Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
- Member for
- 2 years 2 months
A recent training session for the District 833 School Board highlighted the challenging situations board members can face when they have to make controversial decisions or address thorny issues related to student and employee privacy. The training also exposed long-held philosophical differences among board members about how they publicly express their differences. The two-hour briefing with the district's attorney involved a discussion of the state's Open Meeting Law, which guides how elected government boards must operate their meetings.
South Washington County School Board members and district administrators hope special training will help them excel following a leadership transition. As he continues to familiarize himself with the district, new Superintendent Keith Jacobus recently brought in a facilitator to lead administrators and the seven board members through personality assessment and communication exercises.
A Cottage Grove woman despondent after she was charged with manslaughter in the death of her newborn son has died after she set herself on fire, according to police. Toni A. Medrano, 29, died of injuries she sustained after using a flammable liquid to set herself on fire last week outside a St. Paul Park home, St. Paul Park Police Chief Mike Monahan said Monday. His department and the Ramsey County medical examiner are investigating her death. Emergency crews were called to a home in the 1300 block of Chicago Avenue about 4 a.m.
Police say a Cottage Grove woman suffocated her newborn baby while sleeping with him after she had been drinking. Washington County prosecutors charged Toni A. Medrano, 29, with two felony manslaughter charges in connection with the 3-week-old baby's death last year. Medrano admitted that she drank vodka and later went to sleep with her newborn positioned between her and a cushion on a couch in the family's Cottage Grove home.
Students likely will pay more to participate in some District 833 athletics and activities next year as an alternative to possibly losing extracurricular activities. Fees for Minnesota State High School League sports and fine arts activities will increase by $25 for students at East Ridge, Woodbury and Park high schools under a proposal the South Washington County School Board is expected to act on later this month.
The contract for the incoming District 833 schools chief includes a larger salary and lacks terms that were at the center of controversy surrounding Superintendent Mark Porter's dismissal. Keith Jacobus agreed to the South Washington County School Board's contract offer, which puts his first-year superintendent salary at $178,000 and provides annual raises and other terms that are standard in the field, the board's attorney said. The board unanimously voted to approve the contract offer during a meeting Thursday, May 23.
Concerned about new school start times in School District 833? Don't be - for now. Frustrated by the prospect of charging bus fees for choice academic programs? There's no need to be - yet. Worried about kids walking up to two miles to school?
The South Washington County School District is providing Mark Porter a severance payment, cashed-out vacation and sick time and retirement benefits in a deal that averts a threatened lawsuit from the ousted superintendent. Under terms of his contract and an agreement reached last week, Porter will receive a severance of $36,758 in addition to cashed-out vacation and sick-leave hours and nearly $21,000 in his retirement account. Porter and the District 833 School Board's attorney said in separate interviews the agreement represents an amicable separation.
A Woodbury man could face criminal charges after he allegedly admitted to smoking incense prior to driving a car that careened off a Cottage Grove road, crashed through fencing and burst into flames. The 18-year-old driver suffered minor injuries and could be charged pending the outcome of the crash investigation, police said. The crash happened at 12:05 p.m.
The South Washington County School Board violated state law in its handling of Superintendent Mark Porter's final performance evaluation, according to a state opinion. The nonbinding opinion sought by the South Washington County Bulletin concluded that the District 833 School Board violated the state's Open Meeting Law when it did not publicly summarize its evaluation of Porter at a meeting immediately following the closed-door workshop used to conduct that evaluation.