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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To get more students to be successful in college, preparation has to start in middle school. That's the philosophy behind the Ramp Up to Readiness program being launched this fall at Oltman, Lake, Woodbury and Cottage Grove middle schools. The University of Minnesota is behind the program and accepted applications from only 34 middle schools. There is no grant money involved, but principals, teachers and counselors are given training and access to curriculum materials.
An injury kept Dylan Buhl hospitalized and unable to attend the Park High School homecoming coronation last Monday, Sept. 24. The good news is that Buhl got his crown and robe as homecoming king last Tuesday and attended the rest of the week's activities with homecoming queen Caitlin Tate. Both have been friends since their elementary school days when Tate was at Hillside and Buhl was at Armstrong. Since Buhl was unable to attend lunch at Applebee's Restaurant with the royalty after the coronation and visit his elementary school afterward, Tate and Buhl went last Tuesday afternoon.
Cottage Grove has a connection with the man who invented the Milky Way candy bar and his son, who invented M&Ms. Local historians talk about the "Mars candy people," but details were sketchy. It's another historical mystery and I'm all over it, with the help of local historian Bev Gross, who is really good at traipsing around cemeteries, and John Burbank, the city's senior planner. John Scott Mars was widowed with five sons and married his second wife, Catherine, who had two sons that John raised as his own.
Richard Hubal leaves his art on public display everywhere he works. He has no easel or canvas and the pictures can't be seen in art galleries because he is a muralist. His latest mural work was commissioned by Linda and Willie Tennis of Tennis Sanitation, who bought what was once a gas station at Fourth Street and Broadway Avenue in St.
When students in the western Twin Cities suburbs launched Twitter accounts bashing their high schools, other teens started a counter movement in 140 characters. Since then, "nice words" have been breaking out on Twitter, including in District 833's Park, East Ridge and Woodbury high schools. Nearly 300 people are following the Park Nice account (@wolfpacknice), where students are tweeting positive comments about the school and their classmates.
Garrett Heavner is adventurous. He's eaten alligator and squid and likes both. Alysha Shinouskis hates squid. Maame Amma Adabor said that the frog legs she tasted were "nasty." But all have something in common. They are fifth-graders in Michelle Harrison's class at Hillside Elementary School where I visited last week to see if kids liked the oven-roasted butternut squash that was served at lunch. This year, by edict from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, kids eating school-prepared lunch must take at least one-half cup of a fruit or vegetable.
It should have occurred to Michael and Paula Bushilla that good things would happen to them because the historic farm they own is called "Hope Glen." The nearly eight-acre farm surrounded by Washington County's Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park on Point Douglas Road was built in 1881 and received a city historic designation in 2001 while it was owned by Charlotte Healy, widow of John Healy, heating and air conditioning mogul with his business in St.
There will be a lot of paper in the time capsule that will be installed when the new Cottage Grove City Hall and Public Safety building is dedicated next month. The time capsule idea came from a city employee, according to John Burbank, city senior planner, who shepherded the capsule proposal through the city's advisory commissions for their ideas on what should be included and collected suggestions from the public. The City Council approved the final list earlier this month. The capsule's installation will be part of an Oct.
The District 833 School Board is changing its meeting policy after a dust-up involving the state Open Meeting Law earlier this year. The board had been meeting twice a month. Board members met in a workshop that included discussion items only and no votes. A regular meeting with votes also was held each month. But last December the board held a workshop that included a closed session outside its normal meeting time.
It's the height of the election season and we'll be bombarded with television ads and direct mail, even for local races. It's at this time of year that I recall past experiences, good and bad, with politicians. I talked to my first candidate for office when I had been a Bulletin reporter for about two months in late 1969.