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.

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Wildlife
3:56 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Birds of the Upper Midwest

Red winged blackbird
Elizabeth Reetz

Of all the birds that make their home (even for just a season) in Iowa, we may know their common names (sparrow, robin, etc.), but not their scientific names. But the these longer names in Latin tell a lot about the description and behavior of a bird species. This hour, Charity Nebbe speaks with the co-authors of the new book, "The Scientific Nomenclature of Birds in the Upper Midwest," Iowa Citians James Sandrock and Jean Prior.

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Talk of Iowa
4:37 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

It’s Electric! Rural Electrification in Iowa

The Rural Electrification Administration erects power lines.
Credit National Archives and Records Administration / U.S. Department of Agriculture

When a storm knocks out power for a few hours, it's an inconvenience; if the outage lasts much longer it becomes a crisis.  However, not so long ago electricity was far from ubiquitous in Iowa.

Iowan Kieth Wirt was 10 years old when electricity came to his family’s farm in Panora. Like most households, the first appliance the Wirts purchased was a refrigerator, and soon after indoor plumbing.

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Talk of Iowa
2:57 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

The Aging Challenge

Using video games to stay active
Iowa State University Extension LIFE; used with permission http://www.extension.iastate.edu/life

People are living longer, but are they living better, more healthy, more active lives?  Colin Milner is CEO of the International Council on Active Aging, and is visiting Iowa to talk about opportunities for governments, organizations, and individuals to take advantage to the changes that are ahead for people and communities.  Also on the program is Iowa State University Assistant Professor Sarah Francis, who also oversees ISU Extension's program Living Well Through Intergenerational Fitness and Exercise.

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Home Improvement
3:10 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Deconstruction and Reuse

Demolition of the Anna E. Waden branch library in San Francisco in 2011
David Gallagher https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/legalcode

A dilapidated outbuilding or a house in need of serious updating may look like an eyesore, but it is also an opportunity to recycle and reuse old materials.  Join host Charity Nebbe, Home Improvement Expert Bill McAnnally, and Siobhan Spain of the Center on Sustainable Communities for a talk about deconstruction.  

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Horticulture Day
4:01 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Field to Family

Chiot's Run / Flickr

As many of us are preparing to get outside and get our hands dirty this spring, a lot of people across the state will be doing their best to get kids involved in gardening.

Today on Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with David Burt, President of Field to Family, about their farm to school programs. Horticulturist Richard Jauron also joins to answer listener questions.

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Talk of Iowa
8:14 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Before the Chefs Battle

Central Iowa chefs Tag Grandgeorge (Le Jardin,) Michael Baily (Des Moines Embassy Club West,) Tawnya Zerr (Cupcake Emporium,) and Sam Auen (Tacopocalypse) spoke with Talk of Iowa from the Des Moines studio, March 20, 2014.
John Pemble Iowa Public Radio

Before the chefs do battle at Iowa Public Radio’s Battle of the Chefs they sit down with host Charity Nebbe to talk about the food and recipes that inspire them. Chefs Sam Auen of Tacopocalypse, Le Jardin's Tag Grandgeorge, The Des Moines Embassy Club West's Michael Bailey and Tawnya Zerr from Cupcake Emporium join the show.

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Health
4:32 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Successful Kidney Donation Between Incompatible Donor-Recipient Pairs

Peter and Nerissa March are guests on Iowa Public Radio’s “Talk of Iowa”. Peter donated his kidney to a stranger and in turn his wife was able to receive a kidney from another stranger in the first kidney pair donation chain performed at Mercy Transplant.
John Pemble

Today on Talk of Iowa we listen back to a conversation from last year, where in a three day period, five people received kidney transplants thanks to something called a kidney paired transplant chain.

We find out about this life saving chain of generosity and talk to a transplant surgeon, donors and recipients of kidney transplants. Also, we learn about an organization called My Angel Foundation, a non-profit focused on inspiring Iowans to become registered organ, eye and tissue donors.

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Talk of Iowa
2:03 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Iowa's Coal Mining Communities

Seymour Iowa, Big Jim Coal Mine, May 23, 1957
Seymour Herald

The last of Iowa’s coal mines shut down in 1994, but in the early 20th century, coal mining was the number two industry in the state. Today on Talk of Iowa, we listen back to a conversation with historian Dorothy Hubbard Schwieder and Kristin Redenius, a coal miner’s daughter. They explain what it was like to work in Iowa’s coal mines, and how the mines shaped communities. 

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Horticulture Day
2:10 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Time to Get Serious About Fruit Tree Pruning

Pictoscribe http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/legalcode

One of the early season lawn and garden tasks is to prune fruit trees.  Iowa State University Extension Field Specialist Patrick O'Malley is a guest on the show, here's some of the advice he imparts during the program:

1. Did you have a big crop last year? Then it might be lighter this year. That means you should consider less pruning this year.

