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A westbound lane on Interstate 94 opened again shortly before noon Nov. 20 after a truck hauling more than a ton of frozen seafood ignited early that morning. Lt. Tiffani Nielson with the Minnesota State Patrol said the truck's driver smelled smoke and pulled over to the shoulder near Century Avenue around 6:20 a.m. Flames had engulfed the trailer, which contained 2,500 pounds of frozen fish. Woodbury Public Safety firefighters extinguished the flames.
A Cottage Grove man will spend about a month in jail for raping a 14-year-old girl with two others in 2016. Parker Cole Jarvis Running, 18, was convicted of felony third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim younger than 15 in a Washington County District Court Nov. 6. He received a 60-day jail sentence with credit for 31 days served and five years' probation. The court dismissed two other charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of aiding and abetting third-degree criminal sexual conduct— all felony charges.
More than $750,000 will be tacked onto next year's taxes for Woodbury property owners with unpaid utility bills. The total amount combined delinquent payments from 1,116 parcels throughout Woodbury, ranging from under $100 to more than $8,700. City council members voted Nov. 8 to certify the total amount to the Washington County auditor, whose office will collect what each parcel owes. The statements for each parcel will also include a 3 percent fee to offset the time city staff dedicated to the review and certification process.
Duluth Trading Company recently opened the doors to its long-awaited Woodbury Lakes location. Store manager Maggie Chanthavong said the brand's catalog customers requested Woodbury for its newest location more than any other community. A rapidly-developing community like Woodbury, Chanthavong said, offered the perfect opportunity for the Minnesota-based outdoor retailer's newest store.
Twin Cities nonprofit Mission Impact Council and other local partners are looking to recruit at least 20 Ethiopian Minnesotan youth to attend SPARK, an annual summit that will this year highlight digital storytelling's role in racial equity. Organizing participation at the event was one of numerous ideas discussed during Ethiopian Immersion Lab sessions. The group wrapped up its final meeting Nov. 4.
Helping people get into shape has been a deeply-embedded part of Gabi and Jacek Kozdroj's lives for more than decade combined. Gabi teaches Zumba classes and spent nearly three years managing a St. Paul Anytime Fitness location, where Jacek, her husband, worked as a personal trainer for 10 years. When the Bielenberg Drive Anytime location appeared on the market earlier this summer, the Woodbury couple seized on the opportunity to own a franchise closer to their home of 12 years.
State troopers suspect a Moose Lake man was under the influence of controlled substances when he led law enforcement on a high-speed pursuit from Woodbury to Hastings in a stolen vehicle Nov. 1. According to a Minnesota State Patrol news release, Joshua Allan Major, 30, will be booked into the Dakota County jail on charges including felony fleeing police, drunken driving and possession of a stolen vehicle once he is cleared from Regina Hospital. He was taken to the hospital for a blood draw following his arrest in Hastings.
Washington County sheriff deputies will have a permanent office in Afton next year thanks to a generous donation from a resident who died nearly a decade ago. The department received more than $100,000 from longtime resident Margo Forrest following her death in 2008. In addition to the new building, about $2,000 from the total $101,191 Forrest bequeathed funded a new CPR device for the fire department. Deputies assigned to Afton currently work out of the Lower St. Croix Valley Fire Department.
A South St. Paul man will spend 90 days in jail and faces three years of probation for lewd exchanges on a messaging app with an undercover officer he believed to be a 15-year-old girl. A Washington County court on Oct. 25 sentenced Carl William Gansen, 34, for felony engaging in electronic communication describing sexual conduct with a child. According to a Washington County criminal complaint, Gansen was one of several males to respond to a post on the anonymous app Whisper.sh posted by an undercover officer posing as a teenage girl advertising paid sex.
Woodbury High School freshman Manashree Padiyath was among a select group of students to complete the Rising Sun leadership program this summer. Louis August Jones Foundation established the international, tuition-free program more than 80 years ago to help develop youth's commitment to making positive contributions to their community and the world. Each year, the foundation selects 120 high school students from more than 25 countries for scholarships to the intensive four-week program in Rhinebeck, New york.