Groundbreaking for the Bielenberg Gardens retail development in Woodbury will be held June 25, city officials and developers announced.

Construction of the 65,000-square-foot grocery store that will anchor the 30-acre development is scheduled for completion in early 2015.

"The groundbreaking of the grocery store culminates years of work on the Urban Village master plan that began in 2008," Woodbury Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens said. "It will serve as a catalyst for the remainder of the commercial development approved as part of Bielenberg Gardens and will also support the residential growth in southern Woodbury."

Bielenberg Gardens, the retail component of the Urban Village master plan (which also encompasses the Bielenberg Sports Center and the 208-unit St. Therese senior housing complex) will also include a 6,200-square-foot liquor store, operated by Jerry's Enterprises; a 12,300-square-foot multitenant retail building; and 10 additional retail out-lots that officials say could become retail shops, restaurants, a bank and a gas station.

Washington County

Board notes milestones for foster care providers

The Washington County Board recognized Amelia Matheson, of Hugo, and Kristen McClure, of Woodbury, as Family Child Care Providers of the Year for 2014. Both are licensed to care for up to 12 children. Matheson has a certification in early childhood from Pine Technical College. McClure has a child care program called Lil' Critters Childcare.

Recognized for providing care for five years: Beth Coppock, Stillwater; Alaya and Jon Kish, May Township, and Ann and Larry Quigley, Oakdale.

Recognized for 10 years were Lynn and Steve Cozal of Cottage Grove.

Recognized for 15 years were Linda Koslowski, of Lake Elmo, and Linda and Robert Lennartson, of Cottage Grove.

Honored for their first year of service were Isabell Atem, Woodbury; David and Sally Framke, Stillwater; Joli and Jon Kohnen, Forest Lake; Jody Mogren, Forest Lake; Xong Moucheupao, Hugo; Bonnie Reinecke, Oakdale; Roxanne Smith and Robert Johnson, Woodbury, and Deirdre and Stacy Tschanz, Lake Elmo.

For more information, visit and search for "foster care."

St. Croix Region

Tourist spending rises, employment rebounds

Traveler spending in St. Croix County, Wis., increased 8.48 percent to $87.85 million in 2013, according to an annual analysis released by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. That spending resulted in total business sales of $148.66 million in the county, a 6.59 percent increase from 2012.

St. Croix County, situated across the St. Croix River from Washington County, is considered part of the expanded metro area.

Tourism-related employment in the Greater St. Croix Valley for 2013 was estimated at 3,978 jobs (a 2.5 percent increase from 2012). In addition to the estimated 1,688 jobs in St. Croix, there were 1,045 in Polk (up 3 percent from 2012); 836 in Dunn (a 0.4 percent increase); and 409 in Pierce (a 1.95 percent increase).

St. Paul Park

Cities look to create emergency dive team

After a recent drowning near Lions Levee Park, several local cities are considering forming a dive team to handle such emergencies in the future, officials said.

Officials from St. Paul Park, Newport and Cottage Grove said they have approached state Rep. Dan Schoen, DFL-St. Paul Park, about creating a dive team "to lessen the response time" in emergency situations.

"We've had some of those preliminary discussions, heard some of those preliminary numbers and everybody seems to be on board. How it's going to be accomplished remains to be seen," said St. Paul Park Mayor Keith Franke, who was among the volunteers who helped search the Mississippi River for a 14-year-old boy after he was swept away by a strong current last month. The boy's body was found in the river the following day.

While praising the Washington County Sheriff's Water Recovery Team for its quick response, Franke said that "basically whatever we can attempt to do, being on the river, I think is definitely a positive effect on the citizens, and those visiting. Especially this year — we have such high water, and it's up and it's down, and it's running fast."


Construction begins on HealthEast cancer center

Construction has begun on the new HealthEast Cancer Care Center on the Woodwinds Health Campus, at 1825 Woodwinds Drive.

"We identified the HealthEast Woodbury Clinic as the best place to create a comprehensive cancer center because it's connected to a hospital, it's in a soothing natural setting and it's easily accessible," said Len Kaiser, HealthEast director of network management..

The 30,000-square-foot center, scheduled for completion next spring, will be built in a space recently vacated by the HealthEast Woodbury Clinic, which is moving into new buildings at Tamarack Road near Woodbury Drive and across the parking lot from Woodwinds' main entrance.

In announcing the construction of the cancer center, officials cited a recent Washington County Housing and Redevelopment Authority study that suggested an increase in the demand for cancer services because of the county's rapidly aging population.


Seesaw St. Croix River rises to no wake again

Just when the St. Croix River began dropping enough to end no-wake restrictions, it rained. And rained and rained.

This weekend's forecast showed the river's level rising to nearly 685 feet above sea level, still well below minor flood stage but higher than the 683-foot trigger for the no-wake zones. Consistently high water all spring has discouraged boating, particularly north of Stillwater, where islands used for camping are submerged.

Boaters were advised to use caution because of fast currents and submerged debris, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources warned.

The National Weather Service projection for the St. Croix River can be viewed here:

Kevin Giles and Libor Jany