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 enthusiasms of the late Scott Pengelly were nearly as numerous as his friends. Pengelly, who died Dec. 29, received a sitting ovation Aug. 23, when a wrought-iron "Tree of Life" bench was dedicated in his honor at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Friends, family and former colleagues at the Department of Natural Resources gathered to celebrate the man described on the bench inscription as "dedicated DNR spokesman, outdoorsman, conservationist, State Fair enthusiast and friend."
The Rev. John Magee is now a member of the pancreatic cancer survivors club. He hopes it's a lifetime membership. "I'm humbled," Magee said. "Some may call it a miracle, I call it a blessing. I'm just grateful." Last year, the pastor of Light the Way Church in Cottage Grove was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma, the most common form of pancreatic cancer. "My wife was told by one clinician that I would die from this. He said, 'You will die within 18 months.' That was hard for her to hear."
The Washington County 2018 budget could include the biggest property tax hike in nearly 10 years. A proposed $102.7 million levy would add about $35 to the annual property tax bill for the owner a home assessed at $257,000 — the median value in the county. The 6.9 percent levy increase would be the largest since 2008. Deputy Administrator Kevin Corbid made the levy request at an Aug. 8 budget workshop.
Jackie Biederman walked into her bedroom closet on July 27, closed the door and launched her first podcast. “It’s the quietest place in the house with a 7-year-old and a 5-year-old,” the Woodbury work-from-home mom said. “I had been getting pretty into podcasts over the years,” Biederman said. “I kept going back to the idea to help other people and how do I use the skills I have to do that?”
"A little to the left, that's the spot, ahhh." That may be what Layla the calf was thinking as Caitlyn Wagner, 16, hosed her down opening day at the Washington County Fair. Layla belongs to Megan Olson, 14. The 146th annual fair features demonstrations and exhibitions by more than 500 members of Washington County 4-H clubs as well as rides, the Swinetime Pig Races and live music. It runs through August 6. For a complete list of Washington County Fair activities, visit www.washingtoncountyfair.org .
When Thor is angry, the Earth trembles. The nine Norse realms are roiled by the theft of Thor’s hammer in “Nordrsaga,” this year’s student showcase at Circus Juventas in St. Paul.
The Englishman hoisted himself out his wheelchair and onto a high swivel chair next to the karaoke machine. He tested the volume on his mic. "Hi, I'm Simon," he told the audience at Broadway Bar and Grill in St. Paul Park. "I arrived in the country about two hours ago." With that, Simon Kindleysides, 33, made his American concert debut June 29. He overcame nerves and a wonky sound system to deliver a set that included a heartfelt version of "Imagine" by John Lennon.
For Lenore Weir, directing "Legally Blonde: The Musical" for Woodbury Community Theatre is a bit like going shopping with its irrepressible heroine, Elle Woods. It's not always easy to keep with such a force of nature. "The way it's written, it never, ever stops," said Weir, who lives in Cottage Grove. "It's not like an old-fashioned show where you have end-of-scene plus a blackout and you change the set. That's not how it works."
Phil Thompson is a pretty dapper dude. The Woodbury vocalist/pianist usually sports a suit and tie. He styles his hair and evidently owns a razor. In his Man About Town segment on WCCO-TV, he’s a suave tour guide to weekend happenings around the Twin Cities. Thompson has performed at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, the MGM Grand in Macau and the US Open Tennis Tournament in New York. He’s played on cruise ships in Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean and Alaska.
It began with a single square of paper, creased and folded into the shape of a crane. Then Jeanne Reeve made a second. And a third.