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NEWPORT — The biggest housing development to come to Newport hit a new milestone last week. To mark its official opening to the public, Bailey Meadows hosted an open house with city staff and councilmembers on March 7. The new neighborhood will have about 185 homes ranging from $400,000-$600,000 — adding to a housing boom the city hasn't seen since the '80s, said city planner Sherri Buss.
Joining a national movement, Washington County Sheriff Dan Starry has pledged to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jail.
A day after the historic government shutdown came to a pause, U.S. Rep. Angie Craig took questions from constituents at her first public forum.
Michael Merabella knew he had a knack for science class. Rocks are his favorite part, he said. But last summer, the Oakdale fourth-grader discovered a new talent — one that produced a week's worth of salad and $1,000 for college.
Since opening the Woodbury location of Osaka Sushi and Hibachi five years ago, owner Rebecca Wang says she's heard a recurring request. "A lot of people come from Cottage Grove, and they're like, 'Oh, it's kind of sad that there's no sushi restaurant down here,'" she said. This week, she's set to fill the void with her new restaurant, Sushi Cafe. Located on Harkness Avenue, the restaurant's offerings include customizable sushi dishes, hibachi-style entrees, poke bowls, noodles and bubble tea made with real fruit.
In January, the Federal Transit Administration accepted the Gold Line project into its "New Starts" program, which meant the bus rapid transit project would be eligible to receive matched federal funding. The announcement drew attention from top policy makers in the state.
At the beginning of the year, the Washington County Sheriff's Department started a new task force dedicated to sex trafficking. A two-year grant of $313,000 from the Department of Justice Programs with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety funded a new sergeant position to lead the seven-member East Metro Sex Trafficking Task Force. The coalition includes a detective from the Woodbury and Oakdale police departments.
Bill Hargis, the longest-serving mayor of Woodbury, died at 68 on April 10. During his service from 1993-2010, Hargis led a building boom as the city's population more than doubled to over 60,000. The Bielenberg Sports Center, the I-494/Tamarack Road interchange, Tamarack Village mall and Central Park were all constructed during this era.
The Washington County Board of Commissioners raised salaries for the first time since 2009 — a pay bump from $52,713 to $69,000. The board also increased salaries for Washington County Attorney Pete Orput from $171,580 to $180,159; Sheriff Dan Starry from $152,876 to $161,570; and administrator Molly O'Rourke from $176,344 to $185,161. Board requests speed studies from MnDOT
Ahead of the legislative session, state lawmakers are exploring proposals including creating an emergency supply of insulin and setting price controls on the drug.