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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HASTINGS — A family of five escaped a fire that destroyed their home early Monday morning, Sept. 17 in Hastings. There were no reported injuries to civilians or firefighters. Shortly after 4 a.m., the Hastings Fire Department responded to a report of a structure fire at 7774 South St. Croix Trail Lane S. The blaze, which started in the garage, is under investigation, Hastings Fire Chief Mike Schutt said. "When we arrived the garage was fully involved and the fire had spread to the kitchen and attic," Schutt said. "It's a total loss."
If pub crawls aren't your thing, you could have gone on a lemonade crawl Aug. 25 in Cottage Grove. Ten lemonade stands sprang up throughout Cottage Grove, the first city in Minnesota to host a youth education and empowerment program called Lemonade Day. Each year, youngsters around the country are encouraged to learn financial fundamentals by opening their own lemonade stand. Each child who registers receives an Entrepreneur Workbook that addresses such topics as branding, creating a budget, controlling inventory and serving customers.
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?"
HASTINGS — A photo of Hastings police officer Albert Jacobson gazed out at his descendants during a May 15 ceremony on the green near Sibley Street. Jacobson and other fallen Dakota County officers were honored as part of the annual Hastings Police open house. The event coincided with Police Week, when the nation honors men and women who have served or sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. Jacobson was shot to death July 10, 1894, while pursuing a burglary suspect. He is the first and only Hastings officer killed in the line of duty.
The Newport Transit Station will serve as a park-and-ride lot for this year's Minnesota State Fair. The Washington County Board of Commissioners approved an agreement with the Metropolitan Council March 13. Metro Transit, a service of the Metropolitan Council, operates expanded park-and-ride services throughout the Twin Cities to provide easier and more frequent public access to and from the fair.
A rare and unique bible will be on display March 11 at Regina Senior Living in Hastings. In 1998, Saint John's Abbey and University in Collegeville commissioned a hand-lettered, illustrated bible that would carry on the tradition of the great illuminated bibles that were created in medieval monasteries.
Authorities are investigating the death of a woman whose body was discovered Feb. 10 along the 6600 block of Keats Avenue in Cottage Grove.
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.
He came on down. He saw. He conquered. Joshua Ryan of Farmington won almost $13,000 as a contestant on a recent episode of "The Price is Right." The longest running game show on television features Drew Carey as emcee. Contestants try to guess the price of various consumer goods. Publicist Raven Tait said that Ryan won a trip to Jackson Hole ski resort in Wyoming, including a stay at the Lexington Hotel, roundtrip airfare for two from Los Angeles, ski lessons and lift tickets and equipment. He also won a his-and-hers sunglasses set from Givenchy.