Bill Redekop

  • Brandon brew critic crafts a column for what ales you

    BRANDON -- Cody Lobreau, Manitoba's only dedicated beer critic and one of a handful of new beer columnists in Canada, came out swinging in the interview, especially at Big Beer's attempt to break into specialty craft beers. Of Budweiser's new Strawberita beer, he says, "It looks like something from Chornobyl. It glows."
  • Alpaca-fleece socks worth the drive, $40 price tag

    MANITOU -- As everyone is starting to find out, socks have become the latest consumer rip-off. Like modern windshield wipers, many socks manufactured today don't last a year before they wear out. Needing to buy socks every year increases sales.
  • Hah! I sank your bumper canola crop

    And all this time we thought farmers always worked unselfishly together, through grain co-ops and the former Canadian Wheat Board, for the betterment of all. Now a new board game rips the lid off that rosy image.
  • To serve and protect

    NEEPAWA -- Grant Hurrell knew what was coming, after news broke that an RCMP officer and an auxiliary constable had been shot last weekend in Alberta. The officers were shot after stopping a stolen vehicle. RCMP Const. David Matthew Wynn succumbed to his injuries. Auxiliary Const. Derek Walter Bond, serving in a voluntary position, was shot in the arm and torso and has been released from hospital
  • Seniors breathe new life into town

    GLADSTONE — Gladstone was rapidly losing population, businesses were leaving and houses were sitting empty and not selling when Eileen Clarke, mayor at the time, had a kooky idea: Solve it with seniors. Seniors aren’t normally regarded as an economic driver, but Clarke saw opportunity after attending the province’s first Age-Friendly Initiative seminar in 2008. Steps were taken to make Gladstone more age-friendly, including cajoling developers to build seniors housing.
  • Wildlife rehab centre planning new facility

    A rehabilitation centre for injured wildlife that started in people's backyards 30 years ago is raising funds to build a $2.5-million facility. And its first major sponsor is TransCanada Corp., the Calgary-based energy giant at the centre of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to carry crude oil from Alberta to Texas refineries.
  • Get your drawers in a twist

    ARBORG -- Norm Penner holds his arms up to his clavicle as if carrying firewood, but he's really pretending to hold an armful of heavy tools. This was the problem, he explained. Employees putting away tools at the end of the day had to carry them to the bench, put them down, open the sliding drawer with both hands, pick up the tools again and put them inside.
  • New design uplifts personal care homes

    FISHER BRANCH -- We're all going there eventually, either to stay or visit. So we might as well make them as much like home as possible. That's the thinking behind the Chez Nous ("our house" in French) concept employed at the Fisher Branch Personal Care Home.
  • 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.


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