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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A neighbor helped one person escape a Cottage Grove house fire without injury early Wednesday, about 12 hours after crews fought another residential fire. Firefighters responded to a house at 7588 Iverson Ave. at 7:17 a.m. Wednesday after a neighbor saw fire outside the home and called 911. One resident was home at the time of the fire but got out of the house safely, said Cottage Grove Fire Chief Bob Byerly. A neighbor had knocked on the door to alert the resident inside. Investigators believe the fire started in or near a flower pot on the front steps.
A Hastings woman was ticketed by St. Paul Park police following a two-car crash that sent four people to the hospital and caused one vehicle to slam into an apartment building. The crash happened shortly before 7 p.m. on Sunday in the 300 block of Pullman Avenue. As police arrived, witnesses were performing CPR on victims, two of whom were briefly unconscious, according to the police report. The report said Marcela Parks, 23, of Hastings, was driving a 1997 Dodge Intrepid that collided with a 1997 Toyota Camry driven by Chou Her, 40, of St. Paul, at 6:57 p.m.
The Cottage Grove Planning Commission is set to review a proposal to build a Walmart store on a portion of the Cottage View Drive-In site. A public hearing on the project is scheduled for the commission's meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, July 23, at City Hall, 7516 80th St. Walmart has proposed a 177,000-square-foot Supercenter store with groceries and a drive-thru pharmacy on 22 acres of land east of Highway 61 and north of Keats Avenue. City review of the development proposal twice has been delayed.
The Cottage Grove post office is getting a new address. Post office customers will begin using the U.S. Postal Service's annex facility in Cottage Grove's industrial park on the west side of Highway 61 beginning Monday, July 30. The change comes as a result of the postal service's sale of the main post office building at 7130 East Point Douglas Road. The building was purchased by Manufacturing Solutions of Minnesota. As a result, all of the customer services and post office boxes are being moved to the annex facility at 7523 95th St.
Trevor Burrell wants to feed hungry children and he hopes others in the Cottage Grove have a similar appetite for volunteerism. Burrell, a senior at Park High School this fall, is organizing and raising money for a food-packing event through Feed My Starving Children, the nonprofit organization that provides meals to youth in countries around the world. Ahead of the Nov. 9 event at Park in Cottage Grove, Burrell is seeking donations from individuals, civic groups and businesses.
A Cottage Grove woman despondent after she was charged with manslaughter in the death of her newborn son has died after she set herself on fire, according to police. Toni A. Medrano, 29, died of injuries she sustained after using a flammable liquid to set herself on fire last week outside a St. Paul Park home, St. Paul Park Police Chief Mike Monahan said Monday. His department and the Ramsey County medical examiner are investigating her death. Emergency crews were called to a home in the 1300 block of Chicago Avenue about 4 a.m.
The Newport Volunteer Fire Department might want to plan to make more booya at its 60th-annual booya feed next year. Hundreds turned out for this year's booya feed - held Saturday and Sunday, July 7-8 - and the department was running out of the stew-like meal by early Sunday afternoon. The event started Saturday evening with a parade. On Sunday afternoon at the main fire station, people could buy cups of booya for $3.50 and other food and beverages, play Bingo and other games and try for raffle items. There also were children's games.
A Cottage Grove woman charged with manslaughter in the death of her newborn son tried to commit suicide by setting herself on fire this week, according to police. Emergency crews were sent to a St. Paul Park home about 4 a.m. Monday after someone at the home reported that a woman was burned after attempting suicide by starting herself on fire in the backyard. A police report identified the victim as Toni A. Medrano, 29, of Cottage Grove.
As a 17-year-old, John Miller enlisted in the Marines with a focus on intelligence because it would help his post-military career prospects. It also provided Miller with impressive work while still in the Marines. A Cottage Grove native, Miller is about halfway through his first overseas deployment, serving at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan's Helmand Province. The 19-year-old's job is to collect intelligence about the region's battle space and then present it daily at a briefing of 50 to 60 military officials including a commanding general. The job can be stressful, Miller acknowledged.
A fire damaged a second-floor balcony on a Newport home Monday afternoon, two days after a blaze destroyed a Newport garage containing collector trucks. Firefighters and emergency responders were called around 3:30 p.m. to a house fire at 455 Sixth St., about a block from Pioneer Park. Newport firefighters called St. Paul Park and Cottage Grove authorities for backup, but the fire appeared to be contained to the balcony and exterior door framing.