Neighboring cities Coon Rapids and Andover have agreed to institute a no-wake zone during high-water periods on Crooked Lake.

The nonprofit Crooked Lake Area Association, which represents about 120 homeowners, lobbied for the change after a rainy 2014 spring and summer swamped shorelines. The no-wake ordinance will be triggered when water levels reach 861.6 feet for three consecutive days.

The two cities will now work together to get the no-wake rule approved by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. According to the DNR, the lake exceeded that level about four times in the past 10 years. The lake level measured 860.57 this June, the last recorded measurement.

The 119-acre lake has a public boat launch used extensively for skiing, fishing, tubing, canoeing and kayaking, said association president Gary Nereson. Heavy use during high-water periods meant nonstop roiling waves.

“You had waves washing over onto the property. It drags chemicals and debris into the water, which is not good,” Nereson said.


Hennepin County

Brooklyn Park police will use body cameras

The Brooklyn Park Police Department has become the latest to equip its officers with body cameras.

During the 60-day pilot program, there will be a minimum of four body cameras on the street, said Deputy Chief Todd Milburn.

The same company that supplies the department with squad car cameras donated 26 free body cameras, priced at $500 a piece, which will be used during the full implementation.

“I wouldn’t say we are late to the game,” said Police Chief Craig Enevoldsen said during a Sept. 8 council meeting. “There are several larger cities than ours and some about our size that have gone through the growing pains of implementing a body-worn camera system.”

Enevoldsen said officers will have discretion on when to turn off the cameras, but they must report their reasoning.

Before police fully implement the body cameras, they will hold a community meeting to talk to residents about expectations.

“I think it’s fair to say that it’s being viewed as a panacea — this is the end of any kind of police and community conflict — when all it really does is capture the incident itself and sometimes it’s not going to capture the incident to the satisfaction of those potentially involved,” Enevoldsen said.


Ramsey County

Ground broken at Keller topspin courts

On Wednesday, Ramsey County Parks & Recreation held a groundbreaking ceremony for four new tuj lub courts at Keller Regional Park.

Tuj lub (pronounced too-loo), or topspin, is a traditional Hmong top-spinning game played on a grass field about the size of a tennis court. Two teams of six people compete to knock over spinning tops and stationary targets from a distance of 10 to 75 feet.

The new courts will offer a formal playing surface to many who already use the grassy areas of the park as a makeshift site for tuj lub games and tournaments. The ceremony included comments by Ramsey County Commissioner Victoria Reinhardt; state Sen. Foung Hawj, DFL-St. Paul, and Maplewood Mayor Nora Slawik.

Construction of the courts will begin next spring. The estimated project completion date is late July 2016. The new courts are a joint effort between Ramsey County and the Maplewood Parks and Recreation Department. Partial funding for the project was supplied by the state Legacy Fund.

James Walsh

Washington County

Raptor release event set at nature center

Rehabilitated birds will be released into the wild on Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Carpenter-St. Croix Valley Nature Center in Washington County.

The public event, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will include children’s activities, educational booths, opportunities to meet the Raptor Center’s education birds, free hay wagon rides in the orchard and free apple tasting. The author of “Esther the Eaglet,” Christie Gove-Berg, will sign copies of her book.

Times for the release of rehabilitated birds will be 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the nature center, 12805 St. Croix Trail S. in Denmark Township, east of Cottage Grove and south of Afton. Event attendees can bring used inkjet printer cartridges to benefit the Raptor Center’s Recycling for Raptors program.

Kevin Giles

Washington County

Money requested for Red Rock, Gold Line

Washington County will request $135,000 from the Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB) for work on the Red Rock Corridor, the transit line from downtown St. Paul to Hastings along the Hwy. 61 corridor, for station planning and ridership modeling. The county also asked for $1.35 million for the Gateway Corridor/Gold Line for environmental work, public engagement and station planning.

The county is a member of CTIB, as are Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin and Ramsey counties. Since April 2008, the counties have used a quarter-cent sales tax and a $20 motor vehicle sales tax, permitted by the Legislature, to award annual capital and operating grants for transit.

Washington County also will request grants of $600,000 from CTIB in 2015 for the Gold Line’s project development, and $5.4 million in 2016 for project development.

Kevin Giles