Public Safety

Recent Posts

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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Man Dies in Apparent Drowning on Lake Jane in Lake Elmo

A man died after an apparent drowning Thursday morning on Lake Jane in Lake Elmo. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call at 11:13 a.m. for a man who was underwater in Lake Jane. Several fire rescue units and the sheriff’s office Water Patrol responded to the scene where the man was located and pronounce dead. According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office:

Three men were fishing in a canoe that became flooded and sank. The weather was windy and there were white caps on the lake. Continue Reading →

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Living with Black Bears: Several Bear Sightings Reported in Bayport on Tuesday Morning

Several black bear sightings were reported Tuesday morning in and around Lakeside Park in Bayport. An adolescent black bear was seen meandering around Lakeside Park, and according to one report, the bear charged a man and his dog, stopping about 10-15 feet away from them. It’s not uncommon for black bears to be seen in the Stillwater area in the spring and early summer. There have been dozens of black bear sightings reported in the area in recent weeks. If you encounter a black bear:

Don’t panic. Continue Reading →

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6-Year-Old Girl Dies After Apparent Drowning in Lake Elmo Swimming Pond

A 6-year-old child died after an apparent drowning in Lake Elmo Park Reserve’s swimming beach on Sunday afternoon. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded at 1:17 p.m., Sunday to a report 6-year-old Saint Paul girl who had been pulled from the water and was not breathing. Resuscitation efforts were performed on the victim at the scene. The girl was transported to Regions Hospital where she was pronounced dead. The name of the child is not being released at this time. Continue Reading →

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State Patrol: Roseville Teen Dies in Oak Park Heights Crash

A 17-year-old Roseville boy died Thursday afternoon after his motorcycle struck an SUV in Oak Park Heights. The driver of the motorcycle, Declan Ronan Raverty, died in the crash, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. The passenger on the motorcycle, Katie Rose Pagel, 20, of Roseville was transported to Regions Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, the fatal crash happened at about 4:45 p.m. on Highway 95, just north of Highway 36. A Harley Davidson was traveling northbound on Highway 95 when a Cadillac Escalade exited the Sunnyside Marina and crossed the highway, according to the State Patrol. The motorcycle struck the rear quarter panel of the SUV. Continue Reading →

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Forest Lake Reaches Tentative Agreement to Keep Police Department

It appears that the Forest Lake Police Department will not be disbanded after all. Days after the Forest Lake City Council voted to dissolve the police force, and contract with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the city of Forest Lake, the Forest Lake Police Department, the police union and Sheriff’s Office issued a joint press release announcing that a tentative agreement had been reached. Forest Lake patrol officers and sergeants unions will each hold a vote on the agreement on Thursday. The agreement will be presented to the council next week. City leaders and union representatives negotiated the agreement at the encouragement of Washington County Sheriff Dan Starry, county commissioners and city council members, the news release said. Continue Reading →

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Update: Missing Boater Found Safe After Accident on the St. Croix River

The boater who was reported missing after an accident south of Bayport on the St. Croix River early Sunday morning has been located alive, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. The boaters in the accident were identified as Jason Elgersma, 36, and Kristin Erickson, 35, both of Minneapolis. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office has marked the boat as a safety hazard on the river, and ordered that it be removed by the owner in a timely manner. The boating accident remains under investigation by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Continue Reading →

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Authorities Search for Man After Boating Accident on the St. Croix River

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a man who went missing after a boating accident early Sunday morning south of Bayport on the St. Croix River. According to a news release, a man and a woman were aboard the boat at the time of the accident. The boat took on water and was partially submerged. The woman made it to shore safely. Continue Reading →

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Washington County Board Appoints Chief Deputy Dan Starry as County Sheriff

The Washington County Board of Commissioners appointed Chief Deputy Dan Starry to the post of Washington County Sheriff, after Sheriff Bill Hutton announced his intent to retire from the office on April 30. Starry will serve the rest of Sheriff Hutton’s term, which runs through Jan. 7, 2019. Starry will be sworn in in early May. Hutton will take over as the executive director of the Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association. Continue Reading →

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Police, Stillwater Schools Investigate Assault Near Stillwater Junior High School

Police are investigating a report that a Stillwater Junior High School student was assaulted Monday afternoon just a few blocks from school. The assault happened across the street from Fairview Cemetery on Orleans Street and Osgood Avenue. The child was approached for a ride home from some teenagers Monday afternoon, and after he declined a ride twice, they reportedly got out and beat him up. Here is the letter Stillwater Junior High School Principal Eric VanScoy sent to families:

Yesterday, while walking home from school, a Stillwater Junior High School student was assaulted by a group of unknown males. The incident occurred just a few blocks from school by Fairview Cemetery on Orleans Street and Osgood Avenue. 

