A public event to thank readers for their support of "Bringing Jon Home," a memoir written by the father of a Stillwater man who died hiking on an Idaho mountain, will be held from 7-9 p.m. Thursday.

David Francis will read from his book, which details his family's relentless search for his 24-year-old son, Jon.

The event will be held in the Margaret Rivers Room at the Stillwater Public Library, 224 3rd St. N.

Anyone planning to attend is asked to RSVP by calling 612-963-6772 or by sending an e-mail to jonfrancisfoundation@gmail.com.

Book sales benefit the Jon Francis Foundation. David Francis said he's sold about 600 copies since the book was published in May.


Saints owner to speak at history gatheringMike Veeck, president of the St. Paul Saints, will be the featured speaker at the Washington County Historical Society's fall membership meeting Thursday at Boutwell's Landing in Oak Park Heights.

Veeck's promotions include mimes performing replays, a pig named "Brat Favre," and ball-retrieving dogs. The Crispin Iceball event in January features the WCHS Vintage Base Ball Club vs. the Saints in an outdoor, 1860s-style game.

Cost is $25 for non-members of the society and $20 for members. Check-in and social hour will begin at 5:30 p.m., with dinner at 6:30. Reservations are required.

For more information or to reserve a seat, call 651-439-5956 or visit www.wchsmn.org.


Benefit at VFW to raise funds for familyA benefit lunch to assist the Lisa Malecha family will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3, at the VFW "Red Barn," 9260 E. Point Douglas Road.

Malecha was diagnosed with Bell's palsy in the late 1990s. In 2005, her son Nick was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome.

Cost is $10 for anyone 13 and older, or $5 for ages 4-12.

Cash donations also can be mailed to TCF Bank. Checks made out to "Lisa Malecha Benefit Fund" can be sent to 7155 E. Point Douglas Road., South Cottage Grove, Minn. 55016.


Absentee ballots now available for votersAbsentee ballots for the Nov. 2 general election are available for registered voters at the following locations:

•Property Records and Taxpayer Services Office, new location at the Washington County Government Center, first floor, 14949 62nd St. N., Stillwater.

•Cottage Grove Service Center public service counter, 13000 Ravine Parkway S., Cottage Grove.

•Forest Lake Service Center public service counter, 19955 Forest Road N., Forest Lake.

•Woodbury Service Center public service counter, 2150 Radio Drive, Woodbury.

Individuals may cast absentee ballots by mail (ballots must be received at Washington County offices or, if a resident of the City of Stillwater or the City White Bear Lake, at those cities' offices, by 3 p.m. on election day) or in person at the above locations Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 30.

Residents of Stillwater and White Bear Lake also can vote in person at their city halls.