News

Mon
12
Aug

SSP to explore floodwall extension


submitted graphic

South St. Paul may be adding on to its nearly 50-year-old floodwall, but first city officials must determine whether the extra protection would do more harm than good.
The city council took the first step in exploring an extension of the levee system to protect additional properties along I-494 near the Mississippi River by awarding a contract for a site evaluation project in its Aug. 5 meeting.
The contract, awarded to Minneapolis-based Barr Engineering, details the first phase of a three-phase analysis of the potential extension. In the first phase, Barr would identify potential challenges for floodwall construction, outline impacts to businesses whose properties would host the new wall and provide rough cost estimates for the project. The second phase of the evaluation would include detailed cost-benefit ratios of the added wall for affected properties, soil testing and other technical measurements required for federal approval of the work. Finally, the third phase would draw on the information already gathered to create a preliminary design for the new levee.

Mon
12
Aug

Residents turn up in droves, voice concerns over I-35E changes


Bikers cross Interstate 35E on the Gateway Trail. The trail crosses the freeway using an old railroad bridge, which will be removed when construction begins on the freeway. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

Well over 100 people packed a meeting room on Wednesday, July 31, to talk about construction along Interstate 35E, the east-west barrier between the East Side and the rest of St. Paul.
Leslie McMurray, executive director of the District 5 Community Council, said she was surprised at the turnout, and noted the significance of the meeting -- with the freeway redesign projected to last a century, “this is our one chance to get it right,” she said.
Scott McBride from the Minnesota Department of Transportation said in a phone interview that he was “really happy to see all the people there.” McBride is the metro area district engineer for MnDOT.

Mon
12
Aug

Dayton’s Bluff development gaining traction


The Village on Rivoli site sits just south of Phalen Boulevard and just east of I-35E, with a view of downtown. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

Village on Rivoli is a big housing project that’s been a long time in the making.
It’s been in the works for Dayton’s Bluff Neighborhood Housing Services since before 2006.
The proposed plan would put 34 two-story, single-family homes on unused land just to the east of Interstate 35E, just south of Phalen Boulevard. The brand new housing would be complete with a pedestrian courtyard and a prime view of downtown St. Paul, as well as a glimpse of Minneapolis.

Mon
12
Aug

Police file search warrant for phone records in Steger murder case

On July 26, police filed a search warrant affidavit for the cell phone records of a man who sold Kira Steger’s iPhone to a local electronics resale company following her disappearance last winter.
Investigators discovered through records obtained from Apple Inc. that Steger’s phone had been reactivated in Indonesia after having been sold to EZ Traderz in St. Paul.
The store owner gave police the name of the man who sold the iPhone, and law enforcement officials were able to contact and get statements from the individual. Now they hope to acquire the man’s phone records to verify that the statements he made are correct.

Fri
09
Aug

Young man sustains severe brain injury during attack


Raymond Widstrand

One young man's life is ruined following a senseless attack.
26-year-old Raymond Widstrand was assaulted nearly to death on Sunday, Aug. 4, around 11:30 p.m., according to a criminal complaint filed by the Ramsey County attorney's office.

Thu
08
Aug

‘Bigs’ make a difference in the lives of their ‘Littles’


Tom Grezek and his “Little,” Joseph, have been matched for almost three years. Grezek said he enjoys helping his mentees with their academics and watching them acquire the life skills they need to succeed. (submitted photos)

Adele Moran won’t forget the evening she met her “Little,” 8-year-old Brianna, nearly 10 years ago.
“I saw this little face staring at me through a frosted window,” Moran recalled of the first time she went to pick up her match through the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. And the pair has been spending time together ever since.
Moran, an IT manager at 3M, is just one example of a Washington County resident who has chosen to volunteer for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities. The organization is currently looking for other adults in Washington County who’d be willing to mentor a child, said vice president of programs Cindy Bahmer, adding that there are currently more than 40 children in the county who are waiting for a match.

Thu
08
Aug

Raising flags for American spirit


The Rotary Club initiated “The American Spirit” project on the Fourth of July, with 65 flags flying at area residents’ homes. (submitted photos)

The Rotary Club of North St. Paul, Maplewood and Oakdale is launching a project to decorate the communities in red, white and blue on patriotic holidays.
The club’s project, “The American Spirit,” is a service that installs American flags in residents’ yards on six holidays throughout the year.
“If you look around, you don’t see that many flags,” Rotary Club member Joseph Miller said. “(This project) helps grow this concept of patriotism.”

Thu
08
Aug

Lake Elmo landowners’ annexation petition upheld


image courtesy Google Maps

Lake Elmo received some disappointing news last month when it learned that its appeal of a January 2012 annexation decision had been denied.
Bernard and Loella Nass, Robert Buberl, and Patricia and Thomas Bidon own the land, situated in the northeast corner of the city at State Highway 36 and Manning Avenue. Thomas Bidon is a former Lake Elmo Planning Commission member.
The group had submitted the annexation petition to the Office of Administrative Hearings in 2011 as an attempt to gain the right to use their combined 57 acres of property for residential or commercial development. The properties are currently zoned for agricultural use, which not only means no businesses, but that there may only be one home per 2.2 acres.

Thu
08
Aug

Man assaulted with machete at Tanners Lake, charges say

A St. Paul man has been charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon after an incident at Tanners Lake Park July 20.
Just before 11 p.m., an Oakdale police officer on patrol near Tanners Lake boat launch was flagged down by a man who said he’d been assaulted by a man wielding a large knife, according to the criminal complaint. The man had cuts on his lip and left hand.
The complaint states the officer observed another man standing next to a minivan who said his friend, 28-year-old Raymond Guzard Aaron Jr., had gotten into an argument with the victim in the parking lot and that he’d tried to “diffuse the situation.”

Wed
07
Aug

Vadnais-Snail Lakes Regional Park has grand reopening


Vadnais Heights Council member Jerry Auge releasing a rehabilitated hooded merganser from the Wildlife Rehabilitation center of Minnesota in Roseville. (submitted photo)

A ribbon cutting ceremony for the redeveloped Vadnais Lakes portion of Vadnais-Snail Lakes Regional Park was held on Wednesday, July 24 from 5 to 6 p.m.
The ceremony included remarks from Vadnais Heights Mayor Marc Johannsen and the release of several rehabilitated hooded mergansers from the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Roseville.
The mayor, city council members and state legislators, also attended the ceremony held by Ramsey County Commissioner Blake Huffman and the Ramsey County Parks and Recreation Department.

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