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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LOS ANGELES -- Born in Grand Rapids, Mich., Taylor Lautner's first taste of stardom came in the martial arts arena. He started studying karate at age 6, soon began to win tournaments and was invited to train with seven-time world karate champion Mike Chat. At age 8, he represented his country in the 12 years and younger division in the World Karate Association, winning three gold medals. By the time he was 12 years old, he had three Junior World Championships under his black belt. But martial arts wasn't Taylor's only interest.
WORTHINGTON -- Arnold Motor Supply has been a fixture of the Worthington community since 1976. Its first store was located on Ninth Street in downtown Worthington, and the business moved to its current location, 704 Oxford St., in the 1980s. "Worthington was our 18th store, and we've grown now to where we're considered to be in the top 20 for largest company owned distribution chains for auto parts in the nation," boasted Dave Kimbell, marketing manager for the Merrill Co. and Arnold Motor Supply, headquartered in Spencer, Iowa. "We're really quite proud of our company.
MINNEAPOLIS -- It's 10 a.m. on a Friday morning, and Wain McFarlane is in the same place he's been every Friday morning recently -- the DaVita dialysis unit in Minneapolis. Wain's health has deteriorated to the point where he requires dialysis three times a week, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, for four hours. "It's my 10th time now.
WORTHINGTON -- When the main structure of St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 1505 Dover St., was built more than 50 years ago, it was designed like most other churches of the times. To get anywhere in the church, you had to go up or down stairs. The nursery and bathrooms were placed far away from the sanctuary, the better to muffle the sounds of crying babies and disgruntled children. The focus was on aesthetics -- impressive stonework, colorful and meaningful stained glass windows -- and basic utility, with a dual-purpose Sunday school space and main gathering place in the basement. On Feb.
WORTHINGTON -- When Branden Roth headed to Florida in early January to attend the Millie Lewis Actors, Models and Talent Competition, he didn't know what to expect but had high hopes that it would help him pursue a career in show business. Those hopes were realized when he finalized in two competitions -- scene study and spokesmodel -- and was broached by Blake Everett, an agency with the Wallis Agency in Los Angeles.
JACKSON -- For many years, Sharon Sadusky ran a ceramics shop, where she became adept at painting on a dimensional surface. Applying paint to canvas is a more recent endeavor. "Painting with ceramics -- I was in that for a good 25 years," Sharon recalled. "I have two daughters, and it started when the girls and I painted that plaster craft. Then my husband gave me a kiln for Christmas one year, and that was that. "Painting on canvas was always going to be one of those things that I did in the future, but being a farm wife and raising a family, I just never had time.
WINDOM -- Despite the forecast of extremely cold temperatures, the Rev. Stephen Norby is anticipating a large and exuberant crowd Sunday at Windom's American Lutheran Church. Sunday will mark the first time the congregation has been able to worship inside its own sanctuary since fire devastated the structure more than a year ago "Even though it's predicted to be below zero, it's going to be nice and toasty in here," he predicted. The fire occurred in the early hours of Jan.
WORTHINGTON -- Camp experiences paved the way to a career in youth ministry for Amy Lein. First off, going to camp influenced her choice of college -- Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. "I always went to Bible camp at Luther Park, and the counselors told me all about the college," recalled Amy, who grew up near Chippewa Falls, Wis. "I went there and just fell in love with the place. When I was a freshman in high school, I said, 'I'm going to Luther College.
WORTHINGTON -- The neutral landscape in the corridors of the Fine Arts Center at Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Worthington campus, is currently being enlivened by large, colorful oil paintings and smaller -- but still vivid -- watercolor and mixed-media pieces. These are the works of Cat Abbott, a resident of rural Marshall and somewhat full-time artist. She also works part-time as an office assistant at the Southwest Minnesota Arts and Humanities Council office and waitresses in a coffee shop-café.
OKOBOJI, Iowa -- Despite the looming prospect of braving the elements on a blustery January day, the mood was festive Saturday morning at the Okoboji Expedition Co.