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.
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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 email@example.com 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.
South Washington County Schools will be in the market for a new superintendent after a split School Board voted against extending Mark Porter's contract next year. The surprise move came as Porter was nearing the three-year expiration of his first contract as superintendent and it suggested that he did not fulfill expectations or qualifications of the five board members who voted him out. Porter, who had about 30 years of experience in the district, called the decision "unfortunate" and confusing, but also said in an interview that he knew in the days leading up to last Thursday's vote that
Just like its surrounding neighborhood, Liberty Ridge Elementary School is poised to grow. The District 833 elementary school in Woodbury's Stonemill Farms development likely will be expanded following the South Washington County School Board's decision Dec. 15 to support the planned acquisition of a vacant commercial building across the street from the school. The estimated $4.5 million project would include buying the commercial property and building a 12,500-square-foot addition.
Students who are not in the East Ridge High School attendance boundary will be allowed to transfer to that school so long as they have an older sibling already enrolled there. The District 833 School Board voted Dec. 15 to allow that exception to the district's policy prohibiting intra-district transfers to East Ridge, which is nearing capacity.
A divided South Washington County School Board on Thursday voted against extending Superintendent Mark Porter's contract. The sudden move came toward the close of a meeting Thursday when board members were expected to take up the approval of a contract renewal for Porter. Those who voted to end his tenure when his current term ends in June said little publicly about the move.