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Update: St. Paul Woman Dies After Hit-and-Run Crash in Oak Park Heights

A 35-year-old St. Paul woman has died from her injuries following a hit-and-run crash near Wendy’s on 60th Street North in Oak Park Heights on Saturday night, and police are asking anyone with information about what happened to come forward. Mai D. Yang died at Regions Hospital, according to media reports. Her husband, E Xiong, 37, remains in “fair condition.” Xiong and Yang were biking westbound along the Highway 36 frontage road, when a vehicle stuck them and left the scene, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. Continue Reading →

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State Patrol: 2 Bicyclists Injured in Hit-and-Run Crash in Oak Park Heights

Police are looking for a driver who reportedly struck two bicyclists in the 14500 block of 60th Street North in Oak Park Heights on Saturday night and then fled the scene. The two bicyclists—E Xiong, 37, of St. Paul and Mai D. Yang, 35 of Minneapolis— were transported to Regions Hospital, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. The incident happened just before midnight. Xiong was in “fair condition” Sunday afternoon, according to the Pioneer Press. Continue Reading →

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12-Year-Old Girl Taken to Hospital After Vehicle vs. Bicycle Crash in Oak Park Heights

A 12-year-old Oak Park Heights girl was taken to the hospital Tuesday night after being hit by a vehicle while she was riding her bike on 58th Street. The bicyclist received minor injuries, Oak Park Heights Police Chief Brian DeRosier said. She was taken to the hospital for further evaluation. Police were called to a report of a vehicle vs. bike crash at about 6 p.m. July 8 on 58th Street. Continue Reading →

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11 Sections of White Picket Fencing Stolen from Liberty on the Lake in Stillwater

The list of strange property crimes continues in Stillwater. Police were called to Liberty on the Lake this week on a report that 11 pieces of white picket fencing were stolen from the gravel lot area near the tennis courts in the 3500 block of Settlers Way. The property manager told police the fencing was valued at $7, 040. Each section of fencing was 8 feet long and about 42 inches tall. The property manager told police that he believes the fencing was stolen sometime between 6 p.m. on June 23 and 8 a.m. June 24. Continue Reading →

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Vehicle Bursts into Flames After Hitting Tree on Rutherford Road in Stillwater

Stillwater firefighters were called to a vehicle fire in the 100 block of Rutherford Road on June 21 after the driver left the road and hit a tree. A 17-year-old Stillwater girl was driving her father’s vehicle when she looked down at her phone and when she looked up she was about to hit a tree, according to a Stillwater police report. The girl was able to get out of the vehicle before it burst into flames. No one was injured, but the vehicle was a total loss.  

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Post by Stillwater MN Fire Department. Continue Reading →

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Police: Vandals Cause $22K in Damage to Slide at Teddy Bear Park

The city of Stillwater may be on the hook to repair $22,000 in damages done to the log slide at Teddy Bear Park. (No, that’s not a typo.)

Stillwater Public Works Supervisor Tim Moore told police that vandals likely caused the damage to the slide—a large crack at the end of the slide’s exit—on the night of May 25 at Teddy Bear Park. The slide originally cost about $2,500; however a recent appraisal to repair the damage was determined to be $22,000 because of the “special design and originality” of the log slide. The slide is a standard manufactured slide with a custom log

surfacing on the outside made of concrete. “Because the slide is custom built there are very few contractors with the experience or equipment that can perform this work,” according to city documents. “Staff received two quotes and Minnesota Wisconsin Playground was low with an estimate of $22,889.13. Continue Reading →

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Police: No Injuries After Vehicle Crashes into Office Building in Downtown Stillwater

 

A 37-year-old Stillwater woman reportedly blacked out and drove her vehicle into the Elert and Associates office building on Third Street on Friday afternoon. The woman told police she has a brain tumor that sometimes causes memory loss, according to the crash report. She told the officer that she remembers driving across the Stillwater Lift Bridge and through downtown, but did not remember hitting the building. After the crash, the woman told police she remembers trying to leave the area, but didn’t know that she just drove into the building, according to police. Police filed a request for a driver evaluation with the Department of Vehicle Services. Continue Reading →

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Downtown Stillwater Building Owner Cited for Creating Conditions Likely to Cause Pollution, Fire Hazard

 

Laura Hoefler is in the middle of a messy situation. For a year and a half, Hoefler, the owner of Purefex Salon, says ceiling tar has been dripping from the roof of the building next door to her Main Street salon, onto the power lines, down the back of the building and puddling up in the alley way. The tar drip has gotten so bad, Hoefler said she can’t use the rear access to her business—and no one will do anything about it. Hoefler said she has left numerous messages, voicemails and letters for the owner of 118 1/2 Main St. N., but has not gotten a reply. Continue Reading →

