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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The Afton Area Business Association is offering a chance for people to get away from the holiday craze, forget about finding the hottest toys and get back to the holiday traditions that originally made the season fun. On Dec. 4-6 downtown Afton will be transformed into a winter wonderland full of old-fashioned small town fun for its annual Afton Village Holiday celebration. "It's just an old fashioned holiday, it's just a sweet tradition," said event organizer and public relations coordinator Deb Larson.
As many high school teachers will admit, it can sometimes be difficult to get a student to be quiet. American Sign Language teacher Kristin Kohner is trying to do just that with the second annual Silent Night Deaf Event she organized and held Thursday, Nov. 19 at Woodbury High School. "Some students spend thousands of dollars to immerse themselves in the culture of the languages they have learned, but for ASL students the culture is right here," Kohner said.
The Cedar Bluff saga has finally come to a close -- almost. The Afton City Council voted Tuesday to approve an amendment to the development agreement for the 25-unit residential project.
Red Rock Elementary and Woodbury High School showed their appreciation for Woodbury's veterans and soldiers on Nov. 11 during their Veterans Day ceremony. During the first ever Veteran's Day celebration at Red Rock, the Woodbury High School Airforce Junior ROTC posted the colors, there were musical performances of "God Bless America" and TAPS and several veterans were honored guests and were recognized during the program. Fourth and Fifth grade students also shared essays about what a veteran is to them. Guest speaker, Master Sgt.
Within the next couple months, cats in Afton may soon have a safer place to live. Since the summer, the Afton City Council has been discussing possible revisions and amendments to the city's animal control ordinances and contracts with animal control services. The discussions arose after some concerned residents spoke about recent experiences with animal control picking up their cats and euthanizing them because they were deemed to be feral. The ordinance requires that the Animal Humane Society of Woodbury must hold an animal for at least five days.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. But for Lexis Galba Christmas has been on her mind for the past couple months. The 12-year-old Woodbury resident is part of the Guthrie Theater's production of "A Christmas Carol" which opens Nov. 21 in Minneapolis. "I just love Christmas and the feeling of Christmas -- it's my favorite holiday," Galba said.
What makes a good mascot? For East Ridge High School cheerleading coach Cindy Lambert, she said it's energy, school spirit and a willingness to have fun. "They need to be willing to make a fool out of themselves," she said. ERHS held tryouts for the ERHS mascot, Rowdie the Raptor, on Nov. 5. Only one girl tried out. Junior Serafina Axdal said she decided to audition because she loves to act goofy and entertain her friends. "I love the idea of being out there every day showing school spirit," she said.
East Ridge High School can add one more thing to its list of firsts this year -- the first ever school musical "We only get one chance to start a program, to develop a curriculum and establish traditions -- we only get one chance to do it right," said ERHS theater director Amanda Hestwood. "It's been the greatest opportunity and the greatest challenge of my life -- it's been overwhelming and stressful, amazing and beautiful." "Seussical: The Musical" had its grand opening on Nov. 6. "Seussical" is a collaboration of 18 Dr.
Animals can be very loving and affectionate, they can even help lift spirits, but they also need some help of their own. That's the message a local cat adoption organization is trying to send to the public. Stray Cat Rescue Associates of Minnesota, or S.C.R.A.M, has taken it upon itself to find homes for defenseless cats that have nowhere else to go. "The cats that are generally taken in are cats that nobody wants -- it's a lot of sad stories that go with these cats," said Vicki Lachelt, a local S.C.R.A.M volunteer. Looking for homes For the past five years S.C.R.A.M.
Local musician Matthew Griswold will have his plate full the next couple months -- with two new albums and a slew of live performances. Griswold, of Woodbury, is set to release both a compilation Christmas album and a new album this winter. An Army veteran, Griswold has been struggling to find time to focus on his music for the past several years since he has had to balance his musical aspirations and his military career. Griswold spent five years in the Army which included a tour in Iraq that ended last December. He returned to Woodbury only to be recalled.