The City Council approved new bee-friendly policies last week, joining a growing number of cities working to better protect honeybees. Beekeepers across the country are losing a fourth to a third of their hives each winter — a dramatic decline that has exposed bees as a fragile link in the nation's food supply. U.S. agriculture depends on bees to pollinate $15 billion worth of crops annually — one-third of the food people eat.

In 2014, Shorewood was the first city in Minnesota and the third city in the nation to pass a policy encouraging people to plant bee-friendly flowers and restricting certain pesticides, including neonicotinoids, which can be lethal to insects but not to humans and mammals. Neonicotinoids are the most widely applied insecticides in the world.

Excelsior's resolution says the city will strive for best management practices in plantings and the use of pesticides in public places, refrain from using systemic pesticides on city property, plant flowers favorable to bees and other pollinators in public spaces, and communicate to residents the importance of creating and maintaining a pollinator-friendly habitat.



Free CPR/AED training held this month

Plymouth and the Rotary Club of Plymouth are partnering to offer free CPR and AED training this month.

The training will take place Sept. 28 from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Plymouth Public Safety Building. Teens or adults who want to learn hands-only CPR and how to use an AED, or automated external defibrillator, may register at

A second training will take place Nov. 16 from 7 to 8 p.m.

Vigil honors victims of domestic violence

A Plymouth church will honor victims of domestic violence, including a 28-year-old Plymouth woman killed earlier this year by her partner.

Mount Olivet Lutheran Church and St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church will host the fourth annual domestic violence vigil Oct. 9 from 6:15 to 7:45 p.m. at Mount Olivet in Plymouth. The vigil, "Breaking the Silence: A Walk for Hope," includes a walk to Northwest Boulevard and Rockford Road to lay a wreath in memory of Trisha Nelson, who was killed at the intersection in February by her boyfriend. He later died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head after leading police on a chase.

The interdenominational service is open to anyone. Representatives from Home Free battered women and children's shelter will be available for questions and support. For details, go to


St. Louis Park

Echo adviser earns national award

A St. Louis Park high school teacher and newspaper adviser has received national accolades for her work supporting student journalism.

The Dow Jones News Fund announced this week that it had awarded Lori Keekley, an English teacher at St. Louis Park High School, its National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year Award.

Keekley is the second Minnesotan to receive the award in its 56-year history after J. Brent Norlem won it in 1972.

Keekley has been advising the Echo newspaper at St. Louis Park High for 15 years. A Dow Jones announcement about the award highlighted her students' reporting on broad, sometimes controversial topics.

"Lori's contribution and service to scholastic journalism on a local, state and national level has been outstanding," 2015 teacher of the year Mitch Eden of Missouri said in a statement. "More than that, her advocacy for her kids and their First Amendment rights is impressive."

Eric Roper


Four from area headed to national regatta

Four west metro sailors will represent Minnesota and the Midwest at the U.S. Sailing Adult Championship regatta next month.

The sailing national championship will take place in San Francisco Oct. 12-15 and one of the 10 boats invited to participate includes the four Minnesotans: Brent Peterson of Mound, Jeff Cameron of Shorewood, Bill Rock of Eden Prairie and Carole Peterson of Mound. For details about the race, go to