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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John "Jack" Lanners was Woodbury's secret weapon. The businessman, volunteer and civic leader usually did his best work behind the scenes. But he was hardly a wallflower. In 2013, the Woodbury Chamber of Commerce selected him Citizen of the Year. He served as the grand marshal in the 2015 Woodbury Days Grand Parade. And it was his charisma and energy that brought family members together, whether for pickup football or his annual Memorial Day picnic, where he'd take out last year's Christmas tree and used it as kindling for the bonfire.
To hear her tell it, Leah Restad had a modest goal when she prepared to take the ACT test. "I was just hoping that I would get a high enough score to not have to take the test again in the spring," she said. The East Ridge High School junior earned a perfect score — 36 — on the standardized college readiness exam. District 833 juniors and seniors took the ACT last month. One-tenth of 1 percent of test-takers achieve a perfect score, according to the ACT website.
Motorists who cross under Interstate 94 on Century Avenue may have been obliged to share their lane with a cyclist or two — particularly during morning or evening rush hour. Odds are, they weren't happy about riding behind a pair of spandex shorts. Neither were the cyclists, particularly those who commuted to work at nearby 3M in Maplewood.
He came on down. He saw. He conquered. Joshua Ryan of Farmington won almost $13,000 as a contestant on a recent episode of "The Price is Right." The longest running game show on television features Drew Carey as emcee. Contestants try to guess the price of various consumer goods. Publicist Raven Tait said that Ryan won a trip to Jackson Hole ski resort in Wyoming, including a stay at the Lexington Hotel, roundtrip airfare for two from Los Angeles, ski lessons and lift tickets and equipment. He also won a his-and-hers sunglasses set from Givenchy.
Military veterans are given their due as part of an annual quilt exhibition at the R.H. Stafford Library in Woodbury. This year, the River Valley Quilters Guild invited their members to include charity quilts as part of their annual show. President Sue Bay of Newport said the 40 quilts on display include those that will go to pediatric units at area hospitals as well as to women's shelters.
Army veteran Patrick Nickle didn't have a story to tell. He had dozens. For documentary maker Justin Atkinson, it was a matter of finding the right one. "I was trying to find the story," Atkinson said. "When he started talking about his first deployment to Afghanistan he got very emotional. I thought, 'Whoa, that's the story I want to tell.'" Nickle is one of three local veterans who are featured in "A Salute to Veterans" on local cable channel SWC-TV, where Atkinson works. The series premieres Nov. 6 on Channel 18.
There’s a lot more to the movie “Singin’ in the Rain” than that iconic scene of Gene Kelly dancing with a lamp-post in a downpour. For example, there’s….well, just what is that movie about, anyway? “Not a lot of people know the plot,” said director Janette Bach, a drama teacher at New Life Academy in Woodbury, where a student cast is rehearsing for the stage version of the classic musical. It opens 7 p.m. Nov. 3.
East Ridge High School senior Kate Sawyer recently took home a TWIST EPIC award, which stands for Target Women in Science and Technology and Engagement, Passion, Innovation, and Curiosity. Sawyer, of Woodbury, is one of 25 women in Minnesota to earn the honor, which recognizes those who demonstrate their dedication to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. She received the award Oct. 13 at Target Headquarters in Minneapolis. At right is her Target engineering mentor Janell Hibbard.
When it comes to their Catholic faith, actions speak louder than words for Sharon and Michael D'Agostino of Woodbury. If there's something to be done, be it serving Easter brunch at Little Sisters of the Poor, supporting the Woodbury Life Resource Center or raising money for the Nyumbani Orphanage in Kenya, they step up. "We learned it from our parents," Sharon D'Agostino said. "We both were raised in homes that give back a lot to the community."
If the idea was to light a "Firebird" under the seats of District 833 students, the Minnesota Orchestra hit the mark. An invited audience at East Ridge High School on Sept. 15 heard a stratospheric performance of Stravinsky's "Firebird" by the full orchestra, led by musical director Osmo Vanksa. Band and orchestra students from East Ridge, Park and Woodbury high schools and Lake Middle School also heard "Roman Carnival Overture" by Berlioz and "Pavane pour une infante défunte" by Ravel.