Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.
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A summer camp in Afton and beyond for youth ages 6 to 12 is aiming to dispel misconceptions about American Indians. School District 833, in cooperation with the South St. Paul School District, the Indian Youth Enrichment Program and St.
A Woodbury man, along with 17 other defendants, have been charged in federal court in connection with an indoor marijuana growing operation. Dat Thai Tran, 27, of Woodbury was charged on Wednesday, July 2 with one count of conspiracy to manufacturer at least 1,000 marijuana plants. The criminal complaint alleges that Tran, and 17 other defendants, conspired to manufacture marijuana plants from February through June. Search warrants were executed on June 30 for various locations throughout the Twin Cities.
The lawsuit against an Afton resident and his allegedly illegal airstrip will be stuck on the runway for a bit longer. A jury trial was set to begin this morning, but prior to the trial the attorney for Afton resident Jeffrey Walker made a motion to be removed from the case. The motion was granted. It's been almost five years since Walker installed an airstrip on his property at 1022 Indian Trail South in Afton -- a move Afton officials contend is not permitted by city ordinance.
Summer has officially started for the students of New Life Academy who had their last day of school on June 4, and for the seniors it was the last day before they embark on their futures. What better way to celebrate the end of the year than by celebrating the students who have achieved so much over the year. This year's secondary awards ceremony awarded numerous awards to New Life students grades eight through 12.
Denise Minea grew up around music, as her family was a very musical one. Ever since she was a young girl, she has been singing in church choirs, too. Now Minea, a Woodbury resident, is hoping to reach others with her debut album of Christian folk music, "In This Life: Reflections on Birch Point." "It won't be everybody's cup of tea, but it will definitely speak to some people," Minea said.
Afton city attorney Fritz Knaak may have his work cut out for him in Afton, but there is another case currently commanding his attention -- Minnesota's U.S. Senate recount. Knaak, of the law firm Knaak and Kantrud PA, and a Vadnais Heights resident, is one of several attorneys working on Republican Sen. Norm Coleman's case against Democratic contender Al Franken. Both Coleman's and Franken's points of view are scheduled to be heard in the Minnesota Supreme Court on Monday, June 1. "It's about as important of a case that will be heard in the Supreme Court," Knaak said.
May is almost coming to a close and that means only one thing for Afton residents -- May Fair is almost here. Every year, hundreds of people come out for the annual event that celebrates everything great about spring and summer. The 17th Annual Afton May Fair will be May 30 and 31 in Afton's Town Square. A variety of events and activities will be taking place. You can stop by the May Fair to peruse the many art vendors on display, or you can enter your family's pie recipe into the pie contest and listen to live music.
It's that time of year again, when District 833 families get the chance to taste a bit of everything South Washington County has to offer. The South Washington County Schools Education Foundation's Taste of South Washington County Extravaganza will come to Woodbury High School on May 5. "We really want to not only raise funds for the Education Foundation, but also be an opportunity to build a sense of community," foundation executive director Patti Bitney Starke said. The Taste of South Washington County Extravaganza was started in 1998 when the education foundation was born.
In addition the numerous changes already facing School District 833 this year -- a new high school, new school boundaries, a new superintendent and a transition to a middle school system -- yet another change is looming on the horizon. Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington) has brought a bill to the Minnesota House of Representatives that would dramatically change the way districts are funded by the state. "We should be funding those things that are improving a student's education," he said.
A Woodbury family frustrated by the edicts of a District 833 school boundary decision are taking a stand in court. Kendra and Tim Goertzen have filed a lawsuit with the Minnesota Court of Appeals on Feb. 17 over issues stemming from the school boundary decision District 833's school board made in April 2008. "Filing a lawsuit was the last thing we wanted to do, but we couldn't get them to listen to reason," Kendra Goertzen said. The Goertzens live in the Wedgewood Point neighborhood of Woodbury, a little over a mile from Middleton Elementary.