Girl Scout cookies go on sale Saturday

It's Girl Scout cookie time, and soon you'll find Girl Scouts at your door or staffing tables at retail stores to sell eight varieties of cookies, from Do-Si-Dos to Thin Mints.

This year the cookies will come in packaging that highlights the business skills the girls learn selling them: setting goals, managing money and developing people skills in dealing with customers. They also learn about business ethics, problem-solving and making critical decisions.

The sales period is Feb. 2-March 17. Cookie booths will be operated Feb. 11-March 17. A cookie booth locator is available at

Each package of cookies costs $4, and of that amount, 70 percent goes to the Girl Scout troop and council to fund programs.

Last year, River Valley's Girl Scouts earned more than $2.9 million for Scout programs.


Prescription discounts available with card

The Anoka County prescription discount card will be mailed to all county residents, providing discounts up to 20 percent on brand name medications and up to 50 percent discounts on generic medications. Residents also can save on everything from pet prescriptions to laser eye surgery.

"The prescription discount card is a great benefit for all county residents who are uninsured and underinsured. The discount card is specifically for residents who do not have prescription drug coverage. [But] all Anoka County residents, regardless of age or income, can use the card," said Anoka County Board Chairwoman Rhonda Sivarajah.

Residents should watch their mailbox for the card from Anoka County in partnership with ProAct, Inc. For more information, go to


City unveils memorial celebrating diversity

Columbia Heights recently unveiled the last of three memorials the city built over the past decade to commemorate the community as a "City Of Peace and Opportunity."

"We are a city of diverse cultures and want everyone to know our history and embrace the opportunities to live in a city that invites everyone to join us who wishes to share in our vision of 'Peace and Opportunity,' " Mayor Gary Peterson said.

The first of these three memorials was built eight years ago, during the height of the war in Iraq.


Tax assistance for seniors, others

On Mondays and Tuesdays from Feb. 4 through April 15, the AARP Tax Assistance program will offer free help for older taxpayers and people on limited incomes.

Help is offered on a first-come, first-served basis from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hopkins Activity Center, 33 14th Av. N.

Taxpayers should bring all tax forms as well as last year's tax return, Social Security card, property tax statements and evidence of charitable donations and medical expenses.


Comment period on Kingswood park

The Three Rivers Park District has launched a public comment on its pending purchase of the Kingswood property as a park.

Acquisition of the property should provide recreational and educational access to Little Long Lake, the park district said. It also would secure property for a future regional trail linking the Luce Line State Trail, Gale Woods Farm, Dakota Rail Regional Trail, Lake Minnetonka Regional Park, Carver Park Reserve and the Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail.

A 30-day public comment period will be observed through Feb. 26. Comments may be sent to Three Rivers Park District, Kingswood Special Recreation Feature, 3000 Xenium Lane N., Plymouth, MN 55441-1299. They also can be faxed to 763-557-5248 or e-mailed to Kingswood@three

Comments also will be taken at an open house on the acquisition plan set for 4:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Gale Woods Farm Education Center, 7210 County Road 110 W. in Minnetrista. For more information, call 763-559-9000.


Independent living for mentally challenged youth

Families and mentors of youth age 14-21 with mental health challenges are invited to a free conference on March 2 on how to help them transition to independent living.

Welcoming Independence and New Growth with Support (WINGS) is hosted by the Anoka County Children and Family Council and Anoka County.

WINGS will be held at Anoka Ramsey Community College in the Legacy Room (SC270), from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Youth ages 14-21 are welcome to attend with their families.

There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. Go to or call 763-712-2703.