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.
- Member for
- 4 years 11 months
State Sen. Dan Schoen is being pressured to resign from the Minnesota Legislature following a published report alleging he sexually harassed multiple women in politics. The women, including a fellow DFL lawmaker, shared detailed allegations against Schoen in a MinnPost story published Wednesday night. One former DFL candidate claimed Schoen made sexual comments about her and later grabbed her buttocks. A legislator said Schoen pursued meetings with her, including at his home. Another lawmaker said she'd been warned by lobbyists about Schoen.
Voters ousted South Washington County School Board Chairwoman Katy McElwee-Stevens in Tuesday's election, but gave three other incumbents another four years in office. Incumbents Katie Schwartz of St. Paul Park, Sharon Van Leer of Woodbury and Tracy Brunnette of Cottage Grove all held onto their seats in a 10-candidate race for four seats on the board. Second-time candidate Patricia Driscoll of Cottage Grove won the final seat as the top vote-getter in the crowded field.
It's 3-for-3 for School District 833. South Washington County voters agreed to pay more for classroom spending and to chip in extra money for technology improvements over the next decade. Voters overwhelmingly approved a renewal of the district's largest operating levy in Tuesday's election, sparing the district of what administrators said would have been $15 million in spending cuts. They said the reductions would have reduced staff, increased class sizes and affected transportation and other programs.
Renew, retain and reinvest. That's one way to describe South Washington County Schools' pitch for its three-question referendum on the election ballot Tuesday, Nov. 7. Voters will decide whether to renew District 833's largest operating levy, increase local property tax revenue to protect school programming, and spend more on classroom technology.
One of the keys to Excel Lifeforce Martial Arts Training Center's success over three decades may be that it never really left Woodbury. The martial arts academy that started in small, rented space has changed locations several times, mostly to accommodate its rising enrollment, but it remained in Woodbury and grew with its host city. Excel Lifeforce marks 30 years in 2017 as the city of Woodbury celebrates 50 years. "We've been all over the city, but we've stayed in the city for 30 years," owner Sue Kondratowicz said.
Sue Krebsbach and Carol Sailer each was teaching piano at home nearly 30 years ago when they wanted to "be a bit more professional," Krebsbach recalled. They decided to share rental space in St. Paul Park beginning in 1990. Before long, an adult student asked if they would get a flute teacher because there weren't others in the area. "That's basically how we started," Krebsbach recalled. "(We had) no intention of ever starting a music studio." Yet, K&S Conservatory of Music was born.
Craig and Julie Hunter and Jennifer Joseph worked together providing services to children with autism, but they believed they could provide a greater breadth of services operating their own clinic. Their intent was to continue offering services to children with autism but also to others with anxiety, depression and other behavioral issues. "We saw service gaps for kids," Joseph said.
Greg and Diana Ehlenz had thought about opening a Red's Savoy pizza franchise more than two years ago. Then they found Ronnally's, Woodbury's oldest restaurant and a turn-key pizza joint that needed an owner. They took over April 15, 2015. "It was just bizarre how it all happened," Diana recalled. "We were just looking to do our own business and this just pretty much fell in our lap."
A recent attendance boundary vote not only split District 833 School Board members but also divided more than a dozen candidates for the school board in this fall's election. The board's decision last month to establish new boundaries for its four middle schools proved the one topic that most differentiated candidates in a recent election forum. Fanned across the boardroom dais and a second table, 14 candidates fielded questions about their strengths and priorities, district finances and the fall referendum in a Sept. 26 League of Women Voters forum.
Police are asking for the public's help to find a vulnerable Hastings woman who has not been seen for two days. The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Friday that Amanda Jean Olson, 22, left her home about 2 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4, and had not been seen or heard from since then. She has cognitive and developmental delays, the BCA said. Olson has a history of being away from home for periods of time, but authorities are more concerned because she has not communicated with family or friends. Her cellphone appears to be turned off, and she is without her medication.