We’re currently working with officers from Stillwater and Oak Park police departments to investigate the situation and search for the individuals involved. Continue Reading →

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Night to Unite Parties Abound in Stillwater, Bayport and Oak Park Heights on Tuesday

Night to Unite is happening Tuesday evening in neighborhoods all across Stillwater. The Stillwater Police Department will be celebrating their annual “Night to Unite” event from 5-9 p.m., in Washington Square Park, located at 801 Greeley St. South. Share your Night to Unite photos with the Pictures of Stillwater Facebook group. Night to Unite is aimed at heightening crime prevention awareness, generating support and participating in local anti-crime efforts, as well as strengthening and developing police-community partnerships. Continue Reading →

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Police: Stillwater Man Arrested After Reports of Gunshots Fired Near Cub Foods

An 18-year-old Stillwater man was arrested Saturday morning after police responded to a report of a suspicious man walking away from Cub Foods with a gun in the front of his pants. The caller told police they saw the man on a hill nearby and heard multiple gunshots. Police responded to the area at about 8:35 a.m. and located the man, who then started running, Stillwater Police Sgt. Jeff Stender said. The man ran into the back of Super 8 Motel, where he was taken into custody. Continue Reading →

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Update: One Man Dead, Another Critically-Injured After Domestic Disturbance

One man has died, and another remains in critical condition following a domestic disturbance in the 400 block of Mulberry Street Friday afternoon. William Mark Scheel, 59, of Stillwater was stabbed and died from his injuries, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. His death was determined to be homicide by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office. His son, William James Scheel, 30, also sustained serious injuries during the incident and currently is in critical but stable condition at Regions Hospital. When Stillwater police arrived at the scene, officers found two men were critically injured. Continue Reading →

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Man Transported to Hospital After Being ‘Shot’ with a BB on Main Street

A Hopkins man was apparently “shot” with a BB gun in broad daylight on South Main Street in downtown Stillwater last weekend. A 25-year-old Hopkins man called 911 from in front of the Stillwater Farm Store on Main Street just after 1:30 p.m. on June 11 and reported that he may have been electrocuted, and had a leg injury, Stillwater Police Sgt. Jeff Stender said. But while the man was being treated by Lakeview EMS, paramedics discovered a puncture wound on his right leg, Stender said. There was also a corresponding hole in the man’s shorts. Continue Reading →

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Police Investigate ‘School Shooting’ Tweets Made by Stillwater Junior High Students

Police are investigating two Stillwater Junior High School students who allegedly made threats of bringing a gun to school on Twitter. A journalist in New York first alerted Stillwater police to the alleged threats after seeing them come across his newspaper’s social media analytics software that tracks any mentions of school shootings on Twitter, Stillwater Police Sgt. Jeff Stender told the Pioneer Press. Police also received other reports about the tweets from state and federal law enforcement agencies. According to the Pioneer Press:

One of the tweets said: “So sick of these cyberbully f—- bullying me they gonna be sorry Monday (three gun emojis) dad got a new gun.”

Three other tweets allegedly posted by the boys “spewed racial and religious hatred, another took shots at Donald Trump, and one of them was a photo where the boy’s face had been superimposed over the face of a man holding a sawed-off shotgun,” Stender said. Continue Reading →

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19-Year-Old Afton Man Identified in Fatal Scooter Crash at Browns Creek Trail

Cole Hunter Schilling, 19, of Afton, has been identified as the victim of an apparent scooter accident in Stillwater last weekend. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s office ruled that Schilling drowned after crashing on his scooter. Schilling graduated from Stillwater Area High School in 2015. Police were called at about 8:15 a.m. to a report of a crash just off of Browns Creek Trail about a ½ mile north of McKusick Road, where the trail winds through Oak Glen Golf Course. The person who called in the crash, reported seeing a body floating in Browns Creek, according to Stillwater Police. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Police: Man Found Dead in Browns Creek After Scooter Crash

Stillwater police are investigating the death of a man whose body was found Saturday morning in Browns Creek after an apparent scooter accident. Police were called at about 8:15 a.m. to a report of a crash just off of Browns Creek Trail about a ½ mile north of McKusick Road, where the trail winds through Oak Glen Golf Course. The person who called in the crash, reported seeing a body floating in Browns Creek, according to Stillwater Police. The victim appears to be between the ages of 18-22 years old. It’s unclear when the crash occurred, but police said someone on the trail saw the unoccupied moped in the area around 7:30 a.m. Saturday. Continue Reading →

