Lavine is a features and health reporter for the Duluth News Tribune.
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Gabrielle Benton stopped using hair relaxers when she was pregnant with her first child. She didn't want to expose her baby to the chemicals. Today, Benton and husband, Jerell, of Superior have two daughters, Alyssa, 5, and Ayden, 6, and their children reinforce Benton's decision to go natural. "I didn't want to be hypocritical, tell them their hair is beautiful and then I'm perming my hair. So, I decided to go natural, and I haven't really looked back since," she said.
He's read "James and the Giant Peach." He's seen the movie. But that's not why Paul Wolfe wants to grown an 800-pound pumpkin. Paul, 9, has been gardening since he was 5, and hanging out in the garden even longer. "He was eating tomatoes off the vine when he was not even a year old," said Paul's mother, Holly Wolfe.
Red Miller's having a bad day. In "Mandy," the love of his life is kidnapped by demons freelancing for a religious cult. After an unforgettable breakdown with bathroom-cabinet vodka, Red (Nicolas Cage) strikes out on a bloodthirsty rampage with a repertoire of weapons ranging from a boxcutter to a crossbow named "the reaper." "Mandy" is the latest from writer/director Panos Cosmatos, whose list is short ("Beyond the Black Rainbow"), but he proves himself a cunning visionary to watch.
She watches whales in Alaska, fishes for piranhas down the Amazon River, swims with manatees in Florida. Stephanie Lundgren has always loved animals. As a docent and barnyard volunteer at the Lake Superior Zoo, she gets to hang with goats, llamas and sheep without traveling far from her neighborhood in West Duluth. Lundgren started volunteering seasonally at the zoo in 2014. Later, she became a docent. The training is 30 hours of volunteer work, and, she recalled: "You've got to show your competency, hands-on." And she meant it.
Jennifer Garner made her mark in the early '00s as Sydney Bristow, an international spy in ABC's "Alias." Then came a sai-wielding assassin in red in "Elektra." Now, Garner's back to kick some A in "Peppermint." She plays Riley, the last living member of a family slain by gang violence, and she's reliably convincing in dimpled levity and grief. Here, Garner flips from soccer mom to murderous vigilante with expert skill. See: court scene to witness explosive, loafer-wearing rage.
Jane Pederson's no stranger to Duluth. She was born here, and while she moved away for many years, she returned to the University of Minnesota Duluth as a student. Pederson, 28, took time out of her schedule as the marketing manager at Glensheen to share her words of wisdom as a young adult in the Northland. Get out(doors)
They just wanted to win one game, but two Duluthians got more than they bargained for. Early August. Indianapolis. Gen Con, the longest-running gaming convention in North America. Keith Miller and Craig Olsen took first place competing in popular board game Axis & Allies. "Usually, newbies come in and get beaten," Olsen said. These guys weren't new to the game, though, they've been playing for decades, but they were new to competing. They came ready.
Yvonne Pilcher may not like painting her home, but she can tell you how to get it done. The self-proclaimed "sloppy painter" has been in the hardware business for 38 years, and at Denny's Ace Hardware in Woodland, she helps people prepare their interior paint jobs. And as outside-the-house tasks slow down, indoor painting picks up, she said. First, consider the space. Darker walls make a room feel smaller, while lighter walls open a space up.
Scottish actress Kelly Macdonald has been stealing the show since her breakout role in 1996's "Trainspotting." She did it again in "No Country for Old Men" and most recently in "Black Mirror." Her fierce ability to demand on-screen attention with little carries over tenfold in "Puzzle." She plays Agnes, a Catholic wife, homemaker and a creature of habit and isolation. She's devoted to her husband, Louie (David Denman), and their grown sons, Ziggy and Gabe. Her gateway to something more comes unexpectedly in a jigsaw puzzle.
Jodi Hilleren's son, Nathan, stopped playing soccer when he was 8, and it was a loss. "Soccer has been his one and only sport that has fit his needs, that's not too intimidating or scary," Hilleren said. Nathan, 10, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, a developmental condition that can result in difficulty communicating and interacting with people, repetitive behaviors and restricted interests, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.