Author and former WCCO-TV news anchor Don Shelby will perform his one-man show, “An Afternoon with Mark Twain,” on Jan. 24 to benefit the St. Croix River Association, which protects and restores the river and its watershed. Best known for his novel “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” (1876) and its sequel, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” (1884), Twain also worked as a master riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River before the Civil War. He penned the travel book and memoir “Life on the Mississippi” in 1883. The event will be held at 2 p.m. at the Phipps Center for the Arts, 109 Locust St., Hudson, Wis. Ticket prices range from $18 for youth to $55 for preferred seating. For more information, call 715-483-3300 or visit

Kevin Giles


Lake Elmo

Final bird-watching held in county park

The last guided bird hike of the season will be held from 8:30-9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12, at Lake Elmo Park Reserve. The group will meet in the Nordic Center Great Room.

Participants will learn to identify birds that call the St. Croix Valley home and contribute to citizen science data collection by completing bird count surveys with a guide. The surveys will assist the county’s Natural Resources team and related work in conjunction with the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Fund grant.

For the park location, see The program is free with a parks vehicle permit ($5/day or $25/annual) and is open to the public. ADA accommodations can be made as needed. In the case of light rain or snow, the program will continue as scheduled.

For questions, call 651-430-8370 or e-mail at

Kevin Giles


Coon Rapids

Council OKs second cable TV provider

Some Coon Rapids residents will soon have another choice for cable television. The City Council awarded a new cable TV franchise to CenturyLink, which offers PrismTV.

CenturyLink, formerly the telephone provider Qwest Corporation, will compete head to head with Comcast. The initial rollout of Prism TV will be limited to some customers due to varying Internet speeds.

The city of Coon Rapids is the 10th city in the metro area to award CenturyLink franchise rights, according to a city release. Minneapolis was the first in June.

Shannon Prather



Help sought to name shopping center pond

Andover city officials are asking residents to help name the pond located at the Andover Station shopping area.

The city’s economic development authority (EDA) said the pond “lacks a proper name” and is looking to residents for suggestions.

The pond is the focal point of the shopping center located off Round Lake Boulevard and Riverdale Boulevard. It’s home to geese, sunfish and the city’s remote control boat club.

Send suggestions to community development director Dave Carlberg at or call with a suggestion to 763-755-5100. Deadline is Dec. 31.

Karen Zamora


Anoka County

Military get a break on permit to carry fee

The Anoka County Sheriff last week authorized a fee reduction for active duty military personnel applying for a permit to carry. That fee will be reduced to $10 for new applications (originally $75) and $10 for renewals.

The reduction “comes, in part, due to recent and ongoing assaults on U.S. military personnel,” according to a news release.

“Because we greatly appreciate all our military personnel, we wanted to be able to help our protectors to protect themselves in these uncertain times,” Sheriff James Stuart said in a statement. “They are richly deserving of whatever support we can give them as they serve our nation.”

The fee reduction applies only to applications in Anoka County and all other permit to carry requirements must be met.

For more information, call the gun permit department at the sheriff’s office at 763-323-5005.

Karen Zamora



Police dogs receive armor via fundraiser

Fridley Police K-9s Jax and Nitro will soon receive their own bullet and stab protective vests.

The CaJah Salon in St. Paul hosted a benefit for MN K-9s in Law Enforcement in September and raised $6,300 for the vests.

The Bloomington and Edina police departments and the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office will also receive vests via the fundraiser. Each vest is valued between $1,795 and $2,234.

Karen Zamora