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Suspect in St. Paul Shooting Arrested Just North of Stillwater

The suspect in a St. Paul shooting on Thursday afternoon was arrested just north of Stillwater last night following a police chase that started in Chisago County. A 37-year-old Woodbury man was jailed on suspicion of murder at 12:35 a.m. Friday. He was arrested after leading police on an 11-mile chase down Highway 95 that began in Chisago County. RECORDED POLICE AAUDIO: Chisago / Washington County Police Chase With St Paul Murder Suspect 4/7/16… Continue Reading →

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Legal Challenges of BOLD Plan Begin Piling Up for Stillwater Area Public Schools

Stillwater Area Public Schools’ legal team is going to be busy in the months following the Board’s decision to approve Superintendent Denise Pontrelli’s BOLD plan. Stillwater parent group 834 VOICE has filed the first of two expected lawsuits against Stillwater Area Public Schools in an attempt to reverse the BOLD plan to close three Marine, Withrow and Oak Park elementary schools. The 834 VOICE group’s attorney Fritz Knaak on Monday filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari with the Minnesota Court of Appeals seeking to reverse the school board’s decision to close the schools. “The certiorari appeal process exists for direct challenges like this one to a school board’s decision to close schools,” Knaak said. “This particular part of the challenge will have the Appeals Court look at the record the Board had in front of it — and decide whether there was enough evidence in it to justify the decision.”

The appeals court will not offer an opinion of the school board’s interpretation of evidence, Knaak said, but it would determine if there was enough “good evidence to show that the closings were both ‘necessary’ and ‘practicable.’”

The court of appeals petition is the first step of a litigation process that 834 VOICE is bringing against Stillwater Area Public Schools. Continue Reading →

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State Patrol Suspects Distracted Driving in Fatal Crash in Lakeland Township

The Minnesota State Patrol says distracted driving may have been a factor in a fatal crash Monday night (Feb. 29) at the intersection of Highway 95 at 22nd Street North in Lakeland Township. According to the state patrol, a Ford Fusion was stopped at the intersection at about 6:45 p.m., when a Saab 9-3 Aero — traveling northbound — crossed the lanes, drove into a ditch on the south side of the road, hit an embankment and then went airborne before hitting the Ford. Megan Goeltz, 22, of Hudson was killed. The driver of the Saab, Drew Fleming, 20, of Hudson, suffered non-life threatening injuries. Continue Reading →

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Update: Stillwater Police Release Photo of US Bank Robbery Suspect

Stillwater Police continue looking for the suspect in the US Bank robbery last week at 213 E. Chestnut St. The bank robbery was reported at about 2:30 p.m. Feb. 12. No arrests have been made in the bank robbery, Stillwater Police Chief John Gannaway said. One person was briefly detained and released. The suspect displayed a note and implied that he had a weapon, then fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of money, Gannaway said. Continue Reading →

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Update (7 p.m.): Stillwater Police Say No Arrests Made in US Bank Robbery

The Stillwater US Bank location at 213 E. Chestnut was robbed at about 2:30 p.m. Friday, according to Stillwater Police Sgt. Jeff Stender. As of 7 p.m. Friday, there had not been an arrest made in the bank robbery, Stillwater Police Chief John Gannaway said. One person was briefly detained and released. The suspect displayed a note and implied that he had a weapon, then fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of money, Gannaway said. The case remains under investigation. Continue Reading →

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Update: Police Say No Arrests Made in US Bank Robbery

The Stillwater US Bank location at 213 E. Chestnut was robbed at about 2:30 p.m. Friday, according to Stillwater Police Sgt. Jeff Stender. The bank robbery is the reason for the large police presence downtown. As of 7 p.m. Friday, there had not been an arrest made in the bank robbery, Stillwater Police Chief John Gannaway said. One subject was briefly detained and released. The suspect displayed a note and implied that he had a weapon, then fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of money, Gannaway said. Continue Reading →

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Fire Update: Baytown Township Home Considered a Total Loss

Firefighters battled flames and subzero temperatures this afternoon a house fire in Baytown Township. Firefighters were called to a home Crews were called to a home in the 13000 block of 48th Street at 12:38 p.m., Bayport Fire Chief Allen Eisinger said, after someone noticed heavy smoke coming from a garage. When firefighters arrived, the garage was engulfed in fire, and flames were spreading to the home. No injuries have been reported and no one was home at the time of the fire, Eisinger said. The home is a total loss. Continue Reading →

