Rick Brewer

Talk Show Producer

Rick came to Iowa Public Radio as a producer for Talk of Iowa and River to River in June 2019. He has worked at WFIU, community radio WFHB, WIUX's American Student Radio and created a couple of podcasts. His work has also been heard on PRX Remix, WAMC, and WFYI. Before his life in audio he worked at archives and libraries.

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River to River host Ben Kieffer speaks with Marc Schneider of Iowa State University's Center for Industrial Research and Service to discuss how the  COVID-19 outbreak has impacted Iowa's trade economy.

Guest: 

  • Marc Schneider, project manager at Iowa State University’s Center for Industrial Research and Service

Keith Johnston / Unsplash

Many of us sign our children up for their first teams when they’re only three years old. By the time kids reach middle school and high school they have the opportunity to be a part of athletic programs at school. The message is that all kids are welcome to join in and give it a try, but the reality is that there are many obstacles that prevent kids from participating.

Courtesy of Jonathan Govias / Iowa State University

The Iowa State University Symphony Orchestra is performing a Symphony of Diversity on March 6 at Stephens Auditorium in Ames. This program brings artists and composers to the concert hall to highlight some of the many cultures and peoples that make up America.

Jessica Hill / AP Photo

In many countries, the novel coronavirus continues to spread at a fast pace. As of March 3, the U.S. has confirmed nine deaths in the state of Washington, and there are 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nebraska. How at risk is the U.S. as the number of confirmed cases increases and what is Iowa doing to prepare for a potential pandemic

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Ben Kieffer hosts this "news buzz" edition of River to River focusing on a variety of news stories from this week including the verdict in the Jerry Lynn Burns trial, preparing for the new coronavirus, an Iowa National Guard deployment, statehouse news, the UNI men's basketball home winning streak and grooving into the weekend with IPR Studio One host Cece Mitchell.

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Article 2, section 2, clause 1 of the United States Constitution grants presidents the right to pardon those convicted of federal crimes. Since George Washington, presidents have been granting pardons and commutations. Even though the checks and balances written into the constitution for all three branches of government shape power dynamics, this article grants unilateral power to the president.

AP Photo

 

On this "politics day" edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer is joined by political scientists Dennis Goldford of Drake University and Tim Hagle of the University of Iowa for a look at the future of the Democratic caucuses in Nevada and Iowa, following comments from some Nevada state leaders that call the future of Nevada's caucus process into question.

 

The trio also discuss the latest democratic presidential debate as well as other political headlines from the week. 

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There are several changes to the 2020 U.S. census. For example, for the first time ever, people will be given the option to fill out the census online and through a mobile app. These changes, however, do not come without their own set of challenges.

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The University of Iowa's 2020 What About ME(N) Summit seeks to "explore how our community can redefine masculinity and influence the culture we live in to end gender-based and interpersonal violence." Craig Bidiman, the summit's keynote speaker, joins host Charity Nebbe on this segment of Talk of Iowa to explore the masculine boxes men are placed in and why self-awareness, both mentally and physically, can be difficlut for some men to confront.

Julien Cha / Flickr

Last month, Kesho Scott of Grinnell College presented a three-part lecture series on the black holocaust as part of the Drake Community Library's "Bucket Courses." This community event was at maximum capacity for Scott's presentation as the audience sought to learn more about the atlantic slave trade and why this period in world history is now being called a holocaust.

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.” 

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Feb. 12 marks the 211 anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. Over the last several decades, a movement to establish an international Darwin Day holiday has been growing. A group in Iowa City celebrates Darwin Day every year by highlighting the work of modern evolutionary scientists. 

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Officials from both Minor League Baseball (MiLB) and Major League Baseball (MLB) will meet Thursday Feb., 20 in Dallas to continue negotiations regarding The Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA), which is set to expire in September. 

The MLB's current plan proposes that 42 minor league teams will lose their MLB affiliation status. Three of these 42 teams are in Iowa: the Burlington Bees, the Clinton Lumberkings and the Quad Cities River Bandits. 

