Feature Stories


A look back at the Dome’s glory days

After a 31-year run, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome awaits demolition to make room for a new facility to house its main tenant: the Minnesota Vikings. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

Jerry Bell, Bill Lester reflect on the good, the bad & the ugly sides of the stadium

A couple of guys who knew it best


Two Lillie staffers win statewide awards

It was all about vision for two Lillie Suburban Newspapers staffers in the 2013 Minnesota Newspaper Association’s “Better Newspapers” awards.
Photographer Linda Baumeister, who’s worked at the paper since 1991, and Nik VanDenMeerendonk, a graphic artist for six years.


For Bruentrups, historic farm still feels like home during holidays

In her Mrs. Claus attire and he in Santa hat for the Breakfast with Santa and later open house Dec. 7, Raydelle and Bill Bruentrup still spend time at the old homestead, volunteering countless hours on behalf of the Maplewood Area Historical Society. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

Growing up on his family’s farm, Bill Bruentrup milked cows twice a day. Even on Christmas.
“On Christmas Eve, we’d milk a little bit earlier than we normally did so we could come in, clean up, eat dinner, and then we would open our presents,” the 72-year-old said. “I remember getting ready for Christmas, because we tried to get as many things done as we could.


The Christmas gift I always longed for ...

Was there a present you wrote on your wish list every year when you were a child -- a present you never received? Maybe it was a much-desired pet or a toy that “Santa” disapproved of. Or perhaps there’s a gift on your adult wish list that you’re still holding out hope for.
Or maybe you unexpectedly did get that longed-for item and were overjoyed.
Here, newspaper staff members reflect on holidays past and what they did, and didn’t, find under the tree.


Embrace the warmth of a good book

Looking for a holiday gift with a Minnesota connection?

Jill Yanish • Pamela O’meara
Review staff


Janie's legacy of laughter and love: After toddler’s death, parents pursue memorial playground

A 17 months old, Janie Zahradka heads toward the playground at Edgerton Park in Maplewood. (submitted photo)

When Janie Zahradka was 7 months old, she sat on her dad’s lap at Casey Lake Park in North St. Paul to swing, because the playground wasn’t built for someone her size.
“She was always the happiest when she was outside playing,” said her father, Tony Zahradka, an assistant baseball coach at Johnson High School and teacher at Guadalupe Alternative Programs on St. Paul’s West Side.


Murder at the Museum - or Who killed Agatha Marple?

Artifacts have been missing and the body of Agatha Marple, head curator, is discovered at the museum, now a carefully crafted crime scene mystery. Attendees often took photos of themselves near the police tape body outline. (photos by Linda Baumeister/Review)

Some days its best to take a break from the perplexity of the unsolved tales of murdered or missing wives and girlfriends in our metro area and go try to solve a pretend one instead. So I invited my younger daughter for an evening out to crack a murder mystery at the Science Museum of Minnesota in downtown St. Paul.


For her 85th birthday, June’s throwing an art show

Cliff Gebhard, 72, sits in one of two barber chairs in his shop at the corner of Minnehaha Avenue and Stillwater Road. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

For all the 84-plus years she can remember, June McAuliffe has been driven to reach people through art.
So, for her 85th birthday, she’ll unveil a show of her recent projects at Gallery 96, located in the Shoreview Community Center.
It made perfect sense to June; after all, she’d marked her 80th birthday with a show at Gallery 96.


Double vision: New horrors, honors of war come home to veteran

Ellsworth Erickson spoke to a standing-room-only crowd at the North St. Paul Historical Society Museum last March about his bird’s-eye view of World War II. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

It’s been nearly 70 years since North St. Paul resident Ellsworth Erickson returned home from the European Theater of World War II.
But, in just the last six months, the long arm of the world’s deadliest conflict reached out to the 89-year-old and shook what he thought he knew and felt about his service to their foundations.


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