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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If pub crawls aren't your thing, you could have gone on a lemonade crawl Aug. 25 in Cottage Grove. Ten lemonade stands sprang up throughout Cottage Grove, the first city in Minnesota to host a youth education and empowerment program called Lemonade Day. Each year, youngsters around the country are encouraged to learn financial fundamentals by opening their own lemonade stand. Each child who registers receives an Entrepreneur Workbook that addresses such topics as branding, creating a budget, controlling inventory and serving customers.
ST. PAUL PARK — Kim Zarbo (left) and daughter Grace, 17, helped hand out notebooks during the annual school supply giveaway Aug. 16 at Friends in Need Food Shelf. Police officers from the Grove Public Safety department collected over 4,000 pounds of backpacks, school supplies and paper products that were donated by Cottage Grove residents at various Night to Unite parties Aug. 7. School supplies were also purchased with a $1,500 grant from St. Paul Park refinery. Over 400 kids received free bundles of school supplies. William Loeffler / RiverTown Multimedia
GREY CLOUD ISLAND — Local and county officials gathered for the Aug. 13 ribbon-cutting for the Grey Cloud Island channel restoration project. Monday's ceremony came a little more than a year after the groundbreaking. The 12-week, $1.8 million project was a collaboration between Washington County and the South Washington County Watershed District.
COTTAGE GROVE — Cullen Kiely, 9, couldn't figure out why everybody in Metropolitan Stadium was screaming their heads off and carrying on like their pants were on fire. All he knew was that his big sister had dragged him to see a group called the Beatles. It was Aug. 21, 1965. It would turn out to be the band's one and only concert in Minnesota. "I didn't think much of it at the time," Kiely said. "We knew they were big, but who knew their legacy 50 years later would be so enormous?"
SCHOOL DISTRICT 833 — Arthur Williams is the new principal at Middleton Elementary School in Woodbury. His hiring was approved by the South Washington County School Board at their Aug. 9 meeting. Williams spent the last five years as principal at Jefferson Elementary STEM School in the Winona Area School District.
NEWPORT — It was so hot Sunday at Pioneer Memorial Park in Newport that some savvy operator probably could have sold shade for 10 dollars a foot. But the city's annual Pioneer Day proved a roaring success, with its grassy oasis of striped tents, food booths, inflatables and bushels of sweet corn.
Pineridge Garden Club members Marianne Lyzak (left) and Claudia Glass tend flowers outside of Cottage Grove City Hall on July 31. The club designed and planted the garden, which includes Russian sage, petunias, zinnias, marigolds and other floral varieties. William Loeffler / RiverTown Multimedia
Annual Night to Unite picnics in Cottage Grove drew police, firefighters, residents, elected officials and Strawberry Fest ambassadors together to renew their shared commitment to crime prevention, public safety and community pride. A visit by a city fire truck, sirens wailing, was a highlight at a block party hosted by Lindsay Elwell of Cottage Grove. Her daughter Amelia Mizell, 5, wore her star-shaped police sticker with pride. At Ideal Park, the outdoor picnic included yoga on the grass. There were 45 registered parties, Community Affairs Officer Adam Pelton said.
WOODBURY — Crime pays. Particularly when your names are Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly. In "Chicago," the two deliriously conniving murderesses scheme, vamp and dance their way from death row to fame and celebrity. The musical is set in 1926, when the windy city was awash in bootleg booze, political graft and the spilled blood of mob hits. Created by John Kander, Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, it killed 'em when it premiered on Broadway in 1975. A 2002 film version won six Academy Awards.