Stuart Sudak

Freelance writer/editor

Location icon United States of America

I'm a longtime journalist based in Minnesota. Throughout my career, I've covered pretty everything from tornadoes to political corruption.

Portfolio
Maple Grove Magazine
11/01/2019
Maple Grove Man Was Sole Minnesotan to Run 81-mile California Ultra-Marathon

No matter how muddy, harebrained or precarious the obstacle, Charles Haupert rarely flinches at the chance to run, crawl, jump and climb over or-under-it. The 35-year-old avid obstacle-course runner/ultra-marathoner has leaped 35 feet off a platform into Lake Las Vegas, ran a sandlot marathon around a baseball diamond (384.5 trips around the bases) and once competed in a Tough Mudder dressed as the Gingerbread Man-which also happens to be the name of his running blog.

Woodbury Magazine
11/01/2019
Meet June Fremont, Marine and 'True American'

As one of the pioneering women to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II, June Fremont chatted with Eleanor Roosevelt, met Harry Truman and marched with other servicewomen behind the casket during President Franklin D. Roosevelt's funeral procession.

Lake Minnetonka Magazine
10/01/2019
'Sharp Art': Local Bladesmith Finds Fervor for Forging

Bladesmith Jason Kraus suspects that each knife he's forged has some of his blood in it. "They're razor sharp, and they'll cut you when you don't even know it," Kraus says. "I'm getting better at not cutting myself, but you will get burned in knife making, and you will get cut.

Lake Minnetonka Magazine
Self-taught Artist Traces Love of Painting to Orono High School Art Class

Draped over the walls and ceiling in the corner of artist Justin Hammer's studio are sheets paint-splattered with a clamor of quotes, handprints, drawings and brush strokes. It looks like graffiti from afar, but up close details emerge. A quote scrawled at the top of the most prominent stretch (once a bedsheet; the rest are dropcloths), simply says, "Rising."

Maple Grove Magazine
04/01/2019
Local Craftswoman Proves Woodworking Isn't Just for Men

Woodworker Erika Jarnes lugs a giant tool bag filled with her trusty nail gun, sanders and drills. This way, Jarnes is always at-the-ready to ply her craft, whether it's in a woodshop she uses not far from Mankato or her residence near Maple Grove.

Maple Grove Magazine
Larry the Hosta Guy: Maple Grove Man Blankets Property in Popular Plant

Larry and Kathy Welliver only need to walk a few steps from the front door of their Maple Grove home to immerse themselves in a garden oasis. Hostas-big and small in size; green to yellow in color; and curly to quilted in texture-play a starring role in this bucolic setting, blanketing much of the grounds around the house.

Southwest Metro Magazine
02/01/2019
Eden Prairie Graduate's Blog Helps Teens Struggling with Mental Illness

As Solome Tibebu wandered through the corridors of Eden Prairie High School (EPHS) for the first time in more than a decade, a torrent of memories flickered in her mind like old home movies. "It was surreal being back," says Tibebu, a 2008 EPHS graduate, who lives in San Francisco.

Lake Minnetonka Magazine
09/01/2018
Local Authors Share Their Journeys and Their Insights into the Publishing World

For aspiring authors, getting their work published is a quest that can elicit as many goosebumps as reading a Stephen King novel. Many dream of being the next J.K. Rowling, but realize after a few rejections that writing a happy ending is much easier than scoring one in real life.

Southwest Metro Magazine
04/01/2019
Life Time Sports Offers Pickup Soccer without the Pressure

Sitting in the lounge of Life Time Sport at Winter Park, Kimberly Smith grades papers between glances at a TV monitor. Her children are among the fleet-footed soccer players running around on the screen. They are actually on the turf of a cavernous indoor field just behind a nearby door from where Smith sits.

Southwest Metro Magazine
03/01/2019
International Market in Chanhassen Offers Something Different for Dinner

Velen Ambalam never tires of repeating this one-liner to his customers at Idly Dosai International Market in Chanhassen: "I always hear people talking about Taco Tuesday, but how about Indian Friday?" he tells them. Ambalam punctuates what he refers to as a joke with a laugh, though it's clear there's a morsel of truth to his words.

