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.
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Washington County prosecutors and school leaders hope tough talk about truancy will send some students back to class. The Washington County Attorney's Office and local school districts are trying to keep kids in the classroom - and out of court - by holding candid conversations with habitual truants and their parents. In its infancy, the new program is focused on the South Washington County School District for the remainder of this school year. The first meeting was held Feb.
An unrelated assault case led to the discovery that a Cottage Grove man allegedly raped a pre-teenage girl over 100 times during her life, according to police and court records. Johnathan R. Beying, 30, was charged in Washington County District Court with four felony counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
The next South Washington County Schools superintendent must be honest, trustworthy and well-schooled in education curriculum. That superintendent also should make it a priority to maintain small class sizes and build trust with the community, while being aware that the greatest challenge facing the district is teachers and the public's lack of trust in the administration and concerns about class sizes. That snapshot of the district and its superintendent needs was captured in a recent survey of district employees, residents and students, and in focus groups convened as the District 833 Scho
Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said the prospect of jail time alone is not enough curb the growth of prescription drug abuse. "I can lock these guys up all day long, but it's a public health issue," Orput said. Orput and fellow east-metro prosecutors are pledging to work together with law enforcement and other service agencies to fight criminal activity. They formed the East Metro Crime Prevention Coalition and plan to improve their communication, share educational resources and crime prevention tactics and coordinate their response to emerging criminal activity.
District 833 School Board members have not followed their own recommended email policy, records show. School Board members last year wanted to follow a policy recommending that they only communicate by email through district-issued accounts, not personal email accounts. But a series of board member emails from last month show that a number of them were shuffling between district, personal and work accounts to conduct school business.
Support for superintendent was shaky months before controversial vote By Scott Wente firstname.lastname@example.org Support for Superintendent Mark Porter among District 833 School Board members was quietly eroding long before they surprised many school staff and district residents by not renewing his contract. While no board members had publicly suggested they wanted a new superintendent, they privately acknowledged to one another a lack of support for Porter in the weeks leading up to the Dec. 15 vote.
Several employee unions representing a majority of South Washington County Schools teachers and staff will see small pay increases under terms of their new contracts. Teachers and other workers generally will receive annual salary hikes of less than 2 percent, following recent School Board and union approval of the agreements. Most of the contracts cover the two-year period from July 2011 to June 2013.
A Cottage Grove resident and former Woodbury police officer working as a cop in Savage is in critical condition following a squad car crash. Savage police officer Frank Mackall suffered head injuries in a one-vehicle accident early Monday, according to the State Patrol. Mackall was responding to a call shortly after 1 a.m. when he lost control on an icy road in Scott County, in the southwest metro. His squad left the road and struck a tree. Mackall, 39, lives in Cottage Grove with his wife, Lisa, and three children, according to Savage police.
District 833 School Board members have a big assignment ahead of them as they search a new superintendent early next year, a task some think will be complicated by divisions on the board and other factors. The details of that search process are unclear and were not discussed by board members when they voted earlier this month to not renew South Washington County Schools Superintendent Mark Porter's contract, which expires June 30.