Funding of 4-H, threatened with extinction just a few years ago, passed without comment at a meeting of the Washington County commissioners last week.
Commissioners approved an agreement with the University of Minnesota Extension Service for 4-H programs and staffing, at a cost of $133,060. In 2009, the board had wanted to end all county funding for 4-H because deep cutbacks in state aid had put the county budget in a pinch.
Proponents of 4-H defended the youth development program as building tomorrow's leaders and said it accounted for more than half of the Washington County Fair's attractions and attendees.
The current County Board, made up of four commissioners who have been elected to the five-member commission since 2009, has been supportive of 4-H.
The 2014 agreement includes provisions for two full-time program coordinators for community youth development and the Youth Teaching Youth school-based programs. The coordinators are employees of the university, but work in offices provided by the county.
Health specialist joins Youth Bureau
Julia Geigle has joined Youth Service Bureau as a new chemical health specialist working with students in Stillwater Area Public Schools.
"Julia brings an enthusiasm and energy to her position that is contagious. Everyone who meets her is drawn in, which is an important asset in her work with students in the schools," said program director Michael Huntley.
Geigle will provide chemical health screenings, one-on-one support, family sessions, support groups and classroom presentations. She has a master of social work degree and is a licensed graduate social worker.
She also will provide services at Oak-Land Junior High School, Stillwater Junior High School and the Alternative Learning Center in Stillwater.
Nominations open for volunteer awards
Nominations are being accepted for the 2014 Community Involvement Awards program honoring exemplary volunteers in Washington County. The five award categories: Lifetime, Outstanding, Youth, Group, and Legacy.
Nomination packets are available at www.communitythreadmn.org or by e-mailing Sally Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Thread programs include the Volunteer Center, Stillwater and Bayport senior centers, Medical Appointment Transportation Program, Chore Services, Medical Reserve Corps and Holiday Hope. Call Community Thread to request additional information at 651-439-7434.
New eatery to open in city's Central Park
Angelina's Café, a new coffee shop and eatery, will open in Woodbury's Central Park in March. The move, approved by the City Council, comes after Cups 'n Scoops closed in October.
"Angelina's will provide expanded menu options and competitive pricing," recreation supervisor Jodi Sauro said. "They are an established entity in the community and their customer service philosophy is a great fit for our patrons and partners at Central Park. We are excited to work with them."
Much like its sister restaurant, Angelina's Kitchen, the new eatery will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as ice cream and an assortment of coffee and espresso drinks. The menu will also feature numerous gluten-free and vegetarian options.
Its opening date and hours of operation have not yet been set. The indoor park is next to the R.H. Stafford Library and a YMCA.
Gateway transit project to hear public comment
The Gateway Corridor project is considering two route alignments for bus rapid transit or light rail transit through Oakdale, Lake Elmo and Woodbury. Public comment will be received at an open house Feb. 6 from 5-7 p.m. at Globe University, 8147 Globe Drive.
A presentation will be held at 5:30 p.m. and again at 6:30 p.m. Public comment will help the Gateway Policy Advisory Committee and the Gateway Corridor Commission decide which route should advance for further evaluation.
Kevin Giles, Libor Jany