Southwest Metro Magazine; Lake Minnetonka Magazine
01/01/2019
PleinAir Magazine Sends 5 Minnesota Artists to Paint Cuba

You could say the people of Cuba were drawn to Deb Zeller. During a week last March, Zeller sat in a shady spot for many hours in Old Havana, sketching face after face on an easel.

Lake Minnetonka Magazine
Lake Minnetonka Resident's Walleye-stocking Program Going Swimmingly

As far back as high school, Johnny Range dreamed of hooking a walleye from his own dock. Walleye is a coveted and tasty catch among anglers like Range, but especially in Minnesota, where it is the state's official fish. "I would always say, 'I'll know I'm successful when I can do that,'" remembers Range.

Southwest Metro Magazine
11/01/2018
Special Hearts

Family who lost father, husband to cancer in 2012 lean on faith, memories.

Southwest Metro Magazine
12/01/2018
How he rolls

Writer Stuart Sudak finds his balance on a log-one baby step at a time.

Lake Minnetonka Magazine
12/01/2018
In the A-Frame

Lake Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists in Shorewood celebrate their unique setting and church at a half-century.

Southwest Metro Magazine
Music Is a Family Affair for Carver Creek Bluegrass Band

It's a steep climb to the Harkin Store from the road nestled along the Minnesota River below. But, the folksy melodies echoing from high above compel feet to bound up the stairs.Once there, the music's source is easy to spot.

Southwest Metro Magazine
09/01/2018
New Holy Family Football Coach Has Spent His Life Around the Game

Tim Triplett has a plaque with a quote from the Greek philosopher Heraclitus hanging near his desk. It says "a man's character is his fate." Triplett interprets that as this: How you live your life and the decisions you make are going to impact your success and how you're going to be remembered.

Maple Grove Magazine
Boxer Caleb Truax "Cuts No Corners" on His Way To Being World Champ

Caleb Truax pulls no punches on the secret to his boxing success. The 34-year-old Osseo native calls this his mantra-cut no corners. It's one of the hashtags he uses on social media. That simple phrase, he tells youngsters when speaking at schools, is hard-hitting advice in and out of the ring.

Southwest Metro Magazine
State Fair Superintendent Has the Bug for Bees

Hannah Hallahan knows that grimace well. It's the look many people give her when she first tells them of her fascination with honey bees. "They act sort of like they have the heebie-jeebies," Hallahan says. "I'm thinking, 'It's not that bad, people. It's more in your head than anything else.'"

Southwest Metro Magazine
Heavy Hitter off the Field

Dave St. Peter is still having a ball.Sitting high above the left-field corner of Target Field, St. Peter is reminiscing about his long tenure with the Minnesota Twins-from an intern in 1990 to the president and chief executive officer today.

Southwest Metro Magazine
The Sky's the Limit for Paul Douglas

After all these years of forecasting the good, the bad and the ugly in Minnesota, Paul Douglas is still thunderstruck by the weather. "It's different every day," says the Twin Cities meteorologist and media personality. "No two days, no two storms are identical. Every day is a new creation.

Southwest Metro Magazine
Dogs and Suds

Jennifer Kaeding admits her dog, Rooney, is spoiled. The easygoing Bernese mountain dog spends lots of time tagging along with Kaeding and her family. "We take him to as many places as we can," says Kaeding.Rooney is a frequent visitor to her office-Kaeding Architecture-located above the Waconia Brewing Company.

Lake Minnetonka Magazine
Saving the "Trapper's Cabin"

Irene Stemmer, sharp as ever at age 92, is leafing through her book, The Trapper's Cabin of Wayzata: A Journey to Preservation, when she stops on a page near the back. Stemmer points to three photographs of children frolicking outside the refurbished 1800s-era trapper's cabin in Wayzata's Shaver Park.

Lake Minnetonka Magazine
Flying into Real Estate

These days, pilots Kathy Rauth and her daughter Sarah Polovitz spend most of their time on the ground.The longtime Excelsior residents travel the Twin Cities as co-captains of a real estate business that has taken off since they teamed up more than four years ago.

