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 Cottage Grove man faces criminal charges after he triggered neighborhood concerns by allegedly firing a homemade potato gun in his backyard and then flexed his muscles and told police to shoot him as he ignored their orders. Kenneth A. Hall Jr., 54, was charged by the Cottage Grove city attorney this week with obstructing the legal process with force, a gross misdemeanor, and disorderly conduct following a May 20 incident that involved law enforcement from four communities. According to the criminal complaint: Cottage Grove police were dispatched to 8875 Greenway Ave. at about 7:20 p.m.
Theft A resident in the 9600 block of Hale Avenue reported May 9 that a basketball hoop was stolen from the yard. Loss: $150. A 13-year-old Cottage Grove female was referred to the Youth Service Bureau for theft after she allegedly stole a bottle of perfume from a classmate at Cottage Grove Middle School May 9. A company representing a bank with a foreclosed home in the 7100 block of Goodview Avenue reported May 13 that someone had removed household appliances from the home. There was no sign of forced entry.
After Brianna Wukawitz started treatment for her leukemia, the teenager's family decided to organize a team for this year's Relay for Life of South Washington County. They planned a team of family and some friends. Then Brianna's eighth-grade classmates and soccer teammates wanted to join. "It started out with one team and then all these kids came out of the woodwork and wanted to do it, and it's like, 'OK, let's see how many teams we can get together,'" said Denise Schmidt, Brianna's aunt. Beyond the kids were more family friends ready to walk for the cause.
A husband and wife were found dead in their home Saturday in St. Paul Park after police responded to a call of a possible suicide. Police were called shortly after 3 p.m. to a home in the 600 block of Hastings Avenue and were advised of a possible suicide. The home's residents, James and Sandra Elmquist, both 61, were found dead at the scene, police Chief Mike Monahan said in a news release. St. Paul Park police and the Ramsey County Medical Examiner are investigating the deaths, Monahan said. No further details were immediately available.
A Maplewood man was cited after allegedly exposing himself in a Cottage Grove grocery store. The 52-year-old man was ticketed May May 7 for indecent exposure after Cub Foods called police to report lewd conduct in the store. The man allegedly was walking around the store with his pants zipper down, exposing himself. The man left the store, but police made contact with him. He was cited, but not arrested.
Sydney Pedersen's class project could make chemotherapy less traumatic for young cancer patients. Sydney had to develop an invention as part of a fifth-grade assignment at Hillside Elementary in Cottage Grove. At the same time, her younger sister Paige was completing more than two years of chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She remembers wondering one night if there was a way to make the treatment process easier for her sister, who had a "port" implanted in her chest. Doctors stuck needles through Paige's skin and into the port to test her blood and give her chemotherapy drugs.
ST. PAUL - Rep. John Kriesel was sitting outside the Minnesota House chamber, his mind firmly made up on one of the most controversial issues at the Capitol. Kriesel, a freshman from Cottage Grove, said he split with fellow Republicans and opposes a bill that would put before voters a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota. "I don't care in there who's supporting it and who's not," Kriesel said, pointing to the House chamber during a recent interview, "but I know that I can't in my heart." That was not the case until just recently, Kriesel said.
An anti-drug proposal rooted in south Washington County could soon become Minnesota law. The Minnesota Senate on Thursday passed a bill that would make synthetic marijuana illegal in Minnesota. Democratic Sen. Katie Sieben of Cottage Grove, who sponsored the proposal, said the bill containing the so-called ban on "fake pot" must be reconciled with a similar House measure but is headed toward Gov.
Sen. Katie Sieben said her outlook has improved about a state budget deal being reached by lawmakers' fast-approaching May 23 deadline. Sieben said she earlier was "much more pessimistic" that a deal could be reached, but action heading into the weekend from Republicans who control the Legislature made it more likely that lawmakers would finish on time. "I'm really more optimistic then I was earlier in the week," Sieben said following a legislative town hall forum she held Friday at Cottage Grove City Hall. However, Sieben said there remain major differences between DFL Gov.
Cottage Grove police want to bring some reality to the public's perception of law enforcement. "There are a lot of Hollywood stereotypes about law enforcement and what we can and cannot do," Cottage Grove police Sgt. Gwen Martin said. "You talk about the CSI effect.