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Update: Washington County Sheriff’s Office Locates Missing Grant Man

According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Mr. Lee has been located and is doing well. “Thank you for the media and public’s assistance with locating him,” the sheriff’s office Facebook post updating the situation reads. Updated From:

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s assistance in locating a missing party from the city of Grant. Clifford Lee, 75, was last seen on Wednesday morning (May 28) around 8 a.m. He was wearing blue jeans, gray t-shirt and possibly had a navy sweatshirt. He is driving MN 9468HK and 2004 Ford Freestar van described as sky blue in color with silver on the bottom. Continue Reading →

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In Stillwater, It’s Squirrels Gone Wild at Pioneer Park

Squirrels, yes squirrels, are causing quite the stir at Pioneer Park. Police were called not once, but twice this week, to the generally peaceful and serene neighborhood park on the north hill for “aggressive squirrels.” The Moms of Stillwater sum it up best:

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Post by Moms of Stillwater. Police were first called to Pioneer Park just after 11:30 a.m. on May 14 for a report of an “aggressive squirrel” that was “jumping at people — probably wants to play,” according to the police report. Police arrived, but were unable to locate said squirrel. Continue Reading →

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Police: All 9 Disc Golf Baskets Stolen from Arcola Heights Park

 

Sometime between April 20-29, police say someone stole all nine disc golf baskets from the course at Arcola Heights Park. The thief(s) removed the bolts that held the poles in place, the Stillwater Township police blotter reads. The baskets are valued at $3,600. Stillwater Township Police Chief Steve Nelson told the Pioneer Press the baskets weren’t secured properly when they were installed. “All they had to do was remove a bolt, and they could take the pole and the basket,” he said. Continue Reading →

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Hay Now: Trucker Loses Portion of Hay Load Stacked Too High

 

The Stillwater Lift Bridge was closed for a short time Monday night after a truck hauling a stack of hay bales too high to clear the bridge lost a portion of its load in the roadway. The driver, from Manitoba, Canada stopped on Highway 64 near Somerset, Wis. to adjust the load. The driver told police he was aware that he lost bales of hay after hitting the bridge, but didn’t immediately pull over because he didn’t see a “safe place” to stop between the bridge and Highway 64. The driver was hauling the straw to Ridgeland, Wis. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Police Looking for Man Who Robbed Lexington Inn and Suites

 

Stillwater Police are asking for the public’s help as they look for a man who reportedly robbed Lexington Inn and Suites with a semi-automatic handgun on Sunday night. No one was injured. The robbery happened at about 11: 40 p.m. Lexington Inn and Suites is located across the street from Herberger’s at 2000 Washington Ave. According to police, a hotel clerk described the suspect as a white male in his 40s, about 6 feet tall and 180 pounds with blonde hair. He was wearing blue jeans and a worn gray sweatshirt. Continue Reading →

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Possible Threats Lead to Heightened Police Presence at Stillwater Area High School

 

There is a heightened police presence at Stillwater Area High School Monday after district administrators were made aware of a conversation between students that included a possible threat to the high school. Citing student privacy laws, details of the investigation were limited on Monday morning. A student reportedly told another student not to come to school on Monday because he was “going to shoot the place up,” the Pioneer Press is reporting. A parent who overheard the conversation reported it to Oak Park Heights police. Police and school officials identified the students involved, interviewed them and searched their homes, Police Chief Brian DeRosier told the Pioneer Press. Continue Reading →

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City Business Goes on as Usual Amidst Federal Investigation Involving Stillwater Mayor

 

Since federal agents raided Stillwater Mayor Ken Harycki’s business last week, a lot of residents have been asking what that means for the city. As of Monday afternoon, City Administrator Larry Hansen said “it is business as usual.”

“Other than answering lots of calls,” Hansen said, “there is no impact to the city.”

Agents with IRS Criminal Investigations, in conjunction with the FBI and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services conducted the raid at Harycki’s Stillwater business, Customized Payroll Solutions, as part of an “enforcement action,” Special Agent  with the IRS criminal investigations unit Vicki Petricka said last week. In this KSTP video taken at the scene, agents are seen leaving the Harycki’s office with a number of boxes, and according to the Star Tribune, a large computer tower. “The issue that is being investigated involves a former client of Customized Payroll Solutions,” Mayor Ken Harycki said in a prepared statement. “I am deeply disappointed by this situation and we are fully cooperating with authorities.”

