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 -- Brother Jon Watson only has to open his mouth to give away that he doesn't originally hail from these parts. His speech has a distinctive southern drawl, and he addresses people as "ma'am" and "y'all." "I tell people now that I'm from southern Minnesota," he said with a grin, "but I'm originally from the panhandle of Texas, 70 miles east of Amarillo, where all those wildfires have been." He may not speak like a native of southwest Minnesota yet, but Watson and his family are feeling quite at home in their new environment.
DUNDEE -- What's the secret to concocting a delectable batch of Mulligan Stew? The answer doesn't necessarily lie in the list of ingredients -- an extremely long list that has evolved over the years -- according to members of the Dundee Rod and Gun Club. They say there isn't one secret ingredient-- it's more of an amalgamation of many flavors. Perhaps the secret to success for the organization's longtime fund-raiser is in the utensil. Throughout the 55 years that the club has hosted its Mulligan Stew event, the stew has been stirred with a wooden paddle.
WORTHINGTON -- Pizza, apple turnovers and brownies were the hot commodities Saturday among the spectators at Worthington Middle School, one of several sites for the Wild Turkey Shootout Boys Basketball Tournament. Serving up those favorites, as well as wide variety of other food items, were members of VOKK -- Volunteer Optimist Kiwanis Kids -- a community service-oriented organization for students in sixth through eighth grades. The club was organized almost two years ago, chartered by the local Early Risers Kiwanis and Optimist Clubs.
WORTHINGTON -- It's a new and improved Jeff Berger. He's happier. He's healthier. He has more energy. He has more stamina. He just feels better about himself. He's also thinner. Considerably thinner. Since undergoing gastric bypass surgery in December 2004, Jeff has dropped more than 160 pounds. "It's life-changing, no doubt about it," Jeff said.
WORTHINGTON -- For the Rev. James Sickmeyer, joining the Civil Air Patrol was a way to continue to serve his country as a civilian. "I was active duty Air Force for 10 years," he explained. "I left active duty in 1992 to pursue the seminary. The year before I got my master's of divinity degree, I became involved with the Civil Air Patrol. In May 1996, I applied for appointment as an Air Force auxiliary chaplain. The Civil Air Patrol is the only official sanctioned auxiliary of the U.S.
WORTHINGTON -- Orville Appel built countless homes in Worthington, but most area residents will probably remember him best for his larger-than-life personality and the water ski shows he engineered several decades ago. Appel, 77, died Sunday at Sunset Cottage hospice facility in Worthington after a battle with cancer. Appel lived in the Worthington area all his life, except for a stint serving in the U.S. Army during World War II. "He drove Jeep for Dwight D. Eisenhower at Fort Riley, Kan.," recounted son Steve Appel.
WORTHINGTON -- As a married couple and co-pastors at Worthington's First Covenant Church, John and Kris Stewart know that communication can be key to a healthy and productive relationship. The Stewarts discovered some strategies for improving their communication through "The Five Love Languages," developed by Gary Chapman. "He does marriage enrichment seminars," explained Pastor John Stewart. "They're Christian-based.
NORTH BRANCH -- Last Saturday, Jeff and Tina Nickel and their young daughter, Jaden, spent the day at the Mall of America, participating in the American Heart Association's annual Heart Walk and raising money for a cause they feel strongly about. Next Saturday will be the observance of an even more momentous occasion -- Jaden's 2nd birthday -- an event that will no doubt be celebrated with much fanfare and doting on the part of her parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.
LAKEFIELD -- The Shed -- a commercial building on Minnesota 86 in Lakefield that once housed various businesses and agricultural implements -- now serves as a base of Christian fellowship for area teens. From 40 to 50 youths gather there each Sunday evening for the "NiteLife," program, sponsored by The Narrow Path (TNP) youth ministry. The Shed will greatly expand its audience and its impact during Snowjam 2006 on Saturday.
WORTHINGTON -- A barn scene painted without a brush. A plaster mask that represents a character named "Lulu." A collage that relates feelings about Jesus dying on the cross. A whimsical portrait of a young boy. Those are just a few of the diverse works that will be featured in a exhibit opening Friday evening at the Nobles County Art Center, 407 12th St.