Updated: Put the Shorts Away, Stillwater. A Winter Storm is Brewing


Updated: 12:00 a.m. 2.24.17

Today’s winter storm has been seriously downgraded by the National Weather Service. The NWS cancelled the Winter Storm Watch for Washington County. A Winter Storm Advisory is in place until 6 p.m. Friday. The NWS forecasts about 2-6 inches of snow to fall on Friday. Updated from:

Our recent string of spring-like temperatures will give way to a what the National Weather Service is calling the “strongest storm of the winter” arriving Thursday night — bringing heavy snow, strong winds and blowing snow into the area through Friday evening. Continue Reading →

Partnership Plan holds 10th annual Gala to support educational enrichment

The “Mystery Wall” will take its place as the newest activity to spice up a night of fun-with-a-purpose at The Partnership Party on March 11. This will mark the 10th anniversary of The Partnership Plan’s gala that raises funds to support enrichment projects and activities in Stillwater Area Public Schools. The Partnership Party is scheduled for Saturday, March, 11, from 5:30 to 11 p.m. at Envision Event Center (formerly the Prom). Admission is $75 per person, although teachers and staff of Stillwater schools are invited to attend at the special price of $50. The Partnership Party got a major reboot last year, renaming itself from Jeans & Jewels and revising the night to provide much more opportunity for socializing. Continue Reading →

Stillwater Area Foundation Great Idea Competition Accepting Applications

The fifth annual Great Idea Competition is now taking applications. What would do if you were awarded up to $10,000 to enhance our community’s quality of life, strengthen local connections and enhance civic pride? The Stillwater Area Foundation is now taking applications for its 2017 Great Idea Competition. Now is the time for local community members and organizations to start thinking about how a grant up to $10,000 could help them bring their innovative GREAT IDEA to life. Great Idea applications must benefit one of the communities within the Stillwater Area Foundation’s service area: Stillwater, Bayport, Baytown Township, Grant, Lake Elmo, Marine on St. Continue Reading →

If You Haven’t Been to the Stillwater Ice Castles Yet, Do It This Week

If you haven’t made it inside the Stillwater Ice Castles yet, you’ll want to do it — this week. “Well, Minnesota truly has been keeping us on our toes this season,” Minnesota Ice Castles posted to its Facebook page on Monday. “We’re sure you’ve noticed this warmer weather come in, which means the Ice Castles has to adapt quickly. We are planning on opening tickets through Thursday night, and will be re-evaluating the state of the castles after the Feb. 16. Continue Reading →

Stillwater Rallies Behind Downtown Business Owners with a Toy Drive for Joel

Stillwater is rallying behind downtown business owners John Daly and Kelly Costa-Daly, who learned their son, Joel Costa, passed away over the weekend. Joel Costa, 32, was reported missing after he didn’t show up for drill duty Saturday morning with the Minnesota National Guard. The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office reported that Joel’s body was found with his vehicle at about 7 p.m., Sunday on a rural road north of Duluth. The cause of death is under investigation. Foul play is not suspected, according to the sheriff’s office. Continue Reading →

Update: Body of Missing Man Found Near Duluth

Updated at 11:24 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 12:

The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office reported that Joel Costa’s body was found with his vehicle at about 7 p.m., Sunday on a rural road north of Duluth. The cause of death is under investigation. Foul play is not suspected, according to the sheriff’s office. Continue Reading →

Funeral Arrangements Set for Mother of 3 Killed in Head-On Crash

Funeral arrangements have been set for a Stillwater native who was killed in a head-on crash last week in central Minnesota. Lindsay Marie (Keenan) Cardinal, 35, of Foreston, died on Jan. 31, 2017 as a result of a collision involving a suspected drunk driver. She attended Stillwater schools, where she played soccer and basketball. Lindsay graduated from Stillwater Area High School in 2000. Continue Reading →

Open Letter to Stillwater Area School Board, Superintendent Denise Pontrelli and Kristen Hoheisel

I submitted my open letter to all Stillwater School Board members, Superintendent Denise Pontrelli and Executive Director of Finance and Operations, Kristen Hoheisel:

Here is a link to an article published by the City Pages, “Stillwater school officials can’t explain financial adviser’s six-figure payday,” for your review. It is not new news to you, but you have neglected to take action for the best interest of the taxpayers. During the January School Board meeting, the School Board’s majority voted 4-3 to give Kristen Hoheisel blanket approval of contracts up to $100,000 without board review. As a taxpayer I am demanding a reversal of this January vote. I rarely hear the board ask any thought provoking questions in order to make better decisions. This rubber-stamp approach has to stop. Continue Reading →

Sarah Stivland: Thoughts on Being a Stillwater School Board Member

The past few weeks since being sworn in as one of Stillwater School District’s newest board members has been a whirlwind of trainings and meetings. I’m learning what it takes to be an outstanding school board member. The primary purpose of the school board is to execute wise judgement in the use of community funds in order to provide the best possible learning experiences for each and every child in our district. According to Minnesota Statute 123B.09 subd.8:

