Piece of Blaine will become a preserve

A unique part of Anoka County's natural history will be dedicated Thursday evening as a state nature preserve in Blaine.

The public is invited to attend the 6:30 p.m. ceremony and take a 45-minute tour to see and hear biologists talk about rare plants in the new 63-acre Scientific and Natural Area operated by the state Department of Natural Resources. The new preserve contains nearly a dozen threatened and endangered plants.

Afterward, service-minded nature lovers can stay for 45 minutes to cut invasive buckthorn or pull knapweed and other unwanted plants. The DNR suggests wearing waterproof shoes and bringing drinking water and bug repellent.

The DNR says the site, located a few hundred yards east of Interstate 35W, just off 95th Avenue, includes one of the state's rarest types of wetlands: a rich fen, where layers of peat and slightly acidic groundwater create the ­conditions needed by unusual plants such as cross-leaved milkwort, twisted yellow-eyed grass and the tubercled rein-orchid.

You can reach the site from I-35W by taking the 95th Avenue exit and traveling about 0.3 miles east to the Blaine Preserve Business Park, 3787 95th Av. NE. The dedication will take place across the street.

Blaine hosts citizens academy

The city of Blaine will host its 12th annual Blaine Citizens Academy for residents interested in learning more about police and fire department operations. The eight-week course will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Wednesdays from Sept. 4-Oct. 23,

The academy provides an overview of the structure and operations of the police, fire and community standards departments. Topics include police use of force, firefighting, crime prevention, housing maintenance and fire and police investigations.

Applicants must be 18 years or older and must pass a criminal history background check. Applications can be found on the Blaine city website,

For more information, contact Wende Ferguson, support services manager, at 763-785-6112 or e-mail at


LGBTQ Youth Pride celebration is Aug. 13

The third annual Anoka LGBTQ Youth Pride celebration will be held Tuesday, Aug. 13, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park in Coon Rapids.

The event is open to everyone and will include raffles, food, beverages, kickball, theater games, face painting, relay races, craft tables and more. Though most the activities will be focused on middle school and high school age youth, all ages are welcome.

The event stems from Justin's Gift, created to establish safe environments and a bully-free zone for young people. For more information, go to or

Class of '63 reunion in September

It's not too late to register for the 50-year reunion of the Anoka High School Class of 1963, to be held Sept. 13-15. For information or registration materials contact Susan Carolan (Sue Ziegler) at 763-784-7885.


Old barn razed, new one raised

The Anoka County Fair is underway at the fairgrounds in Anoka, with the action continuing through Sunday. Buildings will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. The fairgrounds are located at 3200 St. Francis Blvd. NW.

Gone this year is the old red barn that was one of the oldest buildings at the fairgrounds. It was razed in April because of structural concerns and high estimated repair costs. A new, larger barn has taken its place. The cost is $80,000, and $15,000 has been raised. The fair is seeking contributions from individuals, associations and businesses. You can call 763-427-4070 for information or mail donations to:

Anoka County Fair

P.O. Box 278

Anoka, MN 55303

Further information on the fair is available at www.anoka


Kids 'n' Cops will tee off on Tuesday

Brooklyn Park kids are invited to a free Cops 'n' Kids Golf Clinic on Tuesday, July 30, at Brookland Golf Park, 8232 Regent Av. N.

Officers will play the par-3 course with the kids ages 7-15 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Kids will learn about putting, chipping and more from golf instructors. Transportation to the nine-hole course is ­available from designated locations.

Registration is limited to about 30 people. For more information contact Officer Tim Mitchell at timothy.mitch


City accepts bids for old equipment

Coon Rapids is accepting sealed bids for obsolete ­computer equipment until Friday. The city bought the equipment between 2000 and 2007. All items will be sold "as is" with no warranty. Buyers must pick up purchased items.

Items available include ­desktop and laptop computers, tube monitors, laser printers, fax machines and copiers.

For more information about the equipment, send e-mail to and reference "Obsolete Computer Equipment."

Maple Grove, St. Louis Park

Dylan salutes set for this week

Salutes to Bob Dylan are set for Wednesday, July 24, at the Town Green in Maple Grove and Saturday, July 27, at the ­Veterans Memorial Amphitheater in St. Louis Park's Wolfe Park.

The free concerts will feature area musicians performing an evening of songs by Dylan.

The lineup includes bandleader Billy Hallquist, Matt Fink, Patty Peterson, Mary Jane Alm, Jeff Dayton, Gary Lopac, Lonnie Knight, Scott Sansby, Stan Kipper, Chico Perez, Paul Metsa, Dan Israel, Gene LaFond, James Loney, Jim Steinworth, Ralph Dacut, Aaron Ollswang, Kenny Krona, Barbara Meyer, Steve Grossman, Jeff Victor and master of ceremonies Marc Percansky, all veterans of past tributes.

Making their first appearance at the tribute show are Arne Fogel, Willie Walker and Courtney Yasmineh.

Both events also will promote Guitars for Vets, a national organization that helps veterans suffering the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Each concert is scheduled for 6:30-9:30 p.m. The Town Green in Maple Grove is located at 7991 Main St. The Veterans Memorial Amphitheater in St. Louis Park is located at Wolfe Park, 3700 Monterey Drive.


'Children of Eden' is onstage at high school

Cross Community Players wrap up a two-week run of the musical "Children of Eden" with shows this Thursday through Sunday, July 25-28, at Osseo Senior High School.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday.

The show is a parable based on the book of Genesis and touches on themes involving parents, children and their search for understanding. Tickets are $12 and $17 and can be purchased at www.cross The high school is located at 317 2nd Av. NW. in Osseo.


Prostate cancer group meets today

A prostate cancer support group will meet at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 24, at North Memorial Outpatient Center, 3435 W. Broadway, Robbinsdale.

The topic will be "Treating Erectile Dysfunction and Urinary Incontinence." Ken Mitchell, MPAS, will discuss Surgical Impotence Management Strategy (SIMS), a new treatment.

The session is free. Wives and friends are welcome. For further information, call 612-388-3588.

Staff reports