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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COTTAGE GROVE — Cullen Kiely, 9, couldn't figure out why everybody in Metropolitan Stadium was screaming their heads off and carrying on like their pants were on fire. All he knew was that his big sister had dragged him to see a group called the Beatles. It was Aug. 21, 1965. It would turn out to be the band's one and only concert in Minnesota. "I didn't think much of it at the time," Kiely said. "We knew they were big, but who knew their legacy 50 years later would be so enormous?"
OAKDALE — The Metropolitan Council is moving ahead with the public engagement phase for the Gold Line Bus Rapid Transit project. Last week, the council hosted the first of a series open houses intended to gather community comment on the nine-mile, round-trip route that will run from St. Paul to Woodbury. About 60 people attended a July 18 open house at Guardian Angels Catholic Church in Oakdale. The Gold Line will run from Union Depot through the East Side of St. Paul, Maplewood, Landfall, Oakdale and Woodbury.
Those making a pilgrimage to the Feb. 9 opening of "Nunsense II" at the Merrill Community Arts Center should expect a hefty dose of ham - Fridays excluded, of course. If you didn't get that joke, don't fret. You don't have to be Catholic to hang out with the starstruck sisters at Mt. St. Helens School in Hoboken, N.J. These ladies christened the Black Box when Woodbury Community Theatre did the first "Nunsense" revue five years ago. "It was the first show we did in the Black Box," director Lenore Weir said.
The preparations for Super Bowl LII include the construction of a new regional highway system - in the skies over Minnesota and Wisconsin. Sunday's game will bring an estimated 1,100 additional private aircraft into Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, as well as six satellite airports in the region. To relieve potential congestion, an air traffic team spent a year devising new air routes and training air traffic controllers to handle the extra volume.
The organizers of a local 5K are not thankful another race has been scheduled in Cottage Grove two days after their Turkey Day event. Since 2010, the annual Hale to the Bird 5K run/walk on Thanksgiving morning has drawn local runners and walkers to the 3.1-mile course that begins and ends in Hamlet Park. Over 550 participated in last year's pre-gobble gallop, which raised $6,000 for the Friends in Need Food Shelf. This year, however, race organizers have competition: The Cottage Grove Turkey Trot 5K debuts two days later in Kingston Park.
Peter Favilla got the phone call in November 2015. Favilla, 47, is a married father of two teenage children living in Houlton, Wis. Twenty years ago, he was a 24-year-old graduate student working toward his MBA at Indiana University. The caller said they were calling him on behalf of the Indiana Blood Center. Favilla drew a blank. "I said, 'So why are you calling me?' They said, 'You signed up for the National Marrow Donor Program 20 years ago when you were in graduate school.'"
It didn't take long for the Films in 5 Festival to attract talent beyond its Cottage Grove borders. Last year's sophomore event drew at least two filmmakers from Minneapolis. They included John Akre, who took second place for his film "Minneapolis Beneath the Asphalt Part 1: The City Changes."
COTTAGE GROVE, Minn.—South Washington County School officials said they have shut off 95 water fixtures in buildings where concentrations of lead exceeded federal guidelines. Test results, posted last week on the Twin Cities suburbs' district website, flagged sinks, kitchen sprayers, kitchen kettles and at least six drinking fountains, including schools in Woodbury and Cottage Grove. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends that action be taken if water used for consumption in schools exceeds 20 parts per billion (ppb) of lead.