“The board must superintend and manage the schools of the district; adopt rules for their organization, government, and instruction; keep registers; and prescribe textbooks and courses of study…”

In order to create the best possible learning environments, school boards must continuously engage with all community stakeholders to share accurate data on costs, academic achievement, building needs, innovation and technology needs, population trends, and many other important factors. In order to have an effective system, community members need to be engaged in the process. Continue Reading →

Details of New Marine Area Community School — Grove Elementary — Coming Into Focus

Details about the new Marine Area Community School (MACS) are starting to come into focus. The group starting the new K-6 charter school set to open next fall recently announced its name — Grove Elementary — rolled out a new logo, is starting the process of hiring teachers and will soon enter into lease negotiations for the school’s location. “From nearly the start of our planning, we’ve been considering three locations: the current Marine Elementary building, the former Concordia Language Village buildings at Wilder and Christ Lutheran Church in Marine,” Marine Area Community School Board Chair Kristina Smitten said. “Because District 834’s Board of Directors imposed a stay on itself due to the ongoing legal situation, District 834 leadership has felt unable to discuss the possible sale of the Marine building,” she continued. “We are proactively moving forward — we need to for our students and our community — and we are absolutely thrilled about the opportunities presented by the Wilder facilities.”

Learn more about Grove Elementary

At the January business meeting, the MACS board unanimously decided to enter into lease negotiations with the owners of the Wilder Forest buildings, which are located in May Township on Norell Avenue about six miles southwest of Marine and about nine miles northwest of downtown Stillwater. Continue Reading →

First Open House for Osgood Avenue Project in Oak Park Heights, Stillwater Set for Feb. 8

Washington County is hosting an open house next week to present information — and gather feedback — about potential improvements to Osgood Avenue (County Road 24) between 50th Street North in Baytown Township and Oak Park Heights and Orleans Street East in Stillwater. The public meeting will be from from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, at the Washington County Government Center. The open house will be in the lower level conference room 16. This is the first of two planned public open houses relating to the $2.4 million project. Continue Reading →

Twin Cities Live is All About Stillwater This Week

Twin Cities Live is all about Stillwater this week — culminating with a live broadcast from Pub 112 on Thursday, Feb. 2. Twin Cities Live will broadcast from Pub 112 from 2-4 p.m. Thursday. “The show’s theme is Food, Fashion and Fun,” according to a news release by KSTP – TV. “Twin Cities Live is about more than just Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Continue Reading →

Bayport Officer Who Helped Save Suicidal Veteran Will Be Honored at Winter Gala Community Awards

The Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce recently announced the winners of their first annual Winter Gala Community Awards. The awards will be presented at the Chamber’s inaugural Winter Gala Community Award Celebration on Friday, Feb. 10 from 5:30 – 11 p.m. at the Water Street Inn. The Winter Gala Community Awards Celebration is open to the public – a $75 ticket includes a multi-course dinner, party favors, silent auction and raffle, live entertainment, awards ceremony and a tour of the Ice Castles. “We are very excited about this first annual inaugural event,” Chamber Director Robin Anthony said. Continue Reading →

Volunteers Needed to Bring Comfort, Friendship to Hospice Patients

Lakeview Hospital Homecare and Hospice is seeking people to offer a compassionate ear and a helping hand to patients with terminal illness. Hospice volunteers provide a variety of services to patients and their families, from companionship and assistance with light chores for the patient to respite care for relatives. “Hospice care provides physical, emotional and spiritual support for patients with a terminal illness and their family members so they can live their final months in comfort and dignity,” said Nancy Kuckler, Hospice Volunteer Coordinator. “One of the most important people on a hospice team is the volunteer.”

Volunteers – who are needed across Washington County, Minnesota, and throughout St. Croix County, Wisconsin – undergo 15-20 hours of training before starting to work with patients. Continue Reading →

Washington County Historical Society’s Winter Ice Cream Social is Today in Lowell Park

The Washington County Historical Society’s annual Winter Ice Cream Social is happening  today, Saturday, Jan. 28 in the Lowell Park amphitheater. The Winter Ice Cream Social is from noon to 4 p.m.

Leo’s Grill and Malt Shop will be serving ice cream. There will also be free coffee, chili for a nominal fee, and of course, a bonfire. The event started back in 1950 when Stillwater businessman Gib Larson of Snowland Foods, along with a few other business people, held the first winter ice cream social at the St. Continue Reading →

Stillwater Area Kiwanis Club’s Bluegrass Fundraiser is Saturday at Water Street Inn

The Stillwater Kiwanis Club’s third annual St. Croix Valley Bluegrass Fundraiser is happening this weekend at the Water Street Inn, benefitting local organizations that serve children. Tickets for the St. Croix Valley Bluegrass Fundraiser at $25 at the door, or $20 when pre-purchased on EventBrite. All proceeds support Key Club students at Stillwater Area High School, the Builders Club at Stillwater Junior High and other organizations that serve the children throughout the St. Continue Reading →