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The Woodbury Days Council and volunteers will celebrate the annual event's fourth decade next summer with a new leader at its helm. The council elected Kati Cheney, the group's former vice president, to replace Theresa Janechek. After more than 20 years as council president, Janechek stepped down in August but agreed to offer her guidance to the event's new leaders. The planning process for the 2018 event will start later this week. Cheney said she'll draw inspiration from Janechek, whom she said "lives and breaths Woodbury."
The second man in a pair of Hudson residents accused of trafficking a homeless woman for commercial sex has been sentenced. Dustin Jeffrey Arthur Heichert, 31, will complete a one-year prison sentence followed by over seven years of supervised probation. He received credit for 129 days in jail. Heichert, along with fellow Hudson resident Adam James Krimpelbein, faced felony sex trafficking charges in January when authorities linked Krimpelbein's phone number to Backpage.com posts advertising "early bird specials" on commercial sex, according to the criminal complaint.
Management at Top Ten Liquors in Woodbury say a newly remodeled and expanded store will offer a more customer-friendly layout and wider variety of products. The expansion will added nearly 2,000 square feet to the store, along with new flooring, shelving and a new entrance. The extra square footage will replace the former Subway restaurant, which opted to relocate last month after its lease expired. Ton Tep Wine specialist Mark O'Boyle, said the store owner, who also owns the building, saw an opportunity to improve customers' experience.
A second man arrested during a sting operation targeting people who agree to pay for sex with minors has been sentenced. Christopher John Cuypers, 32, of Knife River, Minnesota, was charged with hiring someone he believed to be a minor for commercial sex in June 2016 after agreeing to pay for sex with someone he believed to be a 16-year-old girl. Cuypers now faces two years' probation with a stayed year-long prison sentence and must complete treatment for sex offenders, according to the Washington County District Court sentence handed down Sept. 25.
An alleged attempt to steal a car from a St. Paul auto dealership led to the arrest of two people accused of burglarizing two Woodbury apartment complexes. Jodean Danielle Taylor, 28, and Matthew Scott White, 29, both of St. Paul, each face two felony charges of aiding and abetting third-degree burglary. According to a criminal complaint filed May 5 in Washington County, security footage from an apartment complex on the 1500 block of Parkwood Drive shows a man pry open the building's security door before entering with a woman.
Woodbury police arrested a St. Paul man and a Landfall woman outside the Hudson Road Walmart July 22 after staff said the woman concealed several items in her purse and the man replaced the bar code sticker on a $89 rug with a tag for a $17 rug. A Woodbury resident reported at 1:45 p.m. July 23 a money clip containing various licenses and his debit card was taken from his vehicle parked in the garage of his Donegal Drive home.
There are several tell-tale signs a hotel stay could involve human trafficking. Payments in cash, frequent short-term traffic to one room and a lack of luggage all point to the potential of a crime that's seemingly erupted in communities around the Twin Cities in recent years. "Speak Up," a newly-announce campaign in Washington County, partners the county's public health and law enforcement agencies with hotels to help recognize potential victims and how to respond.
A former St. Paul assistant principal accused of embezzling nearly $200,000 from a rural Baldwin church will spend two years in prison and faces seven years of probation. Kara Amundson-LaVenture faced six felony theft charges in 2015 after members of the New Centerville United Methodist church discovered about $190,000 had been misappropriated during the nine years Amundson-LaVenture served as the church treasurer.
A Maplewood man reported 12:30 p.m. July 13 that he and his ex-girlfriend got into an altercation in from of the Valley Creek Plaza Applebee's three days prior. The 22-year-old man told police the altercation with the 21-year-old woman started when he took her cellphone. She reportedly grabbed him and scratched his arms.
A Mankato man convicted of an armed robbery outside a Cottage Grove Target store faces nearly five years in prison following his Sept. 22 sentencing. Moroma Olok, 23, pleaded guilty last summer to a felony charge of first-degree aiding and abetting aggravated robbery that stemmed from a 2013 incident in which he and another man robbed someone they met through Craigslist. According to a criminal complaint filed in Washington County Jan. 28, 2016, a man received a text message response to his Craigslist post that advertised an iPhone 5s for sale in April 2013.