Only one bailiff remains at the Washington County Courthouse, but security is stronger than ever.

That’s because armed sheriff’s deputies now fill those jobs, putting more protection in a building where emotions often run high, particularly during sentencings of defendants involved in major crimes.

“People have higher expectations now for increased security,” said Cmdr. Jerry Cusick, who oversees the Sheriff’s Office court detail.

Years ago, bailiffs held all security positions in the courthouse, Cusick said. But because they weren’t sworn officers, they didn’t carry handguns. Sheriff Bill Hutton has made a commitment to replace bailiffs — as they retired or left for other jobs — with licensed law enforcement officers, Cusick said.

Hutton, first elected in 2006, has made toughened court security one of his key initiatives.

Increasingly, deputies keep order in courtrooms, escort prisoners from the county jail, patrol public areas and monitor a checkpoint at the entrance to the courts building in Stillwater. At the checkpoint, they search for weapons and other contraband and sometimes make arrests.

Even with the additional security, two deputies were injured recently in separate incidents when suspects began fighting.

Washington County

Board appoints citizen volunteers

Citizen volunteers have been appointed to county advisory committees for 2015.

District 2

Mark Landis, Oakdale, Community Development Block Grant Citizen’s Advisory; Bill Hargis, Woodbury, Housing and Redevelopment Authority; Alyssa Bance, Oakdale, Library Board; Charles Burfeind, Oakdale, Parks and Open Space Commission; Robert Viking, Woodbury, Planning Advisory Commission; Randy McAlister, Oakdale, Mental Health Advisory; Shauna Holt, Oakdale, Historic Courthouse Advisory Committee.

District 3

George Thole, Stillwater, Historic Courthouse Advisory Committee; Jennifer Pelletier, Lake Elmo, Parks and Open Space Commission.

• District 4: Michael Edman, Cottage Grove, Community Corrections Advisory; David Erickson, Newport, Historic Courthouse Advisory Committee; Shane Bauer, Denmark Township, Planning Advisory Commission.

District 5

Anthony Tedesco, Woodbury, Community Corrections; Dean Shepersky, Woodbury, Historic Courthouse Advisory Committee; Nicholas Brave, Woodbury, Mental Health Advisory; Andy Joyce, Woodbury, Parks and Open Space Commission.

At large

Francis Reinberger, Stillwater, Audit Committee; Harry Melander, Mahtomedi, Board of Adjustment and Appeals; Mark Doneaux, Stillwater, Board of Adjustment and Appeals; Dan Dolan, Woodbury, Minnesota Extension; Mary Thelen, Oakdale, Minnesota Extension; Daniel Malmgren, Marine on St. Croix, Personnel Board of Appeals; Jesse Kurtz, Stillwater, Veteran’s Rest Camp.

The County Board affirms the following committee reappointments: Anthony Carr, Stillwater, Community Corrections; Pete Orput, Stillwater, Community Corrections; Meghan Quinn, Stillwater, Community Corrections; Sheriff Bill Hutton, Stillwater, Community Corrections; Nathan Sosinski, Stillwater, Community Corrections; Brian Krafthefer, Stillwater, Groundwater Advisory Committee; Daniel Belka, Woodbury, Groundwater Advisory Committee; Eldon Lamprecht, Oakdale, Groundwater Advisory Committee; Dale Setterholm, Marine on St. Croix, Groundwater Advisory Committee; Brian Bachmeier, Oakdale, Groundwater Advisory Committee; Steve Kernik, Woodbury, Groundwater Advisory Committee; Dennis Hanna, St. Paul Park, Groundwater Advisory Committee; Brian Johnson, Woodbury, Groundwater Advisory Committee.

Lake Elmo

Skiers of all abilities can join in festival

Experienced cross country skiers and novices can participate in the 12th annual Ski Festival, held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Jan. 24 at Lake Elmo Park Reserve. The Ride and Glide XC Ski Club will provide free lessons and demonstrations.

All levels of ski enthusiasts can participate but skiers must be 14 or older. Free one-hour lessons are available at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. A suggested donation of $10 will go toward development and maintenance of the park’s ski trails.

Registration with the Ride and Glide club is required for all lessons. See and look for “XC Ski Festival” under Programs and Events to find the online registration link. Free classic equipment will be provided by Joe’s Ski Shop. A limited supply of skate equipment will be provided by Ride and Glide.

Lake Elmo Park Reserve is at County Road 19 and County Road 10, one mile north of Interstate 94 in Lake Elmo.


Mexican restaurant opens on Geneva Av.

Oakdale Mayor Stan Karwoski, Council Member Kristen Cici and members of the Oakdale Area Chamber of Commerce helped observe the Jan. 7 opening of Catrina’s Mexican Restaurant, a new business at 1081 Geneva Av. “I know that those who live and work in Oakdale enjoy the continuing growth of dining opportunities in the city,” Karwoski said.

Kevin Giles