Kaitlyn Roby

Kaitlyn Roby can be reached at kroby@lillienews.com or 651-748-7815.
Follow her on Twitter @KRobyNews.

Tue
25
Mar

Man shoots, kills son with shotgun in Maplewood home


Maplewood investigators and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are investigating a Monday incident in which an 84-year-old father apparently shot and killed his 36-year-old son at their Maplewood home in the 1800 block of East County Road B. (Kaitlyn Roby/Review)

Neighbors and passersby watched a two-hour standoff end between police and an 84-year-old man, who reportedly barricaded himself in a bedroom after allegedly shooting his 36-year-old son at their Maplewood home. The father was transported to Regions Hospital with stab wounds that police say were self-inflicted. (Kaitlyn Roby/Review)

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is assisting Maplewood investigors on the case, where a father apparently shot his son during a disagreement Monday. (Kaitlyn Roby/Review)

Maplewood investigators and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension inspect the scene at the Maplewood home of Chue Vang, 36, who was allegedly shot and killed by his father, Pang Vang, 84, inside the house earlier Monday. (Kaitlyn Roby/Review)

84-year-old father hospitalized with self-inflicted stab wounds
Police are investigating a case in which an 84-year-old man apparently shot and killed his 36-year-old son on Monday at the Maplewood home where they both lived. The father then barricaded himself in a bedroom as police tried to communicate with him for two hours.

Wed
19
Mar

More than a swim

Females-only swim brings together diverse cultures, views in Maplewood
A females-only swim time in Maplewood has become much more than an opportunity to get into the water.
Over the past two years, organizers have watched women and girls from a variety of backgrounds, religions and cultures find common ground while they learn to swim and enjoy snacks and conversation afterwards. The program, which is funded by the Educational Equity Alliance, even garnered an award in late 2013 from the Minnesota Community Education Association, and it continues to be a unique offering in the Twin Cities.

Wed
19
Mar

Potholes: City crews say it’s just the beginning


Some potholes on local roads have grown from small depressions to lane-wide rivers, as snow melt seeps into a crack, freezes and loosens the pavement from underneath. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

The culprit: water. With sudden melting of this year’s snowfall — coupled with the fact many stormwater drains were still covered with ice — water seeped into cracks and holes all over area roads. After a couple cycles of freezing and expanding, its effects were obvious to those in even the “smoothest-riding” vehicles. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

Potholes of various depths have been nuisances in need of repair on some roads this winter. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

How to report issues
Maplewood has already packed 18 tons of asphalt into potholes on city streets in recent weeks, and staff members say that’s just the beginning.
Public works director Michael Thompson said the department is on track to slap down about 100 tons of the cold mix material over the next few weeks, and will break out a hot-mix asphalt for finer, more durable repairs once the snow melts and the streets are swept.

Wed
19
Mar

Stillwater area schools to cut up to 30 teachers

More adjustments, scaling back anticipated
Stillwater Area Public Schools could lose up to 30 teachers next year.
In what’s just the beginning of cuts and adjustments to be made to balance the budget, the school board Thursday approved scaling back instructional staff by the equivalent of about 30.2 full-time positions.

Wed
12
Mar

City hires finance director after 1 1/2-year gap


Jeanne Day

After more than a year and a half without one, North St. Paul recently welcomed a full-time finance director.
Jeanne Day, who has more than two decades of local-government accounting experience, had her first day in the position March 3.
The city’s previous finance director, Al Mahlum, retired in July 2012 after 24 years working with the finance department.

Wed
12
Mar

Wentz sentenced for injuring sisters in Lake Elmo crash while drunk

Jon Ross Wentz of St. Paul was recently sentenced for crashing his car into another vehicle in Lake Elmo while drunk, leaving two sisters with extensive injuries that have required multiple surgeries. 

