The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has opened its new cultural center, which includes a museum that tells the history of the Mdewakanton Dakota people.

The center, called Hocokata Ti — which means “the lodge at the center of the camp” in Dakota — has been in the planning stages for years. It’s designed to interpret and preserve the tribe’s culture, language and history through exhibits and education.

The center includes a 3,805-square-foot exhibit, “Mdewakanton: Dwellers of the Spirit Lake,” on tribal history that features Dakota Sioux artifacts. There’s also a gift shop with Native art, books, music and craft items.

The exhibit is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. An admission fee is charged.

Kevin Duchschere

Lake Elmo

City Council strikes high-water trigger

The Lake Elmo City Council has eliminated the high-water trigger in its water surface use ordinance.

City Administrator Kristina Handt said that checking lake gauges at Lakes Olson, Demontreville and Jane was taking a significant amount of staff time and complaints about high water-related damage were limited to flooded beaches and damaged sod.

Lake Olson and Lake Demontreville reached the trigger of 929.7 feet above sea level once this year, in April, when a drainage gate was clogged with debris.

Without a high-water trigger, City Council can institute a 30-day no-wake period on a case-by-case basis, Handt said.

Mara Klecker


Remodeling work begins on City Hall

Workers have begun a $5.6 million project to remodel and expand Brooklyn Park’s 28-year-old City Hall, with construction not expected to be finished before fall 2020.

The project, approved in May by the City Council, will upgrade windows and bathrooms, improve heating, enhance building security, improve accessibility for those with disabilities and modernize workspaces. An addition also is being built on the east side of the building, located at Regent and 85th avenues.

The city’s goal is to improve the lobby and waiting area and offer more space for conferences, as well as save on energy costs with new windows and LED lights.



County OKs funds to clean memorial site

The Hennepin County Board has approved a $30,000 grant to clean contaminated soil at a site designated for a memorial to the survivors of sexual assault.

The $650,000 memorial, a circular plaza with benches and mosaic panels, is planned for Boom Island Park in northeast Minneapolis. Organizers say it would be the first of its kind in the United States.

Minneapolis parks officials told county staffers this summer that soil at the memorial site had been found to be contaminated. They subsequently applied for the grant through the county’s Brownfield Gap Financing Program, designed to help county or municipal projects deal with unanticipated environmental costs.

The memorial was proposed in 2015 by Sarah Super, a rape survivor and founder of Break the Silence, a support group. The park board approved the project in 2017.