Louisa Dewey

Congress.Gov

During this River to River interview, host Ben Kieffer talks with Representative Dave Loebsack about the issues facing his constituents in Iowa's 2nd district, including flood risk, healthcare, employment, and trade tariffs. Later in the hour, Loebsack answers listener questions.

One issue that remains close to Loebsack's heart is the Cedar Rapids flood, which was 10 years ago on June 13th.

McFarland's Mill

On this horticulture day edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks to Richard Jauron, Iowa State University Extension Horticulture Specialist, and Linda Naeve, Iowa State University Extension Specialist in Value Added Agriculture, about how you can use mulch in your garden this summer. 

"Mulch has a lot of good characteristics to it and good advantages in a garden," Naeve says. "Most of us think, oh I want to mulch to keep the weeds down... but it also helps conserve soil moisture."

Constancia Huff Roling

An extended voyage down the Mississippi River in a kayak hasn't always been high on Barb Geiger's list of things she wanted to do. But one Sunday morning in 2013, after weeks of preparation, Barb and her husband set off in a self-built kayak for an epic five month journey of paddling and service work. 

AP

On this politics day edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with political analysts Jim McCormick, professor of political science at Iowa State University, and Wayne Moyer, Rosenfield professor of political science at Grinnell College. They discuss the G7 Summit blowup, the showdown over immigration in Congress, and President Trump's meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. 

FIRMM

Right now, chances are pretty good that you're surrounded by plastic. A plastic keyboard, plastic water bottle, the plastic fixtures in your car, perhaps even a plastic case on your phone. There's no denying that plastics are an integral part of our society, but they're also a huge factor in a major environmental disaster that's becoming increasingly apparent in our oceans and waterways. 

Yancas / Flickr

Along with the rich greens and beautiful blossoms of early summer come bugs— gnats, mosquitoes, ticks, and many others. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe chats with Iowa State University entomologist Donald Lewis about biting insects. 

Iowa Legislature

Back in 2016, when it was clear the Republican Party was warming up to the idea of having Donald Trump as its Presidential nominee, one state Senator from Iowa quit the Republican Party. Now, he's announced that he will not be seeking reelection as an Independent in the Iowa Senate.

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Senator David Johnson of Ocheyedan about this decision and how politics have changed in his nearly 20 years as a lawmaker in Iowa.

In recent years, Johnson says he has seen a definite political shift.

JOE SHEARER/WORLD-HERALD NEWS SERVICE

 

The use of consumer fireworks was legalized in Iowa last year, sparking complaints from both citizens and local law enforcement. This year, many cities have set their own rules for firework use, with some prohibiting them completely.

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks to Jeremiah Terhark, owner of Iowa Fireworks Company; Tat Treeloar, Fire Chief for the city of Waterloo; and Tom Daubs, Public Information Officer for the Marion Police Department, about the upcoming July 4th holiday and the patchwork of fireworks laws across Iowa.

 

Emily Woodbury

Hippotherapy, or therapeutic horseback riding, uses the movement of horses to help individuals improve their neuromotor function, including coordination, balance, and strength.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe visits Miracles in Motion, where children and adults with special needs come for hippotherapy and therapeutic riding lessons. 

Mark Vitosh

In recent years, many Iowans have noticed something strange happening to the leaves on their oak trees. The leaf tissue becomes brown or purple and shrivels up, making the leaves look ripped or torn. This condition is known as “oak tatters.” 

Oak tatters has been observed since the 1980s and documented since 1995, but the cause remains a mystery.

Florida Grand Opera

Growing up outside of Kalona, Jessica Faselt didn't come from a particularly musical family. She sang in choir when she was a child, but didn’t realize the power of her voice until a concert in high school where she sang "O Holy Night" and brought the crowd to tears. 

After this experience, Faselt went on to study vocal performance at the University of Iowa. It was there that she discovered her passion for opera.

"To me, opera brings together so many art forms," Faselt says. "It's the human voice talking about the human experience through song and music."

Lifehacker

Whether you’re a Johnny-come-lately, a Jack of all trades, or a Tom, Dick and Harry, you’ve likely encountered idioms like these. On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with word maven Patricia O’Conner about the colloquial phrases that have immortalized common names.

Some phrases, such as "great Scott," date back to real people or historical figures. Many of these naming idioms are much older than we might think, with some dating back to the 1600s or before. 

