Rhymes With Decorah

Rhymes With Decorah

A podcast project from Benji Nichols of Inspire(d) Media. Featuring positive stories, profiles, and exploring challenges from across the upper midwest and beyond. Stories about communities you Love - By people you trust. Rhymes with Decorah!


April 16, 2024 33 mins

Erin Cubbon, Naturalist, Allamakee Co Conservation

Welcome to "Rhymes With Lansing" - a mini-series of podcast shows featuring just a few of the amazing folks that call Lansing, Iowa home. Recorded in the Spring of 2024, these shows represent a snapshot in time of life in one of Iowa's great, rural, Mississippi River towns. Find the intro show to this series here.


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Maryann Baldwin, Lansing Entrepreneur Photo by: Brittany Todd

Welcome to "Rhymes With Lansing" - a mini-series of podcast shows featuring just a few of the amazing folks that call Lansing, Iowa home. Recorded in the Spring of 2024, these shows represent a snapshot in time of life in one of Iowa's great, rural, Mississippi River towns. Find the intro show to this series he...

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April 10, 2024 24 mins

Lansing, Iowa - Courtesy, Driftless Visitors Center

Welcome to a special mini-series of shows we're calling "Rhymes With Lansing" - bringing you stories from "where Main Street meets the Mississippi" in Iowa's very NE Corner. Located in Allamakee County, Lansing is a town of almost 1,000 people ideally tucked into a wooded valley along the Mississippi River. 

Photo Cou...

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April 1, 2024 40 mins

Valerie Reinke,  Executive Director of Allamakee County Iowa Economic Development & Tourism joins us for this episode of "Rhymes With... Allamakee"

Iowa's most Northeastern County is a treasure trove of outdoor beauty, recreation opportunities, and some very dynamic communities. With just over 14,000 people, Allamakee County consists of six small towns: Waukon, Lansing, Postville, Harpers Ferry, ...

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Join us on this episode of "Rhymes With Decorah" as we take an awesome opportunity to talk with Decorah Community School District Nutrition Director and Culinary Specialist Chad Elliott. 


With deep roots in the Decorah area, Chad brings a background in the commercial food service industry to what may be any communities most important food source - school meals! It ...

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March 25, 2024 32 mins


Cover image by Anne Butera / MyGiantStrawberry.com

Join the WHOLE fam on this show for a rundown on the Spring 2024 Issue of Inspire(d) Magazine! Here's Aryn's editors letter for this issue as well. Don't miss a tiny bit of this beautiful issue (inside and out!). Thanks for listening, reading, and supporting our mission of sharing positive news!

Find the new "Spring 2024" Inspire(d) Playlist here!


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Photo Courtesy of WinnMed

Emergency Management Services are often not thought of until there is a time of need. Police, Fire, Ambulance, First Responders – all provide essential community services, and face unique challenges in much of our rural regions. Steve Vanden Brink has been serving Decorah and NE Iowa for over 30 years as an EMT and Director of Ambulance Services at WinnMed in Decorah, as wel...

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The Oneota Valley Community Orhestra has been bringing incredible performances to NE Iowa for 10 years! Join founder and musical director Matt Cody, along with musician and board member Benjamin Kratchmer as we talk all things OVCO.

The organization, started in 2014, was brougth to life to present live classical music to the residents of the Oneota Valley, promote musi...

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Liudmyla Skorlupina is a Ukrainian English teacher, currently living with her son Zhenia in the US. They are from Bucha, Ukraine, and were able to participate in the “Uniting for Ukraine” Federal humanitarian program, which allows them to spend up to two years in the US with a host sponsor family.

Liuda and Luther College Professor of Anthropology Maryna Nading have known each other since their upper...

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Olivia Lynn Schnur is a writer, Mental Health Counselor, and yoga teacher, with roots in NE Iowa! You may have read some of Olivia's pieces in the pages of Inspire(d) over the past 4+ years, as she and Aryn have partnered to present various themes and topics throughout each issue. Olivia has a wealth of experience to draw from with her background as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Licensed Profes...

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Decorah Native Kim Karr started her professional career in high school education, and quickly realized a need in the digital world - social media specifically, and the way that young people interact. Fast forward, and Kim has been the Executive Director of Digital4Good and #ICanHelp for a decade - making positive impact on a world wide audience.

Digital4Good and #ICanH...

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Decorah Community School District Superintendent Tim Cronin joins us for this episode of "Rhymes With Decorah" to talk about his long family ties to Decorah, generations of educators, the successes and challenges our School district faces, and the perfect "Decorah" day! 

Dr. Cronin's path found him attending Luther College for undergrad studies (and basketball!) before...

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Welcome to 2024 - and welcome back to "Rhymes With Decorah"

On this episode Roxie, Aryn, and Benji work to shake off the end of holiday school break while running down the "Winter 2024" issue of Inspire(d), and looking at 2024 bucket lists. This show is loose as a goose -and funky as a chicken, but we hope you enjoy it as a way to roll on into 2024 before we hit some harder topics and episodes. 

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Founded in 1988 by the late Bob Anderson, the Raptor Resource Project (RRP) is a non-profit that preserves and strengthens raptor populations, expands participation in raptor conservation, and educates people around the world about raptors and their habitats.

Photo courtesy of Raptor Resource Project

With the core goals of education, conservation, and research, RRP was...

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October 29, 2023 32 mins

Since 1975, New Minowa Players (NMP) have been creating community through theatre in Northeast Iowa. From the founding days of friends Bette Greedy, Donalee Burns, and Helen Schmidt meeting up to present true community productions wherever they could find a space, to almost half a century later featuring an annual season of 6 productions, NMP has built a theatrical legacy in rural Iowa. Join us on this episode with NMP's Sarah Bra...

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Aryn Henning Nichols joins Benji for a rundown of the Fall 2023 issue of Inspire(d) Magazine - which also marks 16 years of Inspire(d)! Aryn likes to say the magazine is finally old enough to drive - even though it's been driving our lives for 16 years! Truly - we're grateful for everyone that has made this "experiment in positive news" possible - readers, advertisers, ou...

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On today’s show we welcome Liz & Jim Fritz, both (mostly!) “retired” music educators from Decorah, and longtime members of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. As it turns out, Liz & Jim also have a long track record of home improvement, efficiency, and sustainability projects, stemming from lifelong interests and opportunities to make their corner of the world a better place. Listen in to hear how ...

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August 13, 2023 38 mins

Run. Fish. Beer.

> Help  Benji reach his fundraising goal -  Donate here to the Driftless Flyathlon

Ryan Rahmiller and Scott Stimmel join us to talk about the Driftless Flyathlon – a favorite annual event of Benji’s that happens each fall at Yellow River Forest in rural Allamakee County, Iowa. Ryan and Scott are not only part of the six person planning crew of the Flyathlon event, but are als...

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July 19, 2023 37 mins

Jeff Abbas poses with agates and polishing equipment at his studio in rural NE Iowa. / Photo by Sara Friedl-Putnam

Jeff Abbas has been connecting communities, chasing passions, and picking up rocks for most of his life. A self proclaimed "agatographer", his passion for Lake Superior agates and photography have found him producing stunning images of billion-plus year old agates. His ability to connect ...

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Tyler Wright of Wright Way Computers shares his story of building a full service computer and IT business out of his early interest in technology. Having just purchased a building and moved into their (second!) Water Street home (117 E Water St) in downtown Decorah, Tyler shares insights into business, technology, and the challenges -and benefits - of living in a rural area!

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