Sports Center to build seasonal dome

A $4.8 million inflatable dome to provide winter practice space will go up this fall at the National Sports Center following the Blaine City Council's approval this month of a conditional use permit for the 110-foot-high structure.

The sports dome, made of fabric and air-supported, will be used from November through April and will enclose a turf field of 117,000 square feet on the floor of the Sports Center stadium. It will be privately funded, said Executive Director Todd Johnson.

"This facility will be a tremendous resource for local sports associations," he said.

The Sports Center is said to be the largest amateur sports campus in the world, and officials say the 110-foot dome will be one of the largest of its kind in North America.


Carver County

Board OKs free admission to parks

Regional parks in Carver County will be free beginning Dec. 1 under a decision the County Board reached this month after seeing research that showed entrance fees can block equitable park access.

Fees will still be charged for campsites, shelter and pavilion reservations and other special uses. Current entrance fees for Baylor, Lake Minnewashta and Lake Waconia parks are $1.25 per person and $28 for an annual vehicle pass.

Officials estimate that free admission will cost the county about $157,000 a year, including a slight savings in seasonal staffing. The board began considering dropping the fees last year at the request of residents commenting on the county's 2040 Comprehensive Plan.

Katy Read

South St. Paul

Croatian Hall marks 100th anniversary

Croatian Hall is marking its centennial this weekend with a mix of traditional and modern music and ethnic food offerings ranging from sarma (stuffed cabbage rolls) to potica (a sweet, nutty rolled pastry).

The meeting place was established in 1919 by Croatian immigrants who came to South St. Paul to work in the city's stockyards and processing plants. There once were many Croatian halls in Minnesota, but the South St. Paul location is the last one left.

"The Cro," as it is called, hosts social events and supports a Tamburitza Orchestra, which plays traditional Croatian music, according to the hall's website.

Weekend festivities continue from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. For more information, go to

Erin Adler

Cottage Grove

Anselment hired to run HERO Center

Dan Anselment, a training consultant with a law enforcement center and forensic academy at the University of Tennessee for the past five years, has been hired to manage the new law enforcement training facility being built by Cottage Grove and Woodbury.

The HERO (Health and Emergency Response Occupations) Center is scheduled to open in October. The $20.5 million price tag includes nearly $11 million from the state, along with funding from both cities, the South Washington County Telecommunications Commission and South Washington Watershed District.

Anselment, a Minnesota native, spent eight years as a Burnsville police officer and has extensive experience in forensic science. He will begin his new job next month.

Mara Klecker