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Jeff Strickler

Assistant Features Editor | Lifestyle
Phone: 612-673-7392

Jeff Strickler is the assistant features editor for the Star Tribune. He has spent most of his career working for the Variety section, including reviewing movies and covering religion. Now he leads a team of a reporters who cover entertainment and lifestyle issues.


A native of New York City, Strickler studied journalism with a minor in theater at the then-College of St. Thomas (now University) in St. Paul. He and his wife have lived in St. Louis Park for 35 years — albeit in four different places over that time — where they raised their two daughters.
Recent content from Jeff Strickler
Live-streaming group fitness classes are available at a wide range of times.

Fitness clubs ramp up online classes: 'We want to meet people where they are'

What started as a quick fix during the pandemic has turned into a booming industry.
Minneapolis Realtors Jimmy Fogel and Tash Casso Fogel are happy about their relationship — and they don’t care what anyone else thinks about it.

38 years apart in age, Minneapolis couple are happily together in love

Only 8.5% of married couples in the U.S. have more than a 10-year age difference.
Faltering in your fitness resolutions? Just because you failed to do yoga one day doesn’t mean you can’t start back in the next.

Resolve to keep your resolutions

By now, most of us have ditched our New Year's resolutions. Here's how to hang onto yours.
Dr. Dale Anderson is 81 and a half;  “After you hit 80, you start counting half years,” he said. He worked as a surgeon until he was force

Minnesota's 'Happy Doc' turns personal happiness into a DIY project

Instead of waiting for circumstances to change, we can make an attitude adjustment.
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When social distancing isn't all bad: 10 of the pandemic's bright spots

The quarantine has a number of tantalizing opportunities we can use to our benefit. Here are some to consider.
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Baby name trends: Suddenly there are lots of Kamalas but fewer Karens

Annual list of popular baby names reflects 2020.
Provided by Hormel

A meat-lover's mask: Hormel is giving away bacon-scented face coverings

"Don't just eat bacon," the company's website advises. "Inhale it."
Jules Rivera’s take on the “Mark Trail” comic strip: Mark, Rusty, Andy the dog and Cherry.

Starting Monday, 'Mark Trail' takes a new path

Monday's strip is the first by Jules Rivera, a new artist who has taken over the comic strip. But she's not jettisoning everything that has made "Mark Trail" part of readers' daily routines since 1946.
Video exercise classes have taken off.

You can't blame the pandemic anymore: It's time to exercise again

Twin Cities trainer/dietitian says it's time to quit using COVID-19 as an excuse: "We're not as fit as we were before."
Katie Thornton

Minnesota historian raises a glass to women, bars and suffrage

Multimedia journalist traces the lines between temperance and suffrage movements.
Exercising at home is predicted to remain at least a part of workout routines after the pandemic.

Video workouts get a second wind thanks to COVID

Shelter-at-home rules caused the market to explode among serious exercise fans.
Yellow rubber duck isolated on white background

Do Siri and Alexa hate Minnesota?

Word-recognition programs have trouble understanding us.
Artist Linda Christensen carved a solid block of butter in the Dairy Building at the Minnesota State Fair in 2018.

Minnesota State Fair's famous butter sculptures will go on this year

The carving process will be streamed on the Princess Kay Facebook page.
State Fair beers from the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild.

With no drinks to serve this year, Minnesota State Fair is selling its spare plastic cups

You won't be able to sip your favorite cool beverage at the State Fair this year, but you can drink it from an official cup.
Take your time -- and be sure to stretch — when returning to the gym.

Exercise caution when returning to the gym

Gyms have been closed for three long months, so while the spirit is willing, the muscles may be weak.
We salute four Twin Cities women who have risen to the challenge

4 resilient Minnesota moms have advice for Mother's Day: 'Be kind to yourself'

This Mother's Day, we salute four Twin Cities women who have risen to the challenge during chaotic times.
Step by step instructions to make your own no-sew mask to protect yourself from Covid-19.
Developed by Dr. Christian Schrock, a Twin Cities epidemiolo

How to make a face mask, without having to sew a stitch

A Minnesota doctor and his wife have designed a no-sew face mask that simulates a surgical mask. It can be made in about 10 minutes from materials you probably have on hand.
Fitness tutorials are available online.

How to strengthen your resolve to exercise during quarantine

If you treat exercise as something you simply have to do — and try to make it fun — you're more likely to stick with it.
As the Twin Cities Auto Show was preparing for its opening, crews were busy building displays and polishing the cars that will be on display through t

Twin Cities Auto Show revs up car buffs

For some folks, it's an annual tradition.
“Ancient Caves” was filmed with a shoebox-sized digital camera.

