Lakeville again leads the state in municipal liquor sales, selling $14.6 million in wine, beer and liquor in 2017, according to the state auditor’s office.

Lakeville city administrator Justin Miller attributed the success of the city’s three liquor stores to Brenda Visnovec, liquor operations director, “and her awesome staff.”

The other top cities for municipal liquor sales were Edina, Richfield and Eden Prairie. Elk River’s stores saw the highest profit margins, at 13.9 percent. Savage was the only metro area city reporting net losses.

Sales were up statewide by $4.5 million compared to 2016 and totaled nearly $349 million, a 1.3 percent increase.

In 2017, Lakeville’s stores won the National Retailer of the Year award from Beverage Dynamics Magazine.

Erin Adler

Falcon Heights

Harris appointed to fill council vacancy

The Falcon Heights City Council has appointed Pamela Harris to fill the remaining year of Joe Brown Thunder’s council term.

Harris, a lawyer who has lived in Falcon Heights for nearly 30 years, served three terms on the City Council before opting not to run for re-election in 2017 in the wake of the Philando Castile shooting.

Brown Thunder, who is moving to California, resigned from the council in July.

The council chose Harris unanimously over three other finalists owing to her previous experience, said Mayor Peter Lindstrom. “Few people … know this city better,” he said.

Harris, who said she will not run for re-election in 2019, said she applied because it won’t take her long to get up to speed in the budget season.

Greg Stanley

New Hope

Congestion worries cancel train stop

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train won’t be making a stop in New Hope this season after all, owing to traffic and parking concerns.

The train was scheduled to rumble into town for a stop at the New Hope Ice Arena at 3:35 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11. But city officials said nearby parking spaces available in previous years would still taken by workers at that time in the afternoon. They said that a hockey game, hockey practice and dance classes at the ice arena also would make access and parking tricky.

New Hope officials said they have asked Canadian Pacific to keep the city in mind as a stop in future years.

The train will make stops in other metro locations, including Hastings, Cottage Grove, Golden Valley, St. Louis Park, Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Hannah Covington


City to offer organics recycling this month

Starting in mid-November, Richfield will run an organics recycling program at two locations.

The city will pick up organics at Hope Church, 7132 Portland Av., and Wood Lake Nature Center, 6710 Lake Shore Dr. Recycled organics include food scraps, paper and other compostable material, which is turned into soil.

Interested residents must register online at, and then pick up green compostable bags at either of the two sites.

The program was partly funded by a $15,000 grant from Hennepin County. The county wants to require organics pickup at residential properties by 2022.

Miguel Otárola