Veteran caterer comes back from shooting, revives Wendy’s House of Soul amid pandemic

Wendy Puckett, a veteran Minneapolis cook and caterer, is resilient.

She survived being shot with a pellet gun last fall, which put her in the hospital and temporarily forced the closing of her popular Wendy’s House of Soul restaurant.

Then, the coronavirus outbreak came along, disrupting business again. Last month, the restaurant lost its lease on W. Broadway, prompting a move and a reopening a mile away.

“I’m praying this will [turn out] a good year,” Puckett said. “We plan. We work hard. I live one day at a time.”

Puckett has chosen to deal with adversity with an offensive led by love for her neighbors — and good food.

Puckett, 49, works with her sister, Heather Warfield, 47, who serves as chief financial officer for the business. They and some of their 15 employees worked tirelessly for two weeks to clean, install equipment, paint and otherwise prep the new location.

It has ample seating room for post-pandemic days and additional food-preparation space to cover a catering business that has surged to almost two-thirds of revenue in a down year.

A steady stream of customers poured into the new location at 1825 Glenwood Av. over a lunch hour last week. Most asked for takeout orders but a few stayed

“This could be a $1 million business within two years,” Warfield said. “We are at less than 50% capacity. And we are going to [build the business] and do it right.’’

Her sister is back in playing shape, recovering physically from the shooting last November. She had just closed up the shop around 8 p.m. when four young men in a car with a pellet gun swung by and paused. One fired a BB that went up her nose. Puckett collapsed into her van, stunned.

Surgery was required to remove the pellet that had lodged near her eye. It took weeks to recover from the physical and psychological trauma.

“It still gives me the weekie-geekies,” Puckett quipped. “It was traumatic. I tasted my own blood.”

Two adults and two youths were arrested by police in February, on suspicion of shooting Puckett and being involved in other shootings on the North Side, Northeast and Brooklyn Center. They were released on bail and are awaiting trial, as the pandemic slowed prosecutions in Hennepin County District Court.

Without Puckett, Wendy’s House of Soul closed for a couple of weeks. It was saved by $5,000 in community donations and a chef from the Minneapolis Women’s Club and others who donated their time.

“The response was overwhelming,” Puckett recalled. “I met people who helped me who I did not know. Many put a prayer in the air for me. It was unbelievable.”

Just as business was getting back to normal, the pandemic hit. It has caused dozens of Twin Cities restaurants to close. Many others are scraping by with takeout, patio service and limited indoor seating.

At Wendy’s House of Soul, Puckett created a soul food menu that features standards like burgers, wings and waffles. She

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Decorated Winter Garden veteran wishes for 100 cards for 100th birthday

Larry Cheever, a veteran who served in WWII, is celebrating his 100th birthday. He and his family are hoping that they can get at least 100 birthday cards for the veteran.Larry was a medic in the army and served from 1942 through 1945. He was located just above everywhere from North Africa to France, Belgium and Italy. Larry was honored with a Bronze Star and had the honor to not only help soldiers but civilians.As the decorated WWII veteran turns 100, his family and American Legion Post 63 in Winter Garden want to make sure he gets at least 100 birthday cards. The cards have already started flowing in. This weekend, a parade of cars will swing by Larry’s house in Winter Garden to wish him a happy birthday and present him with a new treasure trove of cards. Send Larry a birthday card at the address below: 1055 N West Crown Point Road Winter Garden, FL, 34787 The birthday parade will be held at the same location from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Larry Cheever, a veteran who served in WWII, is celebrating his 100th birthday. He and his family are hoping that they can get at least 100 birthday cards for the veteran.

Larry was a medic in the army and served from 1942 through 1945. He was located just above everywhere from North Africa to France, Belgium and Italy.

Larry was honored with a Bronze Star and had the honor to not only help soldiers but civilians.

As the decorated WWII veteran turns 100, his family and American Legion Post 63 in Winter Garden want to make sure he gets at least 100 birthday cards. The cards have already started flowing in.

This weekend, a parade of cars will swing by Larry’s house in Winter Garden to wish him a happy birthday and present him with a new treasure trove of cards.

Send Larry a birthday card at the address below:
1055 N West Crown Point Road
Winter Garden, FL, 34787

The birthday parade will be held at the same location from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

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White House eyes veteran antitrust lawyer for chief FTC post

Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff, spoke with Arquit about the FTC role, both people said. They spoke anonymously to speak candidly about the private interview process. White House officials have also spoken to Gail Slater, a lawyer for Fox Corp. who previously worked at both the FTC and the White House as an adviser on tech, telecom and cyber policy.

The White House would not comment on the record, but a senior administration official told POLITICO in a statement: “There are no ongoing interviews for FTC chairman.”

