Bill Redekop

  • Former Bomber selling his house stable

    ST. FRANÇOIS XAVIER -- Seeing as it's the season for a tale that takes place in a stable, here's a different one. Former Winnipeg Blue Bombers lineman Jim Heighton lives in a stable, or at least on top of one. "I live in a hayloft," he quipped recently.
  • Creating a personal sanctuary

    HIGH BLUFF -- No one has shown up to confess or be saved, say Darren and Tricia MacDonald, who live in a decommissioned, 124-year-old former Presbyterian church. But there was a man who knocked on the door one Sunday morning. "Am I late?" he asked. Darren was in his bathrobe. "Late for what?" he replied. "Late for the service," the man said.
  • Sorry to see the old church go

    NEAR KENTON -- People are going to miss it when it's gone, says Cameron Dodds. It hasn't held a service since 2008, but people are still going to miss seeing the Shiloh United Church on the horizon, where it's stood for 111 years.
  • Whiteshell welcomes man-made amphibian

    WHITESHELL PROVINCIAL PARK -- O'er land, o'er sea, o'er Canadian Shield rock. Nothing seems to stop an Argo, the latest machine in the arsenal of Whiteshell Provincial Park staff.
  • Booze, boards and beyond

    SANFORD -- "Booze and Screws" is a slogan idea Andrea Morann rejected when she put out a flyer for her store, Sanford Lumber and Building Supplies, which sells liquor in addition to plywood. OK, what about "Two-fours and Two-by-fours?" Or may we recommend "Boards and Bordeaux?" How about "Nails and Ales?"
  • Following in his father's PoW footsteps

    ELM RIVER HUTTERITE COLONY -- One of Lutz Beranek's favourite stories about his father, a German prisoner of war from 1944 to 1946, was his first encounter with a skunk. Richard Beranek, a new arrival at the PoW logging camp at Mafeking, just north of Swan River, had never seen the endearing critter before. The other PoWs, Lutz recalls his father telling him, said they made wonderful pets and he should try to catch it.
  • Damaged bridge divides a town

    WHITEMOUTH -- A year ago, it was such a feel-good story. Eight rural landowners showed the old can-do spirit and raised $290,000, 80 per cent of it out of their own pockets, to rebuild a little bridge that would connect them to the town of Whitemouth again.
  • Frustration over flooding prompting many to sell their farms

    EDDYSTONE -- Bill Finney's hay fields near Lake Manitoba were just starting to come back nicely after the 2011 flood. That was about right on schedule -- it takes three to five years for flooded pastures and hay land to fully recover.
  • Clear Lake cottage country with a twist

    CLEAR LAKE -- When Clear Lake cottagers turn on their taps, it's not hard water or soft water that comes out, and it's certainly not untreated lake water for washing purposes only. It's some of the most pure, unspoiled, freshest-tasting water in the country. It even looks more sparkly. In Clear Lake, inside Riding Mountain National Park, when they serve you water out of the tap, they do so proudly and watch your reaction.
  • Artists in deep bay residency

    CLEAR LAKE -- The underwater birthday party was going very well, swimmingly even, until the jack fish showed up. Filmmaker Mike Maryniuk set up an underwater birthday party -- for reasons he can't even explain -- using a time-lapse camera focused on a fake cake, birthday candle, table and chair and party balloons.
  • Red River Settler took the high ground

    EAST SELKIRK -- Thomas Bunn made a promise to his wife, kept it, and is still keeping it 152 years later. The promise came after their Kildonan home was flooded out in the Great Flood of 1852. They fled, like other Red River Settlers, to higher ground at Birds Hill (some fled to Stonewall).
  • Story of the stones

    ST. LAURENT -- Native elders want the province to perform conductivity tests to help determine whether suspicious stones in a farm field mark an ancient burial site of Sioux people. Relying on oral history, the elders believe the stones indicate Sioux graves and may also point to a site where the Sioux battled Ojibwa and Cree warriors back in the early 1700s.
  • Running a business, one daylily at a time

