News

Mon
20
Jan

At the 11th hour, Robert Street costs rise

The largest public works project in West St. Paul’s history is growing larger still as requests for changes filter in from other agencies and new details emerge as designs near completion.
In December, city staff learned the total estimated cost for the Robert Street renovation project was increasing from the $16.4 million mark established in July 2012 to $20.8 million.

Mon
20
Jan

WSP police arrest suspect in pharmacy robberies


West St. Paul Police used a snow bank like this one near Walgreens at 1133 Robert St. to pin a fleeing robbery suspect’s vehicle, avoiding a high-speed chase on icy roads. (Luke Reiter/Review)

A Minneapolis man suspected of robbing three West St. Paul pharmacies in the past week is under arrest thanks to a quick-thinking officer and a nearby snow bank.
Jason Lee Arden, 38, was arrested Jan. 14 after allegedly robbing a Walgreens pharmacy at gunpoint on the 1100 block of Robert St. Arden made it to his car, but his getaway was foiled when an officer arriving on the scene veered his squad car into Arden’s vehicle, pinning it against a pile of recently-plowed snow. The officer then drew his firearm and instructed Arden to remain in his vehicle. When backup arrived, Arden was taken into custody.

Mon
20
Jan

Former WSP council member acquitted

A former West St. Paul City Council member was acquitted last week after being tried on multiple counts of disorderly conduct, including misconduct of a public official.
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that Edward Everett Hansen, age 43 of West St. Paul, was acquitted of one count of misconduct of a public official (a gross misdemeanor), one count of disorderly conduct (a misdemeanor) and an additional count of disorderly conduct (a misdemeanor).

Mon
20
Jan

Hill-Murray senior has jazz hands


John Blanda is shown at the baby grand piano in Hill-Murray High School’s choir room. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

John Blanda, in a sense, has the world at his fingertips.
Blanda, a 17-year-old kid from Maplewood, is quiet, laid back and comes off a bit spacey, but still sharp.
And sharp quickly comes to the fore when he sits at the piano.

Mon
20
Jan

Teen found guilty in Widstrand beating

A Ramsey County jury found St. Paul teen Cindarion Butler guilty on Tuesday, Jan. 14, of assault in the brutal beating of Ray Widstrand that took place on Aug. 4, 2013.
Butler, 17, was found guilty of first-degree assault and aggravated robbery. The jury acquitted him on two counts of crimes for the benefit of a gang.

Mon
20
Jan

Payne-Maryland project, now named, on track to open this spring


The Arlington Hills Community Center, also known as the Payne-Maryland project, should be ready to open in late spring, and will hold a new library, recreation center and more. (submitted photo)

The city-owned 40,000 square foot structure will house the Arlington Hills Library, a St. Paul Parks and Recreation facility, a digital media center geared towards teens, and community meeting rooms.
Brian Tourtelotte from St. Paul Parks and Recreation, who’s the project manager for the construction of the building, said crews are working on a variety of finishing work -- they’ve laid tile and painted most of the walls, and they’re installing the wood flooring in the gymnasium and putting in ceilings -- in short, things are more or less on schedule.

Mon
20
Jan

Sex trafficking ring prosecution lands historic sentence

Otis Deno Washington, 30, the last of the Washington family members to be convicted for operating a sex trafficking ring, was sentenced January 9 to 40 years in prison.
According to the Ramsey County attorney’s office, this is the longest penalty imposed on a sex-trafficking defendant in Minnesota history.

Thu
16
Jan

New Maplewood mayor, council members sworn in


Nora Slawik is sworn in as mayor of Maplewood by city clerk Karen Guilfoile Jan. 6 at the Maplewood Community Center.

When Will Rossbach became Maplewood’s mayor four years ago, he asked for a new gavel - “a fresh start” -- to use during city council meetings, marking the opening and closing of each one.
In his first minutes as the former mayor on Jan. 6, Rossbach handed the same gavel as well as his key to the city to Mayor Nora Slawik, who took the oath of office moments earlier during the swearing-in ceremony at the Maplewood Community Center.  But the wooden hammer was a little different -- Rossbach had three pink stripes painted on it, signifying the new, but not the first, female majority on the Maplewood City Council.

Thu
16
Jan

Maplewood steps up parking bans

After recent snowfalls, Maplewood Public Works and Police Departments will coordinate to step up enforcement and removal efforts when snowfall levels require city snow plows to be deployed.
Maplewood city code prohibits overnight parking on any city street between the hours of 2 and 6 a.m., and when plowing is required Maplewood Police will tow illegally parked vehicles in addition to the traditional response of ticketing.

Wed
15
Jan

Phalen Golf Course may have found new management


The city-owned Phalen Golf Course is shown in late fall of 2013. The course, along with Como Golf Course, will likely be under private management this coming spring. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

Come spring, Prom Management Group may be running the East Side’s majestic Phalen Golf Course, along with the Como Golf Course.
Phalen Golf Course, an 18-hole recreational course located in Phalen Regional Park, has been an East Side destination since it was built in 1917.
The decision to find a private partner came in November 2013, after the St. Paul Parks and Rec Department reported that collectively, the city’s four golf courses had lost $5 million since 2008.

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