-- An Honor Guard of Veterans stood near the plaques listing the 568 fallen soldiers of Hennepin County at the Victory Memorial Drive in Minneapolis. It was one of the largest WWI memorials in the country. Victory Memorial Drive will be redicated in a week-long celebration.
The Hennepin County Board approved an agreement last week with the Minneapolis Park Board to repair damage done to the county's World War I memorial after a sport-utility vehicle crashed into it last winter.
Commissioners agreed to accept $150,000 from the park board to repair a granite bench and fix granite pavers that were covered with engine coolant and transmission fluid.
The damage was done to the flagpole plaza at Victory Memorial Drive in north Minneapolis, which was rededicated last year after three years of restoration and construction costing the state and county $6.7 million.
The 91-year-old memorial lists the names of 568 Hennepin County servicemen and nurses who died in World War I.
Although the park board has jurisdiction over Victory Drive, the county handled the repairs since it still has contracts with stone suppliers and contractors who helped restore the memorial.
Plymouth Police are reminding residents to lock their cars and garages after they arrested five people last week who were stealing from multiple unlocked cars parked in residents' driveways and garages.
The three juveniles arrested told police that stealing property from cars and garages is a growing trend because it's a simple crime of opportunity, police said. The two adults arrested admitted to thefts and burglaries in nearby cities.
Car break-ins are the most commonly reported crime in Plymouth. Police are reminding residents to remove valuables from cars, including garage door openers, and to close garages and report suspicious behavior.New marketing manager to start at Interfaith Outreach
Plymouth's Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners will soon have a new marketing manager.
Lenore Franzen resigned on July 31 and a replacement will start soon. The nonprofit serves needy families from the communities of Hamel, Long Lake, Medicine Lake, Medina, Minnetonka Beach, Orono, Wayzata and Plymouth.
The Bloomington Human Rights Commission is seeking nominations for the Omar Bonderud Human Rights Award, which is given each year to a person or organization that has advanced human rights in the city. Nominations are due Aug. 17. For more information and to obtain a nomination form, call 952-563-8733 or visit www.ci.bloomington.mn.us and use the keyword "Omar Bonderud."
The city of Edina is getting closer to finalizing neighborhood boundaries and names and is seeking feedback from residents about the proposed plan through August. Different maps have been developed by a volunteer committee and can be viewed on the city website at www.EdinaMN.gov or at City Hall. To see what residents have already said, go to www.SpeakUpEdina.org/discussions. The final community meeting on the issue will be at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 12 at the Edina Senior Center. When the Name Your Neighborhood project is completed, residents in each neighborhood will have the option of creating a city-recognized neighborhood association. For more information, visit www.EdinaMN.gov or call Karen Kurt, assistant city manager, at 952-826-0415.
Each of Hennepin County's six commissioners agreed again this year to return $472 of their pay, matching the 20 hours of unpaid leave that the county has encouraged its employees to voluntarily take annually since 2009 to trim the budget.
County Board Chair Mike Opat said that elected Minnesota officials can't reduce their salaries or take unpaid leave, so the board has to turn back pay by accepting it as a gift to the county.
Employees who took unpaid leave saved Hennepin County $1.9 million last year. In 2010 the savings amounted to $2.6 million, and in 2009 the savings totaled $4.1 million.
County commissioners have frozen their pay since 2008. They were paid $97,080 last year with the exception of Opat, who made $97,997 because he cashed in some unused sick leave to cover health-related expenses.
A mayor bopped and seniors danced with grocery bags in the latest effort to promote the West Metro's "do.town" trio of cities that are working with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota to encourage residents to be more active. Dancing flash mobs hit the three cities to publicize the program. All three can be viewed on YouTube. Edina Mayor Jim Hovland and his City Council partners Mary Brindle and Josh Sprague can be viewed dancing at www.startribune.com/a1590, supposedly after a council meeting was disrupted. In Bloomington, parents boogie at the Mall of America at www.startribune.com/a1592. In Richfield, seniors jive at the local Lund's store at www.startribune.com/a1593.