 

"We’re kind of the Harvard of South Korea, if you will, so if you go to any of the schools in South Korea, the hardest shirt to get is a Western Iowa Tech shirt over Harvard and some of the other schools."

Scott Webb / Unsplash

Satisfaction with your home can depend on its size compared to your neighbors' homes, according to new Iowa State University research. Dan Kuhlmann, assistant professor of community and regional planning, found that people are more likely to be dissatisfied with their house if it is smaller than their neighbors'.

Coexisting With Wasps

Sep 6, 2019
Tom Lord / Creative Commons

On this Horticulture Day edition of Talk of Iowa, Iowa State University Entomologist Donald Lewis makes the case for the importance of wasps in Iowa's ecosystem, despite their unpopular presence.

He provides information on social wasps, which congregate in colonies and spend their summer gathering other insects as food for offspring. In the late summer season, these wasps reach their peak population and become more visible as they seek out sugar and moisture, Lewis says.

Ben Godar / Birth of the Cy-Hawk: A Documentary

When Iowa and Iowa State renewed their football rivalry in 1977, a group of ordinary guys conceived and created the trophy they would call “the Cy-Hawk.” A new documentary, Birth of the Cy-Hawk, tells this unique, Iowa story.

Iowa Labor Collection / State Historical Society of Iowa Library-Iowa City

Since the late 1970s, the Iowa Labor History Oral Project has been collecting interviews from the working class across Iowa. They are collecting history from the ground up, as opposed to leaders or people with power.

Andreas Aulin / Flickr

Schools are back in session and the fall sports season is underway. We all have heard the horror stories of angry parents on the stands yelling at the coach, the referee, other parents and even student athletes. Last week, the Iowa High School Athletic Association released a statement addressing parent and adult fan behavior at sporting events. They give six ways to behave at games for parents and fans, including “act their age.” Read the IHSAA's full statement here

Late Summer Lawn Care

Aug 30, 2019
smith.rickard / Creative Commons

Now is the ideal time to improve lawns before fall, according to Iowa State University Extension Turf Grass Specialist Adam Thoms. He recommends core aerating and applying a fall fertilizer soon to set up for a greener lawn next year.

Iowa State University Horticulture Extension Specialist Richard Jauron and Iowa Department of Natural Resources Forester Mark Vitosh also join Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe on this edition of "Hort Day" to help listeners solve the issues with the plants and trees in their lives.

MLB

It has been 30 years since the movie Field of Dreams was on the big screen. A story about an Iowa farmer who mows down his corn and builds a baseball diamond on his land after hearing a mysterious voice.

Although this movie is a fantasy-drama, Major League Baseball announced that the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees would be playing a game at the beloved film site in Dyersville, Iowa. This event will be the first Major League game ever held in the State of Iowa.

Matthew Hayward / NBC

It has been a great year for Iowa ninjas, at least five Iowans competed on NBC's  American Ninja Warrior.  Three athletes who train at Ninja U, an American Ninja Warrior gym in Cedar Falls, qualified for this year's competition. Christi Marie is a PE teacher in Waterloo who made it to the second round of the competition. Jackson Twait, a student at the University of Northern Iowa, also made it to the second round of competition and Scott Behrends, co-owner of Ninja U, will appear in the finals filmed in Las Vegas.

Fire At Will / Creative Commons

On this edition of River to River, listeners will learn how a pair of Iowa brick-and-mortar retailers have been adjusting to the rise of e-commerce. These retailers are looking to emphasize services that online shopping cannot provide, such as experiences, entertainment options and advice on products. 

ray_explores / Flickr

 

The intersection of travel, culture and death are at the heart of Lori Erickson’s new book, Near the Exit: Travels with the Not-So-Grim Reaper.

Erickson joins host Charity Nebbe on Talk of Iowa to share her journey of confronting and contemplating death through travel. After her brother unexpectedly died and her mother moved into a memory-care facility, Erickson began exploring both her own ideas on mortality as well as ideas about death around the world. 

Ailments Plaguing Oak Trees

Aug 23, 2019
Dan Bergstrom / Creative Commons

Although oak trees are uniquely suited to the Iowa climate and landscape, many suffer from a variety of ailments stemming from insects, fungal problems, and disease. 

On this Horticulture Day edition of Talk of Iowa, the director of the Insect and Plant Diagnostic Clinic at Iowa State University, Laura Iles, explains common effects of insects on oak trees. She says that after dry weather lace bugs can contribute to the yellowing of leaves. Lace bugs can be identified as black spots underneath yellow leaves, but Iles says it isn't a major concern and recommends not worrying.

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

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.

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.

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


FDA


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. 

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