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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Myra Peterson's community contributions don't fit neatly into a specific category. She volunteers with local organizations, advocates for others and was an elected official for many years. The city of Cottage Grove's recent recognition of Peterson reflected that variety of public service.
Two years ago Cottage Grove native and lifelong resident Bev Gross was awarded local preservationist of the year. "I thought, well, that's going to be it now," said Gross, content with that recognition for her volunteer efforts to unearth and chronicle Cottage Grove history. "And now all of a sudden this comes up," she said, laughing. Gross was referring to her latest recognition: she was named Cottage Grove Volunteer of the Year for 2011.
A 19-year-old man faces felony charges after admitting to police that he had consensual sex with a 14-year-old Cottage Grove girl repeatedly over a number of months, according to a Washington County District Court criminal complaint. Joshua A. Phillips, who has no permanent address, is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct. It is a felony involving sex with a victim under age 16 with whom the suspect had a significant relationship. Phillips also faces a felony charge of soliciting a child under age 15 in a sex act.
Park High School will have to settle on someone other than the leader of the free world as this year's commencement speaker. The school earlier this year entered a national contest to have President Obama speak to the 2011 graduating class, but did not make the list of schools still in the running for the presidential speech. Park staff and students put together an application for the Race to the Top Commencement Challenge, a contest to highlight the high school doing the most to prepare students for post-secondary education and a career.
Challenging life experiences prompted a new professional challenge for Karyn Wincentsen and Kerri Koch. The two one-time coworkers became friends and later business partners, recently opening their own full-service salon in St. Paul Park. They started taking clients at their Hairitage Beauty Salon last month. "We wanted to make our own money," Wincentsen said of the decision to start a business. Neither woman thought seriously about running a salon before the fall of 2009. Wincentsen had been a stylist for a few years. She met Koch while working at B & G Hair Co.
Diane Johnson was excited when the Hallmark greeting card company chose her homemade card among others to sell online. Then Hallmark fans liked it, too, and now Johnson's card - a funny birthday card featuring a childhood photo of her husband, Fred - won a second contest and will be sold in Hallmark stores this summer. "It was a nice surprise," Johnson, of Cottage Grove, said of winning the card contest.
Theft Two Cottage Grove females, ages 13 and 14, were referred to the Youth Service Bureau for shoplifting after they allegedly stole lingerie from Kohl's, 7990 Hardwood Ave., on April 8. SuperAmerica, 7162 East Point Douglas Road, reported a $20 gas drive-off April 9. Police were given a vehicle description, but no license plate number. A Rosemount man reported April 9 that his wallet was stolen from a vehicle parked at New Life Evangelical Church, 11245 West Point Douglas Road. The wallet contained credit cards.
Area emergency crews were called to help extinguish a fire Monday afternoon on the roof of a manufacturing building at 3M Cottage Grove Center. 3M officials notified their internal emergency squad of a fire around 3 p.m., said Vickie Batroot, 3M site director. The company then called in Cottage Grove fire crews to assist in extinguishing the fire and assessing it. St. Paul Park fire officials also responded. It was not immediately known where the fire started, but it was observed in duct work on the roof.
The former Rush nightclub along Highway 61 in Cottage Grove was reported burglarized. Cottage Grove police said that an officer had notified the owner of the building on April 17 that the front doors were not secure and that someone needed to secure them. When the owner went to the vacant club at 7359 West Point Douglas Road, he found that someone had been in the building and called police April 20. It was not immediately known whether anything was stolen, according to the report. The case is under investigation.
A Cottage Grove man could face criminal charges after he allegedly tried stealing flat-screen TVs from a Newport camper dealer. Newport police were called to Imperial Camper Sales, 1156 Hastings Ave., about 6:30 a.m. April 5 on a report of an unknown situation. An officer heard pounding coming from inside a camper and then saw a man exit carrying two wooden boxes, according to the report. The man was walking toward police, so an officer ordered the man to the ground. The man complied and was identified as Michael D. Jerry, 41. The wooden boxes contained 19-inch flat-screen TVs.