Weather Forecast


Notebook: Tester takes over Smokey Row Cafe

Amanda Tester replaces Ruth Raich as the general manager of the Smokey Row Cafe.

Amanda Tester is the new general manager of Smokey Row Café. She replaces Ruth Raich, who recently retired from her general manager position after seven years.

Raich was also the baker of the Jenny Lind Bakery products sold at Smokey Row.

"Those are no longer available," Smokey Row owner Scott Gillmer said of the bakery items. "They went into retirement with Ruth for the time being."

Smokey Row will be closed through Sunday Aug. 26 as it takes some time to re-work its menu, develop new product offerings -- including bakery items -- and re-train its staff under the direction of Tester. The new general manager comes to Red Wing with plenty of knowledge from her job at a café in the Twin Cities.

"So she's experienced running a café that's very similar to ours," Gillmer said.

• "Roar" may be more fitting than "fore" in this year's Red Wing Chamber of Commerce golf tournament as the event takes on a jungle theme.

"It's called 'Unleash Your Wild Side.' It makes it way more fun than just a golf tournament," chamber President Patty Brown said.

To tie everything together, hole sponsors are utilizing jungle decorations to liven up their part of the course and players are welcome to get into the spirit by dressing the part -- perhaps a lion's mane or cheetah print sweater.

The annual event is bringing together 39 teams of four players in a relaxed atmosphere. While golf is the basis for the activities, skill isn't required to have a good time on the green.

"We have games for serious golfers and we have games for people who rarely golf," Brown explained.

In addition to a regular round of 18-hole golf, there will be several unique activities to entertain players at each hole. A hole-in-one contest and an attempt to hit Tarzan for permanent possession of a Golden Goose Ball are among the options.

The tournament, which will be at Mount Frontenac Golf Course, begins with a shotgun start at 11 a.m. Thursday Aug. 23. Following the golf, a social hour and dinner will cap off the evening while prizes are awarded.

The entire event is one of the largest fundraisers the chamber holds. It wouldn't be a success without the generosity of those involved, Brown said.

"Lots of businesses donate to it to make it possible. And if a business wants to donate a prize valued at $50 they can contact the chamber," she said.

• Fitch Ratings has given Thrivent Financial for Lutherans an AA rating.

AA, or "very strong," is the third highest of Fitch's 19 categories. Fitch cited Thrivent's strong capitalization, high quality investment portfolio, consistent profitability and favorable market position as part of the basis for the rating.