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Woodbury residents could see a 3.79 percent tax levy increase for 2018 if the city council approves current administrative recommendations in December. Population increase, inflation and special levies all factored into city administration's calculations for the increase. The amount falls slightly short of the 3.83 percent increase the city approved for 2017, which adds nearly $4 million to the city's annual budget for a total of $81.3 million.
Woodbury police received at least two-dozen reports recently from local child care providers who received a threatening letter authorities believe to be a scam. According to a statement on the Woodbury Public Safety website, the letters say a child returned home from the day care with injuries that point to sexual abuse. The sender demands payments through bitcoins, a digital currency, threatening to report a crime to the police. The letters and return address appear to be real.
A bill that would accelerate the construction of a federal nuclear repository at a former nuclear testing site in Nevada experienced its first victory after passing a U.S. House Energy and Commerce subcommittee last weekend. The partner bill in the U.S. Senate, however, excluded funding for the project's completion.
The checkpoint at the Washington County Government Center will undergo safety improvements that Sheriff Dan Starry said will benefit both visitors and employees thanks to a recent state grant. The building houses the county's Department of Corrections and 10th Judicial District Court. Washington County received $6,600 from the Safe and Secure Courthouse Initiative, which split a million-dollar grant announced in June among 57 Minnesota counties to fund additional safety measures.
The Woodbury Community Foundation launched in 2003 as the Friends of Woodbury, a team of volunteers dedicated to meeting the community's needs by connecting people with resources. In its 14 years of operation, the organization has established partnerships with city officials, local businesses and organizations to build economic opportunities and offer financial relief through five focus areas: philanthropy, leadership, community support, enhancing local organizations, and identifying future needs.
A Winona man accused of raping a woman at a Woodbury hotel was sentenced to 172 months, or about 14 years, in prison in a Washington County court July 14. Nicholas Sean Perkins, 23, of Winona, was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct in February. The charges stem from an incident in September 2016 in which a woman told police Perkins sexually assaulted her in the hotel courtyard. According to a criminal complaint filed in Washington County, the victim was staying at the hotel with her husband.
Neel Kashkari, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank Minneapolis, will speak at the Woodbury Area Chamber of Commerce July business networking luncheon. Along with overseeing the bank's operations, Kashkari serves on the Federal Open Market Committee, where he contributes to monetary policy discussions in Washington D.C. Attendees are invited to join Kaskari in a discussion about the economy, what the Minneapolis Fed does within the Federal Reserve System and more.
A Brooklyn Park man will serve eight years in prison for his role in trafficking two women for commercial sex at a Woodbury hotel. A Washington County judge convicted Tyree Erik Jones, 23, of aiding and abetting the sex trafficking of an individual July 14. Jones pleaded guilty to two counts of the felony crime earlier this month.
A New Richmond man accused of kidnapping two women at gunpoint will serve three years in prison for kidnapping two women at gunpoint in Afton last summer. A Washington County district judge convicted James Lauck, 37, of second-degree assault with a firearm June 12— one of five felonies Lauck faced, including kidnapping with a firearm, two counts of terroristic threats with a firearm and an additional second-degree assault charge. Police arrested Lauck last August while responding to a possible hostage situation at an Afton home last August.
Former Department of Defense official and Army veteran Dan Feehan announced his run for Minnesota's first congressional district July 11. The Red Wing native will join a pool of four candidates — three fellow Democrats and one Republican — hoping to secure votes for the state's southernmost district during the 2018 U.S. House race. Democrat Rep. Tim Walz, who currently represents the district, announced his candidacy for governor in March.