"Colloquialisms do show up in speech before writing," O'Conner says. 

Raptor Resource Project

From absentee parents to parenting by committee, it doesn't always take a village for animals to raise their young. 

On this Wildlife Day edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with wildlife biologist Jim Pease about the different parenting styles used by animals. John Howe of the Raptor Resource Project in Decorah also joins the conversation with an update on the Decorah eagles, who are being raised by a single mom after the recent disappearance of her mate.

Zenith Bookstore

North Dakota is home to fewer than a million people but boasts a billion dollar budget surplus thanks to the Bakken oil fields, which contain the largest oil deposit in the United States. The 2006 discovery of these oil reserves coupled with the rapid development of fracking technology meant that this sparsely populated state suddenly became a land of great opportunity.

Emily Woodbury

When Leigh Ann Erickson taught in Chicago and New York, she witnessed the effects of social injustice every day.

But the view from small town Iowa can be very different. That’s why Erickson founded a social justice course, an African American literature course, and the CARE Conference at Mount Vernon High School. Through this curriculum, Erickson hopes to broaden her students' perspectives about income inequality, race, and the criminal justice system. 

Rooy Media

David James "DJ" Savarese is a poet, prose writer, and recent alumni of Oberlin College, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a double major in Anthropology and Creative Writing. He is also autistic and nonspeaking.

Charity Nebbe / Iowa Public Radio

From pick-up games to organized leagues, every hometown team has its heroes. Hometown sports continue to shape and unite us in towns, cities, and states across the country.

In Mount Vernon, a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian’s "Museum on Main Street Program" is working to celebrate local sports heroes and the broader impact of athletics on our communities. “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America” will be on display at the First Street Community Center from March 18 to April 29, 2018.

Fifth Ward Saints

When Carlos Honore moved to Iowa City from Baton Rouge in 1989, the move was something of a culture shock. By his eighth grade year, facing problems at home, Honore wound up in juvenile court.

But instead of being sent to a juvenile detention center, Honore was put on probation and found sports. He played football and wrestling and later competed in track and soccer. In the mid-90s, he was instrumental in getting the football team at Iowa City's West High School to the 1995 4A championship.  

Energia

Windows might be drafty, impossible to open, impossible to close, or constantly covered in condensation. Figuring out what to do with faulty windows is a challenge that many homeowners face, especially as the seasons change.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe tackles your window-related questions with home improvement expert Bill McAnally.

VALERIE MACON/GETTY IMAGES + ANONYMOUS/AP IMAGES

Just over sixty years ago in September of 1957, Terrence Roberts and eight other young people became the first African American students at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. These nine students, known as the Little Rock Nine, faced mobs of angry protesters as they tried to enter the school.

After several weeks of resistance from both the state and the community, President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent U.S. Army troops to accompany the students to school for protection. However, the Little Rock Nine continued to face violence and discrimination once inside Central High.

Truman Library

  

In the aftermath of WWII, the court system in Germany underwent a dramatic shift as the Allies launched an initiative to rid German and Austrian society of any remnants of national socialism. This process was called denazification. 

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Judy Hamilton Crockett, whose father Clarence E. Hamilton was head of all civil courts and prisons in Nuremberg after WWII.

Getty Images

With March Madness in full swing, college basketball and its top players have been a hot topic of conversation.

On this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks to former professional basketball player Paul Shirley about his experience playing college basketball for the Cyclones and his latest memoir The Stories I Tell on Dates

Shirley's book draws from both his time playing professional basketball around the world and from his childhood in rural Kansas.

Community Environmental Council

In the last three decades, the Earth has lost half of its coral reefs. In 2016, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef lost nearly 30 percent of its coral. In 2017, this number rose to 50 percent.

While there are a number of different factors at play, it's increasingly clear that the warming of the world's oceans are a major contributor to this loss.

The Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was founded in 1997 in Arnold’s Park, Iowa. Just over 10 years old, the hall has named a number of prominent Iowa musicians, music lovers and promoters to be a part of its legacy. Every year, there is a vote to induct people who have made a significant contribution to music in Iowa.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe goes behind the scenes to get to know some personalities behind the news and discussions on Iowa Public Radio.

Nebbe talks with statehouse correspondent Joyce Russell, producer and host Dennis Reese, and River to River host Ben Kieffer about how they got into public radio, some of the most valuable experiences in their careers, and how they have seen radio change.