Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
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When son-in-law Eric and daughter Margie dropped me off in front of the Cottage Grove Target store at 8:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving night, the line to get in to the store at 9 p.m. was already down to Radio Shack. Since it was less than four hours until Black Friday, I called the early opening Gray Thursday. At the front of the line were a group of men from St. Paul Park who seemed to be having a good time. They were ready to buy large television sets and Xboxes at bargain prices. I asked them if they had been drinking or were just crazy to be waiting outside during the first blast of winter.
As he looks out of his office window, Pastor Bryan Olson sees the Old Cottage Grove Cemetery and is reminded that the church he serves is full of many years of family connections. "There's a feeling of community here, of being included," Olson said in an interview last week. "People help one another." Olson, the new pastor of Cottage Grove United Church of Christ, is returning to the congregation where he served his seminary internship 10 years ago. His assignment was to develop a youth ministry in the church and at Community United Church of Christ in St.
Nick Lenz, who is headed for a career in business, said he's learned to relax and take his time with customers. "The customer is always right," he said. "It's my Golden Rule." Lenz isn't getting his business experience working in retail in the community; he's working during the lunch shift at Park Square, a store at Park High School solely run by students. In its third year, the store has about 15 student volunteers who run the operation with the advice of Park economics teacher Todd Hyland. Park student Morgan Green agreed with her friends that working in the store is fun.
Grey Cloud Island Township Board Chair Dick Adams, in a serious vein, opened the November meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance as usual last week. Then, silliness took over. Since I first went there in the early 1970s, my favorite assignment has been covering the township. It's not a job for a rookie reporter since no one wears name tags and there are no name plates in front of the three board members, clerk or treasurer. Residents frequently comment from the audience. A first-time visitor might conclude they have a casual attitude toward holding a public meeting, but that's not true.
The Women's Fellowship at Cottage Grove United Church of Christ, with their new cookbook "What's Cooking?" are carrying forward the traditions of church women who've gone before them. The fellowship's first cookbook was written in 1969 and contained recipes passed down through generations of church women dating back to 1858, when the first church was organized in Old Cottage Grove. To honor those women, the new version, which is the sixth volume, contains some of the old recipes along with new ones. Fellowship members also included stories with some of the recipes that have been passed down
Reed Tschumperlin's fifth-grade class at Crestview Elementary School recently worked in small groups to discuss what they are thankful for. Here are their essays. --Judy Spooner 'They support us' We are thankful for our families because they support us through our struggles and are always there for us. They believe in you, love you and teach you lessons on how to behave. When we get down, they push us back up. We are also thankful for veterans because they fight for our country. They never give up on us.
Eric and Karen Wenzel are extending their warmth for the third year with "Coats of Kindness," a campaign to collect new and gently used winter coats and accessories for people who can't afford them. Karen, who is in partnership with her husband in Wenzel Financial Services in Cottage Grove, got the idea to collect winter coats, after a service at All Saints Lutheran Church three years ago. The church was giving out envelopes containing $50.
The District 833 School Board is interested in taking over the Crosswinds East Metro Arts and Science School building in Woodbury. Although early in discussions, board members said last week they see that the Crosswinds building could become a fifth District 833 middle school.
Grey Cloud Island Town Board members nixed an offer to investigate whether there are spirits in the township cemetery. Cory Miller, director of Twin Cities Paranormal Investigations, said the company wants to film a documentary to determine the validity of a story about 12 nuns being buried in the Grey Cloud cemetery with one always missing.
People who have been told they have cancer never forget the day they got the diagnosis and the fear they felt.