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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COTTAGE GROVE - The rain stayed away June 14 for the opening of the Strawberry Fest, where Austin Werner, 7 bounced skyward on one of the carnival rides. Austin came out to Kingston Park with his mother, Tracy, his aunt Janelle Hart and his 11-month old cousin, Waverly. Alas, storms pounded the region Saturday, forcing the cancellation of the 5K and 10K races and delaying the Strawberry Fest parade for at least 45 minutes. Cottage Grove Mayor Myron Bailey said he chose to walk the parade route, rather than ride in a convertible that would eventully turn into a bathtub.
COTTAGE GROVE - For Harold Scott Jr., middle school was a crossroads where you could focus on your studies — easier said than done — or go off the rails. Scott, of Cottage Grove, has made it his life's work to serve as a lighthouse keeper for subsequent generations of middle school kids. He reports to work next month as the new principal of Cottage Grove Middle School.
Ralph Marquardt of Cottage Grove owns bragging rights as the owner of a 1963 Ford Falcon Cayuse. If the name of that car doesn't ring a bell, that's probably because there were only two or three made. As Marquardt tells it, his Cayuse is a "concept car" or prototype that Ford designed but never mass-produced. "What attracted me to the car was the fact that it was so rare and so little known," Marquardt said. "I had no idea what it was until my friend came over with the (Hot Rod) magazine article with the Cayuse picture in it."
Kindergarten boys stage a tug of war with their female classmates May 22, 2018, during ThunderDASH, an all day fitness event at Grey Cloud Elementary.
LAS VEGAS - Last week, Cottage Grove Mayor Myron Bailey and City Council member Steve Dennis attended the International Council of Shopping Centers annual RECon conference in Las Vegas. They were there to promote the city of Cottage Grove for economic development purposes. The event — the largest of its kind — hosts over 37,000 attendees and contains hundreds of exhibitors across the spectrum of finance, developers, franchise operations, architects and brick and mortar investors. Dennis said that one of their goals is to fill their empty retail spaces.
SOUTH WASHINGTON COUNTY — Our nation's war dead were honored during Memorial Day ceremonies at cemeteries, parks and public squares throughout south Washington County. The VFW Post 8752 and American Legion Post 98 hosted a tour of Cottage Grove, Newport, St. Paul Park and Grey Cloud Island cemetaries. A wreath was tossed into the Mississippi River along Grey Cloud Island Drive in Cottage Grove in honor of men and women in the U.S. Military who died at sea.
SOUTH WASHINGTON COUNTY - More than a dozen Memorial Day ceremonies will take place May 28 at cemeteries, parks and public squares throughout south Washington County. The public is invited. Cottage Grove, Newport, St. Paul Park Members of VFW Post 8752 will join American Legion Post 98 on a tour of cemeteries, beginning with an 8 a.m. ceremony at Grey Cloud Island Cemetery.
Everyone has a song inside them. Jeff Dayton works to bring them out. When he's not touring, recording and playing on other artists' records, the Minnesota singer brings his six-string into elementary schools, where he teaches a songwriting course called "Makin' Music, Nashville-Style." Dayton spent last week at Pullman Elementary School, where he showed fifth-graders how to compose a song, punch it up and perform it.
WOODBURY — If it's not exactly like pulling teeth, it still takes some effort to extract information from Thomas Crist. The retired Woodbury dentist comes across as modest and low-key. There's almost a perceptible shrug in his voice as he talks about his work filling cavities for orphans in Ukraine, or providing free dental care to the poor and homeless as a volunteer for Hope Dental Clinic in East St. Paul.
WOODBURY - Nearly 500 faithful flocked to the annual Woodbury Prayer Breakfast May 1 at the Envision Center in Oakdale. The keynote speaker was Greg Speck, a youth specialist with Reign Ministries, a teen-oriented mission. The theme of this year's event was Answer the Call: Living with Purpose. Submitted photo courtesy of Lisa Boe