John R. Russett
John Russett is a regional reporter for RiverTown Multimedia, covering a variety of issues facing RiverTown communities. Previously, he worked at the Red Wing Republican Eagle, where he reported on education as well as crime and courts.
You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnRyanRussett
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Since Colorado-based RV Horizons purchased Houlton's St. Croix Meadows RV Park in the fall of 2015, Town of St. Joseph Town Board has twice voted to deny renewal of the park's operating license, citing various infractions including failure to pay its bills to the city. Both votes — the first in June 2017 and the second in June 2018 — were reversed, allowing the company's continued presence in the community.
When Shannon Gehrmann and her husband were new parents, she fell in love with the Goddard School not far from their home in the western suburbs of Chicago. The school had a waiting list and it wasn't too long before an opportunity to further her career with Target had Gehrmann and her family moving to Woodbury before her first-born ever enrolled in the school. Now, more than eight years after her move away from the preschool she wanted for her children, the mother-of-three opened the doors to the first Goddard School in Woodbury Nov. 5.
TOWN OF ST. JOSEPH — RV Horizons district manager Rod Engh promised Town of St. Joseph officials they were at the end of a two-year struggle to get the Colorado-based real estate company current on its payments to the town. The pledge came just moments before Thursday night's unanimous Town Board vote to reinstate the operating license for RV Horizons-owned St. Croix Meadows RV Park.
Houlton, Wis. — When Ronda Moline moved to St. Croix Meadows in November 1997, she planned to stay for one year. In April 2016, after nearly two decades in the front row of the 50-lot mobile home community off Main Street in Houlton — and 12 straight months without running water — she stopped paying rent. One month later, she was served with an eviction notice and taken to court. Moline's story is indicative of a nationwide trend. In a number of manufactured home communities, residents feel relegated to the fringes.
In Polk County, Wis., a man — young by most standards at no more than 23 or 24 — picked up the phone, dialed 911, then sat down on the couch next to his gun and waited for an officer to arrive. Little more than an hour's drive north of Spring Valley Police Chief John DuBois' office — up through Baldwin, past Pine, Bear Trap, Wapogasset and Deer lakes — sits the town of Centuria. Years before he became a chief, DuBois patrolled the streets of Centuria with its roughly 950 residents, anxious and unsure, awaiting a solitary call.
On a good day, Trish Nolan never would have met the man. It began as a group of four. They would sit around and talk regularly, usually until around 2 a.m., as music from the employee lounge permeated the halls. He kissed her behind the scenes when he thought no one was looking. He lied to her about his alcoholism. He lied to her about his marriage. He got her phone number. Then he showed up at her apartment and raped her. "It was like," Nolan paused, "going into hell."
Far from a new issue, law enforcement and mental illness have become increasingly more entangled since state governments began to close their mental health hospitals in the 1950s, continually taxing the agencies tasked with responding to those in crisis.
RED WING, Minn. — By the time the flurry of back-to-school bedlam begins to subside, the proverbial dust begins to settle, and the sun sets on the final day of summer freedom, many teachers have dipped into their own pockets to purchase supplies for their classrooms. On average, according to education publishing company Scholastic, educators spent an average of $530 of their own money for classroom items last school year.
Aside from the issues at Emerald Sky Dairy in St. Croix County, Tuls Dairies has dealt with infractions before. A search of public records showed: • In June 2014, a worker at Double Dutch Dairy in Nebraska was struck and killed by a front-end loader hauling hay. An investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration revealed the driver had an obstructed view. In November of that year, the dairy was cited and fined $22,500 by OSHA for four "serious violations," according to an OSHA news release.
As most freshman in college were settling into what would be a stretch of fairly formative years, Matt Milligan was no different. Except for one thing — he had lymphoma. Years later, Milligan sat in a room just off the front entrance of the Hudson YMCA, watching the people filter through, in and out, for all the different reasons people come to the Y. "The best parts of life are the eternal things," he said. At the Y