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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When Dia Her walks the rows of plants on her parcel of land, plucking weeds and commenting on the size of the cucumbers, her face tells a story of pride. She farms a 5-acre plot on the HAFA—Hmong American Farmers Association—near Vermillion and west of Hastings along Highway 52, where she grows beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, peanuts, tomatoes and flowers. "I like to grow everything," Her said, "but I don't have enough time. I try to do it, but it is not possible."
It happens every day. Maybe several times a day. The phone rings, you answer, and a recorded voice tries to sell you a vacation in the Caribbean or a fast track out of debt. Sometimes you answer and no one responds. Either way, you get angry. These marketing calls used to be made by human beings who could make dozens of calls a day. Now they are made by computers with recorded messages, and they are capable of making millions of calls a day. Cheaply. They are robocalls. They are annoying. They waste time and tie up phone lines. In most cases, they are illegal.
Farming has been a tradition with Hmong Americans since the first refugees left Laos and arrived in the United States after the Vietnam War. "We don't celebrate birthdays," said Pakou Hang, executive director of HAFA, the Hmong American Farmers Association. She said a Hmong person is more apt to say, "I was born in the time of planting corn."
LAKE CITY — When the SkiDox water ski team roared past the crowd at Water Ski Days y with members stacked three levels high, they were focused on one thing — teamwork. "It is incredible teamwork," said Kindra Walstad, who has been on the team 20 years. "We have to move with one another. There is a lot of talking and communicating. You have to trust the people who are out there next to you."
WABASHA — The National Eagle Center is launching the summer fishing program June 20 and the celebration of Bald Eagle Days June 22-24. With paid admission, kids 15 and younger can use fishing equipment supplied by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the National Eagle Center to fish on the Upper Mississippi Wildlife and Fish Refuge from the public dock at the National Eagle Center every Wednesday until Aug. 29.
A rollover crash on Highway 61 in Red Wing resulted in minor injuries early on the morning of June 5, 2018. The crash reduced traffic to one lane for 45 minutes. At approximately 8:15 a.m., a southbound Mercury Mariner turned left in front of a Honda Odyssey. The Odyssey struck the Mariner broadside, rolling it over near the stop sign at McDonald's coming off North Service Drive. There were no passengers in either vehicle.
PEPIN, Wis. — When Rebecca Paquette Johnson goes for a walk in her neighborhood, she's interested in more than just fresh air and exercise. She's looking for a small branch, a tiny seed, a new blossom that might be the key to a unique piece of jewelry. "I look at the fine, minute details in the flora," she said. "Sometimes it's very fleeting. I want to find the bud when it is just the right size." When something catches her eye, she pauses "to figure it out. Why did that make me stop and look? I try to dissect the beauty."