A “Serving Beyond the Bars” dinner to raise money for meal-packing programs in state prisons will be held March 28 at the Lake Elmo Inn.

Keynote speaker will be Jeff Anderson, an attorney best known for representing clergy sex abuse victims. Eddie Miles, an assistant Minnesota corrections commissioner, also will speak.

“It’s amazing to see a group of 200 or 300 offenders pull together in the common goal of helping feed those in need,” said Tom Thiets, one of the event organizers.

Meal-packing events already have been held at Stillwater and Oak Park Heights prisons this year. The goal is to host them in all 10 state prisons.

The fundraiser begins at 5:30 p.m. with a social gathering and silent auction, followed by dinner and a program. Advance tickets cost $75 and can be purchased by visiting http://tinyurl.com/kr8vygf.

Newport

City seeks entries for photo contest

The Newport Park Board announces the Winter 2015 Newport Parks Photo Contest, open to Newport residents.

Photos will be judged in adult and youth (under 18) divisions, with two categories in each division: Best Color Photo and Best Black-and-White Photo. Winning photos will be displayed on the city’s website and at various venues in the city. Cash prizes will be awarded for Best Juried Photo and People’s Choice Photo.

Contest details are available at http://ci.newport.mn.us/ParkPhotoContest.php.

Photos can be submitted electronically to reisenbeisz@newportmn.com or printed photos (which will not be returned) can be mailed or taken to City Hall at 596 7th Av., Newport, MN 55055.

Submission deadline is March 31.

Stillwater

‘History in Backyard’ coming, apply now

Local history organizations can apply for a table at the “History in Your Backyard” event from noon to 3 p.m. April 12 at the Washington County Historic Courthouse.

The event is designed to bring together purveyors of local history to promote public understanding. It’s free for both visitors and participating organizations. Guests can tour the old county jail, see courthouse exhibits, participate in an architectural scavenger hunt and play with old-fashioned toys. For more information about History in Your Backyard, call 651-275-7075, see www.co.washington.mn.us/hc, or email historiccourthouse@co.washington.mn.us.

The courthouse is at 101 W. Pine St. in Stillwater.

Community Thread volunteers honored

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Community Involvement Awards, sponsored by Community Thread and the Washington County Board. Winners who will be honored at a March 26 luncheon include:

Majel Carrol of Cottage Grove for Lifetime Volunteer; Vern & Edie Hophan of Bayport for Lifetime Volunteers; Andy Kass of Stillwater for Outstanding Volunteer; Sandy Gleason of Lake Elmo for Youth Volunteer; Let’s Go Fishing Captains and Crews for Outstanding Group, and Dick Olsen, formerly of Stillwater, for Legacy Award. A new category, Exemplary Employer, is being added this year to honor businesses that promote volunteerism in their workforces. The 2015 award winner is Lake Elmo Bank.

Winner of the Vi Russell Award for Excellence in Volunteer Leadership is Susie Danielson, volunteer coordinator for Bayport and Stillwater public libraries.

The event will take place at 11:30 a.m. at Community Thread, 2300 Orleans St. W. in Stillwater. A light lunch will be served. RSVP by March 23 at 651-439-7434 or sally@communitythreadmn.org.

Washington County

Pilot online bidding program begins

The Washington County Public Works Department will accept construction bids electronically during a one-year trial.

Currently, bids are submitted only on paper, but County Engineer Wayne Sandberg said Dakota, Carver and Hennepin counties already are using electronic bids, primarily on road and bridge projects, so the idea isn’t new.

Electronic bids will reduce mathematical errors because the computer system automatically checks for them, Sandberg said.

Money for Explorers donated to county

Gifts donated to the county during the fourth quarter of 2014 totaled $3,723.74.

The Sheriff’s Office received money to support the Explorers’ National Competition. The library received almost $2,000 for materials, including an $800 gift from NAMI Minnesota, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Parks received Living Forest donations, and cash donations were made in support of the Christmas at the Courthouse event that benefits the restoration of Historic Courthouse. The county also received gift cards and other gifts for a Workforce Center Job Fair, including the donation of the building rental from the City of Oakdale for the event.

Hudson, Wis.

Over 80 businesses scheduled for expo

The 13th Annual Spring Showcase will be held March 29 at the Hudson Sports & Civic Center at Drewiske Arena.

The Chamber of Commerce business expo features more than 80 businesses and includes live entertainment, samples, drawings, children’s activities and prizes. Admission is free.

For more info visit www.hudsonwi.org or call 1-715-386-8411.

Kevin Giles