The two state parks in Washington County will be closed to the general public the weekend of Nov. 9 to allow hunters with special permits to hunt deer to prevent their overpopulation and protect resources, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Afton State Park near Afton and William O'Brien State Park in Marine on St. Croix will be closed those two days. Other state parks will remain open to all visitors starting this month, some will have limited access and some will be open only to hunters during the fall hunts. The deadlines for youths and adults to apply for a special permit to participate in the hunts — which include regular firearms, muzzleloader and archery options — have passed.

The DNR advises anyone planning to visit a state park between now and the end of the year to look online ( or call ahead (651-296-6157, toll-free 888-646-6367) to find out whether a hunt is planned and confirm whether the park will be open.

"These annual resource management hunts help control the deer population at state parks," said Ed Quinn, resource management consultant for the DNR's Parks and Trails Division. "Too many deer in one area can negatively affect native plants and the health of the ecosystem. In managing natural resources, we're always striving for a sustainable balance."

White Bear Lake

English instructor publishes collection

Poet Cullen Bailey Burns, an English instructor at Century College, has had her second book of poetry published.

Burns' work, entitled "Slip," was selected for publication from a field of more than 600 manuscripts by publisher New Issues Press. It took two years from the time of selection to the time of publication. The work itself took 10 years to write.

"I am a compulsive reviser," said Burns, who writes in longhand on legal pads and later transfers her work to a computer.

Burns explained that the title is more a verb than a noun. "It's about the idea of things slipping, and trying to grasp at things as you find comfort in the resistance," said Burns.

As a Century English professor, Burns said she hears hundreds of heartfelt student stories every semester. Even if the stories do not directly find their way into her writing, they do give her a larger view of the world and the things that human beings go through as they live their lives.

A resident of south Minneapolis, Burns and her family own a farm in Sturgeon Lake, Minn., where she keeps bees and raises vegetables.

Burns is planning a book launch party on Friday, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m. at Studio Z in downtown St. Paul. All are invited.

Lakeshore Players holding auditions

Auditions for the Lakeshore Players Theatre production of "The Petrified Forest" have been set for 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 12, with callbacks at 10 a.m. Oct. 19 at White Bear Lake High School District Center Community Room, 4855 Bloom Av., White Bear Lake.

Rehearsals start Nov. 25, with a break over the Christmas holiday. Performances begin Jan. 16. For further information, call 651-426-3275, or e-mail


Auditions set for Black Box musical

Woodbury Community Theatre has announced auditions for its Christmas Black Box Theater Show, "Madeline's Christmas," a musical around a holiday story for all ages.

Auditions are 6:45 p.m. to 9 p.m., Monday, Oct. 7, and Tuesday, Oct. 8, at the Merrill Community Arts Center, 380 Rivertown Drive, Suite 200, Woodbury. Callbacks are at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9.

Performances at the Black Box Theater begin at 7 p.m. on Nov. 22, and run over the two weekends. Rehearsals will begin the week of Oct. 14.

You can sign up for a five-minute audition appointment at Arrive 10 minutes before your scheduled time, and prepare to stay 30 minutes past your time. Additional questions may be directed to


Book sale held at Hay Lake School

A book sale by the Washington County Historical Society marks its final day from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 6, at the Hay Lake School Museum located on the corner of County Road 3 and Old Marine Trail N., about a mile south of Scandia.

For more information, contact David Sandager at 651-433-4014, visit


Author to discuss organic farming

The Stillwater Public Library will host Atina Diffley, author of "Turn Here: Sweet Corn," as part of the Club Book series at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the library, 224 Third St. N., Stillwater.

Diffley, 2012 Minnesota Book Award winner, is an organic farmer/consultant, public speaker and writer. From 1985 to 2008, she and her husband Martin ran the Gardens of Eagan, an organic vegetable farm started in 1973 as one of the first certified organic produce farms in the Midwest.

She writes a popular online blog, "What Is A Farm."

The program is free. Books will be available for sale and signing.