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.

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. 

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.

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.

The Diplomats of Solid Sound

"A Higher Place," the new album from the Iowa City based band The Diplomats of Solid Sound is full of great hooks, danceable grooves, big funk sound and clever lyrics. 

The band released it’s first album 18 years ago and has gone through a lot of changes since then. This is album number six and although band members now live all over the country they try to come back together in Iowa once a year to write and make music together. 

Nicole Zeien-Cox

Navigating life after high school is challenging for many students. But this transitional period can be difficult for young people in the foster care system. The Guardian Scholars Foundation is designed to help students who are aging out of foster care in Iowa and hope to attend college full-time. It offers a scholarship and mentorship program to help them reach their potential. 

Joyce N. Boghosian / Flickr

Comparing United States Presidents is considered more or less a parlor game. But can U.S. Presidents actually be compared in a truly useful manner? What methods and variables do historians use to make these comparisons and how do they help us understand the present?

Kinga Cichewicz / Unsplash

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is emerging as a solution to aid persistent insomnia in place of medication. 

University of Iowa Neurology Professor Mark Dyken and Psychiatrist Rachel Immen join River to River explain the impacts of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBTI).  

"I like to compare CBTI to physical therapy - you're working on a specific problem with exercises that help you improve the function of yourself," Immen says. "CBTI is very similar in that you're going to be working on exercises to improve your brain function and your sleep ability."

 

Author Alicia Dill joined the military at the age 17, just weeks before the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City. Suddenly, her world changed. Dill spent the next six years as a Public Affairs Specialist for the National Guard, through which she was eventually deployed to Kosovo for 14 months.

On this hour of Talk of Iowa, Host Charity Nebbe and Dill discuss "Squared Away," Dill's first novel, which is inspired by her time in the military.

UNSPLASH

Barb Stein's Reading List

Picture Books/Board Books

I Ain't Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont

Lion and Mouse by Jairo Buitrago

Camp Tiger by Susan Choi

Gondra's Treasure by Linda Sue Park

Transitional Books

Juana & Lucas Big Problems by Juana Medina

Good Dog, McTavish by Meg Rosoff

Big Foot and Little Foot The Squatchicorns by Ellen Potter

Middle School

UNSPLASH

 

Whether you’re looking for scientific exploration, captivating memoir, or an opportunity to get lost in a novel, summer is the perfect time to pick up a new book release.

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