Hannah Black is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. She is a proud graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism. Outside of reporting, she enjoys running, going to museums and trying new coffee shops. Her favorite thing to do is spend time with her dog, Wendell.
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County board asks state for more funding, better oversight of child protective services The St. Croix County Board passed a resolution at its Dec. 4 meeting asking the state to increase funding and improve its oversight of Wisconsin's Child Protective Services system.
LAKELAND — A Mahtomedi man was arrested on Nov. 25 after allegedly threatening another man with a gun. Brandon Gilbert Bacchus, 35, has been charged with a firearm violation after a previous felony conviction, as well as second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon after a previous felony conviction. He faces up to 15 years in county jail and $30,000 in fines if convicted of the first count and up to seven years and $14,000 if convicted of the second.
Starting in early October, Woodbury resident Grace Nester and her mother, Deona, began collecting donations for the Naomi Family Residence in St. Paul, the Union Gospel Mission's shelter for women and children experiencing homelessness due to things like domestic violence, drug addiction and mental illness. Nester asked her community to donate essentials like toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo, diapers and new or gently used winter clothing. "It was really fun seeing all the donations come in and the box being filled up and overflowing," she said.
WOODBURY — A St. Paul man was arrested Nov. 11 for allegedly strangling and assaulting his girlfriend in a Woodbury motel room. Jose Santos Barrios, 33, has been charged with felony domestic assault by strangulation, as well as misdemeanor domestic assault and providing an officer with false identification. He faces up to three years in county jail and $5,000 if convicted, and up to 90 days in jail and $1,000 for each misdemeanor.
After much discussion, the St. Croix County Board approved the 2019 County Budget at its Nov. 6 meeting with an amendment that lowered the 2019 property tax levy to 2.8 percent. The proposed levy increase had been 4.2 percent. The amendment was proposed by Supervisor Scott Nordstrand to transfer $2.5 million of the county's unassigned fund balance to its debt service fund in order to pay off a short-term loan. The amendment also allowed the county to set the 2019 levy at 2.8 percent, reducing the levy by $471,727.
Heather Ditzler first met Chris in seventh grade. Even then, he was the love her life, she said. But they both moved onto other things, and it wasn't until several years later, after both of their first marriages had ended, that they caught up on Facebook and agreed to meet for drinks. As the meetup drew closer, Heather said she was surprised at how nervous she was. "This is an old friend, this is no big deal," she said she told her herself — but out of that meetup grew a relationship, and the blending together of their two families.
WOODBURY — A Chicago man was arrested Oct. 30 in a Woodbury hotel for possessing more than 28.2 grams of meth. James Martin Pickett, 50, is charged with second-degree possession of a controlled substance, which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and $500,000. According to the criminal complaint:
ST. PAUL — Changsha, China, and St. Paul may be distant in geography, but a space linking the two will soon open in Phalen Regional Park. Representatives from the Minnesota China Friendship Garden Society will host an open house for the St. Paul-Changsha China Friendship Garden from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3. There will be guided tours of the garden in English, Chinese and Hmong. Visitors will also be treated to Chinese and Hmong music and hot tea.
The Woodbury City Council approved a 253-unit apartment complex for its CityPlace development during its Oct. 10 meeting. The apartment complex, called "The Preserve at CityPlace," will be the first residential space built within the development, which sits on the land once occupied by the State Farm Insurance regional office. The 14.3-acre plot at Hudson Road and Spring Hill Drive where the apartments are planned is currently vacant. Construction is set to begin in 2019.
A Hastings native's horror comedy short will come home with a showing at the Twin Cities Film Fest next week. Clarissa Jacobson's "Lunch Ladies" is a gory delight that carries the tagline, "Two burnt out high school lunch ladies do whatever it bloody takes on their quest to become Johnny Depp's personal chefs." It will show during the 9:15 p.m. "Laugh 'Til You Die" shorts block on Thursday, Oct. 18 at the ShowPlace Icon theater in St. Louis Park.