Valleyfair to remain closed for all of 2020

Valleyfair will stay closed for the rest of 2020 due to "continued uncertainty" about the COVID-19 pandemic, said officials who called it the "difficult yet responsible decision."

The park will work "to ensure guests can return to fun in a safe environment next season," a news release said.

Another reason to close for the year was limited information from authorities about when opening would be possible, said Raul Rehnborg, Valleyfair's general manager and vice president.

People holding 2020 season passes can use them next year and also will receive a reward card to buy items at the park. Valleyfair is owned and operated by Ohio-based Cedar Fair Entertainment Co.

Erin Adler


Skogquist faces misconduct charges

An Anoka City Council member has been charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly chewing out city employees involved in an approved tree removal project at Rudy Johnson Park.

Erik Skogquist, 36, is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 1, according to Lino Lakes prosecutor Robb Olson. Lino Lakes was asked to take the case to avoid a conflict of interest.

According to the complaint, Skogquist berated city arborist Jerry Tri at the park, yelling that Tri had "let them cut" down all the trees and lacing the rant with obscenities. He later went to City Hall and confronted two managers, using similar language and saying they were "a poor sight" for a park department. His rage was "unbelievable," one said.

Tyler Bliss, Skogquist's lawyer, called the situation "regrettable" and said they looked forward to addressing the allegations "through the proper channels."



Downtown getting new public restrooms

A public restroom is being built near the public docks in Wayzata's downtown area, at the east end of a streetside plaza overlooking Lake Minnetonka that is under construction this summer.

The nearest public restrooms now are at Wayzata Beach, roughly five blocks from the city's busy retail and restaurant area, where merchants complain people ask to use their restrooms without intending to shop or dine, said Aurora Yager, administrative services director.

The structure will be wrapped with decorative aluminum. "It's a pretty unique, cool, modern design that ties in with features in the plaza area," Yager said. Completion is expected in mid-September.


Ramsey County

Next round of small business relief opens

Sole proprietors, musicians, artists and others in the local creative economy are among those eligible for the second round of Ramsey County's Small Business Relief Fund.

County officials are accepting applications from small businesses, defined as having 20 or fewer employees, through Aug. 18. Grants ranging up to $10,000 can be used for mortgage, rent, utilities and costs associated with reopening caused by the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns.

Ramsey County has earmarked $15 million of the $96 million it has received in federal COVID-19 aid dollars for small business relief. Its first round of business grants focused on businesses with five or fewer employees.

Shannon Prather