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
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South Washington County residents are too generous. Well, at least their generosity is too much for Stone Soup Thrift Shop to accommodate in its current space. The St. Paul Park thrift store is expanding as it sees continued growth in donations and shoppers and no extra space to store donated clothing and household items before they are sold.
South Washington County lawmakers have accepted paychecks during the state government shutdown, but handled the pay differently. Sen. Katie Sieben and Reps. Denny McNamara and John Kriesel were on a list of 138 legislators who did not elect to have their pay withheld during the shutdown, which reaches Day 19 on Tuesday.
South Washington County lawmakers said they are not proud of the budget deal reached in an attempt to end the state government shutdown, but likely will vote for it anyway. "I definitely wouldn't call it a masterpiece of a bill," said Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove. "It's something that both sides aren't thrilled with." Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, and Republican legislative leaders agreed to rely on borrowing to pay for $1.4 billion in new state spending in a two-year, $35 billion budget.
Cottage Grove was not Tom Moy's destination when he left China for the United States in 1939, but it would became home to him -- and his namesake restaurant. One generation of ownership later, Tom Moy Café is celebrating its 50th year in business.
Authorities are pursuing criminal charges against a 37-year-old man who allegedly broke into a Cottage Grove home, stole jewelry and saving bonds and was later tracked down in Minneapolis after ditching a backpack containing the stolen items. Mack D. Chambliss, who has no permanent address, was arrested Thursday in connection with the Wednesday burglary in the 9400 block of Kimbro Avenue. According to Cottage Grove police: The homeowner returned to the house about 8 p.m. and found a garage service door open and a door to the residence open.
Cottage Grove picked a construction company a contract to extend West Point Douglas Road, but the project cannot begin until the state government shutdown ends. The city wants to extend the Highway 61 frontage road about 800 feet to the signal-controlled intersection of Highway 61 and Manning Avenue.
A divided Cottage Grove City Council rejected a staff recommendation to purchase iPad2 computer tablets for use by council and commission members at City Hall. The city wants to save money by not printing paper copies of meeting documents, which can reach hundreds of pages per council member for a routine meeting. City staff had proposed purchasing nine Apple iPad2 devices for a total of $5,433, or roughly $600 apiece.
Monica Schafer-Brooks said she is "neutral" on whether the city of Cottage Grove should build a new public safety and city hall building. But she is firmly in the "yes" column on whether citizens should weigh in on the project. "I personally just believe everybody should have the right to vote," she said. Schafer-Brooks was among roughly four-dozen people who on Wednesday held signs advocating for a vote on the project and marched down 80th Street to a Cottage Grove City Council meeting to voice their objection to the planned construction.
Opponents of Cottage Grove's proposed city hall/public safety building plan a rally and march against the project tonight, and supporters of the project are quietly organizing a counter-demonstration. City Council member Derrick Lehrke and residents opposed to the $16.2 million building distributed fliers and used a website and social media this week to promote a "walk to be heard" on the project. Lehrke has promoted the event but said he is not leading the effort. "This is your opportunity to become involved and be heard," an announcement for the rally reads.
Washington County authorities allege that a group of people burglarized and vandalized Afton State Park over the holiday weekend, ransacking an office and damaging cabins while the park was shuttered because of the state government shutdown. Sheriff Bill Hutton said since the park was closed, nobody was around to stop three buildings from being burglarized and damaged either late Sunday or early Monday.