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Update: Police Identify Stillwater Man Who Died After Car Plunged Off of Bluffs Near Second Street

A 65-year-old Stillwater man died Dec. 28 after a one-vehicle crash near the intersection of Hazel and Second streets. On Monday, Stillwater Police identified the driver as John Scheel. The cause of the crash remains unknown at this time, according to police, pending reports from the Minnesota State Patrol and Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office. Updated from:

Stillwater police were called to the fatal crash at 12:03 p.m., after a vehicle believed to be traveling northbound on Second Street went through the dead end cul du sac near Hazel Street, off the bluff, and over the Browns Creek State Trail, crashing into the woods, Stillwater Police Capt. Nate Meredith said. Continue Reading →

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MnDOT Warns of Dangerous Ice Conditions on the St. Croix River During Winter Construction of River Crossing

A tug boat is breaking ice in the St. Croix River to allow construction crews to continue work on the new St. Croix River Crossing during the winter months. Crews are currently breaking ice within and downstream of the bridge construction zone, according to a MnDOT news release. Crews are breaking ice as far south as the overhead power lines coming from the Xcel Energy Allen S. King Power Plant near Bayport. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Man Dies After Car Plunges Off of Bluffs Near Second Street

A 65-year-old Stillwater man died Monday after a one-vehicle crash near the intersection of Hazel and Second streets. Stillwater police were called to the fatal crash at 12:03 p.m., after a vehicle believed to be traveling northbound on Second Street went through the dead end cul du sac near Hazel Street, off the bluff, and over the Browns Creek State Trail, crashing into the woods, Stillwater Police Capt. Nate Meredith said. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. The crash remains under investigation. The Minnesota State Patrol was called to the scene to reconstruct the crash, Meredith said. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Police Investigate Shooting on Meadowview Drive

 

A 35-year-old Stillwater man was shot Saturday night at a home in the 1100 block of Meadowview Drive. The man was transported to the hospital to be treated for his injuries, according to police. A dog was found dead at the scene of the shooting. No arrest has been made, but police do not believe there is a danger to the public. Here is audio from the incident that was posted on Police Clips last night. Continue Reading →

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Update: Firefighters Extinguish Fire at Rafters on Main Street in Downtown Stillwater

Stillwater firefighters responded to a fire at Rafters Bar and Grill in downtown Stillwater on Friday morning. Firefighters knocked down the fire in a commercial building in the 300 block of Main Street, and crews were checking for extension and ventilating smoke from the building, according to a post on the Stillwater Fire Department’s Facebook page. Upon arrival fire crews saw smoke from a rooftop HVAC unit, Stillwater Fire Chief Stu Glaser said. Upon further investigation, a working structure fire was reported with smoke and flames within the roof joists of the building. Stillwater firefighters fought the fire from the inside of the second floor, Glaser said. Continue Reading →

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Photos: Stillwater Fire Station Grand Opening and Dedication Ceremony

The Stillwater Fire Department held a public Grand Opening and Dedication Ceremony for the new Fire Station on Maryknoll Drive last weekend. Firefighters followed the grand opening up with the annual Open House. Fire Chief Stu Glaser opened the ceremony by recognizing and thanking the Stillwater Fire Department’s retirees. The Chief spoke to the deep history of the Fire Department, and how the new fire station will help firefighters serve the needs of the entire community. The new $7.3 million fire station is about 25,000 square feet and features a hose tower that doubles as a training apparatus, six drive-through bays for fire trucks, an entry to feature historic items, a conference room and office space, and a bay that can be used as a smoke room for training, as well as a space to store boats and other firefighting equipment. Continue Reading →

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Charges: Stillwater Teen Became Man’s Online Sex Slave

Criminal charges filed this week against a 19-year-old man from Washington state are incredibly disturbing. Cheyenne Cody Vedaa Foster is accused of keeping a seventh-grader at Stillwater Junior High as a sex slave and controlling her to the point that she physically harmed herself — even though the two never met in person. According to charges filed this week in Washington County District Court, Foster called himself “Hero,” and referred to the girl as “Kitten,” his online sex servant. Detectives are still trying to determine how Foster met the girl, but according to the complaint, the two have been communicating since at least March via text message, social media and daily video chats. According to the complaint:

Police began looking into a report of inappropriate communication between Foster and the 13-year-old girl last spring. Continue Reading →

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