Former Park assistant coach Keith Badger has been hired as the new head football coach for New Richmond, Wis. Badger, 26, coached at Park - his alma mater - for the past three years. He was a quarterback in high school and went on to play wide receiver in college at the University of St. Thomas. Badger also participated in basketball and track at Park and reached the state track meet all four years of his high school career. His top finish was a second place finish at state by his 800-meter relay team.


Woodbury resident Jeff Ryan, a 1980 graduate of White Bear Mariner High School, has published an 188-page story called "Bringing Back the Memories: The 11-year history of White Bear Mariner Hockey." Mariner opened for the 1972-73 school year through 1982-83 before merging with White Bear Lake High School. The story took over a year to compile and contains game and season summaries from 1972 to 1983. To request the story, email Ryan at


Look for Park High School to officially leave the Suburban East Conference and join a new conference after it's likely to receive School Board approval to do so at the next School Board meeting on Aug. 22. The new conference would include Park, Hastings, Henry Sibley, Hill-Murray, Mahtomedi, North St. Paul, Simley, South St. Paul and Tartan.


Cottage Grove's Leevon Perry, a St. Agnes High School graduate, has been suspended by North Dakota State University football coach Craig Bohl for the team's season opener at Kansas State. The senior defensive tackle and three-year starter will not contest a July 7 drunken driving arrest and will plead guilty to the charge. Senior Danny Luecke will start in Perry's place against Kansas State. The game is Aug. 30 in Manhattan, Kan. NDSU is the two-time defending champion in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision.


The Ragnar Relay Great River race - a 200-mile, two-day team relay event taking runners from Winona to Minneapolis along the Mississippi River - will cut through Cottage Grove and Newport on Aug. 16-17. In all, 321 teams and more than 3,400 runners from over 40 states will hit the roads and trails of eastern Minnesota and across the Mississippi into western Wisconsin, running throughout the night over the 200 mile course until they reach the Twin Cities.


On Monday, Aug. 12, Afton Alps Ski Area broke ground on massive resort improvement projects designed to re-imagine the entire guest experience for the 2013-2014 ski and snowboard season and Afton Alps' 50th anniversary. The $10-million investment committed by new owner Vail Resorts represents the most significant one-time influx of capital improvements in Afton Alps' history. Improvements are expected to include: A complete overhaul and expansion of snowmaking, a new guest services facility, a new terrain park by Snow Park Technologies and new terrain park village, a new lift ticketing and scanning system and the launch of Vail Resorts' EpicMix RFID technology and EpicMix racing.