Edina makes it easier for Golden Valley to switch 911 service

Edina, which provides 911 service to Golden Valley, has changed its dispatch contract to make it easier for Golden Valley to switch its 911 service to Hennepin County.

Golden Valley has gotten dispatch services from Edina for about two-and-a-half years, and has been paying about $178,000 a year for that service. Golden Valley wants to get 911 service from the county's dispatch center, which will be cheaper. The County Board has approved that change, but Golden Valley must wait until a new county dispatch center is built. That is expected to happen in 2014.

To ease the transition, the Edina City Council recently made a couple of changes. Golden Valley now can sever its 911 connection to Edina on 90 days' notice rather than a year. Because Edina's costs have dropped, the council also lowered Golden Valley's annual fee to $142,140 a year.


International women's rights experts to speak

The League of Women Voters of Edina is sponsoring two presentations by experts in international women's rights.

On Saturday, Marsha Freeman will speak on the Arab spring and women's rights from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Edina City Hall community room. Freeman is a senior fellow at the University of Minesota Human Rights Center.

On Feb. 14, former League of Women Voters U.S. first vice president Judy Duffy will speak on women's empowerment in the Middle East and North Africa. Her talk is from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Edina Community Library.

For more information, visit

Keystone pipeline film and discussion

On Thursday, the ClimateSOSFilm series will present a film and discussion on the proposed Keystone oil pipeline, which would run from Canada into the United States.

The film, to be shown at 7 p.m. at Southdale Library, will be followed by a talk by energy analyst Paul Blackburn. For more information, contact or call 612-965-8284.

Saturday forums at southwest suburban DFL convention

The Senate District 49 DFL convention on Saturday will feature five free public forums after the completion of convention business, at around 10 a.m.

Topics are: "Understanding the Science of Climate Change," presented by John Abraham, a University of St. Thomas thermal physics professor; "The Role of the American Legislative Exchange Council in Promoting the Right-Wing Agenda through State Legislatures," presented by Dee Voss; an economic analysis of the past decade, presented by economist Bill Melton and state Rep. Ryan Winkler; "Solving the Achievement Gap in Minnesota Schools," by former Minneapolis Mayor Don Fraser; and an update on the Southwest Light Rail Transit line, by Dave Van Hattum of Transit for Livable Communities and Jennifer Munt, Metropolitan Council member.

The convention is at Edina's Valley View Middle School at 6750 Valley View Road in Edina. Call 952-848-4062 for further information.

Senate District 49 covers Edina, West Bloomington, northeast Eden Prairie and southeast Minnetonka, but the forums are open to all.


Police academy accepting applications

Applications are being accepted until March 8 for Minnetonka residents who are interested in joining the Minnetonka Police Department's eight-week Police Citizen's Academy. Sessions will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays from April 2 to May 21.

The academy helps residents understand law enforcement strategies and challenges, increase public safety and reduce crime. Topics include police recruiting and training, crime scene investigations, the SWAT team, community service officers, computer forensics, drug task force, school resource officers, police K9s, crime lab, crime prevention, crime analysis, traffic unit, use of force and dispatch.

To apply, go to the Police Department at 14600 Minnetonka Blvd. or contact Nicole Nelson at or 952-939-8546 to have an application mailed. Participants have to attend eight sessions, be 21 years of age or older, live or work in Minnetonka, and undergo a basic criminal background check.


Free tax preparation services are available

The Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin will do free tax preparation for people who make $35,000 or less or families who make $45,000 or less, starting today.

The service will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Eden Prairie Center at the mall's lower level, as well as 3 to 7 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Eden Prairie Library and 3 to 7 p.m. March 27 at the library.

For more information, go to or call 952-697-1414.


Police share tips on crime prevention

The Robbinsdale Crime Prevention Association will host a public meeting for residents at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Robbinsdale Police Department, 4101 Hubbard Av. N.

Residents will learn about how to prevent auto theft, hear about the 2012 crime numbers and trends, and have questions answered by Police Chief Steve Smith.

For more information, call the department at 763-531-1220.


Food, cash donations for STEP program

The Lenox Foundation is sponsoring Gifts from the Heart, an event for STEP (the St. Louis Park Emergency Program), Monday through Feb. 15.

Donate food or cash to STEP, which each month assists more than 800 households with food and personal-care products.

Donations will be accepted at the Lenox Community Center, 6715 Minnetonka Blvd., from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily next week.

The most needed items include canned meat, peanut butter, jelly, canned fruit, rice, toilet paper, cereal, coffee and other beverage makings, boxed meals and baking supplies. For more information, call 952-928-6444.