2. You want different tiers of branches and the lowest should not be too close to the ground.

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Talk of Iowa
3:04 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

A Wife's Suicide, a Husband's Multiple Sclerosis

Although Vern was using a wheelchair or crutches at the time, Melinda helped to hold him up for this wedding photo.

After Vern Beachy lost his wife to suicide, he began writing about what he was going through.  Not just about the difficulty of the loss but also his struggles with M.S. and his fight to get out of a wheelchair.  

To write A Tear-Stained Letter, Beachy says, "I took a knife to my heart and wrote about what fell out.”  In this interview, Beachy talks about it with host Charity Nebbe.

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Talk of Iowa
1:27 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

'If You See Someone Without a Smile, Give Them One of Yours'

Gary Murphy as Bandana the Clown
Barb Swift/Studio 909

Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey clown Felix Adler from Clinton, Iowa was known to say "If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours."  He spent 20 years clowning across the country and around the world.  Hear about his time as the 'King of Clowns' and hear why he was also called the 'White House Clown.' Host Charity Nebbe talks with Adler's niece.

We also hear from two Iowa clowns, 'Silly Sally' (Sally DuBois from Ames) and 'Bandana the Clown' (Gary Murphy from Washington, Iowa) about what they do and why they love it.

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Talk of Iowa
3:08 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Long, Hard Winter

Iowa’s had deeper frost levels this year due to an early onset of cold and a lack of both snow cover and moisture. As a result likely fewer animals that hibernate underground like woodchucks (pictured above,) turtles and snakes survived the winter.

This past winter is the state's harshest winter in decades.  Wildlife biologist Jim Pease talks with host Charity Nebbe about the negative and positive effects of this long, hard winter on Iowa's wildlife.

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Talk of Iowa
4:20 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Backyard Ecosystems

Carsten Tolkmit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Join Talk of Iowa for a talk with Douglas Tallamy, Professor and Chair of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware. He says “We need to change the way we interact with nature; it should not be segregated,” and that living with nature can be very rewarding. Tallamy says that Americans use plants that are mostly from Asia as decorations.  The result is a reduced biodiversity in the places we live, work, and farm.  Hear from Tallamy  about how we can connect habitats by reinstalling native plants.

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Horticulture Day
1:57 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

A Sure Sign of Spring!

Emerald Ash Borer
Phil Nixon University of Illinois

Horticulture day returns to its weekly schedule, a sure sign of spring!  Host Charity Nebbe talks with Extension Entomologist Donald Lewis about the likely impact of colder than usual temperatures on Iowa's insect population.  The answer:  "not much."  Extension Horticulturist Richard Jauron talks about the timely tasks that need doing in your garden.

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Nature
3:54 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Jane Goodall on Her Life, Work, and Legacy

Jane Goodall will be in Iowa on Monday, March 10 to present a lecture, “Sowing the Seeds of Hope”
World Bank Photo Collection / flickr

Jane Goodall is famous for her groundbreaking observation of wild chimpanzees; but for the last 30 years, she’s devoted most of her time to traveling the world, telling her stories, and trying to fan the flames of an environmental movement that could save her beloved chimpanzees and so many other species from extinction.

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Nature
3:53 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Jill Pruetz on Empathy Among Primates

Eric Kilby

Increasingly recognized as "the next Jane Goodall" in primatology circles, Iowa State University primatologist Jill Pruetz brings incredible research and stories back to Iowa from Senegal in western Africa, where she studies the lives of savanna chimpanzees.

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Talk of Iowa
10:25 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Passenger Pigeon's Extinction

Passenger Pigeon, Ectopistes migratorius
Thomas A. Bennett

At one time, the passenger pigeon was everywhere in North America.  The population was 3 to 5 billion when European settlers first arrived, but by 1914 they were gone.  Host Charity Nebbe discusses the extinction of the passenger pigeon with Stan Temple of Aldo Leopold Foundation.

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Talk of Iowa
3:19 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

The Brilliance of Winged Rats

One of the 32 rock doves used in Wasserman's research at the University of Iowa's Comparative Cognition Laboratory.
Sarah Boden Iowa Public Radio

Many Iowans find the common pigeon, or rock dove, a pest and call them "winged rats." However, this bird's brain is deceptively clever.

Ed Wasserman runs the Comparative Cognition Laboratory at the University of Iowa. Wasserman is world renowned for his work in animal intelligence, including proving that pigeons recognize individual human faces.

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Talk of Iowa
2:36 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Internment Camps in the U.S.

John Nakamura Remy http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

In 1942, the U.S. Government issued evacuation notices “to all persons of Japanese ancestry.”  In the wake of Pearl Harbor, more than 110,000 Japanese-Americans were forced out of their homes and into internment camps.  In this 'Talk of Iowa' program, Iowa State University Professor Emeritus and author Neil Nakadate talks about his family’s incarceration and his new memoir Looking After Minidoka.

