Dakota County town briefs: Harmon Park project is pushed back in West St. Paul

  • Updated: May 31, 2014 - 1:40 PM

Ozzy, Hastings Police Dept. K-9, is getting a donated protective vest for his work with the cops.

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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.

Dakota County

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

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