'Ancient Caves' shows off Science Museum's new movie technology

The movie is narrated by Bryan Cranston of TV's "Breaking Bad" fame.
Karl Erickson coached a group of first-time ice anglers on the importance of keeping quiet. “Noise scares away fish,” he said.

Twin Cities teacher has introduced more than 1,000 kids to ice fishing

Over the last five winters, the middle school teacher has worked to promote the favorite Minnesota past-time by working with schools, community groups and veterans' family organizations.
Above, Hannah Peine of St. Paul poured water onto the head of a friend, Lindsey Hostetler of Northfield, after they emerged from a sauna on a recent n

Sauna Village is the new hidden hot spot in the Twin Cities

Minnesotans behind 612 Sauna Society's mobile sauna operation want to promote "thermaculture."
July 19, 2019 Suzie Dahl cooled off at the Summer Jam Festival on hottest day of the year.

Minnesota's 2019 weather was wet, wild and record-breaking

The year's weather was a record-breaker. Twin Cities precipitation totaled more than a foot above average.
Bryan Cranston

Bryan Cranston narrates Imax film premiering at Science Museum of Minnesota

Recently retired St. Paul museum exec hired "Breaking Bad" star for "Ancient Caves."
Trupanion, a pet insurance provider based in Seattle, put together lists of the 10 most popular names for cats and dogs in 2019. They’re two separat

What's this? Cat lovers and dog lovers agreeing on something? Yes

They think alike when it comes to naming their cherished four-legged friends.
Chief Confetti Officer Kylee Leonetti’s company adds a human touch to confetti.

Locally made, artisan confetti? 'It's much more photogenic.'

When Kylee Leonetti says her business is a cut above, she isn’t speaking just metaphorically. Leonetti Confetti makes artisan confetti, each piece of fluttering paper…
Owen, 16, Jillian, 13, and Addie, 10, ran to catch up with their dad, John Mack, as they searched for a tree in the cut-your-own fields at Krueger’s

At Minnesota Christmas tree farm, everyone is family: 'We want everyone to feel good'

At this Christmas tree farm, everyone is family — from four generations of owners, to staff, visitors, even the evergreens.
A third of those who serve canned cranberry sauce preserve the can shape.

Is it time to can the canned cranberry sauce?

Nearly half of Americans say canned cranberry sauce is "disgusting," a survey found.
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How to keep trick-or-treating safe

The best Halloween treat is for everyone to finish the evening happy. To that end, here are some safety tricks. While out and about •…
The new digital Omnitheater, with the production Ancient Caves on the screen in St. Paul, Minn., on Monday, October 7, 2019. We were able to pause the

Science Museum of Minnesota reopens state-of-the-art Omnitheater

The new digital laser dome is only the third of its kind in the world.
Erin Meyers donned the protective race gear she’ll wear when she drives the car.

In Brainerd, they're racing the worst cars they can find

An endurance race for junker cars has entrants channeling their inner MacGyver.
Les Heggernes’ bath baskets are a thank-you gift to Union Gospel Mission.

Oak Park Heights man repays 80-year-old debt to group that helped him as a teenager

Les Heggernes, 94, collects towels and toiletry items for the 400 homeless people who find shelter at the Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities each night.
Jillian Bell plays the title character in “Brittany Runs a Marathon.”

Jillian Bell's 'Brittany Runs a Marathon' races to an inspiring finish

This comic drama is a call to action for anyone who's facing a challenge.
This image released by Annapurna Pictures shows Beanie Feldstein, left, and Kaitlyn Dever in a scene from the film "Booksmart," directed by Olivia Wil

The 10 best movies of the summer (so far), from 'Aladdin' to 'Yesterday'

Do we really need another version of "The Lion King"? Another rock bioflick? Another "Aladdin"? Yes, we do.
On July 1, 1994, Joan Monson of Golden Valley started a fitness program that involved walking 3 miles a day. She’s still at it.

For the past 25 years, this Minnesotan has walked 3 miles every single day

Golden Valley woman has notched 25 years of daily walks without missing a single one.
A recent study from more than 30 years of global race results found that Americans are slowing down, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

U.S. runners are devoted but slow, study finds

We run more than in other countries, but it takes us longer.
Ron Howard

With new film 'Pavarotti,' Ron Howard gives Ken Burns a run for his money: 'I love history'

Ron Howard took us to the moon and into hyperspace. Now he profiles a stratospheric singer.
Luciano Pavarotti in “Pavarotti,” a documentary by Ron Howard.

