People

Wed
26
Feb

North St. Paul couple donates $34K for toddler park in daughter’s memory


North St. Paul City Council member Terry Furlong, who also works with the Parks and Recreation Commission, left, stands with Tony and Sarah Zahradka. (Kaitlyn Roby/Review)

The story of Tony and Sarah Zahradka moved hundreds of people throughout the Twin Cities area to help build a park for younger children in North St. Paul.
With the help of many donors over about two months, the North St. Paul couple recently contributed $34,350 to a fund for a toddler-friendly play structure at Casey Lake Park. They presented the ceremonial check to the city at the Feb. 18 North St. Paul City Council meeting.

Mon
20
Jan

Hill-Murray senior has jazz hands


John Blanda is shown at the baby grand piano in Hill-Murray High School’s choir room. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

John Blanda was enthusiastic to practice piano even at the young age of 6. By the age of 7, he had his first paying gig in downtown Minneapolis at Trocadero’s (submitted photo)

John Blanda performed at numerous fundraisers for his elementary and middle school, Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He would play piano for donations to the school. (submitted photo)

John Blanda, in a sense, has the world at his fingertips.
Blanda, a 17-year-old kid from Maplewood, is quiet, laid back and comes off a bit spacey, but still sharp.
And sharp quickly comes to the fore when he sits at the piano.

Thu
16
Jan

New Maplewood mayor, council members sworn in


Nora Slawik is sworn in as mayor of Maplewood by city clerk Karen Guilfoile Jan. 6 at the Maplewood Community Center.

Taking the oath of office for the Maplewood City Council are Kathleen Juenemann, above, and Marylee Abrams, below.

When Will Rossbach became Maplewood’s mayor four years ago, he asked for a new gavel - “a fresh start” -- to use during city council meetings, marking the opening and closing of each one.
In his first minutes as the former mayor on Jan. 6, Rossbach handed the same gavel as well as his key to the city to Mayor Nora Slawik, who took the oath of office moments earlier during the swearing-in ceremony at the Maplewood Community Center.  But the wooden hammer was a little different -- Rossbach had three pink stripes painted on it, signifying the new, but not the first, female majority on the Maplewood City Council.

Wed
25
Dec

For Bruentrups, historic farm still feels like home during holidays


In her Mrs. Claus attire and he in Santa hat for the Breakfast with Santa and later open house Dec. 7, Raydelle and Bill Bruentrup still spend time at the old homestead, volunteering countless hours on behalf of the Maplewood Area Historical Society. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

Some of the decorations around the house.

Bill Bruentrup still works the farm, driving the tractor for hay wagon rides, as well as building and upkeep of the Bruentrup Heritage Farm in Maplewood. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

The early years: Bill Bruentrup, left, now 72, friend Paul Johnson and Bill’s late sister Joan Bruentrup sit in front of the Christmas tree at the Bruentrup home in the early 1950s. Paul is holding what appears to be a gift: “Pagan: a Border Patrol Horse,” a 1951 book for youth about the exploits of a border patrol inspector and his heroic horse, as Bill tries to get a look at one of the more exciting passages.

Bill Bruentrup and his siblings used to skate on a pond in front of the home on Christmas Day, between dinner and supper. This picturesque scene is roughly where the Michael’s craft store is located now; there’s still a holding pond between the store and White Bear Avenue.

Santa, a reindeer and a snowman greeted visitors at a breakfast with Santa event on Dec. 7 at Bruentrup Heritage Farm in Maplewood. (Kaitlyn Roby/Review staff)

Growing up on his family’s farm, Bill Bruentrup milked cows twice a day. Even on Christmas.
“On Christmas Eve, we’d milk a little bit earlier than we normally did so we could come in, clean up, eat dinner, and then we would open our presents,” the 72-year-old said. “I remember getting ready for Christmas, because we tried to get as many things done as we could.

Wed
25
Dec

Special delivery

Kids from Around the World Child Care in North St. Paul dropped by the Lillie Suburban Newspapers offices Dec. 13 to mail some last-minute letters to Santa. The group makes the outing an annual affair, writing and decorating their letters together.
(Luke Reiter/Review)

Thu
19
Dec

District 622 middle schoolers win Maplewood Human Rights Commission essay contest


From left, Maplewood Human Rights Commissioners Julie Xiong, Nate Danielson and Jon Brandt pose with the winners of the commission’s essay contest, Maplewood Middle School student Nate Kong and Skyview Middle School students Julian Yang and Jaitel Vang. (submitted photo)

Three District 622 eighth graders have been named the winners of the city of Maplewood’s Human Rights Commission essay contest.
Nathaniel Kong, an eighth grader at Maplewood Middle School, earned first place for his essay and will be entered into the statewide essay contest. Two Skyview Middle School eighth graders also placed in the Top 3. Jaitel Vang earned second place and Julian Yang earned third place.

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