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Just before the trial between Minnesota and 3M Corp was set to start more than seven years after filing, the parties agreed to a $850 million settlement. The settlement is less than a fifth of the $5 billion State Attorney General Lori Swanson was asking at the outset of the trial.
The trial seven years in the making between the state of Minnesota and manufacturing behemoth 3M Corp. has begun. Jury selection began Feb. 20 in a Hennepin County courtroom, with opening statements set to follow. State Attorney General Lori Swanson filed the complaint just before year end in 2010.
Cottage Grove's annual photo contest had more winners than usual this year. The youth category for aspiring photographers 15 years old and under launched this year. Jixiong Han's 11-year-old daughter won the first youth title with a photo of her new puppy. The parks and trails category had two winners, when staff could not choose between photos taken at Hazen P. Mooers Park and Cedarhurst Meadows Park. The seven winning photographers receive $50 and their photos will be on display at City Hall and in city materials.
Ethan Gilles and Mykinzie Leach were crowned Junior Prinz and Prinzessin at the German Karneval Kostümball Feb. 10 in South St. Paul. The event is sponsored by Spielmannszug Minnesota. Gilles is studying German language at Park High School and will be traveling to Germany in June. Leach, a homeschooled student, is previous Strawberry Fest royalty. Gilles and Leach's reign as royalty will last the entire year.
Mayor Myron Bailey championed the successes and future goals of the 26th largest city in Minnesota during his State of the City speech Feb. 7. Bailey started the speech by looking back at the accomplishments of 2017, including opening the inclusive playground at Woodridge Park, receiving the My Future Cottage Grove community engagement results, completing a business retention and expansion study, expanding housing in the city, new commercial openings, and making it through the summer watering ban.
Heritage Days is saying goodbye to carnivals. After Cody Rides pulled out of their contract to provide a carnival late July last year, organizers have decided to try something new for the upcoming festival.
Karla Bigham will take her seat in the Senate when the Legislative session starts Feb. 20, after securing a tight victory over Denny McNamara in a special election Monday night. Bigham, DFL-Cottage Grove, beat McNamara, R-Hastings, by about 4 points Feb. 12, after a long and fierce fight to the polls. The seat was vacated after former DFL Sen. Dan Schoen resigned in December amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
As the legislative bonding session looms, the HERO Center faces new obstacles, including competition for state funding with a Dakota County law enforcement facility. The Health and Emergency Response Occupations Center, long planned by Cottage Grove and Woodbury Public Safety, is seeking bonding dollars from the 2018 Legislature. The facility was not included in Gov. Mark Dayton's bonding proposal he released in early January.
New analyses of birth outcomes and rates of cancer in south Washington County released by the Minnesota Department of Health this week show that there may not be higher instances in the east metro, after all. MDH scientists found that rates of cancer, low birth rates and premature births in Washington and Dakota counties are in line with other areas of the metro, the department announced Feb. 7. Residents in Washington County have long worried that perfluorochemicals groundwater pollution in the area has caused higher rates of cancer or other adverse health effects.
Special interests, political action committees and state party offices are out to sway votes in the Feb. 12 special state Senate election, with fliers, commercials and online ads inundating area voters.