Bob Shaw / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL — At two of Minnesota's most troubled prisons — Oak Park Heights and Stillwater — assaults by inmates against inmates increased by 20 percent in one year, according to figures released Monday by the state Department of Corrections. The increase is less than that of inmates' assaults of prison employees, which more than doubled in the year ending June 30.
ST. PAUL — Watching grocery stores spread is usually like watching ice cream melt. By that standard, Hy-Vee Supermarkets is on a fast boil — on track to have 12 supermarkets in the metro area by the end of next year. Already, Hy-Vee has become one of the area's biggest supermarket chains in only three years. "We are thrilled to have Hy-Vee," said Dan Buchholtz, administrator of Spring Lake Park, which will soon have a Hy-Vee at Minnesota 65 and 81st Avenue. "I think Hy-Vee is being heartily welcomed wherever they go," said Buchholtz.
STILLWATER, Minn.—It's the bridge that changed everything. Since the new St. Croix River bridge opened one year ago, the impact has rippled outward — boosting tourism, business, housing and civic pride as far as 15 miles away. Above all, it has given Carole Van Valkenburg her town back. "Oh, my God, it was always a big ordeal to get into Stillwater," said Van Valkenburg. "But now, it's like a small town again."
ST. PAUL — A supersized Ice Palace is being planned for the 2018 St. Paul Winter Carnival — to coincide with the 2018 Super Bowl in Minneapolis — and west central Minnesota is likely to play a big role. The $15 million structure is expected to be built on the grounds of the state Capitol, according to a presentation Monday, Aug. 7, at the annual meeting of the St. Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation, which oversees the annual Winter Carnival.
ROSEVILLE, Minn.—Mark Connolly is chasing shadows. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing," said Connolly, who will be driving from Roseville to Missouri with his wife and three grandchildren to see a solar eclipse Aug. 21. He will be part of what's expected to be a big migration in U.S. history — as millions of Americans travel to see the shadow of the moon cross the continental U.S. The last time a solar eclipse could be seen coast-to-coast was 1918, and the next one will be in 2024.
Jim Currell was being naughty. To get to school one morning, he rode a horse from his father's 240-acre farm. As he clopped up to the building, his sixth-grade friends were impressed — but not the principal. "She said, 'Well, you can turn around and ride it back home,'" recalled Currell, who has lived in Woodbury all of his 66 years.
Woodbury The mall for the internet age is unfolding in Woodbury. The 100-acre CityPlace project is a winners' circle for the survivors of online competition, with the real-life losers conspicuously absent. The design was driven by a fresh look at what a mixed-use project should be, said Juan DeAngulo, partner with the Miami-based developer Elion. "We look at the fundamental uses," he said — which are not the uses that customers made of shopping malls in the past.
COTTAGE GROVE, Minn.—Pat Beard, a former state representative from Cottage Grove, died Tuesday of complications related to exposure to Agent Orange, a chemical defoliant used in the Vietnam War. He was 69. "His death was brought on as a result of his loyalty to his country," said Mike Sieben, who left his Minnesota legislator's post in 1982 and was followed by Beard. "Pat was a proud Democrat," Sieben said. "But more important than that, he was a proud American."
ANNANDALE, Minn. — A Woodbury man wants to demolish the home of the murderer of 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling. Tim Thone, owner of Thone Development LLC, is buying the house and destroying it as a Christmas present for his four adult children. "When it's done," said Thone, "then maybe we can all feel good." The house in Annandale, Minn., was owned by Danny Heinrich, 63, who confessed to Jacob's 1989 murder — one of the most notorious crimes in state history. Heinrich will spend at least 17 years in federal prison for possession of child pornography.
After a brief slowdown, Woodbury's housing stampede is about to resume. Two projects with more than 700 housing units have been proposed — which would join seven other developments in the Phase 2 area south of Bailey Road. The new projects will put Phase 2's growth projections back on track to reach 20,000 people by 2030. If that happens, Woodbury's population is projected to hit 80,000. A city that size today would be the fifth-biggest in the state. "We've had a great year," said Community Development Director Dwight Picha.