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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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.
"A Minnesota Holiday Vol. 10" Charity CD features songs by Bob Dylan, Owl City, Brian Setzer and Kat Perkins. The seasonal compilation was organized by Woodbury singer/pianist Phil Thompson, who is among the 15 artists represented on the CD. Contributors also include Jeremy Messersmith, The New Standards, Davina & The Vagabonds, GB Leighton, and the Blenders. Thompson created the Minnesota Holiday series, whose past nine CDs have helped raise about $450,000 for local nonprofits.
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.
SCHOOL DISTRICT 833 — Eight Lake Middle School students were selected by blind audition to participate in the Nov. 17 concert by the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota. In the back row (from left to right): Ava Bartel, Delanie Wittwer, Connor Hestwood and Landon Wahlquist. Front row: Elizabeth Peterson, Laura Eggert, Marit Lyle and Rylie Vang. The concert took place at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi. Bartel was a featured soloist on the song "Bring Me Little Water, Sylvie." The group sings under the direction of Gillian Teoh-Berbee.
NEWPORT — There were no reported injuries from a Monday afternoon fire, Nov. 26, 2018, at a truck maintenance and storage facility in St. Paul Park, but the blaze kept multiple fire agencies busy until well after dark. “We had it knocked down in about an hour,” Newport Police Chief Steve Wiley said Tuesday. “But we were chasing hot spots for another four or five hours.”
WOODBURY — There is still time to help a foster child by donating new backpacks, baby items, pajamas, stuffed animals and books to Crossroads Church in Woodbury. They are bundling these items to make "placement bags" that will be given to children who have been placed in the foster care system. The public can donate backpacks, pajamas, books, toothbrushes, toothpaste and blankets in three age categories: Baby — ages newborn to 2; elementary — ages 3-9; and teen — ages 10-18.
Guddu Chinta spent the month of August getting his feet wet in a tent in Rhinebeck, N.Y. The Woodbury High School sophomore joined 60 other students from around the world at Rising Sun Camp, an intensive four-week, leadership program. "Every morning it was humid so the ground would be completely wet," he said. "I went through 15 pairs of socks in four days because of ... all the dew."
COTTAGE GROVE — Our country's military veterans deserve more than just our thanks, DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar told a capacity crowd in the Park High School gymnasium on Nov. 10. The senator spoke at the Wolfpack Air Force JROTC Veterans Day Ceremony. It was held on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I in November 1918.