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GREY CLOUD ISLAND — Another parcel has been secured for the long-in-the-works Grey Cloud Island Regional Park on Lower Grey Cloud Island. A 30-acre parcel — seven of which are above ground and 22 under water — was approved for purchase by the Washington County Board of Commissioners June 5 from the estate of Betty Kartarik for $550,000. A master plan for the Grey Cloud Island Regional Park was completed in 1994, and the county has been slowly chipping away at land purchases. The county currently has about 140 acres of the 1,440 proposed for the park.
After a short break for the week of the Fourth of July, the CE Skoolie bus is back on the streets for weeknight No Kid Hungry events. Games, free meals and activities come with the bus. The events are coordinated by the South Washington County School District and Second Harvest Heartland, aimed at fighting child hunger.
Just under half of the 16-member Citizen-Business Working Group regarding the 3M settlement funds will be coming from South Washington County. The six local members are: Jack Lavold and Dave Schulenberg from Cottage Grove, David Filipiak and Michael Madigan from Woodbury, Amy Schall from St. Paul Park and Barbara Ronningen from Afton.
STILLWATER TOWNSHIP — A Cottage Grove man died Friday, July 6, following a head-on crash on Manning Avenue. The two vehicles collided around 7:30 p.m. on Manning Avenue North, approximately four miles north of Highway 36, according to a Washington County Sheriff’s Office news release. One of the drivers, Michael Day, 31, of Cottage Grove was pronounced dead at Regions Hospital just after 8 p.m.
COTTAGE GROVE — The inaugural meetings for the 3M settlement working groups have been scheduled. The state of Minnesota and 3M Corp. agreed to an $850 million settlement in February regarding the dumping of perfluorochemicals, or PFCs, in the East Metro. Two working groups are being formed to discuss how to use the $720 million remaining after legal fees.
NEWPORT — Washington County and Newport are partnering to apply for a grant to connect trails on the north end of the city. Though it likely won't happen until 2023, City Administrator Deb Hill said applying in conjunction with the county will make it more likely for them to win the grant to fill in the trail gap between Maxwell Avenue and 20th Street. "It's a very competitive alignment for receiving this grant," she said. The grant would cover 80 percent of the cost, with the county and city each covering 10 percent.
COTTAGE GROVE — Cottage Grove resident Katie Swenson has completed the Partners in Policymaking course designed to teach Minnesotans with disabilities or children with disabilities how to advocate for their rights. Swanson took the course to become a better advocate for her son, Cooper, who has severe autism. During the course, Swenson and other participants met with legislators at the Capitol. "The class opened my eyes to all the work that needs to be done," Swenson said in a news release.
WASHINGTON COUNTY — For a staggering number of students in the South Washington County School District, there is no home for them to return to after school.
COTTAGE GROVE — Improvements benefitting both two-legged and four-legged visitors to WAG Farms Dog Park are due to be complete this summer. Since the park opened in 2011, WAG Farms presidents Ellen Edwards and Dick Swanson said the most-requested improvements have been stairs, running water and possibly a paved parking lot. This summer, two of the three are finally becoming a reality.
SOUTH WASHINGTON COUNTY — Most offices and city halls will be closed Wednesday, July 4 in recognition of Independence Day. Here is the south Washington County guide of festivities for the day off: Cottage Grove The Cottage Grove celebration starts 5 p.m. in Kingston Park, 9195 75th St., hosted by the Cottage Grove Lions Club. There will be food and games at the Kingston Park pavillion, as well as prizes for both kids and adults. Ice cream and cheese curds will be sold by food vendors. Fireworks will start at 10:15 p.m.