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12 posts categorized "celeb spotting"

August 13, 2012

Kennedy coming to see Jackson at Mayo Clinic

Here's a little from an AP story by Michelle Smith about Jesse Jackson Jr. in Rochester and how Patrick Kennedy, a former Mayo Clinic patient is coming to visit and support him here.


Former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy said Monday he plans to visit Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois on Thursday at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, where Jackson is being treated for bipolar disorder.

Patrick_Kennedy-8210Kennedy was treated at the Mayo Clinic himself for addiction and depression in 2006 after a late-night car crash at the U.S. Capitol. He decided not to run for a ninth term in 2010 and retired from Congress last year.

Jackson took a medical leave two months ago, and the Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic said Monday he was being treated for Bipolar II, which is define 120727-jessejacksonjr-514p.380;380;7;70;0d as periodic episodes of depression and hypomania. Hypomania is a less serious form of mania.

‘‘Jesse and I served together for many years, and I've spoken to him several times, and I'm looking forward to visiting with him personally ... just to impart for him my experience. There’s an ability for Jesse to be helpful to others who come after him,’’ Kennedy told The Associated Press on Monday. ‘‘I can share with him not only my experience in recovery, but I can also obviously relate what it’s like to struggle and be in public life.’’

October 07, 2011

Dancing With The Stars + Minnesota apples?

Cutting-board Two things I never expected to come appear together in a business item - Minnesota apples and the "Dancing With The Stars" TV show.

And yet they will come together on Oct. 16, when dancer Chelsie Hightower will make an appearance at the expo booth of an orchard that grows Minnesota's up and coming apple variety, SweeTango.

Get it? She's a dancer, right? And the tango is a dance, though in this case… uh… it really is an apple.

Chelsie_Hightower The SweeTango name for the University of Minnesota created apple variety came from Dennis Courtier, the president of Pepin Heights Orchards in Lake City.

Courtier also spearheaded the creation of the Next Big Thing cooperative of SweeTango growers that govern the growing and marketing of the apples, which are a cross between Honeycrisp and Zestar.

Now playing off that name, Hightower is slated to appear at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit in Atlanta later this month.

She'll be at the booth of Fowler Farms Of New York. Fowler is one of the 45 members of the Next Big Thing co-op.

I think there needs to be some sort of reality show competition to choose the best apple variety. It could be called "America's Next Top Apple."

Uh… or maybe not. Heh.

July 07, 2011

Could Kim Kardashian flip burgers in Roch.?

So I was reading a column in the Strib by the fearless and entertaining C.J., when an odd vision started to form in my mind.

I wasn't aware (Yeah, I don't read People or watch TMZ much) that NBA star and beloved Minnesota son, Kris Humphries, was engaged to the Rubenesque Reality TV star Kim Kardashian.

Kardashian The state shutdown must have distracted me from that important news. Heh.

Anyway, C.J. wrote a July 4 column about a Twin Cities bash for the couple, which she has dubbed in fine tabloid, name mashing style as 'Humpdashian.'

That made me remember about my first interview with Will Humphries, the bridegroom's dad.

Will Humphries is the guy who opened Five Guys Burgers and Fries in Rochester as well as called Newt's out for a hamburger showdown.

Back in 2009, I asked Will about why he was cooking up a way to have his own piece of the fast food pie.

And this is what he told me:

The elder Humphries, who was a University of Minnesota football star, says establishing the statewide Five Guys franchise is a way to prepare for his son’s post-NBA career.

“My wife and I are working it now, and then we’ll hand it off to him. We don’t want him to become another statistic like ex-players who go bankrupt,” he says.


 OK, so he's a concerned dad preparing a safety net in preparation for the day when his son's fast break is no longer quite fast enough.


Using my jumping to conclusions ability that rivals the younger Humphries vertical leap, I envisioned a future when a retired Kris Humphries takes over the family fast food business.


That's how I became convinced that Med City burger fans will eventually see the famous Miss K working the counter and grilling up orders.


