Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker
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A Woodbury man was charged with first-degree drug possession after a traffic stop turned up several ounces of methamphetamine and thousands in cash. Jacob Lindekugel, 20, was charged July 8 with one count of first-degree aiding and abetting drug possession. According to a criminal complaint, LIndekugel was driving a vehicle that was pulled over for speeding. A Washington County deputy became suspicious of the driver, Lindekugel, after detecting the smell of marijuana and witnessing him acting "extremely nervous."
Four of five District 833 School Board members whose terms expire this year said they are undecided on re-election bids ahead of the upcoming filing period. Seats held by Tracy Brunnette, Marsha Adou, Laurie Johnson, David Kemper and Katy McElwee-Stevens will be on the Nov. 5 ballot. The candidate filing period opens July 30, and only Brunnette so far has said she will seek another term.
Woodwinds Health Campus' orthopedics department received its latest round of national-level accolades last week. On July 16, Woodbury's hospital was named by U.S. News and World Report as one of the best Twin Cities hospitals in orthopedics. "Recognition as one of the U.S. News and World Report 'Best Hospitals' reflects the deep commitment and dedication of our employees," said Scott North, senior vice president and president of HealthEast Acute Care Hospitals.
The Raptors played to a split last week in VFW play. East Ridge opened the week on July 8 with a 5-4 home loss against North St. Paul. The Raptors battled back the next day, earning a 5-4 win over the visiting South St. Paul Shamrocks. East Ridge traveled July 10 to Roseville, where the Raiders won 3-2. East Ridge closed out the week's non-tournament play with a 6-5 home win over West St. Paul. "They've been playing hard all summer," said East Ridge coach Brian Sprout. "They do as much as they possibly can. When they play their best, they can beat anybody."
Woodbury police reports from July 3-8. Woodbury police responded July 2 to a report of a suspicious man at Carver Lake Beach. The man was seen emerging from a pond, dropping an item in a garbage can, and then warning a person to stay away from the can, saying it was dangerous. Police noted that the man had left notes, wet clothing and a broken laptop computer in the area. He was transported to Regions Hospital for an evaluation.
A Woodbury school thought to be all but mothballed in June was revived for another school year, at least. East Metro Integration District School Board members on Wednesday, July 10, approved a two-part measure that will keep Crosswinds Arts and Science School open for the 2013-14 school year under the management of the Perpich Center. "It is very satisfying to see Crosswinds as a choice school for students and families," East Metro Integration District Superintendent Janet Mohr said after the meeting.
Woodbury resident Kay Hendrikson considers herself a planner. She serves as a member of Woodbury's Planning Commission, and was drawn to the "well-planned" city she saw in Woodbury when she moved here almost 20 years ago. It may be of little surprise, then, that Hendrikson has already launched her campaign to run in 2014 for House District 53B. "I am a professional planner," she said. "I looked at this as a two-year project."
Our View There's a movement gaining steam to construct a joint police training facility in south Washington County for both Woodbury and Cottage Grove.
Tom Steward Transportation Viewpoint If you take a road trip in Minnesota this summer, somewhere along the line the chances are you will run into an underappreciated, often disparaged, government-driven breakthrough and not even know it. While the unconventional intersections often first run head-on into local resistance from drivers, the dramatic results turn public opinion around before long, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
'Invisible' Crosswinds school worth a fresh look A tireless and committed group of parents began rallying behind Crosswinds Arts & Sciences School almost three years ago when it was threatened with closure by its own special integration district board. Here's what Woodbury and south Washington County community members should know: