William Loeffler is a playwright and journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked 15 years writing features for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has also written travel stories based on his trips to all seven continents. He and his wife, Michelle, ran the Boston Marathon in 2009.
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SCHOOL DISTRICT 833 — Teachers who want extra supplies for their classrooms often have to dig into their own pockets. Or, they can appeal to the public's generosity by posting their request on the crowdfunding website www.donorschoose.org . A long wishlist had accumulated on the site from teachers in District 833: • A new classroom set of three novels and plays for a 12th grade language arts class at South Washington County Alternative High School • A new rug and adjustable wobble chairs for second-graders at Crestview Elementary School
WOODBURY — Minnesota native and 2004 Olympian Carrie Tollefson is the featured guest at this year's Wellness Fair at Woodbury Central Park, 8595 Central Park Place. The fair runs 2-5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, and is sponsored by Woodbury Thrives, a grassroots organization that promotes physical, mental and social health. An elite middle-distance runner, Tollefson was born in Dawson and attended Villanova University in Philadelphia, where she was five-time NCAA champion.
St. Paul police have a man in custody following a domestic incident this morning at Oltman Middle School in Cottage Grove. According to a statement, Cottage Grove police were notified at 8:52 a.m. by the school resource officer of a distraught woman who said she had been held against her will and assaulted by her domestic partner. The woman and her partner had been dropping off a student at Oltman when the woman said she used the opportunity to escape.
WOODBURY — Police, fire and EMS responders were kept busy by severe thunderstorms that barrelled through the area Wednesday, Oct. 3. Tree damage was reported at several locations, including Settlers Ridge Parkway and Whitewater Drive. Public Safety spokesperson Michelle Okada said they also received reports of trees on power lines at Crackleberry Trail and Glen Road. High winds toppled this tree in the 3900 block of Fairway Drive near Bailey Road. William Loeffler / RiverTown Multimedia
Red Rock Elementary School will receive $136,025 in state funds to make safety improvements. School District District 833 will receive $27,525 to make security upgrades to the school entrance and $108,500 for improvements to its communications system, according to a list released Oct. 3 by the Minnesota Department of Education. Under the terms of the grant, the District could choose to install or improve access controls, keyless entry systems, door locking and glass integrity, door alarm systems, as well as structure changes to the main entrance.
WOODBURY — Woodbury High School graduates and Marine Academy Midshipmen Gavin Bradley and Andrew French recently completed a journey around the world by ship.
COTTAGE GROVE — Two candidates for House District 54A debated the issues at a Thursday, Sept. 13 forum hosted by the League of Women Voters at Cottage Grove City Hall. Democrat Anne Claflin is challenging Republican incumbent Keith Franke in November for the House District 54A seat, which covers portions of Woodbury, White Bear Lake and Mahtomedi, as well as the entireties of Oakdale, Landfall, Pine Springs, Birchwood and Willernie. The candidates answered 16 questions submitted by the audience. Comments have been edited for clarity.
About 25 people attended a Sept. 13 forum that featured the two major party candidates for House District 54B. Democrat Tina Folch of Hastings is seeking to unseat incumbent Republican Tony Jurgens of Cottage Grove. The forum was sponsored by the Minnesota League of Women Voters. House District 54B includes the eastern half of Cottage Grove, Denmark Township, Afton, Hastings and Nininger Township. Topics, provided by the audience, included legalized recreational marijuana, medicaid work requirements and the achievement gap in high schools.
WOODBURY — Come for the movie, stay for the discussion. The Grove United Methodist Church will host a screening of the film "Love, Simon" Sunday, Sept. 30 at the YMCA in Woodbury. Following the film, the public is invited to stay, share and learn with teen members of the LGBT community. The event, which runs 4 to 7 p.m., was organized by the church's LGBT + Pride Team.
COTTAGE GROVE — Some parents and preschool teachers denounced a move by District 833 to eliminate the licensing requirement for early learning teachers. They spoke during the public comments period at the Sept. 20 South Washington County School Board meeting at the District Service Center in Cottage Grove. District 833 teachers are represented through local 1125 of the United Teachers of South Washington County.