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COTTAGE GROVE — Lamont Bernard Taylor, 32, is facing charges of vehicle theft and fleeing police stemming from an alleged encounter with police just after 2 a.m. June 3. According to the criminal complaint: In a gas station parking lot, a Cottage Grove officer noted a vehicle that had been reported stolen out of St. Paul. The vehicle pulled out of the parking lot onto West Point Douglas Road and the officer followed. Taylor, who was the alleged driver, veered into the next lane and started driving between 80 and 100 miles per hour.
COTTAGE GROVE — The 2018 Strawberry Fest ambassador candidates and their sponsors are listed below. The coronation will be 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 18 at Park High School, 8040 80th St., with a reception in the school cafeteria to follow. • Kyleigh Brauch, Pederson Realty • Ciata Diggs, Project Blackboard • Brooklynn Edlund, Women of Wealth Networking Group • Mariella Hilger, Werner Electric • Tori Simmons, Women in Business • Sicilya Knott, Merchants Bank • Lola Ott, The Otts • Gracie Reimer, Gross Salon
COTTAGE GROVE — This year's Strawberry Fest lineup features five bands that will create five unique shows, capped off with the Country Music Association's 2016 Breakout Artist of the Year Dave McElroy. McElroy, making his way up the charts with songs "Tangled Up," "Missing You" and "Nowhere With You," is coming to Cottage Grove from Green Bay, Wis., by way of Nashville. He's known for his raspy twang and infectious positivity that oozes from his music.
SOUTH WASHINGTON COUNTY — In an effort to eliminate student hunger, South Washington County Schools and Second Harvest Heartland have partnered to launch several programs under the No Kid Hungry initiative. A No Kid Hungry kick-off event June 11 will begin a summer of events focused on free meals and activities. In South Washington County, one in five children is at risk of hunger, said Cheryl Jogger, District 833 Community engagement coordinator and SoWashCo CARES founder.
Just as one by one 10 ducklings fell into the storm sewer May 30, so did two Hastings Police officers Mike Schmitz and Matthew Schlafer pull them back out one by one.
Cottage Grove native Ellen Bialka, a 2017 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire graduate, has been selected for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship. Bialka will spend the 2018-19 school year in the Czech Republic teaching English to high school students. She majored in education and said she hopes to pursue a career in teaching English as a second language once she returns home. Submitted photo
WOODBURY — Goddard School franchisees Rick and Shannon Gehrmann broke ground May 2 on the soon-to-be school. Construction on the nearly 10,000-square-foot building has started at the corner of Hargis Parkway and Finley Road, near East Ridge High School. The preschool will start accepting students late this summer, and is set to open in the fall for up to nearly 150 students. Shannon Gehrmann said the school will provide programming for kids six weeks to six years.
COTTAGE GROVE — On one side of the fire hose stood past and present Cottage Grove firefighters and on the other stood past and present city officials. Instead of a traditional ribbon cutting, everyone on the two sides of the hose uncoupled it to welcome the community to the new Central Fire Station at 8641 80th St. Community members touring the station at the June 2 grand opening were reminded of the department's history at every turn.
ST. PAUL — Two first-term Republican lawmakers have filed for re-election. Tony Jurgens, Cottage Grove, and Keith Franke, St. Paul Park, filed June 4 to run again for the state House of Representatives. Jurgens and Franke carried the HERO Center, for which bonding was approved this session, into the bonding bill as members of the capital investment committee. Through the partisan gridlock in this year's session, both have said they try to work across aisle lines to pass bills.
Just short of the jury trial date, a criminal sexual conduct case against a St. Paul Park man was dismissed. Gregg Wilwert, 39, was accused of abusing a juvenile female for several months.