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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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.
Rep. John Kriesel has been in the Minnesota Legislature nearly two months, but said he finally feels like a lawmaker. The freshman legislator saw his first bill pass off the Minnesota House floor Thursday. The measure would prohibit the sale or possession of synthetic marijuana, a drug known as "fake pot" that can be purchased in convenience stores but worries law enforcement because of its potency and popularity with youth. Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, earlier this session moved the bill through House committees, where Cottage Grove police officers testified in support of the proposal.
Gov. Mark Dayton said he supports a proposal to use state funds to buy residential properties along the poorly constructed, unsound levee in Newport. The governor said he would back a measure to use state-borrowed dollars to resolve the flood threat in Newport, where roughly one dozen homes sit adjacent to a structurally unsound earthen levee. Sen.
Maurice "Frenchy" Fugere loved riding his Harley Davidson so much that the Cottage Grove man brought the bike with him when he spent winters with his son in Florida. "The bike came before anything in his life," said his wife, Nancy, herself a motorcycle enthusiast. Fugere, 69, was returning to his son's home near Tampa last Friday after a day out with friends when he rounded a curve and hit a cow standing in the roadway. He was thrown from the Harley and killed. "I'm sure it was a split-second thing," Nancy said. "He laid his bike down and died instantly." Fugere was southbound on U.S.
A Cottage Grove man faces a federal prison sentence after he was convicted of using stolen personal information to illegally obtain more than $150,000 from victims. Jason E. Clark, 40, was convicted Friday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis. The conviction includes two counts of bank fraud, and one count each of bank fraud conspiracy, identify theft and aggravated identity theft. Clark collected bank funds from people whose bank routing numbers and account numbers had been stolen.
A Cottage Grove man was killed Friday night when the motorcycle he was riding struck a cow on a Florida roadway, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Maurice Anthony Fugere, 69, was operating a 1995 Harley Davidson on U.S. 41 in Ruskin, southeast of Tampa, when he struck a cow that was standing in the roadway, the patrol said. The crash happened at 7:30 p.m. There was a curve in the roadway where Fugere's motorcycle struck the cow. Fugere was thrown from the motorcycle and was pronounced dead at the scene.