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Art was in the air last weekend in Afton, as visitors gathered for the city's annual Art in the Park Fair. In its 39th year, the outdoor art fair drew thousands to the Afton's Old Village where several dozen artists displayed their work. Artists ranged from a variety of mediums, including fine arts, crafts, sculpture, apparel, photography and more. Local artists transformed Adirondack chairs into works of art, ranging from Afton landmarks to reimagined classic works of art.
Before the autumn colors coat the St. Croix River Valley, local and regional artists will be adding their own flair this weekend during Afton's annual Art in the Park fair. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24, at Town Square Park, with other activities around Afton's Old Village. In its 39th year, the outdoor art fair touts more than 100 vendors, live music, food and artists from various mediums, including, fine arts, traditional crafts, jewelry, pottery, photography and apparel.
Metropolitan areas in Minnesota and Wisconsin have seen significant declines in the number of impaired driving offenses, but the rate of drunken driving in rural areas remains high. Minnesota's Dakota, Washington and Hennepin counties saw the steepest reductions in chronically impaired drivers between 2015 and 2016. Hennepin, Minnesota's largest county, experienced nearly a 100-person drop in DWI convictions for a fourth or higher DWI offense.
A rash of armed hotel robberies across the region has authorities asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspects. Police have noted five hotel robberies in the past month between 11 p.m. and the early morning hours in Woodbury, Hastings, Red Wing, Inver Grove Heights and North Branch. Woodbury Public Safety described two men in their mid-20s or early-30s.
The steady increase of ACL injuries among high school athletes has some trainers and sports medicine professionals raising concerns about the prevalence of the painful knee injury. They say the higher level of play and competition, as well as pressures to play one sport in high school, are among the factors driving new injuries. ACL tears often occur in basketball, soccer and football because they involve frequent pivots, shifts and jumps, which put added strain on players' knees.
Two Maine artists are making a full-length trip down the Mississippi River this summer with the goal of documenting the changing flow of the river and its people. Morgan Rogers and Emily du Houx, both of Maine, recently completed their handbuilt shanty boat and set off on their journey Monday, July 11, in St. Paul with plans to reach New Orleans by early September. They named their boat Michi Zeebee, the Native American name for the Mississippi. But the hybrid shanty boat is more than a boat or artistic creation, "it's a vehicle for collecting stories," du Houx said.
Portillo's, the famous Chicago eatery known for its hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches and chocolate cake, is gearing up for its grand opening in Woodbury. Slated to open Tuesday, July 11, its opening marks the 50th Portillo's location in the country and the first in Minnesota. But before opening its doors and drive-thru, several hundred people got a sneak peak at the restaurant during a soft opening on July 6. While digging into an Italian beef sandwich, Ryan VanByssam of Hudson, Wis. said he had to come check out the Woodbury Portillo's.
With the deadliest stretch of vehicle crashes beginning in the summer months, officials are raising concerns about teenage drivers who will soon be sharing Minnesota and Wisconsin roads during the busiest travel time of the year. Dubbed the "100 Deadliest Days," the roughly three-month period between Memorial Day and Labor Day accounted for nearly a third of all traffic fatalities in Minnesota and Wisconsin last year. Officials in both states say teenage drivers — due to several factors — are at a heightened risk for being involved in a fatal crash.
When JP Armstrong sent a 1:30 a.m. email to Deb Larson detailing his idea to perform a series of weddings aboard a parade float, she couldn't stop laughing. "I can't think of a better story to tell people years from now," said Larson, a member of the Afton Parade committee. Now the Afton Fourth of July Parade is taking a romantic turn. Armstrong, a local wedding minister whose resume spans more than a decade of wild and exotic weddings, will be marrying people as the float scoots down St. Croix Trail during the annual parade.
Chipotle restaurants announced that a cybersecurity allowed hackers to gain access to customer credit card data at a majority of its locations, including several dozen Minnesota and Wisconsin restaurants. The Denver-based burrito chain said Friday that the majority of its locations across the country were victims of malware, which allowed hackers to search credit card information, such as cardholder names, expiration dates and verification codes.