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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On paper, it was a six-way skirmish for a vacant seat on the Washington County Board of Commissioners. The reality was less dramatic, as candidates Stan Karwoski and Cheryl Anderson easily captured the first and second-highest vote tallies in a special election Tuesday that ran concurrently with the state primary.
New standardized test scores indicate that literacy continues to be the strong suit in South Washington County Schools. But math scores were flat, science scores dipped slightly and achievement gaps persist at some schools with a high number of black, Hispanic and low-income students, as well as those who are learning English.
The chickens have come home to roost. This year’s Washington County Fair features the return of the crowing and egg-laying set -- namely, roosters, hens and other poultry that were banned last year due to a multi-state avian flu outbreak. The festival runs from Wednesday through Sunday, Aug. 3-7. If features the popular Swinetime Pig Races, police K-9 demonstration, carnival, equestrian events and demolition derby.
A military Retiree Appreciation Day is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, at the National Guard Armory and Community Center, 13885 S. Robert Trail in Rosemount. Preregistration is required by Monday, Aug. 8. Admission is $16 which covers a snack and lunch. For details, visit www.mccoy.army.mil/Services/ACAP_Documents/2016_RAD_REGISTER.pdf or call 507-961-1177. Attendees will be limited to 300.
Applications are being accepted from vendors for the 15th-annual Washington County Bluegrass Festival, 2-6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, at Lake Elmo Park Reserve. The festival is free and open to the public. Last year's event drew more than 4,000 people. For details and to download an application, visit www.co.washington.mn.us/bluegrass .
The Woodbury Parks and Recreation Department held its annual Coin Carnival last Friday at Ojibway Park. The fair featured games, prizes, bounce house, temporary tattoos, food and Puppet Wagon shows. By early afternoon, temperatures had soared into the mid-90s, making for a lot of sticky faces and hands as kids licked their rapidly melting frozen treats. Colette Miller, 4, of Woodbury enjoyed her popsicle in the shade of a tree with mom Sarah. She seemed a bit mystified at the carnival's name. "I didn't see any coins," she said.
Anyone doing business with Washington County Public Works, including the county's parks, transportation, and survey and land management staff, may return to seeing county staff in the county's North Shop at 11660 Myeron Road N. in Stillwater Township. The North Shop has been undergoing renovation and expansion for the past 18 months. A public open house for the building will be Saturday, Aug. 20. This is the primary facility for maintaining the more than 300 miles of county highways, 100 traffic signals, and 600 vehicles in the county fleet.
There is no reason these days for a kid to run away to the circus. Not when the largest youth circus program in North America is right here in the Twin Cities. For 22 years, Circus Juventas in St. Paul has trained more than 2,500 students ages 3-21 in the finer points of clowning, tumbling, trapeze and other more esoteric specialities, like the use of a German Wheel or Russian Sling. Two Woodbury teens are in the cast of "Wonderland," the circus academy's summer performance showcase, which runs July 28 to Aug. 14 at their performance space in St. Paul.
The County Board of Commissioners approved funding for the next phase of two projects in and around Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park. At their July 19 meeting, the board vote unanimously for amendments to two separate contracts with engineering consultants Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. for $219,270 and $177,265. The money will pay for final design services for, respectively, improvements to the interchange at Keats Avenue and U.S. Highway 61 and upgrades to Ravine Regional Park.
The Washington County Board of Commissioners declared July 17-23 as national Pretrial, Probation and Parole Supervision Week. The board passed a resolution at its July 19 meeting in response to a presentation from director of community corrections Tom Adkins. County probation and parole officers supervise people who have been charged or convicted of a crime. They work mainly in the field, Adkins, said, visiting their clients' homes to collect drug test or to conduct searches. "They help offenders help take a look at the impact of their crimes," Adkins said.