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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When he gives a reading from his book "Real Mountains" Jan. 7 at Valley Bookseller in Stillwater, Dan Seftick will be doing so as a parent. "I guess I don't really consider myself an author, just a grieving dad trying to make sure his son is remembered and loved," said Seftick, who lives in Afton with his wife, Sue. The book, published in the fall by Beaver's Pond Press, pays tribute to Seftick's son, Gregory Seftick, 31, and a friend who died in an avalanche April 16, 2011, in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
The Washington County Board of Commissioners began the new year with the swearing in of three members who won re-election to their respective districts in November. Fran Miron of Commissioner District 1, Gary Kriesel of District 3 (which includes Afton), and Lisa Weik of District 5 (which includes most of Woodbury) took the oath of office in separate ceremonies prior to their Jan. 3 meeting at the Government Center in Stillwater.
Woodbury Public Safety has released surveillance photos of one man and two women who may have been involved in a Dec. 17 assault on two teens at Wooddale Fun Zone. A black man in his 20s, with short dreadlocks that “stand up,” according to the initial complaint report (ICR) is a suspect in the beating of siblings Chyna Hollins, 15, and Christopher Barham, 13.
Washington County Washington County commissioners denied themselves a pay raise for 2017. At their Dec. 20 meeting, commissioners voted to keep annual 2016 salaries of $52,713 unchanged for next year. That figure has remained the same since 2009, Commissioner Karla Bigham said. "I made a commitment to the residents of District 4 that I wouldn't support a pay raise, so I'm keeping that commitment," Bigham explained later.
Woodbury For someone who has made a career out of arranging flowers, helping build a Rose Bowl Parade float out of mums, carnations and other blooms must be akin to a kid being given the keys to Santa's workshop.
Washington County The Washington County Sheriff's Office will equip its deputies with body worn cameras starting in January. The cameras will be part of a multifunctional software package installed in a chest-mounted Android smartphone. The devices will also function as a cellphone, audio recorder and real-time GPS tracker so an officer's precise location can be pinpointed, even if they are unable to immediately respond. "It will be an all-in-one piece of equipment," Sheriff Bill Hutton said.
Woodbury Sometimes a 2-dimensional canvas isn't sufficient for a painter to express herself. That's particularly true in the case of Gloria Popowitz, a visual artist, home decorator and full-time grandmother. When it comes to a subject close to her heart — Christmas — the canvas is her entire house. Each year, around Thanksgiving, she begins the task of decking the halls of her Woodbury home that she shares with her husband, Mark.
Woodbury At 10 years old, Kylie VanDeest already is a published author. The Valley Crossing Elementary fifth grader's short story "Mariah's Big Mistake" appears in the annual anthology of student writing from Compas, an arts education organization in St. Paul. "I was really, really, really excited and really honored that they chose my story out of my whole class," said VanDeest, who wrote the story in the fourth grade at Bailey Elementary.