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The members of Hope Christian Academy's Class of 2013 will head in different directions after graduation but they have one thing in common: they will miss the one-on-one family feeling generated by students and staff at the independent, non-denominational Christian school in St. Paul Park. "It's not often you come to school every day and know everyone will be friendly," said graduating senior Josh Jones of Cottage Grove.
Cottage Grove resident and sixth-grade teacher Ann Mattson taught at her first barefoot school this summer during a trip to Zambia. "The kids in the barefoot schools aren't accepted into Zambia's public school system because they can't afford to buy the school uniform, so they attend the barefoot school established by Dominican sisters," Mattson said in a recent interview. "They share desks, have hardly enough paper or pencils.
The new Cottage Grove post office, located in the city's industrial park on the west side of Highway 61, opened Monday. The retail window will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday. The mail will continue to be available for post office box customers at 10 a.m. The postal service moved the post office to 7523 95th St., after completing a consolidation of its two buildings in town. The old post office on East Point Douglas Road was sold to a specialty tool distributor.
It's all about the feeling of family at Hope Christian Academy in St. Paul Park. Each member of this year's graduating class said they will miss the close-knit community that characterizes HCA. One has been part of it from kindergarten, two came after homeschooling, two had a friend or cousin already at the school and one started at HCA, rebelled, went away, and came back to complete high school. Philip Gibbens was homeschooled until sixth grade, then started at Hope Christian Academy. "The size of the school allows me to get to know if someone is having a good or bad day.
In preparing for the holidays this weekend, families in south Washington County can attend benefits, dramatic presentations and children's pageants in between baking, shopping and decorating. At Light the Way Church in Cottage Grove, Brad Perrin portrays the angel Gabriel and Lynn Magee is Mary in "Two From Galilee," a Christmas musical scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16; and 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 17-18 at the church. The show is free but reservations are required.
South Washington County families can have fun and help needy neighbors at the same time this weekend. The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will roll into Cottage Grove between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11, near the Youth Service Bureau just south of the 80th Street overpass on West Point Douglas Road. Prior to and during the train's visit, Santa Claus will visit with kids and local businesses will provide hot beverages and cookies. All donations--cash and toiletry items--will be given to the Friends in Need Food Shelf in St.
This holiday weekend offers a variety of activities for the whole family. The 21st annual Stillwater Nutcracker will be performed at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 25 and 26; and at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27, at Stillwater Area High School. All tickets are $15 and may be ordered on-line at http://www.stcroixballet.com/tickets.aspx or call (651) 439-2820, press 1, and leave a message. Chuck & Don's Pet Food Outlet in Cottage Grove are offering customers free coffee, doughnuts and pet food donations from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 25.
Seeing the demonstrators in Cairo's Tahrir Square has reminded me of what the city was like when we lived there in the late '80s. There were signs of obvious poverty but there was also the unbounded hospitality of the Egyptian people. We made lifelong friends. We were always welcomed with cups of hot mint tea in the shops and food, music, good stories and sometimes dancing in people's homes. Our friend Haji Amer introduced us to camel riding, the desert, the pyramids and life in the village.
Despite predictions of heavy snowfall Friday and Saturday, the Canadian Pacific Railway's Holiday Train will make its scheduled stop in Cottage Grove on Saturday between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., just south of the 80th Street/Sieben Bridge in Cottage Grove. "The Holiday Train stop in Cottage Grove will definitely take place. Weather will not stop the train," said Canadian Pacific Railway spokesman Jeff Johnson.
Cadets in the Air Force Junior ROTC program at Park High School flew to Duluth and back on a military transport aircraft. Some had never been on an airplane before, much less a C-130 flown by the Minnesota Air National Guard's 133rd Airlift Wing. The familiarization flight is one of several offered to high school cadets by the 133rd Airlift Wing from year to year. This flight, which took place in late October, was special, however.