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The Cottage Grove City Council denied Menards an expansion due to site constraints, but the company and city staff could still work to find a solution. Menards applied to construct a new 44,000-square-foot open-air storage building on the southeast end of the lot, next to the parking lot to store lumber and construction and landscaping materials.
The out-of-use Diversified Manufacturing Corp. site straddling the line between St. Paul Park and Newport has been scooped up by the St. Paul Park refinery for increased parking and office space. The refinery, currently owned by Andeavor, plans to remodel the former DMC building and build a new parking lot for refinery use.
SOUTH WASHINGTON COUNTY — The CE Skoolie bus has been on the streets all summer for weeknight No Kid Hungry events. The events are coordinated by the South Washington County School District and Second Harvest Heartland as part of their No Kid Hungry pilot program aimed at fighting child hunger. Games, free meals and activities come with the bus. SoWashCo Cares Director Cheryl Jogger said most stops average between about 30 to 50 people, though it depends on each stop. The Royal Oaks Elementary School visit had over 100 attendees.
STILLWATER — A Woodbury man pleaded guilty to identity theft charges of over 300 victims and two counts of unlawfully securing unemployment benefits. Hai Jay Phu Vu, 53, a former employee at Minneapolis-nonprofit House of Charity, pleaded guilty in Washington County District Court July 16. According to the criminal complaint: Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development investigators originally investigating unemployment benefits found other strange transactions in Vu's account.
The city is considering a residential concept plan for nearly 30 new homes along the Mississippi River. Stone River Homes, a developer based in Edina, is proposing 28 single-family homes on a 4-acre lot to the south of 13th Avenue and First Street.
After serving kids ages 5-18 for around 40 years, the Youth Service Bureau is opening its age restrictions to young adults up to 25 years old. Over the past two years, YSB has been constantly expanding both geographically and in its services, with age expansion being the latest addition. "We're seeing a lot more kids that are college-aged that come home for the summer ... that are continuing to have need for therapy services for anxiety, depression and other mental health," Executive Director Bob Sherman said.
The first of two events to promote access to the Mississippi River — Discover Grey Cloud Island — drew over 30 to Hazen P. Mooers Park July 17. The event was hosted by the Mississippi River Task Force, a group formed out of the My Future Cottage Grove study completed last year to determine what residents would like to see.
ST. PAUL PARK — After a swift reconstruction, Dingle Park is back. The park — located between Pullman, Portland and Holley avenues — closed in May and reopened July 14, just in time for the July movie in the park night. Reconstruction was made possible by a $32,000 Department of Natural Resources matching grant. Next summer Heritage Park will undergo the same treatment with a $50,000 matching grant. Parks and Recreation Commission Chair Andrew Cison said they are already brainstorming for the summer 2019 improvements.
NEWPORT — Gazing around the one-room library, the cozy setting stands out: the room is filled with board games, armchairs, couches, a play area and, on Tuesday nights, a well-trained dog helping kids practice their reading skills. Sara-Marie Malewitz, who was recently named the new library coordinator, said all of this has been donated over the past six years since the Newport Library and the Washington County Library system split.
COTTAGE GROVE — On a wet, rainy summer day, the 3M settlement working groups sat down together for the first time to start brainstorming solutions to perfluorochemical pollution in East Metro water. Facilitated by Colorado-based contractors Abt Associates, two meetings spanned the day at the Cottage Grove Washington County Service Center for the Government and 3M Working Group and the Citizen and Business Working Group each to begin considering how best to use the remaining $720 million from the 3M Corp. and state of Minnesota lawsuit settled in February.