West St. Paul has announced that the Harmon Park redevelopment project will not be done this year as originally planned. When the city offered the work to contractors, just one entered a bid for $5.8 million, which was $2 million more than the city expected.
The city rejected that bid and now plans to split the work into two projects — one including building construction and the other including grading and preparation of playing fields — and ask for bids again. If acceptable ones are received, the work could start in the fall with completion in summer 2015.
City Council Member Jenny Halverson said she was disappointed the project will not be finished this year, and she urged Public Works Director Matt Saam to try to get the park open for children soon after school lets out next summer.
District Judge King to retire in September
Dakota County District Judge Robert R. King has announced that he will retire from the bench in September.
King, 66, was appointed to the First Judicial District bench in 1994 by Gov. Arne Carlson. He had been a prosecutor in the Dakota County attorney's office for 10 years and left that office as head of the criminal division.
The former assistant county attorney was lead prosecutor in the trial of David Washington, a reputed leader of the Gangster Disciples gang, who was convicted of premeditated murder in the 1992 shotgun slaying of a 16-year-old boy in Lilydale. He also co-prosecuted Ricky Hebert, who was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of his estranged wife, Kate.
As a judge, King presided over numerous criminal and civil cases, including the 2010 trial of Tylar Hokanson, who was convicted of killing his 17-month-old stepson, Nicholas Miller.
King received his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota in 1970 and graduated from William Mitchell College of Law in 1976. He was in private practice until he joined the County Attorney's office in 1984.
The state Commission on Judicial Selection said that it is accepting applications to fill King's judgeship.
Summer reading program is coming
Starting Friday, June 6, kids and teens through grade 12 can sign up at any Dakota County Library branch for the library system's Bookawocky Summer Reading Program.
Upon signing up, kids up to grade 5 can pick up a Bookawocky game board and get prizes as they complete a combination of reading and fun activities. Activities include reading outside, reading a poem, attending a library event, reading about adventures and faraway places, and more. Kids can earn up to three prizes throughout the summer.
Teens entering grades 6 to 12 will receive one free ticket to a teen takeover event at Cascade Bay Waterpark in Eagan on June 19. Teens will also be eligible to win books, gift cards and a Galaxy Tablet by submitting book reviews through Aug. 16.
Bookawocky participants can take their reading experience online, as well. By visiting www.bookawocky.org, they can earn virtual badges, create book lists and more.
For more information, visit www.dakotacounty.us/library or call 651-450-2942.
June 21 book sale at Wentworth Library
The Friends of the Wentworth Library will hold a book sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 21, at the library, 199 E Wentworth Av., West St. Paul.
Books will drop in price to $1 a bag from 2 to 3 p.m.
Used books of all kinds will be available. Book donations are accepted at the library.
Police dog Ozzy gets protective vest
Ozzy, a canine cop with the Hastings Police Department, has received a bullet- and stab-resistant vest from a Massachusetts-based nonprofit group.
A fundraiser called "Hair by Jim" was hosted by Vested Interest in K-9s last October and November at a hair salon in St. Paul. Proceeds provided vests for 11 Minnesota K-9s from Morrison, Stearns, Hennepin and Goodhue counties and the Hastings, Worthington, Edina, Princeton, Plymouth and New Hope police departments.
Vested Interest in K-9s is an all-volunteer charity whose mission is to provide protective vests for law enforcement dogs throughout the nation. Each vest costs $950 and has a five-year warranty. The group has provided vests for more than 930 dogs since August 2009.
Dog show set June 7-8 at County Fairgrounds
The Lake Minnetonka Kennel Club is sponsoring a dog show featuring 900 dogs from around the state and country on June 7-8 at the Scott County Fairgrounds. The show will take place from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on both days; the fairgrounds are located at 7151 W. 190th St., near Jordan.
"We have been doing this for over 50 years," said Jackie Anderson, publicity chair for the club. "We work all year to get it just perfect. We are hoping people can come and enjoy it."
The show will be judged and a best-in-show will be chosen each day around 4:30 p.m.
Admission is free but parking is $5. The 4-H will sell food.
The show will also include obedience demonstrations, special dog performances and opportunities for people to learn about the different breeds, Anderson said.
The show will go on rain or shine.
PAT PHEIFER, LAURIE BLAKE