Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
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State park visitors will have to break camp by Thursday afternoon if a state government shutdown begins Friday. Campers at Afton State Park and other parks around the state will have to be out of the park by 4 p.m. Thursday, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The parks were not deemed essential government services in a Wednesday court ruling, so would not be staffed in the event of a shutdown.
A husband and wife whose bodies were found in their St. Paul Park home last month died of suicide, according to the medical examiner report. James and Sandra Elmquist, both 61, were found dead in their Hastings Avenue home May 21. They died of suicide by mixed drug toxicity, St. Paul Park Police Chief Mike Monahan, citing the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's report. The medical examiner's report was issued Tuesday. The man and woman apparently used prescription drugs to commit suicide, Monahan said.
A state government shutdown would have a varying impact on south Washington County residents, putting some people out of work and disrupting services for others. A shutdown, which would begin Friday if state leaders do not reach a budget deal, could send some state workers home without a paycheck, delay area transportation projects, slow or halt social services that are paid for by the state but carried out at the county level, and may force cities and counties to tap reserve funds to cover routine bills. State parks likely would close, affecting plans for outdoors enthusiasts planning July
Two Cottage Grove women were ticketed for assault following a fight at a local bar. Police cited a 25-year-old woman and 26-year-old woman for fifth-degree assault after they allegedly pushed, scratched and pulled the hair of two other women during an incident early in the morning of June 11 in the bar area of the VFW, 9260 East Point Douglas Road. The victims were a 32-year-old Cottage Grove woman and a 26-year-old woman from New Prague. The two women who were cited were the aggressors, the report said.
A Hastings man faces burglary charges after he allegedly broke into Cottage Grove homes while the residents were inside, stole various items and fled quietly into the night. Sean M.
Like many gardeners, Duane and Mary Jane Heng started small. After buying their 20-acre Dale Road property 35 years ago, Duane began converting the undeveloped land to yard and garden. "I had a little garden when I started," Duane said. "Of course, that expanded." Each growing season the Hengs added to their gardens a little bit, Duane said while walking his property recently. The vegetable garden was enlarged. They planted apple trees. The perennial plants expanded. More annual flowers were planted.
Former state Rep. Karla Bigham will serve on a state sports panel. Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday appointed Bigham to the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission. The commission oversees the National Sports Center in Blaine other sports facilities around the state, and promotes amateur sporting events. Bigham's term ends Jan. 6, 2014. Bigham, of Cottage Grove, served four years in the Minnesota House. She did not seek re-election last year.
Washington County Commissioner Bill Pulkrabek faces his first court appearance next month in a domestic assault case. Pulkrabek was charged last week with misdemeanor domestic assault in connection with a May 30 incident at his Woodbury residence. Pulkrabek has denied the allegations against him. Pulkrabek is schedule to be arraigned at 8:30 a.m. July 27 in Center City. A Chisago County judge is hearing the case to avoid a conflict of interest.
The Strawberry Fest medallion was found Tuesday morning, ending the seven-day hunt in Cottage Grove. The medallion was found by Connor Mitchell-Murray, 11, and his parents, Mike and Colleen Murray. They found it hidden under the backstop at the baseball field at Oakwood Park. The medallion, stored in a plastic baggie and wrapped in tape, was beneath a pile of leaves.
Cottage Grove and Hastings police arrested a Hastings man early Monday for allegedly burglarizing a string of occupied homes in the two cities. Sean M. Ancel, 33, was arrested without incident after allegedly entering two Cottage Grove homes early Monday, police said. He was booked into Washington County Jail on suspicion of first-degree burglary and could face criminal charges tied to incidents in both cities, police said. According to Cottage Grove and Hastings police, Ancel is accused of entering occupied homes through open or unlocked garage doors and stealing wallets and purses.