Charity Nebbe

Talk of Iowa Host

Charity Nebbe grew up in rural Iowa just outside of Cedar Falls.  She began her career in public radio at WOI Radio in Ames, Iowa when she was a student at Iowa State University and has been working in public radio ever since.  Early in her career she created Chinwag Theater a nationally syndicated public radio show that she produced and co-hosted with well known author Daniel Pinkwater.  She spent ten years at Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor and in 2010 returned to Iowa. 

Charity is now the host of Iowa Public Radio’s Talk of Iowa, heard weekday mornings at 10.  She is also the host of Iowa Ingredient, soon to debut on Iowa Public Television and the author of the children's book “Our Walk in the Woods,” published in 2008. 

Charity's favorite public radio program is On The Media.

Ways to Connect

Robb Nebbe

As children grow, each new stage brings new challenges. When a child stops being a child, that can also bring a new set of adventures for both parents and their kids. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks about the transition from adolescence into adulthood from the perspective of both sides of the equation. 

Kate Nesbit, whose mother Elaine, lives in Minnesota, says they became a lot closer as she got older. 

hooverlegacy.be

Before the United States entered World War I, Herbert Hoover, then a private citizen, organized  he Commission for Relief in Belgium to feed seven million in need.  This was the largest food relief effort up that time in history.  To discuss this massive humanitarian effort, Charity speaks with Matthew Schaefer, archivist at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch.

Photo Courtesy of Nate Sletten

Nate Sletten leads the band program at Earlham High School, and he has twice been nominated for a Grammy for Music Educator of the Year. This year, he was a semi-finalist, chosen in a group of 25 music educators from across the country. He did not win, but he’s done some amazing work building the band program in Earlham, in part by continuing to play in bands himself and letting students sit in with him. 

He says he chooses to stay in a rural district because of the relationships he has the opportunity to build there. 

Courtesy of the Offenburgers

Many Iowans remember Chuck Offenburger from the years he spent writing for the Des Moines Register as the "Iowa Boy" columnist. He’s still writing - you can find his work on offenburger.com - and his wife, Carla Offenburger is writing too. These days she’s been writing about her latest experience, being diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma for the third time.

Trinity University Press

Different varieties of the Dogwood tree are found all over the world.  It's said the beautiful ornamental trees got their name because when the wind blows and the branches knock together, it sounds like a dog barking.   The large fragrant blooms are said to bring luck.  Christopher Merrill, a prolific writer and long-time head of the University of Iowa International Writing Program, first fell in love with the Dogwood when he worked in a nursery and garden center in Seattle.

Courtesy of Megan Gogerty

During this Talk of Iowa interview, host Charity Nebbe talks with Megan Gogerty about her new one woman play Lady Macbeth and Her Pal Megan.

Gogerty says that Hilary Clinton’s run for President inspired her to think about ambitious women and tropes in storytelling that allows women to be powerful. That led her to think about Lady Macbeth.

Lit City Episode Two: Doubt and Persistence

Feb 16, 2017

In Episode Two of Lit City, we talk with University of Iowa English Professor Loren Glass about the original site of the experiment known as the Iowa Writer's Workshop. Charity also interviews Ethan Canin, author of  A Doubter's Almanac and F. Wendell Miller Professor of English and Creative Writing at the Workshop. And speaking of doubters, we hear Charity's reaction to Anna's picks for the Lit City theme song.

Margalea Warner has been living with schizophrenia since she was in her 20’s. When she was first starting to have symptoms, life was hard.

“I had depression as a teenager, and as a college student. I had a very serious suicide attempt my freshman year that I survived,” she explains.

“But then my senior year, I heard voices in my head telling me to jump into the Potomac River, and I obeyed them."

“My life became more and more unmanageable, and my mother took me to our family doctor who was sure I was on drugs. I wasn’t. It was my illness.”

Charity Nebbe

Not every home improvement project turns out the way you imagined, but every once in a while you can make a change that accomplishes exactly what you want and becomes one of your favorite things.   This hour on Talk of Iowa, it's our monthly program with home improvement expert Bill McAnally of Fort Dodge.  Bill spends some time reminiscing this Valentine's Day about some of the projects that he's still proud of and our listeners tell us some of the things they most love about their homes.

