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.
- Member for
- 2 years 9 months
Concerned about new school start times in School District 833? Don't be - for now. Frustrated by the prospect of charging bus fees for choice academic programs? There's no need to be - yet. Worried about kids walking up to two miles to school?
The South Washington County School District is providing Mark Porter a severance payment, cashed-out vacation and sick time and retirement benefits in a deal that averts a threatened lawsuit from the ousted superintendent. Under terms of his contract and an agreement reached last week, Porter will receive a severance of $36,758 in addition to cashed-out vacation and sick-leave hours and nearly $21,000 in his retirement account. Porter and the District 833 School Board's attorney said in separate interviews the agreement represents an amicable separation.
A contract offer for the incoming District 833 schools chief includes a larger salary and lacks terms that were at the center of controversy surrounding Superintendent Mark Porter's dismissal. The South Washington County School Board offerred Keith Jacobus a superintendent salary of $178,000 a year with modest annual raises and other terms that are standard in the field, the board's attorney said. Board members unanimously voted to approve the contract offer during a meeting Thursday, May 23.
The South Washington County School Board is offering an agreement to avoid a threatened lawsuit from ousted Superintendent Mark Porter over his contract. The board met in closed session on Thursday, May 24, to discuss a threatened lawsuit by Porter related to a "dispute" over his contract, board Chairwoman Leslee Boyd said.
Some bold copper thieves found an unusual victim: police. More specifically, thieves this week stole more than $11,000 in copper pipe and wire from the construction site of the new Cottage Grove city hall and public safety building. There were three theft reports, but the big one was the loss of $10,000 worth of copper pipe. The pipe, which was to be installed in the air conditioning system, was being stored inside the building along Keats Avenue. The pipe theft was reported Tuesday, May 22.
Nearly 5,000 Xcel Energy customers in the south Washington County area were without power for a time Thursday morning. Power went out to 4,843 customers in Cottage Grove, Woodbury, Hastings and Afton. The outage started at 8:12 a.m. and power was restored to all customers by 9:30 a.m., said Xcel Energy spokeswoman Mary Sandok. Xcel had not determined the cause of the outage, Sandok said.
Police said the pickup truck driver injured in a crash with a semitrailer on Wednesday in Cottage Grove may have been under the influence of marijuana. Police said the 26-year-old Maplewood man was hospitalized after his pickup truck was struck by a semitrailer shortly before noon at the intersection of 70th Street and Lamar Avenue in old Cottage Grove. He was transported by ambulance to Regions Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. "The driver was suspected to be under the influence," Cottage Grove Police Capt. Pete Koerner said.
The state candidate filing period started Tuesday, May 22, and one local legislative hopeful signed his campaign papers on opening day. Derrick Lehrke, a Cottage Grove City Council member who is running for House District 54A, filed for election on Tuesday, his birthday. Lehrke is the Republican-endorsed candidate running for the seat that opened up after Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, decided against re-election. His DFL opponent, Dan Schoen, a St.
Law enforcement officers are using a tougher tactic to fight online bullying among teenagers: they're seeking criminal charges of defamation and harassment. Police who work in local schools said they are seeing students increasingly turning to Facebook, text-messaging and other social media to harass peers. With Facebook, the so-called cyberbullying allows other students to pile on and exacerbate the harassment or ridicule. One recent case at Park High School prompted police to take an unusual step and recommend a male student be charged with criminal defamation.
The food and furniture was hustled out the door behind the last patrons to leave Applebee's last Sunday night. Over the ensuing 66 hours, restaurant staff and construction workers worked feverishly to give the restaurant a makeover inside and out. They installed new seating throughout the dining and bar areas and added features in an attempt to strengthen the restaurant's connection to the Cottage Grove community. "It's just a fresh update; it needed it," general manager Mandy Gillstrom said of the restaurant that's been open about 10 years.