Free groceries offered at market stocked with 'rescued' items

A market stocked with food pulled from shelves at Twin Cities grocery stores has opened in Oakdale.

The Today's Harvest store, run by Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf, has many of the things shoppers might expect to find at a small market, from vegetables and fresh fruit to frozen meat, milk, bread and baked goods. Items — provided by local grocery stores, farms and other partners — are free, and the market is open to all.

Volunteers will staff the store at 5703 Hadley Av. N. in the Hadley Plaza in Oakdale from noon to 6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.

Matt McKinney

Dakota County

Lake Byllesby will rise to summer levels

Dakota County's refilling of Lake Byllesby to its summer water levels began Saturday, according to a Dakota County news release, and should be done by Memorial Day.

The reservoir's level is lowered 3 feet to 853.7 feet in the fall and remains at that level until May 15, when refilling to its summer elevation of 856.7 feet can begin. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources sets the levels so farmers can access lower-lying fields in the spring. In summer, levels rise to accommodate water-related recreation.

Refilling the lake requires raising 41 "trip gates" at the top of Lake Byllesby Dam. The refill comes from the Cannon River, which gives up to 20% of its water to the reservoir.

The rest of the water is released downstream through the turbines and crest gates. The raising of the lake can't be done if the Cannon River is at 50% capacity or lower, the release said.



Work on inclusive playground begins

Construction has started on an inclusive playground expansion at Roseville's Central Park on the east side of Bennett Lake. The upgrade will include play equipment for children of all ability levels, including youngsters with disabilities.

The entire project is being funded through an anonymous donation that has been managed by the nonprofit Friends of Roseville Parks.

Amenities include new wheelchair-friendly rubber and turf surfaces that will be installed throughout the play area.

The playground upgrade is expected to be completed by midsummer.

Shannon Prather

Anoka County

Firm tapped to offer designs for new jail

The Anoka County Board has picked Wold Architects and Engineers to conduct site plan designs as the county contemplates building new public safety and correctional facilities. The board approved the $44,500 contract April 27.

The board chose Wold for the job over one other firm that submitted a proposal. The contract calls for Wold to prepare up to four site plan configurations for the board to consider this fall as the county looks to build a new jail, 911 center and parking ramp.

"It's basically working on where we should build each of these, if we should build them, if they should be combined or separate," said Board Chairman Scott Schulte. "We have not signed up for them to be our architect. This is one step toward that."

Tim Harlow