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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The long-awaited opening of East Ridge High School has finally arrived, and everyone is wondering how did it go? The Bulletin recently sat down with principal Aaron Harper to discuss the first week of school. Q: What was the first day of school like? A: It was just running around being crazy and all the emotion attached to it -- kind of all that rolled up into one. It was emotional, it was draining, super exciting, energizing, crazy. But also trying to take a moment to live in the moment and realize that it's a special day. Q: What was it like for the kids on first day school?
District 833 has been working hard to manage its budget and keep costs down, and this includes the heads of Community Education's Kindergarten Plus all-day kindergarten program. The Kindergarten Plus program's supply budget is dropping from $1,000 per classroom to $250 per classroom. There are currently 35 sections, housing nearly 700 students, at all 16 elementary schools in the district. "Because this is a fee-based program, we try really hard to keep the costs down as best we can for parents," said Ernie Pines, Community Education director.
When School District 833's junior high schools become middle schools this fall, much more than the schools' grade configurations will change. Students in grades six through eight will be part of a middle school system, which emphasizes relationships among students and staff. Teams of teachers will work with the same group of students, and they'll meet daily to discuss students to learn what is working, and what areas a student may need help in. "The teachers will be discussing those kids Monday through Friday all year," said Kari Lopez, principal at Woodbury Middle School.
Wind turbines could possibly be blowing into Afton in the near future. During the July 21 meeting of the Afton City Council, it was discussed whether or not the council should look into writing an ordinance that would deal with wind turbines.
Walking down the halls of the still unfinished East Ridge High School, it's hard to imagine that in just a few short months they'll be alive with students running to class, teachers offering an encouraging smile and the morning bells marking the first chapter in a new story. "Everything is so detail-oriented that it's hard to focus on the big things right now like the first day of school," East Ridge principal Aaron Harper said.
Spc. Dan Drevnick, of Woodbury, was laid to rest on Saturday July 25 when friends and family came out to say their goodbyes at the fallen soldiers' funeral at King of Kings Lutheran Church in Woodbury. "We come here today with humble and grateful hearts," Pastor Timothy Hackbarth said. "Dan faced his life head on and fearless -- and he will forever be remembered." Drevnick, 22, died on July 16 in Basra, Iraq, while serving as part of the National Guard Red Bull 34th Infantry Division, when there unit was attacked by indirect fire. Two other soldiers from Minnesota, Carlos E.
Afton already has a controversial tower in their midst, but could another structure beginning with a 'T' be added into the mix? At the July 6 meeting of the Afton Planning Commission, commissioners heard a presentation from Ralph Jacobson, from Innovative Power Systems, about wind turbines. The issue of wind turbines was looked into by the planning commission, because a new property owner, Alida Messinger, is requesting to install a wind turbine on the property located at 536 Stagecoach Trail South. "We're kind of stuck, because you have no ordinances dealing with wind turbines," Jacobson s
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.