The type of musical chairs that brought Kristen Cici to the Oakdale City Council in the first place is ushering her out again, well before her term ends.

City officials say Cici has told them she will resign as of April 11 because she finds herself unexpectedly planning to move out of the city.

She was appointed to a similarly open seat in 2015, then re-elected in the 2016 general election a few months ago.

Her initial appointment stemmed from the election of Stan Karwoski to the office of mayor, replacing a colleague who opted against seeking another term.

Karwoski himself reached office through appointment initially, then was re-elected. He left the council for the Washington County Board by winning a special election last fall after the incumbent died.

David Peterson


Jury finds man guilty in hit-run death

An Anoka County jury has convicted a 28-year-old Blaine man in a 2016 fatal hit-and-run incident that roiled the city's politics and prompted the creation of a traffic commission.

Jurors late last month found Adam Rodman guilty of three felony counts of criminal vehicular homicide and one misdemeanor count of failing to stop for a collision in the May 2016 death of Danilo Aguilar.

Aguilar had been checking his mail outside his Blaine home when he was struck and killed by Rodman, who police found had been drinking while driving. Rodman was driving up to 70 miles per hour in a 30-miles-per-hour area.

Aguilar's death shocked the community and sparked resident concerns about how to curb speeding in residential areas. The city has since approved two new police positions for neighborhood traffic enforcement and created a traffic commission.

"While this conviction won't bring the victim back, our hope is that it brings a sense of justice to the victim's family," Anoka County Attorney Tony Palumbo said in a statement.

The sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 2.

Hannah Covington

Columbia Heights

Council to meet Monday about vacant seat

City leaders will be meeting Monday to once again discuss a much-debated appointment for an open council seat.

The seat was left vacant after former Council Member Donna Schmitt beat longtime Mayor Gary Peterson in a tight November election.

The appointment process has involved interviews with 17 applicants, as well as a second interview round with two candidates. Nick Novitsky and Sean Broom, who came in third and fourth in the November race, were re-interviewed last week before the council's March 28 meeting.

After the interviews, council members tabled the appointment agenda item until Monday at 4 p.m. City officials said all 17 applicants are invited to attend the City Hall gathering, as city leaders may have additional questions for them. According to the city's charter, the council has until April 9 to appoint.

Hannah Covington

Ramsey County

Golf courses opening early this spring

It's not April Fool's: Four Ramsey County golf courses were open by Saturday, April 1:

Manitou Ridge, Goodrich and the Ponds at Battle Creek were all open by March 29, and Keller opened on Saturday.

Parks officials were offering a free first round of golf, with savings all season, via the purchase of a 2017 Ramsey County Golf Patron Card. The $80 card for most county courses is said to pay for itself in about 15 rounds, with savings continuing after that.

David Peterson

East metro

I-94 road work misery resumes this month

Disruptions on Interstate 94 from St. Paul to the eastern suburbs resume this month, including lane closures in both directions, officials are warning.

Road crews from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) will cause what's being called "major traffic changes."

The state is promising at least two travel lanes in each direction at all times, but some exit and entrance ramps will close for a time.

The project involves resurfacing eastbound and westbound I-94 from Mounds Boulevard to east of Hwy 120/Century Avenue, and a new auxiliary lane along eastbound I-94 between the exit to E. 7th Street and the entrance from Mounds Boulevard.

To stay informed, sign up for project e-mail updates at MnDOT's website, which can be found at; follow MnDOT on Twitter @mndotnews for ramp and lane closures; e-mail, or call the project hot line at (612) 547-3206.

David Peterson