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The HERO Center finally made it off the Governor's desk with a signature. The HERO (Health and Emergency Response Occupations) Center was included in the nearly $1.5 billion bonding bill signed by Gov. Mark Dayton May 30.
MINNEAPOLIS — The East Ridge High School ERRORs Robotics Team finished in second place at the University of Minnesota May 19 during the Minnesota State High School League Championship. The ERRORs won seven matches and lost one to come back for their final and semi-final matches, ending with an overall second place finish. The Math and Science Academy team, The Fighting Calculators, also cracked the semi-finals.
WOODBURY — Two fallen soldiers were given a special salute at the Woodbury Veterans Memorial on the City Hall campus for the Memorial Day program. Hosted by the Woodbury VFW Post 9024 and the Woodbury American Legion Post 501, Ranger Battalion Cpl. Ben Kopp and retired Lt. Col. Harold Gifford, were given special recognition. Kopp, from Rosemount, served two tours in Iraq before one last tour in Afghanistan. While there he was shot in the leg. After facing complications from the injury, he was declared brain dead in the military hospital.
WASHINGTON COUNTY — Washington County Community Services is seeking to switch up its 24-hour mental health and emergency social services responses by moving contracted services back in-house. The county currently contracts crisis services through Canvas Health, which provides after-hour and holiday mobile crisis services for mental health, child protections and other social services emergencies.
WOODBURY — Six South Washington County Schools teams finished in the top 10 at the state U.S. Academic Triathlon (USAT) tournament which took place at Woodbury Middle School May 12. Each team completed skits, answered trivia questions and tested on various skills. Almost 175 teams competed in the triathlon.
The Minnesota Department of Education named nine East Ridge and Woodbury High School students Scholars of Distinction May 12. Students earned awards by doing self-directed research. East Ridge High Schooler Eesha Bharti earned the Science Scholars of Distinction Award for the project, "Causes of Alzheimer's Disease: Genetic Differences between Early- and Late-Onset Alzheimer's Disease." Four East Ridge students earned the Theater Arts Scholars of Distinction Award.
WOODBURY — Woodbury Public Safety opened its doors to the public for its Public Safety Open House May 19, attended in droves by residents. Kids were drawn in by entry into an ambulance, SWAT vehicles and fire trucks, but the biggest highlight for many of them may have been K9 Nova.
STILLWATER — A Woodbury man has been sentenced in Washington County District Court to 30 days in jail and probation for engaging in sexual communication with a minor. According to the complaint: John Gary Kipka, 39, made the communication on Whisper, an app used to share secrets anonymously and often used for illegal activity. A Woodbury officer monitoring the app posed as a 15-year-old female named Taylor. Kipka replied to a note the undercover officer posted about being 15 years old.
NEWPORT — Longtime Newport City Council member Bill Sumner is seeking to fill a new seat in Stillwater. Sumner, who is currently serving his third term on council, announced his candidacy May 15 for the Washington County Board of Commissioners. A retired investigator and auditor for the Minnesota Department of Revenue, Sumner has lived in Newport for nearly 30 years. He's also spent the last two years serving on the Washington/ Ramsey Recycling and Energy Center Board.