Despite the Trump administration’s ongoing investigations into Silicon Valley companies, Arquit has previously cautioned against some of the rhetoric around breaking up tech giants, singling out the primary campaign calls from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) last year.

“This is really an assault on our free enterprise system,” the longtime antitrust lawyer said in a Bloomberg TV interview last year. “To me, this proposal, it’s anti-worker, it’s anti-community and it’s also anti-consumer.”

These government probes create a significant “cloud” over the tech companies, he told CNBC in the summer of 2019, calling the scrutiny an “elephant in the room” chilling their behavior. Months later during another conversation, he described the FTC investigation into Amazon’s practices as “broad” and “proactive.” In these TV appearances, he has also defended the case behind T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint, a game-changing transaction in the U.S. wireless market that officially closed this year.

Arquit served as the FTC’s general counsel and top competition staffer during the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations. In private practice, he has represented dozens of companies in mergers and civil antitrust matters including DirecTV in its merger with AT&T, Office Depot in its tie-up with Office Max and Pilgrim’s Pride in antitrust suits over alleged price-fixing of broiler chickens.

Arquit’s law firm colleague, Marc Kasowitz, served as Trump’s personal lawyer for more than 15 years and ran the president’s legal strategy for a brief time in 2017 as he was in the early stages of the Russia investigation. The legal strategy then was taken over by Ty Cobb, a White House lawyer at the time, and Washington attorney John Dowd.

Earlier this year, Arquit served as the arbitrator in the Justice Department’s first ever arbitration over the proposed merger of Novelis, the world’s largest aluminum recycler, and rival aluminum company Aleris. Arquit sided with the DOJ, and Novelis — the largest U.S. producer of aluminum used in cars — agreed to sell off a plant in Kentucky to finalize the deal.

Arquit didn’t respond to calls and e-mails for comment.

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Veteran House incumbents fight for their seats as districts evolve

WASHINGTON — As he logs another campaign season piloting his single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza around his vast, crimson-red Minnesota district, voters greet Rep. Collin Peterson by name. But something else is hauntingly familiar as the Democrat seeks a 16th term in Congress.

“There are so many Trump signs out here you wouldn’t believe it,” Peterson, 76, said recently.

Much of the focus in this year’s fight for House control will be on dozens of freshmen Democrats who gave the party its majority in 2018 by capturing Republican-held seats. But there’s a smaller category of lawmakers like Peterson and GOP Rep. Steve Chabot of Ohio who also merit attention: long-term incumbents of both parties fighting to preserve their careers.

Like their newer, more vulnerable colleagues, these congressional veterans are at the mercy of the country’s growing partisan fragmentation. This trend, which President Donald Trump has intensified, has seen conservative rural districts turn increasingly Republican while suburban voters exhausted by his discord-driven presidency flee the GOP in droves.

“These days for many voters, just seeing an ‘R’ or ‘D’ next to a name, that’s enough,” said Gary Jacobson, political science professor emeritus at the University of California San Diego.

Trump carried Peterson’s district by 31 percentage points in the 2016 presidential election, his biggest margin in any of the 29 House seats Democrats hold.

Over 90% of House incumbents are usually reelected, thanks to name recognition and campaign fundraising advantages. But they’re not immune to defeat. In the 2018 Democratic wave, 30 representatives seeking reelection — all Republicans — were defeated, including seven who’d served at least a decade. One, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., was in the House for 30 years.

This year, around a dozen representatives who’ve served at least five two-year terms have potentially competitive contests. Most are Republicans, whose numbers in this category would be higher if eight others who faced difficult races in states including Georgia, North Carolina and Texas had sought reelection rather than retiring.

Rep. Don Young of Alaska, 87, first elected in a 1973 special election and the longest serving Republican in House history, is favored but faces a well-financed opponent. Other GOP representatives eyeing tough races include David Schweikert of Arizona, reprimanded by the House Ethics Committee for campaign finance violations; Mike McCaul, whose Texas district includes suburbs of Houston and Austin; and Jaime Herrera Beutler of southwest Washington state.

Other close races for long-serving Republicans may loom in Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Texas.

Among Democrats, Reps. Ron Kind, a 12-term Wisconsin veteran, and Peter DeFazio, who’s served 17 terms from Oregon, are seeking reelection in closely divided districts but seem likely to win.

In a western Minnesota district stretching from the Canadian border to the Minneapolis exurbs, Peterson faces former Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach, one of his most serious GOP challengers yet.

