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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A man picked up in Cottage Grove March 20 for driving without a license was charged with a drug crime after officers searched his vehicle and found a spoon with methamphetamine residue on it, according to the Washington County District Court Complaint. An officer started following Lenert L. Johanson, 34, of White Bear Lake, after someone reported suspicious vehicles around the 7300 block of 99th Street in Cottage Grove at about 3 a.m. The caller reported seeing a full-sized conversion van and a car parked together with their lights on in the area, according to the complaint.
A Newport man allegedly stole a pickup truck from the Newport SuperAmerica store parking lot and later crashed it while fleeing from police on Interstate 94. Damien A. Anderson, 31, was charged recently in Washington County District Court with vehicle theft and fleeing a police officer following an alleged March 17 incident. According to the court complaint, around 2 a.m. on March 17, a Wisconsin State Patrol officer notified Washington County Sheriff's deputies that she was chasing a stolen vehicle west on Interstate 94, across the Minnesota border.
A Blaine man has been charged with smashing the windows and slashing a tire of a car in St. Paul Park after becoming upset that his girlfriend wouldn't give him a ride to a friend's home. Christopher R. Peterson, 26, faces first-degree property damage and domestic assault charges for an alleged March 16 incident. According to the Washington County District Court complaint, Briana Germain, who told police she was Peterson's girlfriend, said she had driven him to a home in the 1200 block of Second Street in St. Paul Park.
Friends of Cody Halterman, an 18-year-old Cottage Grove man who committed suicide March 10, held a vigil in his honor in the place where they remembered sharing good times together -- Park High School -- on Monday evening. Friends Tricia Scott, Melissa Luebke and Corrine Manning organized the event, which followed a memorial service for Halterman. Luebke, who graduated with Halterman in 2009, described him as a "class clown," and said friends were shocked by his death. Attendees were instructed to bring their own candle and something to remember Halterman by.
A group from Crossroads Church has left to start up a new church in St. Paul's Grand Avenue area. With a hip hop/reggae artist as worship director, and a pastor with a master's degree in acting, The Gallery Covenant Church seeks to draw a group that Pastor Brad Kindall says most churches haven't done a great job of reaching -- liberal intellectuals. As part of his ministry, Kindall hangs out at the Muddy Pig bar in St. Paul every Friday with a sign hanging on his laptop that reads "free beer if you hate church," an effort to listen to people who aren't churchgoers.
Cottage Grove resident John Graci said he wants managers who blame their employees for lack of motivation to look in the mirror and ask what they might have done to cause the situation. "The leader creates the environment where you're going to make those choices to work faster, harder and smarter," said Graci, a leadership speaker and management consultant. "As you apply the fundamentals of leadership ...
A St. Paul Park police officer who watched a five-time DWI offender go free due to a lack of clarity in state law is trying to get that law changed. Officer Robert Felix told the Minnesota Senate Transportation committee Feb. 16 the case against the driver was dismissed because the judge said it was unclear whether Felix had the right to stop him for going directly into the far right lane while making a left turn. "If I can quote what the judge said, the detail of the statute's wording leaves the reader confused at best as to the conduct it seeks to regulate," Felix told the committee.
The Cottage Grove Police Department has a suspect in the case of an elderly couple who was swindled out of nearly $7,000, thanks to a tip from a retired Texas investigator. As part of the National Association of Bunco Investigators, Dirk Moore, a 20-year investigator of transient crimes, now combs articles across the country using Google News and helps local police agencies identify criminals. In this case, the Cottage Grove couple reported they paid a man who called himself "Joe Murphy" $6,896 to do repair work on their chimney and trim trees.
The casinos weren't the only places where a Cottage Grove resident had the chance to win big on her recent trip to Las Vegas. Shauna Oney was a contestant on the show "Let's Make a Deal" which airs Thursday, Feb. 25. "I had a really fun time," Oney said.
Cottage Grove Police Department reserve officers got a chance to practice directing traffic at three of the city's busiest intersections Saturday. "There's a lot more to directing traffic than you think," said Cottage Grove police officer and reserves liaison Matthew Foucault. Cottage Grove's volunteer reserve officers and community service officers got a three-hour training session from a veteran of the St. Paul Police Department followed by the practical trial where St.