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 River Valley Riders finally had a public hearing before the Afton Planning Commission for their proposed outdoor riding arena. Two earlier attempts at a hearing were both postponed because of the planning commission's failure to have a quorum of its members present. River Valley Riders is a non-profit corporation that provides horse-related activities, including therapeutic riding and driving to children and adults, by addressing needs in the areas of physical, sensory, neurological and mental health. At its March 2 meeting, the planning commission approved the group's request for a c
There are books that sweep readers into a figurative heat of battle, a scenario set on a page. In the case of several Liberty Ridge student readers, however, some books can also take one on a literal battlefield, one known as the "Battle of the Books." Liberty Ridge Elementary hosted its fourth annual Battle of the Books on March 3 when 50, 10 teams of five, fourth and fifth grade students drew their weapons of the mind and competed for victory. "Students enjoy getting together with friends and talking about the books," Betsy Hickey, co-coordinator of Battle of the Books, said.
It was a grudge match at Lake Junior High on March 5 when the teachers took on the boys' basketball team in a staff versus student fundraiser. "Activities like this are great way for the kids to see that teachers are real people and we do leave our classrooms," Logan Carstensen, student council advisor and team player said. The teachers certainly gave the students a run for their money, the final score was 81 to 75, the staff taking the title. "We actually pulled it off," Carstensen said. But that didn't stop the teachers from having a few mishaps themselves, such as falling.
Some people are word-oriented, others are image- or object-oriented. For Tim Kehoe, it's bits of several worlds wrapped into one. Kehoe is a local author and toy inventor who has spent his career bringing his imagination to life, whether in the form of inventing toys or creating a young inventor much like himself in his children's book "The Unusual Mind of Vincent Shadow." "Ever since I was young I was inventing things " he said. "It's the freedom to do whatever I want to do -- every day is a new day." Kehoe spoke to the third, fourth and fifth grade classes at St.
After an entire month of traveling to Middle Earth, running with Tom Sawyer and getting lost in the world of Dr. Seuss, "I Love to Read Month," has come to a climactic close with National Reading Day on Feb. 27. Lake Junior High's Student Literacy Council coordinated a variety of National Reading Day events at the school. Several guest speakers, including State Sen. Kathy Saltzman of Woodbury, read from some of their favorite books and shared their experiences with reading and the SLC also organized a variety of word games in each individual classroom.
There's plenty of knowledge competitions where students need to use there brain to answer test questions, but the Brain Bee takes it one step further and has them use their brain to answer questions about the brain. Three Woodbury High School students, juniors Amy Sun and Joan Park and senior Grace Park competed in the State Brain Bee competition at the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota on Feb. 11. Sun snatched the victory by one point. "It was fun because I learned a lot of stuff which sounds really nerdy I know," Sun said.
The Cedar's Bluff Homestead saga continued at the Afton City Council's Feb. 18 workshop meeting when the development agreement was discussed. "The point of today is a meeting of the minds," city attorney Mitch Converse said. Cedar's Bluff Homestead, a proposed project by Len Platt Homes, seeks to be Afton's first housing development.
Little girls are often told that they're princesses by their fathers, and on Feb. 19 they all had a chance to prove this true at District 833 Community Education's "Cinderella Swing" -- the daddy-daughter dance -- at Woodbury Junior High School. "It is one of the few special dress up opportunities for dads and their daughters. It is a great way to create special memories," youth programs coordinator Sue McKeown said. "And the little girls love the opportunity to dress up and be a princess." The dancing and the live band, the Dweebs, drew 1,000 daddies and daughters.
In a stroke of luck, the Afton Planning Commission received more than the needed number of applications after weeks of having too few. At the Feb. 17 meeting of the Afton City Council, four new commissioners were appointed to the planning commission by the council. "Thank you for applying and stepping forward to serve your community," Mayor Pat Snyder said. What seemed like a relatively easy decision hit a snag when councilmember Peg Nolz questioned whether to maintain the seat designated for a business member. "I see no advantage to having a business member," she said.
The book has finally closed on the paper maze that is the Environmental Assessment Worksheet for the Afton Center project. The Afton City Council approved a negative declaration, or stated it adequate, at its Feb. 17 meeting.