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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Jana Armstead discovered her long-sought "feel-good find" in Cottage Grove. Armstead, of St. Paul, has searched for community festival medallions with friends around the Twin Cities for over 25 years but it had been several years since she uncovered a prize herself. That changed Sunday when after only three clues and a few hours of hunting she unearthed the Strawberry Fest medallion in Hamlet Park. "It was a feel-good find because it's been a while," Armstead said.
A fire caused extensive damage to a Cottage Grove home Monday morning. Fire crews from at least three south Washington County communities fought the blaze in a two-story home at 7228 Jensen Ave., just north of Kingston Park. Cottage Grove public safety officials said the homeowner called in the fire at about 9 a.m. It was not immediately clear if anybody was injured or how the fire started. The fire was visible from a second-floor bedroom window. It was extinguished within a half-hour. A few dozen firefighters and public safety officials from Cottage Grove, Woodbury and St.
The St. Paul Saints minor-league baseball team brought its mascot, music and quirky entertainment to St. Paul Park on Thursday, June 7, for a community spotlight baseball game between St. Paul Park and Cottage Grove 15AA teams. The Saints announced the youth game, led fans in silly between-inning contests and offered other entertainment.
Brianna Wukawitz's fight against leukemia gave her two perspectives she wants to share with others. First, the 15-year-old said, people shouldn't dwell over small matters.
Cottage Grove police recently fielded several vehicle and garage break-in complaints from residents in a neighborhood southwest of Keats Avenue and 70th Street. At least five vehicles were damaged or rummaged and electronic items and cash were stolen on and around Jonathan Avenue and 71st and 78th streets. All of the reports were made May 18. In one case, a resident in the 7200 block of Jordon Avenue reported that someone had used a garage door opener that was in a vehicle to gain access to the garage. Vehicles had been rummaged through and three nail guns were stolen.
Police say a Cottage Grove woman suffocated her newborn baby while sleeping with him after she had been drinking. Washington County prosecutors charged Toni A. Medrano, 29, with two felony manslaughter charges in connection with the 3-week-old baby's death last year. Medrano admitted that she drank vodka and later went to sleep with her newborn positioned between her and a cushion on a couch in the family's Cottage Grove home.
Students likely will pay more to participate in some District 833 athletics and activities next year as an alternative to possibly losing extracurricular activities. Fees for Minnesota State High School League sports and fine arts activities will increase by $25 for students at East Ridge, Park and Woodbury high schools under a proposal the South Washington County School Board is expected to act on later this month.
The family of a Cottage Grove man who was found unresponsive in an Illinois jail cell is raising questions about his death. The Kane County Sheriff's Office said last week that it is investigating the death of Keith D. Renfroe, 20, after he was found unresponsive in his jail cell and later died after being removed from life support at a Chicago-area hospital. Mike Padden, an attorney for Renfroe's parents, said the 20-year-old was healthy when he was booked into the Kane County jail on May 18 for alleged felony criminal trespassing.
Goodbye, school. Hello, summer. Students in South Washington County Schools emptied their desks, cleaned out their lockers and gave their teachers one last hug as they wrapped up the school year. District 833 seniors had their last day a week ago, but students in grades K-11 finished the 2011-12 school year on Wednesday, June 6. As students poured out of classrooms at Crestview Elementary School and Nuevas Fronteras in Cottage Grove, teachers wished them well, told them to be safe and reminded them to read this summer. They'll be back in class Sept. 4.
A Cottage Grove woman is accused of engaging in repeated sexual activity with a teenage boy she had cared for and babysat. Desiree D. Cruz, 29, is scheduled to appear in Washington County District Court next week on charges of first- and third-degree criminal sexual conduct, both felonies, for allegedly engaging in sexual activity and penetration with a boy during a two-year period. The alleged incidents began when the victim was 15 and Cruz was 26. Cruz had cared for the boy from when he was age 8 to when he was 10 years old.