- Member for
- 1 year 11 months
ST. PAUL PARK — The St. Paul Park refinery, recently sold to Marathon Petroleum, is under fire from legislators and the community for housing hydrogen fluoride after the explosion at Husky Energy refinery in Superior, Wis. The Star Tribune reported last week that records found at the Chicago Environmental Protection Agency office record a "worst-case" scenario where over 1.5 million people in a 19-mile radius of the refinery could be affected by emissions from the refinery in an emergency situation.
NEWPORT — Washington County Sheriff's Office deputies in Newport have taken on code enforcement at the request of the City Council. After reviewing city codes and determining the most common violations in the city, the City Council decided to make an enforcement plan. Sergeant Bill Harrell, who oversees deputies in Newport, said they will be going through ordinances one at a time, as prioritized by Mayor Dan Lund. They will focus on one ordinance for a month at a time before moving on to the next.
ST. PAUL — A bill to monitor the way 3M settlement funds are spent was passed in the House May 14. The bill, penned by Rep. Kelly Fenton, R-Woodbury, creates an account for funds from the settlement between Minnesota and 3M Corp. in February regarding perfluorochemical pollution in the east metro area. About $720 million remaining after paying legal fees from the $850 million settlement. Karin Housley, R-Stillwater, is carrying the bill in the Senate. It is currently in committee.
ST. PAUL — The HERO Center is inching forward, as local officials wait with bated breath for what the end of session could bring. The state House this week announced that the HERO (Health and Emergency Response Occupations) Center has been flagged for nearly $10 million in its state funding. Cottage Grove and Woodbury would foot the rest of the bill if the Legislature approves the project in the final bonding bill.
COTTAGE GROVE — A 34-year-old Cottage Grove man is in custody on two counts of felony first-degree criminal sexual conduct and possessing pornographic photos. Darryl Rena White Jr. is accused of sexually abusing a juvenile female for the past two years, according to a criminal complaint filed April 11 in Washington County District Court. White, whose whereabouts are currently unknown, is being sought by police on a warrant.
NEWPORT — Opinion Brewing is set to reopen, after winning its liquor license back from the Newport City Council. The council voted to revoke the license in March, but since the owners have made all of the code corrections needed back when the process began in September 2016, council members found it appropriate to reconsider the motion. They voted to change it from a revocation to a suspension of the liquor license. The 60-day suspension was retroactive to the original vote in March, meaning that it ended May 7.
WASHINGTON COUNTY — Just over a week short of the Minnesota fishing opener, the Minnesota Department of Health is advised anglers to not regularly eat fish caught in this part of the Mississippi River. Mississippi River Pool 2, the area from St. Paul to Hastings, has been flagged by the MDH May 3 for levels of PFOS — a type of perfluorochemical — in certain fish. The MDH recommends no more than one meal per week of most fish caught in Pool 2, but carp, flathead catfish and white bass are recommended at no more than one meal per month.
WOODBURY — A Woodbury man was approached at gunpoint by three suspects the afternoon of May 9. According to police, just after 4 p.m. Wednesday, two men and a woman pulled a handgun on the victim in the stairwell of an apartment building in the 6700 block of Ashwood Road. One of the men asked questions about the victim's roommate and an item they were looking for, saying only, "Where is it?" The three suspects went into the apartment and searched it, but did not take anything.
ST. PAUL PARK — The refinery will be renamed again, back to a former one. The St. Paul Park refinery and the rest of its parent company Andeavor was sold to Marathon Petroleum April 30 for over $23 billion. The deal includes Minnesota gas station chain SuperAmerica. Since the turn of the century, the refinery has gone from ownership of Ashland to Marathon to Northern Tier to Western Refining, Andeavor and now back to Marathon. Andeavor owned the refinery since last June.
WOODBURY — Nearing the end of her second term, Kelly Fenton has announced she is running for a third. Rep. Fenton, R-Woodbury, said she's running again because "there's a lot more I'd like to accomplish." One reason she's looking for another two-year House term is to continue the Interstates 94, 494 and 694 interchange improvements project she's been working since her first term. Fenton said she's succeeded in getting short-term fixes, but is looking to spend another term getting a more long-term solution on the books.