What We Cover
We cover anything and everything that is happening in St. Michael, Albertville, Otsego and Hanover in the northwest Twin Cities area, including news, events and sports. To keep up on all the latest, you can follow me on Twitter and Facebook. This site features a business directory to help you find just what you are looking for. Check out the calendar to find places to go and things to do. If you know of an event, but don't see it listed, we invite you to add it. Also, feel free to upload pictures of your child's latest game, comment on stories; even send updates on what your Parent Teacher Organization group is up to.
Meet Your Local Patch Team
Chris Steller, Contributor, Editor
You can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 763-218-8319. My hometown is Minneapolis. My birthday is the same as Elvis Presley's.
Wendy Erlien, Editor
Wendy Erlien is a former freelance writer as well as newspaper community editor and reporter. She covered community news in the northwest metro for about five years. She is a graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead with a double major in mass communications and English, focused on journalism. Wendy grew up in Maple Grove, attended schools in the Osseo School District before moving to cities such as Fargo, Moorhead and Eden Prairie for several years. She has been living Maple Grove with her family for the last nine years. Wendy joined Patch in April 2011.
Valerie Engler, Contributor, Editor
Valerie Engler stumbled upon Patch at a Maple Grove farmers market in the summer of 2011. After freelancing for Maple Grove Patch and a number of other Patch sites, Val fell in love with the Patch way of life and is now the go-to girl for everything Golden Valley.
Although Val loves Golden Valley, she's a California girl at heart.
Val was born and raised in San Diego and attended Torrey Pines High School. In 2003, she graduated from high school and moved to Minnesota to swim for the Gophers.
After graduating from the University of Minnesota's School of Journalism in 2007, Val dove head first into the world of community journalism. She wrote for a handful of community magazines including Lake Minnetonka Magazine, Eden Prairie Magazine, Maple Grove Magazine and Plymouth Magazine.
Val dabbled in coaching prior to her work at Patch. She was the head coach for the Eden Prairie High School boys swim team in 2009 and was an assistant coach for Team Foxjet.
Today, when Val isn't bustling around Golden Valley, she's spending time with her daughter, running with her dog or hanging out with her husband.
Devin Seese, Sales
Samara Postuma, Contributor, Editor
Samara Tilkens Postuma is a Minnesota native, who has called St. Michael home for the last 8 years. She is a 2003 graduate from the University of Minnesota.
She has done some freelance writing for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Minnesota Parent magazine, but her most current job title is mom.
Samara and her husband stay busy with their four children ranging in age from 3-13.
She also writes on her blog most days at http://www.simplicityinthesuburbs.com.
Angela Lauterbach, Contributor, Blogger
Zac Farber, Contributor, Editor, Reporting
Ken Smith, Contributor
I have lived in the City of Plymouth for 4 years. I love it. I am part of the blog stobblog.com and have worked as a freelance writer for 2 years. My experiance living in Plymouth will keep me in the know when it comes to the most exciting and anticipated events as well as sports games.
John Molene, Contributor
I'm a longtime and award-winning journalist who has been at this stuff for more than 30 years, primarily on weekly and small daily papers in Iowa, Oregon and Minnesota. In my journalism career I've been a sports writer, sports editor, reporter, photographer, news editor, features writer, restaurant and movie reviewer and columnist, among other jobs I've forgotten. Since 2001, I've been a freelance writer and photographer in the Twin Cities and worked for a wide variety of area, regional and national publications. My journalistic passions are pretty evenly divided between writing and photography. I've interviewed people ranging from presidents and archbishops to grave diggers and dog catchers.
What is Patch?
Simply put, Patch is an innovative way to find out about, and participate in, what's going on near you.
We're a community-specific news, information and engagement platform driven by passionate and experienced new media professionals. Patch is revolutionizing the way neighbors connect with each other, their communities, and the national conversation.
We want to be the most trusted, comprehensive, and relevant news and information resource in your community. What can you do on Patch?
- Keep up with news and events
- Check out photos and videos from around town
- Learn more about local businesses and the people behind them
- Participate in discussions
- Share your perspectives via our Local Voices blogging platform
- Submit your own announcements, photos, and reviews
Who's Behind Patch?
Patch is run by professional editors, photographers, videographers, and salespeople who live in the regions they serve, and is supported by a great team in our New York City headquarters. Patch also gets advice from our Advisory Board and from many members of the community.
We look forward to meeting you and hearing your stories. If you see us around town, don't be afraid to say hi and tell us what you want to see on Patch!
