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Stillwater Area Public Schools Considering Changes to School Start Times

Stillwater Area Public Schools is considering a change to start times for the 2019-2020 school year. The preliminary proposal to change start times was shared with the school board during a work session last week. According to the preliminary proposal:

Start times would be earlier for Oak-Land and Stillwater middle school students, as well as two elementary schools;

Move the start time for Stillwater Area High School back 40 minutes for an 8:20 a.m. start time;

Move five elementary school start times back about 30 minutes; and

Impact local charter and non-public schools with possible start times beginning near 10 a.m.

According to Stillwater Area Public Schools:

“School board members are considering a change to school start times that would allow for high school students to begin school later in the day. Medical evidence and research suggests that a start time of 8:30 a.m. or later would better align with teens’ unique sleep needs – improving both the physical and mental health of high school students.” The district could see a financial benefit from adjusting start times, according to the district’s website, by “allow the district to better balance the number of buses needed during each tier of bussing.”

Link: School board considering start time changes for 2019-2020

Link: Start Time Research on stillwaterschools.org

Link:  Preliminary Proposal shared with Board of Education

The preliminary proposal would move the district to a four tier busing system, instead of the current modified three tier system. Tier 1: (7:30 a.m.) Both middle schools and two elementary schools. Continue Reading →

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Update: Stillwater Area Public Schools, River Grove Brace for Snowstorm with Early Dismissal on Monday

Stillwater Area Public Schools is planning for early release from class Monday in anticipation of a dumping of snow. “Due to heavy snowfall expected to occur throughout the day on Monday, we are anticipating that students will be released from school early and all evening activities will be canceled on Jan. 22,” a post on the district’s website reads. “At this time, we are planning for the school day to begin at the normal time, but buses will depart for afternoon routes at 12:35 p.m. for middle and high school students, and at 2 p.m. for elementary students. We will continue to monitor the weather overnight, and if we feel conditions are unsafe for morning travel we will notify families of further scheduling changes as early as possible. Continue Reading →

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Police: Stillwater Man Dies from Gunshot Wound

A 20-year-old Stillwater man is dead and another man is in custody after a shooting Friday night in the 100 block of Bayberry Court in Stillwater. At about 7 p.m., Jan. 19, Stillwater Police were called to Lakeview Hospital on the report of a gunshot victim, Stillwater Police Chief John Gannaway said in a news release. The victim, Charles O’Connell, 20, was pronounced dead a short time later.  O’Connell was transported to Lakeview by private vehicle. Continue Reading →

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Washington County Historical Society’s Winter Ice Cream Social is Saturday

The Washington County Historical Society’s annual Winter Ice Cream Social is happening  Saturday, Jan. 20 at Lowell Park. The Winter Ice Cream Social is from noon to 4 p.m., with forecasts calling for temps in the mid 30s. 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. All funds raised from this event benefit the Washington County Historical Society. Continue Reading →

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River Valley Athletic Club Announces New Ownership

The River Valley Athletic Club announced new owners and a new look to ring in 2018. Longtime Stillwater resident and entrepreneur, Dave Najarian and his family are the new owners of River Valley Athletic Club. Najarian purchased the club from previous owner Summer Kuehn. The Najarian family also owns Nelson’s Ice Cream and the Lion’s Tavern in downtown Stillwater. Najarian and his family have been residents of the Stillwater area for 17 years, and club members of River Valley for more than 10 years. Continue Reading →

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Local Views: Something is Missing this Veterans Day in Minnesota

Want to go beyond thanking veterans for their service this Veterans Day and do something more to recognize the service of Minnesota’s veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? Did you know that Minnesota recognized its veterans of World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Persian Gulf War with veterans  bonuses, but Minnesota is yet to recognize its Afghanistan and Iraq vets with this same type of bonus? So how do we fix this? It’s pretty easy. All we need is one Minnesota state legislator to author a bill in the 2018 legislative session to provide for this bonus. Continue Reading →

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Patriots Tavern Closes for Repairs After Early Morning Fire

An early morning fire damaged the Patriots Tavern on Sunday. No injuries were reported, but the restaurant will be closed for a few days while repairs are made, according the Patriots Tavern Facebook page. “Friends we will unfortunately be closed for a couple of days due to an outside fire at the restaurant. It happened after hours and no one was harmed thankfully. The linen & towel storage bin caught fire and damaged our walk-in cooler amongst a few other minor things. Continue Reading →

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Police Investigating Armed Robbery at US Bank in Downtown Stillwater

