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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This week you'll notice something new on the Bulletin's opinion pages. We're debuting a series of columns by local legislative candidates. The series kicks off with incumbent Rep. Andrea Kieffer, R-Woodbury, featured just below on this page. The Bulletin reached out to candidates in Senate District 53, House District 53A and House District 53B. With local endorsing conventions out of the way, we figured now is a good a time to learn about the candidates. It's possible new candidates will emerge to force primary elections.
It wouldn't be a stretch to call Nathan Rubin brainy. He is this year's Woodbury High School salutatorian. He carries a 4.26 grade-point average. He loves learning. But then there's a literal side to the adjective. Rubin is fascinated with the human brain. In eighth grade, he read the book "Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain," by Oliver Sacks. "It was the coolest thing ever," Rubin said. He was hooked. Now he explains to friends how the human brain contains 100 billion neurons.
Sheri Li never saw herself rising to the top of her class. But in her junior year, the Woodbury High School student opened up her report card and saw that her class rank had jumped to No. 2. Then it hit her. If she put in the work, she could get there -- "and what a great thing that would be," she said. Li attained that goal and was named valedictorian for the class of 2012. "It hasn't hit me," she said last month of the achievement. Her chief responsibility as the WHS valedictorian will be to give a speech during commencement, held at 2 p.m.
A Woodbury burglary suspect caught by police after his vehicle ran out of gas was sentenced this month in Washington County District Court. Carl Junior Jordan, 24, was given a four-year prison sentence following a guilty plea to second-degree burglary. Jordan, of St. Paul, was given credit for 205 days already served in jail. Woodbury police were first alerted to suspicious activity just after midnight Oct. 17, 2011, when a Kalen Drive resident reported a male carrying a backpack had come to his house.
A Woodbury store is open again after noxious fumes there forced it to close temporarily earlier this week. Walgreens, 1965 Donegal Drive, was closed for a couple hours on Monday after workers began feeling ill, said manager Kim Huynh. The problem stemmed from issues attempting to fix a clogged mop sink. According to a Woodbury police report, workers there attempted to unclog the sink by using Drano.
Abdul Dire has a firm recollection of what it was like growing up in an Ethiopian village. You walked to school, usually a long distance. You were taught in a small building that didn't serve lunch.
Reuben Moll sat outside his garage Wednesday, just a few feet from the remains of the place he had called home since 1945. At age 91, the Afton man now enters a transitionary period: Moll must find a new place to live after his home was destroyed Tuesday by fire.
A man sentenced May 9 on two Woodbury-related convictions was charged the very next day with burglary. Darnell Steven Cox, 21, was charged May 10 with one count of third-degree burglary. He had been sentenced May 9 on Woodbury-related convictions for burglary and promoting prostitution. The latest charges allege Cox, of St.
Firefighters from multiple agencies, including Woodbury, responded to a house fire in Afton. According to the Washington County Sheriff's Office, firefighters battled a blaze at a residence in the 1700 block of Majestic Pines Trail. A spokeswoman with the sheriff's office said there was no one home at the time of the fire, which was first reported at 12:51 p.m. The exact address was not released. Access to the area near the fire was still closed off at 4 p.m. A Washington County sheriff's deputy closed off access to the area beginning at 15th Street and Manning Avenue.
With any rough patches apparently smoothed over between District 833 and a neighboring preschool, Woodbury City Council members gave final approval Wednesday, May 23, for an addition at Liberty Ridge Elementary. The approval clears the way for construction on the $4.5 million construction project, which was sought by the district to solve an overcrowding problem at the school, located in the Stonemill Farms development. The expanded facility will provide space for up to 180 kindergarteners and 60 preschoolers, said Mike Vogel, District 833 assistant to the superintendent for operations.