Bill Redekop

  • Building a piece of history

    EMERSON -- The Red River ox cart of the early 1800s had no peer for generating high, squealing noise from the wood-on-wood grinding of axle inside wheel hub. It was like Jack Benny practising violin all day. It was nicknamed "the North West fiddle," and the squealing could spoil the peaceful prairie for miles around.
  • Restoring treasured but decrepit heritage homes costly, controversial

    ST. NORBERT HERITAGE PROVINCIAL PARK -- It's like debtors prison for heritage homes. Behind a chain-link fence is the seventh-oldest building still standing in Manitoba. It once belonged to the family for whom Henderson Highway was named.
  • Tweaking the WIGs: Carman team among developers of advanced aircraft

    CARMAN -- In the world's most humble airstrip, aviation researchers might one day make you say "wigging." Wigging is the verb form for travel by a wing in ground effect craft, or WIG, an emerging technology that combines features of marine and air travel.
  • A duty-free duty to travellers

    EMERSON -- Trivia question: Where was the first duty-free shop in Canada outside of an airport? The place name above gives it away so here's an added question: What year did it open?
  • Time marches on

    MORDEN -- Nobody loves Morden's old clock tower more than Frank Isaac. Isaac, now 85, climbed up the four-storey tower, including using a wooden ladder to reach the final floor, for a quarter-century to wind the town clock.
  • Still ticking after 100 years

    MORDEN — Nobody loves Morden’s old clock tower more than Frank Isaac. Isaac, now 85, climbed up the four-storey tower, including using a wooden ladder to reach the final floor, for a quarter-century to wind the town clock.
  • Going whole hog: Harley dealership owner has collection of 20 vintage bikes

    MORDEN -- Rudy Ens is glad he bought his vintage Harley-Davidson motorcycles before the Internet came along or he could never have afforded his amazing collection of bikes. That may not make sense to many of us, because you can find anything you want on the Internet today.
  • Group envisions mountain-biking hub in Riding Mountain National Park

    MCCREARY -- On the first Saturday in May, people in the town of McCreary, at the base of the Manitoba Escarpment, will take the chains off their bicycles for the second straight year. The event is called East Gate Unchained. People and their bikes will be shuttled up Highway 19, the road inside Riding Mountain National Park that was built by conscientious objectors to the Second World War.
  • Tapping trees for maple syrup goes back generations

    MCCREARY -- Retired Mountie Bob Gass has tapped trees for maple syrup since he was a kid growing up in New Brunswick, as did his parents before him and his grandparents before them. But aboriginal people were tapping first and taught colonists such as Gass's British ancestors, who arrived in Canada in the 1820s. There are still families who tap maple trees at Ebb and Flow First Nation, on the western shore of Lake Manitoba, as well as other First Nations people around Manitoba, Gass said.
  • Potholes so large, they have trout

    ROBLIN -- A long time ago, when glaciers were retreating out of Manitoba, giant blocks of ice would "calve off," meaning to separate, from the main glacier. These were like icebergs left behind on dry land. They would melt until the mass of sediment they carried acted as an insulating blanket that slowed melting.
  • Parkland couple's old-school bakery rises to the occasion

    ROBLIN -- Nothing about the Parkland Bakery stands out at a glance -- not the name, the furnishings or the plain storefront between a boarded-up pool hall and a financial services outlet. And the fare is not unusual -- doughnuts, jambusters, cinnamon buns, various breads, dinner buns, cookies, muffins and hotdog and hamburger buns. You might walk right by.
  • Perogies just like Baba used to make

    GARSON -- The perogies you buy in stores today are usually machine-made, with flour sprinkled on the dough during production to prevent it from sticking to the metal. But that makes the dough tough. "You could open it, take out the filling, and use the rest for a change purse," said Lawrence Porhownik, who has been eating perogies for most of his 75 years.
  • Marine repair business that runs out of owner's cottage at odds with Manitoba Conservation

    WEST HAWK LAKE -- Brent Bulleé is one of the most popular guys in Whiteshell Provincial Park, but not with Manitoba Conservation. With Bulleé's business, Brentz Mobile Marine, you don't have to pull your boat from the water onto a trailer, haul it 40 kilometres and then leave it for days or weeks to be fixed; or lug a big heavy outboard motor out of the boat and into your trunk, drag it off and again wait for repairs.
  • Henderson Highway landmark closing

    NEAR LOCKPORT -- The old wood floors and panelling seem to sweeten the aromas in the Red River General Store, like good acoustics do for music. The aged wood accentuates the smell of the loose-leaf tea, spices and scented soaps, so that when you step in the door -- and this is the last weekend you can step in the door -- it tantalizes your nostrils.
  • Brandon's bell may ring again

    BRANDON -- Should the bell ring out in Brandon again? The Coronation Bell, which commemorated King Edward VII and used to toll daily from the city's fire tower, has been in storage since 1971.
  • Super-quick snow planes sign of a bygone era

    NEAR BRANDON -- Stand behind a snow plane, which has a rear propeller, and it can blow your hat off for 30 metres. But once inside the cockpit, with the engine and propeller roaring behind you, it's one wild ride.
  • Trailing behind

    RIDING MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK -- Duck Mountain, northwest of here, has them. So does Turtle Mountain Provincial Park to the south. So does Spruce Woods Provincial Park to the east. In fact, the trails of virtually every provincial park in Manitoba are fastidiously groomed by park staff for the cross-country ski crowd.
  • 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.


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