Feature Stories


50th reunion brings back memories of war, music, social change

In September 1963, 17 enthusiastic students began their final year of high school in Barrett, Minnesota, with one goal in mind: to graduate.


Love at first sight

Roseville residents Neil and Marion Skildum have been married for 71 years. Last year, at their 70th anniversary party, none of the guests could find a card that went that high, the Skildums’ daughter Jan Hanson said. (Johanna Holub/Review)

Roseville couple celebrates 71st wedding anniversary
Marion Vesaas and Neil Skildum went on a double date more than 70 years ago. It was the first time they had met, and love was in the air. The problem was, however, they were on that date with different people.


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.


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.


‘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.


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.


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.


‘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.


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.


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.


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