That makes sense, right?  Heh. 

June 03, 2011

Roch. native named 'Person of Year'

One of Rochester's very own has has been named Person of the Year 2011 by the Webbys, the online techno Oscars.

The twist is that the winner of this award, which has been given to Roger Ebert, Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Cobert in recent years, is not an actual "person."

It just acts like one on TV.

The Webby person of the year is Watson, IBM's "Jeopardy" winning computer.

WatsonIBM1 Watson is comprised of 10 refrigerator-sized racks filled with 90 Power 750 servers built in Rochester. In February, Big Blue's Watson cleaned the clocks of the two best-ever Jeopardy players.

And it even weathered Alex Trebeck's gentle jabs on the rare occassions it missed a question.

It isn't clear if Watson will attend the award ceremony on June 13 to receive its honor from host Lisa Kudrow.

May 23, 2011

Iraqi president in Roch. for Mayo Clinic check-up

Here's some from an article I have about Iraq'a president being in town to to go to Mayo Clinic.

I know he has been out and about at various public places in Rochester for a week or so. Does anyone have any good stories or photos from sightings?

Check out my full story here.


Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is undergoing "a routine check-up" at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, the Embassy of Iraq in Washington, D.C. confirmed on Monday.

210511024727 Unofficial sources have been reporting sightings of the Middle Eastern leader in Rochester for about week. It is unclear when he arrived in Minnesota.

Talabani is not traveling with any other Iraqi leaders and plans to stay in Rochester until Wednesday, said Rory Sheehan of the Iraqi embassy.

Mayo Clinic spokesman Bryan Anderson said that Mayo had no information or comment about Talabani's visit.

Talabani has had a long relationship with the clinic. In the fall of 2009, he traveled here for a medical visit, and he underwent a reportedly successful heart surgery at the clinic in August 2008.

November 30, 2010

While relatives visit Roch., Saudi King takes up NYC hospital wing

Here's some more info on the King of Saudi Arabia and his medical treatment in the U.S.

Some of his family members are currently in Rochester, presumably for their own care at Mayo Clinic, as I I've previously reported. Vacationing in Minnesota in late November would seem like an unconventional choice for Saudi royalty.

However, the king flew off to New York City at the same time as his royal family members flew in here.

Here's some from a New York Post article today about the king and his time in the Big Apple. Thanks for pointing this out, Ed.

King Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah is causing his own diplomatic drama at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, where the 86 year-old monarch has commandeered an entire wing as he recovers from back surgery on the VIP floor.

King Abdullah -- who repeatedly exhorted the US to "cut the head off the snake" by launching military strikes to destroy Iran's nuclear program, according to leaked diplomatic cables -- has forced other patients out by block-booking the hospital's top treatment and recovery rooms.

A family member of one patient told us, "The king has taken the entire luxury treatment wing and booked out all the rooms, even though they are empty and he doesn't need them, to protect his privacy.


The king underwent surgery for a blood clot and a slipped disc last week.


One law enforcement source told us that Abdullah -- who was visited in Saudi Arabia by four Cornell doctors who advised him he had to have the surgery in New York -- is a generous donor to the hospital and visited a month prior to his surgery.

Abdullah arrived in town on Monday of last week with an enormous entourage. He chartered three flights to JFK, arrived with a massive security team and a film crew, and left the airport in a convoy of 40 vehicles, including 20 for luggage alone.

November 22, 2010

Big name makes stop in Roch.?

Here's an interesting tip, especially given recent news this weekend:

Nfl_a_favre_dj_600 A reader sent me an e-mail asking if that old king of the gridiron, the Vikings' Brett Farve, was in Rochester Friday.

The chatter is that Farve was on way back north after a hunting trip on he made a stop at CJ's Midtown Lounge in downtown Rochester.

This tipster said that Farve ave autographs and took pictures with fans (and assumably non-fans).

Anyone out there know anything about this? Did anyone get their photo taken wih him?


