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"Butt Kickers" Make a Clean Sweep

(ABC 6 News) - Downtown Rochester may seem a little cleaner today thanks to students at John Adams Middle School.

Yesterday, the student group known as the "Butt Kickers"  spent six hours picking up cigarette butts and other smoking related items. Overall they picked up:


  • 19,959 cigarette butts
  • 81 cigarette boxes
  • 5 lighters
  • 16 other miscellaneous smoke related products

The Rochester Downtown Alliance, Mayor Ardell Brede and Rochester's Park and Recreation Department offered $0.05 per cigarette butt picked-up, which means yesterday's efforts earned $997.95. The money will be used for the John Adam's Science Alive Lab!

Rochester Principal Gets Surprise Award

(ABC 6 News) --- The WEN Outstanding Educator Awards program only gives out 6 awards in the state. One of them went to a principal here in Rochester. She thought she was just taking the students to a school play, but didn't know she'd be getting the honor in front of the whole audience.

It was a packed auditorium at John Adams Middle School. Students from several schools were there to see a school play, but before the show, there was an unexpected announcement.

Friedell Middle School Principal Monica Bowler was called to the stage to accept an award. "She was given a certificate, and a Crystal Apple award, and at the celebration in October, she'll receive a check for $15,000 dollars," said Nicole LaChapelle with the Southeast Service Cooperative. They teamed up with the WEN program.

Looking into the Future of High Speed Rail in Rochester

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Some big changes are in store for Rochester, including a possible high speed rail linking the Med City to the Twin Cities. It was a packed house at the Heinz Center Monday where officials gathered public input for the project. The biggest questions; where will the rail be making stops and how much time is it really going to save drivers?

They're at phase one of the study, gathering information from the public and designing which routes make most sense. Monday's stop was just one of a few this week.

"Essentially we're shrinking the distance between Rochester and the Twin Cities," said Chuck Michael, a consultant with the Olmsted County Rail Authority.

"Anytime you can connect the largest economic driver in the state with the second largest economic driver is the state, that’s going to be a win-win for any situation," said Time Geisler with the Mayo Clinic.

Movies on the Plaza

Movies on the Plaza

Lights, camera, action! Grab your friends and family and head to downtown Rochester for a fun take on “movie night”.Every Saturday night during the warm season there will be Movies on the Plaza. The movies will start each week at 9:00pm and are FREE to attend. Bring your own lawn chair or blanket and gather on the grassy side of the Peace Plaza for this fun outdoor event.

Full list of movies:

Thursdays on First & 3rd Starts in One Week

Thursdays on First & 3rd Starts in One Week

Thursdays on first & 3rd is back for another year of summer fun! Thursdays on first & 3rd has become a truly authentic community gathering place with a variety of live music featured on two stages, a tasteful spread of outdoor food choices and an exciting mix of market vendors showcasing art, craft and baked goods products. Thursdays on first & 3rd begins June 6th and runs every Thursday through August 29th (note: there will be no event on July 4th).

National Cancer Survivors Day

National Cancer Survivors Day

11am Registration

11:30am Welcome and Lunch

12:15pm Program


Event sponsored by the Andre Gauthier Foundation and hosted by Mayo Clinic Cancer Center and the American Cancer Society.  Join us for a catered meal followed by a program to honor cancer survivors.  Free onsite parking.

Admission is free for cancer survivors and two guests.  Additional guests welcome to attend for $5 per person.

UPDATE: Farnberg Gets Both Words, But Fails to Advance

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- A Rochester 6th grader who is among 281 youngsters vying for the title of National Spelling Bee Champion, has passed two preliminary tests.

Tina Farnberg correctly spelled 'raconteur' and 'odiferous' during the preliminary rounds Wednesday.

However, a new computer test that measures vocabulary that factors into the score, means Tina will not advance.

For a full list of the 41 students who will compete on national tv, click here.