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Talk of Iowa
6:46 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

The Tenacity of a Small Town Newspaper

Greenfield’s Fourth of July watermelon run race, 1932.
K.H. Sidey Adair County Free Press

For 125 years, four generations of the Sidey family have delivered the news of Adair County.  While many small, independently owned papers perished or became parts of large conglomerates the Adair County Free Press persisted.

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Talk of Iowa
2:40 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Fighting for Education Equality

The Alexander Clark House in Muscatine, Iowa. Clark was a pioneer for African-American education in Iowa.
Alexander Clark House

Knowledge is power and throughout history groups with power have denied it to others by limiting their access to education.  Even in Iowa, always a free state, the barriers to education for African-Americans were high.

Host Charity Nebbe speaks with Richard Breaux of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Kesho Scott of Grinnell College about the history of African-American students at Iowa's universities and colleges.

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Talk of Iowa
12:18 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Noonan: The Most Common Medical Syndrome You've Never Heard Of

Max is 6 and has Noonan syndrome
photo submitted

Noonan syndrome is a genetic condition.  The characteristic facial features include low set ears, widely spaced-eyes, bright blue or blue-green eyes, a low hairline at the back of the head, and multiple congenital problems like heart defects and an unusually shaped chest.

A person with Noonan syndrome is often short, has a broad or webbed neck, low set nipples, and bleeding problems.  Developmental delay or intellectual disability are also common.

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Talk of Iowa
10:15 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Retiring: 'Time to Make the Donuts'

Retirement involves expectations, plans, and perhaps a reinvention
Julian Partridge http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Forget the IRA for a minute.  How’s your portfolio for spending your time after retiring? Here’s a little advice and thoughts explored in this ‘Talk of Iowa’ program:

Make a plan. About a year before the retirement day, decide how you will be spending your time. Have a list of things to do: volunteering, learning a new skill, maintaining friendships and social networks, and develop ideas about how pieces of those goals can be accomplished every day.

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Home Improvement
3:51 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Bursting Water Pipes: Prevention in the Cold

Split water pipes
andiezoe / flickr http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

It has been a long cold winter in Iowa.  The extended time with temperatures below freezing and below zero has caused many Iowans grief as they find inoperable, broken, frozen, or even burst and leaking water pipes.  Our home improvement expert Bill McAnally joins the program to give advice and answer listener questions.

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Population
2:03 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Predicting the Limit of Our Population

Transport in the Sahel, Africa, where population is rapidly growing
Roberto Neumiller

How many people can the Earth sustain? According to author and journalist Alan Weisman, "the planet just seems to be bursting at its seams."

Today on Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe interviews Weisman, who tackles that question in his new book, Countdown: Our Last, Best hope for a Future on Earth? She talks with him about what he learned by traveling the globe and studying different cultures and his vision of the future.

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Horticulture Day
1:53 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Starting Seeds Indoors

Common chickweed
Tico http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/legalcode

Spring may still seem far off, but now is the time to plan the garden, and in some cases it is time to start seeds indoors.  Iowa State University Extension Horticulturists Richard Jauron and Cindy Haynes are guests and give advice and answer listener questions.

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Talk of Iowa
11:59 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Politics, Sex, AIDS, and Survival

New York, 1987
Greg Wass

Iowan Sean Strub has lead a distinguished career as a gay rights activist and advocate for people with HIV/AIDS.  He founded POZ Magazine, designed to serve those living with the disease, a community he knows very well since he has been living with HIV since 1980.

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Talk of Iowa
4:08 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

True Stories Told Live

The Moth

The Moth Radio Hour has captured the hearts of public radio listeners, but before those “true stories told live” make it to the radio they are told on a stage somewhere in the United States. This Friday that stage is the Iowa City's Englert Theatre.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with Maggie Cino, director of The Moth, and the host of Friday’s event Peter Aguero.  

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Talk of Iowa
3:17 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

'It Felt Like Freedom'

Nick Bassett on RAGBRAI 2013
Adaptive Sports Iowa

Nick Bassett from Boone Iowa was born with a spinal tumor, and scoliosis was diagnosed when he was an infant.  In high school, the condition worsened and he was confined to a wheelchair.  Bassett joined wheelchair track and field,  and a world was opened up to him.

"It felt like freedom.  I've been bound to my disability for a lot of my life...when I got out there on the track and was able to compete against other athletes, it was the greatest feeling in the world."

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Author Interview
3:39 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Time Traveling Back to the 1898 Omaha World's Fair

The Trans Mississippi International Exposition of 1898
F.A. Rinehart

There is a short list of World’s Fairs that have inspired many stories, New York 1939, Chicago 1893, St. Louis 1904.  The 1898 Omaha World’s Fair is not one of them… until now. Today on Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with author Timothy Shaffert about his latest novel The Swan Gondola which takes place on the eve of the Omaha World’s Fair.

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