Stillwater Police are investigating an armed robbery that happened at an ATM at US Bank, 213 E. Chestnut St., in downtown Stillwater just before noon on Sunday. At about 11:50 a.m., a Stillwater Township woman was robbed at gunpoint in the lobby of US Bank with what appeared to be a semi-automatic hand gun, Stillwater Police Sgt. Jeff Stender said. The suspect is described as a white man who was about 6 feet tall, with a slender build, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, sunglasses and green shorts, possibly with a camouflage print, according to police. The man was initially seen fleeing the area on foot, before getting into a silver, early-90s model Ford Focus. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater’s Polka Street Dance to Celebrate Lift Bridge Closure is Saturday

The city of Stillwater and the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce are hosting a street dance downtown on Saturday to celebrate — and commemorate — the closure of the historic Lift Bridge. The street dance — Saturday, Aug. 12 from 5- 10 p.m. — will feature music by the Alpensterne Polka Band, food trucks and a beer tent. The polka dance is a nod to the 1931 opening of the Stillwater Lift Bridge, and the popular polka dance that was part of Lumberjack Days. The city will close Chestnut Street from Main Street for the street dance. Continue Reading →

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St. Croix River Crossing Opens at 8 p.m.

The St. Croix River Crossing will open to traffic at 8 p.m. today, Gov. Mark Dayton announced at a ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning. Three MnDOT vehicles will be the first to cross, Kevin Gutknecht, an agency spokesman told the Pioneer Press. Mark Desch, a longtime Stillwater business owner and classic-car collector, will be the last to cross the Stillwater Lift Bridge driving his 1931 Stutz DV-32 Convertible Sedan. The city of Stillwater will commemorate the official closing of the Lift Bridge with the Cruisin’ to Closure event beginning at at 6 p.m. in Lowell Park. Continue Reading →

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End of an Era: 411 on Today’s Events for Closing Down the Stillwater Lift Bridge, and Opening of St. Croix River Crossing

 

Stillwater will celebrating the opening of the St. Croix River Crossing today, while commemorating the closing of the historic Lift Bridge. The ribbon cutting for the St. Croix River Crossing is set for 10 a.m. on the west end of the new bridge. Public parking will not be available at the site of the ribbon cutting; however, parking at nearby locations on both the Minnesota and Wisconsin sides has been identified and shuttles will be provided to get to the location of the dedication. Continue Reading →

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Highway 243 Bridge Over St. Croix River Closed for Emergency Repairs

The Minnesota Department of Transportation closed the Highway 243 bridge between Franconia Township and Osceola this afternoon after a hole was discovered in the deck. MnDOT bridge maintenance staff are on the scene and are assessing bridge damage. It will remain closed through the weekend until repairs are made. Motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes to reach their destinations. It is recommended that travelers use the Highway 8 bridge at Taylors Falls/St. Continue Reading →

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Lumberjack Days Friday Schedule: Lumberjack Shows, Down Hill Derby, Crankshaft and HALEY

Stillwater Lumberjack Days 2017 is on. The vendor market, activities and the Lumberkids area open at 10 a.m. Friday. The Shackletons, Porcupine, Crankshaft and HALEY close out the night on the main stage. Here’s a look at Friday’s schedule:

11 a.m.-6 p.m. — Helicopter Rides (Riverside Park – just South along the trail)

Noon-6 p.m. — Pontoon and Gondola Rides ($5 each)

1-4 p.m. — Bingo in the Park (Beer Garden)

1 p.m. — Reading of 2nd Clue for the Medallion Hunt at the Warden’s House Museum

2-5 p.m. — Lumberjack Days Down Hill Derby on 2nd Street

4-7- p.m. — Lumberjack Demonstrations

Live Music:

Michelle Katz: National Anthem 5
 p.m.

The Shackletons 5-6 p.m.

Porcupine 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Crankshaft 8-9:15 p.m.

HALEY 9:45-11 p.m.

Continue Reading →

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Lumberjack Days Kicks Off Thursday with an Ice Cream Social

Stillwater Lumberjack Days kicks off Thursday with an Ice Cream Social at the Washington County Historic Courthouse. The Ice Cream Social begins at 5 p.m.

The first clue in the Lumberjack Days Historic Medallion Hunt will be read at 7 p.m. during the Ice Cream Social. Buttons will be sold until 6:59 p.m.

