Steve Gardiner taught high school English and journalism for 38 years in Montana and Wyoming. He started working at the Republican Eagle in May 2018. He focuses on features and outdoor stories.
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For Jerry Zimmer, the sky is filled with eagles, lightning bolts, and fireworks. The Hager City photographer has spent more than 25 years on dark hilltops, face to face with approaching thunderstorms, hoping to get a good lightning photo before wind and rain drive him back to his car or inside his house. On June 1 at 11:45 p.m., his determination paid off with a photo of a lightning bolt that resembles the outline of Wisconsin.
Hok-Si-La Park in Lake City sits on a flat point of land sticking out into Lake Pepin, an ideal location that provides visitors with an abundance of birds and wildlife, trails for hiking, skiing, and snowshoeing, a beach for swimming, and beautiful sites for picnics and camping. There is something for everyone who visits, and this is both a blessing and a problem, according to Joanne Klees, park manager for Lake City.
The Cowling Arboretum gives visitors the chance to see Minnesota forests and prairies in the natural state they were in before European settlement. That's the mission that drives Nancy Braker, arboretum director, and her staff as they work to develop the arboretum's resources. "It's not that it is any more special than any other time," Braker said. "It's just that when we think of trying to provide a natural experience, it's what was here before we started plowing things up."
The former St. John's Lutheran Church, on Main Street in Bay City, now houses the River Bluffs History Center and the offices of the Pierce County Historical Association. They will be holding a grand reopening celebration 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 20 so people can tour the new facility and see the displays. "We are very excited to show everyone what we have been working on in the last year," said Julie Huebel, member of the Pierce County Historical Association board of directors. "We have been very busy."
The old stone building had been Red Wing Waterworks from 1885-1962. Then the city used it for storage and a dog pound. Mike Wilson often saw the building from his boat in the harbor and thought it would be interesting to do something with the building. Harry Munson had collected boat motors manufactured by the Red Wing Motor Co. He had restored 30 motors, and decided he wanted to sell them.
If it has wheels, Elmer Duellman probably owns it. For 56 years, he and wife Bernadette have collected race cars, muscle cars, delivery trucks, station wagons, motorcycles, scooters, bicycles, high wheel bikes, snowmobiles, wagons, pedal cars and a host of antique dolls, toys, and tools. The collection was private for the first 30 years, and 2019 is the 26th season open to the public. "I don't know of any other place like this," Elmer said. "You won't find two of anything here. Most of this is one-of-a-kind."
More than 40 million Americans expect to miss a credit card payment due date this year, according to a recent survey by WalletHub. That's 16 percent of all adults, and their average credit card debt per household is now more than $8,200. Those are the national numbers, and they are large, but Greg Collins, owner of Collins Wealth Management with offices in Hastings and Red Wing, sees similar problems with credit card debt in this area.
After years of planning and fundraising, the St. Paul-Changsha China Friendship Garden of Whispering Willows and Flowing Waters in Phalen Regional Park opened to the public on Nov. 3, 2018. The park, honoring the sister-city relationship between St. Paul and Changsha, China, is built on the philosophy of a China garden which means that it appears as part of nature even though it is manmade, promotes a connection to nature, and respects nature and human needs.
Dick Andrews and Barry Jaeger had competed against each other for years in glider plane competitions. This year, they decided to combine their efforts. It was a good move. The duo won the national championship trophy for 20-meter, two-seater glider planes from the Soaring Society of America at a competition held May 12-18 in Albert Lea, Minn.
A visit to Crystal Cave, the longest cave in Wisconsin, is an underground adventure, as well as an education. At least that's what Eric McMaster, executive director, wants for the more than 50,000 visitors who stop by the cave every season. "We hope people are entertained," he said, "but we also want them to learn about the cave, its history, and the geology of the area."