A post office building that stood for more than 50 years on Myrtle Street in Stillwater will be torn down this week to make room for Trinity Lutheran Church's latest expansion.

"The popularity of our children's and youth programs has grown significantly in the past few years," said pastor Dan Poffenberger. "We're expanding the church to give everyone a little more elbow room to learn, grow and have fun."

Trinity has owned the post office building for 23 years. The Postal Service moved its retail operations to remodeled Croix Center property on 4th Street, also owned by Trinity, in 2012.

Trinity has hired McGough Construction and Bentz/Thompson/Rietow to design a 14,000-square-foot addition, which will include an accessible entrance and a large outdoor green space.

The demolition is expected to take about a week. Trinity plans to break ground on the addition, subject to final congregational approval, this year. Construction should take about nine months, with a grand opening scheduled for late 2014.


Broken pipe closes Wildwood library

The Wildwood Branch of the Washington County Library in Mahtomedi will be closed this month while repairs are made after a water pipe burst in the library's ceiling.

The building probably won't reopen before Feb. 1, the county said.

The library's books, shelving and other materials have been moved into a conference room, and water was removed from carpeting in the building. The building's carpet will be replaced, as will cabling for computers.

Any library customers awaiting reserved books from the Wildwood Branch now can retrieve them at the Oakdale Branch, 1010 Heron Av. N. If that is not convenient, customers can call the Oakdale library and make arrangements to pick up items at another library, the county said. The telephone number at the Oakdale library is 651-730-0504.

Library returns can be made to any Washington County Library branch, or libraries in Stillwater and Bayport.

St. Croix region

Speaker series starts with program on bats

Interested in learning more about the St. Croix Valley's national park? Join the National Park Service and the St. Croix River Association in exploring the heritage, natural wonders and cities of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway during this year's Riverway Speaker Series.

The series begins Jan. 18 with a program focused on a disease that is disrupting the region's bat population.

That program, "White-nose Syndrome and Bats along the St. Croix River," will be presented by Gerda Nordquist of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. White-nose Syndrome, a devastating disease responsible for the deaths of more than 6 million bats in eastern North America, has reached the Upper Midwest. Learn about the bats in the St. Croix region, the ecological services they provide and their vulnerability to the disease.

The presentation, free and open to the public, will take place at the St. Croix River Association office, 230 S. Washington St., Unit 1, in St. Croix Falls, Wis., next to the St. Croix Falls Public Library.

Reservations are encouraged. Call 715-483-3300 or e-mail info@scramail.com.


Pancake breakfast for Special Olympics team

An all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast buffet to benefit the St. Croix Valley Lumberjacks, a Special Olympics team, will be held Jan. 19 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Stillwater. The menu will include French toast, scrambled eggs, hash browns, sausage links, coffee, juice and milk.

The buffet will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the hall at 1910 S. Greeley St. Cost is $8 for adults and $4.50 for children 12 and younger.

Participants are asked to bring a nonperishable food item for St. Michael Catholic Church food shelf. The event is sponsored by Solanus Casey Council #1632 of Knights of Columbus. For more information, call 651-430-3274.


Discussion of drinking water open to public

Woodbury residents interested in discussing the city's plans for protecting its water supply are invited to a public information session on Jan. 14.

The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers in City Hall, 8301 Valley Creek Road.

Those who attend will have an opportunity to weigh in on the first part of the Wellness Protection Plan, which serves as a blueprint for protecting the groundwater aquifers that feed into the city's drinking water wells.

Under Part 1 of the plan, officials will outline "the wellhead protection area and drinking water supply management area" and complete an assessment of the city's wells, according to the city's website.

For more information, contact Jim Westerman at 651-714-3719 or jwesterman@ci.woodbury.mn.us.


Chili cook-off contestants line up

The Scandia Parks and Recreation Committee announces the fourth annual Scandia Vinterfest chili cook-off, to be held Feb. 1.

First prize will be a ribbon and "unlimited fame" for the Grand Champion chili maker. Ribbons will also be awarded for second and third place.

Set up begins at 1 p.m. in the Scandia Community Center. Judging will be from 2-3:30 p.m. Awards will be presented shortly thereafter. Judging is based on judge's and people's choice.

Points also awarded for best decorated table.

See the Scandia website at www.ci.scandia.mn.us for rules and a contestant application and sign up by Jan. 29. Entries are limited to 10 contestants.

St. Paul Park

Public works, safety members needed

St. Paul Park is asking anyone interested in serving on the Public Safety or Public Works commissions to submit an application to City Hall.

The Public Safety Commission, which meets quarterly on the first Thursday of March, June, September and December, advises the City Council on matters concerning affecting police and fire departments. The Public Works Commission advises City Council members on the development and maintenance of streets, water and sewer mains. The commission meets quarterly on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of the month in March, June, September and December.

Each body has one seat to fill. An application can be downloaded from the city's website.

Kevin Giles, Libor Jany