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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Authorities say alcohol use played a role in a near head-on crash late Saturday in Cottage Grove. Two people were injured in the crash at about 10 p.m. on Highway 61 near 80th Street, and one was airlifted to an area hospital. According to the State Patrol: A Dodge Journey driven by Nicole S. Hanebuth, 28, of Sartell, Minn., was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of the highway.
A Cottage Grove man has pleaded guilty to multiple charges in connection with the theft of more than $670,000 from the St. Paul-Minneapolis Catholic Archdiocese. Scott J. Domeier, 51, pleaded guilty May 15 to three counts of theft by swindle and two counts of filing a false tax return in Ramsey County District Court. He will be sentenced July 16 and faces up to four years in prison.
Police said two Shakopee men were arrested after a Cottage Grove homeowner interrupted a burglary and other residents reported thefts in the area. A man living in the 6700 block of Cattail Avenue called police at 5:30 a.m. May 22 after he interrupted a burglary in his garage. A suspect ran from the scene, but the homeowner gave the 911 operator a description and a neighbor reported seeing two suspects in a vehicle. Police established a perimeter in the neighborhood and stopped the suspects' vehicle. The suspects, brothers Quentin T. Murdock, 20, and 18-year-old Seantrell T.
St. Paul Park police were seeking the public's help in identifying the suspect in a vehicle theft. A woman was captured on a surveillance camera in the SuperAmerica store at about 6:10 a.m. on May 15. St. Paul Park investigator Kyle Lindquist said the suspect in the photo stole a vehicle from outside the gas station at 545 Summit Ave. at about 6:30 a.m. that morning. The woman is white with dark hair and was wearing a yellow tank top and a black shirt or jacket with dark pants or jeans. Anyone with information is asked to call Lindqust at 651-459-9785.
A state health survey has linked the consumption of unfiltered drinking water to higher PFC concentrations in surveyed residents of Cottage Grove and two other east-metro communities. The results, released recently by the Minnesota Department of Health, generally show that the longer that residents had consumed unfiltered drinking water, the higher the level of PFCs, or perfluorochemicals, in their blood. "The number of years that people drank (unfiltered water) is an important predictor," said Jean Johnson, director of the Health Department's Environmental Public Health Tracking and Biomoni
As the rain fell early Saturday morning, organizers of the "Standing Strong" anti-bullying 5K fundraiser expected a small group of participants for their run. Instead, nearly 200 runners and walkers braved the soggy conditions and took off from the starting line. The run in and around Kingston Park in Cottage Grove raised roughly $11,000 for student bullying prevention programs at Oltman and Cottage Grove middle schools.
After being spotted several times early Wednesday in Cottage Grove, a black bear was seen roaming neighborhoods west of Highway 61 again late in the evening. A homeowner near the 8000 block of Gary Boulevard called police after seeing a bear in the National Guard Armory parking lot about 10:20 p.m. Police didn't locate the bear in that area, but soon after an officer spotted the animal walking southbound on West Point Douglas Road.
Property damage A 15-year-old Cottage Grove male was referred to the Youth Service Bureau April 26 after he was riding in a vehicle and hitting mailboxes with a lacrosse stick in the 9300 block of Jergen Avenue. The teen hit mailboxes but didn't damage them. A Cottage Grove resident reported April 28 that an unknown person shattered the window of a vehicle parked at 80th Street and Grenadier Avenue, causing $850 damage. A Cottage Grove woman reported April 30 that windshields were cracked on two vehicles parked in the 8100 block of Hornell Avenue.
Police said a black bear was reported spotted multiple times early Wednesday in Cottage Grove, first in a residential neighborhood, then in a park and later along Highway 61. A resident called police about 12:30 a.m. after seeing a bear in a backyard in the 8600 block of Ivywood Avenue, near Jamaica Avenue and Hillside Trail.
A memorial service is planned for Friday for Cottage Grove native Danielle Jelinek. Jelinek, 27, went missing in December in rural Chisago County. Her body was found May 10, near a home where she was last seen. Her memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Friday, May 17, at Five Oaks Church, 4416 Radio Drive, according to Wulff Woodbury Funeral Home. A visitation will be for two hours prior to the service. Memorials are preferred to Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse, or to the donor's choice. Jelinek was a 2003 Park High School graduate.