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- 1 year 12 months
ST. PAUL — The HERO Center is inching forward, as local officials wait with bated breath for what the end of session could bring. The state House this week announced that the HERO (Health and Emergency Response Occupations) Center has been flagged for nearly $10 million in its state funding. Cottage Grove and Woodbury would foot the rest of the bill if the Legislature approves the project in the final bonding bill.
COTTAGE GROVE — A 34-year-old Cottage Grove man is in custody on two counts of felony first-degree criminal sexual conduct and possessing pornographic photos. Darryl Rena White Jr. is accused of sexually abusing a juvenile female for the past two years, according to a criminal complaint filed April 11 in Washington County District Court. White, whose whereabouts are currently unknown, is being sought by police on a warrant.
NEWPORT — Opinion Brewing is set to reopen, after winning its liquor license back from the Newport City Council. The council voted to revoke the license in March, but since the owners have made all of the code corrections needed back when the process began in September 2016, council members found it appropriate to reconsider the motion. They voted to change it from a revocation to a suspension of the liquor license. The 60-day suspension was retroactive to the original vote in March, meaning that it ended May 7.
COTTAGE GROVE — Council member Steve Dennis is looking to continue on the Cottage Grove City Council for another term. Dennis announced May 1 that he would be seeking a second term after being first elected in 2014. "About four-and-a-half years ago, a small business owner and resident decided to step up and take a chance to see if I could work to make a difference," Dennis said during a press conference. "And I think we've been able to do just that."
WASHINGTON COUNTY — Just over a week short of the Minnesota fishing opener, the Minnesota Department of Health is advised anglers to not regularly eat fish caught in this part of the Mississippi River. Mississippi River Pool 2, the area from St. Paul to Hastings, has been flagged by the MDH May 3 for levels of PFOS — a type of perfluorochemical — in certain fish. The MDH recommends no more than one meal per week of most fish caught in Pool 2, but carp, flathead catfish and white bass are recommended at no more than one meal per month.
COTTAGE GROVE — A fire broke out in a garage after midnight May 2, destroying the structure. Residents of the home in the 7600 block of Irish Avenue were awakened by their smoke detectors just before 1 a.m. and exited the house before the flames reached them. There were no injuries. Fire was found in the attic of the house, the majority of the fire damage was contained to the garage area. The interior of the home suffered some water damage from fighting the flames in the attic. A crew of six firefighters was able to quickly knock down the fire.
WOODBURY — A Woodbury man was approached at gunpoint by three suspects the afternoon of May 9. According to police, just after 4 p.m. Wednesday, two men and a woman pulled a handgun on the victim in the stairwell of an apartment building in the 6700 block of Ashwood Road. One of the men asked questions about the victim's roommate and an item they were looking for, saying only, "Where is it?" The three suspects went into the apartment and searched it, but did not take anything.
ST. PAUL PARK — The refinery will be renamed again, back to a former one. The St. Paul Park refinery and the rest of its parent company Andeavor was sold to Marathon Petroleum April 30 for over $23 billion. The deal includes Minnesota gas station chain SuperAmerica. Since the turn of the century, the refinery has gone from ownership of Ashland to Marathon to Northern Tier to Western Refining, Andeavor and now back to Marathon. Andeavor owned the refinery since last June.
WOODBURY — Nearing the end of her second term, Kelly Fenton has announced she is running for a third. Rep. Fenton, R-Woodbury, said she's running again because "there's a lot more I'd like to accomplish." One reason she's looking for another two-year House term is to continue the Interstates 94, 494 and 694 interchange improvements project she's been working since her first term. Fenton said she's succeeded in getting short-term fixes, but is looking to spend another term getting a more long-term solution on the books.
WASHINGTON COUNTY — The Department of Natural Resources is asking residents of Washington County not to light any fires after announcing that the current fire risk is extreme. Cottage Grove firefighters have seen more grass and brush fires this year than in past years, Deputy Chief PJ McMahon said, though every spring brings fires of this kind.