The Minnesota Court of Appeals has affirmed the Newport City Council's decision in June to deny a liquor store permit sought by Stephen Linn, president and CEO of the Linn Cos. of Woodbury.
Backing an earlier decision in Washington County District Court, the three-judge panel found that the City Council did not abuse its discretion in denying the permit for the store in a vacant commercial space that was next to Newport Liquor Store.
"The City Council made its decision out of concern for the welfare of the city," the ruling says. "… Council members were troubled by the fact that Linn wished to open his liquor store next to an existing store. The two stores would be located along a highway [Hwy. 61] leading into the city, and council members were concerned about the image that adjacent liquor stores might create."
Council members were open to having the store in another location but also questioned whether the city of about 3,400 needed another liquor store. The city's code allows up to five liquor licenses, and two had been issued when Linn applied.
Attorneys for Linn argued that the application denial was arbitrary, based only on protecting Newport Liquor Store from competition and not for reasons related to the city's welfare.
The court disagreed, saying cities have broad authority in deciding whether to issue liquor licenses. The court also ruled that the City Council had not violated Linn's right to equal protection of the law in its liquor license denial.
Two businesses fined for pollution
Two Washington County businesses were among 51 companies in 36 counties fined for pollution regulation violations by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency during the first quarter of 2013.
Andersen Corp. of Bayport was fined $9,600 for air quality violations, and Hidden Harbor Marina of St. Paul Park was fined $1,895 for water quality violations.
Penalties from all 51 cases exceeded $190,000. Twenty percent of these cases were for various air-quality violations that totaled just over $51,000.
New initiatives in honor of Earth Day
Students at Cottage Grove Middle School can receive a gift card to a local business if they recycle.
Recycle bins have been set up throughout the school, and when the police resource officer at the school sees a student recycle, the student can be rewarded with a gift card.
Also in honor of Earth Day, the City Council approved new Sustainable City Awards program at its April 17 meeting.
The program is designed to recognize those who promote innovative programs and sustainable practices and environmental leadership. Categories are listed at www.cottage-grove.org along with nomination forms.
The nominated project must be within the City of Cottage and have been started within the past three years. The nomination deadline is Feb. 1, 2014.
Cottage Grove cookbook submissions
The Cottage Grove Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation is looking for recipes from community members. The recipes will be compiled into a community cookbook that will be sold at this year's Strawberry Fest.
Anyone who lives or works in Cottage Grove can contribute to the cookbook. You are welcome to submit as many recipes as you'd like. Please use a Word document to format your entries.
Entries can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to submit is April 30.
Clothing Closet plans fundraiser in May
Tickets are now on sale for "A New Dawn" Spring Fashion Showcase, a fundraiser sponsored by merchants to raise funds for the Clothing Closet, a program of Valley Outreach that provides free clothing to families in need in the St. Croix Valley.
The event will be held at the Lake Elmo Inn Event Center on May 11 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Tickets cost $40 and include brunch, fashion show, cash bar and raffles for a weekend escape, a home décor package and beauty services.
The Clothing Closet, formerly known as Dawn's Closet, provides clothing and accessories free of charge to men, women and children in need who live in Washington County and nearby cities in eastern Ramsey County and western Wisconsin.
More than 400 families are served each month.
w. lakeland township
Resident appointed to 4-H committee
Lori Lindquist of West Lakeland Township was appointed to the Washington County Minnesota Extension Committee by the County Board on April 16. She will serve a term that will expire Dec. 31, 2015.
Lindquist participated in 4-H activities and is interested in promoting 4-H community events and developing new 4-H leadership.
The Washington County Extension Committee helps with educational programs and services provided by extension agents in the areas of agriculture, economic and human development, community leadership, and environment and natural resources.
New juvenile attorney added to county staff
The Washington County attorney's office will add an attorney in the juvenile division, after the County Board approved the position April 16.
County Attorney Pete Orput's request was made in response to an increase in juvenile caseloads and in the complexity and number of serious physical and chronic neglect cases. There also is an increased need to address truancy and school safety issues to divert juveniles from the criminal justice system, Orput said.
The ongoing need for the job will be reviewed as part of the 2015 budget process, the county said.
white bear lake
Century College gets new job grant
Century College, in partnership with Kraus-Anderson Construction Company, has been awarded a $197,000 Minnesota Job Skills Partnership grant to develop technical training that addresses emerging technologies in the commercial construction industry.
The training will focus on high-tech integration of cutting-edge tools and materials as well as methods of construction delivery, project management and technology.
Century College is the largest two-year institution in the Minnesota Community and Technical College System.
Kevin Giles, jim anderson