Vadnais Heights

City ponders allowing a home among storage units

Vadnais Heights is being asked to let someone live in an industrial zone.

A firm called North Star Mini Storage-Vadnais Heights LLC is asking the city to change its zoning rules to allow someone to live alongside self storage units that it wants to create at 3880 Labore Road.

The city's Planning Commission passed the request last week and sent it on to the City Council for final approval.

Carie Fuhrman, the city's planning director, recommended approval provided that "the living quarters and a portion of the principal business use (i.e., the office) shall be within the same structure" and that all exteriors look the same. That would address concerns about a subdivision-style house standing alongside industrial buildings.

David Peterson


Ceiling being renovated at Landmark Center

Visitors to Landmark Center have probably wondered what all the scaffolding was about. The answer: The historic former federal courthouse and post office, now owned by Ramsey County, is undergoing a major restoration project.

Work to restore the ceiling in the central atrium, also known as the Musser Cortile, is expected to be completed March 11. Plaster work and painting of the foliated ceiling was paid for with money from the county's capital fund.

The project has forced cancellation of most first-floor Landmark Center activities or pushed them to fringe areas of the courtyard.

Activities will resume for Landmark Center's annual St. Patrick's Day Irish Celebration and Day of Irish Dance on March 17 and 20. Anita's Cafe, the Landmarket gift shop, building museums and exhibits will continue to be accessible.

James walsh

Chisago County

Sentencing set in May for Jelinek drug-murder case

Sentencing for Aaron Jude Schnagl, the Chisago County man convicted in the drug death of Danielle Jelinek, will be held May 9 before District Judge Todd Schoffelman.

Schnagl was found guilty on Feb. 5 of third-degree murder for providing cocaine that killed Jelinek, 27, of Oakdale.

In a related decision, the jury found him not guilty of concealing her body, which would have meant a stiffer prison sentence upon conviction.

Jelinek went missing from Schnagl's house after a night of drinking, drugs and sex in December 2012. Her body was found five months later in a pond about 400 yards from Schnagl's house. An autopsy showed cocaine and alcohol in her body.

Schnagl, 31, currently is serving time at Rush City prison on a previous drug offense.

Kevin Giles


Shakopee tribe transports bottled water to Flint

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community on Wednesday trucked Minnesota's largest contribution of bottled water to Flint, Mich.

The 28,000-bottle load cost $6,000, according to the tribe, plus $2,000 in travel expenses.

The water crisis in Flint has drawn donations nationwide and prompted cities to evaluate whether their own water is free of lead and safe to drink.

The tribe's water bottling facility, located in Prior Lake, opened in 2008 and bottles 36,000 bottles of water weekly.



Weier wins spelling bee, to go to national contest

Stellar speller Elise Weier of West Junior High in Shakopee will compete at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington in May.

After nabbing the word "mercerize" (a term for treating cotton yarn), Weier out-spelled her competition in the fifth through eighth grades. Runner-up Emily Spieker dropped out after misspelling "babka."

Weier took home a plaque and other prizes. Her victory includes a chaperoned trip to Washington.

Natalie Daher