Shawn Hogendorf

Recent Posts

2018 Stillwater Area Baseball Association Player of the Week Awards: May 14

Every week this baseball season, we will announce Stillwater Area Baseball Weekly Award Winners here on Stillwater Current.  

Here’s our weekly award winners for the week of May 14. The Stillwater Motors Players of the Week goes to Parker Gilchrest, who pitched a no-hitter inning with three strike outs. He also hit his first home run!  

The Dave’s Sport Shop Hitter of the Week is Brady Dague. Continue Reading →

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Stomp out Military Suicide

May is Mental Health Month and is the time to bring awareness and discussion to the 20+ men and women serving in our armed forces who are completing suicide each and every day. Through their mission, Operation:23 to 0, a local, hands on nonprofit organization, hopes to raise awareness to this epidemic and offer resources to those fighting. Their mission of being available 24/7, bringing awareness, and hosting events such as Ruck walks throughout the Midwest, Operatio

n 23 to 0 hopes to grow their mission and with the help of local businesses and families throughout the community and are holding their first benefit concert. The 4onthefloor is a Minneapolis/St. Paul based band known for their stomping vibrant sounds and are playing this soon to be sold out show on May 17, 2018 in connection with Ziggy’s Restaurant in downtown Stillwater to help fund Operation:23 to 0’s mission. Continue Reading →

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Mike Polehna to Seek Re-election as Ward 4 Stillwater City Council Member

Stillwater City Council member Mike Polehna announced he will seek re-election as the Ward 4 representative on the Stillwater City Council, a position he has held for the past 14 years. Polehna currently serves as the city’s Vice-Mayor. He served as Stillwater’s 50th Mayor in 2014. “I am running for re-election because I love Stillwater and want to keep our city

moving forward in enhancing the quality of life in our fair city in a cost  effective manner,” Polehna said. In his work on the Council, Polehna has worked on projects and events such as the St. Continue Reading →

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2018 Stillwater Area Baseball Association Player of the Week Awards: April 29

Every week this baseball season, we will announce Stillwater Area Baseball Weekly Award Winners here on Stillwater Current. Here’s our weekly award winners for the week of April 29 to May 5. Every week this baseball season, we will announce Stillwater Area Baseball Weekly Award Winners here on Stillwater Current. Here’s our weekly award winners for the week of April 30 to May 6. The Stillwater Motors Players of the Week goes to Tanner Voight and Jacob Carlson, who sold MoneyBall tickets on behalf of two other teams to ensure that SABA told all available raffle tickets for the 14U special event. Continue Reading →

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Talk of the District: Even the Best of Schools Face Challenges

My favorite thing to do is visit a classroom and see the smiling faces of kids and teachers as they learn and grow together. Their energy and passion is contagious, and I feel motivated and inspired by them. Yet, these visits also make me aware of other things happening in our schools. Things that aren’t so positive. I see a small number of our children in distress. Continue Reading →

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Man Dies After Jumping from St. Croix Crossing

A man died Monday morning after jumping from the St. Croix Crossing. A man crawled over the railing on the north side of the new bridge and jumped, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. He was found dead on the ice below. The incident was reported by a motorist who was passing by at about 8:45 a.m. The incident happened on the Minnesota side of the bridge. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Board of Water Commissioners Votes to Challenge White Bear Lake District Court Order

When the level of White Bear Lake dropped so low that docks didn’t reach the water, few Stillwater residents had any idea that the DNR would be ordered to restrict their use of water to help replenish the lake. But on August 30, 2017, Ramsey County Judge Margaret Marrinan ordered that

the DNR, through the use of Water Appropriation Permits issued to Cities, begin restricting municipal water use from any municipal well located within a 5-mile radius of White Bear Lake. According to TKDA Engineer Matt Ellingson, who represents the Stillwater Water Board, Stillwater’s Well 11 – the city’s western-most well – resides approximately 4.99 miles from White Bear Lake. The Stillwater Board of Water Commissioners, which oversees the Water Board, contends that recent studies conducted by TKDA indicate Stillwater Well 11 pumps water from an aquifer plume that flows east toward the St. Croix River, not west toward White Bear Lake, and thus should not be included in the

