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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:
Just as one by one 10 ducklings fell into the storm sewer May 30, so did two Hastings Police officers Mike Schmitz and Matthew Schlafer pull them back out one by one.
HASTINGS — Some boating equipment spotted under the Hastings Bridge on the Mississippi River May 20 was a little out of the ordinary. The U.S. Army generally holds its drills in Red Wing, but launched its boat a little farther north this year, using the boat launch in Hastings instead. Residents could see soldiers and the boat training under the city's trademark bridge.
A fleeing suspect led police on a chase through Cottage Grove resulting in two damaged squad cars and SWAT team barricade on Granada Avenue Friday afternoon.
STILLWATER — A Woodbury man has been sentenced in Washington County District Court to 30 days in jail and probation for engaging in sexual communication with a minor. According to the complaint: John Gary Kipka, 39, made the communication on Whisper, an app used to share secrets anonymously and often used for illegal activity. A Woodbury officer monitoring the app posed as a 15-year-old female named Taylor. Kipka replied to a note the undercover officer posted about being 15 years old.
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.
WASHINGTON COUNTY — Former Twin Cities sports radio personality Jeffrey Dubay will not face jail time for an August 2017 assault. Dubay, 50, of Cottage Grove, was convicted for third-degree assault in Washington County District Court March 22. He was sentenced to an 18-month stay of execution with five years probation, with 120 days jail time suspended pending completion of treatment at the from Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge recovery center in Minneapolis. Dubay pleaded guilty to the assault in December.
ST. PAUL — Attorney General Lori Swanson announced last month that the $850 million settlement negotiated between 3M Corp. and the state of Minnesota would not be accessible to Legislators, but that has not kept lawmakers from getting involved in the process. Bills drafted by Reps. Tony Jurgens, R-Cottage Grove, and Kelly Fenton, R-Woodbury, were heard in the Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee March 20. Karla Bigham, DFL-Cottage Grove, is expected to sponsor the bills in the Senate. Well testing