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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The tea leaves suggest a good future for the Dollar Tree store in Cottage Grove. That essentially was the message conveyed by Dollar Tree district manager Dean Possehl as he and others celebrated the store's opening on Wednesday. The discount-merchandise retailer had been looking to open in Cottage Grove for some time, Possehl said.
A Cottage Grove woman faces criminal charges after she was found wandering a park late at night after leaving her young children unattended in a messy and unlocked apartment. Washington County prosecutors charged Rose A. Salkowicz, 23, with two counts of child neglect or endangerment, a gross misdemeanor, in connection with an incident earlier this month when she allegedly left her 3-year-old and 1-year-old child alone in an apartment and went to the nearby Oakwood Park.
Hundreds of bargain hunters sifted through piles and piles of children's clothing, perused boxes of books and discovered deals on toys and baby supplies Saturday at District 833's ECFE/School Readiness annual garage sale. The sale is a fundraiser for the Early Childhood and Family Education and School Readiness programs. All of the proceeds go toward the programs' advisory council. -Scott Wente
Mike and Patti Sobolewski want to savor their slice of Americana. The Sobolewskis, of Prescott, were second in line when the gates of the Cottage View Drive-In opened Friday for the first time this year, which the owner says will be the theater's final season. "It's just a slice of Americana," Mike said before he and wife Patti joined a couple hundred people parked below the big screen for opening night.
Could this be the beginning of the end for the Cottage View Drive-In? The outdoor theater in Cottage Grove begins its 2012 season tonight. On the big screen: "The Hunger Games," followed by "Wrath of the Titans." "The Hunger Games" begins at dusk. "Wrath of the Titans" will start around 10:45 p.m. This 47th season for the drive-in likely could be its last.
A Cottage Grove man is accused of stealing from motorhomes and vehicles parked at an outdoor storage site and then setting the motorhomes on fire. Washington County prosecutors charged 46-year-old Gerald E. Holmes with arson, property damage and theft in connection with an April 6 blaze at Acorn Mini Storage in Cottage Grove. Four motorhomes and two camper trailers were destroyed in the early morning fire. Investigators later that day tracked down Holmes in a Woodbury motel, where he was found sleeping and unresponsive, with a steak knife and cap gun.
District 833 Superintendent Mark Porter was passed up for a similar job with Seminole County Public Schools in Florida. Porter was among three finalists for the Seminole County superintendent position, but the school board there on Wednesday chose internal candidate Walt Griffin, the district's executive director.
Cottage Grove police were searching for two suspects after a woman reported that they broke into her house Wednesday morning and left only after she screamed at them. The 47-year-old woman was alone in her home at the time of the break-in around 9 a.m. The woman was not injured and did not recognize the suspects.
If careers were hairstyles, Mailee Kong and her coworkers just wanted to let their hair down. Kong had wanted to run a hair salon for 10 years, and she and stylists she worked with also wanted a new working environment free of a chain salon's corporate limitations. So they snipped their ties with a local salon and launched MK Salon, a full-service studio offering haircuts, permanents, colorings, extensions, hair conditioning treatments and other services. Kong owns the salon and is getting help from stylists Richard Hubal, Amy Jeszewski, Robin Muro and Trisha Kalista.
Four luxury motorhomes and two recreational trailers were destroyed in a fire early Friday at Acorn Mini Storage in Cottage Grove. A passerby reported a fire at 5:32 a.m. Initially, police believed garage-like storage units were on fire, but the blaze was limited to the motorhomes and pull-behind campers. Cottage Grove and St. Paul Park firefighters responded and had the fire mostly contained within about a half-hour, said PJ McMahon, Cottage Grove fire marshal.