There will be live music by Scrapegoat Skin & Bones and Blue Groove Bluegrass, as well as a petting zoo, children’s games and activities. The Civil War exhibit is open in the Historic Courthouse, and you can take jail tours. There will also be hotdogs and brats, $.50 root beer floats, doughnuts and penny candy. Continue Reading →

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Help The Locals Out: Volunteer for Stillwater Lumberjack Days

The Locals are still looking for volunteers to help with Lumberjack Days. The Locals are looking for help setting up the Lumberjack Days music stage at the corner of Water and Myrtle streets starting at 10 a.m. Thursday. The Locals are also looking for help as set-up and tear-down crew members, volunteers for the downhill derby, music stage hands and helping with the parade. Check out the available times and positions, and sign up to help

Lumberjack Days is happening this week, July 21-23, in downtown Stillwater. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Baseball Stars of the Week Awards: Week of July 16

Stars of the Week for July 16:

The Dave’s Sport Shop Hitter of the Week is Isaac Schlichting. Isaac hit a clutch lead-off triple in the bottom of the last inning of a tied game and eventually scored the winning run walk-off style. Sam Olson and Andy Wiederholt are the Stillwater Motors Players of the Week. The 12A players played with the 13A team who needed a couple players and combined for 3 hits, 7 RBI’s and a fantastic catch in CF. Reece Bastyr is the Bayport Printing House Sportsmanship Star of the Week. Continue Reading →

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Early Morning Storms Knock Power Out for More than 5,700 People in Stillwater

Powerful storms that moved through the area early Wednesday morning left thousands of people without power. Xcel Energy reported that about 14,000 customers in Washington County were without power, including more than 5,700 in the Stillwater area. Crews are working to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. You can check the Xcel Energy Power Outage map for updates. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Plans Lift Bridge ‘Cruisin’ to Closure Party’ and Polka Dance

Stillwater announced plans for a couple of events to celebrate the closure of the Stillwater Lift Bridge to automobile traffic next month. “We don’t know what time MnDOT will throw up the ‘Bridge Closed’ sign and do the permanent traffic shift, but we’ll be downtown celebrating until they do,” Kozlowski said in a news release. “This is a significant moment in the history of our town, and we know people are going to want to get together and be part of it. It’s going to be one of those events that you’ll tell your grandchildren you attended.”

City leaders will reconvene in south Lowell Park at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 2 for a public festival being called “Cruisin’ to Closure.”

Cruisin’ to Closure adds to the already-scheduled Cruisin’ on the Croix classic car show, to accommodate the large crowds expected to gather downtown for the final closure of the bridge to automobile traffic. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Baseball Stars of the Week Awards: Week of July 9

Needed: Your nominations for stars of the week. Even though regular season and tournament season are now ending, we will continue Stars of the Week for the next two weeks through playoffs and state tournaments. Please continue to submit nominations at goo.gl/GzAhkJ. Stars of the Week for July 9:

Quinten Howe is the Bayport Printing House Sportsmanship Star of the Week. Quinten is enthusiastic, never loses his smile, the first to cheer his teammates on. Continue Reading →

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Summer Tuesday Kicks Off This Week With LEGO Batman

Summer Tuesdays kicks off this week in Lowell Park with LEGO Batman on the big screen, and music by Lars Carlson & the Secondhand Hipsters. The Summer Tuesdays marketplace opens at 5 p.m. Live music begins at 6 p.m. and the movie starts about 10 minutes after sunset in north Lowell Park. Now in its 15th year, Summer Tuesdays will run through Aug. 22. Here’s a look at this year’s lineup:

July 11

Music: Lars Carlson & the Secondhand Hipsters

Movie: LEGO Batman

July 18

Music: Scrapegoat

Movie: Princess Bride

July 25

Music: 40 Below

Movie: Moana

August 1

Music: Vinny Rose

Movie: Trolls

August 8

Music: Tommy Bentz Band

Movie: Finding Dory

August 15

Music: Third Wheel Project

Movie: Sing

August 22

Music: Army Band

Movie: The Sandlot Continue Reading →

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Discover Stillwater Launches Fifth Annual Summer Photo Contest

Discover Stillwater’s fifth annual Summer Photo Contest is underway. Submit your best Stillwater images from now until September 15 for the chance to win a Stillwater Getaway Package or up to $300 cash. The Stillwater/Oak Park Heights Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB)’s 2017 Photo Contest features 1st ($300), 2nd ($200) and 3rd ($100) place cash prizes, as well as a “Popular Vote” category determined by a vote on the Discover Stillwater Facebook page. The winners’ work will also be recognized DiscoverStillwater.com, showcased in the Official Stillwater Visitors Guide and on social media. View the 2016 Stillwater Photo Contest winning images

View the 2015 Stillwater Photo Contest winning images

View the 2014 Stillwater Photo Contest winning images

Photographers are encouraged to submit up to five photos from all four seasons that inspires them about historic Stillwater. Continue Reading →

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MnDOT Announces Fourth of July Changes for Stillwater Lift Bridge Schedule

