A public workshop on criminal expungement will be held at the Washington County Law Library from 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28, in Room LL14 of the Washington County Government Center, 14949 62nd St. N., Stillwater.

Expungement involves asking a judge to seal a court record. Usually, people ask for an expungement when they have been denied a job, housing or a professional license because of their criminal background. In 2014, the law regarding expungement changed, and now it is easier for people to get their records expunged from the agencies that also keep track of court convictions.

Presenter Shawn M. Betts has been practicing law for nearly 20 years and is a current member of the Minnesota State Bar. For more information, see his website at www.shawnbettslaw.com/.

Anyone can attend this informational session, but preregistration is required. Call the library at 651-0430-6330 or send an e-mail to lawlibrary@co.washington.mn.us to preregister.

Washington County

Victim of tool thefts? Call Sheriff's Office

In December, the Washington County Sheriff's Office recovered about 150 various hand and power tools. Most of the tools appear to be high-end consumer quality to commercial quality, investigators said. The tools are suspected to be stolen and the Sheriff's Office seeks assistance in identifying the owners. Specific information such as make, model, serial numbers, or any identifying marks is needed to verify ownership.

Theft victims who have lost tools over the past year can contact Det. Nicholas Loperfido at 651-430-7882.

Orput named for distinguished service

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput received the Johnson Distinguished Service Award last month at the annual Minnesota County Attorneys Association meeting. The award is presented to a county attorney who has demonstrated significant leadership, striven to improve the quality of justice and whose activity has enhanced public awareness of prosecutors and the work they do.

Orput received the award for accomplishments that include reducing turnaround time on charging decisions and for his Veterans Court and truancy initiatives.

He also received recognition for his successful prosecution of a Morrison County homeowner who killed two teenagers in a "defense of dwelling" case.

County buys land for trail connection

Property in the southern end of Washington County will be purchased to complete the Point Douglas Trail and improve a connection to the Dakota County trail system.

The County Board approved the $75,000 purchase at its meeting Jan. 13.

The purchase of the property is consistent with the Point Douglas Regional Trail and Trailhead Master Plan. The acquisition of a portion of the Cysiewski parcel will allow for a better trail design option.

The trail will follow a former railroad corridor. Purchasing the parcel allows planners to overcome a number of challenges posed by building a trail along the steep slopes along Hwy. 61 in the area.


Karwoski sworn in as city's new mayor

On Jan. 13, Stan Karwoski was sworn in as Oakdale's new mayor, replacing Carmen Sarrack, who retired.

In addition, Lori Pulkrabek began her fourth term as a City Council member and Bill Rasmussen was sworn in to begin his first term. During the regular meeting, the City Council appointed Kristen Cici to complete the two years remaining on Karwoski's council member term. Cici was the third-highest voter getter in the November election.


County plans safety changes on Manning

WSB and Associates Inc. will do engineering work on three intersections along Manning Avenue in Grant, after the Washington County Board approved a $78,287 contract with the company Jan. 13.

WSB will do engineering for intersection improvements on County Road 15, or Manning Avenue, at Mendel Road North, Manning Trail Court North and 110th Street North.

The $365,000 turn-lane improvement project will address safety and capacity concerns, such as a lack of left- and right-turn lanes, said transportation project engineer Cory Slagle. Ninety percent of the project is funded through the Highway Safety Improvement Program, a federal highway program.

Work should be completed during August and September.

Kevin Giles