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 5 months
Planning in Afton has always been a difficult and touchy subject, but it's about to get a bit more challenging now that the council has decided to terminate their contract with its city planner, Chuck Marohn, and Community Growth Institute. The Afton City Council discussed the termination of the contract during its Aug. 18 meeting. "I think we should start the wheels moving -- he's too expensive," Afton City Council member Peg Nolz said.
Jillian Messina has been an active member of the St. Paul-based youth circus school, Circus Juventas, as a contortionist for the last two years, but as of Aug. 19 that has changed. On Aug. 16, at around 10 p.m., during Circus Juventas' final performance of their sold out summer show the risers holding more than 400 people collapsed. Seven people were taken to the hospital for injuries. No one was severely injured. City officials ordered the school to be closed on Aug. 19 until inspections can be made into the accident and the structure.
It was a night at the movies for Woodbury families on Friday, Aug. 15 at Ojibway Park. For the second annual "Movies in the Park", co-sponsored by the Woodbury Parks and Recreation Department, the Woodbury Rotary Club and M & I Bank, hundreds of families gathered together with their blankets and pillows to enjoy "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" under the stars. "It's just a great family event," said Lynne Buchana, a customer service representative from M & I Bank.
Woodbury has its own young prodigy in Prithwis Mukhopadhyay. Mukhopadhyay, 16, a junior at Woodbury High School, has become well known in and outside of Woodbury when it comes to excelling in science and research at such a young age. Mukhopadhyay has received numerous awards and recognitions for his many accomplishments. This summer alone Mukhopadhyay has spent 605 hours at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center located at the University of Illinois-Chicago, for his most recent research project, which hopes to prove the cancer-causing effects of a commonly used food additive.
The Woodbury Heritage Society has worked tirelessly to preserve Woodbury's roots with the preservation of Woodbury's oldest, and only, marker tree. "This is the last one we know of in Woodbury that was used as a marker tree -- most of the other ones either died or were cut down," said Wayne Schilling, vice president of the Woodbury Heritage Society.
An Afton resident who runs a business out of his home reported to police over the weekend that someone had spray painted words on his house that were intended to be used as slurs. The incident is believed to have occurred Saturday late or early Sunday on the 3000 block of St. Croix Trail S.
It was a day out at the bowling alley, virtually speaking, Wednesday, Aug. 12 for the residents at White Pine Senior Living center, in Cottage Grove, and a group of vacation bible school students from Memorial Lutheran Church, in Afton, without even leaving the couch. Memorial Lutheran Church donated a Nintendo Wii gaming system to the residents at White Pines as part of a grant, the Thrivent Finanical for Lutherans Care Abounds for Communities grant, the church had received. "We're here to teach the resident how to use the Wii system," Rev.
The lawsuit against Afton resident Jeffrey Walker and his allegedly illegal airstrip has finally landed. A jury trial was scheduled to begin Monday, Aug. 17 at the Washington County Court House. However, the jury trial never took place because the court decided to enforce a plea agreement that was originally reached between Afton's former city attorney Mitch Converse and Walker's former attorney. Current city attorney Fritz Knaak said he was prepared for the jury trial, but unfortunately the court decided to uphold the previous agreement.
How many kids dream of becoming treasure hunters? A group of youthful adventurers got a taste of the action last week when the Woodbury Parks and Recreation Department put on a "Geocaching" program. Parks department staff said the program helps connect students with the outdoors. "We saw it as a great opportunity to connect kids with nature," said Michelle Okada, a recreation specialist for Woodbury Parks and Recreation.
Memories of the circus: Eating a lot of sweet and sticky cotton candy. Watching the aerial acrobatics fly over head. Pretty much just enjoying the "happiest place on earth." For Jillian Messina, though, memories about the circus are created from a different perspective. Messina is a contortionist for Circus Juventas, a St. Paul-based youth circus school. "Contortion is just so different from anything I'd ever done -- I just thought it would be fun to try," said Messina, a junior at Woodbury High School.