The Washington County courthouse, traditionally a place where paper ruled the day, now requires attorneys, government agencies and guardians ad litem to electronically file and serve documents in all court cases.

The county is one of 11 in Minnesota — all participating in a Minnesota judicial branch pilot program — that began mandatory electronic filings July 1. Testing began in those counties in 2012.

The goal of the eCourt MN initiative is to make the state’s court system more accessible, efficient and convenient.

By the end of 2015, electronic filings will become voluntary in Minnesota’s remaining 76 counties, and mandatory in those counties on July 1, 2016.

Pilot counties, in addition to Washington County, are Cass, Clay, Cook, Dakota, Faribault, Hennepin, Kandiyohi, Lake, Morrison and Ramsey.

Washington County courts are housed in the county government complex at 14949 62nd St. N. in Stillwater.

New central reporting created for adult abuse

People reporting maltreatment of vulnerable adults in Minnesota can now contact the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center (MAARC) at 1-844-880-1574. The single reporting system, replacing individual county services, took effect July 1.

The change does not affect mandatory reporter laws or definitions of maltreatment, Washington County officials said, but changes only how the report is made. MAARC will forward reports to counties where the maltreatment occurs, and counties then will assign cases to adult protection investigators.

Annual weed spraying begins on rural roads

The annual chemical spraying of noxious weeds and brush along 220 miles of rural Washington County roadsides will begin about July 13 and continue for two weeks or more. The chemicals Telor XP and Tordon K will be used.

Any property owners who don’t want spraying must go to the county Public Works Department at 11660 Myeron Road N. in Stillwater, before July 13, to get signs indicating “Do Not Spray.” Property owners will also be required to fill out a form agreeing to control weeds and brush within the area that is not to be sprayed. A legal description of the property will be needed to complete the form.

Written questions can be directed to Doug R. Johnson at the Public Works Department, or residents can call 651-430-4389. Business hours are Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


Four more businesses leasing with CityPlace

CityPlace in Woodbury, a business development at the site of the former State Farm headquarters, has new leases with Caribou Coffee, La-Z-Boy Home Furnishings and Décor, Potbelly Sandwich Works and TU Nails, developers said last week.

These tenants join Whole Foods Market, Residence Inn by Marriott, Verizon Wireless, Café Zupas and Wedding Day Diamonds at the sprawling 150,000-square-foot shopping complex and 416,786-square-foot office building at Interstate 94 and Radio Drive.

The first retail stores in the 100-acre project are scheduled to open later this year. CityPlace is a partnership of Elion Partners of Florida and the Kraus-Anderson construction firm in Minnesota.


Monarch butterflies discussed at event

Sarah Weaver, the University of Minnesota Monarch Lab community program coordinator, will share the latest research related to the diminished numbers of monarch butterflies and what’s causing it at a July 29 event in Scandia.

Weaver will talk about the loss of monarch habitat, including how herbicides and pesticides have affected the recent population decline and what people can do to reverse it.

The free presentation will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Gammelgarden Museum at 20880 Olinda Trail N., Scandia. The event is sponsored by Friends of Scandia Parks and Trails.


Parents can learn about chemical use

The Youth Service Bureau will present “Kick the Habit Before it Starts” on July 30 from 6:30-8 p.m. in Stillwater.

The forum, part of the bureau’s Summer Series for Parents, will discuss how chemical use affects teenagers’ ability to grow and learn. Parents also will learn strategies for how to start a conversation about chemicals with their teenagers.

The forum will be held at the bureau office at Washington County Historic Courthouse, 101 W. Pine St.

Cost is $5.

Kevin Giles