Hennepin County is one of 22 U.S. communities and the only one in Minnesota taking part in a first-ever national effort to survey youth homelessness.
The county will work with Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago on the Voices of Youth Count, which will do youth-led counts and surveys of young people and providers. The data will help determine better national estimates and site-to-site comparisons related to youth homelessness.
The latest count of Minnesota’s homeless population, released last month by the Wilder Foundation, said there are 9,312 people homeless in the state.
Movie theater to get major upgrades
An Eden Prairie movie theater is about to undergo a $6.5 million remodel.
In a presentation to the city last month, representatives from AMC Theatres told city leaders that the Eden Prairie Mall 18 theaters will get luxury power recliners in 17 auditoriums, along with sight and sound upgrades, reserved seating and remodeled restrooms. The company is also exploring adding a MacGuffins Bar & Lounge, which would allow people to buy alcoholic beverages to bring into the theaters.
Adding the luxury power recliners will cut down on seating, with 60 percent fewer seats, but the company told the city that the industry has changed, with fewer people going to movie theaters; however, theaters with renovated seating have seen increased revenue. The renovation is slated to start this spring. The theater will remain open during the project.
It’s part of a trend across the industry to lure customers away from their home theaters with amenities such as restaurant-quality food, alcohol, on-site lounges, reserved seating, better sound and bigger screens. According to a 2014 Star Tribune article, AMC Entertainment planned to spend $600 million over five years for recliner conversions.
New police chief appointed
Minnetonka will soon have a new police chief.
City Manager Geralyn Barone has appointed Capt. Scott Boerboom to the top position starting June 1, replacing Chief Jeff Sebenaler. Sebenaler, who has been the chief of the 56-officer department since June 2014, is retiring May 31.
Boerboom has been with the west metro police department since 1997 as an officer, sergeant and captain after starting his career in 1994 with the Los Angeles Police Department.
Resident pushes state to honor teachers
Thanks to a persistent Plymouth resident, Gov. Mark Dayton’s office will issue a proclamation May 3 celebrating National Teacher Day.
Andy Anderson, 90, asked the governor’s office to honor teachers after making a similar request with the city of Plymouth last year; Plymouth then issued a proclamation for “Thank a Teacher Day” to commend teachers for the work they do in the schools. Anderson, a retired salesman, is a former Wayzata School District volunteer.
Event raises money for theater preservation
Efforts to preserve the Terrace theater continue Sunday with a “fun-raiser.”
The event will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the Lodge – Stage 81 in Robbinsdale with live music by the Fabulous Chestertons, a local big band/jazz ensemble, and a silent auction. Tickets are $10. All proceeds go toward the cost of getting the Historic Terrace Theatre placed on the National Register of Historic Places and the acquisition of the property, organizers said.
A group of residents are trying to preserve and reopen the 1,300-seat midcentury movie house, which opened in 1951 and closed in 1999. The Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office has called the theater “one of the most distinctive buildings in Robbinsdale.”
Free trolley runs for the third year
For the third year, Wayzata will have a free trolley through the Lake Minnetonka town.
Starting June 7, the trolley will begin running through Wayzata. The trolley has 16 stops and operates between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays through Sept. 1. It’s a motorized trolley, so no tracks are needed.
The city helped fund starting the trolley with a one-time contribution, but it’s now privately funded and run by a community nonprofit, Lake 360 Inc. It aims to reduce traffic congestion, boost tourism and help families and seniors get around the community. For more details, go to facebook.com/lakeminnetonkatrolley.