    BALMORAL -- The daylily is beautiful and tragic at once. It blooms brilliantly with every colour under the rainbow (except blue) but only for a single day. Then it dies. Hence, the name.
  • Nursery owner last of a growing breed

    PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE -- The consequences from cuts to science take years to surface. But then they surface.
  • See Manitoba's vital history live with St. Andrews Rectory restored

    RIVER ROAD NORTH -- Of all the amazing features in the St. Andrews Rectory, built in 1854 in the RM of St. Andrews, one of the most curious is the rings that hold the ducts of the wood stove. The rings, to allow the ducts to pass through walls and provide heat to different rooms without setting them on fire, are carved out of Tyndall stone. Tunnels were chiselled into blocks of Tyndall stone to hold the ducts.
  • La Verendrye to Lennon

    PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE -- What is a photo exhibit marking the 45th anniversary of the John Lennon and Yoko Ono "bed-in for peace" doing in Portage la Prairie? All they are saying is give Fort La Reine Museum a chance.
  • Taking the next big step

    SIOUX VALLEY DAKOTA NATION -- It took Vince Tacan 14 years to finally get a loan to buy cattle for the farm he grew up on. Most farmers can get that kind of loan by snapping their fingers. But Tacan farms on a First Nation. He doesn't own his land. It's held by the band.
  • Quarry reveals treasures in ground

    SOURIS -- The schoolchildren run up to Frank Grabowski, their open palms balancing shiny rocks they've found in the quarry run by his Souris Rock Shop. Grabowski rattles off the names. "That's petrified wood, that's jasper, that's sandstone," he calls out. After a while, his voice is just sharp background punctuation: "Jasper, agate, clay, sandstone, sandstone, jasper," and this goes on for half an hour as Grade 4 students from Kirkcaldy Heights in Brandon scramble around the quarry.
  • It's a croc... and star of museum

    DAUPHIN -- The star attraction at the Fort Dauphin Museum didn't wear a coonskin cap, pad around in mukluks or enjoy robust singalongs. The star of the fur-trade museum crawled on its belly, did a great imitation of a floating log and shed no tears for its victims.
  • Ste. Agathe flood centre recalls disaster of 1997

    STE. AGATHE -- It's hard to believe the Red River's Flood of the Century was 17 years ago. Almost as hard to believe is the Red River Floods Interpretive Centre in Ste. Agathe, built to commemorate that flood, is one of several museums shuttered this year.
  • Godzilla, Bruce team for movie, fossil museum

    MORDEN -- Bruce is envious. Bruce is the most ferocious marine reptile of all time, a 15-metre mosasaur, essentially a killing machine whose fossils were found near here and whose exhibit has become the face of the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre in Morden.
  • Farm reservoir keeps nutrients away from lake

    FANNYSTELLE -- If every farmer did like Carl Classen, we might not be fretting about the future of Lake Winnipeg. Classen has dug an on-farm reservoir to hold back drainage from his farm. That means nutrient-rich water runoff doesn't flow into public ditches and ultimately Lake Winnipeg.
  • They get their mail in the old-time way

    ISABELLA -- When folks out here need their mail, they go to their 108-year-old postal station -- a small enclosure with a smiling postmistress and a bank of mailboxes encased in dark-stained cabinetry. Customers fiddle with a combination lock, pull open the metal box, remove their mail.
  • Finding those who share the wealth

    BIRTLE -- After drillers struck oil recently in the new Birdtail Field south of Russell, on land where retired farmer George Wady owns mineral rights, you might think he'd be buying the rounds for awhile. You might expect to hear stories of him lighting stogies under No Smoking signs and driving a new Cadillac with Oil of Me vanity plates.
  • Fresh pot of Texas tea for Manitoba

    MANSON -- Jake Sanheim never gave any thought his mixed grain and cattle farm had oil under it. That was for landholders to the south around Virden and in Manitoba's southwest corner.

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