Riham Feshir has been a reporter/ photographer with the Woodbury Bulletin since 2011. She covers Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news around the city. Riham holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked for two other Forum Communications newspapers in Central Minnesota.
Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.
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More than 100 people came out to Tamarack Nature Preserve Thursday, July 14, to check out a rare wetland area that houses numerous plants, flowers and animal diversity. The annual tour attracted all age groups and was divided into separate groups based on interest levels. Most of those who attended chose the general tour, which showcased how the wetland cleanses storm water, adds to local groundwater reservoirs and sustains native vegetation. Visitors got an up-close look at exotic flowers and plants that they rarely get to see on a stroll down most other trails.
State Auditor Rebecca Otto released the 2010 Local Government Lobbying Services report Thursday, July 14, highlighting cities' expenditures toward lobbying efforts. The city of Woodbury did not contribute any money toward specific lobbying or legislative initiatives, according to city officials. "We haven't used city funds to lobby for a specific issue in quite some time," said Matt Stemwedel, assistant to the city administrator.
Woodbury taxpayers could see a slight levy increase, by way of street improvement costs. Woodbury City Council discussed the preliminary 2012 budget at last Wednesday's workshop where staff presented different scenarios detailing a percentage increase in the street reconstruction fund. A 2 percent increase, or $563,000, is the recommended amount for street maintenance and rehabilitation projects, according to city administrator Clint Gridley.
After living at their house for 18 years, Ralph Hogencamp and Sandra McDonald decided in 2002 to add a water feature to fix an erosion problem due to their location on a hill. But the 100-foot stream turned out to be much more than a solution for the Woodbury couple. It has become a relaxing, natural spot where running water, chirping birds and wildlife visits create a north-woods setting smack-dab in the middle of suburbia.
Studies show that the more weight joints carry, the weaker they get. "It's well known in the medical literature that there is a correlation between body weight, body size, obesity, body mass index and the onset of arthritic change," said Woodwinds orthopedic surgeon Jack Drogt.
Josie Beeson thinks if state workers are out of work, then legislators shouldn't get paid either. "It's just not right," she said. "Maybe that will get their butts in gear." The Cottage Grove resident has been going to Woodbury's R.H. Stafford Library every morning since she was laid off June 30 as a result of the state government shutdown.
For Kristin Pruitt and Lisa Valera, celebrating the Fourth of July with family is not an easy thing. In fact, they usually just avoid it. Pruitt's 12-year-old son was diagnosed eight years ago with autism that is triggered by noise, crowded spaces and hectic events. Johnathon is a monotone boy who's uncomfortable with hugging, expressing emotion and making eye contact. On the other hand, Valera's 7-year-old daughter, Alyssa, who was diagnosed with autism nine months ago, is an outgoing, flamboyant type of girl.
A missing alligator ended up on a golf course in Woodbury over Fourth of July weekend, according to police reports. A local resident reported that his neighbor's 4-foot long alligator was taken for a swim at a pond on Prestwick Golf Course's 10th hole. But the pet didn't stay there for long -- it was later reported missing. Police responded to the golf course to find the alligator's owner searching for it in a pond near the 10th tee. The owner said the alligator had escaped from the yard on the evening of July 3 and was last seen in the pond.
A completely new and renovated McDonald's will reemerge this September in Woodbury, after the old one is torn down and rebuilt. The 29-year-old structure has exceeded its capacity, owners Jim and Patrick Duval said. The one-lane drive-thru is always busy during peak hours, sometimes backed up all the way to the street entrance. "It really was due to capacity. We've grown; we continue to grow in Woodbury.
Fluctuating gas prices, parking costs, stress-free commuting and increased transit service are all factors that reflect the growing number of Park and Ride users in Woodbury. Therefore, Metro Transit is proposing a new parking ramp at the Woodbury 10 Theatre Park and Ride site that will double the number of spaces by 2015-16 to accommodate for anticipated growth in the next few years. "Over each of the last four years, Metro Transit's ridership on buses and trains has exceeded 76 million and the last time that benchmark was hit was in the year 1982," said John Siqveland, Metro Transit spokes