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.
- Member for
- 4 years 10 months
Karla Bigham, a former state lawmaker and Cottage Grove City Council member, will challenge Washington County Commissioner Autumn Lehrke in this fall’s election. Bigham announced Monday she’ll run for the County Board seat representing District 4, which includes all of Cottage Grove, Newport, St. Paul Park and Denmark and Grey Cloud Island townships and a small part of southern Woodbury. Bigham said she has a passion for the area and does not believe Lehrke is representing the community.
Unions representing School District 833 teachers and principals gave over $15,000 to the committee that advocated for passage of the district’s referendum last month. The United Teachers of South Washington County made a late-October donation of $12,200 toward the Committee for VOTE, according to the committee’s post-election campaign finance report.
Months of planning will culminate in the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train’s 15th anniversary event in Cottage Grove Saturday, Dec. 14. The outdoor concert by Grammy winners Sheryl Crow and the a cappella group Take 6 is being billed as the largest event in the city’s history, with up to 30,000 people expected. The event is a bulked-up celebration of the railroad company’s annual Holiday Train visit, which has stopped in Cottage Grove since 2003 and is the centerpiece of a major fundraising effort for the Friends in Need Food Shelf in St.
A School District 833 levy hike voters approved last month will cost them significantly less than predicted next year. School officials said growth in south Washington County property values and an expanded tax base means individual homeowners will see a smaller increase in the school portion of their property taxes next year. South Washington County Schools Finance Director Aaron Bushberger said the district used a conservative estimate of no change in the average property value when it estimated the impact of the voter-approved operating levy.
South Washington County Schools may exit the East Metro Integration District, a collaborative that provides racially integrated programs and curriculum. The District 833 School Board is expected to serve notice on Dec. 5 that it plans to leave EMID, the 10-member group that previously operated the Crosswinds and Harambee schools and continues to offer programs promoting racial integration and multi-cultural learning.
Sharon Van Leer is headed to the South Washington County School Board after all. A manual recount this week of the District 833 School Board election totals reaffirmed earlier results showing Van Leer narrowly edged out Molly Lutz for the final of four four-year seats. Washington County elections officials started the recount of 10,000-plus ballots Thursday morning and completed the tally Friday at the government center in Stillwater. Lutz requested the district-paid recount after falling five votes behind Van Leer for the final
“Molly, other, other, other, Molly, Sharon, Molly, other…” So was the routine Thursday morning as Washington County election officials recounted votes in the District 833 School Board race. Molly Lutz requested the recount after losing by five votes to fellow Woodbury resident Sharon Van Leer, who secured the final of four four-year School Board seats with 2,463 votes in the Nov. 5 election.
District 833 officials announced Thursday that the recount of a School Board election that was decided by five votes will be held next week. The recount will be held a 9 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, at the Washington County Government Center. Officials will conduct the recount in room 4690E at the government center. School Board candidate Molly Lutz requested the recount Tuesday, Nov.
Earlier this year Canadian Pacific asked Cottage Grove officials if the city would host a big event celebrating the 15th anniversary of the company’s Holiday Train. “They didn’t have to say much else,” Mayor Myron Bailey said.
A judge tossed out the remaining complaints against a pro-School District 833 levy committee alleging it broke campaign finance law. Administrative Law Judge Barbara Case on Friday ruled that there was no probable cause to believe Committee for VOTE improperly reported its finances and use of a Woodbury law office for mail and meetings. She dismissed the two allegations in a written order.