The Washington County attorney’s office has recognized two students who signed pledges to graduate from high school.

Helena Dowler received an iPad from Sam’s Club and Sammi Weigel received a class ring from Jostens in recent ceremonies. Helena attends Crosswinds Middle School in Woodbury. Sammi attends Forest Lake Area High School.

Both girls won a drawing they entered last summer that was intended to bring attention to the importance of attending school. Not all entrants were having trouble with truancy, said Assistant County Attorney Susan Harris, who runs the program.

The County Attorney’s office has placed a priority on school attendance, education and graduation to steer truants and their families away from court intervention.

“We know that if we don’t educate our children, we will end up incarcerating them down the road,” said County Attorney Pete Orput.

He said 71 percent of Minnesota prison inmates dropped out of high school.

St. Croix Region

Nominate a steward for river recognition

The St. Croix River Association is accepting nominations for the 2015 St. Croix Watershed Stewardship Award. The award is given annually to someone having made a significant contribution to the preservation or improvement of the St. Croix River and/or its tributaries.

Nominees can be individuals, organizations, businesses or communities.

The award will be presented at the SCRA annual meeting on April 29 in Stillwater. Recipients in 2014 were Scandia resident Dan Willius and the citizen group TA-COS (Take Action-Conserve Our Scandia), both for their efforts in watershed conservation.

For more information, contact the SCRA office at, 715-483-3300, or online at Nominations are due April 1.

Oak Park Heights

County accelerates study of Beach Road

The Washington County Board approved a $261,875 contract Feb. 17 with Alliant Engineering Inc. for design engineering services for the County Road 23 (Beach Road/Paris Avenue North) project in Oak Park Heights.

The $1.5 million reconstruction will address existing road deficiencies such as lack of sidewalks and stormwater drainage, and poor pavement, on Beach Road and Paris Avenue North. Fees for the engineering portion will come from state aid money.

The county will work with the city and other stakeholders to develop the projects. Public involvement will occur through 2015. A drainage study will be done between March and May. Final plans should be done by October, and work would begin next spring, the county said.


Historical Society seeking volunteers

The Washington County Historical Society will host a new volunteer orientation/informational meeting at the Warden’s House Museum on March 15 at 1 p.m.

Volunteers assist with cataloging the artifact inventory, create scrapbooks of historic photographs and newspaper articles, and guide visitors through museums.

The meeting will include a tour of the Warden’s House at 602 Main St. N., Stillwater.

Contact Sean Pallas at or 651-439-5956 with questions. For more information, visit

Washington County

Program helps caregivers keep tabs

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is participating in LoJack, a national program that uses a radio frequency transmitter to find people who wander away from their caregivers.

Searching for people with cognitive disorders such as autism and Alzheimer’s is a growing and serious responsibility for caregivers and the Sheriff’s Office, said Sgt. Tim Harris.

“Without the help of an effective tracking system, searches can involve multiple agencies, hundreds of officers, countless hours and thousands of dollars. More important, because time is of the essence, every minute lost increases the risk of a tragic outcome,” he said.

For more information, visit the LoJack website at, or contact the Sheriff’s Office at 651-430-7820.


A story in the Feb. 22 edition of Washington County Extra should have said that County Commissioner Karla Bigham projected the cost of a remodeled county public works complex at possibly $20.5 million, not $25 million. Her comment was made in a County Board workshop on Feb. 17.

Kevin Giles