Wed
12
Mar

Legislation would rename Hwy. 36 in North St. Paul to honor slain officer


North St. Paul Police Chief Tom Lauth testified at the Capitol on March 3 on behalf of a bill by Sen. Chuck Wiger that would rename a stretch of Hwy. 36 in honor of slain North St. Paul Police Officer Richard Crittenden. Christine Crittenden, widow of the slain officer, also testified. (photo courtesy of Sen. Wiger's office)

Christine Crittenden testifies at a state Senate committee meeting on March 3 at the Capitol in St. Paul in support of renaming the stretch of Minnesota Highway 36 that runs the North St. Paul after her late husband. Sen. Chuck Wiger, DFL-Maplewood, right, presented the bill, honoring Officer Richard Crittenden who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Sept. 7, 2009. (Kaitlyn Roby/Review)

Christine Crittenden, the widow of North St. Paul Police Officer Richard Crittenden, listens as city manager Jason Ziemer (not pictured) testifies for a bill presented by Sen. Chuck Wiger, right, which would rename a stretch of Minnesota Highway 36 for the slain officer. (Kaitlyn Roby/Review)

Pictured, from left to right, are North St. Paul Police Chief Tom Lauth, state Sen. Chuck Wiger, DFL-Maplewood, Christine Crittenden, the widow of North St. Paul Officer Richard Crittenden, state Rep. Leon Lillie, DFL-North St. Paul, and state Rep. Dan Schoen, DFL-St. Paul Park. Schoen is a Cottage Grove police officer. (Kaitlyn Roby/Review)

Supporters of a bill to rename Minnesota Highway 36 in North St. Paul “the Officer Richard Crittenden Memorial Highway” stand in front of the slain officer’s squad car, which was repainted as a memorial to Minnesota officers killed in the line of duty, at the state Capitol March 3. Crittenden’s wife, Christine, is at center, holding pictures of her husband. (Kaitlyn Roby/Review)

Pain palpable nearly 5 years after Rick Crittenden’s death
Nearly five years after North St. Paul Officer Richard Crittenden was shot and killed responding to a domestic dispute call, those who revered and loved the husband, father and grandfather are still striving to honor him.
“He gave his life for two people he didn’t even know,” Police Chief Tom Lauth said. “He answered the call. We don’t all know that. We’re not all tested with that. He was and he did.”

Wed
12
Mar

Maplewood police take new look at old clergy abuse cases

The Maplewood Police Department recently began digging into two inactive cases, which previously didn’t lead to charges, involving members of the clergy who were accused of sexual abuse.
With a similar lookback by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and Twin Cities law enforcement recently, Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell said the department wanted to ensure such cases have had a chance at a thorough investigation, if possible.

Wed
05
Mar

Designer picked for Janie Zahradka memorial playground in North St. Paul


The rendering of part of the unique playground from Play by Design

At the Parks and Recreation Commission meeting on Feb. 26, Sarah Zahradka describes the options for an all-ages playground that will be built at Casey Lake Park in North St. Paul as a memorial to her daughter, Janie, who passed away in September at 18 months old. She and her husband, Tony, collected donations for the whimsical play structure.

Tony Zahradka holds his daughter, Janie, on a swing at Casey Lake Park in North St. Paul when she was about 7 months old. She died less than a year later, on Sept. 30. The family is donating money toward toddler-friendly structures at the playground in her memory. (submitted photo)

At 17 months old, Janie Zahradka heads toward the playground at Edgerton Park in Maplewood. (submitted photo)

A whimsical, toddler-friendly playground could be built at Casey Lake Park in North St. Paul this summer.
The Parks and Recreation Commission moved the unique play structure one step closer to construction on Feb. 26 by recommending hiring New York company Play by Design, which put together a colorful “Magical Forest Tot Lot” that organizers say would draw families throughout the region.

Wed
05
Mar

Lake Elmo allows chickens, bees in smaller yards


Chickens move about their Oakdale coop. Lake Elmo residents with at least half an acre can now raise chickens of their own. Bees are also permitted. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

Horses in Lake Elmo stand out among the setting sun. They used to be the only livestock allowed on less than 10 acres. Other livestock including chickens and bees are now permitted. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

Natasha Fleischman took in a brood of chickens when a friend was forced to get rid of the fowl.  
“I really thought they were fun to have around,” the Lake Elmo resident said. “They come running when you call them. They’re fun to watch.
“There’s something so fulfilling about going out and getting your own eggs. For three years, I didn’t buy eggs at a grocery store, ever.”

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