William Loeffler is a playwright and journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked 15 years writing features for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has also written travel stories based on his trips to all seven continents. He and his wife, Michelle, ran the Boston Marathon in 2009.
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ST. PAUL PARK— Live music and dance are on tap for this year's Stone Soup Fall Fashion and Variety Show. The annual fundraiser runs Thursday, Sept. 27, at John P. Furber Farm in Old Cottage Grove. Since it opened in 1997, the scrappy thrift store in St. Paul Park has sold or given away tons of gently used furniture, clothing and household items to the homeless and financially distressed. The shop has also attracted thrifters, those savvy fashionistas on the prowl for bargains on secondhand scarves, pants, tops and shoes.
COTTAGE GROVE — It's a long way to the top for those who aspire to country music superstardom. But for Hailey James, maybe not. In a little over a year, the Cottage Grove singer/songwriter has gone from playing local talent shows to the regional finals of a national PBS talent search that could send her to Los Angeles, and into the showbiz orbit of agents and music producers.
HASTINGS — A family of five escaped a fire that destroyed their home early Monday morning, Sept. 17 in Hastings. There were no reported injuries to civilians or firefighters. Shortly after 4 a.m., the Hastings Fire Department responded to a report of a structure fire at 7774 South St. Croix Trail Lane S. The blaze, which started in the garage, is under investigation, Hastings Fire Chief Mike Schutt said. "When we arrived the garage was fully involved and the fire had spread to the kitchen and attic," Schutt said. "It's a total loss."
When the call came in for an active structure fire, Jeremy Bourasa responded as any dedicated St. Paul Park firefighter would. He joined first responders from Cottage Grove, Newport and Woodbury to contain an ugly inferno that all but destroyed a home at Hidden Valley Terrace in Cottage Grove. He’d been married less than an hour.
When the call came in for an active structure fire, Jeremy Bourasa responded as any dedicated St. Paul Park firefighter would. He joined first responders from Cottage Grove, Newport and Woodbury to contain an ugly inferno that all but destroyed a home at Hidden Valley Terrace in Cottage Grove.
The annual St. Rita Fall Festival runs all weekend and features food, bingo, meat raffles, a farmer’s market and country store. It begins at 9 a.m. Friday with a large-scale indoor garage sale. Saturday’s events include a 4/1 K Run/Walk, registration at 8 am, race at 9am. A silent auction runs 9 a.m.-5 p.m. There will be a Polka Mass at 5 p.m. and a chicken dinner from 5-7:30 p.m. Come croon, belt or howl in the open Karaoke Competition which runs 6:30 - 10:30 p.m.
There's the lingering tang of fresh paint, but the new $72 million dollar Oltman School is an impressive facility.
A fire that began in the garage of a Cottage Grove home spread quickly through the rest of the structure Saturday evening. The home's two occupants got out safely, along with a dog. Cottage Grove responded at 4:58 p.m. to reports of a vehicle on fire at 7262 Hidden Valley Terrace in Cottage Grove. Units from Newport, St. Paul Park and Woodbury assisted. There were no reported injuries, Cottage Grove captain Kevin Zittel said. Two firefighters were evaluated for heat-related illness. ng.
WOODBURY — To aspire, you gotta perspire. No one has to tell that to the teen singer-dancers of Aspire Music Academy, as they leap and twirl in a warm rehearsal studio at Merrill Community Arts Center. Their group, Adrenaline, is one of several age-specific show choirs at the Academy.
South Washington County Schools seems to have scored well under a new, expanded set of accountability standards known as North Star. Fourteen schools in the district were recognized for significant improvements. But three schools also have been flagged for failure to measure up. They will receive varying levels of assistance. The North Star system replaces the Multiple Measurement Ratings (MMR), which relied heavily on standardized test scores such as the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) and Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS).