Mike Longaecker is editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. His coverage includes local crime, legislative activity and prep sports.
You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker
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Woodbury police went under international investigation last week - voluntarily, of course. Three Dutch police officers got an up-close look at the American criminal justice system during a brief stay with Woodbury police. The officers visited Woodbury as part of a master's level criminal investigation program that includes a foreign exchange component. Evert Ziesemer, an officer from the Zaanstreek, Netherlands, police department, said the goal of the visit was to observe and study American investigatory techniques.
Woodbury City Council members expressed interest in hiring a law firm to help find a solution for the vacant State Farm Insurance property. The firm would seek legislative action to "help make this a more competitive site," said City Administrator Clint Gridley.
When Mark Streed thinks back to past winners of Woodbury Chamber of Commerce's 2010 Citizen of the Year Award, he can't help but be impressed. "Those are some incredible people," the incoming chamber chairman said. This year Kim Snyder takes her place on that list, which includes Dick Stafford, Dixie Ewing and Jim Widen. Streed said Snyder, the chamber's membership staff representative, fits right in. "It's a huge honor," he said, "and Kim deserves it for sure." Streed will present Snyder with the award at the chamber's Jan.
One of Woodbury's most conspicuously vacant properties could be open for business this fall if a Twin Cities real estate developer has his way. Wellington Management seeks to redevelop the State Farm Insurance building, with plans to bring 2,100 jobs to the location, which has sat empty since 2005. Steve Wellington, president of Wellington Management, proposes renovating the 420,000 square-foot complex for multiple uses - including the addition of a major retailer - to the tune of $68 million. He said plans call for an $18 million renovation he said is poised to house a Twin Cities-based fi
Proposed changes to a city ordinance governing environmental management will be put on hold until more community members can weigh in on it, Woodbury City Council members decided last Wednesday. During the Jan. 12 meeting City Council member Christopher Burns, in his first meeting, called on the panel to table its decision on amendments to a proposed environmental management ordinance so the Woodbury Chamber of Commerce, developers and Woodbury residents can review the changes.
Felony drug charges were filed against a St. Paul man who allegedly sold crack cocaine in a Woodbury sting conducted by Washington County authorities. Donavan Dontrell Griffin, 25, was charged in December with one count of first-degree narcotics sale. If convicted, Griffin faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Griffin, who posted bond Jan.
A woman with deep roots in nonprofit organizations recently took the helm at a Washington County youth agency after her longtime predecessor retired. Afton resident and former St. Paul-based Face to Face program CEO Mary Planten-Krell was named executive director Jan. 2 at the Youth Service Bureau. The program's service centers include locations in Woodbury, Cottage Grove and Stillwater. She takes over the program headed for 32 years by former executive director Paul Weiler.
The city of Woodbury on Wednesday witnessed the inauguration of its fifth mayor. Mary Giuliani Stephens was sworn into office at Wednesday's Woodbury City Council meeting. "We have different talents and gifts that, combined, make us a strong team," she told the council after taking the city's gavel. Also sworn in was new City Council member Christopher Burns. See the Jan. 19 Woodbury Bulletin for more on Giuliani Stephens.
You don't complain about snow at ski resorts. That's true at Afton Alps Recreation Area, though officials there say the reasons for celebration over this season's bountiful snowfall aren't necessarily tangible. "It's been more of a boon psychologically," said Joe Yasis, base operations manager at Afton Alps. "If there's snow in your backyard, you start to think winter sports." That theory seemed to ring true with at least one skier out on a snowy Friday, Jan.
Officials at a popular Woodbury fast-food destination are seeking approval to overhaul the restaurant in hopes of boosting drive-through service. The current McDonald's location, 1759 Weir Drive, would be demolished and rebuilt under a proposal submitted to the Woodbury Planning Commission. Commissioners unanimously voted to recommend approval of the request Monday. Woodbury City Council will next consider the proposal at its Jan.