Mary Divine / St. Paul Pioneer Press
LAKE ELMO, Minn. — New tips concerning Susan Swedell, who went missing during a blizzard in Lake Elmo on Jan. 19, 1988, have been coming in to the Washington County sheriff's office after a St. Paul Pioneer Press report on the case was published Sunday, Jan. 7. Sheriff Dan Starry said his office has received eight tips this week about Swedell; her case has been getting renewed attention as the 30th anniversary of her disappearance nears.
ST. PAUL—When Eric Buck drove past the scene of a multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 380 near Waterloo, Iowa, last month, he asked his children to pray for the people involved. The St. Paul man and three of his six children were headed home from Iowa during a snowstorm on Dec. 29 when they saw a dozen cars "totaled in a pileup" and witnessed first responders cutting open a car that had been struck by a semitrailer truck.
STILLWATER, Minn. — Lift Bridge Brewery in Stillwater is expanding in a big way. Company officials announced Tuesday, Jan. 2, that they plan to build a $10 million, 35,000-square-foot brewery and tap room in Stillwater. They are working with city officials in Stillwater and hope to get $1 million in tax-increment financing for the project, said Brad Glynn, co-founder and co-owner. The brewery, which is currently located at 1900 Tower Drive W., needs more space, Glynn said. It has outgrown the 16,000 square feet it currently owns and leases, he said.
STILLWATER, Minn. — Erik "Doc" Christiansen expected greatness from his students—and he got it. Christiansen, a choir director at Stillwater Area High School for 28 years, routinely asked his students to sing pieces that "really were probably too challenging for us," said Katelyn Larson, a former student. "But he held us to a high standard, and we always met it," Larson said. "The more he believed in us, the more we believed in ourselves."
COTTAGE GROVE, Minn.—Former Twin Cities sports-radio personality Jeff Dubay, who has previously run afoul of the law for methamphetamine possession, has pleaded guilty to third-degree assault. Dubay entered his guilty plea on Monday in front of Washington County District Judge William Ekstrom. He will be sentenced March 22 and could face up to four months in jail. Dubay, 49, was arrested in August and charged with a felony after he allegedly assaulted a woman in the basement of a Cottage Grove house. Dubay previously denied any wrongdoing.
CHISAGO CITY, Minn. — Judy Johnson didn't want a big party to celebrate her 108th birthday on Wednesday, Dec. 13, but friends and family members are hoping she'll get a slew of birthday cards to mark the event — 108, to be exact. Carol Seefeldt, a volunteer at the nursing home in Chisago City where Johnson lives, is organizing the effort. "She says she doesn't want anything, but I sort of think she does," Seefeldt said. "I know she'd love it. She's just such a lovely lady that you have to love her."
The scene, shot in November 2015, is painfully intimate. Jerry and Patty Wetterling stand in the middle of their kitchen in St. Joseph, going through their notes as they prepare to address the media for the first time after authorities had arrested and named Danny Heinrich as a "person of interest" in their son Jacob's 1989 abduction. While dozens of news reporters and photographers wait outside, documentary filmmaker Chris Newberry films a friend of the Wetterlings as he enters the kitchen.
ELLSWORTH, Wis. — Tasha Schuh is used to getting embarrassing questions about her sex life. Schuh, paralyzed from the chest down since she fell through a stage trap door in 1997 during a rehearsal for her high school musical, said she understands why people are curious. "You know, I live in a very small town," said Schuh, 36, of Ellsworth. "People would stop me at the grocery store and were, like, 'Um, how's that going to work?' " Schuh isn't afraid to overshare when she answers.
AFTON, Minn. — When it came time for members of the Islamic Society of Woodbury-East Metro to build their new mosque in Afton, they turned to one of the nation's expert mosque architects. Christopher McCoy of Lexington, Ky., has worked on dozens of mosques since he designed his first — in Prestonburg, Ky., in 1997. In addition to the Afton project, he is working on mosques in Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Indiana.
AFTON, Minn.—Margo Alice Forrest never married. She never had children. She lived alone in her mother's house in Afton and kept to herself. But Forrest always knew that if she needed help, she could call on deputies from the Washington County sheriff's office. Forrest, who died in June 2008 at age 69, remembered those deputies' good deeds in her will, giving half of the money in her estate — $101,191 — to the sheriff's office. She said it was to be used for the benefit of the officers who patrol Afton.