On Sunday, July 5, Dustyn Dubuque of the Washington County Historical Society will give a presentation at the Warden’s House Museum on Civil War soldier Newell Burch and the horrors he faced at the infamous Andersonville Prison in Georgia. The event begins at 2 p.m.

Burch, a New York infantryman, was captured at the Battle of Gettysburg and soon found himself held captive at the Confederacy’s deadliest prison. Of the 45,000 Union soldiers held at Andersonville, nearly 13,000 died of malnutrition, disease and brutal discipline.

Now the Andersonville National Historic Site and maintained by the National Park Service, the area is considered an iconic reminder of substantial mistreatment of prisoners of war.

Dubuque will delve into the hardships that Burch faced and explain how he managed to survive Andersonville. He finished his life in Menomonie, Wis., where he opened the Burch Mercantile Store on Main Street. He left behind a diary and memoir.

The presentation is free and open to the public at the museum at 602 Main St. N., Stillwater.

Washington County

Sheriff asks boaters to pledge sobriety

Alcohol use is the leading cause of recreational boater deaths in the United States, but the Washington County Sheriff’s Office is hoping to change that through its support of Operation Dry Water.

Sheriff Bill Hutton and his staff said they encourage boaters to take the pledge, at www.operationdrywater.org, to never boat under the influence.

The goal of the campaign is to change the cultural acceptance of drinking and boating and avoid accidents and drownings, Hutton’s office said.

Operation Dry Water was launched in 2009 by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators in partnership with the United States Coast Guard.

Confidential papers? Have them shredded

Washington County will have a confidential-paper shredding event at the Washington County Environmental Center in Woodbury from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, July 10. The center is at 4039 Cottage Grove Drive. It provides residents with free disposal for household hazardous waste, electronics and recyclables all year round.

Park grant requested to pay for trail work

Washington County again will request participation in the Minnesota Cross-Country Ski Trail Assistance Program, which helps pay for trail work.

The request for 2016 is for $21,428 for maintenance on ski trails at Pine Point Park, Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park, St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park, Big Marine Park Reserve and Lake Elmo Park Reserve.

Money from the assistance program can fluctuate from year to year because of varying snowfall amounts and the resulting ski trail grooming.

Lake Elmo

Street reconstruction begins in Old Village

The Washington County Board has accepted a $4.4 million bid from North Pine Aggregate Inc. for phase one of the County Road 17 project in the Old Village of Lake Elmo.

The project will install sanitary sewer lines and reconstruct the water main in the Old Village area. It will also bury the power lines, address poor pavement conditions, improve sidewalks in the downtown area, replace confusing road signs and correct poor drainage from improperly placed drains or failing drain pipes, the county said.

Phase one will be done this year and includes work on Laverne Avenue, 36th Street N., Upper 33rd Street N. and the regional drainage system. Construction is expected to run July through December. Phase two is scheduled for bidding and construction in 2016 and will include work on County Road 17 and 30th Street.


Board approves link to Brown’s Creek trail

The Washington County Board has approved a 740-foot connecting trail along Manning Avenue to link the Brown’s Creek State Trail to the new trail on the east side of Manning Avenue, also known as County Road 15.

The Brown’s Creek trail was paved in 2014 as part of a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources project and crosses County Road 15 near County Road 64, or McKusick Road. There is no paved connection from the Brown’s Creek trail to the new trail on the east side of County Road 15. A new connecting trail will be included in the County Road 15 project for about $23,000.


City wins award for environmental work

The League of Minnesota Cities has presented the 2015 Sustainable City Award to Oakdale for its “Generation Green Sustainability Plan.”

The award was presented recently at the league’s Annual Conference in Duluth. All of the 83 cities that participate in the Minnesota GreenStep Cities program are eligible for consideration in the competition. GreenStep Cities is a free and voluntary program designed to help Minnesota cities achieve their environmental sustainability goals.

Oak Park Heights

Agencies share cost of frontage road work

Washington County will share the cost of realigning the North Frontage Road at Osgood Avenue in Oak Park Heights as part of the St. Croix River bridge project.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation has reconstructed Hwy. 36 in Oak Park Heights and Stillwater as part of the project, and both agencies determined that the Osgood intersection would be improved by moving the frontage road on the north side to increase separation between the frontage road and the highway.

Kevin Giles