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In early March, Cottage Grove sugar artist Mary Ann Moy-Hochstetler taped a new episode of TLC TV's "Ultimate Cake Off," a program that invites teams of specialty cake makers to compete in a nine-hour event to design and build cakes that sometimes tower over five feet and weigh hundreds of pounds. The new episode will air on TLC TV on Monday, April 19. Moy-Hochstetler's three-person team appeared in its first episode of Ultimate Cake Off last fall.
Low-income, single moms in need of a vehicle or car repairs with nowhere to turn might try a group of Christian men who like to work on cars. "It's easy to give advice, but our goal is to do something," said Cottage Grove resident Tom Share. Share and volunteers from all over the southeast metro meet one Saturday a month to repair cars for families and individuals living within 200 percent of the poverty level. Volunteers, all members of the St. Croix Valley Christians in Action program based in Lake Elmo, start each Car Care Saturday with a prayer.
After turning down the proposal to share building inspection services with Cottage Grove last year, the St. Paul Park City Council reversed its decision and approved the move on March 15. "Several things have changed since last year; the new proposal is slightly different," said St. Paul Park city administrator Kevin Walsh. St. Paul Park residents will still come to their own city hall for a building permit, Walsh said. Also, the city's former building inspector Metro West does most of its business on the other side of the metro area. "It isn't cost effective for them to work in St.
Refurbishment of the former Willie's Hidden Harbor in St. Paul Park began in early March with a soft opening tentatively set for mid-April, according to new owners Tim Kennedy and Paul Narpaul. They received approval for three different liquor licenses from the St. Paul Park City Council on March 15. Licenses for on-sale and Sunday sales, 2 a.m. closing and off-sale liquor sales were passed 5-0. The marina has been renamed Hidden Harbor and the restaurant will be known as Vinny's on the River.
More than 120 Boy Scouts from troops in the East Metro spent most of a Saturday in late February completing the requirements for a Chemistry Merit Badge -- all thanks to the engineers and chemists at Marathon Petroleum's St. Paul Park Refinery. The refinery hosted the event as part of its ongoing community outreach program, according to Kara Klink, community relations coordinator. "The day was suggested by one of our employees who is the leader of a Scout troop," she said.
Property owners in Washington County towns and cities who disagree with the assessed value of their property will have an opportunity to appeal their case at 2010 Open Book Meetings in April, according to an announcement made at the Feb. 16 meeting of the St. Paul Park City Council. Property owners who live in townships will be able to appeal assessments at local board meetings, according to the county assessor's office.
The Valley Crossing Community School Relay For Life team will host a pancake breakfast at the Valley Creek Plaza Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar (near Target) from 8 to 9:45 a.m. on Saturday, March 6. The Cottage Grove Walking Club will meet for its first walk of the year beginning at 1 p.m.
"You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" -- a musical comedy based on the famous Charles Schultz comic strip "Peanuts" -- will be presented by students in the Oltman Middle School Drama Department at 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 25 and 26. "It's a funny, funny show," said creative director Pam Uphus, as she named off students in lead roles. "Troy Michael Lowry Jr. as Charlie Brown is charming and pitiful. Rayne Anderson as Lucy is bossy and sassy. Leah Haliburton, Snoopy, is endearing and entertaining. Nick Zamora, Schroeder, is slapstick funny. Brian Kuhns, Linus, is sweet and loveable.
Lent, the 40-day season of preparation before Christians celebrate Easter, will be observed at churches throughout south Washington County, beginning on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17. Below, is a brief summary of events. "Concrete Faith in a Crumbling World" is the theme for Lent this year at All Saints Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove . Using "An Altar in the World" by Barbara Brown Taylor as the base for our weekly Wednesday night worship starting with Ash Wednesday on Feb.
Obadiah Ballinger may have been destined to be a pastor from the moment his parents picked his name out of the Bible, a name that means "servant of God." Pastor Oby, as he prefers to be called, is the new minister at Community United Church of Christ in St. Paul Park. He started on Dec. 1. "It was trial by fire," he said in a recent interview, "beginning with all the events for Advent and Christmas and the funerals of two well-known and beloved members of the congregation." He hasn't stopped moving since. In December, Ballinger had a new Web site created for the church.