South-West Review People


At 100 and 105, two Lilydale sisters closer than ever

Esther Rahn, right, turned 105 on June 1, and Florence Polzin, left, photo, turns 100 on June 9. The sisters, who grew up in Eagan on a farm, are closer than ever, living in neighboring apartments at Lilydale Senior Living. (Kaitlyn Roby/Review)

Siblings of first Eagan mayor celebrate birthdays jointly
Florence Polzin and Esther Rahn share a wall at Lilydale Senior Living in apartments that mirror one another. The sisters share meals together every day, and this week, they’ll share a title that none of their close relatives reached: centenarian.


Mendota Heights officer Mario Reyes retires

Mario Reyes

After over 30 years of service, investigator ready to call it a career
Mario Reyes knew he wanted to be a police officer since middle school.
Now, after over three decades of living out his dream through the Mendota Heights Police Department, he decided his dream has been fully realized. For that reason, he recently announced his intention to retire from the force. His last day was May 28.


DARTS celebrates 40 years

Laurel Venhuizen, a DARTS volunteer, answered phones and sorted through mail at the West St. Paul office. She’s been involved in the Learning Buddy program for 13 years, helping out a kindergarten class at Kaposia Elementary in South St. Paul, and has volunteered with DARTS even longer than that. (Kaitlyn Roby/Review)

West St. Paul nonprofit aims to “enrich aging”
Marlys Tiedman recently had her last day volunteering at Salem Hills Elementary in Inver Grove Heights for this school year. She helped two boys with presentations on Nicaragua, while most of the class was abuzz, anxious for summer break.


Henry Sibley starts search for new principal

Principal Ryan Redetzke recently announced that he won’t be returning to Henry Sibley High School in Mendota Heights next year.
Redetzke submitted his resignation to the Ditrict 197 School Board, effective at the end of this school year, and made an announcement to parents and staff.


‘A dying art’?

Jim Kueppers, 69, holds up a photo of a bunch of young woodcarvers, and the man who introduced him to woodcarving. (Kaitlyn Roby/Review)

Carvers bring wood to life in South St. Paul
With his gloved left hand, Jim Kueppers grips a rodent-shaped chunk of wood, pulling the knife in his right toward him to scrape off thin chips, chiseling out the shape he sees in it: a life-like chipmunk. The shavings cling to his jeans or flutter to the ground to be swept up later.


Joanne Schoen receives education award

Joanne (Joey) Schoen, lead teacher and assistant director at Dodge Nature Preschool, received the 2014 Kate Davidson Tanner Award for teaching from the Minnesota Association for the Education of Young Children. MNAEYC representatives, members of the Kate Davidson Tanner family, and Dodge Nature Center staff and board members joined the preschool staff and Schoen’s former preschool students in congratulating Schoen at an awards reception on Thursday, April 24.


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