Southwest Metro Magazine
Refuse to Lose

Instead of lining up as a linebacker on Sundays in the National Football League (NFL), the 25-year-old Westerhaus is an investment banking analyst and founder of a nonprofit foundation."My life has gone in a different direction," says Westerhaus, who now lives in Minneapolis.

Southwest Metro Magazine
Author, Naturalist and Wildlife Photographer Shares His Passion and Educates the Public |...

Stan Tekiela is ready to hit the road to Albert Lea. It's a 100-plus-mile drive from his Victoria home, but he doesn't mind. After all, his destination is a coveted hummingbird nest he wants to photograph. He asks people on his website, naturesmart.com, to email him about any interesting wildlife living in their backyards, and this certainly interests Tekiela.

Southwest Metro Magazine
Local Olympians Reminisce about Their Time on the World's Stage

For Ben Husaby, the path to cross-country skiing in two Olympics began as a boy growing up in Eden Prairie. "I would go out near the old high school (now Central Middle School) and pack down trails," says Husaby, now living in Bend, Ore.

Lake Minnetonka Magazine
Easy as X, Y, Z

Hovering above two desks on opposite sides of a wall are two faux neon pictures-one of the letter X, the other a Z.This is no coincidence. David Stillman, the 49-year-old Generation Xer, sits at the desk under the X. His son, Jonah, the 18-year-old Generation Zer, sits under the Z.

Southwest Metro Magazine
Chaska Native Training to Wrestle In 2020 Olympics

For many of us, our attention turns to the Olympics only after its advertisements start popping up on television. But for a select number of elite athletes, their focus on Olympic games is laser sharp. Always. Pat Smith's "ultimate goal" of Olympic gold as a Greco-Roman wrestler looms over him.

Southwest Metro Magazine
Hills & Thrills

Kyle Wegner doesn't have to trudge far to get to his favorite winter stomping ground. His family lives near the top of the Power Hill Park sledding hill in Chanhassen. The sophomore at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities has been gliding down it for most of his life."It started with my family when I was 3," Wegner says.

SWNewsMedia.com
06/10/2018
The story behind the picture

Editor's note: The following is a reprint of a story that first appeared in the Eden Prairie News on June 5, 2003. The color-tinted photograph has a tale to tell. Its lovely hues depict two well-scrubbed, doe-eyed sisters donning their Sunday best. The older one stands fencepost straight, her taut features full of might.

Southwest Metro Magazine
Promise Keepers

A lemonade stand appears each Sept. 11 at the end of Sue Donkersgoed's driveway in the Olympic Hills neighborhood of Eden Prairie. Many of the faces of those selling the lemonade beside Donkersgoed have changed, but the promise made years ago to annually remember those affected by the Sept.

Southwest Metro Magazine
Creative Giving

Lorene Brown has discovered her "happy place"-The Langdon, a 501C3 consignment-for-charity resale shop located in an elongated, rustic log cabin in Mound. Operated by volunteers like Brown, The Langdon touts itself as being different from traditional thrift stores. Donated used wares are sold at the shop to raise money for a cause of the donor's choosing.

Southwest Metro Magazine
09/01/2017
Health Practitioner Shares Her Story of Living and Working with Asperger's

In her well-traveled 1995 Toyota Camry, Brianna Pezon, 26, navigated the Twin Cities doing what she enjoys most-serving as a mental health practitioner, providing in-home therapy for people living with such serious mental health issues as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Southwest Metro Magazine
05/01/2017
The Lead-off Man

When it comes to baseball, Dale Welter has all Chaska's bases covered. For more than 50 years, Welter has stepped up to the plate in a variety of mostly voluntary positions to pitch the virtues of the Chaska Cubs and the amateur baseball team's longtime home, Athletic Park."At my age, I've kind of been through it all," the 74-year-old Chaska native says.

Lake Minnetonka Magazine
Perfect Match

Thanks to new knees, the spring in Howard Young's tennis game has returned. His days of holding court are far from over, even at age 88. And he's not alone. Tennis pros and amateur players alike laud it as a lifetime sport, perfect from childhood to the golden years.

