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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Washington County Board member Autumn Lehrke is the new chair of the Red Rock Corridor Commission. Lehrke, of Cottage Grove, will head the regional transit commission for 2013. The commission plans and advocates for improved commuter transit projects from St. Paul to Hastings, passing through south Washington County. Commission members selected Lehrke over Cottage Grove City Council member Jen Peterson, who also was nominated for commission chair during a Jan. 31 meeting.
A chance traffic stop in one city and perked-ear police in another helped connect alleged thieves to a Cottage Grove home burglary. A woman called police at noon Feb. 8 after returning to her home in the 10000 block of 70th Street and finding that the service door to her attached garage had been broken.
Puffin, Lucky and Caramel can stay in their Jeffrey Avenue home for at least a little longer. The three chickens, kept as pets by Cottage Grove residents Brian and Rykna Olson, got a reprieve after the City Council agreed to consider allowing poultry and fowl on urban residential lots. That decision last week allowed the Olsons to keep their three birds for at least another month, just as it also gave Cottage Grove resident Bob Burtman and his family several more weeks with their four ducks. "Our ducks are members of our family," Burtman told the council Feb.
Rep. Dan Schoen has entered the gun debate at the Minnesota Capitol as he proposes using law enforcement information to possibly limit gun permits to people with untreated severe mental illness. "This is not about trying to prevent them from getting it," Schoen, DFL-St. Paul Park, said of someone with a severe mental illness who seeks a gun permit.
The Zellner brothers nearly retraced the Coen brothers' famed filmmaking footsteps in south Washington County. A movie crew led by Austin, Texas, filmmakers David and Nathan Zellner spent several days recently filming in local communities for an independent film whose plot plays off a scene from the 1996 Joel and Ethan Coen hit movie "Fargo." Filming for the modest-budget indie film "Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter" quietly brought a roughly 30-person crew to a number of local areas: Afton Alps ski resort; a farm field in Cottage Grove; Bailey School Forest Park and the Boyd Motel, both in Newpo
The city of Newport is looking at electronic billboards as a new revenue source. City Council members recently agreed to consider proposals from electronic billboard providers interested in erecting new signs on public property along highways in the city. In exchange for installing a billboard on city property, the billboard company would share its advertising revenue with the city. Council member Tracy Rahm said the city is in "very preliminary discussions" about allowing electronic billboards. The council discussed the issue Jan.
Jen Peterson was the top vote-getter in the Cottage Grove City Council race last fall, and she had another campaign distinction: Peterson raised and spent more money than all other candidates in the city's races. In her successful bid for a second term, Peterson collected nearly $5,000 in donations and spent nearly as much, according to her final campaign finance filing. She and the other two council incumbents who were re-elected -- Justin Olsen and Mayor Myron Bailey -- had the three largest campaign accounts. From July until after the Nov.
Democrats spent more and won more in south Washington County last fall. Sen. Katie Sieben far outspent her opponent in the 2012 election, and freshman Rep. Dan Schoen also had more resources than his challengers, according to final campaign finance reports submitted last week. In the other local legislative race, Republican Rep. Denny McNamara's spending margin over his Democratic opponent resembled his lopsided win on Nov. 6. Schoen, DFL-St.
They've spent nearly a year learning and now they're close to a decision. After a methodical, months-long educational process, Cottage Grove Charter Commission members soon will decide whether to write a new governing document to put before voters in a referendum or to leave the city's operating structure unchanged. A charter essentially would serve as a city constitution and could include checks on big-ticket city spending and borrowing and other provisions intended to provide more citizen control that do not exist under the city's current statutory structure. The commission generally has
Cottage Grove city officials want to know what local shoppers want. The city has launched an online survey asking residents to share what businesses, shops or restaurants they would like to see in Cottage Grove.