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.
- Member for
- 2 years 9 months
Friction between the Afton City Council and the Afton Planning Commission over the last several months led to the two bodies taking steps to remedy tensions during two separate work sessions -- one earlier last month and one last Tuesday.
The Afton City Council approved the 2011 preliminary budget and tax levy at a special council meeting on Sept. 7. The 2011 preliminary budget was approved at $1,078,623, which is a decrease of $4,471, or .04 percent, from the 2010 budget. The 2011 tax levy was approved at $1,556,814, which is a 2.94 percent increase over the 2010 tax levy. The tax levy can still be lowered prior to the final budget approval, however it cannot be raised once the preliminary levy is approved.
Quilting is like piecing together some of your best memories. At least that's how the members of the River Valley Quilt Guild feel about the pastime. "Quilting is kind of an emotional thing for people," Woodbury resident Pat DuBois said. "It's a family thing that's passed down." Even though quilting is a traditional craft activity, the quilts that you may be used to aren't what you see today. The River Valley Quilt Guild, which meets twice a month at the Woodbury Public Works Building, currently has an assortment of quilts on display at the R.H.
Afton Art in the Park is back again for another year. Organizers hope this year's event will be bigger than all the rest. The 32nd annual Afton Art in the Park, put together by the Afton Area Business Association, will be held Sept. 25-26 in Afton Town Square Park. This year's annual art festival will be a little different than previous years in that the event has joined forces with a variety of different art fairs in the area. Stillwater-based non-profit organization, ArtReach St.
Woodbury residents Alex Esch, 11 and Zach Manske, 12, are already national dance champions, but the young duo has now added another title to their dance reputation -- talent show champions. Esch and Manske won first place at the Minnesota State Fair Talent Competition, Sept. 5, in the pre-teen division. The duo performed a jazz routine, choreographed by Erin Hinck at Woodbury Dance Center, to Michael Jackson's " The Way You Make Me Feel" Esch and Manske were the only dance routine, of the seven acts, in the pre-teen division.
When fall rolls around, it brings with it cooler weather, changing leaves and most importantly a fresh, crisp apple. "When you bite into a fresh, Minnesota apple, it doesn't get much better than that," said John McPherson, orchard director at the Carpenter Nature Center, in Hastings. For many families, heading out to the apple orchard is a family tradition, whether it's to pick a few apples, drink some hot cider or maybe just go for a hayride. "It's a chance for some people to be outside," said Alice McDougall, owner of McDougall's Apple Junction in Denmark Township.
Woodbury resident David Schommer has been making short films for the past six years; and he's only 16 years old. The Woodbury High School junior began dabbling in filmmaking when he was 10 years old after he received editing software from his parents for his birthday. "After that I just started with making little movies," he said.
Fall is Mick Lunzer's time of year. The Woodbury resident Mick Lunzer is a staple during the Minnesota Renaissance Festival (which runs through Oct. 1) with the juggling and knife throwing act the Danger Committee.
Former Afton interim city administrator Jim Norman has found himself in some hot water at his current job as the city manager in Albert Lea. Norman has been charged with a felony count of permitting false claims against government by a public officer, a felony count of theft and a gross misdemeanor charge of misconduct by a public officer. The Afton City Council discussed the charges facing Norman at its special meeting on Sept. 7 The charges were filed with the Freboorn County Court late last month.
A 100-mile bike ride may sound daunting to some, but for Cole Bruesehoff, the trek was worth it. The Woodbury teen is hoping his recent contributions on his bike can help with a much more difficult task - wiping out juvenile diabetes. The St. Ambrose Catholic School eighth grader was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes last fall after his parents noticed some of the tell-tale symptoms - extreme thirst and a loss of body weight. "Being diagnosed didn't feel good," Cole said. "I'll give it that much." However, the Woodbury teen was convinced that nothing was wrong.