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.

Courtesy of Steve Wendl / Anamosa State Penitentiary

After spending 31 years as a counselor at the Anamosa State Penitentiary, Steve Wendl began compiling historical stories from the prison. He not only launched the Anamosa State Penitentiary history website, he also helped found the musuem. Recently, Wendl has been creating and producing podcast episodes that are based on stories from the prison for the Voice of Jones County website.  The series features dramatic voice acting and storytelling based on real people who were imprisoned at the Anamosa State Penetentiary. 

Barnyz / Flickr

Spending time in forests in pursuit of boosting health and happiness makes up forest bathing or forest therapy, a practice that is gaining popularity among people searching for natural wellness treatments.

David Geiger / "Journey of a Bean"

Freshly harvested from cropland in Illinois, a single soy bean travels the world before ending up as part of a meal in Seoul, South Korea. Its long journey through the global agricultural and food industries paints a detailed picture of the real farm to table processes.

Richard Scott Marsh / Flickr

The origins of many of Iowa's town and city names are obvious: Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Mason City, Fort Dodge. But what about places like What Cheer, Gravity, Sabula? And how do you pronounce Nevada? Also, why is Des Moines not in Des Moines county? 

Leander Arkenau / Flickr

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, we get a rundown of some of IPR's favorite new releases from 2019 from classical, folk and blues musicians. Charity Nebbe talks with IPR Classical's Barney Sherman, the Folk Tree's Karen Impola and the one and only Bob Dorr, who hosts Blue Avenue and Backtracks on IPR's Studio One. 

Duy Hoang / Unsplash

During this episode of Talk of Iowa, Iowa State University Associate Professor Cindy Haynes and Reiman Gardens Associate Director Aaron Steil offer gift recommendations for gardeners and plant-enthusiasts. 

Courtesy of University of Iowa Athletics

Hayden Fry came to Iowa to coach the Hawkeye football team in 1978. When he got here the Hawks had been through 17 consecutive non-winning seasons. It took a couple of years, but Coach Fry transformed Hawkeye Football.

During his tenure, he won 143 games, the team shared three Big Ten titles, and went to three Rose Bowls. In addition to being a great coach, he was also a larger than life character. He was funny, smart, tough and could throw a temper tantrum with the best of them. His players loved him. The fans loved him. And he loved them back.

Bipartisan Policy / Flickr

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer is joined by Ernest Moniz. Moniz is former Secretary of Energy and the Chief Executive of the Nuclear Threat Initative, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization founded by former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn. During this conversation, Moniz addresses many of the pressing questions surrounding the use and proliferation of nuclear weapons around the world.

Jim Grey / Flickr

Although President Donald Trump hasn't yet faced a major foreign policy crisis, his indecisiveness while managing military operations in Afghanistan and Syria concerns bestselling author and CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

After more than a year of partisan gridlock in Washinton, a replacement of the NAFTA agreement is now expected to win approval from Congress and alter the state of trade between the U.S., Mexico and Canada. 

Ebere Agwuncha / Rachel For Ames

In a run-off election for an Ames City Council seat Tuesday, 20-year-old Iowa State University student Rachel Junck not only defeated incumbent Chris Nelson, but also made history.

Junck is the second-youngest woman ever elected to a government office in Iowa.

Ponseti International Association / University of Iowa

Each year, nearly 200,000 children worldwide are born with a deformative skeletal birth defect known as clubfoot. On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer is joined by Tom Cook who is the author of the new book "Clubfoot: The Quest For A Better Life For Millions of Children.

Associated Press / Gene J. Puskar

After starting out on WQED in Pittsburgh in 1966, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood made its national public television debut on February 19, 1968.  The final new episode was taped December 1st 2000, but the show lived on through re-runs even after Fred Rogers passed away in 2003.

Three generations have now grown up watching Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood or watching children’s programming heavily influenced by his philosophy.

Rich Herrmann / Flickr

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with local historian Larry Grill of Schleswig and amateur naturalist Glenn Pollock of Omaha, Nebrasksa about their research of an 1820 expedition through Iowa. 

