1) Grain Belt, the beer that hasn't been brewed in Minneapolis for more than 30 years, will enjoy a homecoming of sorts next month.
August Schell Brewery, which has owned the Grain Belt brand since 2002, is launching "Grain Belt Nordeast" on April 7.
The beer company says the line with honor Northeast Minneapolis, where Grain Belt Golden was first brewed in 1893.
Of course, like any longtime drinker, Grain Belt has soared, stumbled and recovered quite a bit in its history. The brand vanished during Prohibition, but later flourished to become a dominant brand in the Midwest.
Grain Belt Brewery (Minnesota Historical Society)
In the mid-1970s, G. Heileman bought the brand and moved production to the Schmidt brewery in St. Paul. After a few more twists and turns, Schell wound up with Grain Belt and moved production to New Ulm.
Schell calls the new Nordeast beer an American Amber lager with a "light maltiness and hop aroma with a mild bitterness."
If you want to pound one April 7, you'll have to hit a bar or liquor store in Northeast. It won't be available anywhere else until the next day, Schell says.
2) Fans of good breaking news photography should take a look at the shot Bemidji Pioneer photographer Monte Draper captured Monday during an apartment fire.
The Pioneer's news story reports that the fire damaged the 63-unit Regency Park Apartments.
All the residents appeared to have gotten out safely, the Pioneer reported. Fire officials called the fire the worst in Bemidji in more than 50 years.
3) A bit of the old St. John's hospital on the Metro State University campus in St. Paul will survive as the college builds new classrooms.
Metro State will use nearly $6 million in state funds to raze and then replace the top two floors of the hospital building, the East Side Review News reports.
St. John's German Lutheran Hospital was an edifice of East Side pride when it opened in 1915. Later it served as Metro State's first home. The building has been vacant for several years.
St. John's Hospital in 1915 (Minnesota Historical Society)
4) Minneapolis artist David Rathman scored some attention with a series of paintings and a short film about the 1974 "Rumble in the Jungle" boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.
The Minneapolis-based artist has touched on boxing themes in his work before, but was nonetheless flattered when he was commissioned by No Mas and Muhammad Ali Enterprises last October to create a "Rumble in the Jungle" short film to commemorate the fight's 35th anniversary. Now completed, the film and corresponding watercolors will be previewed tonight at the Larissa Goldston gallery. We caught up with the artist and father of two before the opening for his take on boxing, painting and sports fantasies.
5) And finally, the Minnesota Zoo is trying to get visitors excited for spring by sharing pictures of its baby camel.
mail Bactrian camel was born March 4 at 128 pounds. In three or four years, it will stand eight feet tall and weigh 1,600 to 1,800 pounds.
Posted at 11:59 AM on March 23, 2010
by Bob Ingrassia
Filed under: War
Plenty of runners can handle a brisk little 5K to raise money for charity.
How many would tackle a 26-mile slog through the desert with a 35-pound pack on their back?
Thousands of soldiers and civilians accepted the challenge this week by completing the Bataan Memorial Death March on the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
Participants march along a trail during the Bataan Memorial Death March in 2007. (Photo from BataanMarch.com)
Among this year's marchers was Army Sgt. Nicholas Ranstad, a native of Battle Lake, Minn. The Fergus Falls Daily Journal profiled Ranstad today.
Ranstad and a team that included four other soldiers from Fort Bragg, N.C., completed the march Sunday in 8 hours 24 minutes. Team members had to finish within 20 seconds of each other.
The event commemorates the suffering and lives lost in 1942 as Japanese troops forced American and Filipino prisoners to march through the Philippines. Death estimates range from 6,000 to 21,000.
An Army ROTC unit at New Mexico State University launched the memorial march in 1989, with about 100 soldiers taking part that first year. More than 5,000 soldiers and civilians now complete the event each year. There are a number of events now, including the 26-mile course and a 15-mile march.
Ranstad made a name for himself in Afghanistan with an incredible sniper shot. The Daily Journal notes that he holds the U.S. Army record for the longest confirmed sniper kill -- a 1.3-mile shot. The world record for a confirmed-kill sniper shot is 1.5 miles, set in 2002 by a Canadian soldier in Afghanistan.
U.S. Army Spc. Nicholas Ranstad (right) during a military exercise at U.S. Army Garrison Hohenfels, Germany, on Nov. 6, 2008. (U.S. Department of Defense photo from Visual Intel)