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 -- A layer of plastic covers the carpet in the waiting room, while a worker installs the flooring farther down the hall. Notes taped to doors warn, "Don't you dare step on this floor," in an attempt to protect newly applied finishes. Outside, workers on ladders apply final touches to the awning above the doorway while sprinklers spread a gentle mist over recently planted landscaping. Such was the scene this week at the Southwest Radiation Center on the Worthington Regional Hospital campus, as preparations were under way for its grand opening festivities.
SIBLEY, Iowa -- As the new executive director of the Sibley Chamber of Commerce, Shantry Dake admits to being nervous about the weather and a bit harried as she ties up all the loose ends associated with putting together a community celebration. Sibley's Good Ole Summertime celebration gets under way on Friday. "I'm just excited to have the weekend over with and be a success," she said Tuesday. Committees were formed to oversee various aspects of the festival, but there are always a few details left to be done at the last minute, Dake explained.
WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington Regional Hospital Board of Trustees enthusiastically accepted a check for $1 million at its meeting Monday and reluctantly accepted the announcement of the hospital administrator's impending retirement. Dale Ryen, chairman of the Worthington Regional Health Care Foundation, presented the hefty check, which will go toward the Southwest Minnesota Radiation Center project.
WORTHINGTON --Throughout its 50 years of existence, food has played an important role in the Worthington Area Professional Home Economists organization.
FULDA -- A storm system moved through Murray County just shortly before the starting time for Fulda's annual Wood Duck Festival parade, bringing lightning, thunder and rain. But a few showers couldn't dampen the spirits of organizers and festival goers. "We could look over here and see blue sky," reported parade volunteer Kevin Raddle as the storm moved off to the east.
ADRIAN -- Nan Hoffenkamp admits to a weird sense of humor -- and perhaps a unique way of viewing things that happen in her life. "If God hadn't hit me with the pickup door, we wouldn't have known I had cancer," said the Adrian woman, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2002. "It was a miracle. If that hadn't happened, we probably wouldn't have caught it until it was much farther along." With a family history of cancer, Nan has always been diligent about breast self-exams and mammograms, but the discovery of her cancer came about as the result of that incident.
WORTHINGTON -- Focused on the immediate health concerns of his infant daughter, Jeff Nickel at first ignored the signs that there was something wrong in his own body. "I wasn't worried about myself. I was worried about her," reflected Jeff. Jaden Nickel, daughter of Jeff and Tina, was born March 11, 2004, with a heart defect, discovered while Jaden was still in the womb. At the time, the Nickels were living in North Branch, north of the Twin Cities, and Jaden received specialized care through the University of Minnesota hospital system.
In May, Sy Schaap from Edgerton -- a physical therapist at Worthington Regional Hospital -- lived out a dancing dream through the ABC "Good Morning America" Dancing with the Moms contest. Nominated by her husband, Howard, Sy was one of 10 contestants initially chosen from more than 10,000 entries for the chance to compete online.
WORTHINGTON -- There is no formal course of study -- no textbook, no pop quizzes, no college credits -- to become a race director for a windsurfing regatta. So Kevin Gratton and Jeff Hegwer created their own curriculum, and it will be put to the test this weekend during the Worthington Windsurfing Regatta. "Together, we set up the criteria to become a race director," Hegwer explained.
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.