Not Halfbreed Lake, not Sylvan, but Lake Keewahtin?

That's the will of Washington County commissioners, who unanimously voted Tuesday to recommend a lake name to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources that reflects the area's American Indian heritage.

The lake, just south of Hwy. 97 on the border between Forest Lake and Scandia, appears as Halfbreed Lake on some maps and Sylvan Lake on others. Some residents consider the name Halfbreed offensive and others don't.

So Commissioner Fran Miron, whose district includes Forest Lake, proposed Lake Keewahtin as a suitable compromise.

At a recent public hearing, some residents said they preferred that the lake be given an Indian name and suggested Keewahtin, which means "wind of the north" and is the name of a major road that runs along the lake.

Kevin Giles

Coon Rapids

Public hearing set for Northstar development

The Coon Rapids planning commission will be weighing a site plan this week for a proposed housing development along the Northstar Commuter Rail station.

The public is invited to hear the site plan at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Coon Rapids City Center, 11155 Robinson Drive.

Minneapolis-based Sherman Associates is pitching a mix of affordable and market-rate apartment buildings, as well as a small retail component for the site on Northdale Boulevard.

The plan calls for a 181-unit, market-rate apartment building as well as a 70-unit mixed-income apartment building. The market-rate units would rent from $1,200 to $1,750 per month, while the affordable units' rent would be between $800 and $1,200 per month, according to the city.

Amenities such as a dog run, playground equipment and walking paths also are being considered.

Questions about the site plan can be directed to City Planner Scott Harlicker at

Hannah covington

oak park heights

New bridge in final stages of construction

The new St. Croix River bridge, in its final stages of construction, is being painted beige to blend with the river bluffs.

Crews will hand-paint the concrete gray pier towers to avoid overspraying on the silver cables, but will spray paint the remainder of the structure, the Minnesota Department of Transportation said.

Other finishing work on the new bridge includes paving the driving surface and installing lighting.

The four-lane bridge will open to traffic later this summer. When that happens, Stillwater's old Lift Bridge will close to vehicles permanently (although it will remain in place as part of a new loop trail).

The bridge project, estimated to cost as much as $646 million, includes new approach highways on both sides of the river.

Kevin Giles

St. Anthony

Lowry Grove residents take plea to City Hall

Homeowners of a mobile home park slated for redevelopment took their concerns to St. Anthony city leaders last week.

Lowry Grove resident Antonia Alvarez spoke on behalf of her neighbors at the Tuesday City Council meeting, urging leaders to consider the impact of the mobile park's expected closure.

"We live in this city, and always we feel we do not have representation," Alvarez said.

She invited council members to a neighborhood meeting planned for Friday.

Residents say that the $6 million sale of the park last year to a development company broke a state law that gives manufactured-home owners the right of first refusal to buy the land.

A lawsuit about the sale's legality is ongoing.

An appeals court ruling issued last week upheld the sale of the park to The Village, an affiliate of Wayzata-based Continental Property Group, but also opened the door to other forms of relief.

That relief could include court-ordered relocation costs, educational benefits for children displaced from schools and transportation benefits.

Residents also can still seek monetary damages.

Homeowners have signed an agreement to vacate the park by June 30.

Hannah covington

West Lakeland Township

Bison make their return to Belwin land

Belwin Conservancy's annual bison release will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday on the conservancy's northern prairie in West Lakeland Township.

Each spring since 2008, Belwin has hosted a herd of about 40 bison for the summer and draws crowds to watch the release.

Parking is available at the Lucy Winton Bell Athletic Fields, 15601 Hudson Road.

Kevin Giles