Mike Longaecker is editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. His coverage includes local crime, legislative activity and prep sports.
You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker
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When Pam Cunningham eyed up the complexion of the Legislature, she didn't see strong representation from experts in the health care and education fields. So the longtime nurse and District 622 School Board member decided to throw her hat in the ring. "If you're not a part of the solution, you're part of the problem," she said. "I have a unique skill set to bring to the Legislature." Cunningham, a Maplewood Republican, will vie for the new House District 53A seat with Democratic challenger JoAnn Ward.
Health care has long been an important issue to Ann Marie Metzger. But it wasn't until January 2011 that the health care system had a direct impact on her life. After being called in for a follow-up mammogram, Metzger was told she first had to consult with an insurance adviser, who told her that her provider would not pay for the exam. She paid the bill and everything turned out fine, Metzger said, but she was left steamed. "I can't believe they did this to me," she said.
Andrea Kieffer wants to keep it going. The Woodbury Republican said lawmakers made progress in the past two years since she was elected to the Legislature on a pro-business platform, and now is no time to stop. "I want to mainly focus on staying true to the business growth," Kieffer said. The first-term legislator is seeking re-election in the newly drawn House District 53B against Democratic challenger Ann Marie Metzger. Kieffer was first elected to the Legislature in 2008 when she defeated two-term incumbent Rep.
Ted Lillie spent most of his career trying to stay out of politics. The newspaper publisher chose to work behind the scenes - serving on east metro boards and organizing community efforts to streamline local government. But after serving 10 years on the HealthEast board of directors and leading efforts to merge local government services in District 622 and beyond, Lillie began being prodded by people to run for office. "I was very reluctant," the Woodbury Republican said. Ultimately, Lillie concluded that the Legislature didn't have enough perspective from the business community. "I felt
Susan Kent considers herself to be a bit wonky. After more than 20 years in the marketing and media world, the Woodbury resident found herself eager to dig deep into issues. "I am deeply knowledge based," Kent said. So when new Senate districts were unveiled in February, Kent decided those skills would suit her well in a run for the Legislature. She is challenging Sen.
A plan to create a new busing corridor through Woodbury received its highest approval yet last week when a key transit panel voted to push it through for environmental study. Gateway Corridor Commissioners unanimously approved a recommendation to advance the bus-rapid transit plan along in a process that is still years away. The plan calls for a dedicated high-speed busing route that - through Woodbury - would run south of Interstate 94 to Manning Avenue, where the corridor would end after beginning at St. Paul's Union Depot.
When Ashley Ostrowski marks a major step in her career this weekend, her mother won't be far from her mind. The 28-year-old launches her own clothing line in Washington County during an event that's been years in the making.
Some of Minnesota's top brass donned hard hats and work boots Monday during a Habitat for Humanity event in Woodbury. The 11th annual CEO Build Day was held at Woodbury's Garden Gate Development. Homebuyers pounded nails alongside company executives from businesses including Cargill, the city of Woodbury, HealthEast, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, The Opus Group, Wells Fargo and Xcel Energy. Speakers at the event included Koji Aku, a mother of two who will be moving into the development. "We are very happy," she told the assembled group of executives and Habitat officials.
The home of a former Woodbury firefighter was destroyed early Saturday, Oct. 6, after fire swept through the house. The home, owned by retired Woodbury firefighter Tom Richardson, was a total loss, said Woodbury Fire Cmdr. John Wallgren. Two people home at the time were able to escape the burning house, located at 2601 Brittany Lane. A pet cat succumbed to smoke inhalation, Wallgren said. A female resident was taken in for a medical evaluation, but was released, he said. No firefighters were injured in the fire, which was first reported at 12:47 a.m. Saturday.
A Woodbury man convicted of possessing black tar heroin was sentenced Sept. 19 to three days in jail and a $500 fine. Robert John Ennis, 19, received a stay of adjudication on his sentence, which calls for five years' probation.