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 -- 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.
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.
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.
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.
SLAYTON -- Need to lose a few pounds? Jim Green may have the diet plan for you: Spend a couple months in Antarctica and you can drop 30 pounds. There are a few drawbacks. You must sleep in a tent on top of the ice, go for long hikes while carrying up to 100 pounds in a backpack and subsist on foods long past their expiration date. "I don't think I could have eaten enough to not lose weight," Jim reflected about living and working in Antarctica.
WORTHINGTON -- Since the band was formed more than 10 years ago, Skillet has released seven albums. In 2004, the single "Savior" from the album "Collide" garnered the group a prestigious Grammy Award nomination and put Skillet at the forefront of the Christian music scene.
WORTHINGTON -- The Rev. Mike Zaske figures he receives at least a pamphlet in the mail each day, as well as phone calls and e-mails, promoting some program or another that aims to enrich his congregation at American Lutheran Church in America. Although he's sure there's merit in many of the presentations, they largely get ignored, just because of the sheer volume. But a pitch for a program called Letters from Dad struck a chord with Zaske, prompting him to pursue it further.