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 Cottage Grove man was sentenced to more than eight years in federal prison after pleading guilty to defrauding investors in a $5 million real estate scheme. Robert W. Dufresne, 47, was ordered Tuesday in federal court to spend 97 months in prison for committing one count of mail fraud and one count of money laundering. The sentencing came after Dufresne last year admitted that over a three-year period beginning in October 2005 he defrauded investors whom he had sought to fund a house-flipping business, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
The next South Washington County Schools superintendent must be honest, trustworthy and well-schooled in education curriculum. That superintendent also should make it a priority to maintain small class sizes and build trust with the community, while being aware that the greatest challenge facing the district is teachers and the public's lack of trust in the administration and concerns about class sizes. That snapshot of the district and its superintendent needs was captured in a recent survey of district employees, residents and students, and in focus groups convened as the District 833 Scho
Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said the prospect of jail time alone is not enough curb the growth of prescription drug abuse. "I can lock these guys up all day long, but it's a public health issue," Orput said. Orput and fellow east-metro prosecutors are pledging to work together with law enforcement and other service agencies to fight criminal activity. They formed the East Metro Crime Prevention Coalition and plan to improve their communication, share educational resources and crime prevention tactics and coordinate their response to emerging criminal activity.
Katie Schwartz said her unsuccessful bid for school board opened her eyes to a different possibility: running for the Legislature. Schwartz said Thursday she will seek the DFL endorsement to challenge Rep. John Kriesel this fall. Schwartz, of St.
The overnight mix of snow, sleet and rain slowed the Wednesday morning commute and left south Washington County residents and plow operators with a heavy, wet mess. The storm started with rain Tuesday afternoon and turned to a icy, slushy mix in the evening.
Karin Housley is not ready to move on after a redistricting decision put her and Sen. Katie Sieben in separate legislative districts, preventing a rematch of their 2010 race. Instead, Housley may move in so she can challenge Sieben again. A judicial panel's new legislative boundaries, released Feb. 21, kept most of south Washington County together in one Senate district but carved out St. Mary's Point, where Housley lives. "I haven't ruled it out," Housley, a Republican, said of waging a rematch against Sieben.
South Washington County is home to a number of food programs and one of them is marking a year helping local residents. Community United Church of Christ in St. Paul Park has served as a distribution site for a free food program for low-income elderly residents and young families since early 2011. "It's gone really well," Community UCC Pastor Oby Ballinger said. "From our initial list we've built up to anywhere between 20 and 25 people a month." About a half-dozen regular volunteers show up each month to help with the distribution, Ballinger said.
Advanced Sportswear owner Terry Thompson said there were a number of factors that led to his business's move, but one stood out. "It's just a way better location," he said. After more than 25 years in Cottage Grove, Thompson recently relocated his custom embroidery and screenprinting operation to the Newport Center shopping mall.
State Rep. John Kriesel announced Wednesday he won't challenge Sen. Katie Sieben this fall, after he said he had been encouraged to run against the fellow Cottage Grove legislator. Kriesel, a Republican, used Twitter to suggest he instead will run for a second House term in November. "Thanks for the nice texts and emails, but I am not considering a MN Senate run at this time," Kriesel tweeted Wednesday morning. "The MN House is more rowdy.
A judicial redistricting decision left much of south Washington County untouched, but drew one line that alters at least the local Senate race this fall. New legislative district boundaries released Tuesday keep most south Washington County communities together but exclude St. Mary's Point. St. Mary's Point resident Karin Housley, who nearly beat Sen. Katie Sieben, DFL-Cottage Grove, two years ago, had planned to run against Sieben again in 2012.