The mayor has not made any other public statements since the investigation went public. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Mayor’s Business Raided by Federal Agents, Harycki Says Issue Involves ‘Former Client’

 

Federal agents on Thursday morning raided the accounting business, Customized Payroll Solutions, owned by Stillwater Mayor Ken Harycki. Agents with IRS, in conjunction with the FBI, ATF, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services conducted the raid as part of an “enforcement action,” Special Agent  with the IRS criminal investigations unit Vicki Petricka said. “The issue that is being investigated involves a former client of Customized Payroll Solutions,” Mayor Ken Harycki said in a prepared statement. “I am deeply disappointed by this situation and we are fully cooperating with authorities.”

FBI and IRS agents loaded material seized today from the tax preparation business of Stillwater Mayor Ken Harycki. pic.twitter.com/ewxnQJsoGc

— Libor Jany (@StribJany) March 20, 2014

 

According to the Pioneer Press, the IRS called Stillwater police about 7 a.m. Thursday to inform the department they would be conducting a search and requested police assistance. Continue Reading →

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Celebration of Life Ceremony for Paxton Harvieux is Saturday at Stillwater Junior High School

 

A Celebration of Life ceremony for Paxton Harvieux will be held from 3-6 p.m. Saturday, March 8 in the Stillwater Junior High School Auditorium, 523 Marsh St. W.

Harvieux, 21, was one of three Carleton College students who were killed Friday in Northfield when the vehicle they were driving in spun out on an icy highway and was broadsided by an oncoming semi truck. Harvieux was a 2011 graduate of Stillwater Area High School. He was a computer science major at Carleton College. Memorials may be directed to any TCF Bank in care of the Paxton Harvieux Memorial Fund or mailed to:

Paxton Harvieux Memorial Fund

  c/o TCF Bank — Oak Park Heights Branch

  5850 Neal Ave North

  Oak Park Heights, MN 55082

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A 21-year old Stillwater man was among the three Carleton College students who were killed Friday in Northfield when the vehicle they were driving in spun out on an icy highway and was broadsided by an oncoming semi truck. Paxton M. Harvieux, 21, of Stillwater, James P. Adams, 20, of St. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Firefighters Evacuate 4 Children, 3 Adults and Dog from Home Due to Possible Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

 

Four children, three adults and a dog were evacuated from a Brick Street home early Friday morning after a faulty furnace was blowing large amounts of carbon monoxide into the home. When Stillwater firefighters arrived at the home in the 200 block of Brick Street at 12:20 a.m. Friday, first responders evacuated four children—ages 2 to 13—from their bedrooms, as well as three adults and a sick dog. According to police, the carbon monoxide detector in the home was broken. When officers arrived to assist they found a woman lying on the couch “not appearing well,” one man who was vomiting in the bathroom and another man who was sleeping downstairs. According to police all three adults had been drinking. Continue Reading →

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Volunteer Opportunity: Stillwater Police Accepting Applications for Reserve Officers

 

The Stillwater Police Department is currently accepting applications to fill several reserve officer positions.  This is a civilian volunteer (completely unpaid) position. Applications are due by noon on Friday, Feb. 28 at City Hall. Reserve officers “assist in the maintenance of law and order, the detection and prevention of crime, the direction and control of citizen and motor vehicle traffic,” according to the post on the city of Stillwater’s website. Reserve officers also provide parking control throughout the

city, assist patrol officers with the duties of scene security and paperwork. Continue Reading →

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Charges: North St. Paul Man Leads Police on Chase in Stolen Vehicle with Grenade in the Front Seat

 

A 28-year-old North St. Paul man was charged by the Washington County Attorney’s Office this week with possession of a grenade while leading police on a chase in a stolen vehicle that ended at a farm in Lake Elmo. Joseph Forrest Sanders was charged this week with one count of possessing an explosive device and one count of receiving stolen property. According to the criminal complaint:

On Feb. 20, a Washington County Sheriff’s deputy while on routine patrol at about 2:30 a.m. was informed that North St. Continue Reading →

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Burglars Make Off With Washer, Dryer from Vacant Home on Greeley Steet

 

Burglars recently made off with a washer and dryer—among other things—from a vacant home in the 900 block of Greeley St. S.

