Stacy Bengs has been a photojournalist at the Red Wing Republican Eagle since 2010. She holds a bachelors degree in journalism and art from the University of Minnesota.
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Jesse Steberg has learned not to take things for granted. As the lead vocalist for the increasingly popular upper Midwest group Lost Highway, Steberg is a walking testament of living life to the fullest - even when the odds are not in your favor. Seven years ago, Steberg broke his neck while snowmobiling. The accident left the Wanamingo-native stunned and silenced.
Whoever said practice makes perfect was right -- at least in disc jockey John Underwood's case. Performing under the name DJ Epistêmê (eh-pis-TEE-mee) Underwood has taken his eclectic music library from the notes to the turntable, working as a solo DJ and with Minneapolis-based hip-hop group Option Two as well as collective ensemble Rapfam. The 2000 Red Wing High School graduate college-hopped until he landed at the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he started to take a real shot at pursuing a music career. "It didn't work to form bands with friends," Underwood recalls.
The average person gets a haircut 10 to 12 times a year. So most adults see their stylists more than they see their mother. And after all, who minds getting their hair washed? Stylist Lori Rother has been cutting, curling, highlighting, trimming, pinning, washing, drying and dying hair for almost 30 years. Born and raised in Red Wing, she always knew what she wanted to do. "I started working on my Barbies when I was a kid," Rother said with a laugh. "I gave them all bobs." Straight out of high school, she attended a beauty school in Rochester and came back to Red Wing.
BAY CITY, Wis. -- Old-fashioned hardware stores filled with nameless doodads and perplexing gadgets are of dwindling generation. The few remaining establishments scattered throughout towns and rural communities often serve as a common place to gather, socialize and, of course, talk tools. Bay City Hardware fits the model. But perhaps what makes this place unique is not what you buy, but who you buy it from -- store clerk Judy Albarado. The nearly 73-year-old remains a staple to the store and small-town community.
Cannon Falls is known as scenic river town - and for the musically inclined is a known hotspot for audio production and studio recording. Although the renowned Pachyderm Studio, where Nirvana recorded its last album, "In Utero," has sat solo for the last year - go-getters from the area did not let the soundless decibels stop the music. Brent Sigmeth and Jeff McCusker co-own a small recording studio, LittleBig Studio, in rural Cannon Falls. The two have known each other for years and when Pachyderm sat in silence, they took it upon themselves to ensure the music doesn't die.
Shoes. We all wear them. Heeled, flopped, tied, Velcro or slip-on, shoes are a basic wardrobe necessity. Take Lee Hazelwood's 1966 lyrics. "These boots are made for walkin'," he wrote. "And that's just what they'll do." The simple song, originally sung Nancy Sinatra, may not have been written about a certain type of boots, made in a certain town -- but before any boot can "start walkin'" someone needs to make them. Making boots is not a one-man job. Just ask Red Wing Shoe worker Craig Holst.
While many high school students may be singing to the radio, Red Wing High school senior Briana Moynihan can soon be heard singing on it. Moynihan's most recent recording can be heard across radio waves when Classical Minnesota Public Radio presents the second annual Minnesota Varsity featured artists, on-air and online March 12-18. Recently chosen out of more than 100 applicants, Moynihan is one of 15 featured artists.
As Americana songstress Vicky Emerson prepares for the first show on her upcoming tour, the journey means much more than a 2,000-mile trip. Emerson, Pierce County native and current San Franciscan, will play Friday Feb. 17 at Widespot Performing Arts and Community Center, returning to her roots after a yearlong performing hiatus. Originally from Elmwood, Wis., Emerson has been touring as an independent musician for eight years. But she's played the part since her youth.
Jennifer Maren has walked across many stages. As the Twin Cities-based performer prepares for her tour with the Illusion Theater's production of "My Antonia," a uniquely familiar stage in the lineup welcomes her back home Saturday Feb. 11: the Sheldon Theatre. Maren, a 1993 Red Wing High School graduate, returns 18 years after her last performance on the stage where her acting career sprout. Originally from Fond du Lac, Wis., Maren lived in Hager City until second grade when her family moved to Red Wing.
As ambitious theater students prepared Monday for their winter play at the Red Wing High School, flashbacks from undergraduate performances tugged at the heart-strings of the seniors who influenced the selection of this year's show, "Pride and Prejudice." Directed by curriculum coach Jillyene Raymond, the play premieres Thursday Jan. 26. The story is based on Jane Austen's novel by that name first published in 1813. Several seniors bound together by their love of theater performance are exceptionally excited - after waiting years to act it. "We told Mrs.