In response to residents concerned about modest homes being torn down and replaced with luxury housing, Edina created a program to buy smaller single-family homes and ensure they remain affordable for families.

Stephanie Hawkinson, the city's affordable housing development manager, said in a news release that while some homeowners are thinking of selling, they are reluctant to sell to developers. Under the new program, eligible single-family homes valued at up to $425,000 can be purchased through the city, which partners with the nonprofit Homes Within Reach. The nonprofit then sells the homes to a community land trust.

Edina recently started promoting the program with postcard mailings, and within days there were at least 10 interested sellers, though Hawkinson said some were turned away because their home values were too high.

To learn more, e-mail

Kim Hyatt


Food program wins national grant

Burnsville has received a $125,000 grant from the United States Conference of Mayors for a new initiative targeting food inequity.

Grow Burnsville, which took first place in a Conference of Mayors competition, includes plans to add more community gardens, a shared market, an organics recycling location, a "food forest" and garden-at-home kits. The city plans to hold a series of food-based events that may build on the city's annual International Festival, Party on the Plaza, and Tree and Native Plant sales.

The program aims to address food inequity, or the increased needs of poorer families with children to access food, especially food with high nutritional value, and to implement nearly all of the program in large, outdoor locations to comply with COVID-19 guidelines, a city memo said.

Erin Adler

Anoka County

County offers grants with health focus

Anoka County Public Health, in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health, is accepting applications through March 31 for Statewide Health Improvement Partnership grants.

Neighborhoods and community organizations can submit proposals that increase social connectedness through healthy eating, physical activity and reducing tobacco use.

Winning proposals will be announced by April 15 and fund projects from May 1 to Oct. 31. For more information, call 763-324-4344 or e-mail

Tim Harlow

Anoka County

New hires join Sheriff's Office

The Anoka County Sheriff's Office swore in seven detention deputies and two deputy sheriffs in the past two weeks.

"When I look to hire, and when I look to promote, a résumé is important," said Sheriff James Stuart. "But the content of your character and the direction of your moral compass are even more important."

Detention deputies to be assigned to the jail division include Joseph Thweatt, Michael Smith, Trevor Germain, Liza Rodriguez, Tyler Borgeson, Sean DuLac and Daryl Brown. Deputy sheriffs to be assigned to the patrol division include Donna Adrian and Scott Wicklund.

Tim Harlow