Bringing healing to Newtown, one pie at a time
December 19th, 2012
10:30 AM ET
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Beth Howard pulled up to Newtown in her 24-foot-long camper, loaded with 240 apple pies.

She dished out pie to kids from Sandy Hook Elementary School, grieving parents and anyone who asked.

She describes herself as an attaché for grief, with her greatest gift being pie “made from love.” Most people simply call her "the pie lady."

“Pie is meant to be shared,” she said. “It’s meant to be given away.”

As she spoke, there was a knock on her door. Women preparing a wake for one of the slain girls would like some pie for mourners.

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Filed under: Dishes • Feed the Soul • Local Heroes • News • Nostalgia • Pie • Think

Farmers continue to struggle after MF Global financial scandal
March 5th, 2012
03:00 PM ET
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Luverne, Minnesota (CNN) - Dean Tofteland promised to take care of the farm while his father was on vacation.

"I want you to go ahead and enjoy yourself," he told him.

The small private plane carrying Arnie Tofteland never reached its destination. It ran out of gas on the way to Indianapolis, fell from the sky and struck the backstop of a baseball field before slamming nose first into the pitcher's mound.

Dean, then just 27, had come home to the farm for a short stint; he hoped to enter the world of agribusiness. Suddenly, he was thrust into the role of carrying on his father's legacy.

Twenty-three years later, he drives through his corn and soybean fields in the southwestern corner of Minnesota. "I'm still taking care of it," he says. "It's not just a way of life. It's a part of my life."

Read the full story: Farmer faces planting season with seeds of distrust

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Filed under: Business and Farming News • News

Best dang food joint in Texas
September 6th, 2010
10:00 AM ET
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Shelley Anderson insisted I go to "The Hotel" in Blessing, Texas, for lunch. Her husband, Jason Anderson, was the toolpusher on Deepwater Horizon, and I had just finished interviewing her about the months since her husband and the 10 others were killed on the oil rig.

"It’s Jason’s favorite restaurant," she said.

I hastily wrote down the directions - hook this country road this way and head on down that way. You can’t miss it.

The first thing I noticed was the Texas-sized fried chicken, lined up along the back wall on old wood-burning stoves where heaping trays of roast beef, mash potatoes and green beans were also sprawled out.

The next thing that caught my eye was the woman with the big smile. "Need some help?" owner Helen Feldhousen told the puzzled looking out-of-towner.

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Filed under: 100 Places to Eat • America • Bite • Cuisines • Southern • Texas • Travel

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