Pavarotti documentary hits a personal note: 'His life was an opera'

Documentary focuses on the man more than his music.
Barry ZeVan, the flamboyant retired Twin Cities weatherman, in the studio after a taping of his “Retro Weather” show at CCX Media in Brooklyn Park

Minnesota's Barry ZeVan 'the Weatherman' offers old-school forecasts

Longtime TV personality Barry ZeVan offers old-school weathercasts.
Jessica Chastain, left, and Sophie Turner in “Dark Phoenix.”

Sophie Turner and Jessica Chastain turn X-Men franchise into X-Women with 'Dark Phoenix'

"Dark Phoenix" works a nifty gender reversal on the superhero sci-fi series.
Fraser and his wife, Arvonne (who died last year), shown here in 1986, shared a passion for helping the less fortunate.

Vintage Minnesota: Don Fraser dedicated his life to helping people

Longtime politician exuded calm and humility.
Mena Massoud plays Aladdin and Will Smith is the Genie in the live-action “Aladdin.”

Live-action remake of Disney's 'Aladdin' keeps the magic alive

The live-action version of the Disney classic hits its stride with Will Smith's belated entrance as the genie.
“The Lion King.”

The top 10 summer movies that are taking aim at 'Avengers'

Looking for the next blockbuster? Here are the movies that will be jockeying for superiority in the next few weeks.
Al Milgrom, founder of what is now the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul, shot footage for “Singin’ in the Grain” for 45 years.

A movie decades in the making? At age 96, Minnesotan has the footage to prove it

Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul founder Al Milgrom started filming the documentary "Singin' in the Grain" in 1974. You can finally see it.
Rory Kinnear, center, in “Peterloo.”

British filmmaker Mike Leigh tried to keep politics out of 'Peterloo' – but couldn't

British director Mike Leigh tried to keep contemporary issues out of his 1819 drama. He couldn't.
Protesters in northern England demand their voting rights in “Peterloo.” What they got instead was a massacre.Amazon Studios

Don't expect too much too soon from Mike Leigh's 'Peterloo'

This historical epic leads to a big finish, but there's too much talk along the way.
Frozen fish becomes a deadly weapon in the hands of “Grumpy Old Men” star Walter Matthau. (Warner Bros. photo)

Stuck inside? 10 binge-worthy movies about extreme weather

You're trapped inside by the polar vortex. What better time could there be for binge-watching classic films about the weather?There are two philosophies to building…
Lucas (Jonah Hauer-King) and Bella (Amber) in Columbia Pictures' A DOG'S WAY HOME. ORG XMIT: Jonah Hauer King (Finalized)

'A Dog's Way Home' is worth a tail wag

Family flick "A Dog's Way Home" chronicles a pet's 400-mile journey.
KiKi Layne as Tish and Stephan James as Fonny in Barry Jenkins’ “If Beale Street Could Talk.”

'If Beale Street Could Talk' has a lot to say about racism

This story of social justice gone horribly awry is disturbing and powerful.
Oscar nominee Lucas Hedges plays a struggling young addict and Julia Roberts his mistrustful mother in “Ben Is Back.”

Julia Roberts' new film 'Ben Is Back' is a powerful drama about drug abuse

"Ben Is Back" explores the catastrophic costs of addiction on one middle-class family.
Disney’s original musical “Mary Poppins Returns.”

Emily Blunt is super as Mary Poppins returns to thrill a new generation

"Mary Poppins Returns" to thrill a new generation of viewers without alienating the old one.
Paul Dickinson in the Minneapolis-filmed “Lake Street Detective.”

Minnesota is ready for its closeup in festival of locally shot films at Parkway

Cinema Minneapolis features two nights of indie films that were shot here or were made by filmmakers from here.
"In all of our lives, there is something positive that we can find,” says Mary Jo Kreitzer, founder and director of the Earl E. Bakken Center for Sp

How 'an attitude of gratitude' can improve your life

Proponents of counting your blessings say not only is it easy, it works.
Liam Neeson and Viola Davis.

Hollywood goes big with these 9 holiday movie hopefuls

Filmmakers wrap up 2018 with a push for Oscar nominations and box-office bonanzas.
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OK, so Minnesotans are cranky – wanna make something of it?

In a state-by-state comparison of what medical symptoms people google, Minnesotans focus on irritability. (Don't even ask about Wisconsin.)
The production of acorns is cyclical, with a larger-than-usual crop turning up every two to five years.

Why Minnesota's oak trees are going squirrelly with acorns

The oak trees are literally going nuts this fall, with some of them producing up to 10 times their normal output.
Preparations are being made in England for the wedding of Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

A Minnesotan's guide to watching the royal wedding

A list of odds and sods to make it appear that you know your onions.
Author Stephen King attends the Book Expo 2017 event held at the Jacob Javits Center on June 1, 2017 in New York City.

