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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You are running out of time if you haven't headed over to the Vali-Hi Drive-In Theatre to watch a movie under the stars, as the season is quickly coming to a close. The summer-time staple, off of I-94 in Lake Elmo, opened in 1966 and has been providing summer entertainment for friends and families ever since. "I grew up with drive-ins," John Flaten, of Woodbury said. Flaten, who attended the drive in last Saturday night, said he tries to visit the Vali-Hi Drive-In Theatre about every other week.
The 2010 Winter Olympics in Canada are nothing but a distant memory, but the 2010 Sandstone Olympics are still fresh in the minds of its athletes. The second-annual Sandstone Olympics, which is a neighborhood Olympics in the Stonemill Farms neighborhood, were held Sunday, Aug. 15. The event drew roughly 65 kids from around the Stonemill Farms neighborhood. "Our Olympics are just a different kind of event," organizer Chip Laingen said.
The 2010 Woodbury Days Medallion has been found. Woodbury resident Cathy Burianek found the Woodbury Days Medallion at around 11:30 this morning at Menomini Park, under to dock, after the fifth clue was released. "I really didn't expect to find anything yet," she said. "But there it was." Today was the seventh day of the Woodbury Days Medallion Hunt. Burianek has a Woodbury Days button that is registered with the Woodbury Days Council, so she will receive the full $500 shopping spree. Burianek and her husband Jeff found the Woodbury Days Medallion last year at Ojibway Park.
The 2008 Afton Comprehensive Plan is still in limbo, but the Afton City Council appears optimistic. The Afton City Council received an update on the status of the comp plan's completion at its Aug. 17 meeting. Earlier this month the Afton City Council directed city planner Chuck Marohn to complete the comp plan, before he will receive payment.
Folks driving down Trading Post Trail in Afton should be careful now that the speed limit has been decreased from 55 miles per hour to 35 miles per hour. The speed limit decrease came after the Minnesota Department of Transportation performed a speed study. MnDOT notified the Afton City Council during its Aug. 17 meeting that the speed limit has been decreased. The speed reduction will occur on Trading Post Trail between County Road 18 and Valley Creek Trail. The Afton City Council approved the placement of four speed limit signs.
The proposed After Charter has officially been placed on the ballot. The Afton City Council approved placement of the charter on the ballot for the November election. According to statute, a city council has no discretion on whether or not to place the charter on the ballot or how it reads. "I would just like to say that I'm really in opposition to this concept of a charter city because I feel it is a second tier of government that is not going to be beneficial to the residents," council member Joe Richter said.
It's no secret that Afton has some wonderful scenery, but the city needs someone to capture the beauty. Afton has launched a photography contest in order to find updated photos for the city's website. "Lots of people like to take photos," interim city administrator Ron Moorse said. Moorse said he decided to launch the photo contest after having a similar contest in the city of Orono, where he previously worked, and saw the success of it. For the photo contest, submissions will be accepted in three categories -- lakes and wetlands, nature and lifestyle.
The Afton City Council took the first step to approving its 2011 budget at a work session on Aug. 16 when the council discussed the preliminary budget. The preliminary 2011 budget is proposed to be $1,078,623, which is a decrease of 4,471, or .04 percent, compared to the 2010 budget. Some of the changes to the 2011 budget are: A decrease of $5,351, or 2.7 percent, in staff wages and benefits. An increase of $10,000 in general liability insurance. 2010 had a cost of $53,000. A decrease of $4,250 in election expenses due to a change in budgeting practices.
Editor's note: This is the third is an occasional series chronicling teachers' summer vacations. During the school year, John Hoven spends his days teaching his students about slopes and angles; however, during the summer he is experiencing his teachings first hand. The Woodbury High School algebra teacher recently returned from a 10-day vacation to the Cascades and the Sierra Nevada mountain range where he climbed to the summit of Mount St. Helens in Washington, as well as Mount Shasta and Mount Whitney in California.
Being a girl scout is more than just selling cookies. That's the way Woodbury residents Laura Chandler and Sarah Mittelstadt see it. The teens, both juniors at Stillwater Area High School, have been involved with Girl Scouts of the USA for the past 11 years and have done everything from selling cookies to camping to helping others. Both said it was their mothers who really pushed them into Girl Scouts. Mittelstadt's mother, Tamara, is the counselor for the girls' troop. "We actually ended up having a lot of fun," Chandler said.