Feature Stories

Tue
27
May

Toy Story


Barbie and friends, and their vintage Dreamhouse, adorn the 1960s living room. (photo by Linda Baumeister/Review)

Minnesota History Center offers a ‘trip down memory lane’
Play Doh. Hot Wheels. And Barbie. Sound familiar? Those toys and a whole lot more are featured in a fascinating interactive exhibit called “Toys of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s” that may take you back to your carefree days as a child; back when you needed a break from the day-to-day worries about bullies, the opposite sex and overdue homework.

Thu
22
May

Whip up some tasty ways to 'Eat & Explore'

Book offers a smorgasbord of tastes, places and events
“Eat & Explore Minnesota”: is it a book on recipes? a book on travel? or a book on geography and history? After paging through its 272 pages, I decided it is all of the above and maybe even more.

Mon
19
May

‘A dying art’?


Jim Kueppers, 69, holds up a photo of a bunch of young woodcarvers, and the man who introduced him to woodcarving. (Kaitlyn Roby/Review)

Carvers bring wood to life in South St. Paul
With his gloved left hand, Jim Kueppers grips a rodent-shaped chunk of wood, pulling the knife in his right toward him to scrape off thin chips, chiseling out the shape he sees in it: a life-like chipmunk. The shavings cling to his jeans or flutter to the ground to be swept up later.

Wed
07
May

Stillwater Prison: a time capsule


The Minnesota State Correctional Facility at Stillwater has stood the test of time -- though 100 years old, it’s still in full operation. The facility, which stands in Bayport, Minn. holds 1,638 inmates. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

As of Friday, May 2, the Stillwater Prison has been running non-stop, 24 hours a day, for the past 100 years.
Though by no means a cheerful place, the Victorian-era building does hold a certain charm. Even inside the main hallway where prisoners are transported, touches like lavender trim, worn tile floors, yellow brick walls and oak rails make it easily identifiable as a piece of history.

Fri
25
Apr

From global events to local treasures, history has a home in Kansas City


The Kansas City National World War I Museum is housed in the Liberty Memorial.

When co-workers asked me why I was going to Kansas City -- as if it were merely flyover country -- I said there is much to see and I’d tell them after my trip. While some seemed skeptical, one piped up that the World War l museum was the best military museum he’d ever seen.

Thu
24
Apr

‘Robot! Robot!’ Make way -- the future’s coming through


Robotics teams have team colors, referees in striped shirts, cheerleaders, mascots and their own devoted fan sections. (photos by Linda Baumeister and Holly Wenzel)

Make no mistake: these kids could hot-wire your car, hack its computer system, weld on enough hardware to make it do somersaults and secure corporate financing for the project in the time it takes you to parallel park it.
And then they’d put it on their college application forms.
Because the skills robotics students have learned -- from computer coding to negotiation, welding to presentation skills -- can power some pretty bright futures.

Wed
23
Apr

Rusty the snowman?


North St. Paul’s 44-foot tall snowman welcomes residents and visitors alike with a smile that stretches 16 feet across its cheerful face. (Kaylin Creason/Review)

Does the North St. Paul snowman need a check-up? Mayor Mike Kuehn thinks so. A few months ago, Kuehn asked the North St. Paul Parks and Recreation Commission to look into the “health” of the North St. Paul snowman, which he fears is in danger of toppling over.

Tue
15
Apr

Learning to take my time in Azerbaijan


New Year’s Tree in Yevlakh. Santa Claus comes to Azerbaijan on New Year’s Eve! (photos by Rebecca Rowe)

Dear friends and family: I thought I would take the opportunity and send a quick update regarding my wellbeing. Everything is fine.
I had a bout of mononucleosis from late November through December which limited my levels of energy, but, of course, I persevered. The persistent feeling of having been hit by a bus and constantly needing sleep was – as those of you who know me can imagine – both unfamiliar and unwelcome. I’m glad that my health is much improved now.

Wed
09
Apr

Oakdale woman takes a spin on the ‘Wheel of Fortune’


Jessica Kiefer of Oakdale, right, and her friend Kristin Wasil from Michigan were contestants on the March 26 episode of “Wheel of Fortune.” The show’s theme was “Girlfriend Getaways,” and the two took home just over $10,000 in winnings. (submitted photo)

Local teacher appeared during ‘Girlfriend Getaways’ week
An Oakdale woman recently appeared on “Wheel of Fortune,” the 31-year-old game show based on the popular game “Hangman,” in which contestants buy letters to solve word puzzles to win cash and fun prizes.

Wed
09
Apr

‘Cakes From Grace’ makes sick kids smile one cake at a time


Becky Hunt, founder of Cakes From Grace, an organization dedicated to raising the awareness of congenital heart defects, loves whipping up cakes for such families. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

In October 2012, Becky Hunt made a difficult decision: to quit her corporate job to care for her 2-month-old daughter, Gracia, who was born with a severe congenital heart defect.
Gracia, affectionately known as Gracie, was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome -- a condition where the left ventricle of the heart does not develop properly, so the left side of the heart can’t pump blood to the rest of the body.

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