Stephen King's new mystery is a bait and switch

FICTION: "The Outsider" is sort of two books in one. Either one alone would have been more satisfying.
What do you call your honey bunny?

Bae, sweetie, darling: How gushy pet names help strengthen relationships

The language of love is gooey, but those cutesy names can help you stick together.
Barbara Carlson has received a diagnosis of stage 4 cancer. Family and friends threw her a party Saturday at the University Club in St. Pau . Here, Ca

Facing death, Barbara Carlson is living it up

After learning she has terminal cancer, she threw herself a going-away party while still healthy enough to enjoy it.
Climatologist Mark Seeley recalled the morning after the 1991 Halloween blizzard when he hiked to the U’s weather station and found only the instrum

After 40 years, Minnesota's weather man Mark Seeley still not coming in from cold

Since 1978, the U's go-to guy has weathered the climatological storm.
LARK Toys, the quaint but immense toy store in Kellogg, Minn. Part of the Magazine's gift guide. Here, Scott Gray Burlingame the shop where he works o

Massive toy store in tiny Minnesota town beckons nostalgia seekers from around the state

LARK Toys in Kellogg, Minn., offers thousands of nostalgic toys in a Santa's workshop setting.
Runners of all ages participated in the Twin Cities Marathon and 10-mile races.

Sign of the times: Minnesota marathoners rank better with age

In a state-by-state breakdown of how marathoners rank, Minnesotans steadily move up the list as we age.
Barbara Carlson now lives in a 650-square-foot income-based apartment furnished with finds scored on the last day of estate sales, when prices drop.

Minneapolis' effervescent Barbara Carlson shares her cautionary riches-to-rags tale

Politician and gadfly Barbara Carlson once lived a life as large as her personality. Now she's trying to keep other women from going broke like she did.
Cornered British troops on the beach at Dunkirk, France, await evacuation across the English Channel in “Dunkirk.”

Director Christopher Nolan turns defeat at 'Dunkirk' into a cinematic triumph

REVIEW: This ferocious depiction of the World War II beachfront battle will awe some viewers and alienate others — for the same basic reasons.
We can't seem to pick up the pace.

Why the average American runner 'has never been slower'

Except for elites, data show steady increase in race times across board over 20 years.
John Grisham Photo by Billy Hunt

REVIEW: 'Camino Island,' by John Grisham

FICTION: Fitzgerald manuscripts disappear in John Grisham's latest mystery — which is really all about writing.
Bacon isn’t going to disappear; if anything, it’s just going to get harder to find — and, by extension — more expensive.

Are we on the brink of a bacon shortage? Depends on whom you ask

There's a bacon crisis looming on the horizon, the USDA warned. The country's bacon reserves are at the lowest point they've been since December 1957.
"Snowblind" by Ragnar Jonasson

Review: 'Snowblind,' by Ragnar Jonasson

FICTION: This murder mystery set in a small Icelandic town takes a page from "Murder on the Orient Express."
Care Providers of Minnesota volunteer of the year Dick Schirmacher with “DQ buddy” Tony Hightower at Good Samaritan Society in Robbinsdale.

Minnesota volunteer and his 'DQ buddy' share a sweet bond

The Care Providers of Minnesota volunteer of the year has formed a special bond with a resident at the Good Samaritan Society in Robbinsdale.
Louise Spencer, 92, drove a semitrailer truck – and became a legend in her assisted-living home. “It’s never too late to accomplish a dream.”

At 92, St. Anthony woman fulfills 'dream' of driving a semi

Six months past cancer surgery and nine days shy of her 92nd birthday, Louise Spencer pushed her walker up to the door of the 18-wheeler. She was crossing an item off her bucket list — driving a semi.
Ben Utecht and wife Karyn at home in Lakeville with their daughters Elleora, 7; Haven, 1, and Amy and Kate, both 5. Ben, who played for the Minnesota

After concussions, ex-Gophers football star Ben Utecht fights not to forget

With new concussion treatment, Minnesota football star Ben Utecht is determined to remember what's most important: his family.
John Sandford Photo by Beowulf Sheehan

Review: 'Escape Clause,' by John Sandford

FICTION: The latest Virgil Flowers mystery takes a while to hit its stride.
While volunteering to drive fellow senior citizens to appointments, Bill Rasmussen also provides entertainment in the form of Frank Sinatra classics,

Car karaoke en route to care: St. Paul man sings Sinatra while chauffering seniors

"Going to see a doctor or dentist isn't always the most pleasant experience. The music puts them at ease."
The former Walker Library has seen many uses.

Century-old Walker Library gets a new chapter

Century-old Uptown landmark continues to find new life 35 years after it supposedly was closed.