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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PIPESTONE -- Two centuries ago, Minnesota had 18 million acres of tallgrass prairie. That prairie has mainly disappeared, tilled under by plows, with less than 1 percent of the original acreage remaining. But pockets of native prairie still exist, such as the land surrounding the Pipestone National Monument.
WORTHINGTON -- One out of every 10 people has a hearing loss. That means one out of 10 people, and probably even more in a community with a large elderly population, isn't hearing and understanding the message being relayed in a church service. David and Cathy Harrison, missionaries with Silent Word Ministries who currently live in Chattanooga, Tenn., want to help churches reach out to hard-of-hearing people and will conduct a Hearing Accessible Workshop Oct.
WORTHINGTON -- Betty Atchison was fretting over an upcoming medical test on Wednesday morning, but when she opened her front door, she was immediately distracted from those concerns by what was on her doorstep. There sat Miss Kitty, a stray cat she had earlier befriended that had been transported weeks before to a country haven many miles away. "I never really believed those stories before," about animals returning long distances to the place they considered home, Betty said.
WORTHINGTON -- Many people know Jon Benson as a local funeral director, now retired. During his lifetime spent mostly in Worthington, he's assumed many other roles: Avid Worthington promoter; member of many civic boards and organizations; tireless volunteer. And come each September, Jon takes on a task that may seem small, but is an important part of Worthington's King Turkey Day tradition. Jon is the Keeper of the King Turkey Day Button Collection. A framed display of the buttons, going back to 1940, hangs in the lobby of the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce office, 1121 Third Ave.
WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington Turkey Race Team wants to regain its dominance. The Cuero, Texas, team is hoping for a three-peat. To that end, both sides are talking tough in advance of Saturday's first heat of the supreme test of fowl fleetness, the Great Gobbler Gallop. "Ruby and Ruby's team have won five heats in a row, and that ties a record that goes back to the early '90s," boasted Erik McCowan, a handler on the Cuero team and creator of "Ruby's Town," a documentary that profiles the Texas turkey and Cuero's festival history.
WORTHINGTON -- They rip telephone books and license plates as if they were pieces of paper. They smash blocks of ice and concrete. They can blow up hot water bottles like balloons, and snap baseball bats like twigs. It sounds as if the members of The Power Team are bent on destruction, but through school assemblies and church programs, their intention is to encourage people to live a life of excellence and challenge them to be the best they can be. The Power Team -- a group of world-class athletes who perform exhibitions of power, strength and speed -- will conduct secular assemblies in 11
WORTHINGTON -- As a young teen growing up in Worthington, James Smestad recalls traveling to the Twin Cities to take a career aptitude test. He hoped to become an architectural engineer. "When the results came back two weeks later, we sat down with this lady, and she said, 'You'll have a hard time getting through engineering school.' She was pretty straight about that. She said, 'You'll probably make a pretty good history teacher,'" he recounted. Smestad did study history in college, but instead of becoming a teacher, he chose to document moments in history through photographs.
WORTHINGTON -- Erik McCowan has shared his film, "Ruby's Town," with audiences in Minneapolis, New York City, San Antonio, Texas, and the documentary's primary setting, Cuero, Texas. Now it's Worthington's turn. "Ruby's Town" will make its Worthington premiere in conjunction with King Turkey Day during free showings at 7 p.m. Monday and Wednesday in the Fine Arts Theater at Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Worthington campus. McCowan looks forward to watching the Worthington audiences' reactions. "It will be funny to see how people up there react to this film," he said.
WORTHINGTON -- While Clayton Johnson was in the midst of a massive genealogy project, his late wife, Jean, gave him a page torn from a word-a-day calendar.
WORTHINGTON -- It's the time of year when college students begin to head to their respective campuses, ready to crack the books and study for future vocations. But Worthington's Lisa Kremer won't return to Briar Cliff College in Sioux City, Iowa, where she is studying nursing -- at least not for a few months and hopefully even longer. Instead, she's California-bound to prepare for a chance to compete in the 2008 Olympics in China. "I'm taking the first term off to train full-time," Lisa explained.