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.
- Member for
- 5 years 3 months
COTTAGE GROVE — The majority of homeowners in Cottage Grove will not pay more for the city portion of their property tax in 2019. City Council unanimously approved a 3 percent levy increase at its Dec. 5 meeting. It remained unchanged from the preliminary levy adopted in September. But the hike won't impact 83 percent of homeowners in the city, Finance Director Robin Roland told the council. The increase is offset by a spike in new home construction, which helped increase the tax base by about 9 percent.
Lights, Santa, action. A chilled but excited throng greeted the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train on Monday, Dec. 10. For 16 years, Cottage Grove has been a whistle stop for the light-bedecked transcontinental train, which collects donations for those in need.
Snow - the kind that falls in old black and white movies like "It's A Wonderful Life" - began to sift down from the dark winter sky just in time for the Dec. 5 holiday tree lighting at Cottage Grove City Hall. Mayor Myron Bailey officiated with the help of Santa and Mrs. Claus and his grandson, Easton Bailey, 4. Benjamin O'Connor directed the Park High School Chamber Choir. Videos and photos by William Loeffler / RiverTown Multimedia
COTTAGE GROVE — More than a dozen homes were nominated for this year’s Winter Lights & Decoration Contest, a partnership between the City of Cottage Grove and the South Washington County Bulletin. The displays were evaluated on effort, originality and attention to detail. This year’s winner, Shane and Amy Seif, made a psychedelic, rapid-change LED tree the focus of their display at 6788 Cattail Ave.
Three hundred and sixty-four days a year, this stretch of West Point Douglas Road is a place most people rush past on their way to somewhere else. That won't be the case Monday, Dec. 10, however, when the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train rolls into Cottage Grove. The train is expected to arrive at 5:15 p.m. along West Point Douglas Road just south of the 80th Street bridge, near the Youth Service Bureau building. Once the train stops, a boxcar door will drop open to reveal an elevated stage with live entertainment by Canadian hard rockers the Trews and blues guitarist Willy Porter.
Santa took time out from his busy schedule to visit with kids Sunday, Dec. 2 at the Newport Masonic Center in St. Paul Park. Zac Cummins, 6, entered into negotiations with St. Nick. "What do you want for Christmas?" Santa aksed. "A gun," Zac replied. "A nerf gun?" "No, a real gun." Santa was nonplussed until Zac explained that he wanted the gun to hunt ducks with his father. Perhaps Zac might have to settle for an official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot, range model air rifle.
ST. PAUL PARK — It wasn't Black Friday but Sweet Saturday that had shoppers waiting in line at the annual holiday cookie sale Dec. 1 at the Newport Masonic Center in St. Paul Park. Customers browsed tables that were laden with nearly four dozen different types of cookies and other sweets. Members of Queen Esther Chapter 26, Order of the Eastern Star prepared 55 different kinds of cookies and sweets to raise money for their favorite charities.
SCHOOL DISTRICT 833 — Chloe Strom, a fourth-grader at Pine Hill Elementary School, isn't pulling the wool over your eyes when she says that the scientific name for llama is lama glama. She ought to know. Strom and classmate Samantha Behrends spent their extra time compiling facts about the llama, which may look like a cuddly stuffed animal but is actually a valuable meat and pack animal in Chile, Peru and other South American countries.
COTTAGE GROVE — Random: (adj.) occurring without order or reason. Go to nearly any 5K, 10K or trail race in the region, and you're likely to see a member of the Cottage Grove Random Runners in the starters' corral. What started in 2014 with a handful of runners now has established a size-12 footprint, which includes some 400 friends on its Facebook page.
SCHOOL DISTRICT 833 — For now, about 35 pre-kindergarten and school readiness instructors will remain in the collective bargaining unit of local 1125 of the United Teachers of South Washington County. The South Washington County School Board approved a memorandum of agreement with the union Nov. 15. The union's executive board approved the agreement Oct. 10. The agreement lasts through the 2018-19 school year.