White Bear Lake ruling. Continue Reading →

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Local Views: Stillwater School Board Should Focus on Teacher-Student Experience, Not Buildings and Real Estate

Public education is its own unique business, but as a physician, I can’t help but compare it to healthcare. In many ways, education and healthcare are similar.  Students and families are consumers for education services. Patients are consumers for healthcare services. The key element in education is the interaction between teacher and student. In healthcare it’s the provider-patient relationship. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Seeks Public Input Using Polco

The City of Stillwater is using Polco, an innovative engagement platform where residents can have input into the community decision-making process. By increasing civic engagement through web-based polling, there is an opportunity to meet Stillwater residents where they are. Stillwater’s rollout of Polco will focus on elements of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan. The City will release Polco questions focusing on perceptions of public safety, community quality of life, performance of local government, taxes and more. This is an opportunity to let the City know what is valued most, what may need to be improved, and what opportunities there are for the future. Continue Reading →

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SNOW DAY: Stillwater Schools, River Grove, Closed on March 5

All Stillwater Area Public Schools will be closed on Monday, March 5 due to the anticipation of inclement weather. “Forecasters are predicting a winter storm to hit our area tomorrow. In anticipation of inclement weather, we have decided to cancel school for Monday, March 5. There will be no school for all students. Adventure Club will also be closed and all regular after school and Community Education activities including Early Childhood, adult and youth classes are canceled. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Area Public Schools Considering Changes to School Start Times

Stillwater Area Public Schools is considering a change to start times for the 2019-2020 school year. The preliminary proposal to change start times was shared with the school board during a work session last week. According to the preliminary proposal:

Start times would be earlier for Oak-Land and Stillwater middle school students, as well as two elementary schools;

Move the start time for Stillwater Area High School back 40 minutes for an 8:20 a.m. start time;

Move five elementary school start times back about 30 minutes; and

Impact local charter and non-public schools with possible start times beginning near 10 a.m.

According to Stillwater Area Public Schools:

“School board members are considering a change to school start times that would allow for high school students to begin school later in the day. Medical evidence and research suggests that a start time of 8:30 a.m. or later would better align with teens’ unique sleep needs – improving both the physical and mental health of high school students.” The district could see a financial benefit from adjusting start times, according to the district’s website, by “allow the district to better balance the number of buses needed during each tier of bussing.”

Link: School board considering start time changes for 2019-2020

Link: Start Time Research on stillwaterschools.org

Link:  Preliminary Proposal shared with Board of Education

The preliminary proposal would move the district to a four tier busing system, instead of the current modified three tier system. Tier 1: (7:30 a.m.) Both middle schools and two elementary schools. Continue Reading →

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Local Views: On ‘Misconduct by Ptacek and Stivland’

Attorney Kristi Hastings, hired to investigate the alleged misconduct of school board members Michael Ptacek and Sarah Stivland, found that Ptacek and Stivland acted in violation of this District’s Respectful Behavior Policy, and Board Governance Process. Dr. Ptacek made a series of public statements about a District employee. Attorney Hastings found that:

1. When asked a question by the press, instead of making a straight-forward and honest statement, Ptacek asked a rhetorical question crafted to cause people to read between the lines and assume that someone (the District employee) had done something improper. 2. Continue Reading →

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Talk of the District: More than 8,000 reasons “Why”

Let’s face it. We all have days when the alarm clock goes off and we just do not want to crawl out from under those covers. So when that feeling kicks in, what is it that motivates us to fight off the desire to fall back asleep? What is the “why” that gets us going each day? I posed this question to the staff of the Stillwater Area Public Schools at the start of this school year. Continue Reading →

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Local Views: Why I Won’t Be Supporting O’Loughlin for Minnesota House Representative in 39B

Stillwater school board member, Paula O’Loughlin, is running for Minnesota House Representative in District 39B. Here’s why I won’t be supporting her:

In May 2015, the voters of Stillwater passed a $100 million school bond which promised, among other things, improvements to every district elementary school. A few months later, the district proposed to instead close three schools. They called this plan BOLD (Building Opportunities to Learn and Discover). Soon after the announcement of the district’s BOLD plan, I posted a thank you on Facebook, listing a few Main Street businesses that had made public declarations against the plan. Continue Reading →

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Update: Stillwater Area Public Schools, River Grove Brace for Snowstorm with Early Dismissal on Monday

Stillwater Area Public Schools is planning for early release from class Monday in anticipation of a dumping of snow. “Due to heavy snowfall expected to occur throughout the day on Monday, we are anticipating that students will be released from school early and all evening activities will be canceled on Jan. 22,” a post on the district’s website reads. “At this time, we are planning for the school day to begin at the normal time, but buses will depart for afternoon routes at 12:35 p.m. for middle and high school students, and at 2 p.m. for elementary students. We will continue to monitor the weather overnight, and if we feel conditions are unsafe for morning travel we will notify families of further scheduling changes as early as possible. Continue Reading →

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Police: Stillwater Man Dies from Gunshot Wound

A 20-year-old Stillwater man is dead and another man is in custody after a shooting Friday night in the 100 block of Bayberry Court in Stillwater. At about 7 p.m., Jan. 19, Stillwater Police were called to Lakeview Hospital on the report of a gunshot victim, Stillwater Police Chief John Gannaway said in a news release. The victim, Charles O’Connell, 20, was pronounced dead a short time later.  O’Connell was transported to Lakeview by private vehicle. Continue Reading →

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Washington County Historical Society’s Winter Ice Cream Social is Saturday

The Washington County Historical Society’s annual Winter Ice Cream Social is happening  Saturday, Jan. 20 at Lowell Park. The Winter Ice Cream Social is from noon to 4 p.m., with forecasts calling for temps in the mid 30s. Leo’s Grill and Malt Shop will be serving ice cream. There will also be free coffee, chili for a nominal fee, and of course, a bonfire. All funds raised from this event benefit the Washington County Historical Society. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater’s Beloved Smalley’s Caribbean Barbeque is Closing

One of downtown Stillwater’s most beloved restaurants is closing this weekend. Smalley’s Caribbean Barbeque and Pirate Bar will close on Saturday. “Being a part of this town is so important to me,” Chef Shawn Smalley said. “Everyone has been so supportive and so cool.”

Smalley said a “conflict about the lease” is the reason his restaurant is closing, but he’s “thankful for the opportunity” the landlords have given him over the years for leasing him the space on the south end of Main Street. “I’ve wanted to own a bar in this town since I was 18,” Smalley said. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Ice Castles Now Open

The Stillwater Ice Castles open this week in Lowell Park. The Stillwater Ice Castles will open at 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 5. Ice Castles LLC crews have been working on the winter wonderland for a couple of months, placing individual icicles into place and using a combination of water, ice and snow to sculpt it into a majestic, glacier-like castle. Buy tickets to the Ice Castles online

Ice Castle Hours

The ice castle is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 4 – 9 p.m.; Friday from 4 – 10:30 p.m.; Saturday from 11 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.; and Sunday from noon – 8 p.m. The ice castle is closed on Tuesdays. Continue Reading →

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River Valley Athletic Club Announces New Ownership

The River Valley Athletic Club announced new owners and a new look to ring in 2018. Longtime Stillwater resident and entrepreneur, Dave Najarian and his family are the new owners of River Valley Athletic Club. Najarian purchased the club from previous owner Summer Kuehn. The Najarian family also owns Nelson’s Ice Cream and the Lion’s Tavern in downtown Stillwater. Najarian and his family have been residents of the Stillwater area for 17 years, and club members of River Valley for more than 10 years. Continue Reading →

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Local Views: State of the Stillwater School District

I’ve done a lot of reflecting over the past couple of months about the state of our School  District. Where we’ve been, where we are now, and what’s ahead. Our schools have been closed, friendships have been damaged, the community has changed, children and parents have been hurt. The roller coaster that has been our district for the past two years, has changed me personally. I have spoken up and found a voice in me I knew was there, but maybe was hidden for a while. Continue Reading →

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Local Views: Something is Missing this Veterans Day in Minnesota