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Iowa has four major state forests and six minor ones, measuring somewhere shy of 44,000 acres. In those forests right now, mission number one - keep the oaks alive.

"We have had very erratic weather the last few years. It’s been very wet, and we’re really worried about oak death,” says John Byrd, Area Forester for Shimek State Forest in Southern Iowa. “It takes work to get oaks to grow. If you let everything go, it’s not the species that would be there. If you let it go, it would be maple, basewood and elm.”

Vera Kratochvil/Wikimedia Commons

More cut flowers are purchased on Valentine's Day than any other day of the year, in spite of the fact that it falls in the dead of winter. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Cindy Haynes and Richard Jauron of Iowa State University about the best flowers to buy for longevity. Most cut flowers don't last more than a week. 

James P. Mann / flickr

After serving time in the corrections system, finding a job isn’t the easiest task. A new program in Johnson County is hoping more Iowans will return to the work force with the know-how to take on jobs in agriculture. Scott Koepke is education director for Grow Johnson County. 

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Iowa State Basketball star Georges Niang was drafted to move to Indiana at the end of last season play for the Pacers. He's been active on their roster and their feeder team's roster, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. He's keeping a diary of his travels and time in the NBA, giving fans a sneak peak behind the curtain. 

Anton Raath / Flickr

In recent weeks, sales of the novel 1984 by George Orwell, first published in 1949, have soared. It climbed to the top of the amazon.com best seller list, and bookstores report that copies are flying off the shelves.

Since so many people are reading or re-reading it right now, on this "book club" edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe hosts a conversation about what makes this classic relevant in 2017. 

She starts the hour talking with Andrew Simmons, an English teacher who transforms his classroom into the world of 1984 and Big Brother every October.

Stephanie Brunia

Stephanie Brunia is a photographer who lives in Oxford, Iowa. One of her favorite subjects is her father, Steve. Her work is on display right now in Café Baratta in the State Historical Building. It’s a unique exhibition titled Thursday’s Childinspired by a moment when Stephanie noticed her dad's age in a way she hadn't before.

Melanie Levi / Flickr

Stories of extraordinary weight loss make gripping television, but the kind of fast and furious weight loss viewers love to see doesn’t tend to last.

“The body was equipped to defend against weight loss, and that makes maintenance of weight loss during dieting an exercise extremely difficult," says Dr. Allyn Mark of the University of Iowa. "This is true not only with the contestants in the biggest loser…but it’s also true of individuals who diet to lose modest amounts of weight.”

If you've spent time touring Iowa, you've noticed signs for towns like What Cheer, Des Moines and Maquoketa. You've also probably seen signs for rivers named "Raccoon" and "Nishnabotna." Where did those place names come from, and what's the best way to pronounce them? 

During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with word maven Patricia O'Conner, who is author of the book Woe is I and author of the blog "Grammarphobia." 

Clare Roth / Iowa Public Radio

The Kirkwood Culinary Arts program, located on campus in Cedar Rapids, was ranked as the #16 Culinary program in the country by Best Choice Schools. David Horsfield, department chair of hospitality at the school, says it's due to some true foresight Kirkwood leaders had in the late 2000s to create a classroom that would operate in the real world. The program has students serve regular guests off the street, instead of simply their teachers and fellow chefs-in-training. He dubs the inciting incident "the whisper story."

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During this hour of Talk of Iowa, we ask: 'what's stressing you out right now?' We also talk about ways to better manage stress and stress' effects on the body and mind. 

"We don't want to paint stress all as a negative. Stress is really important for us to have in our lives," says Dr. Hanna Stevens, who studies stress and is a psychiatrist at the University of Iowa.  "If you have absolutely no stimulation in your life, you wouldn't learn things. Your brain wouldn't develop right, and your body wouldn't develop right." 

John Downer Productions Ltd. / BBC

Chimpanzees are human's closest living animal relatives. They share 99 percent of human DNA and quite a bit of behavior, both positive and negative.

On this Talk of Iowa segment, Charity Nebbe speaks with primatologist and anthropology professor at Iowa State University, Jill Pruetz. For the last sixteen years she has studied the lives of Savanna chimpanzees in Fongoli, Senegal, and these chimps are featured in the new BBC series, Spy in the Wild, premiering tonight at 7 p.m. CST on Iowa Public Television.

Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons

McGregor, Iowa might be the birthplace of American circus. The Ringling brothers, after all, were born there and spent 12 years there before moving to Baraboo, Wisconsin, where they founded the Ringling Brothers Circus. 

Peter Wagner, past-president of the Circus Fans Association of America, has researched the brothers' history in Iowa. 

"Their first show was in McGregor. At that time, they weren't even a traveling circus," he says. "They would go to various states and check into a hotel and then would announce that they would do a show in the lobby of the hotel." 

Courtesy of Akwi Nji / The Hook

“The Hook” is building community and bringing people together in Cedar Rapids through story-telling, poetry and other performance. The creative collaborative began in January 2016 with poetry readings and curated live performances. Now it's expanded to ARTLoud, a program that intersects poetry, music, and dance, and a new series that takes place in the living rooms of regular folks around the city.

Smabs Sputzer / Flickr

After a couple of weeks of ice, snow, mud and gloom over most of the state, the thought of working outside may not be very appealing right now, but the sun in peeking out today and there is still work to be done outside. Jeff Iles, professor and chair in the Horticulture Department at Iowa State University says pruning is best done during the dormant season.

Penn State / Flickr

Sepsis strikes more than a million Americans every year. Between 28 and 50 percent of those patients will die.

"People are getting all kinds of procedures that are altering their immune system and their ability to handle these infections, and so what we see is that infections are actually going up and we're getting significant number of deaths," says Dr. Patrick Schlievert, professor and chair in the Department of Microbiology at the UI Carver College of Medicine. "The funding and the understanding that goes with that has not kept up with it."

Photo Courtesy of the Des Moines Metro Opera

The Des Moines Metro Opera opens its run of Soldier Songs this weekend at Camp Dodge in Johnston. It will be the first time an opera has been performed at an active military base. 

Michael Mayes, the operatic baritone who will be performing the one -man opera, says it's been a unique experience to be rehearsing a piece like Soldier Songs in front of active military service members. 

Jim Wise / Flickr

Tami Rundle understands that a barn is not necessarily the sexiest subject for a documentary. When her husband Kelly suggested doing an hour-long feature of the creation and history of barns, she was hesitant.

"I was like, 'Ooo-kay...we'll give this a shot,'" she laughs. "But, as is often the case with our documentary subjects, I caught the bug. And probably the most inspirational and wonderful part of the project was hearing these stories, and that really is the soul of the film. That is what brings these barns to life again."

The History Press

On Dec. 12, 1934, police raided a canning factory in Cedar Rapids--what they found was an illegal bar and gambling set up.  That incident set off a year-long investigation into graft that reached into all levels of Iowa State government.  It was all driven by Verne Marshall, the editor of the Cedar Rapids Gazette.  Jerry Harrington, an Iowa City writer of Iowa history, tells the story in his new book, "Crusading Iowa Journalist Verne Marshall: Exposing Graft and the 1936 Pulitzer Prize." (History Press)

Daniel Lobo / Flickr

Suicide rates in the United States are the highest they’ve been in 30 years, but no matter what statistics show us, each individual loss to suicide is devastating. Survivors are left with grief, anger, questions and often a sense of guilt. Cheri Jenkins, whose father and mother both died by suicide, said one of the hardest emotions for her to reconcile was anger.

IPR's Emily Woodbury

Still printed on a 19-century letterpress printing machine in Anamosa, IA, publisher Tim Fay has just released his 23rd issue of "The Wapsipinicon Almanac."  It's a homegrown, homemade journal and features essays, stories and articles by Iowa writers.  The first issue was published in 1988 and you can't order it or read it online.  You'll have to find it in a bookstore or other shop.

Steve Evans/Wikimedia Commons

Around 1,000 refugees resettled in Iowa in 2016. Most of them arrive in the state with nothing to their name and have three months of support to learn a new language, get a job and find a place to live. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with representatives from organizations that help refugees get settled and work with them after other services to help them expire. 

Global Greens, a project of Lutheran Services in Iowa, is helping refugees find land to farm, and is helping people to learn the business of farming. 

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