Stillwater police were called to a burglary report on Feb. 14 after a real estate agent was prepping the home for a showing and noticed the garage service door was ajar, and multiple items were missing from the home. The real estate agent told police the home was vacant, and he had not been there for about two weeks. When police arrived, the real noted that home staging furniture was strewn about the home, and seven bottles of wine, place settings, miscellaneous tools, shelving, a snowblower, and the washer and dryer were missing. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Woman Cited After Striking Washington County Employee in a Work Zone

An 83-year-old Stillwater woman was cited for failure to operate a vehicle with due care after she hit a Washington County public works employee last week near County Road 5 and Minnesota 96. The Washington County employee, a 32-year-old White Bear Lake man, is expected to recover. The employee was removing snow from a bridge over Browns Creek near County Road 5 and Minnesota 96 on Thursday afternoon, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. The Stillwater woman was traveling southwest on Stonebridge from Dellwood Road when she took a left turn onto Stonebridge and struck the public works employee, who was flagging traffic in the southbound lane. The public works employee was transported to Lakeview Hospital for evaluation. Continue Reading →

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Scam Alert: Stillwater Man Falls Victim to $4,500 ‘Lottery Scam’

Police are encouraging residents to be aware of a few different scams that have been recently reported in the Stillwater area. Last week the Washington County Sheriff’s Office sent out a news release warning of “Grandparent Scam” that bilked several people out of more than $5,000 each. Later in the week, the sheriff’s office warned of scammers purported to be representing the “Police Protection Fund.” A 63-year-old Stillwater man also fell victim to a lottery scam. The resident told police that a man who identified himself as “Thomas Meyer” called from the phone number 929-268-0038 last week telling the resident he had won $1.5 million, but would have to pay fees to collect his prize. Continue Reading →

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Former Stillwater Priest Added to Archdiocese List of ‘Credibly Accused’ of Sexual Abuse of a Minor

 

A former priest at St. Mary’s Church in Stillwater was added on Monday to a list of priests the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis says “claims of sexual abuse of a minor within our archdiocese have been found to be substantiated.”

Thomas Gillespie was added to the latest list released by the archdiocese as part of an “ongoing commitment to address clergy sexual misconduct, especially for the healing of victims and safety of children,” the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis noted in a news release. Gillespie, 76, was a former priest at the Church of St. Bernard, in St. Paul, from 1964-1978 and a former priest at St. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Police Chief Swears In City’s Newest Officer, Hunter Julien

 

Stillwater Police Chief John Gannaway welcomed the city’s newest licensed police officer, Hunter Julien, to the force on Tuesday night. Officer Julien has worked with the Stillwater Police Department for a number of years, the police chief said, and served in various capacities with the department including a reserve, a seasonal community service officer and an intern. “He’s been everything,” Gannaway said. “His body of work has led him to where he is right now.”

“Most of us on the council have seen Hunter around town for a few years now,” Mayor Ken Harycki said. “A few months ago he came before us to talk about problem properties, and I think he really impressed us with his ability to communicate. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater City Council Considers Sale of $10 million Bond for New Fire Station, Police Department Renovation

 

Stillwater’s new fire station may take another leap forward at tonight’s city council meeting. The Council will be asked to approve the sale of a $10 million bond for capital outlay, new fire station construction and the renovation of the police department. City staff is also recommending the council approve a $399,000 proposal to complete the design, bid the project and administer the contract for construction of the $6.385 million fire station project. The fire station design team includes: BWBR, Buetow 2, EVS, Damon Farber Associates, and Palanisami and Hallberg Engineering. If given approval to proceed, the design team hopes to complete design development of the building in early-March, complete construction documents by mid-May and put the project out to bid by the end of June, with the hopes of completing construction in summer 2015. To learn more about this project, visit the city of Stillwater’s Fire Station and Armory document page. Continue Reading →

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Washington County Sheriff’s Office: Beware of the ‘Grandparent Scam’

 

Grandparents beware. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office and other local law enforcement agencies have seen a “significant increase” in people falling victim to “The Grandparent’s Scam.” Within the last 10 days multiple families have fallen victim to this scam, losing on average more than $5,000 each. Here’s how the scam works, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office:

An elderly grandparent will receive a phone call from a person posing as their grandchild. The caller may know personal information about the both the grandparent and the grandchild, and give a detailed story about being arrested. The caller posing as the grandchild will pressure the grandparent for money to be wired or transferred using services such as “Green Dot Cards” or “Western Union” to cover legal expenses and bail. Continue Reading →

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BCA, Washington County Sheriff’s Office Seek Information on Missing Lake Elmo Woman’s Cold Case File

 

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office are asking the public for any information they may have to solve a case that has been cold for 26 years. It was snowing heavily 26 years ago this Sunday night, a message on the BCA’s Facebook page states. Susan Swedell, then 19, finished her shift at the Oak Park Heights K-Mart and called her mom to say she was on her way to their Lake Elmo home. “She stopped at a gas station about mile from home and asked the attendant if she could leave her car there because she was having car trouble,” the BCA post reads. “She got into another car with a man and was never seen again.”

Swedell is 5’4”, 100 lbs., with brown hair and hazel eyes. The man was tall with shoulder length curly hair. Continue Reading →

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