Want to go beyond thanking veterans for their service this Veterans Day and do something more to recognize the service of Minnesota’s veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? Did you know that Minnesota recognized its veterans of World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Persian Gulf War with veterans  bonuses, but Minnesota is yet to recognize its Afghanistan and Iraq vets with this same type of bonus? So how do we fix this? It’s pretty easy. All we need is one Minnesota state legislator to author a bill in the 2018 legislative session to provide for this bonus. Continue Reading →

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Patriots Tavern Closes for Repairs After Early Morning Fire

An early morning fire damaged the Patriots Tavern on Sunday. No injuries were reported, but the restaurant will be closed for a few days while repairs are made, according the Patriots Tavern Facebook page. “Friends we will unfortunately be closed for a couple of days due to an outside fire at the restaurant. It happened after hours and no one was harmed thankfully. The linen & towel storage bin caught fire and damaged our walk-in cooler amongst a few other minor things. Continue Reading →

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Lost Cat

Lost Cat

$100 Reward if found and returned

• Male (Neutered) Tabby Cat

• Tan/Orangish Color

• Name: TJ

• Went missing on October 5th

• Please Call 651-430-9278 or 651-315-0302 with any information

• TJ’s home is 4860 Normandale Ct N – Stillwater- that is where he was last seen

*****TJ required prescription medication so please help find him ASAP

THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR HELP! Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Schools Will Investigate a Complaint Filed Against 2 School Board Members

The Stillwater Area Public Schools Board of Education approved a motion to investigate a complaint filed by a district employee against two Board members during a closed meeting this week. A complaint was filed against Board Members Sarah Stivland and Mike Ptacek, Stillwater Area Schools Executive Director of Administrative Services Cathy Moen confirmed in an email this week. Both Stivland and Ptacek have been vocal critics of the School Board’s decision to close three elementary schools. Stivland was elected to her seat on the Board last November. Ptacek has served on the Stillwater Area Public Schools Board of Education since November 2008. Continue Reading →

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Local Views Counterpoint: ‘Comparing Apples to Oranges’

Dr. Zis Weisberg’s September 18, 2017 opinion piece in the Stillwater Current provides enough tosspottery for a week long seminar on political dishonesty and deception. For now, let’s start with his false claim that something was amiss in Stillwater Area Schools paying its financial advisor, RW Baird, $115,000 for work on a “competitive” sale bond issue, compared to the Sartell (Sartell-St. Stephen) School District paying its financial advisor, PMA, about $10,000 for work on a “negotiated” sale bond issue. The two companies did completely different types and amounts of work on two different types of debt sales. The types of work that must be completed on the two types of sales are not identical. Continue Reading →

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Local Views Counterpoint: ‘We Got Value, Without Cronyism’

Let’s dissect the central theme of Zis Weisberg’s 9/18 Local Views column: “We deserve the best possible value for the dollar, not cronyism.”

First, the dictionary definition of “cronyism” is “the appointment of friends and associates to positions of authority, WITHOUT REGARD TO THEIR QUALIFICATIONS” (emphasis added). Is Weisberg claiming that BWBR, the architectural firm, and Baird, the financial services firm, are not qualified to do the work they were contracted to do? BWBR is one of the Upper Midwest’s oldest and largest design solutions firms and is consistently ranked in the top five architectural firms in the region. They have been working with the district for more than 20 years going back to Rutherford Elementary and, more recently, the ECFC. In addition to education, BWBR regularly handles multi-million dollar projects for the Mayo Clinic and Fortune 500 companies like 3M. Continue Reading →

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Local Views: ‘We deserve the best possible value for the dollar, not cronyism’

Who is 834VOICE? According to a letter published in the Stillwater Gazette Aug. 12 by Mr. Blondin, we’re a “dark money group funded by hidden political agents.”

Mr. Blondin asked, “who are the special interests out to harm public education in our community by funding 834VOICE?”

He also attacked my credibility. These attacks are nothing more than a disingenuous attempt to divert attention away from district wrong-doing. This same strategy is being used by the District’s legal team instead of addressing serious allegations. Continue Reading →

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