If you’re planning on taking in Fourth of July fireworks from a boat on the St. Croix River on Tuesday, you’ll want to note these changes to the Stillwater Lift Bridge schedule. Link: The 411 on Stillwater’s Fourth of July Celebration: Fireworks, Music, Parking and Parades

To accommodate an increase in downtown vehicle traffic, the Stillwater Lift Bridge will remain in the down position at 10:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Tuesday, July 4. The 10 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. lifts will still take place. The fireworks will start at about 10 p.m. Continue Reading →

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After Making Temporary Repairs, Stillwater Lift Bridge Reopens to Motor Vehicles

MnDOT crews worked through the night, and were able to temporarily repair the Stillwater Lift Bridge to reopen for Wednesday morning’s commute. The Lift Bridge reopened just before 4:30 a.m. The normal lift schedule also resumed this morning. The bridge will close again at 10 p.m. tonight to allow crews to make permanent repairs to the bridge’s main power cable. The Lift Bridge will remain closed until 6 a.m. Thursday. In the case of inclement weather, the permanent repairs will be postponed until Thursday night. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Lift Bridge Remains Closed Tonight, Overnight Repairs Underway

MNDoT crews will work through the night in an attempt to get the Stillwater Lift Bridge working before Wednesday morning’s commute. “Well…it’s a good news, bad news situation tonight with the Stillwater Lift Bridge,” said Kent Barnard, a MnDOT spokesperson. Crews were able to fix the damaged electrical meter and socket before 8:30 p.m. and were testing the bridge when additional electrical problems were discovered. “Although power was restored to the bridge shortly before 8:30 p.m., after workers lowered the bridge and then attempted to lift it again, the lift span halted halfway up and remains in that position,” Barnard said. Several employees from MnDOT’s Electrical Services Section (ESS) and the bridge tender were on the bridge when it became stalled the second time. Continue Reading →

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Update: Stillwater Lift Bridge Closed to Motor Vehicle Traffic

Updated at 8:40 p.m.

The Stillwater Lift Bridge remains closed to traffic due to a power outage. A malfunction in an electrical meter socket that monitors power usage at the Stillwater lift bridge failed shortly after noon, and abruptly disrupted the scheduled noon lift, said Kent Barnard, a spokesperson for MnDOT. The lift span of the bridge was on its downward journey at approximately 12:05 p.m. Tuesday when the meter socket failed and cut electricity to the bridge. The bridge stopped about 30 feet above the water, and remains in that position. (The entire span lifts a total of 42 feet). Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Baseball Stars of the Week Awards: Week of June 25

Congratulations to the 15AAA team who won the Gopher State Midsummer Classic, the 14AA team placed 2nd in the Cheesehead Championships in Wisconsin Dells and the 13AA Red team took 3rd in Owatonna. Stars of the Week for June 25:

Tony Ingram is the Stillwater Motors Player of the Week. Tony hit 2 home runs  in the Cheesehead Championships for his 14AA team, going 6-13 with 10 runs batted in (RBIs) and 5 runs. He was voted MVP of the national tournament by the other coaches. Alex Oberg is the Umpire of the Week. Continue Reading →

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Chamber’s New Food Truck Extravaganza Event is Today at Stillwater Area High School

The Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural Food Truck Extravaganza is happening today at Stillwater Area High School. The Food Truck Extravaganza includes 18 food trucks, a market place, live music, a business area, kid’s activities, bingo, a military row and a pizza eating contest at 3 p.m. The Chamber’s newest event is Saturday, June 24 from 11 a.m. t0 6 p.m.

“We are excited to launch this new community event” Chamber Director Robin Anthony said. “We hope to make this an annual community event and grow this event to be one of the biggest food truck events in the state.” Continue Reading →

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Man Dies in Apparent Drowning on Lake Jane in Lake Elmo

A man died after an apparent drowning Thursday morning on Lake Jane in Lake Elmo. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call at 11:13 a.m. for a man who was underwater in Lake Jane. Several fire rescue units and the sheriff’s office Water Patrol responded to the scene where the man was located and pronounce dead. According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office:

Three men were fishing in a canoe that became flooded and sank. The weather was windy and there were white caps on the lake. Continue Reading →

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Former Ponies Hockey Coach Phil Housley Named Head Coach of Buffalo Sabres

Former Stillwater Area High School boys hockey coach Phil Housley has been named head coach of the Buffalo Sabres. Housley was drafted by the Sabres in the first round (6th overall) of the 1982 NHL Draft. He went on to play 21 seasons in the NHL, and be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Housley’s 1,232 career points (338 goals and 894 assists) rank third among American players and fourth among defensemen all-time. He is also the Sabres’ career and individual-season leader in goals, assists and points by a defenseman, according to NHL.com. Continue Reading →

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