Rollins College / Flickr

On this edition of Talk of Iowa with host Charity Nebbe, guests and callers reflect on how the public television show Mister Rogers' Neighborhood affected their lives. The co-hosts of Iowa Public Television's Kid's Clubhouse Adventures, Dan Wardell and Abby Brown, share how Fred Rogers' philosophy has influenced their own children's show. Des Moines Register Storyteller Daniel Finney remembers how returning to Rogers' material changed his outlook on life and helped him through difficult times. 

Fyn Kynd / Flickr

ISU Extension Wildlife Specialist Adam Janke joins this weekly 'Horticulture Day' edition of Talk of Iowa with host Charity Nebbe.  He explains how to transform a landscape into a wildlife-friendly space. He says diversifying your yard with a water source, dead logs and branches, rocks, and native plant species will help entice a range of wildlife from birds to salamanders to deer.

Ben Kieffer

Thirty years ago this month, the Berlin Wall fell. It was both a symbolic and a physical division, and during this hour of River to River, Iowans who lived in East and West Germany share their first-hand accounts of life before and after this moment in history with host Ben Kieffer, who was working as a reporter in Germany when the wall fell. 

Oliur / Unsplash

Common Sense Media is a non-profit organization that educates and advocates for families regarding questions around technology and media. A new survey shows dramatic trends among young people, including increases in smartphone usage. 

Ben Kieffer / IPR

Late last month, freshman congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez officially endorsed Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for president. In his latest swing through Iowa, Ocasio-Cortez joined Sanders on the campaign trail, marking her first trip to the state. 

How much does her endorsement mean to likely caucusgoers in Iowa? 

The Power Of Organic Farming In Iowa

Nov 8, 2019
Liz West / Flickr

Organic farming is on the rise in Iowa according to ISU Extension Organic Specialist Kathleen Delate.

"Unique advantages associated with organic practices are pushing the industry forward," she says. 

Delate joins Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe to talk about organic farming and how crop diversity can optimize profits during this episode of the show. By cultivating many different types of organic plants, she says farmers avoid the risk of growing just one or two failing crops.

Wayne For America

River to River's "Home State View" series helps us understand how the presidential candidates are viewed as leaders in the state they call home. Host Ben Kieffer interviews journalists who have spent years covering the candidates. We get the little-known detail about each hopeful's history. Click the "play" button to listen.

Matt Alvarez / IPR

When cellist Hannah Holman began her YouTube series exploring the lives of female cellists throughout history, she did not anticipate getting many views or subscribers. Austin McConnell, a YouTuber with nearly one million subscribers, recently promoted Holman's channel in one of his videos, helping Holman develop a larger audience. 

Arnab Chakladar / Graywolf Press

"Suicide Woods" is author Benjamin Percy's latest collection of short stories. The book delivers a combination of horror, crime and weird happenings in the woods. This book is a dark, inventive collection full of eerie and provocative tales.

Wellmark

An estimated 400 deaths per year in Iowa are caused by radon-induced lung cancer. That is approximately the number of Iowans who die in traffic accidents each year. All of Iowa's 99 counties have the highest potential for radon levels and is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.   

Ed Robertson / Unsplash

 

Since 2003, The Iowa Center for the Book has been picking an All Iowa Reads book. The goal is to foster a sense of unity in our state through reading. Starting in 2018, the All Iowa Reads Committee expanded the program to include three books, one for adults, one for teens and one for children.

Adam Heater Media, LLC

There are more than five thousand religious communities across the state. The Comparison Project, based out of Drake University, seeks to bring people into the hundreds of faith groups based in Des Moines through “Meet My Religious Neighbor,” a monthly open house project.

Rick Brewer / IPR

President Trump's poll numbers are rising, but not in the categories he would like. Unfavorable feelings toward the President are climbing up, according to the newest results from the Grinnell College National Poll that came out Tuesday. 

Jim Williams/Randel Bailey

At least 76 Iowans fought for the Confederacy in the American Civil War despite Iowa's status as Union State. A new book,  Iowa Confederates in the Civil War, dives into the history of these soldiers and their motivations for leaving Iowa to fight for the Confederate States of America. 

Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons

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.

Tim Rawle / Flickr

The Marine Corps confirmed after 74 years this month that one of the men featured in Joe Rosenthal's flag-raising photo at the battle of Iwo Jima was misidentified. A private Military historian from Johnston, Brent Westemeyer, helped reveal the true identity of one of these Marines as Harold 'Pie' Keller from Brooklyn, Iowa. 

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