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 — Car show season began last week with a gathering of classic convertibles, coupes and pickups at the Culver's Car Show in Cottage Grove. The club meets Wednesdays in the parking lot between Culver's restaurant and US Bank. It runs 5 p.m. till dark. Dan Spilde of Woodbury talked shop next to his 1957 Chevy Bel Air convertible. "It's my high school car," he said.
A Woodbury High School student has published his biological research paper in a science journal affiliated with Harvard University. Sayuj Saresh, 17, discovered a better way of bonding an enzyme called catalase to calcium alginate. The results appeared March 31 in the Journal of Emerging Investigators, a science journal run by graduate students at Harvard. He is the lead author on the paper, which he wrote with the help of teacher Herb Struss. The journal features the work of middle and high school students.
The bags are piling up at the Cottage Grove home of Emma Malicki. One-gallon Ziplocs bulge with miniature bottles of shampoo, body wash and deodorant, along with toothbrushes and other personal hygiene products. The kits, known as "hygiene bags," will be distributed to homeless veterans. Malicki, 11, began collecting the items through American Legion Post 98 in St. Paul Park, where she volunteers. "It all started because my Grandpa (Daniel Mogren) is a veteran," she said. "That's how I got into doing it."
COTTAGE GROVE — She posted a Minnesota welcome to Michelle Obama — not on social media, but with an honest-to-goodness poster on the garage of her Cottage Grove home.
Got snacks? Many kids don't. First-world problem, some might say. Three girls in Woodbury Scout Troop 55128 discovered otherwise. "Kids are given breakfasts and lunches, but there's a time in between that they don't have food and they're hungry," said Girl Scout Lila Youngdahl, a ninth-grader at East Ridge High School. "In elementary schools, there's a designated time for snacks and sometimes when they don't have snacks, they feel left out."
ST. PAUL — A new market could emerge for Minnesota's licensed hemp farmers. A bipartisan legislation introduced Feb. 18 in the state Senate would allow hemp farmers to sell their product to in-state medical cannabis manufacturers. Sen. Karla Bigham, DFL-Cottage Grove, who co-authored the bill, said it would give local growers another source for their product, which typically is used in food, clothing and rope.
COTTAGE GROVE — The good news: technology is making firefighter protective clothing more lightweight, breathable and effective. The bad news: it's not cheap. Consider a recent donation of 57 protective hoods to the Cottage Grove Fire Department by the city's public safety board. In an unusual move, the board footed the entire $5,800 cost. Fire Chief Rick Redenius, who initially requested around $1,000, isn't arguing.
About 50 people joined together for a hands-on barn-building demonstration Jan. 13 at the Woodbury Central Park Amphitheatre. Audience members were invited to join preservationists in assembling a scale model of a 19th century vintage barn. The educational event and ice cream social was intended to promote preservation efforts in regard to the historic Miller Barn in Woodbury.
Cottage Grove police believe an adult male and three juvenile males entered unlocked vehicles and used garage door openers to burglarize two homes in the northwest portion of Cottage Grove near 65th Street South. In a statement, police said they responded to a 911 call from a vigilant homeowner early Jan. 4. Cottage Grove and Woodbury police officers arrested the four after a traffic stop. They were taken into custody without incident. The four were booked under probable cause first-degree burglary and theft from motor vehicle.
The "Elwell Elves" came bearing gifts to the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital on Dec. 10. Dolls, toys and games were handed out by volunteers from Newport Masonic Lodge 118 and Queen Esther Chapter 26 of the Order of the Eastern Star. They bought the items earlier this month as part of their annual Santa Project, which is funded by donations from individuals and businesses. This year, they also purchased a PlayStation system and games that hospital staff can lend out to patients.