Woodbury's new Cabela's outdoors store, the fourth in Minnesota, will open soon.

The 85,000-square-foot store at 8400 Hudson Road, near the Tamarack Village Shopping Center, will have a grand opening on May 15, Cabela's officials said Tuesday.

The Nebraska-based hunting-and-fishing-gear giant already has stores in Owatonna, Rogers and East Grand Forks. The Woodbury store will employ about 185 full- and part-time employees, the company said.

"The region's natural resources and its many passionate hunters, anglers, campers and outdoor recreation enthusiasts, as well as the many tourists it attracts from out of state, make the Woodbury area a perfect fit for Cabela's," said the new store's general manager, Shelby Rockhold.

The store will feature hundreds of mounted animals, an indoor archery range, a deli, a fly-fishing shop and a two-story mountain (a Cabela's hallmark) with wild game displays and an aquarium with freshwater fish native to the region.

Washington County

Military families are focus of upcoming library events

During April, Washington County Library is celebrating the Month of the Military Child with Purple Up! events planned for branch libraries. People who attend are encouraged to wear purple, which symbolizes all branches of the military.

• The Oakdale Library is holding a Purple Up! Day on April 12 with no registration required. Opening ceremonies begin at 10 a.m., story time at 11 a.m. Face painting follows at 11:30 a.m. Craft activities will be held from then until 5 p.m. From noon to 5 p.m., a Legos open house will be available.

• In Woodbury, the R.H. Stafford Library will offer Purple Up! story times at 10:30 a.m. April 14 and 10:30 a.m. April 17.

• Wildwood Library in Mahtomedi will present a Purple Up! story time 10:30 a.m. April 14. After the story time at 11 a.m. and from 4:30 to 6 p.m. that day, children of deployed service members can record a video of themselves reading a story or poem to share via YouTube with a parent anywhere in the world. Librarians will arrange the recording. Sign up at the Library's Info Desk or call 651-426-2042 to arrange a time to record.

• In Forest Lake, at the Hardwood Creek Library, children of military families can sign up to "Film a Story." Librarians will record a video of a child reading a story or a poem, upload the video to YouTube and share the link with the child so it can be accessed by a parent anywhere in the world. Recording times are 11 a.m. to noon and 5 to 7 p.m. on April 15. Sign up at the Library's Info Desk or call 651-275-7300 to arrange a time to record.

• Park Grove Library in Cottage Grove will host a "Celebrate Military Kids" family story time from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 30. Military personnel from the Cottage Grove area VFW and American Legion will read stories.

• Find a list of recommended books for military families on both the kids and teens Books and Reading pages at www.co.washington.mn.us/library. Call 651-731-1320 with questions.

Watch board meetings live on county website

Washington County now is webstreaming board meetings, which means that residents with access to the Internet can watch live through their computers.

Recordings of the meetings also will continue on cable access channels. The county's website maintains an archive of videotaped board meetings. To watch meetings live, click on the "County Board" link on the front page of the county website at www.co.washington.mn.us, and then click on "County Board Meeting Webstream."

The County Board meets the first four Tuesdays of each month at 9 a.m. Residents can attend board meetings at the Government Center at 14949 N. 62nd St., Stillwater.

For more information about webstreaming, contact Yvonne Klinnert, public information manager, at 651-430-6026 or yvonne.klinnert@co.washington.mn.us.

County will update elections equipment

Washington County will buy a new voting system to replace one that's 15 years old. The new equipment will have a larger LCD touch screen display, a thermal printer, digital scanning, USB thumb drives and an auto feed tray for absentee ballot counting.

The new software and vote counting equipment, from Election Systems & Software, will cost $732,900. Ballot counters will be purchased for all precincts, as well as a central count machine to process absentee ballots, and software for producing ballots and reporting results. Funding comes from a combination of federal Help America Vote Act grant funds and county property tax funds.

Washington County worked with Hennepin and Dakota counties to request information from vendors and choose a new system, said the county's elections supervisor, Carol Peterson.


Highway improvements discussed at open house

A public open house to discuss 2 miles of improvements on St. Croix Trail South (County Road 21) in downtown Afton will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Memorial Lutheran Church, 15730 Afton Blvd S., in Afton.

The public can comment on proposed designs and learn how they will be evaluated. Project updates, current schedules and other information will be provided.

More information is available at www.co.washington.mn.us/AftonCR21.

Food donations equal discounts at Afton Alps

This weekend, Afton Alps Ski Area will hold its annual Food Shelf Frenzy program collecting canned goods for Second Harvest Heartland food bank and giving guests discounted lift tickets in exchange for their donations.

The collection, which began Saturday, will continue Sunday. Guests who donate four or more nonperishable food items at Afton Alps will pay $20 for a full day or $15 for a 3 p.m.-to-close lift ticket.

Second Harvest Heartland is the Upper Midwest's largest hunger relief organization, distributing 76 million or more pounds of food annually.

Forest Lake

County to hire person to oversee city elections

Washington County will hire a person to work for six months to carry out election administration in Forest Lake.

The County Board approved a position March 18 to fulfill a joint powers agreement intended to increase efficiencies and manage costs of elections. Forest Lake will pay the $23,426 salary for the temporary employee, who will be responsible for election judge recruitment and scheduling, scheduling polling place locations and preparing Election Day supplies for the city of Forest Lake. In addition, this person will provide customer service for absentee voting, voter registration and other duties related to elections.


Volunteers needed for upcoming events

Volunteers in Oakdale run elections, help guide the city and county on advisory committees, teach classes, plant trees, care for parks and wetlands, and assist with the Summerfest parade. The city is looking for volunteers for these upcoming events:

• Annual park cleanup the week of April 21-27. Call 651-747-3860 for details.

• Annual planting at Oakdale Nature Preserve on May 3. Call 651-730-2740 for details.

• Annual Tanners Lake Clean Up on May 3 to remove trash and debris. Call 651-730-2723 for details.

• Election judges, paid by the hour, training provided. Call 651-430-6790 for details.

• Summerfest parade on June 19. Call 651-747-3860 for details.

Kevin Giles, LIBOR JANY