Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.
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A local musical trio has made waves recently with their appearance at the Woodbury Prayer Breakfast. Not bad for a band that formed less than a year ago. Brohan is comprised of Woodbury resident Josh Putman and Stillwater residents Dale and Luke Gruber. Luke Gruber plays the mandolin, Dale Gruber plays the bass cello, fiddle, among other instruments, and Josh Putman is lead vocals and acoustic guitar.
Don't expect the East Ridge High School show choir students to get slushies thrown in their face like the kids on the hit television show "Glee." Theater director Amanda Hestwood and choir director Chris Russell have teamed up to offer show choir for students to display their talents, and have fun while doing it. The group began in March. "We want to offer opportunities to students where opportunities haven't been offered before in the district," Russell said.
With Afton's May Fair quickly approaching, and summer soon to follow, a longtime institution is noticeably quiet in town -- Selma's Ice Cream Parlour. For the last several months one of the revered landmarks of the St. Croix River Valley has remained empty. Selma's traditionally shuts down for the winter months. But when springtime rolled around and the historic ice cream parlor still remained closed, many residents began to wonder what happened. "People want to know what's going on," Dave Jarvis of the Afton House Inn said.
The Afton City Council decided during Tuesday's meeting that it will terminate its contract with city planner Chuck Marohn. Marohn was not in attendance during the meeting. The discussion of terminating Marohn's contract arose last week when the city council received notification that its 2008 Comprehensive Plan was returned by the Metropolitan Council and deemed incomplete. Marohn was in charge of the comp plan. Discussions continued during Tuesday's meeting. The council discussed the incomplete comp plan, Marohn's frequent absences as well as Marohn's seemingly high fees.
Third grade students from all 15 District 833 elementary schools came together May 13 for the "Great American Sing-A-Long at East Ridge High School. See the May 19 print edition of the Woodbury Bulletin for the full story.
Alex Amble is battling a mild form of Muscular Dystrophy that affects his muscle functions in his arms, hands, feet and legs. But the New Life Academy eighth grader hasn't let the condition affect his piano playing or his aspirations for a "million-dollar" idea to help combat the disease. Amble, 14, recently released his first album of piano music titled "Sunrise." He's hoping to sell one of his songs on the album, at a cost of 99 cents via download on iTunes and CDBaby.com, with the proceeds going to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
It's that time of year again when Afton is gearing up for its annual celebration of the beginning of spring -- May Fair. Afton May Fair, sponsored by the Afton Area Business Association, will be held May 22-23. "It's just a fun family event, it's a great setting and there's always lots to do," May Fair organizer Deb Larson said. "They come by boat, motorcycle, walking and by car." Last year's event drew between 4,000 and 5,000 people.
Interim city administrator Ron Moorse will have his work cut out for him the next three months. The Afton City Council met with Moorse and assistant city administrator Sara Irvine during a work session to discuss the council's priorities for the next three months. Moorse was hired on an interim basis of three to six months, with a review after three months. Moorse just completed his first week on the job alone. "Everything is great so far," he said.
Within a few years Taylor Penshorn could possibly be the one cutting or styling your hair at a local salon. The East Ridge High School junior is currently studying cosmetology at Century College as part of the Metro 916 college program. "Ever since I was little, I've been doing my own makeup and my hair -- it's something that I really enjoy doing," Penshorn said. "I love getting to express your imagination." Penshorn has been studying at Century College for two trimesters where she is learning the basics of cosmetology, from hair styling to manicures and pedicures.
One person's junk is another person's jewel. East Ridge High School will be getting in the garage sale spirit May 15 when the National Honor Society holds a garage sale in conjunction with the annual Woodbury Lions Club Garage Sale. "I'm pretty sure we've had a guest in our household during the Lions Garage Sale every single year," NHS vice president Joaquin Valdes said.