South Metro Roundup: Massive Fight Breaks Out in Apple Valley

Police say the Friday night melee at the Apple Valley Community Center involved 50 to 100 people.

Though you might live or work in Burnsville, chances are you're curious about what's happening in neighboring communities.

Here are some of the stories posted on our neighboring Patch sites last week that could impact, help or be of interest to you. Read each story by clicking on the headline link.

Apple Valley-Rosemount

One person was injured in the Friday night parking lot fight that involved between 50 and 100 people.

VIDEO: Rosemount's Ben Kopp Honored at Indianapolis 500

Corporal Ben Kopp, a Rosemount native and Army Ranger who died in Afghanistan in 2009, was honored on ABC's national broadcast of the Indianapolis 500.

KSTP-TV carried the video tribute locally. It features a heartfelt remembrance by Kopp's mother, Jill Stephenson, as she visited her son's grave at Arlington National Cemetary.

Kopp died as a result of a sniper-shot to his leg in July of 2009 after already serving two tours of duty in Iraq.

Sentence Upheld for Apple Valley Massage Therapist Convicted of Sex Crimes

A former Apple Valley massage therapist convicted of criminal sexual conduct last year will face his 11-year sentence, according to a Court of Appeals ruling Tuesday.

Lawrence Martin Valencour, 63, was convicted last December of six counts of nonconsensual sexual contact and given the maximum sentence.

Valencour worked as a  during the fall of 2008, when six victims report nonconsensual sexual contact occurred during massage sessions with him.


Halverson Files for House Race in District 51B

Eagan Advisory Parks and Recreation Committee member and Eagan Foundation volunteer Laurie Halverson filed her candidacy for Minnesota House District 51B on May 30.

Halverson and her family appeared at the Office of the Secretary of State to officially launch her campaign, according to a statement issued by the candidate. Halverson received the DFL endorsement earlier this year at the party's convention in Eagan.

Halverson, who is a stay-at-home parent, was previously employed by Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Eagan. She holds a degree in Political Science from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, and she attended graduate school at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. 

Inver Grove Heights

IGH Woman Ranked Among Top Women in Business

Jennifer Hellman—chief operating officer at Goff Public and four-year resident of Inver Grove Heights—was recently named one of Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal's Top 25 Women to Watch for 2012.  

According to the publication, women are selected for their "professional achievements, leadership qualities, drive, and their potential to be in the spotlight for years to come."

Hellman has been with Goff Public for 14 years, where she acts as a company leader, manages 12 employees and helps set the direction of the firm.


Stealing Cars Gets Lakeville Tow Driver 180-Days in Jail

A scheme to sell stolen cars to a St. Paul metal scrapper has landed a  man a 180-day jail sentence in Ramsey County Court.

Matthew Bruce Williams, 29, was sentenced May 31, and in addition to jail, was ordered to pay nearly $23,000 in restitution for his role in the theft of 14 vehicles that were sold to a St. Paul business called Metro Metals.

The criminal complaint alleges that in May and June of 2011, Williams purchased the stolen cars from an accomplice named Lionel Warner, and then towed the cars to Metro Metals where they were sold for scrap at a few hundred dollars per car.

Williams was convicted of 29 felony counts.

Lakeville North, South Among Best High Schools in Minnesota, Nation

Both of Lakeville's high schools have been ranked among the best in the state by Newsweek in it's annual Best High Schools list.

 is ranked as No. 4 in the state and 294th in the country.  was ranked No. 11 in the state and 423rd nationally.

A total of 20 Minnesota high schools made the 2012 list, but just Apple Valley's Eastview (No. 6 in the state; 332 in the nation), Eagan (No. 16 in the state; 730 in the nation), and Rosemount (No. 17 in the state; 850 in the nation) made the list from Dakota County.


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