Statewide: June 30, 2010 Archive
Posted at 9:32 AM on June 30, 2010
by Dan Gunderson
Filed under: Education
Paul Dovre succeeds President Pamela Jolicoeur, who died June 9 after suffering a stroke.
Dovre retired in 1999 after serving as Concordia president for 24 years.
"President Jolicoeur had a profound impact on enhancing Concordia's image as a recognized leader in higher education," Dovre says. "My objective will be to sustain the momentum established under her leadership."
The Concordia board of regents plans a national search for a new president.
Children's book author and illustrator Debra Frasier hit the big time in 1991 with "On the Day You Were Born," which has sold more than a million copies.
Her new work mines the sights and sounds of the Minnesota State Fair. "A Fabulous Fair Alphabet" marches through the ABCs with flair and plenty of bold colors.
Frasier, a Florida native who moved to Minnesota in 1984, has become a glutton for the State Fair. She's actually the Minnesota State Fair Foundation's "author-in-residence."
Her alphabet book has garnered some national attention. The New York Times and the Washington Post did blurbs.
The way Frasier brings to life a jaunty Ferris wheel, a sunburst-yellow pitcher of lemonade and a swirling roller coaster will nevertheless whet appetites for summer.
And the Post:
The author is something of a side-show aficionado, as well as a photo junkie. Having taken thousands of pictures of midway signs, she chose a few hundred to assemble into this alphabet-photo collage, a tribute to that most American of institutions: the country fair.
As a companion to the book, Frasier created sheets to encourage kids to write down words they see at the fair. Parents who want to turn the fair into the dreaded "learning experience" for their kids can download the game on Frasier's nifty web site.
This year's State Fair runs from Aug. 26 through Sept. 6.
When I was a kid, the most awesome place to go downhill skiing was Spirit Mountain in Duluth. My dad would make a point of trying to drive all the way up from the Twin Cities on I-35 without touching the brakes even once.
I still tend to think of Spirit Mountain as a winter place. But Spirit Mountain has branched out quite a bit. The complex includes a campground, bike trails and banquet halls to keep visitors coming during the spring, summer and fall.
And now Spirit Mountain has the new Timber Twister, a year-round "alpine coaster" that opens to the public Thursday. It's a bit like a roller coaster in the woods, except that riders zoom downhill on individual cars. Riders control their speed, which can reach 26 mph.
A single ride for one person costs $8. Two riders on one car costs $12. You've got to be 4-feet tall and at least 8 years old to ride alone. And an advisory to head off tears and temper tantrums: kids under 3 can't ride at all.
When I mentioned Duluth's new alpine coaster in the MPR newsroom, touting it as the first of its kind in Minnesota, a fellow editor asked, "What about the one in Lutsen?"
Spirit Mountain emphatically sets us straight. From the Spirit Mountain web site:
Unlike an alpine slide, the alpine coaster makes hairpin turns, is elevated off the ground like a roller coaster, and operates year-round due to its unique track system. ...
There are only four alpine coasters operating in the U.S. and this will be the only one in the Midwest. This is truly a unique attraction, and is NOT an alpine slide!!!
Not willing to just take Spirit Mountain's word for it, I did some extensive research (that is, a YouTube search) into the matter. It appears the Lutsen attraction is shorter and entirely on the ground, as opposed to the longer, raised track at Spirit Mountain.
The evidence ...