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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OCHEYEDAN, Iowa -- Rob Roozeboom always knew there was a God. He was, after all, a pastor's son. He just didn't understand that God was at work in his own life. "I believed in a God, but I just didn't want anything to do with him," Roozeboom reflected. " I don't think I've ever lived my life believing that there isn't a God, but to believe in a loving, compassionate, caring God, that's a different thing." Roozeboom has lived in Pella, Iowa, Holland, Mich., Worthington and Phoenix, Ariz., and now calls Sheldon, Iowa, home.
WORTHINGTON -- Kathleen Kusz had never painted with watercolors before she signed up for a art department-sponsored trip to Ireland through Minnesota West Community and Technical College. In fact, she had never really painted at all, although she had expressed her artistic side through paper cuttings. Now, just two years later, Kathleen is displaying her work in an exhibit with other family members at Minnesota West's Worthington campus. Kathleen has contributed watercolors completed during that Ireland trip, this summer's trip to Italy as well as paintings inspired by area scenery.
As we tooled into Emmetsburg, Iowa, our journey was brought to an abrupt halt at a railroad crossing. The train seemed to be in much less of a hurry than we were, and we found ourselves stalled there for about 15 minutes. But 15 minutes can seem like an eternity when the temperature is in the high 90s and you're traveling in an open-air vehicle. As the road finally cleared of train cars, a woman in the vehicle next to us rolled down her window and yelled, "I was just about to ask if you wanted to sit in my air-conditioned car for a while." Her offer was gracious, if somewhat belated.
WORTHINGTON -- The King Turkey Day Board of Directors had a variety of drawings to choose from for the 2006 King Turkey Day button, but one design stood out as a classic. This year's button was created by local artist Jo Gerber, who has dabbled in art all her life and works in several mediums, including pen and ink, colored pencil and watercolor. Gerber had previously drawn a turkey for one of her sons, since he's a turkey hunter. "But turkeys aren't my No. 1 subject," she said.
WORTHINGTON -- When Marlowe Van Ginkel looks at a wheelchair, he doesn't just see an apparatus made out of metal and rubber. "Every wheelchair has a story," he emphasized. Each story begins with a legion of volunteers who collect wheelchairs, store wheelchairs, pick up wheelchairs, deliver wheelchairs and refurbish wheelchairs.
WORTHINGTON -- When Kim Schroeder first entered the cosmetology field, she had some aspirations beyond learning to cut hair and do nails. "I always wanted to teach," Kim said. "It was one of my goals when I was going to cosmetology school. I wanted to manage a salon, then own a salon, then start a school." For Kim, the final part of that dream will come true when she and her husband, Todd, open Avalon Beauty Academy in January 2007 at 1428 N. McMillan St.
WORTHINGTON -- As volunteers for Bible League, Anita Weg and Dorothy Vander Wilt have worked together closely for the last several months to prepare for an upcoming retreat in Sioux Falls, S.D. But their bond extends beyond the realm of volunteerism. They are sisters and grew up in the Bigelow area. Weg lives in Worthington and recently retired from a position with the local school district.
WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington Regional Hospital Board of Trustees on Monday approved a contract with Union Local 113 that included a 3 percent wage increase across the board for three years. According to WRH Director of Ancillary Services Jeff Rotert, the union represents employees in several areas of the hospital, including dietary, housekeeping, medical records, surgical technicians and stock clerks. There are about 65 employees involved, making it the second largest group of unionized employees at WRH.
WORTHINGTON -- Andrew Henry has called a lot of places home. There's his homeland -- Sudan, and his exile homes in Africa -- Uganda, Chad, Cameroon, Nigeria. His first home in the United States was in Jackson, Miss., where he and his wife, Comfort, were newlyweds and started their family. And now, the Henrys have moved to Worthington, their newest home, where Andrew is serving as a pastor at the Christian Reformed Church, 1100 First Ave., S.W.
WORTHINGTON -- Just about every Tuesday night, a group numbering five gathers at Worthington's American Reformed Church. They talk, they joke, they laugh, and later they go out for coffee. But mostly, they make music. The Gospelaires -- a group composed of four male singers and an accompanist -- got their start in 1982 as a group of men who just liked to sing. In those early years, it was an informal endeavor, and the Gospelaires mostly performed for the benefit of their own congregation.