Kaitlyn Roby

Kaitlyn Roby can be reached at kroby@lillienews.com or 651-748-7815.
Follow her on Twitter @KRobyNews.

Mon
28
Apr

District 197 special election is May 6


District 197 Superintendent Nancy Allen-Mastro presents information on why the schools are asking for a renewal and increase in its technology levy and a $11.4 million building levy to upgrade facilities. The school board voted unanimously in February to put the two questions on the ballot in a special election, which is May 6. (Kaitlyn Roby/Review)

Levy, bond would increase student access to technology, upgrade facilities
Third-graders assembled Legos last week at Henry Sibley High School in Mendota Heights, building a robot they can then program on a computer to perform certain tasks.
“They live in a digital world,” said Shannon Lawson, a teacher at Somerset Elementary. “If we don’t meet that at school, they won’t want to be there.”

Mon
21
Apr

West St. Paul juggles Robert Street project funding


Robert Street in West St. Paul is slated for a $26.8 million reconstruction. The city initiated the project to revamp the busy state-owned roadway, and has been negotiating the finances with the Minnesota Department of Transportation. (Linda E. Andersen/Review)

MnDOT says $12.2 million turnback offer stands
West St. Paul city staff plans to recommend that the city council turn down an offer to take control of South Robert Street from the Minnesota Department of Transportation, as well as the funding to reconstruct the road the state offered in exchange.

Mon
21
Apr

South St. Paul to bid 1920s school gym farewell


The high school building as it stands today. (Submitted photo)

The 1923 Kaposia yearbook pictures the gym and the high school built in 1922. (Photo courtesy of the Dakota County Historical Society)

After decades of commencement ceremonies and basketball games, South St. Paul will say goodbye to its old gym, which was built in 1922 and added onto in 1928. A brief ceremony will be 5:15 p.m. on May 14. (Photos courtesy of South St. Paul Schools)

Sixth-grade center to replace storied structure
On those Friday nights when he got to stay out late, a 9- or 10-year-old Steve Doody watched the big kids play and a big crowd fill the South St. Paul Secondary School gym for varsity basketball games.

Mon
14
Apr

Inver Grove Heights teacher overcame tragedy to find her life’s passion


Salem Hills Elementary in Inver Grove Heights has a gem of teacher, Mrs. Kim Westra, who worked her fifth grade students, Lincoln Bacal, left, and Eliana Bly, right, on their art projects on April 2. (Linda E. Andersen/Review)

Kim Westra, nearly 2, and her mother, Patricia, 20, sit in front of an apartment in April of 1970. Westra says her mom, who finished college while raising a toddler on her own, was a huge influence in her career path. Westra is one of 10 finalists for the 2014 Minnesota Teacher of the Year award. (Submitted photo)

Kim Westra leads her class of fourth- and fifth-graders on April 2 at Salem Hills Elementary School in Inver Grove Heights. (Linda E. Andersen/Review)

Kim Westra’s grandma, Ruth Kraemer, left, and her mom, Patricia Gale Cretilli, in May 1970. (Submitted photo)

Kim Westra’s first grade school photo. She says she got into fights, and wasn’t a great student around that time, but found out education was her true passion later in life. (Submitted photo)

Kim Westra’s dad, Peter Kraemer, the day of his high school graduation. He immigrated when he was 9 from Germany. He became the first in his family to graduate from college. (Submitted photo)

Kim Westra almost didn’t become a teacher.
When her father committed suicide a few years after his teenage son was murdered, Westra had just started graduate school.

Mon
14
Apr

19-year-old sentenced in fatal shooting of West St. Paul man


Donovan Diego

A St. Paul man pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Wednesday, April 9, in connection with the fatal shooting of a West St. Paul man last January.
Donovan Michael Diego, 19, was sentenced to more than 23 years in prison, and ordered to pay restitution.

Fri
11
Apr

Lake Elmo, school district consider partnership to build new park

Lake Elmo and Stillwater Area Schools have been working on a possible partnership to add more amenities to the southeast corner of the city, including a new park.

Mon
07
Apr

Inver Grove Heights man charged with misdemeanor in fatal car crash

An Inver Grove Heights man is facing a misdemeanor charge after he fell asleep while driving near Rosemount and struck and killed another driver.
Michael W. Steinhoff, 20, was charged Tuesday with careless driving in the death of Angela N. Wear, 32, of Inver Grove Heights, according to the criminal complaint.

Thu
27
Mar

Complaint: Maplewood man shoots, kills son; stabs himself, tells negotiator he'll settle cable dispute in the ‘afterlife’


A criminal complaint filed March 27 says an 84-year-old father allegedly shot and killed his 36-year-old son at their Maplewood home in the 1800 block of East County Road B.

An 84-year-old Maplewood man allegedly shot and killed his son after a disagreement over installing cable at their home, and then stabbed himself, telling a police negotiator he would settle the dispute with his son "when they reached the afterlife,” court documents say.

Thu
27
Mar

Contractor to help Lake Elmo’s downtown evolve

The University of Minnesota Extension Service will help Lake Elmo get a better picture of its downtown market, and how its business community could grow.
The Lake Elmo City Council March 18 approved a $750 contract with the Extension Service, which offers “Community Economics” analysis and research on business retention and expansion, to help tailor a plan for the downtown’s future. Extension specialists will gather input from city staff, businesses and community leaders to identify who spends money in the city’s downtown and how the city could attract more businesses to set up shop there.

Thu
27
Mar

NTSB: No known cause of fatal helicopter crash in Maplewood


The charred remains of a helicopter could be seen being loaded onto a tow truck the afternoon of June 19, 2013. (File photo)

More than nine months after a helicopter plummeted into a Maplewood garage, exploding into flames and killing the pilot, the cause of the crash is still unknown.
On March 24, the National Transportation Safety Board adopted its final report of the crash that occurred at about 8:15 a.m. June 19, 2013, along the 2700 block of East Seventh Street, which is near the Maplewood Nature Center.

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