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The Puppet Wagon will be traveling around Woodbury neighborhoods and parks performing puppet shows filled with music and silly puppets. Performances are about eight minutes long and participants can play with the puppets afterwards. Shows will be canceled in the event of poor weather conditions. A schedule can be found at www.woodburymn.gov/departments/recreation/special_events.php .
COTTAGE GROVE — Woodbury and Cottage Grove will issue bonds to finance the soon-to-be-constructed HERO Center. The Health and Emergency Response Occupations, or HERO, Center was funded in part by the state in the bonding bill this spring, but Woodbury and Cottage Grove still have the other half to split and pay. Gov. Mark Dayton allocated $9.5 million to the facility, $200,000 short of what the cities requested. Cottage Grove and Woodbury have both added $5.26 million to their capital improvement plans over the next five years for the center.
WOODBURY — Valley Crossing Elementary School fifth-grader Nathan Kinney earned a perfect score in the national vocabulary competition WordMasters Challenge. Nearly 150,000 students take part in the competition, but only 65 earned a perfect score in 2018. Valley Crossing fourth-grader Iris Meyer earned Individual Highest Honors after scorning 58 out of a possible 60 points. The WordMasters Challenge is for students in grades three through eight.
NEWPORT — A near-miss kidnapping of five children June 13 has left Newport residents rattled. Vanholy Var, 36, of St. Paul, was under a 48-hour hold as of Friday morning, June 15, according to Washington County jail records. He faces charges of kidnapping, first-degree burglary and receiving stolen property. According to the complaint filed June 13:
BLOOMINGTON — The man alleged to have robbed a Cottage Grove bank back in May has been taken into custody. Jayvon Dominique Gant, 26, Bloomington, faces charges stemming from a monthlong spree of bank robberies in the metro area. According to a FBI criminal complaint:
NEWPORT — For over 50 years, four rickety swings have been some of the only play equipment at Newport Elementary School. Through the rain, volunteers connected pipes and plastic June 9 to construct an eight-person swing set, merry-go-round, tetherball pole, spinners and a geometric climber outside the school, 851 Sixth Ave., to replace the old swings. Principal Rich Romano said the playground will be ready for use by the time school starts again in the fall.
SOUTH WASHINGTON COUNTY — Five contenders have thrown their hats in the ring for the Washington County Board of Commissioners District 4 seat. Wayne Johnson, Bill Sumner, Jeff Swenson, Marvin Taylor and John Thorson will battle it out for the seat in the Nov. 6 election. District 4 includes Cottage Grove, Denmark Township, Grey Cloud Island Township, Newport, St. Paul Park and portions of Woodbury and Hastings.
A fatal stabbing in Newport early Sunday morning in under investigation by the Washington County Sheriff's Office.
COTTAGE GROVE — Lamont Bernard Taylor, 32, is facing charges of vehicle theft and fleeing police stemming from an alleged encounter with police just after 2 a.m. June 3. According to the criminal complaint: In a gas station parking lot, a Cottage Grove officer noted a vehicle that had been reported stolen out of St. Paul. The vehicle pulled out of the parking lot onto West Point Douglas Road and the officer followed. Taylor, who was the alleged driver, veered into the next lane and started driving between 80 and 100 miles per hour.
OAKDALE — Woodbury High School students prepared the Oak Meadows Senior Living gardens for the facility's 20th anniversary celebration as part of their Senior Service Day project.