Where You Come In
We hope that our sites will strengthen communities and improve the lives of their residents, but we can't do it without you. We've built Patch so that you have plenty of opportunities to comment on stories, share your opinions, post photos and announcements, and add events to the community calendar. So get to it! And if you're a business owner who wants to be listed, just let us know.
You can't truly serve a community unless you provide the help it needs most, which is why giving back is so important to us. We do it as part of our coverage — in a dedicated space that lets local charities and volunteers find each other — and with a program called "Give 5," through which we donate advertising space to charitable organizations and contribute our own time as volunteers. Want to know more? Email us at email@example.com.
Phil Meyer is Professor Emeritus in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and was inducted into the North Carolina Hall of Fame in Journalism in the spring of 2008. He joined the Journalism School in 1981 and served as Knight Chair in Journalism Professor from 1993-2008. Prior to joining the school, he held a number of reporter and research positions at various media outlets.
He has won numerous awards including the 2005 Sigma Delta Chi Distinguished Service Award for Research About Journalism (with Scott Maier). He was named a Fellow of Society of Professional Journalists in 2005. In 2004, the Newspaper Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication gave him its Professional Freedom and Responsibility Award. And in 2000 he received the American Association for Public Opinion Research Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement.
Meyer is the author of several books including The Vanishing Newspaper: Saving Journalism in the Information Age and Precision Journalism: A Reporter’s Introduction to Social Science Methods. Journalism Quarterly in 2000 listed this book as one of the 35 significant books of the 20th century in journalism and mass communication; and the American Association for Public Opinion Research, observing its 50th anniversary in 1996, listed it as one of 50 significant books on public opinion research.
He received his B.S. in technical journalism from Kansas State University and his M.A. in political science from the University of North Carolina.
Steven Berlin Johnson is a pioneer in the web world, as a co-founder of FEED, Plastic.com, and Outside.in, which was acquired by Patch in March of 2011. He also co-created Findings.com, which launched in late 2011. Steven was the 2009 Hearst New Media Professional-in-Residence at The Journalism School at Columbia University, and served for several years as a Distinguished Writer in Residence at NYU’s Journalism School. He is a bestselling author of seven books, and won acclaim and a Newhouse School Mirror Award for his 2010 Time Magazine cover story, "How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live."
Speaking of Steven's editorial prowess, check out this video based on Steven's book, Where Good Ideas Come From, which was named one of the best books of 2010 by The Economist.
Brian Farnham, Founding Editor-in-Chief
Brian was Editor-in-Chief of Time Out New York magazine before coming to Patch. Before that he worked for a variety of publications both online and off, including Details magazine, New York Magazine, and the old, dearly departed Sidewalk.com. He has written for numerous publications, from the New York Times magazine to Harper's Bazaar. He graduated from Bowdoin College and got an MFA in creative writing at Columbia University so he could put his novel in a drawer with distinction. He lives in Manhattan with his beautiful wife, adorable son, angelic daughter and the world's most dog-like cat. He’s proud as hell of what the Patch team has built.
Ken Paulson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the First Amendment Center
Ken Paulson is president and chief executive officer of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University and in Washington, D.C.
Previously, Paulson served as the editor and senior vice president/news of USA Today. He is now a columnist on USA Today’s board of contributors, writing about First Amendment issues and the news media.
Throughout his career, Paulson has drawn on his background as both a journalist and lawyer, serving as the editor or managing editor of newspapers in five different states.
He also is past-president of the American Society of News Editors, the nation’s largest organization of news media leaders.
Paulson also was the host of the Emmy-honored television program “Speaking Freely,” seen in more than 60 PBS markets nationwide over five seasons, and the author of "Freedom Sings," a multimedia stage show celebrating the First Amendment that continues to tour the nation's campuses.
He was an early advocate of making newspaper content available online, launching online newspapers in both Florida and New York in 1993.
For 12 years, Paulson was a regular guest lecturer at the American Press Institute, speaking to more than 5,000 journalists about First Amendment issues. He was honored with the API Lifetime Service Award. In 2010 and 2011, he served as chair of the PBS Editorial Standards Review Committee.
In 2007, Paulson was named fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists, “the highest honor SPJ bestows upon a journalist for extraordinary contributions to the profession.” In 2008, he received the Robert S. Abbott Memorial Award for Meritorious Service in Mass Communications from the Southern Regional Press Institute. He has also been elected to the Illini Publishing Hall of Fame at the University of Illinois.
He is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law and the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He also has served as an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University Law School. In 2008, he received an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from American University.