The city of Richfield has passed 5,000 COVID-19 cases, as Minnesota's infection rate continues to hover at a national high.

"Richfield is not faring any better," the city said in a statement.

In the west metro city of just under 37,000 people, 13.5% of residents have been diagnosed with the virus since March 2020. Of those residents, 371 were hospitalized, 65 required intensive care and 50 died.

Community Health Services Administrator Jennifer Anderson said daily positivity rates haven't been this high in Richfield since last November and December.

"For the majority of 2021, it was rare for the city to experience more than 10 new cases a day," Anderson said. "Sadly, we are now seeing double or even triple that amount of daily cases in Richfield."

Anderson added that 75% of eligible residents are vaccinated and that percentage will increase as more residents ages 5 to 11 receive vaccinations. For residents 12 years and older, the vaccination rate is 82%.

Kim Hyatt

Brooklyn Center

Neighborhood Improvement grant deadline Tuesday

Brooklyn Center is awarding grants of up to $750 to individuals, groups and businesses that have ideas for projects to make the city a better place to live.

Neighborhood Innovation grants are available for initiatives that tackle issues including: crime prevention; disseminating information on voter registration and elections; cleaning up parks and neighborhoods; adding art and beauty to the city; emotional health and well being; communication about health and safety resources available to residents, and other community-led education programs.

Applicants must submit a short summary of their proposed project and detail their experience to complete it by 4:30 p.m. Tuesday . Information is available at

Successful applicants for round four will be notified in December.

Tim Harlow


City to plow Loop Trail through winter

It's been a big hit in the summer months, but will the Loop draw crowds in the winter, too?

The Stillwater City Council signed off on a plan to plow the entire 4.7-mile St. Croix River Crossing Loop Trail this winter, including the eastern half that winds through Wisconsin.

The city's one-year agreement with St. Croix County calls for Stillwater crews to plow after every snowfall of 2 inches or more. St. Croix County will pay $200 each time. No salt will be used, and just a portion of the wide section of trail going up Houlton Hill will be cleared.

The city plowed the Minnesota side of the trail last year. City crews will plow the trail only after all 80 miles of city streets have been cleared.

Matt McKinney

Dakota County

Historical Society seeks board members

The Dakota County Historical Society is looking for new board members to help guide the organization in 2022.

Board members — volunteers who can serve up to three consecutive two-year terms — will come aboard at a time when the historical society is preparing for improvements to the Lawshe Museum, including new exhibits and ADA upgrades, a county news release said. The organization is also aiming to build relationships with the Minnesota Historical Society, Dakota City Heritage Village and other partners, according to the release.

Community members interested in joining the board can contact the Lawshe Museum at 651-552-7548 or complete an interest statement on the Dakota County Historical Society website. The application deadline is Dec. 17.

Emma Nelson