Herald intern wants to write, work for newspaper
Blair Bengs has started getting out of the city and into the country.
When the Herald's summer news intern was introduced to the Pierce County Fair last year, she liked what she saw.
"It was the first time I ever sat on a tractor," the Red Wing native said Tuesday.
The fair will account for a major share of her duties at the newspaper. She'll contribute articles and photos to the Herald's special Pierce County Fair section, to be published shortly before the Aug. 10-13 event. She'll also participate in newspaper coverage during the fair's run.
"I plan to give readers a view into the different aspects of the fair," she said.
Besides singing with the choir, the 2003 Red Wing High School graduate worked for the weekly student newspaper, "The Aerie," she said. She served as its editor in her senior year. More recently, she's been a member of the staff of The Student Voice as a student at UW-River Falls.
Bengs has gone from urban to rural in her college education, too. She said she spent two-and-a-half years on the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota, taking basic courses toward a bachelors degree. But financial considerations prompted her to switch to UWRF this past semester.
"I'm paying my own way through college," she said.
The student said she's been employed part-time at Corner Drug in Red Wing since she was 15-years-old, starting as a clerk waiting on customers and advancing to a pharmacy technician, filling and processing prescriptions. She rotates work shifts between the downtown store and its outlet inside the Fairview medical clinic. Additionally, she sells Mary Kay Cosmetics, conducting shows and accepting phone orders.
Her major at UWRF is journalism, she said. Input into the college's newspaper is required for one class; among her other classes are news reporting and the history of mass communication. The history minor expects to take courses in media law and race in the news as a senior this fall.
In the summer of 2004, she interned at KWNG Radio in Red Wing, she said. She wrote stories and recorded newscasts, but the brevity in writing for broadcast and the deadline pressures convinced her to pursue print.
"I want to work for a newspaper," she said.
Bengs is the daughter of Peter and Ann Bengs. She has two sisters, Stacy, age 20, and Samantha, 16. The family also includes a beagle, "Bella," and a basset hound, "Sherlock."
Beyond the fair, her Herald internship will involve photography at several community celebrations, meeting coverage and some features for the newspaper's special progress edition this fall.