Saura Jost and Isaac Russell have announced their candidacies for the Ward 3 seat on the Saint Paul City Council. They are hoping to succeed Chris Tolbert, who will be stepping down at the end of the year. Jost is a structural engineer in the commercial building industry and an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Minnesota. She grew up in Macalester-Groveland and graduated from Central High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Washington.

Saura Jost
Isaac Russell

Jost served on the Macalester-Groveland Community Council’s board of directors for close to four years. Russell serves as the director of Public Policy at the Center for Economic Inclusion. He also worked for nine years as a legislative assistant for the Minnesota Senate DFL Caucus. A member of the Highland District Council’s board of directors, Russell is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a double major in Political Science and History. He earned a master’s degree in Public Policy at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. Both candidates are seeking the DFL endorsement. The Saint Paul DFL’s Ward 3 endorsing convention will be held on Sunday, April 3, at Central High School, 275 N. Lexington Pkwy.

Karen Ritz, a Snelling-Hamline resident and longtime children’s book illustrator, is one of 11 artists from around the country chosen to create “age-positive birthday cards” as part of Changing the Narrative’s anti-ageism campaign. Frustrated by the racks of birthday cards that mock older adults as weak, forgetful and crabby, Changing the Narrative is producing “age-positive” cards that celebrate aging and honor the recipients. Ritz said she has been “Changing the Narrative” with her site for wrinkle-free grandparenting for more than seven years. Her card is available from Changing the Narrative or

Mark Koenig of Merriam Park has been inducted into the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Saint Paul District’s 2022 hall of fame. During his 41-year career, Koenig has served in various roles in the district, including most recently as chief of construction. He served as the district’s emergency manager during the Global War on Terror and the 2011 Red River of the North and Souris River floods. He also voluntarily deployed twice to Afghanistan and for numerous hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and tsunami recovery efforts.

Connie Freitag has been named the first executive director of Second Stork, a nonprofit organization that distributes essential infant-care supplies to families in need immediately upon their baby’s discharge from the hospital. “We are so pleased to announce this appointment,” said Deb O’Halloran, a Macalester-Groveland resident and president and cofounder of Second Stork. “While our day-to-day operations will continue to be run by experienced and reliable volunteer coordinators, Connie will add stability and professional management to our growing organization.” Freitag most recently served as executive director at Aspen Academy from 2018-2021. She also was director of the School of Education at North Central University, a classroom teacher with the Minneapolis Public Schools, owner of Odyssey Daycare, and founder of Soul Academy Charter School. Second Stork works with more than 110 hospitals. It distributes nearly 300,000 diapers annually and provides more than 500 newborns a safe place to sleep each year.

Merriam Park resident Patrick Michael Redmond, owner of Patrick Redmond Design, is included in the new Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Centennial Timeline. The timeline includes notable recipients of Scholastic Art & Writing Awards during the 100 years that the program has been inspiring bold ideas among creative teenagers across the U.S. An award-winning artist and graphic designer, Redmond received scholastic awards for his artwork while a high school student in 1965, ’67 and ’68. For more information on the program, visit To view the timeline, see the more notable recipients and view or read their early works, visit

Ananya Dance Theatre recently announced that managing director Gary Peterson will retire from day-to-day performing arts management on October 31. He has been with ADT since 2009. Peterson will be working with his successors—Jennie Ward as managing director and Hadiya Shire as operations manager—during the transition through October. Both Ward and Shire joined ADT on January 3. Ward is a local  theater director and producer with more than 25 years of experience. Shire is a writer and arts administrator from Minneapolis who worked for Graywolf Press, the University of Minnesota Press and other arts groups prior to joining ADT. In addition, after eight years as ADT’s production manager Emma Marlar has left to pursue her own artistic interests. Jessie Storovich assumed Marler’s role as production manager for the 2022 production of Nün Gherāo.


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