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.

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Iowa’s death rate from opioid overdoses is lower than many states, but it is increasing. A new study from the University of Iowa’s Injury Prevention Research Center presents ideas for getting ahead of this trend.

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From cell phones, web browsers, credit cards, to walking down streets, people are under some form of surveillance practically every minute of everyday. What are the consequences of our surveillance culture? Are consumers truly powerless? 

John Pemble / IPR File

On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer and IPR statehouse reporter Katarina Sostaric speak with lawmakers from both parties about the ongoing debate within the Iowa house and senate regarding how much of the state budget will go toward funding k-12 education. 

Natalie Krebs / IPR

It's unclear who officially won the Democratic caucuses Monday. Many caucusgoers were left with more questions than answers as the Iowa Democratic Party precincts struggled to report results. 

Ben Kieffer / IPR

River to River's Ben Kieffer attended President Donald Trump's rally in Des Moines at Drake University's Knapp Center in front of a max capacity crowd just four days before the 2020 Iowa caucuses. 

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Every four years Iowans are bombarded with telephone calls asking to take a polling survey in preparation for the caucuses. Reading polls can be confusing. Most polls show different outcomes for elections and vary from week to week. In the context of the Iowa caucuses, it's even more confusing because so many likely caucusgoers remain undecided until the last minute. So, how do we understand political polling? We brought in Peter Hanson, Director of the Grinnell National Poll, to explain.

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Actor Jordan Whalen grew up in Ames and has been interested in the Iowa caucuses since 2007. Whalen has always thought the Democratic caucus process is naturally theatrical and has been thinking about developing a play about this political event for more than a decade. Now he is one of the leaders of New York City's Counterpart Collective, a theatre group whose mission is to create theatre derived from primary sources.

John Pemble / IPR

In this special edition of River to River, a panel of reporters and columnists from The Gazette analyze the biggest news headlines of the week. Investigative Reporter Erin Jordan and IPR's Ben Kieffer hosted the "Pints and Politics" event before a live audience in Cedar Rapids on Jan. 16. 

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With Caucus Day less than 20 days away, River to River continues its series of interviews with 2020 presidential candidates. During this segment, host Ben Kieffer speaks with entrepreneur Andrew Yang. 

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. 

Macro Polo / Paulson Institute

Macro Polo is a think tank at the Paulson Institute, and earlier this month, they launched a five-part podcast series titled "Heartland Mainland: The Iowa China Podcast." This podcast focuses on explaining U.S.-China relationships and connections to Iowa.

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A simple eye scan could help detect Alzheimer's or determine the risk for this disease even before other symptoms are detectable. Two Iowa State University researchers received funding from the National Institute on Aging to continue a longitudinal study to better understand links between stress and Alzheimer as a means to help predict the likelihood in which people can develop the disease. 

Michael Leland / Flickr

The 2020 legislative session started Monday, introducing a renewed opportunity for policy changes in Iowa. Iowa Senate and House leaders join River to River to discuss their priorities for the upcoming months. 

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It's difficult to be in one of Iowa's major college towns without running into a mascot. These days mascots are big business. Whether for marketing, birthday parties or being ambassadors for universities, mascots have become a major part of a university's identity and alumni pride.

In this segment of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Sean Adams about his debut novel “The Heap,”  which follows the aftermath of the collapse of Los Verticales, a 500-floor vertical city that houses an inner world teeming with life. In his novel, Adams takes us to a dystopian version of our present world, but the people we meet, their motives, and actions are all too familiar.

Tim Ireland / AP Photo

This program originally aired on  11-26-19

On this edition of River to River, award-winning historian Andrew Roberts joins host Ben Kieffer to talk about his latest book “Leadership In War, Essential Lessons From Those Who Made History.”  In his book, Roberts makes a comparison of nine world leaders who guided their nations through the greatest wars the world has ever seen and how their unique strenghs and weaknesses changed the course of human history.

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