Lifeguards to begin duty on city beaches this weekend

In a sign that summer really is here, lifeguards will be on duty at eight of the city’s busiest Park Board beaches this weekend through the end of August.

Lifeguards will be on East Cedar, Lake Calhoun Thomas, Lake Harriet North, Lake Nokomis Main and Theodore Wirth Lake every day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. They will be at Cedar Point, Lake Calhoun 32nd and Lake Nokomis 50th beaches at those times Thursday to Sunday.

On days when the temperature is 85 degrees or warmer at 6 p.m., lifeguard hours will be extended one hour.

Cedar South, Lake Calhoun North, Lake Harriet Southeast and Lake Hiawatha do not have lifeguards.

All beaches are open from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Suzanne Ziegler @stribziegler




Belle Plaine

School board to buy iPads, Chromebooks for students

The Belle Plaine school board has approved a $1 million plan to purchase iPads for all students next year.

The devices will be leased for four years, allowing the district to pay for them over time. The district hasn’t yet decided when it will issue them to students, but it will be during the 2014-15 school year. The district also purchased Chromebooks this spring for use at schools. A Chromebook is a stripped-down laptop computer.

In addition, the board approved building a new fiber-optic link between the current Scott County fiber line that runs along Hwy. 169 and Oak Crest Elementary. Creating that link, splicing into the existing line and connecting several buildings’ fiber lines will cost about $57,000.

Erin adler @erinstrib



High water gives rise to boating-speed restrictions

Officials are restricting boating speeds on Lake Minnetonka because of high water levels.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is enforcing an emergency high-wake alert, which means it’s illegal for watercraft to travel at a speed that results in more than a minimum wake.

The Lake Minnetonka Conservation District implemented the alert starting June 5 and it will remain in place until the lake level drops below 930.3 feet.

For more information, go to www.minnehahacreek.org or www.lmcd.org.

Kelly Smith @kellystrib


Ramsey County

Board gives first nod to ice arena expansion proposals

Aldrich and Highland ice arenas would be expanded and approved under proposals given preliminary approval by the Ramsey County Board last week.

The arena improvements, which include new locker rooms to be used exclusively by the hockey teams at Hill-Murray and Cretin-Derham Hall high schools, would be paid for by the schools.

The board voted 7-0 to move forward with each project.

A 2,200-square-foot addition to Aldrich Arena would include new locker rooms for Hill-Murray hockey teams, coaches’ offices, and laundry and storage facilities. The cost of the addition is expected to be about $600,000.

At Highland Arena, Cretin-Derham has proposed building a two-level addition that includes locker rooms to be used exclusively by its hockey teams, in addition to an all-purpose room that will be available to the public. The cost is estimated to be $900,000 to $1.4 million.

The schools and county staffers will continue negotiating final agreements on the projects.

James walsh @stribjwalsh