Beth Rickers is the veteran in the newspaper staff with 25 years as the Daily Globe's Features Editor. Interests include cooking, traveling and beer tasting and making with her home-brewing husband, Bryan. She writes an Area Voices blog called Lagniappe, which is a Creole term that means "a little something extra." It can be found at http://lagniappe.areavoices.com/.
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WORTHINGTON -- Oh, the pressure. Both the Worthington and Cuero, Texas, Turkey Race Teams are determined to run the best race possible during the two heats of the Great Gobbler Gallop and secure the title of Turkey Capital of the World for their respective community. That's a big responsibility. And if that's not enough weight on their shoulders, this year they will race under the close scrutiny of a plethora of their predecessors -- the race team members who have come before.
WORTHINGTON -- A whole flock of turkeys has hatched in recent weeks in Brian Almberg's rural Rushmore workshop. Almberg, a taxidermist by trade and member of the King Turkey Day Board of Directors, has created 150 small statues to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Great Gobbler Gallop. The idea and ability to create such a souvenir evolved out of Almberg's work with polyurethane, particularly in re-creating antlers. "I've done a lot of molding work," Almberg explained, presenting scenarios when a model set of antlers is needed.
WORTHINGTON -- A few area churches plan to have floats in the King Turkey Day Parade Saturday, but one local ministry group hopes to stand out above the crowd -- literally. Journeymen Ministries -- a component of a relatively new local ministry endeavor, Journey Ministries -- is a group of eight men who will walk on stilts the entire length of the parade. "I went with my family down to Disney in 2000, and we watched this parade that they do for 'The Lion King,' with all these characters walking on stilts.
WORTHINGTON -- Tom Middagh and Tim Middagh don't have much of an issue with sibling rivalry. The two brothers grew up on the family farm, about one year and two grades apart in school, and now farm in partnership.
WORTHINGTON -- Names could get a bit confusing at La Tapatia, Worthington's newest Mexican restaurant. The owner is Luisa Rodriguez, her husband is Luis Rodriguez and they have a son, Luis Jr. At times, they are all working there at once, delivering hot plates of fresh food as fast as they can turn it out. La Tapatia is located inside the Long Branch Saloon, 206 10th St., and Luisa emphasizes her restaurant is an independent venture and "a perfect eating area for family" that is dedicated to that purpose from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
SIBLEY, Iowa -- They call themselves "Those Crazy Goat Ladies" but neither Robyn Kruger or Kim Wills bears any resemblance to the four-legged farm animals -- no horns, no beard, no hooves -- and they don't exhibit any signs of mental instability, either. But they do share a love of nannies, billies and kids. Robyn and Kim both raise goats on their farms in rural Sibley and recently began their Goat Ladies enterprise to market products made from goat milk. "The goat thing brought us together," related Robyn.
WORTHINGTON -- "All Aboard" for the annual meeting of the Nobles County Historical Society and RSVP Recognition potluck dinner. The event, slated for noon Sunday at Pioneer Village in Worthington, will feature a presentation by one of the leading authorities on railroads. Rudolph "Rudy" Daniels, Sioux City, Iowa, will address the gathering on the topic of "U.S. Railroads: How They Made Our Nation Great and Strong." Daniels traces his interest in the railroads back to his childhood. "The way I put it, it all started when I was a child.
ELY -- Judy Brandenburg isn't surprised to see a wolf loping along the road, scavenging for food near the home she shares with husband Jim. But it's still not a sight she likes, because it puts the wolf too close to danger. "Coming home from town, and there's a car ahead of me, doing normal speed, and here comes Blackie -- we call her Blackie -- trotting down the road on the other side just like she's a car. ... I was just sick, because I thought somebody was going to hit her.
WILMONT -- Jim and Joan Joens are hosting a party Friday -- a big party. There will be a guest of honor and perhaps as many as 800 people in attendance. The Joens family farm, located just east of Wilmont on Minnesota 266, will be the site for the Diocese of Winona's Harvest Mass, an annual gathering that will be presided over by Bishop Bernard Harrington. "It might be at Jim Joens' place, but it's a church event, a community event," emphasized Jim. "You don't have to be Catholic to attend.
WORTHINGTON -- Whether they've lived at Okabena Towers for 30 years, 15 years, five years or even just a few months, all the residents consider themselves family. And almost the entire clan joined together Monday to celebrate the senior living facility's 30th year with a luncheon. Okabena Towers, 212 12th St., opened for occupancy in October 1978. Two of its original residents, Frances DeGroot and Grace Stoever, still live there.