Brooklyn Park is accepting grant applications from nonprofit social-service providers.

The funds will come from the 2014 Community Development Block Grants made by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The grants can be used for activities benefiting low- or moderate-income households approved by the City Council. Last year the council issued more than $60,000 in grants to area organizations.

Groups must attend a pre-application meeting Dec. 17 at 9 a.m. at City Hall, 5200 85th Av. N. For more details, go to or call Matthew Ides at 763-493-8054.

Columbia Heights

'Christmas Vacation' a library fundraiser

The Columbia Heights Public Library is hosting a fundraiser on Sunday, Dec. 15, at the Historic Heights Theater, 3951 Central Av. NE., with a showing of "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."

The theater's organist will play at 1 p.m., and the movie will follow at 1:30.

Proceeds will go to the Library Foundation's Capital Campaign toward building a new library.

Tickets, at $10 each, are available in advance from Northeast Bank, Columbia Heights City Hall and Public Safety Building, Johnson's Bacon & Egg Café on 40th Av., and from Cliff Shedlov at 612-251-9557 and Marlaine Szurek at 763-788-4506. Tickets also will be available at the door.

Coon Rapids

Deadline is here for holiday lights contest

Residents have until today, Dec. 11, to enter the Coon Rapids Arts Commission Holiday Lighting Contest.

Lighting displays may be entered in four categories. Members of the Arts Commission will judge entrants between Dec. 14-16.

Winners in each category will receive a $50 cash prize. The Arts Commission may also award a $100 grand prize to an eligible entry. Go to

Skate with Santa

Santa Claus is coming to town — on ice skates.

Kids can visit or skate with Santa at the Coon Rapids Ice Center on Sunday. He'll arrive at 5:30 p.m., but you can come an hour earlier to see a figure skating exhibition put on by the Coon Rapids Skating Academy on the outdoor rink.

Skating will be offered and photos with Santa will be taken from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the ice center, 11000 Crooked Lake Blvd.

Admission is free with a toy donation to Toys for Tots (one toy donation per person). Admission without toys is $5 for adults and $4 for students/seniors. Kids age 5 and under are free with a paid adult.

Skates are available for rent. An indoor ice rink is also available. Call 763-951-7222 for more information.


2 more chances to take in 'Christmas in '50s'

"Christmas in the 1950s," an exhibit featuring hundreds of items from that time period, is on display at the Fridley History Center, 611 Mississippi St. NE., Fridley.

The History Center is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays. The exhibit will continue through Saturday, Dec. 14, and Tuesday, Dec. 17. Admission is free.

north metro

Session offers kids chance to build robots

The Crystal Community Center will take on a futuristic look with a "Star Wars Droid Builder" class on Monday, Dec. 23.

The class, for kids ages 7 to 12, will run from 9 a.m. to noon at the center, 4800 Douglas Drive.

Participants will use the Star Wars Lego Mindstorms robotics kit to create a simple droid mechanism and then more ambitious droids that move and walk. At the end of class, kids will take home a non-robotic Lego droid or starship.

The fee is $34 for residents of New Hope, Crystal, Golden Valley or Robbinsdale and $41 for nonresidents.

For more information or to register, call New Hope Parks and Recreation at 763-531-5151.


'Yellow Ribbon' ceremony is set for Saturday

A ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 14, will proclaim Anoka a Beyond the Yellow Ribbon city. The program provides a network of help and support for armed services members and their families. The ceremony is at 7 p.m. at the Anoka County Fairgrounds, 3200 St. Francis Blvd., Anoka.

For further information, go to and

Staff reports