Mary Divine / St. Paul Pioneer Press
LAKE ELMO, Minn. — New tips concerning Susan Swedell, who went missing during a blizzard in Lake Elmo on Jan. 19, 1988, have been coming in to the Washington County sheriff's office after a St. Paul Pioneer Press report on the case was published Sunday, Jan. 7. Sheriff Dan Starry said his office has received eight tips this week about Swedell; her case has been getting renewed attention as the 30th anniversary of her disappearance nears.
ST. PAUL—When Eric Buck drove past the scene of a multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 380 near Waterloo, Iowa, last month, he asked his children to pray for the people involved. The St. Paul man and three of his six children were headed home from Iowa during a snowstorm on Dec. 29 when they saw a dozen cars "totaled in a pileup" and witnessed first responders cutting open a car that had been struck by a semitrailer truck.
STILLWATER, Minn. — Lift Bridge Brewery in Stillwater is expanding in a big way. Company officials announced Tuesday, Jan. 2, that they plan to build a $10 million, 35,000-square-foot brewery and tap room in Stillwater. They are working with city officials in Stillwater and hope to get $1 million in tax-increment financing for the project, said Brad Glynn, co-founder and co-owner. The brewery, which is currently located at 1900 Tower Drive W., needs more space, Glynn said. It has outgrown the 16,000 square feet it currently owns and leases, he said.
COTTAGE GROVE, Minn.—Former Twin Cities sports-radio personality Jeff Dubay, who has previously run afoul of the law for methamphetamine possession, has pleaded guilty to third-degree assault. Dubay entered his guilty plea on Monday in front of Washington County District Judge William Ekstrom. He will be sentenced March 22 and could face up to four months in jail. Dubay, 49, was arrested in August and charged with a felony after he allegedly assaulted a woman in the basement of a Cottage Grove house. Dubay previously denied any wrongdoing.
FOREST LAKE, Minn.—It didn't take Washington County Sheriff Dan Starry long to make his decision. After watching the Forest Lake City Council vote to disband the city's police department on Monday night, sitting through lengthy public comments at the Washington County Board meeting on Tuesday morning, and meeting with Forest Lake police officers later that night, Starry said he knew he had to withdraw a controversial proposal for his office to provide police services to the city.
Afton Work on a new community sewer system for Afton will begin in March, after the city reached agreement with representatives of tribal governments. To avoid any disruption of a possible ancient American Indian burial site, pipes will be rerouted and a stormwater retention pond will be built without a retaining wall. Construction of the sanitary-sewer system and other infrastructure projects have been on hold since tribal representatives last year expressed concerns about the Rattlesnake Effigy mound in downtown Afton.
OAKDALE — Stan Karwoski's road to the Washington County board began with the Oakdale Parks and Planning Commission in 1994. "I'm a parks guy at heart, and I really wanted to contribute," Karwoski said of applying for a spot on the city commission. "That was the beginning. I was kind of successful in getting some things done." Karwoski, who was sworn in Dec. 6 as Washington County's newest commissioner, spoke of parks, politics and the Master's golf tournament during an interview in an Oakdale Starbucks earlier in December.
STILLWATER — Turns out it takes 16 hours to transform downtown Stillwater into a winter wonderland. Crews building a gigantic ice castle in Lowell Park switched on sprayers about 3 p.m. Tuesday to begin the freezing process. By the time Ice Castles LLC site manager Blake Hawbaker reported to work at 7 a.m. Wednesday, a solid ice foundation was underway.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations has issued a call for increased protection of Muslim students after an incident earlier this month between two students at Afton-Lakeland Elementary School. A fifth-grader at the school allegedly threatened to shoot a third-grader, who is Somali-American, and the next school day brought an airsoft-style pistol onto the school bus, officials said. The bus driver reported the incident and the school called the Washington County sheriff's office the morning of Nov. 14.
Four major projects in downtown Afton are on hold after representatives of tribal governments expressed concerns about possible ancient American Indian burial sites. Afton officials plan to meet with tribal officials Nov. 7 regarding the Rattlesnake Effigy mound, which is near a planned stormwater retention pond. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency last year issued a final permit for construction but the project had to be reviewed under the National Historic Preservation Act because federal funding is involved.