138 impaired drivers arrested during campaign

Law enforcement officers from Woodbury, Cottage Grove, Forest Lake, Oakdale, Bayport, Oak Park Heights, Stillwater, and St. Paul Park, as well as the Washington County Sheriff's Office, arrested 138 impaired drivers during a Safe & Sober driving campaign in December.

"It's a concern when so many motorists choose to put their life, their future and the safety of others at risk by driving impaired," said Curt Zacharias, a patrol sergeant with the Woodbury Public Safety Department.

The program is designed to reduce traffic-related fatalities and injuries.



Compost sites to take Christmas trees, greens

Ramsey County residents can bring Christmas trees and other holiday greenery to county compost sites this weekend.

Trees, shrubs and leaves that are free of ornaments, wires and other decorations will be accepted. Proof of residency in Ramsey County is required.

The compost sites that will be open are Frank and Sims, 1150 Sims Av. in St. Paul; Midway, 2013 Pierce Butler Route in St. Paul, and White Bear Township, 5800 Sherwood Road. Hours this weekend are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Call 651-266-1155 for more information.


3 counties to offer free flu shots at Jan. 16 clinic

The public health departments of Ramsey, Dakota and Washington counties will offer free flu shots Jan. 16. The clinic will be open from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Neighborhood House, 179 Robie St. E. in St. Paul. Parking is free, and bus riders can take Metro Transit's Route No. 71.

Shots will be available for those 6 months and older. Interpreters for Spanish, Hmong, Oromo and Somali languages will be there. Call 651-266-2455 for more information.



Saturday concert to help fire, ambulance unit

Tickets are on sale for the annual winter concert benefiting the Marine on St. Croix Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Department.

The concert, featuring musical duo Storyhill, will be at 7 p.m. Saturday at Village Hall, 121 Judd St., Marine on St. Croix. Proceeds pay for equipment used by the all-volunteer fire and ambulance unit.

Tickets cost $20 and can be obtained by calling Bill Crane at 612-810-0557 or e-mailing cranew@frontiernet.net.



New County Board chairman has bumpy start

Some good-natured miscues marked the beginning of Dennis Hegberg's tenure as chairman at the Washington County Board meeting Tuesday.

Commissioner Gary Kriesel, last year's chairman, continued to lead the meeting after Hegberg's nomination until Hegberg interrupted him. "I think I need to be over there," Hegberg said, referring to the center seat where the board chairman sits.

"Now I know how Richard Nixon felt," said Kriesel, who then moved to Hegberg's old spot.

After Hegberg missed announcing an agenda item, Commissioner Bill Pulkrabek drew laughs when he asked County Administrator Jim Schug whether the board's nomination for a new chair was binding.

At the end of the meeting, when commissioners give individual reports on their activities, Hegberg forgot to call on Kriesel and then called for a motion to adjourn.

"I'll get the hang of it," said Hegberg, who is the commission's longest-serving member and has served as board chairman in the past. He represents Forest Lake, Hugo and other areas in northern Washington County.