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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Assault A 25-year-old Cottage Grove man was cited for fifth-degree domestic assault following a Dec. 13 altercation at a home in the 8500 block of Ideal Avenue. According to police, the man allegedly struck an 18-year-old woman in the back with a crescent wrench. Police sought formal criminal complaint for a more serious assault charge, but prosecutors declined because the alleged crime did not meet the requirements for substantial bodily harm, police said.
Park High School is seeking public input as it looks at ways to improve its activities and athletics, including possibly by switching high school league conferences. The school's activities department is inviting students, parents, teachers and local residents to a "community input night" on Park athletics and activities Wednesday, Jan. 11. All three District 833 high schools are in the Suburban East Conference, but Park athletic teams generally have struggled to compete against the larger schools in the conference.
A Cottage Grove resident and former Woodbury police officer working as a cop in Savage is in critical condition following a squad car crash. Savage police officer Frank Mackall suffered head injuries in a one-vehicle accident early Monday, according to the State Patrol. Mackall was responding to a call shortly after 1 a.m. when he lost control on an icy road in Scott County, in the southwest metro. His squad left the road and struck a tree. Mackall, 39, lives in Cottage Grove with his wife, Lisa, and three children, according to Savage police.
Eric Flaa grew up near Washington County's Newport branch library and in grade school enjoyed walking three blocks to check out books. Flaa, now 30 and living in Denver, was visiting relatives in Newport Friday when he made the same short walk to the library, this time to see it for the last time. "I just came in to say goodbye," Flaa told librarian Ginny Ogura. Flaa wasn't alone. Ogura said many local residents stopped by the library in the days leading up to its closure on Friday.
The closing credits are rolling on Blockbuster Video in Cottage Grove as the store has stopped renting movies and video games and is expected to be closed within a month. Store employees said Wednesday that Blockbuster, which has been in Cottage Grove for at least 15 years, will close by Jan. 22. The store started selling all of its merchandise at a discount on Tuesday.
District 833 School Board members have a big assignment ahead of them as they search for a new superintendent early next year, a task some think will be complicated by divisions on the board and other factors. The details of that search process are unclear and were not discussed by board members when they voted earlier this month to not renew South Washington County Schools Superintendent Mark Porter's contract, which expires June 30.
Local organizers were about to close the books on this year's Canadian Pacific Holiday Train event, enthused they had collected some $88,000 for the Friends in Need Food Shelf. Then Michelle Rageth, the food shelf's executive director, opened a late-arriving check Thursday for $12,000 from Northern Tier Energy. She was thrilled. "We weren't expecting anything more," Rageth said, "and it's just such a gift because it's going to push us over the $100,000 mark." Organizers had set a goal of raising $64,000 in connection with the festively illuminated train's Dec.
Fifteen young adults were cited for drinking and the parent of a minor was ticketed for violating Cottage Grove's social-host ordinance after police broke up an underage drinking party. Officers were called late Dec. 10 to a home in the 9700 block of 82nd Street for an anonymous report of a party. Police found some young adults outside the home and others inside the home. Six juveniles under age 18 were ticketed for underage drinking.
Mark Porter is losing his job as District 833 school superintendent next year, but said he wants to continue working in education. Porter, whose contract was not renewed last week by the South Washington County School Board, said he will look for a position in another district and also will consider two other areas: the legal field and labor relations. "I've got to be pretty open," said Porter, who is 56. Before serving as schools chief, Porter was District 833's director of legal services and has played a large role in its labor relations and union contract negotiations. "I personally fel
South Washington County Schools will be in the market for a new superintendent after a split School Board voted against extending Mark Porter's contract next year. The surprise move came as Porter was nearing the end of his first three-year contract as superintendent and it suggested that he did not fulfill expectations or qualifications of the five board members who voted him out. Porter, who has about 30 years of experience in the district, called the decision "unfortunate" and confusing, but also said in an interview that he knew in the days leading up to last Thursday's vote that he coul