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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Simon guards the halls at all of the South Washington County middle and high schools armed with nothing but his nose. Simon is a narcotics dog with the Washington County Sheriff's Office. Officer Keith Anderson, of the investigations division, takes Simon into the schools to perform random narcotics sniffs of lockers, classrooms and even the parking lot. "The way it works is that the school has to request our services," Anderson said.
The Afton House Inn has embarked on a new endeavor with the opening of the new combination wine shop and wine bar Swirl. The store will be located in the area across from the Afton Bean coffee shop. The concept of Swirl is that it will house around 70 or so wines for sale by the bottle, and it will sell six different wines by the glass which will change every week. Every Friday there will be a wine tasting of the "wines of the week." In addition to the wines, Swirl will also sell tapas, small plates and homemade desserts.
In 2006, District 833's orchestra program started with 250 fourth- and fifth-grade students. Four years later the program has grown to 750 fourth- through eighth-grade students, and continues to grow. Next fall, for the first time ever, District 833 high schools will offer orchestra. "It's going to be very exciting that this small group of students who originally started in this program will enter the high school for the first time next year," said Nancy Wiessner, District 833 fine arts coordinator. The community will come together to celebrate the orchestra program on Feb.
There are plenty of knowledge competitions where students need to use their brains to answer test questions, but the Brain Bee takes it one step further. They must use their brains to answer questions about the brain. East Ridge High School sophomore Kevin Ig-Izevekhai has qualified for the state Brain Bee competition on Feb. 10 at the University of Minnesota. "I've always kind of been interested in the body, first of all, and especially the brain," he said.
Before Ellery Case was even born, she was fighting for her life. "She was born fighting," Ellery's mother Heidi Case of Woodbury said.
How many little boys have superhero bed sheets or pajamas? How many little boys have drawers and closets filled with action fingers and comic books? Probably more than can be counted. Well, for one day all of these superhero fans had a chance to taste the superhero lifestyle during District 833 Community Education's Superhero Training Camp on Jan. 15 in the Woodbury High School Activities Center. During the event, every super boy brought with them their favorite super female sidekick -- mother, grandmother, sister or aunt -- for a day of superhero games and training.
The district's three high school theater programs will unite to showcase their one-act plays Jan. 20. The plays "Crimes of the Heart," "Flaming Idiots," and "Dracula" will be performed on the Loft Stage at East Ridge. "One-acts are actually notorious for not being very well-attended to be honest since they are shortened versions," said East Ridge one-act director Katie Carlson. "It was a really good idea to bring all the schools together to get more people in the seats.
Eleven volunteers from the Five Oaks Community Church here who are in Haiti on a mission trip to assist with an orphanage project are safe and well after the 7.0 earthquake hit the country on Tuesday, according to their church pastor. The volunteers traveled to Haiti on Saturday to assist with the construction of All God's Children orphanage in Fedja, Haiti. Fedja is about 45 miles north of the country's capitol of Port-au-Prince. All volunteers are safe and the orphanage received no considerable damage, the Rev. Henry Williams said.
A sport that involves chasing a ball while flying on a broomstick is the basis for one of East Ridge High School's newest clubs. A small group of East Ridge students are attempting to form an after-school Quidditch Club that will take up the make-believe sport featured in the Harry Potter novel and film series. The students hosted an informational meeting Wednesday, Dec. 2. When East Ridge junior Megan Thompson first suggested the game of Quidditch to her friends, they were a bit skeptical.
District 833 school buses became victims of frigid temperatures Monday morning when five of its school buses failed to start early in the morning after sitting dormant during the holiday break. As a result of the start-up failures, 11 bus routes were affected. The 11 bus routes affected were - #327A at East Ridge High School, #223 at Lake Middle School, #246 and #250 at Oltman Middle School,#101 at Armstrong Elementary, #163 at Hillside Elementary, #140 at Royal Oaks Elementary, #702 and #705 at Nuevas Fronteras, #803 at Transfiguration and #802 at Valley Crossing Community School.