Family assistance alliance receives accreditation

The Metro Alliance for Healthy Families, which provides home visiting services to first-time parents in Dakota and eight other counties, has received national accreditation from Healthy Families America, a Chicago-based nonprofit.

Visitors from agencies in the Metro Alliance connect with families through hospitals and clinics and visit new parents. The visitors help stressed-out parents learn skills to improve their child's health, nutrition and development.

Accreditation from Healthy Families America (HFA) is based on meeting standards in 12 categories. HFA was formed in 1992 by the national nonprofit Prevent Child Abuse America. The Metro Alliance was formed in 2007 and is a collaboration of Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott and Washington counties and the city of Bloomington. It has 57 home visitors serving 475 families.

Pat Pheifer


Columbia Arena comes down, but site has a future

The former Columbia Arena building, vacant for nearly 10 years, has come down. The building served youth hockey for more than 20 years and achieved fame for the mid-90s filming of "D3: The Mighty Ducks."

The arena was sold to a developer in 2006 and has been vacant since. Years of deterioration and vandalism took its toll, and when the city of Fridley acquired the property last fall, restoration was no longer an option.

Public brainstorming sessions have been held on the future of the location. The results call for a mix of public and private development, a clear interest in a civic presence and in retaining park space.

Last month, the City Council directed staff to begin research on the possibility of using the site for a future City Hall campus. That research is expected to extend to 2016.



Church to host vigil for domestic violence victims

A Plymouth church will host a vigil Sunday night in honor of those who have died as the result of domestic violence. The third annual "Breaking the Silence: Domestic Violence Vigil" will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, 12235 Old Rockford Road.

The vigil includes survivors sharing stories, a candlelight interdenominational service, volunteers offering healing and prayer and representatives from domestic violence shelters. Go to moply.org/breakingthesilence for more information.


St. Paul

Lake Como walk will put focus on imperiled species

In a walk around Lake Como, Twin Cities marchers will join people in more than 110 cities around the globe on Sunday to promote awareness of the plight of endangered and threatened species. It's all part of the Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions.

Walkers will gather at the Como Dockside pavilion, 1360 Lexington Pkwy. N. The walk will start at 9:30 a.m., ending by noon.



Washington County forum to look at sulfide mining

Threats to the environment from sulfide mining in northern Minnesota will be discussed at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Washington County Government Center in Stillwater.

In a forum hosted by River Valley Action, Save the Boundary Waters and the Izaak Walton League, proposals for two mines will be reviewed: the PolyMet mine between Babbitt and Hoyt Lakes, and the Twin Metals mine southeast of Ely.

Sulfide mining is the practice of extracting metals such as copper and nickel from sulfide-rich ore. Speakers Don Arnosti and Rebecca Rom will provide an overview of sulfide ore mining and how it would affect the Boundary Waters and St. Louis River watersheds.

The free forum, open to the public, will be held in the lower level of the south wing of the government center at 14949 62nd St. N., Stillwater.

Kevin Giles