St. Paul has joined several other Minnesota cities that have added policies to protect bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

The City Council approved a resolution Wednesday with the goal of encouraging residents and city departments to cut down on pesticide use and add more native plants in landscaping.

The city has already been incorporating some best practices for pollinators, officials said, including adding pollinator-friendly plants in parks and gardens and limiting pesticide use — with some exceptions.

Council President Russ Stark urged parks staff to keep “pushing the envelope” to reduce pesticide use.

St. Paul is the ninth city in the state to add such a policy, said Erin Rupp, with the nonprofit Pollinate Minnesota.

“We rely on pollinators for healthy ecosystems and the food that we eat. And it’s hard to be a bee these days,” Rupp said.




2016 Winter Carnival royalty is crowned

The 2016 Winter Carnival has its royal family, crowned Friday night in St. Paul.

Jim Flaherty, sponsored by Allegra and Image 360, was named King Boreas LXXX. At 37, Jim is the youngest King Boreas. He lives in Hugo with his wife and two young sons. He is the owner of an Allegra and Image 360 franchise in St. Paul.

Alyssa Sigafus, sponsored by the Royal House of Ideal Printers, was named Aurora, Queen of Snows. She works at Ameriprise Financial in Minneapolis and lives in Plymouth with her husband and 2-year-old daughter.


Arden Hills

Political newcomer named to City Council

A seminary graduate with no previous experience at City Hall will fill the vacancy on the Arden Hills City Council created by a death last fall.

Robert Woodburn, 85, a former mayor of the city, died in October of injuries suffered in a Sept. 20 car crash.

For at least a year, his seat will go to Jonathan Wicklund, 41, executive director of the Trout Lake Camps, a Christian camping and retreat center in the lakes area of Crow Wing County.

The City Council appointed him last week after interviews with several applicants.

Wicklund lives near a project that will be a major preoccupation for the council in the years to come, namely the development of the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant (TCAAP) site.

He called that project a “great opportunity to make a statement — fresh construction on a significant piece of land,” more than 400 acres near a major freeway intersection.

Selection for the council seat will fall to voters this fall, and Wicklund said he isn’t sure whether he’ll pursue it.

The father of three has lived in the city since preschool and holds both a divinity degree from Bethel Seminary in Arden Hills and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas.

David Peterson



360 Communities gets new CEO: Jeff Mortensen

New leadership is on the horizon at Burnsville-based 360 Communities, as the nonprofit’s chief executive prepares to retire after just a few years on the job.

Sal Mondelli, who’s served in the president and CEO role since May 2012, is planning to step down at the end of 2016, according to a Jan. 27 news release. Chief Operating Officer Jeff Mortensen has been tapped to take over Mondelli’s role.

360 Communities operates food shelves, resource centers, shelters and educational programs across a network of more than 40 locations.

During Mondelli’s time at the helm, the organization’s annual revenue grew to more than $4 million and in 2014, it was named nonprofit of the year by the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“Sal will be leaving me in an enviable position,” Mortensen said in a statement.

Emma Nelson