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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Confession: We traveled all the way to the Land of Yoopers and never tasted a pasty (audible gasp!). Yep, husband Bryan and I are recently returned from Michigan's Upper Peninsula (its residents proudly call themselves Yoopers), where we traversed in our Jeep Wrangler, a la open air most of the time, along the tree-lined highways and a few side roads. In previous years, since a Jeep is really only built for two occupants, such ventures have been a one-couple affair, but this time around we were joined by our friends and recent Jeep enthusiasts Steve and Mary Brake of rural Wilmont.
WORTHINGTON -- The most recent Census figures reveal the average American family has two children. That means Scot and Kristin Spittle's family is way above average. The Spittles currently have five children and -- call them crazy, they've heard it before -- are actively seeking to adopt two more children. "We're already doing the crazies," said Kristin with a laugh, "we might as well have a couple more." The Spittles road to a big family began and will most likely end with adoption. "We were experiencing infertility," explained Kristin about early attempts to have a family.
JACKSON -- Summer is typically a time of dwindling church attendance, a time when pews are often more empty than full, due to family vacations and other seasonal activities. But there's one church in Jackson that's seen a steady increase in church attendance on Sunday nights, even though the church has been defunct for more than 10 years. The former Delafield Lutheran Church, originally located near Wilder but now situated at the Fort Belmont complex in Jackson, is the site of Worship, Word and Watermelon -- a series of non-denominational summer worship services.
WORTHINGTON -- Schafer's Health Center in downtown Worthington has a new owner, but not a new name. Amanda Walljasper has chosen to honor the tradition started by Karl and Irma Schafer by keeping their name on the storefront. "Karl and Irma were very established and have a solid reputation and loyal customers," Walljasper said. "The Schafer family has been wonderful to work with, and Irma has been a great teacher.
WORTHINGTON -- Sanford Regional Hospital Worthington has announced plans to update its surgical services area. Up to $3 million will be available from the Sanford Health system to improve and remodel the area, according to SRHW Chief Executive Officer Lynn Olson. "Improving privacy is a priority, as well as recovery space for outpatients to meet current standards," Olson said Wednesday. "We want to make it as current as it can be.
"Hola, les habla Jesus Vega. Para hacer la invitación a todo el p?blico a escuchar esta su estación 104.3 FM la grande esperamos sea de su gusto con ustedes la Gran D." Those Spanish words -- basically an invitation to listen -- were the first uttered, at about 10:10 a.m. Monday, on Worthington's newest radio station, KIMZ 104.3 FM, nicknamed "La Gran D." The station, owned by John Daniels of Sioux City, Iowa, will cater to the area's Hispanic population. Daniels has been involved in radio for many years, starting his first station in Iowa City in the early 1970s.
Torben Schafer and his girlfriend, Maria Essen, arrived in Worthington just in time to celebrate Independence Day on July 4. It was a timely arrival, since Schafer experienced his own sense of independence when he spent the 2005-2006 school year in Worthington as an exchange student from Worthington's sister city, Crailsheim, Germany. "I am pretty sure I have changed," due to the exchange student experience, Schafer reflected. "You have host families, but you are mostly on your own, so you become more mature, more independent.
WORTHINGTON -- During the short time he's been in this part of the country, Sebastiao Pereira has encountered a tornado, delivered meals to shut-ins, picked strawberries and completed two paintings. Except for the painting, those were fresh experiences for Pereira, a native of Brazil who now lives in Phoenix, Ariz. Traveling to Worthington offered a respite from the intense summer heat of Arizona, as well as a new audience for Pereira's vibrant watercolor creations, which are currently on display at the Nobles County Art Center.
ASHTON, Iowa -- Recent developments have cancelled hopes of a new post office in Ashton. Ashton Mayor Melvin Tiedemann recently received a letter informing the community that the town's temporary postal location would likely be remodeled in lieu of building a new facility. "They are going to talk to the owners of the existing building and see what they want to do," Tiedemann reported Monday. Ashton has been without a permanent post office since March 2005, when the former location was deemed unfit.