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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Sheka Mansaray is not one man out to save the world. He just wants improve one country 50 students at a time. Mansaray, a 2007 Park High School graduate, said education has created many opportunities for him, and now he hopes to do the same for young people in his native Sierra Leone. The 21-year-old Minnesota State University-Mankato student started a foundation this year to raise money to fund a new education venture for youths in the west African country. The initiative is called "50strong 50wise" and Mansaray's goal is to raise $10,000 by the end of 2011.
The New Life Academy boys basketball team's tournament play continues after the squad topped Christ Household of Faith 57-51 in a Section 4A second round match-up Thursday in Woodbury. The game was a tale of two halves. The Eagles were outscored by Christ Household of Faith 32-19 in the first bracket. But NLA came out of halftime to erase the 13-point deficit and take a lead with 4:51 remaining. The Eagles outscored the Lions 38-19 in the second half to secure the win. NLA's Alex Heiser led all scorers with 20 points.
A Newport man will serve time in jail for hitting his toddler-aged daughter to the point of causing bruising as he watched her while the girl's mother was in jail herself. Matthew D. Smith, 22, was ordered Thursday to spend 180 days in jail and complete a domestic violence program as part of his Washington County District Court sentencing for malicious punishment of a child under age 4, a felony. According to the criminal complaint, Smith was caring for the girl, then age 2, for a weekend in August 2010 while the girl's mother was in Washington County Jail.
An age-old prank caused $3,200 in damage and will result in felony charges. Cottage Grove police say two juveniles and an 18-year-old Cottage Grove woman will be charged with felony property damage after they allegedly threw eggs at parked vehicles. A Cottage Grove resident reported that vehicles were been struck by eggs three nights in a row. One vehicle was hit while parked in the 7100 block of Imperial Ave., and then that vehicle and two others were hit by eggs the following two nights while parked in the 8100 block of Janero Ave.
Citations issued by Cottage Grove police in the past two weeks: On-street parking - 72 Speeding - 16 No proof of insurance - 8 Driving after suspension - 5 No Minnesota driver's license - 5 Expired registration - 4 Small amount of marijuana - 3 Driving after revocation - 3 Stop sign - 3 Seat belt - 3 Inattentive driving - 2 Fourth-degree DUI - 2 Minor consumption - 1 Harassment restraining order violation - 1 Traffic light - 1 License not in possession -1 Failure to display registration - 1 Wrong way - 1 Driving after cancellation - 1 Handicapped parking - 1 Failure
Fraud A Cottage Grove woman reported Feb. 23 that someone made a charge to her bank account for $241. Three purchases were made over the Internet. Burglary A Cottage Grove woman reported Feb. 18 that someone had entered a residence in the 9400 block of 72nd Street. Nothing was reported stolen, but the woman said alcoholic beverages were consumed by the suspect or suspects in the residence. Forced entry was gained through a window. Police received a report Feb. 27 that someone entered an unoccupied residence in the 7900 block of 76th Street and stole the washing machine.
South Washington County residents have an opportunity this weekend to ask questions of freshman state Rep. John Kriesel. Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, will host his first town hall-style meeting Saturday in Cottage Grove. The event will be from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. at American Motorsports Bar and Grill, 7240 E. Point Douglas Road. It is open to the public. Fellow Republican Rep. Denny McNamara of Hastings will join Kriesel Saturday.
Police are investigating a reported theft of $650 from Grey Cloud Elementary School in Cottage Grove. An employee at the school reported that $650 cash was stolen from the school Feb. 15. Cottage Grove police Sgt. Steve McCarthy said Thursday that the case was still an active investigation, so would not provide details. No arrests have been made as part of the investigation, McCarthy said. District officials declined to comment because of the police investigation.
Former Washington County Commissioner Myra Peterson was passed up for a spot on the Metropolitan Council. Peterson applied for a seat on the regional planning council in Gov. Mark Dayton's administration, but is not among the 16 people Dayton plans to appoint. Dayton's office released the list Wednesday; formal appointments are planned for Monday. Peterson served about 18 years on the Washington County Board, but lost re-election last fall to Autumn Lehrke, like Peterson a Cottage Grove resident.
Disagreements over pageantry and promotion led to the formation of a new Cottage Grove ambassadors program and the dissolution of a long-standing royalty organization. Cottage Grove Strawberry Fest organizers are gearing up for their first-ever Scholarship Ambassador Program this year, just as the Cottage Grove Royalty Scholarship Program is waving farewell. Cottage Grove Royalty organizers said they were making changes to their program to coincide with their 30th year, but decided that their show will not go on.