Ramsey County

Huffman’s nonprofit paying off back taxes

A housing nonprofit run by Ramsey County Commissioner Blake Huffman has paid off many of the late and delinquent taxes it owed on more than a dozen properties around the Twin Cities.

Journey Home Minnesota, which was founded by Huffman in 2008, had owed $39,673 in overdue taxes on 14 properties, the Star Tribune reported this month. It has since paid off taxes on most of those properties, according to records from Ramsey and Anoka counties.

As of Wednesday, the nonprofit still owed taxes on three parcels: nearly $16,000 on a commercial lot in Burnsville; nearly $500 on a residential lot in St. Paul; and $300 on a duplex in Hovland, Minn.

Huffman, a County Board member since 2012 who ran for governor last year, said the nonprofit ran into cash-flow issues while it was downsizing.

Greg Stanley


Schools chief gets job, new contract

The Shakopee school board on Monday named Interim Superintendent Gary Anger as the district’s permanent superintendent, giving him a raise and a new two-year contract.

The move comes just weeks after Anger received a glowing first-year evaluation from parents and district staffers.

“We believe Gary earned a third year and to remove that pesky ‘interim’ word from his title,” said Board Member Matt McKeand.

Anger took the reins in Shak­opee last summer after leading the Zumbrota-Mazeppa schools. He succeeded Rod Thompson, who resigned amid accusations of embezzling public funds.

Anger earned $179,000 in base pay last year. His new contract guarantees a $10,000 raise and a salary of $193,000 by the 2019-20 school year.

Liz Sawyer


Stretch of Hwy. 12 named for Mathews

Starting Wednesday, a stretch of Hwy. 12 in Wayzata will be officially named for a police officer who was killed on duty last summer.

The roadway will be known as “Officer Bill Mathews Memorial Highway” in honor of the Wayzata officer, who died after he was struck by an impaired and distracted driver while moving debris off the highway last fall. He was 47.

State lawmakers during the legislative session approved the memorial highway, one of several new laws taking effect Wednesday.

The city of Long Lake, just west of Wayzata, unveiled a bridge sign dedicated to Mathews at a ceremony earlier this month.

Miguel Otárola

Anoka County

Study to take look at jail, workhouse

A new study approved by the Anoka County Board will dig into overcrowding and security issues at the aging county jail and workhouse.

The board approved a contract Tuesday for the study, expected to cost about $94,000. The 238-bed jail was built in 1982 and is often over capacity, forcing officials to board prisoners at other facilities across the state, county documents show.

A county work group has been studying jail and workhouse issues since March 2017. Last fall, the National Institute of Corrections reviewed the county’s jail system and facilities and made several recommendations, including conducting a detailed needs assessment. The study will take about six months to finish.

Hannah Covington