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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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.
Local Republicans say their strategy to keep two legislative seats and pick up a third this November comes down to working hard and raising lots of money. That was among the messages stressed as GOP activists in Senate District 54 on Saturday picked first-time candidate Janis Quinlan to challenge Sen. Katie Sieben and endorsed Cottage Grove City Council member Derrick Lehrke for an open Minnesota House seat that could be among Democrats' top targets this fall. Quinlan, a real estate agent and St.
Republicans picked first-time candidate Janis Quinlan to challenge Sen. Katie Sieben and threw their support behind Cottage Grove City Council member Derrick Lehrke for an open Minnesota House seat. Quinlan, a real estate agent and St. Paul Park resident, won the Senate District 54 endorsement on the fourth round of balloting at the district convention Saturday in Hastings. Quinlan beat fellow first-time candidate Chad Rediske, of Cottage Grove, who conceded to Quinlan after trailing in each of the four rounds.
Cottage Grove resident Chad Rediske will seek the GOP endorsement this weekend to run against state Sen. Katie Sieben. Rediske, 39, said Thursday he will try to unseat Sieben, a Cottage Grove Democrat, in his first bid for public office after years of interest in politics. "I want to see the slowing in the rate of growth of government," Rediske said.
Cottage Grove City Council member Derrick Lehrke is running for the Minnesota House. Lehrke says he is campaigning to replace the retiring Rep. John Kriesel. Lehrke, a Republican, on Tuesday created a Facebook page dedicated to a bid for House District 54A and described himself on a revised Twitter account as a candidate to replace Kriesel. Lehrke was elected to the Cottage Grove council in 2010 after campaigning hard against the city hall project.
Cottage Grove's state funding request for its small-business incubator project is in play as lawmakers put together a public works package. The city is seeking $50,000 in state-borrowed funds to help convert City Hall on 80th Street into a facility where startup businesses could rent space at a discounted rate. The incubator project would launch after city staff move to the new municipal building this fall. The city's request was included in the Senate's public works construction bill, also known as a bonding bill, at the full $50,000. The Senate plan was released Wednesday. Sen.
Police are seeking the state's help in identifying who threw Molotov cocktails at a Cottage Grove townhome, causing a fire that damaged a patio. Cottage Grove police said they sent two bottle explosives to the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for forensic testing following the March 13 incident. Emergency crews were called to a townhome at 8849 90th St. at about 3 a.m. for possible arson after neighbors reported seeing a woman trying to extinguish a fire on the patio.
State Rep. John Kriesel cited family reasons as he announced Thursday he won't seek re-election to the Minnesota House, abruptly stepping away from a rising political career and shaking up a south Washington County legislative race. Kriesel, a Cottage Grove Republican, announced on a Twin Cities sports radio station that he'll step down at the end of his first term. Kriesel gained attention as he ran for election in 2010 because of his background as a National Guard soldier who lost his legs to a roadside bomb while serving in Iraq in 2006.
Cottage Grove's post office is on the market. The U.S. Postal Service is trying to sell its main post office at 7130 East Point Douglas Road as it plans to move retail services and post office boxes to an annex facility on the west side of Highway 61. The property is being marketed by Minneapolis-based real estate firm CBRE, which has posted a For Sale sign outside the building.
Cottage Grove lawmakers want the state to help jumpstart local small businesses by funding a headquarters for fledging start-ups. A bill by GOP Rep. John Kriesel and Sen.