October 21, 2010

What's going to happen to Kahler Barber Shop?

Here's the answer to a question raised in my story Wednesday about the renovation of the lower level of the Kahler Grand Hotel.

Note - I ran out of space to answer this in print Wed. I'm taking another shot at it my column today.

What's going to happen to the popular, old-fashioned Kahler Barber Shop?

The barber shop, formerly Dallman Barbers owned by Paul Dallman, and Swanger Barbers owned by Phanis “Squeak” Swanger before that, will no longer offer a trim and lots of conversation in its current spot.

The future of the shop now owned by Wendy Hagen and Duane Hawkins is still being worked out, though it will remain in the Kahler complex…somewhere.

Talks are under way to figure out exactly where to put the shop that has cut and buzzed the hair of Mayo Clinic doctors, professional football players like Dick Butkus and Ray Nitschke, actors like Danny Kaye, and many loyal local customers.

Saudi royal family visit = $1.3M

Here's some fron the follow-up to my post a couple weeks ago about some of the Saudi Arabia royal family visiting Rochester.

The full piece is in print today.

A visit from members of the Saudi Arabian royal family boosted Rochester cash registers by an estimated $1.3 million this month.

The Saudi group, which reportedly includes direct members of the Middle Eastern royal family, has been in Rochester nearly three weeks.
A Saudi Arabia Airlines Boeing 777 departed Tuesday for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from Rochester International Airport. Transport trucks were lined up next to a line of Mercedes Benz  in front of the Kahler Grand Hotel as some in the group prepared to leave and take their new possessions with them, boxed up for shipping. The remainder of the group are expected to leave later this week.

Saudi-Arabia-Currency Official sources estimated anonymously that the group included more than 100 people connected to the royal family.

The visit is similar to one two years ago that officials estimated provided a $1.5 million economic shot in the arm to Rochester's economy.

As in November 2008, the royal family members likely are visiting this month for examinations or treatment at Mayo Clinic. Clinic representatives could not confirm or deny that, however others with knowledge of the visit indicated the visits were for medical evaluations and treatment.

October 04, 2010

Any spottings of Saudi royals in Roch.?

For the weekend paper, I wrote a piece saying some of the Saudi royal family were believed to be visiting Rochester.

While I did not lock down an official source on the record, I'm certain a group of royalty did arrival. Some told me they thought the visit could be comparable to the memorable one in 2008 when the king visited and met here with his extended family from across the U.S.

My question is has anyone out there seen any such royalty first hand in Roch.?

Does anyone care if any Saudi or any other royalty is in the Med city?

One insider texted me over the weekend that it was believed that the lead visitor in this group is the nephew of the king. No idea if that is correct or not.

Here's some from my weekend article. For the record, I did not write the phrase "free-spending ways." It was added in editing.

Members of the royal family of Saudi Arabia might be visiting Rochester again, to the delight of local merchants.
APIHZAIFarrLAX The family and its entourage, known for its free-spending ways, has made several visits to Rochester in connection with medical care at the Mayo Clinic.
A Boeing 747SP jet from Saudi Arabia was scheduled to land at Rochester International Airport on Friday night. That aircraft seats up to 400 people on two passenger levels.
Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede wasn't aware of a visit but said he'd be happy if the Saudis visit.
"I think it's great that they come here for the greatest medical care in the world," said Brede, who visited Saudi Arabia a year and a half ago. "They obviously do have economic impact."
A fleet of high-end luxury cars, including new Mercedes, Escalades and others, were spotted rolling into Rochester en masse with out-of-town plates from New York, California and other places.
Official sources estimated anonymously that possibly up to 200 people connected to the royal family had either arrived in the city or were on their way here.
As in November 2008, the royal family members likely are visiting for examinations or treatment at Mayo Clinic. Clinic spokespeople could not confirm or deny that Friday.
The 2008 visit infused the Rochester economy with an estimated $1.5 million, officials said at the time.