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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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).
District 833 will start the new school year with three assistant superintendents. Kristine Schaefer, who served as the district's Equity Coordinator, will fill that role alongside assistant superintendents Julie Nielsen and Mike Johnson. "I've been involved as an equity coordinator and a lot of the district initiatives with Julie and Mike," she said. "I'm really excited to start working at different a level." Her hiring was approved by the South Washington County School Board at the Aug. 23 meeting.
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.