River to River

Iowa Public Radio


River to River is a conversation about the news with an Iowa perspective. Together we dig into the story behind the headlines - we talk with newsmakers and a diverse range of experts to find out how the news affects you. We take on challenging topics, explore issues from all sides, and foster conversation and understanding

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404 episodes

Iowans describe DNA surprises and praise a new state law protecting victims

A bipartisan bill that became Iowa law this year criminalizes fertility fraud, making physicians liable for a felony and, if convicted, forced to register as a Tier III sex offender.

Dec 06
Biden pushes for South Carolina to become first primary state and bump Iowa

Host Ben Kieffer breaks down this week’s headlines, including the precarious position of the Democratic caucus.

Dec 03
Test scores decline in nearly every state, including Iowa

The pandemic exacerbated already declining test scores across the country. An Iowa education expert shares what factors are holding students back in the classroom.

Dec 02
Examining the politics of a potential rail strike

Political scientists look ahead to the next legislative session and discuss the Respect for Marriage Act, the political impact of a rail strike, Donald Trump's dinner with Nick Fuentes and more.

Dec 01
Doctors and advocates are coming together to fight dementia in Iowa

A look at recent Alzheimer’s research that will be discussed at an upcoming Dementia Summit, as well as a discussion on the importance of early intervention

Nov 30
Emotion trumps reason when it comes to conspiracy theories

Presidential historians discuss how fear of the unknown and apprehension about the future give rise to theories that many believe — and how instances throughout history relate to current conspiracy thinking.

Nov 29
Weeks after Iowans voted for gun amendment, U.S. sees more mass shootings

Iowa professors discuss state, national and international news on this week's Politics Day.

Nov 24
Welcome aboard the (almost) USS Iowa

Submarine veteran Caleb Schneider and Lieutenant Taylor Boosmann discuss what it’s like working and living aboard a nuclear attack submarine ahead of the christening of the soon-to-be USS Iowa.

Nov 23
Retailers are cracking down on customers deemed serial returners

A major manufacturer will pay to create a new drinking source for an eastern Iowa town after decades of contaminating their water with "forever chemicals."

Nov 22
How Iowa Republicans are feeling about 2024 following Trump announcement

Experts join host Ben Kieffer to break down the week's news, including the forever chemicals found in Iowa's water, programs to support housing insecure people in cold weather and Iowans' thoughts on national politics.

Nov 19
An Iowa newspaper is among a nationwide celebration of local journalism in a Chicago author's book

The struggles and successes of newspapers in towns like Carroll, Iowa amid recent crises such as the pandemic and declining revenues are chronicled in a new book.

Nov 18
Republicans ask whether Trump is a benefit or burden following his 2024 campaign announcement

Members of Congress return to Washington following last week's midterm election with a long to-do list for the lame-duck session.

Nov 17
Red wave hit big in Iowa, breaking from national trends

Iowa Public Radio and The Gazette in Cedar Rapids grab a post-election pint and unpack midterm results.

Nov 12
How putting your head in the freezer can help you get a good night's sleep

A sleep psychologist at one of the country's most successful sleep clinics shares his tips — some stranger than others — for getting quality sleep.

Nov 11
Takeaways and surprises from the 2022 midterms

Taking stock of the midterm election results with political scientists Rachel Caufield of Drake University and Peter Hanson of Grinnell College.

Nov 10
Checking in on Iowa voting on Election Day

Iowa Public Radio state government reporter Katarina Sostaric preps listeners on all they need to know before hitting the polls.

Nov 09
Checking in on Iowa's neighbors on the eve of the election

Checking in on Iowa’s neighbors ahead of election day – Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri.

Nov 08
Trump teases 2024 presidential run

On this Newsbuzz edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer breaks down the week’s headlines, including the former president’s Sioux City rally, the drought’s impact on the Mississippi River and the election in Brazil.

Nov 07
Opposing views on marijuana legalization

A Des Moines-area health coach is putting together a summit to make health care and information more accessible to underserved populations.

Nov 04
Economy, abortion top of voters' minds ahead of midterms

On the last politics day ahead of the midterm election, political science professors discuss what issues are influencing voters this fall.

Nov 03
A temperature check of the nation's economy ahead of the midterm

Do campaign promises hold much weight in combating the nation's high inflation and economic woes?

Nov 02
What polls tell us ahead of an election

University of Iowa Associate Professor Dimy Doresca talks about the humanitarian crisis unfolding in his home country, Haiti.

Nov 01
Voters navigate shortened absentee ballot periods

Auditors share how new voting laws are impacting early voters, plus more from this week's headlines.

Oct 29
Axne seeks third congressional term and DeJear looks to unseat incumbent governor this midterm

In a matter of days, voters will be choosing Iowa's next political leaders from county to federal races.

Oct 28
New poll shows majority of Iowans hold unfavorable feelings toward Trump

A new Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll finds 52% of Iowans now hold very or mostly unfavorable feelings toward former President Donald Trump.

Oct 27
Proponents of Iowa's firearms election measure say it would protect gun rights, opponents say it handcuffs future generations

Iowans are asked this election whether the right to own and bear firearms should be added to the state constitution and require strict scrutiny for any alleged violations of the right if brought to a court.

Oct 26
University of Iowa study finds distinct brain networks associated with depression

Ryan Melton, the Democratic candidate trying to topple incumbent Republican Congressman Randy Feenstra in Iowa’s 4th District, joins the program. Then: a look at a recent study from the University of Iowa that shows how brain injuries correlate with depression.

Oct 25
Iowa's sole gubernatorial debate, ballot gun rights and more from Pints and Politics

As early voting has begun for the 2022 Midterm Election, Iowa Public Radio and The Gazette team up to discuss Iowa's major races and national issues being felt locally.

Oct 22
Bohannan and Mathis look to unseat incumbent representatives in newly re-drawn congressional districts

Ahead of the 2022 election, two Democratic Congressional candidates vying to unseat incumbents join the show: state Rep. Christina Bohannan and state Sen. Liz Mathis. All of Iowa’s major party congressional candidates have been invited to appear on River to River.

Oct 21
Biden pledges to codify Roe if Democrats keep control of Congress

With only three weeks left until election day and early voting in full swing, the stakes on the state and federal level are high.

Oct 20