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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SOUTH WASHINGTON COUNTY — Cottage Grove will be the second community in Washington County to have a drop-in center for homeless youth. The Youth Connections center, which opens Sept. 16 at All Saints Lutheran Church, will provide services and support for homeless youth aged 14-24. Services will include laundry facilities, showers, kitchen and a computer lab. It will also provide necessities such as food, toiletries, sunscreen and warm clothing in the winter.
SOUTH WASHINGTON COUNTY — Forty teams participated in the South Washington County Relay For Life on June 7 at East Ridge High School, raising $60,000 for cancer research. Dave Olson and Michelle Alpers served as co-lead on this year's walk. Students Faith Goetzke and Leah Restad were co-leads of the East Ridge High Schools Against Cancer Chapter. In its 20 year history, Relay for Life South Washington County has raised $2.8 million for the American Cancer Society. Photos by William Loeffler / RiverTown Multimedia
SOUTH WASHINGTON COUNTY — A Minneapolis man faces four felony counts after carjacking his ex-girlfriend and kidnapping their two young daughters June 7. Jeffrey Lo, 24, was charged Monday in the Washington County District Court. The charges include two counts of kidnapping with a firearm, assault with a firearm, and violation of an Order for Protection while in possession of a dangerous weapon.
Authorities are looking for a father who reportedly left with his two young children in Cottage Grove Friday morning, June 7, 2019. According to an Amber Alert: The children are Asian females ages 1 and 3. The father, Jeffrey Lo is described as an Asian male, 5 feet 5 inches tall, 180 pounds with brown eyes. The mini van is a tan 2004 Toyota Sierra with Minnesota license plates 708-XEM. Lo allegedly assaulted the mother of his children around 6:34 a.m. in Cottage Grove and left with the two children.
COTTAGE GROVE — Tainted opioids may have killed a 21-year-old woman in Cottage Grove on June 5, police said. That same 24-hour period, which began the previous evening, also saw a fatal overdose in St. Paul Park and five non-fatal overdoses in St. Paul. Authorities in Hennepin and Washington counties are investigating whether these and other overdoses in Lake Elmo, Forest Lake and South St. Paul could be traced to the same "bad batch" of drugs, possibly cut with the synthetic — and highly lethal — opioid fentanyl.
Katia Zagal-Galvan is an outgoing senior in more ways than one. She came to the United States at 3 years old from the state of Morelos in Mexico. She lived in New Brighton, Minneapolis and Columbia Heights. "It's a completely different culture," Galvan said when asked about her adopted country. She credits Park High School with helping her to blossom. "I was really shy at first," she said. "Everybody began to notice how outgoing I was becoming." Taking a public speaking class proved a significant step in "getting me out of my comfort zone," she said.
Asked about her success at Math and Science Academy, Samantha Webster credits her parents for letting her blaze her own trail. "I think it's partly that my parents weren't, 'You need to do that,'" she said. "They said 'Do your best.'" Her best is pretty good. Webster, who lives in Maplewood, will attend Truman State University on a four-year Army ROTC scholarship, with a major in chemistry and a minor in forensic science. She'll join her classmates June 7 at the charter school's graduation ceremony.
COTTAGE GROVE — In a letter dated Friday, July 7, 1972, Air Force 1st Lt. William James Crockett wrote to his family in Cottage Grove. While he asked about his green MG sports car and wrote of his eagerness to go fishing at his family’s summer cabin, he also hinted at the perils of flying combat missions in the skies over Vietnam. He served as a navigator on a McDonnell Douglas Phantom II Fighter.
COTTAGE GROVE—Over 150 runners and walkers braved cold and wind to finish the Standing Strong 5K. The seventh annual event got underway May 18 at Hamlet Park. Bronson Stachowiak, 14, won the race in a time of 19:23. Andrea Winghart won the women's division. Winghart is a member of the St. Paul Lions Club and said she came to support the Cottage Grove Lions. "The temperature doesn't bother me as much as the wind," she said.
COTTAGE GROVE — City Council approved the HERO Center Business and Operational Plan at its regular meeting May 15. The $20 million, 47,000-square-foot complex will be jointly owned and operated by Cottage Grove and Woodbury. It will serve as a professional development and training facility for police, fire and EMS. Woodbury City Council will consider adoption of the plan at its May 22 meeting.