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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The weather couldn't have been better for Saturday's Woodbury Community Expo at East Ridge High School. But while it might have been tempting to stay outside and enjoy the sunshine, that would have meant missing out on the games, food, facepainting, prizes and entertainment inside.
Washington County commissioners last week voiced their continued support for the county attorney office's major crimes unit created to investigate and prosecute sex trafficking, sophisticated insurance fraud, organized retail crime, inter-county organized identity theft and other organized crimes. Assistant Attorney Imran Ali was appointed to head the division. That left a vacancy that was backfilled by the position of special project attorney. At their March 14 meeting, the board voted to extend the full-time position of special project attorney through the end of 2018.
A Cottage Grove townhouse less than a half-mile from an elementary school served as a brothel where women were forced to make a minimum $800 a day as prostitutes, prosecutors allege. Washington County Attorney Pete Orput and Ramsey County Attorney John Choi announced Wednesday the arrest of a man who ran the brothel and others in Oakdale, Maplewood and North Dakota. His apprehension is part of a major sex trafficking bust that involved multiple East Metro law enforcement agencies.
School District 833 "I know what I like so I put stuff in and, voila!" said Nathan Larsen, 10, as he concocted a smoothie last Wednesday at Woodbury Elementary. He ended up eating — or drinking — his words as he tasted the result. Nathan's mouth puckered and his eyes watered. He said he may have overdone the lime juice. Back to the drawing board. The smoothie lab was part of the kick-off for Fuel Up to Play 60, a health and fitness campaign.
They marched in formation into a dark room, to the sound of artillery fire and machine guns. "Take cover!" social studies teacher Prudence Lamar shouted. "You're under heavy fire!" One group of seventh-graders took cover behind a row of chairs that represented the German trenches. Another group hunkered down on the Allied side. Wednesday, one room at Lake Middle School became a war zone as students learned about trench warfare in World War I.
The Washington County Board tables a resolution to dissolve the Counties Transit Improvement Board at its March 28 meeting.
Woodbury Poverty, orphans and broken homes don't seem like the kind of subjects a boy band would sing about. But CBOYZ isn't your ordinary outfit. Woodbury brothers Bon, Denzel and Tyler Chinanga sing, dance and dress like they're gunning for a spot on "America's Got Talent." But under the show biz savvy is a humanitarian message of hope and compassion.
There may be more alarming things in a teenager's bedroom than piles of dirty socks or petrified pizza crusts.
They're football coaches, IT guys, engineers. And of course, they're all dads. More specifically, they're the Dancing Dads, Woodbury's greatest, most renowned — OK, only — troupe of booty-shaking paterfamilias. The group grew out of the Woodbury Dance Center, where their sons and daughters study tap, ballet and other forms of movement. The guys see it as a way to bond with their pirouetting progeny and to dance a mile in their shoes, so to speak.
Ethan Bowman, 7, looked as though he was reading a fortune cookie, but he was actually looking over a conversation starter that he took from a jar at Valley Crossing Elementary School. Last week, students took part in the Family Mealtime Challenge, a program that encouraged students to talk and connect with their classmates and family during meals. Students can also use a bingo card to cross off specific challenges like "eat a colorful food." Principal Lela Olson said the intent is to promote face-to-face communication as well as healthful nutrition.