“Collin has been there a very long time,” the Trump-endorsed Fischbach, 54, said in an interview. To

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Veteran House incumbents cling to seats as districts evolve

WASHINGTON (AP) — As he logs another campaign season piloting his single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza around his vast, crimson-red Minnesota district, voters greet Rep. Collin Peterson by name. But something else is hauntingly familiar as the Democrat seeks a 16th term in Congress.

“There are so many Trump signs out here you wouldn’t believe it,” Peterson, 76, said recently.

Much of the focus in this year’s fight for House control will be on dozens of freshmen Democrats who gave the party its majority in 2018 by capturing Republican-held seats. But there’s a smaller category of lawmakers like Peterson and GOP Rep. Steve Chabot of Ohio who also merit attention: long-term incumbents of both parties fighting to preserve their careers.

Like their newer, more vulnerable colleagues, these congressional veterans are confronting the country’s growing partisan fragmentation. This trend, which President Donald Trump has intensified, has seen conservative rural districts turn increasingly Republican while suburban voters exhausted by his discord-driven presidency flee the GOP in droves.

Peterson represents a district Trump carried in the 2016 presidential election by 31 percentage points, his biggest margin in any of the 29 House seats Democrats hold.

“These days for many voters, just seeing an ‘R’ or ‘D’ next to a name, that’s enough,” said Gary Jacobson, political science professor emeritus at the University of California San Diego.

Over 90% of House incumbents are usually reelected, thanks to name recognition and campaign fundraising advantages. But they’re not immune to defeat. In the 2018 Democratic wave, 30 representatives seeking reelection — all Republicans — were defeated, including seven who’d served at least five terms. One, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., had served for 30 years.

This year, around a dozen House members who’ve served at least a decade, or five terms, have potentially competitive contests. Most are Republicans, whose numbers in this category would be higher if eight others who faced difficult races in states including Georgia, North Carolina and Texas had sought reelection rather than retiring.

Rep. Don Young of Alaska, 87, first elected in a 1973 special election and the longest serving Republican in House history, is favored but faces a well-financed opponent. Other GOP representatives eyeing close races include David Schweikert of Arizona, reprimanded by the House Ethics Committee for campaign finance violations; Mike McCaul, whose Texas district includes suburbs of Houston and Austin; and Jaime Herrera Beutler of southwest Washington state.

Other close races for long-serving Republicans may loom in Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Texas.

Among Democrats, Reps. Ron Kind, a 12-term Wisconsin veteran, and Peter DeFazio, who’s served 17 terms from Oregon, are seeking reelection in closely divided districts but seem likely to win.

In Peterson’s western Minnesota district, which stretches from the Canadian border to the Minneapolis exurbs, he faces former Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach, one of his most serious GOP challengers yet.

“Collin has been there a very long time,” the Trump-endorsed Fischbach, 54, said in an interview. To paint him as out of touch with voters, she’s employing the widely used

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The Expandable Garden Hose: Veteran Gardener Secret Weapon

So you've been trying to find a decent garden hose for a while now. You see others sprinkling their lawn or washing the car with a cool multi-setting spray gun on the end. And it seems like everyone makes it look so easy. But for some reason, success keeps eluding you. Every time you get close to finding the perfect one something happens and you end up back where you started – lugging that heavy old piece of muddy rubber.

Not this time.

Because this time you're going to be armed with the same tips, tricks and secrets that the gardening veterans keep to themselves.

Gardeners need to look beyond the appearance of the growing media surface to assess the need for water. Feel the weight of the pot and push your finger in below the surface of the media, both will give you a better idea of ​​the existing water content and whether the plant needs additional water.

So give these tips a try and see if they don't work for you too …

Tip 1: Never let kids or animals drink from a garden hose.

WARNING – THE GARDEN HOSE IS NOT INTENDED FOR DRINKING WATER! Do NOT drink from it! It is a tool that is used and stored outdoors and it should not be exposed to conditions that may be harmful to humans such as: Mold & bacteria, Lawn and Garden chemicals, Animal waste, Insects, Stagnant water & other harmful substances.

Tip 2: Avoid watering at noon when it's hot and sunny. That's the worst time you could have chosen. This is like pouring Scotch on weeds to kill them. What a disheartening waste! Watering when it's hot means that most of the water will evaporate before it ever reaches the roots. The best time to water is very early in the morning when it's cool.

Tip 3: Be sure to use an expanding garden hose that's made from double latex and grows to suit your needs. Rather than haul a heavy rubber hose over your flower beds, nowadays you get soft and lightweight expanding hoses that lengthen to reach the furthest parts of the garden when you turn the water on, then shrink again when you turn the tap off.

In sum: Getting the most out of your garden hose is actually fairly simple when you apply the above three tips.

So get to it – you and your garden are going to be glad you did!

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