Emerging from a six-candidate field, Stan Karwoski and Cheryl Anderson will advance to the general election ballot for the right to represent Oakdale and surrounding areas on the Washington County Board.

Karwoski, Oakdale’s mayor, captured 46 percent of the vote in last week’s primary election in his quest to represent the Second District on the five-commissioner board.

Anderson, of Birchwood Village and owner of a social services hiring agency, won 27 percent of the vote.

The winner of November’s special election will replace Commissioner Ted Bearth, who died in March. His unexpired term ends in 2018.

The four candidates who failed to win enough votes to advance to the November election are Jeremy Olson, Joseph Delaney, Edward Byrne and John W. McPhillips. Together they received about 26 percent of the vote.

Kevin Giles

St. Paul

Officials consider adding weekly liquor store hours

St. Paul officials are considering extending off-sale liquor sales by two hours to 10 p.m. on most weeknights.

Almost all of the cities surrounding St. Paul, including Minneapolis, allow liquor stores to stay open until 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. But St. Paul liquor stores and breweries that sell bottles and growlers for consumption off the premises must close their doors at 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

“So while most breweries are open until 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday they cannot sell take-home brews for the last two hours of business, meaning lost revenue for the breweries and frustration and confusion for customers,” according to a fact sheet distributed by Council Member Chris Tolbert’s office.

Tolbert said the rule doesn’t make a lot of sense, so he decided to “toss it out there and see if it’s something people want to change.”

Residents who want to weigh in on the proposed extended hours should contact Tolbert’s legislative aide, Libby Kantner, at libby.kantner@ci.stpaul.mn.us or call 651-266-8631 by the end of the month.

Jessie Van Berkel

metro area

Metro Transit ridership down in second quarter

Ridership on Metro Transit buses and light-rail trains was soft in the second quarter of this year, compared with the same period in 2015.

According to the Metropolitan Council, Metro Transit provided 20.3 million rides from April through June, a decline of 5.2 percent from the previous year. That’s an average of 261,537 rides during the week.

Metro Transit officials say low gas prices tend to negatively affect the use of mass transit.

Sixty percent of the rides were provided by local buses, followed by 24 percent on the Blue and Green light-rail transit lines, 12 percent on express buses, 1 percent on the Northstar Commuter Rail, and 3 percent on specialty transportation services such as Metro Mobility.

Service on the Green Line, which links Minneapolis and St. Paul, increased by 4.3 percent, while the Blue Line linking downtown Minneapolis and the Mall of America saw a decline of 7.1 percent. Local and express bus service declined by 6.4 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.



West Africa team takes third place in tournament

The boys’ baseball team from Benin in West Africa that came to Minnesota this month took third place in the Robbinsdale tournament organized years ago to raise money for them.

The team of 10- to 12-year-olds returned home after spending two weeks in the Twin Cities, honing their baseball skills with coaches and taking in other local sights ranging from a Twins game to a northern Minnesota cabin.

Two Robbinsdale coaches, Gary Tonsager and Wally Langfellow, started a nonprofit in 2011 to collect money and baseball equipment to get the game started in the small country. Now more than 100 boys and one girl, ages 7 to 16, play baseball in Benin.

The coaches next hope to raise money to build a proper baseball field in Benin. To donate, go to baseballinbenin.org.