Minnesota enterprise and Member Exchange features in sight for Saturday-Monday, Aug. 4-6:
ADDS AP PHOTOS.
For Saturday-Sunday use:
NEW ULM, Minn. — Joni Steinbach chuckled when asked if she thought her border collie Sport knows she's one of the best agility dogs in the country. "No, she doesn't know," said Steinbach of New Ulm. "All she knows is she gets to play at the end and that Mom's the best thing since sliced bread." That love and loyalty aspect of agility training is a big part of what Steinbach and Sport get out of the constant training they do at home in their backyard agility course, as well as the numerous competitions they compete in throughout the year from the local to national levels. All the work the past five years has paid off with numerous awards, the latest of which came this spring when Sport placed fourth at the American Kennel Club National Dog Agility Championship in Reno, Nev., out of a field of 267 dogs in her class. By Amanda Dyslin, The Free Press of Mankato.
AP Photos of Aug. 1: MNMAN101-103 ((http://bit.ly/QQ5rtZ).
DULUTH, Minn. — Josh Horky had climbed the 65-foot tamarack tree before. In fact, it's the tree that holds the first-ever witches' broom he discovered. Horky, of Duluth, is a botanist and witches' broom collector. The brooms are unique masses that grow in trees, and collectors remove pieces of them to graft onto young trees to create a new variation, such as dwarf conifers. In January, Horky, 30, was on his way to his parents' home in Bennett, Wis., when he stopped to climb the tall tamarack to clip pieces for other collectors. "I was about 25 feet up and two branches failed, and down I went," Horky said, in his matter-of-fact way. Lying flat on the frozen snowless ground, he knew his back was broken. By Jana Hollingsworth, Duluth News Tribune.
AP Photos of Aug. 3: MNDUH101-102 (http://bit.ly/QuKbg7).
EXCHANGE-WATER SAFETY LESSONS
MINNEAPOLIS — With a water noodle in hand, Marriaunna Martin was ready to swim. But she wasn't using the noodle as a toy. The flotation device was a safety tool for the 9-year-old and her peers at the Blaisdell YMCA in Minneapolis. For about a month, the Y's swim instructors have been teaching the group water safety skills like how to float on their backs and stomachs, how to tread water and what to do if someone accidentally falls into deep water. Before the classes, Marriaunna said she was scared to even go into the water — but not anymore. Now, her favorite thing to do in the pool is jump off the diving board. The YMCA Twin Cities, which includes 23 branches across the metro, received $70,000 in grants this year from the nonprofit Abbey's Hope and the Minneapolis company Hawkins to teach water safety skills, said Shannon Kinstler, the Y's aquatic director. By Maricella Miranda, St. Paul Pioneer Press.
AP Photos of Aug. 3: MNPAU101-103 (http://bit.ly/OqWaev).
EXCHANGE-BLIND SHOW HORSE
WILLMAR, Minn. — From a distance, the beautiful gray Arabian nuzzling his young owner looks just like any other horse — and he is, except he's completely blind. The 23-year-old show horse registered as Positive Vibes lost his sight in May, but his owner, Mercedes Schueler, 10, of Willmar, has never given up on him. Steering and leading him with her body and voice, Schueler maintained Vibe's trust and quickly became his eyes. The pair has competed in seven shows together this summer. "Every Friday night, we're grooming and cleaning; and Saturday morning we're on the road," said Kristine Schueler, Mercedes' mom. By Jasmine Maki, West Central Tribune.
AP Photos of Aug. 3: MNWIL101-104 (http://bit.ly/NEoACV).
The AP, Minneapolis