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Helen Hedeen is celebrating the really big one this year. The lifelong Newport resident will turn 100 on Saturday, June 2, and the city, her bank, family and friends are all celebrating with her. Kevin Chapdelaine, Newport mayor and Hedeen's neighbor, proclaimed the week of June 2 to 8 as Helen Hedeen Week in the City of Newport, at the May 17 City Council meeting. "Helen has lived in the city all her life and is a cherished and revered citizen," Chapdelaine said. Her bank will add to the festivities.
THURSDAY, MAY 24 POPPIES -- Buddy Poppies, handmade by disabled veterans, will be sold at the Cottage Grove VFW Post 8752 Red Barn until Memorial Day, May 31. All proceeds from their sale are used to help veterans, widows and their children. The motto of the poppy program is "Honor the dead by helping the living." The Red Barn is located at 9260 East Point Douglas Road, Cottage Grove. WINE TASTING -- Dennis Brothers Liquor, Cottage Grove, is hosting a fundraiser wine tasting from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, May 24, to support the Bridge to a Cure cancer walk.
THURSDAY, MAY 17 GARDEN CLUB PLANT SALE -- Pineridge Garden Club will hold its annual plant sale from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, May18 at 1031 Summit Ave., St. Paul Park. Members will be selling perennials and some annuals. WALKING CLUB -- A walking club -- organized by the Cottage Grove Recreation Department -- will meet at 9 a.m. at Woodridge Park, beginning Saturday, May 19. Walks are free and open to all and will be led by personal trainer Annie Elmer.
Residents in the neighborhood of 10th and Dayton avenues have petitioned the city to put a stop sign at the intersection, which also leads to the entrance of Abdella Park. "It is a busy, bad intersection continuously used by kids," Dayton Avenue resident Judith Kenyon, told members of the city's Public Safety Commission in early May.
Michael Thoms, of Hastings, is St. Paul Park's new part-time community service officer. He has served as the city's animal control officer and as a Reserve Police Officer for the past nine years. Thoms, who is attending the Law Enforcement program at Inver Hills Community College, will enforce city codes and assist police when needed.
THURSDAY, MAY 10 COTTON PATCH GOSPEL --The New Life Academy Drama Department, headed by William Peterson, will present, "The greatest story ever retold: Cotton Patch Gospel." The full-length musical by Tom Key and Russell Treyz will be performed as a dinner theater production at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 10, and at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 11-12 at New Life Academy, 6758 Bailey Road, Woodbury. 3M CHOIR CONCERT -- The 3M Sounds of Harmony Club, under the direction of Page Stevens, will perform in concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 10, at Maplewood Community Center, 2100 White Bear Ave.
The St. Paul Park 2007-08 street reconstruction project is closer to being a done deal. Members of the City Council last week approved the plans and specifications of the proposed project and told city engineer Rick Seifert to advertise for bids. The bids are due June 12, with the lowest and most responsible bid being recommended to City Council on June 18. Homeowners who disagree with their assessments based on numbers from the recommended bid can attend a July 16 public hearing at city hall.
The building formerly known as Park on the River, at 445 Broadway Avenue, is being threatened with foreclosure. Foreclosure will take place in early June, if back mortgage payments are not paid, according to a notice of mortgage foreclosure received by co-owners Bob Neuman and Joe Hinz May 1. The two have owned the building since 1999. Hinz said they have 5,000 square feet of empty space that's causing the problem, even though his $12-per-square-foot lease rate is the lowest in south Washington County.
Three years ago, Cottage Grove kindergartner Dylan McMaster was asked to bring his dog to class on "D" day at St. Andrew's Lutheran School, St. Paul Park. "By the time we arrived at school, at least four teachers already knew the dog's name," said his mother, Betty Lou McMaster as she reminisced about the school, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary Sunday, May 6. To her, that's the special part of St. Andrew's -- it's like one big family. "You really get involved," she said. "Teachers, students and parents all know each other." McMaster, and her brother Tom both attended St.
Robert Watson and his brother, William, were two of the earliest residents in Cottage Grove. Although none of the family now live in south Washington County, Robert's legacy remains: a firsthand written account of life in Cottage Grove in the mid- and late-1800s, and 20 European ornamental larch trees that are now 150 years old. The larches, not native to the United States, were grown from seed Robert Watson brought back with him from a trip to Scotland in the 1860s. They grow along a portion of Lamar Avenue in Old Cottage Grove and cross the farmland now owned by Don and Frankie Ratzlaff.