Hannah Black is a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism interested in the intersection of politics and the everyday lives of citizens. Outside of reporting, she enjoys running, going to museums and concerts, and trying new coffee shops and breweries. Her favorite thing to do is spend time with her dog, Wendell.
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Heather Ditzler first met Chris in seventh grade. Even then, he was the love her life, she said. But they both moved onto other things, and it wasn't until several years later, after both of their first marriages had ended, that they caught up on Facebook and agreed to meet for drinks. As the meetup drew closer, Heather said she was surprised at how nervous she was. "This is an old friend, this is no big deal," she said she told her herself — but out of that meetup grew a relationship, and the blending together of their two families.
WOODBURY — A Chicago man was arrested Oct. 30 in a Woodbury hotel for possessing more than 28.2 grams of meth. James Martin Pickett, 50, is charged with second-degree possession of a controlled substance, which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and $500,000. According to the criminal complaint:
ST. PAUL — Changsha, China, and St. Paul may be distant in geography, but a space linking the two will soon open in Phalen Regional Park. Representatives from the Minnesota China Friendship Garden Society will host an open house for the St. Paul-Changsha China Friendship Garden from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3. There will be guided tours of the garden in English, Chinese and Hmong. Visitors will also be treated to Chinese and Hmong music and hot tea.
An Afton man has been charged with 43 counts of state tax evasion. Hatem Amin Younis, 47, of Afton was arrested in Oakdale on the morning of Oct. 18 and released on bond later that night. He is the owner of Super Smokedale Tobacco, Inc. Younis' corporation operated retail tobacco stores in Anoka, Big Lake, Minneapolis and Oakdale, with a warehouse in Oakdale. Investigators said all of the retail shops other than the Oakdale location are solely owned and operated by Younis.
The Woodbury City Council approved a 253-unit apartment complex for its CityPlace development during its Oct. 10 meeting. The apartment complex, called "The Preserve at CityPlace," will be the first residential space built within the development, which sits on the land once occupied by the State Farm Insurance regional office. The 14.3-acre plot at Hudson Road and Spring Hill Drive where the apartments are planned is currently vacant. Construction is set to begin in 2019.
A Hastings native's horror comedy short will come home with a showing at the Twin Cities Film Fest next week. Clarissa Jacobson's "Lunch Ladies" is a gory delight that carries the tagline, "Two burnt out high school lunch ladies do whatever it bloody takes on their quest to become Johnny Depp's personal chefs." It will show during the 9:15 p.m. "Laugh 'Til You Die" shorts block on Thursday, Oct. 18 at the ShowPlace Icon theater in St. Louis Park.
When competing as a contestant on a TV show, it helps to stand out. Contestants will often craft a persona. When Woodbury native Bella Palmer, 9, an avid Minnesota Wild fan, was chosen to compete in the first season of American Ninja Warrior Junior, she made a shirt that showcased her competition persona: "Wild Ninja." The show is a version of the popular obstacle course competition American Ninja Warrior, but for kids 9-14 years old. Bella competed against 64 kids in the 9-10 age bracket during the show's filming this past summer.
Don't call it a plastic ban. It's more of a requirement, Afton City Council member Bill Palmquist said, for businesses to stop using plastic. At its Sept. 18 meeting, the Afton City Council passed an ordinance requiring restaurants and businesses to use compostable single-use products in place of plastic. This includes things like take-out containers, disposable utensils and straws. It will take effect Oct. 1, 2019.
There may be something to your teenager's complaint of a stomach ache every morning before school: anxiety. Close to one-third of adolescents in the United States have some kind of anxiety disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Local mental health organization Youth Service Bureau hopes a movie might open up lines of communication between young students and their parents.
Sunshine and temperatures in the high-60s created a busy weekend for Afton's 40th annual Art in the Park festival. An estimated 10,000 people came out to celebrate and support the arts in Town Square Park on Saturday, Sept. 22 and Sunday, Sept. 23. More than 100 vendors from the Twin Cities area set up booths to promote and sell their work. Live music, including from folk band Patchouli, filled the air.