Craig David Stastny walked along Broadway's bright lights, soaked in the sights and took in seven plays in seven days during a trip to New York City two years ago, a visit that was payment for a summer's work at a small Wisconsin theater company. Stastny, a 2006 Park High School graduate and Minnesota State University-Mankato senior musical theater major who plays a leading role in the university's upcoming production of "One Flea Spare" this week, saw those lights, the big stages, the actors and knew right where he would end up. Broadway "felt right," the 21-year-old said last week.
Washington County transportation officials will solicit more than $2 million from the Counties Transit Improvement Board to purchase property for a future Newport transit station after county commissioners approved the grant application last week. The move to seek $2.55 million in funding is another step toward the goal held by transit advocates and county transportation planners of locating a park and ride lot in Newport. The transit station is intended to build mass transit use along the Red Rock Corridor from St.
Greg Burtman remembers a Newport even smaller and quieter than the one today, a place where, as a Newport Elementary student bus patrol, he would jump from the big, yellow school bus stopped at the train tracks, make sure the coast was clear, then wave it safely across toward Highway 61. Now, the 57-year-old Burtman, who grew up in Woodbury and attended elementary school for a time in Newport, is back, formally sworn in last week as postmaster at the Newport branch post office. Burtman, a 29-year veteran of the U.S. Postal Service, has been back in Newport since March.
A group led by a Cottage Grove businessman is interested in purchasing a Mississippi River marina in St. Paul Park that is the site of a failed housing and restaurant development. Paul Narpaul, president of Cottage Grove-based Innovative Chemical Corporation, said last week he and a group of investors had been granted an extension of their purchase option on the 56-acre Harbor Village -- previously Willie's Hidden Harbor -- property in St. Paul Park. The previous owners of the restaurant and marina, Pese, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year.
Newport City Council narrowly passed a preliminary 2010 budget and property tax levy Thursday, with one council member saying a move to levy $10,000 less than the budget originally presented to council was just "a political game." The city's $2.5 million preliminary 2010 budget, which will gain final approval in December, will see property taxes jump by more than $100 for a home valued at $200,000 thanks largely to a $168,000 special levy that will help fill the void of state aid lost by the city in 2008 and 2009. City Administrator Brian Anderson originally proposed a $178,000 special levy
Cottage Grove Public Works officials are hoping a simple switch of lightbulbs will save the city big-time in lighting costs. The city initiated a test program last month that switched a dozen streetlights along a busy Cottage Grove roadway from traditional light fixtures to new energy-efficient LED streetlights, one public works officials say they believe will save thousands of dollars in electricity and labor costs. Light-emitting diodes make light when exposed to an electrical charge.
Cottage Grove City Council on Wednesday OK'd the preliminary 2010 city budget and property tax levy that, if approved in December, would decrease general fund spending by 3.6 percent and avoid major cuts in city staff and services. The $12.8 million preliminary budget raises Cottage Grove's property tax rate by roughly 3.6 percent. But for most residents, the city share of their 2010 tax bill will shrink because of declining home values across much of the city. Councilmember Mark Grossklaus opposed both the budget and levy Wednesday.
Cottage Grove City Council members will vote Wednesday on adopting the proposed 2010 budget and property tax levy that proposes to cut city spending by 3.6 percent and would shrink the average homeowner's city property tax bill. The $12.75 million proposed budget includes an approximate 3.6 percent increase in the city's property tax rate.
A Cottage Grove man was charged last month for allegedly stealing mail from more than a dozen Cottage Grove mailboxes, and police say more mail thefts occurred in another of the city's neighborhoods in late August. Nicholas Jennrich was charged in Washington County District Court with two felony counts of mail theft and one count of fleeing an officer, a misdemeanor. The 26-year-old man was arrested in the early morning hours of Aug.