POSTED Wednesday, March 28

How do you get to know someone you’ve never met? That, my friends, was my challenge. I had a name, a little background, a little context, but that was it.

So I set out on a mission to get to know this wonderful person that so many people loved and adored. I spoke with a dear friend of Laurie’s, a principal she worked with, and her sweet daughters, Michelle and Ashley, who appear as kind, compassionate, bright and strong as their mother. And during those conversations, I began to know Laurie Whitt.

POSTED Monday, March 26

It all began on the interweb via some social-savvy invention that birds must have invented called Twitter...

WCCO reporter Jason DeRusha (@DeRushaJ), a social media champ, tweeted about a story we did about fellow WCCO reporter/anchor/Maple Grove native Jamie Yuccas in our November 2011 issue. Soon WCCO’s John Lauritsen (@JDLauritsen), Kare11’s Jerrid Sebesta (@jerridsebesta) and Channel 5’s Ken Barlow (@KenBarlowWx) were tweeting homage to their hometown.

POSTED Friday, March 9

March 18 is a fitting date for the Minnesota premiere showing of Lambent Fuse at St. Anthony Main (115 St. SE, Minneaplis). It’s only a day short of four years after Maple Grove natives Matt Cici and David Marketon first discussed their plan to make the feature independent film.  

POSTED Friday, February 24

From patacones to empanadas and from ceviche to arroz con pollo, Latin food has a very distinct flavor. A dollop of that flavor is on staff at Maple Grove Hospital.

Costa Rican Rolando Diaz of Maple Grove has spiced it up as a cook there for two years. Before that, he was the executive chef at The Front Café in Minneapolis, where he was know for his one-of-a-kind hamburger.

So regarded, in fact, that a new mother, who had devoured it in Minneapolis, requested it again after giving birth at the hospital in December.

POSTED Wednesday, February 22

When I snapped off an aloe branch to squeeze out the goo to treat sunburn in Hawaii, I became mesmerized by the natural ways to treat ailments.

While I’m still faster to pop some Aleve than seek a holistic alternative, I do think that naturopathic ways could (and maybe should) become the new “green” thing to do.

Pam Hartung and her Functional Medicine Naturopathic Center in Maple Grove is providing natural alternatives to the antibiotics we often swallow for a quick fix.

POSTED Monday, February 20

The best part about my job is getting to meet all kinds of folks – folks who are passionate about one thing or another and have parlayed that passion into something fabulous. And that’s just what Mike Hillesheim, president of Creek Hill Custom Homes, has done.

How fabulous that a guy – a very unassuming and super nice guy, I might add – has turned a love of building and creating into a business that, quite literally, can make others’ dreams come true.

POSTED Friday, February 10

When it comes to philanthropies, there aren’t many causes more worthy than feeding a famished population of people. And there may not be a pocket of the world more in need than drought-ridden Somalia, which Antonio Guterres, head of the United Nations Relief Agency, calls home to “the worst humanitarian disaster” in the world.

But what can a person living in the Minnesota suburbs possibly do to put a dent in 12 million starving Somalis, Kenyans, and Ethiopians currently facing the worst drought since the 1950s? It just sounds daunting.

POSTED Monday, January 30

Anyone with an aspiring young dancer or ballerina should read about Maple Grove’s own dance company artistic director, Julia Levina.

The Ukrainian transplant has been running a performance company in Chanhassen for going on 10 years. She has taken the competition out and put the artistic performance back in.

To read about her company, her inspiration and what she means to her students and boss, read February’s issue of Maple Grove Magazine or visit starting February 1.

POSTED Thursday, January 26

You can hear it in Jesse Paul’s voice: the passion to snowboard and earnestness to be the best.

“One of the biggest things is being committed,” Paul says. “Snowboarding as much as you can because it does take a lot of time to get good.”

Adds his friend, Max Ronning, “It’s either perfect or he wants to work until it is. You can tell he knows what he’s doing when he does it.”

POSTED Monday, January 23

My daughter recently got engaged, and we are thrilled! We adore her fiancé and are so utterly happy for them and this crazy, wonderful journey on which they are about to embark.

That said, it’s hard not to think back to that sweet, little child who had such terrible separation anxiety that we got kicked out of Mommy and Me classes because she couldn’t stand to be away from me for the short 20-minute portion of the class where she was in one room and I, probably a bit relieved, was in the other.

She wailed. She threw herself on the floor. She could not be comforted.