Southwest Metro Magazine
04/01/2017
Amazing Races

A large framed world map stretches across a wall in Bill Foudray's office. The map hangs several feet directly across from his chair, perched behind two large computers on his desk. By raising his eyes, Foudray can contemplate the map's detailed expanse.

Southwest Metro Magazine
Music to Her Ears

Rita Andrescik has been wowing them ever since kindergarten. "I would sing anytime someone would listen," she says. "Music has been my whole life. I can't remember when it wasn't."Over the years, Andrescik's voice has led her on a mellifluous journey of high notes, including a stint on an early Twin Cities television show.

Southwest Metro Magazine
Making a Pitch for Kubb

John Oman spends hours working in his Chaska yard-it doesn't require a green thumb but a deft touch at toppling awkward-shaped wooden blocks. Winter or summer, Oman is outside by himself or with friends, perfecting his aim in the old Nordic lawn game with the peculiar-sounding name: Kubb.

Southwest Metro Magazine
Eden Prairie's First Alcohol Manufacturer, Flying Dutchman, Takes Flight

After years of traveling for their jobs, Scott Kaldenberg and Brandon Thornton were on the hunt for a new adventure, one near their Eden Prairie homes. "I traveled Monday through Friday for the majority of my career," explains Kaldenberg, a retired management consultant. "I didn't want to be in any [commercial] airplanes.

Lake Minnetonka Magazine
Hennepin County Water Patrol Unit Promotes Safe Boating | Lake Minnetonka

Joseph Martin cruises Lake Minnetonka to help keep boaters safe. Equipped with binoculars and a hand-held radar gun, Martin motors through the lake's maze of channels and bays in one of the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Water Patrol Unit boats."When we see someone acting foolishly, running through the channels at high speeds, we don't always need binoculars for that," Martin says.

Southwest Metro Magazine
'Seas' the Day

Reeling in a whopper of a paddling opportunity is an easy catch. With its many waterways, the southwest metro abounds with padding possibilities for all ages and levels. Kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, paddleboats, canoes and rowboats for rent are plentiful. Classes can get you seaworthy for a yoga class or a moonlight paddle.

Southwest Metro Magazine
Richard T. Anderson Conservation Area Puts the 'Eden' in the Prairie

Sonja Anderson enjoys hiking the natural wonderland in southwestern Eden Prairie that honors her late husband's land preservation efforts. As she grows older, these journeys to the Richard T. Anderson Conservation Area are less frequent-seesawing through the 130 acres of woodlands and prairies can be challenging, especially the steep trek to its peak, overlooking the Minnesota River Valley.

Eden Prairie News
07/15/2003
Legendary wrestler Verne Gagne 'never got tired of wrestling'

I profiled pioneering wrestler Verne Gagne, who died in 2015, while he lived in Eden Prairie, Minn., a suburb of Minneapolis, in 2003. It was very hot the day I returned to take some more photos, and Verne wasn't wearing a shirt. I believe he was working out. He put on the first thing handy, a very heavy sweater. It didn't seem to bother him.

tribunedigital-chicagotribune
03/31/1999
The End Of The Line Is Just The Beginning

Jack Kelly gingerly patted the side of the barn-red wooden caboose, boasting of his role in bringing the 2 1/2-ton antique "home" to Lisle. Well, not exactly home, but close. Chicago Burlington & Quincy caboose No. 14584 was built in May 1881 in Aurora, and, according to Kelly, spent decades chugging past Lisle on the railroad line.

SWNewsMedia.com
06/10/2007
EP musings

It was a definite for the kind, silver-haired gentlemen helping to detangle reels during the Eden Prairie Optimists' Fishing Derby on a sun kissed Saturday morning. Our conversation took place on the dock overlooking the fathers and mothers helping their children cast lines into the cold but clear water of Round Lake.

Stuart Sudak's Blog
Stuart Sudak's Blog

Legendary wrestler and promoter Verne Gagne died at age 89 on April 27. The following article I wrote a dozen or so years ago for the Eden Prairie News after discovering that the legendary wrestler was retired and living in a townhouse in Eden Prairie, Minn.

Email icon