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
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Voters will have no shortage of choices when they go to the pollsNov. 5 to fill five South Washington County School Board seats. A total of 18 people stepped up to run for the board in the fall election, with 14 filing for four four-year seats on the ballot and another four candidates seeking a two-year seat. The filing period closed Tuesday.
South Washington County School Board member Tracy Brunnette was the first to file to run in the Nov. 5 election. Brunnette, a Cottage Grove resident, filed July 31 for a four-year seat on the board. She was first elected to the board in 2000. Brunnette is among four members whose four-year terms end this year. The others are David Kemper, Laurie Johnson and Marsha Adou.
When the gates open at the Washington County Fair this week, organizers hope they've got entertainment for everybody entering. From stage shows to a truck pull, and from authors to animals, the fair is trying to satisfy attendees' varying interests. "Finding a lot of variety that can entertain a whole family -- that's probably one of the things that we work really hard at," said Liz Dietsche, the fair's special attractions director.
A Woodbury woman allegedly drove drunk with four children in her car and another adult who was sober. Cottage Grove police stopped a vehicle for a suspected speeding violation after 10 p.m. June 15 at 80th Street and Hinton Avenue. The driver, identified as 49-year-old Michelle M. Goetz, was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving. In the vehicle with her were two 16-year-olds, a 12-year-old and a 9-year-old.
Theresa Constantine's education plans changed when she became pregnant at 16 and enrolled in a school program for expectant mothers. She eventually went on to hold jobs and raise her children, assuming all along she had fulfilled her high school requirements. Nearly 20 years later, after spending the 2011-12 school year working as a lunchroom and recess staffer at Crestview Elementary School in District 833, Constantine applied for a summer job with a temp agency.
South Washington County Schools' Community Education soon will have a new leader. District 833 officials picked Robert W. Lawrence of Litchfield, Minn., as the next Community Education director. The School Board must approve the hire. Lawrence has held a similar position with the Litchfield Public Schools for the past two years, and spent the prior seven years coordinating programs for youth, seniors and disabled adults.
With a few word changes and the deletion of an oath referring to a man and a woman, Washington County has prepared its same-sex marriage license. The county will make available same-sex marriage license applications beginning Thursday, June 6, ahead of the state's Aug. 1 gay marriage legalization. The marriage license application was modified in preparation for the change. The former application referred to a bride and a groom, said Jennifer Wagenius, director of the county's Property Records and Taxpayer Services Department.
A state health survey has linked the consumption of unfiltered drinking water to higher PFC concentrations in surveyed residents of Cottage Grove and two other east-metro communities. The results, released recently by the Minnesota Department of Health, generally show that the longer that residents had consumed unfiltered drinking water, the higher the level of PFCs, or perfluorochemicals, in their blood. "The number of years that people drank (unfiltered water) is an important predictor," said Jean Johnson, director of the Health Department's Environmental public Health Tracking and Biomoni
A local foundation is reviving a popular event to benefit area schools. The South Washington County Schools Education Foundation is bringing back its big annual fundraiser, "Taste of South Washington County Extravaganza," on Monday, April 22, in Woodbury. Food vendors from Cottage Grove and the Woodbury area will fill bellies while the foundation tries to fill its coffers. The foundation will distribute the money it raises in grants to District 833 schools for innovative education curriculum or equipment. "I've had people say to me, 'We've enjoyed this.
Nine out of 10 south Washington County students graduate high school on time, ranking the district third among its peer districts. In 2012, nearly 91 percent of students in District 833's three high schools graduated on time. That figure has hovered between 89 percent and 91 percent since 2009. Of 14 similar districts, only White Bear Lake and Lakeville posted graduation rates higher than District 833.