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The 2013 legislative session wrapped up on time last month with the passage of a balanced budget package that responsibly erases the state's $627 million deficit and makes long-overdue investments in education, job growth and stronger communities. After a decade of near-constant budget deficits, we balanced the state's budget honestly. Regrettably, previous budgets were "balanced" with accounting gimmicks and one-time money for recurring obligations, leading to deeper deficits and harmful cuts to middle-class priorities.
Randy Melbourne, please move over. East Ridge senior Nate Roese broke Melbourne's 20-year-old Minnesota all-time record in the 400-meter dash to win a second state championship in the event at the Class AA state track and field meet, held Saturday, June 8, at Hamline University in St. Paul. Roese, the defending state champion in the 400, sprinted to a time of 47.56 seconds in the finals, edging Melbourne's time of 47.59 when he ran for Minneapolis Washburn back in 1993.
A local woman scratched a lottery winner. Joan Jerry, of Cottage Grove, won $20,000 playing the Minnesota Lottery's Betty Boop scratch-off game, the lottery announced. Jerry, who claimed her prize May 31, bought her winning ticket at Yocum's Holiday gas station, 8610 East Point Douglas Road.
Suspicious male A man was arrested May 6 on an outstanding warrant after police were called to a home in the 1300 block of Third Street. The homeowner reported seeing a man in the backyard. When police found him, he said he had been looking for scrap metal. His age and hometown were not listed on the report. Police were called May 10 to Axelrod Park, 400 Pullman Ave., on a report of a suspicious male possibly doing laundry in the park. Police found a Cottage Grove man without a shirt.
The New Life Academy softball team is back where it's used to being. The Eagles earned a trip to the Class A state championship with a 6-4 win over Eden-Valley Watkins in the semifinals on Thursday afternoon. New Life (18-3) scored twice in the bottom of the first to take the lead before Eden Valley tied it up with two in the top of the fourth. New Life, ranked second in Class A, struck again in the fifth plating four runs off four hits. All six runs New Life scored in the game were unearned.
Theft A Cottage Grove woman reported May 22 someone stole an iPod Touch from a bag in her vehicle parked in the 7300 block of Imperial Avenue. Property damage A Cottage Grove resident reported May 17 that someone threw a rock through the front window of the residence in the 8500 block of Grospoint Avenue. Damage: $400. Woodbury/Peaceful Grove United Methodist Church, 8600 90th St., reported damage to a shed on May 18.
The New Life Academy softball team earned revenge against defending state champion Cherry. The second-ranked Eagles took down ninth-ranked Cherry 6-3 in the first round of the Class A state tournament this morning to advance to the semifinals. New Life Academy (17-3) opened a 2-1 lead in the first inning on Cherry then added a run in the second, a run in the third, a run in the fourth and a run in the sixth to pull away from the Tigers (21-3). New Life will now face Eden Valley Watkins (15-4) in the second round at 3 p.m. today at Caswell Park in North Mankato.
Second-annual 3-on-3 basketball league at Park High School The Cottage Grove Athletic Association, in association with Midwest 3-on-3, will be hosting the second-annual 3-on-3 Basketball League this fall at the Park High School Activity Center. The league will run five Sunday evenings from Sept. 15 through Oct. 13. The league with have boy and girl divisions from fourth grade and lower through 10th grade. Teams will play two games per evening (10 total) and will receive team T-shirts. The league is a non-coached league and kids are encouraged to form their own teams and register.
The Park boys and girls golf teams' seasons came to an end at the Section 3AAA tournament as the Wolfpack wasn't able to advance a golfer to the state tournament. In the two-day section tournament, the top five teams advance to the second day along with the top 10 individuals not from the top five teams.
South Washington County Schools' Community Education soon will have a new leader. District 833 officials picked Robert W. Lawrence of Litchfield, Minn., as the next Community Education director. The School Board must approve the hire. Lawrence has held a similar position with the Litchfield Public Schools for the past two years, and spent the prior seven years coordinating programs for youth, seniors and disabled adults.