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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For many actors portraying one of Shakespeare's great characters is a dream. For many musicians it's a dream to play one of Mozart's greatest. For many ballet dancers it's a dream to portray Clara in "The Nutcracker." Woodbury resident Olivia Verdick, who is an eighth grader at Woodbury Middle School, is currently living out her dreams of portraying Clara in Ballet Minnesota's production of the classic holiday ballet. "It's really exciting to be Clara, it's a huge honor," she said.
Family and friends of a 2009 Woodbury High School graduate are remembering the University of St. Thomas student who died in a St. Paul house fire early Saturday morning. Michael Adam Larson, 20, was an easy going, laid back person who was never judgmental, said his father Tom Larson. "I think he was the type of person we're supposed to be," he said. Larson and three other housemates were inside their Selby Avenue residence when fire broke out on the porch around 3 a.m. on Dec. 11, said St.
Conservation conversations are back in Afton -- sort of. The Afton Planning Commission discussed the topic of conservation easements with Sarah Strommen, the associate director of the Minnesota Land Trust, during it's meeting on Dec. 6. The topic of conservation easements is nothing new for Afton, since the recently approved Cedar Bluff development will contain an easement, however the topic gained new ground recently when the city began looking into drafting a conservation design ordinance.
The Afton Planning Commission is still in limbo on making any recommendations to proposed amendments to its kennel ordinance even as the resident who initiated the proposed changes will be on the trails of Alaska come February. Afton resident Mille Porslid proposed changes to the ordinance after applying for a conditional-use permit to build an outdoor kennel to house her 19 sled dogs. The Planning Commission discussed Porslid's amendments at its Dec.
When Megan Blake was in kindergarten she was busy playing school in her basement. "I pretended I was a teacher when I was little, since we had an old fashioned desk in our basement so I just always played school," she said. "I kind of knew when I was little that I wanted to be a teacher since my mom's a teacher." Blake, who is a Woodbury resident, has stopped playing and has started doing the real thing now that she is a kindergarten teacher at Bailey Elementary. "I've always kind of been excited about being a teacher," she said.
What can be improved in Woodbury? Not a whole lot according to results from a Woodbury Community Foundation survey. The Wilder Research Foundation, which the WCF contracted last year to conduct the survey, presented the results Monday at a community event at Woodbury Lutheran Church. A total of 938 residents responded to the survey for a 24-percent response rate.
It was a snow-filled weekend in Woodbury after a winter storm accumulated well more than a foot of new snow around town. And the impact of the blizzard conditions was felt across the community as several activities were either postponed or canceled altogether. The snowfall began late Friday evening and lasted through Saturday evening, said Tim Thurmes, assistant street supervisor.
In any type of theater performance, it is typically the cast that draws the applause and the praise of the audience, but the unsung heroes who would make a performance almost impossible without them are the technicians and the musicians. Woodbury Community Theatre's production of "Amahl and the Night Visitors" is no exception, especially since the show is an opera and the music is more or less the star of the show. "Amahl and the Night Visitors," which tells the story of an imaginative boy and the three wiseman, opened Dec. 4 on the Loft Stage at East Ridge High School.
The Afton City Council had one of its final budget discussions during a work session on Nov. 29. During the work session, council members reviewed which 2010 line items were over budget, which line items were under budget and what line items need to be accounted for in 2011. "We need to start looking at what's happening in 2010 and how that will affect 2011," interim city administrator Ron Moorse said Back in September the City Council approved the 2011 preliminary budget at $1,078,623, which is a decrease of $4,471, or .04 percent, from the 2010 budget.
The last piece of the Belwin restoration puzzle has been placed. The Belwin Conservancy, in Afton, recently acquired the last 30 acres of nearly 130 total acres that were previously owned by the Science Museum of Minnesota. Belwin officially acquired the last parcel, located north of Lake Edith, in November. The land is included in Belwin's "Oak Savanna Restoration Project." "This is the last piece of the puzzle to complete that project," said Steve Hobbs, executive director for Belwin. Currently Belwin has roughly 1,300 acres of dedicated conservation land.