A new “River Connections” program will build a long-term constituency of supporters for the St. Croix River and its watershed, according to the St. Croix River Association (SCRA).

Executive Director Deb Ryun wrote in the association’s January newsletter that collaboration with the National Park Service will “cultivate future stewards” for the St. Croix River. An outreach coordinator will oversee up to six summer interns who will provide educational programming and act as “ambassadors” on the river, she said.

“We will reach out to those who would not have the opportunity for meaningful experiences on the Riverway — rural students, the Ojibwe tribes, disadvantaged and at-risk individuals,” Ryun wrote.

Further details are available on the SCRA website at www.stcroixriverassociation.org.

oak park heights

Hecker dealership still for sale, real estate agent says

The former Denny Hecker dealership at 12969 60th St. N. in Oak Park Heights is back on the market.

Minnesota Outdoor Shooting Sports, which obtained full city approval in October 2013 for redevelopment as a sporting goods store and shooting range, has not purchased or leased the property and does not currently have a contract to do so, said real estate agent Brian Zeller.

Current owners have contracted with Zeller and Steve Ogren of Greystone Commercial, in Bayport, to market the property for sale or lease. The property has 56,000 square feet on more than seven acres of land at the corner of Hwys. 36 and 5.

Cottage Grove

Benefit for sergeant with brain tumors

The public is invited to a Jan. 25 dinner benefit for Sgt. Greg Brysky, a 25-year veteran of the Cottage Grove Police Department who earlier this year was diagnosed with two malignant brain tumors.

Brysky served in several positions at the department, including his current assignment in the patrol division.

Doctors discovered two grade-4 glioblastoma multiformes while running tests after Brysky fell at his home in July, the department said. The benefit will help the family cover his medical expenses.

The benefit, hosted by Fox 9 anchor Randy Meier, will start at 4 p.m. at the VFW Red Barn, 9260 E. Point Douglas Road. Tickets for the chicken dinner, silent auction and meat raffle are $15.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.bryskybenefit.com.

Lake Elmo

Task force to examine upgrades at Sunfish Park

A task force formed earlier this fall to “start looking at future design and future use” of Sunfish Park is expected to present its findings in the first quarter of 2014, officials said.

“Lake Elmo has 18 city parks, Sunfish Park being the biggest and probably the most valued. And we think of it as the one with the most potential, and so we developed a task force to start to look at some of its issues,” said Shane Weis, who chairs the city’s Parks Commission.

The four-member task force will meet monthly before delivering a final report to the commission and City Council sometime this spring outlining improvements, Weis said. He called the park “a jewel of the city.”

“Right now they’re kind of in the preliminary phases,” he said.

Washington county

Jan Webster named new human resources director

Jan Webster began work as the Washington County human resources director on Dec. 2.

Webster, who started her career with the Fairview Hospital/Health System in 1984, has worked nearly 30 years in the private sector. In 1987, she moved into the medical device industry by joining St. Jude Medical Inc., followed by work at SurModics Inc., starting in 2006. Since 2011, she has been working as a human resources consultant.

Throughout her career, Webster has worked in nearly all areas of human resources, including employee development, benefits, compensation, recruitment and employee relations.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Minnesota State University-Mankato. She also earned her master’s degree in human resources and industrial relations from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Webster is a resident of south Washington County.

County revamps website to reserve public buildings

Washington County has overhauled its Facilities and Reservation website to make it easier for visitors to reserve public buildings for events.

The new website will streamline the process of making reservations online for family reunions, graduation parties, quinceañeras and other events at more than 30 sites across the county. The site, http://www.co.washington.mn.us/Facilities, also allows people to rate the sites, access calendars showing available dates, and recommend venues that don’t appear on the list.

To access the service, visitors must create an online account or sign in using their Facebook, Google Plus, Yahoo or LinkedIn profiles.

stillwater

City library plans story times for kids

The Stillwater Public Library will offer story times for preschoolers and toddlers this winter:

• Preschool Storytime is on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. for ages 3-5 years. These sessions consist of 30 minutes of stories, songs, movement, puppets and more.

• Toddler Tales will be offered on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 21-Feb.11 for ages 18-36 months. They include 30 minutes of bonding time with books, songs, rhymes and toys that build fine-motor skills.

• Pajama Storytime will be on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 23-Feb. 13 for ages 3-8 years. Kids should wear pajamas and bring a stuffed animal or blanket.

For more information about these and other programs at the Stillwater Public Library, call 651-275-4338, ext. 111, or visit www.stillwaterlibrary.org.

Kevin Giles, Libor Jany