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Dawn Groen and two other families in her Rosemount neighborhood spent months organizing and crafting the Little Free Library that stood in Claret Park. They'd hoped their contribution to the park's northern corner — right across the street from their homes — was one the entire community could enjoy. On Saturday, the charred shell of the tiny structure surrounded by scattered, singed pages interrupted Groen's routine early-morning walk as police and firefighters assessed the scene.
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.
St. Croix County land and homeowners will see a slight decrease in property taxes next year if a budget proposal the county's administration committee recently approved gains county supervisor approval. The 2018 budget committee members approved Oct. 18 includes a .09 percent tax levy rate decrease in the county portion of property taxes. That decrease would drive down the county portion of property taxes from $896.73 to $895.96 on a home worth about $242,000, the county's median value.
Kendall Johnson compares pornography consumption to compulsive shopping: as people desire more and more of something, their desires are harder to satisfy. The Woodbury resident says an abundant supply and easily accessible supply of online porn can act as a "gateway drug" fueling relationship issues and dangerous habits. Some of those habits, he said, could escalate to seeking paid sex through platforms like Backpage.com, a website that gained notoriety as a hub for sex trafficking advertisements.
Lucifer Nguyen, the New Hope man accused of killing 48-year-old Beverly Cory in July while she worked in her Mendota Heights office, has been indicted by a Dakota County grand jury. Nguyen, 44, now faces charges of first-degree murder and two second-degree murder charges in addition to nine other charges filed Oct. 12, which include assault, burglary and kidnapping, according to a Dakota County Attorney's Office announcement Friday, Oct. 20.
A Woodbury man with a previous felony domestic assault conviction is accused of using a belt embedded with metal hoops to beat a teenager. Jaime Taraki Shavers, 37, faces a misdemeanor charge of malicious punishment of a child causing less than substantial bodily harm. According to a criminal complaint filed Oct. 5 in Washington County, a 14-year-old girl reported Shavers used the belt to hit her as punishment for "being disrespectful" at school.
Improved communication and unity dominated the objectives members of the Twin Cities' Ethiopian community pinpointed during their brainstorming sessions with the Human Immersion Lab in Woodbury. A coordination among the Woodbury YMCA, Woodbury Community Foundation, Woodbury Thrives and Minneapolis-based Mission Impact Council, the Immersion Lab took place in three four-hour brainstorming sessions over two months. The program aimed to help community leaders and Ethiopian residents identify their needs and formulate their own solutions.
The second man in a pair of Hudson residents accused of trafficking a homeless woman for commercial sex has been sentenced. Dustin Jeffrey Arthur Heichert, 31, will complete a one-year prison sentence followed by over seven years of supervised probation. He received credit for 129 days in jail. Heichert, along with fellow Hudson resident Adam James Krimpelbein, faced felony sex trafficking charges in January when authorities linked Krimpelbein's phone number to Backpage.com posts advertising "early bird specials" on commercial sex, according to the criminal complaint.
The Board of Supervisors seat for St. Croix County District 2 will remain vacant another month after some supervisors, citing the disclusion of three out of five applicants, voted to postpone the decision. District 2 covers Wards 1-3 of St. Joseph and Wards 3-6 of Somerset. Former Supervisor Agnes Ring stepped down from the seat last month after announcing she accepted a new position with Family Resource Center of St. Croix Valley. She said the nonprofit organization's work with public agencies could be a possible conflict of interest.