Ramsey Co. - Maplewood Review News

Maplewood News, North St. Paul News, Ramsey County News


‘Robot! Robot!’ Make way -- the future’s coming through

Robotics teams have team colors, referees in striped shirts, cheerleaders, mascots and their own devoted fan sections. (photos by Linda Baumeister and Holly Wenzel)

Irondale captain Logan Mildenberger, center, is all concentration as he and Matt Sondrol pilot the 2013 version of the KnightKrawler. The sleek machine can usually be counted on to do its job perfectly; it’s the human element that can play it up

This is what a robotics “pit” looks like when things are going wrong; Roseville FireBears Jonathan Hildebrandt and Sara Rieck reflexively put their hands to their heads as mentor Paul Mann mutters “We’re gonna need a drill press.” Fellow mentor and software engineer Keith Rieck explains that on-the-spot troubleshooting is just part of the learning process. “It’s a big puzzle to figure out ... We’re having some bad luck today, but we’re still having a lot of fun.”

Don’t let your guard down at its smile; this is a “Fighting Calculator,” mascot of the Math and Science Academy in Woodbury. From the Hill Murray “PioNerds” to a team whose uniforms are white lab coats, robotics competitors make the most of their “geek cred.”

Madeleine Logeais, of the Visitation Robettes, first all-girl team in the state, works on the team’s robot in the pit.

Make no mistake: these kids could hot-wire your car, hack its computer system, weld on enough hardware to make it do somersaults and secure corporate financing for the project in the time it takes you to parallel park it.
And then they’d put it on their college application forms.
Because the skills robotics students have learned -- from computer coding to negotiation, welding to presentation skills -- can power some pretty bright futures.


Couple charged in multiple bank robberies

Left to right: Rory Alan Mitchell; Kimberly Anne Hillage

Police investigating possible connection to Maplewood Wells Fargo holdup
Burnsville police charged two people Wednesday, April 23, in connection with the robbery of banks in Burnsville and Maple Grove, with one of them suspected to have played a role in Monday's robbery at the Maplewood Wells Fargo.


Rusty the snowman?

North St. Paul’s 44-foot tall snowman welcomes residents and visitors alike with a smile that stretches 16 feet across its cheerful face. (Kaylin Creason/Review)

The tradition continues. The stucco snowman celebrates the annual Snow Frolics in 2004 with the people of North St. Paul, continuing the tradition of giant snowmen at the festival that began with snow-made structures in the 1950s. (file photo)

It’s hard to find a jersey in that size! The snowman “wears” Bret Hedican’s Carolina Hurricane’s jersey to celebrate “Bret Hedican Day” in 2006 after the North St. Paul native’s Stanley Cup victory. (file photo)

North St. Paul native, two-time Olympian and Stanley Cup victor Bret Hedican and his wife, Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi, drive past the snowman during a parade celebrating Hedican’s 2006 Stanley Cup win with the Carolina Hurricanes. (file photo)

Mayor Mike Kuehn is leading the charge to check up on the health of the 40-year-old snowman, which he fears is in danger of toppling over due to rust on its cement base. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

Does the North St. Paul snowman need a check-up? Mayor Mike Kuehn thinks so. A few months ago, Kuehn asked the North St. Paul Parks and Recreation Commission to look into the “health” of the North St. Paul snowman, which he fears is in danger of toppling over.


Maplewood breaks ground on fire-police structure

Maplewood Fire Department personnel lend a hand at the April 14 groundbreaking ceremony for a fire department and police substation to be located at 600 McKnight Road. The new station will replace the one currently at 1177 Century Ave. N., and will include a police substation. (submitted photo)

After some early objections from nearby homeowners, the city of Maplewood finally broke ground on a construction project for a new fire and police substation on Monday, April 14.


Oakdale business owner arrested while trying to flee to China

Stephanie Lasch was arrested at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport the morning of April 10, while trying to flee the country to China. She was charged with felony identity theft the folowing day. (submitted photo)

The owner of BARE The Spa and Soap Bar Company located at 1077 Helmo Ave. No. Suite 100 in Oakdale has been detained by authorities for alleged fraudulent activity. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

The space formerly occupied by BARE remains vacant nearly three months after Lasch cleared out her belongings. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

Stephanie Rae Lasch, 35, of East Bethel was arrested at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport at approximately 7:15 a.m. Thursday, April 10, just minutes before a plane she and her husband were on departed for China.
She was transported by police to the Anoka County Jail and charged with felony identity theft the following day.


Casey Lake Park fundraiser to start next week

Zahradkas continue their playground rebuild in memory of daughter
Sarah and Tony Zahradka are continuing their efforts toward building a preschool-age playground at Casey Lake Park in memory of their daughter, Janie, who died unexpectedly last September.
Their newest project: a fundraiser that would install name-plated bricks (paving stones) at the park, which is located off 17th Avenue and Mohawk Road in North St. Paul.


Interstate 694 ramp to eastbound Highway 36 closed through May 11

The $13.8 million Highway 36/Hilton Trail reconstruction project will replace the former signalized intersection with a grade-separated diamond interchange. MnDOT plans to finish the project by the end of summer. (submitted graphic)

Now that the snow has melted, construction crews are continuing work on the Minnesota Highway 36/Hilton Trail project in Pine Springs.
The ramp to eastbound Highway 36 from northbound Interstate 694 closed Monday morning and will not reopen until Monday, May 12, weather permitting.


Maplewood Wells Fargo robbed Monday afternoon

Suspect may have committed multiple robberies in metro area
Maplewood police report that the Burnsville Police Department has a man in custody that may be responsible for bank robberies in Burnsville, Maple Grove and Maplewood.
According to a police statement, the Wells Fargo Bank at 2945 White Bear Ave., near Maplewood Mall, was robbed at 2:25 p.m. Monday, April 21.


Controlled burns planned for Ramsey County Parks in April and May

Controlled burns are a regular part of Ramsey County Parks activity. Shown is a 2006 burn at Tamarack Nature Center. (submitted photo)

Ramsey County Parks and Recreation will again be conducting prescribed burns in numerous parks and open spaces this spring. Burns begin in early April and continue through May.


Dispatchers get earful of Maplewood burglars’ plans

There’s a new rule for would-be burglars: don’t dial 911 while you’re casing the joint.
With today’s smartphones able to dial 911 with a touch of the screen, emergency dispatchers spend a lot of time picking up calls from toddlers and “pocket dialers.” They generally try to call the number back to check on the caller’s safety.