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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Thieves stole the rock monument sign that marks the entrance to The Preserve, a housing development at 67th Street and Jamaica Avenue in Cottage Grove where only a model home has been built so far. The sign -- reportedly worth $10,000 -- was reported stolen Tuesday, July 6. The theft is one of many that have occurred on the site, said Matthew Reiland, a former employee of the site's original developer, Johnson-Reiland Construction, Inc. When no one was living in the model home there, people spray-painted its windows, he said.
In a season when most Minnesotan's minds are on barbecues and beaches, Ryan Paul is thinking of snow. At this time last year, freshly graduated from Park High school, Paul was at Mount Hood in Oregon living out of his car all summer on the little bit of graduation money he had left after paying for a $900 season snowboarding pass. His work on the snow is paying off though.
Fourteen-thousand pounds of sweet corn are free for the taking at Lighthouse Baptist Church in Cottage Grove Tuesday afternoon. Cottage Grove resident Dan Zwakman said he'd be out at the church parking lot -- located at Keats Avenue and 80th Street -- until about 6 p.m. Tuesday handing out the free ears, which were part of a large donation to the St. Paul Evangelical Food Shelf. The organization wants to give away the corn fast so that it doesn't go bad and go to waste.
A Cottage Grove man was charged for allegedly burglarizing a Cottage Grove home. Eric L. Eberspacher, 20, is charged with second-degree burglary, theft and receiving stolen property for the alleged burglary and a theft from the back of a pickup truck parked in Cottage Grove. According to the Washington County District Court Complaint, officers responded to a residence in the 8800 block of Inwood Avenue around 6 p.m. Friday, June 11, on a call of a burglary.
The community of Cottage Grove-based hip hop musicians is larger than most people know, a group of local artists says, and they plan to prove it with a day-long event Saturday, June 5, at the VFW Red Barn. "It's been a thing that's been going on in our community for a long time, but it's something that's continued to stay in the underground culture," said organizer Jared Muennich of Cottage Grove.
Longtime Cottage Grove resident Colleen Millard decided that instead of sitting back and complaining about her disapproval of the county board's choices in budget cuts, she would "step up and do something about it," she said. Millard is one of three candidates in the District 4 Washington County Board race facing incumbent Myra Peterson and challenger Autumn Lehrke. "I think they're cutting the wrong areas like 4-H and the library hours," said Millard, a resident of Cottage Grove since 1981 who has four children and four grandchildren.
The local cable commission is considering moving its office, now located across the street from Cottage Grove City Hall, to space formerly occupied by Summerhill Liquors at 70th Street and Hinton Avenue. The South Washington County Telecommunications Commission voted to let its executive committee decide whether to relocate, and then make other authorizations related to the potential move at its meeting Thursday night. Commission administrator Fran Hemmesch asked that the committee make a decision on whether to move by June 16 so they could be settled in before the commission starts election
Cottage Grove resident Autumn Lehrke has filed to challenge Myra Peterson for her seat on the Washington County Board this fall. Lerhke, a 28-year-old store manager of a SuperAmerica gas station in Maplewood, said "irresponsible spending" pushed her to join the race for the District 4 seat. "They're talking about increasing property taxes because the values of homes have decreased," she said.
A man accused of squatting in a St. Paul Park garage was charged with possession of methamphetamine. Jayme V. Kraft, 47, allegedly lived in the detached garage of a Summit Avenue home without permission. When police went to the garage to look for him, they found methamphetamine residue in baggies in the garage, according to the Washington County District Court Complaint. The homeowner's sister discovered Kraft when she went to look in the garage, as they were preparing the home for sale April 7.
The owner of a new Cottage Grove business is passionate about music, and about teaching children. At A Sharp Music Studios -- which offers piano, voice and Kindermusik classes -- La Rae Mills can combine the two. "My true passion is about kids and working with kids and to be someone who can help them grow themselves and discover themselves," she said. The studio, which had its grand opening Saturday, May 8, offers both private and group lessons in piano and voice to all ages -- babies through grandmothers -- she said, and summer camps for kids. Mills, who has a bachelor's degree in music e