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.
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Washington County had a higher voter turnout rate last week than the overall state rate. An estimated 82.4 percent of Washington County's registered voters cast ballots in the Nov. 6 election. Statewide, about 76 percent of eligible voters went to the polls or voted absentee, according to the secretary of state's unofficial election results. Washington County saw 172,530 total voters.
A Cottage Grove man found dead in his car Monday died from an accidental fall and hypothermia, according to police and medical officials. Cottage Grove police on Tuesday identified the victim as 66-year-old Dallas G. Jensen. He died as a result of trauma caused by falling and hypothermia, according to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's office, which performed an autopsy. The death was determined to be accidental. Emergency crews were called to a home in the 8800 block of Hamlet Avenue at 4:29 p.m.
It's easy to see the Cottage Grove Veterans Memorial when walking into the new City Hall. That is by design -- literally. The new memorial near the front door to City Hall was designed as the focal point to the civic building, said Gary Bloedel, chairman of an advisory committee that worked on the memorial honoring U.S.
Theft Cottage Grove Middle School, 9775 Indian Blvd., reported Oct. 12 that $7 was stolen from a student's locker. A 12-year-old Cottage Grove male student was referred to the Youth Service Bureau for theft. A Cottage Grove resident reported Oct. 15 that someone stole 15 cents from an unlocked vehicle parked in the 7800 block of Hemingway Avenue. A Cottage Grove resident reported Oct. 17 that a 1995 Buick Park Avenue was stolen from a residence in the 6700 block of Timber Ridge Court. The car was valued at $2,500, and had not been located.
Cottage Grove police for years sought a new facility because they said their existing department lacked adequate space for patrol officers, investigators, evidence and witness interviews. They got all of that in the new Cottage Grove City Hall, but did not expect that a murder-suicide would test the new facility before officers had officially moved in. Mere hours before police were to set up in their new offices last month, 22-year-old Chevel Richard chased down his wife, Tensia Martinez Richard, in a Cottage Grove parking lot and gunned her down in a sandwich shop before turning the gun on
Katie Sieben is headed back to the state Capitol - and to a Senate controlled again by her fellow Democrats. Sieben, DFL-Cottage Grove, coasted to re-election Tuesday, winning 63-36 percent over Republican challenger Janis Quinlan. The unofficial election results gave Sieben 26,998 votes to Quinlan's 15,256. Sieben, DFL-Cottage Grove, will serve a third term in the Senate, where she was first elected in 2006 after serving four years in the House.
State Rep. Denny McNamara was coasting to re-election but saw his Republican Party lose control of the Minnesota House. McNamara, R-Hastings, was ahead of DFLer Joanna Bayers 57-42 percent in the House District 54B race, which includes part of south Washington County. McNamara had 8,309 votes to Bayers' 6,073 with 14 of 19 precincts reporting. McNamara has served five terms in the Minnesota House. With Republicans in control of that chamber for the past two years, McNamara has served as chairman of a House environment and natural resources committee.
Democrats easily reclaimed a south Washington County legislative seat they lost in a squeaker of an election two years ago. Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party candidate Dan Schoen handily won the Minnesota House District 54A race, beating his chief opponent, Republican Derrick Lehrke, by a 54-37 percent margin. "It's quite a night," Schoen said as he left a DFL Party gathering in St. Paul at 2 a.m. Wednesday, hours after he celebrated election returns with local Democrats at River Oaks Golf Course in Cottage Grove. Schoen rolled to his first election win with 11,069 votes to Lehrke's 7,664.
Newport voters picked incumbents over challengers Tuesday. Mayor Tim Geraghty and City Council members Tom Ingemann and Bill Sumner all won re-election. Geraghty garnered 56 percent of the vote. His main challenger, Steven Gallagher, had 36 percent of the vote. Geraghty drew 983 votes to Gallagher's 628. Gallagher is an incumbent council member. A third mayoral candidate, Paul Hanson, drew 6 percent, or 115 votes. Ingemann was the top vote-getter among four council candidates with 815 votes, or 27 percent. Sumner had 743 votes, good for 25 percent.
Incumbent state Sen. Katie Sieben held a 62-37 percent advantage over Republican challenger Janis Quinlan in early election returns Tuesday. Sieben had 10,214 votes to Quinlan's 6,103 with 18 of 34 precincts reporting in the Senate District 54 race. Sieben, DFL-Cottage Grove, is seeking her third term in the Senate, where she was first elected in 2006 after serving four years in the House. Quinlan, a realtor, was making her first bid for elected office. In 2010 she campaigned for Sieben's Republican opponent, Karin Housley.