Anoka to become ‘Yellow Ribbon’ city

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

According to the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon website (, there are nearly 80 Yellow Ribbon cities in Minnesota. In the coming days , Minneapolis (Dec. 1) and Norwood Young America (Dec. 8), will be receive the designation as well.


‘Adopt-a-Family’ aims to spread holiday cheer

Anoka County is asking people to donate gifts for its Adopt-A-Family and Giving Tree programs for people in need this holiday season. In these programs, public health nurses and social workers identify people most in need and work with them to create a wish list of items. Each individual’s list has a limit of $50 in value.

If you’d like to participate in Adopt-A-Family, call 763-422-7089 or e-mail and indicate what size family you’d like to help. To help with the Giving Tree program, for individuals not connected to a family, call 763-422-7248 or e-mail The county will e-mail you the wish list and ask you to return gifts by Friday, Dec. 13.

Dec. 5 program looks at a Civil War Christmas

Costumed interpreter Vickie Wendel will discuss holiday traditions of the 1860s during a “Civil War Christmas” program on Thursday, Dec. 5, at the Anoka County History Center, 2135 3rd Av. N., Anoka. The presentation, offered by the Anoka County Historical Society, is free and will begin at 7 p.m. For further information, call 763-421-0600 or go to


History society marks ‘Christmas in the ’50s’

An exhibit celebrating “Christmas in the 1950s” is on display at the Fridley History Center. Presented by the Fridley Historical Society, it features hundreds of items, including a teenage girl’s bedroom, a living room, kitchen, Christmas tree, train set and prom dress. The History Center is located at 611 Mississippi St. NE. in Fridley and is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays. Admission to the exhibit is free.

Columbia Heights

Church to offer free Thanksgiving dinner

St. Matthew Lutheran Church will host its 18th annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 28.

The dinner is open to any families or individuals in need of a welcome place to spend the holiday. The church is located at 4101 Washington St. NE. in Columbia Heights.

Reservations are not required but are appreciated. Call 763-788-9427. St. Matthew’s website is www.stmat


Isanti County

‘Dolly & Me’ tea returns on Dec. 7

After a two-year break because of the 2011 arson fire that destroyed the Heritage Center, the Isanti County Historical Society will hold another “Christmas Tea for Dolly & Me” on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 1 to 3 p.m. The tea will take place at the new Heritage Center, 33525 Flanders St. NE, Cambridge. It is aimed at “girls age 5 to 105 & their favorite dolly,” as the society puts it.

The event will include tea, treats and hot chocolate, as well as craft-making and other activities. A raffle will be held for American Girl dolls and other accessories.

Tickets are $10 per person and must be bought by Dec. 1. They’re available at the ICHS Heritage Center from 9-4:30 a.m. today, Nov. 27, or online at For further information, call 763-689-4229

Children attending must be accompanied by adults.

Lino Lakes/Coon Rapids

Church organizes hunger-relief outing

Junior and senior high school students are invited to take part in a meal-packing effort on Saturday that is being organized by Living Waters Lutheran Church in Lino Lakes. The volunteers will leave the church in car pools at 10:45 a.m. for the Feed My Starving Children center in Coon Rapids. They’ll return by 2 p.m.

Those who would like to take part should call the church at 651-481-0220 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, Nov. 27, or send an e-mail to


Maple Grove

Learn ways to prevent teenage drug abuse

Parents in particular are invited to attend an informational session on preventing teen drug abuse to be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, at Lord of Life Lutheran Church, 7401 County Rd. 101, Maple Grove.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and Partnership for Change will provide informational speakers, and the Scheig family of Maple Grove, which recently lost its son to a drug overdose, will share its story.


Prostate cancer group will meet Dec. 4

A prostate cancer support group will meet at 5:30 p.m. next Wednesday, Dec. 4, at North Memorial Medical Center, 3300 Oakdale Av. N., ­Robbinsdale. Members will review topics covered during the past year and discuss areas where further information would be helpful.

Wives and friends are welcome. There is no charge. For more, call 612-388-3588.

Staff reports