Home improvement show set for March 21

The annual North Suburban Home Improvement Show will be held Saturday, March 21, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Andover YMCA Community Center.

The show, in its 17th year, features numerous exhibitors and is sponsored by the cities of Andover, Anoka and Coon Rapids, along with Anoka County and the Anoka Area Chamber of Commerce.

Admission is free. Donations for the ACBC Food Shelf (monetary or nonperishable food items) will be accepted during the show.

The community center is located at 15200 Hanson Blvd., Andover.

Anoka County

State hospital's history gets a look

The history of the former state hospital in Anoka will be the subject of a program on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Rum River Library, 4201 6th Av., Anoka. The presentation by the Anoka County Historical Society also will touch on the debate about care and treatment of mental illness. The program is free and open to the public.

On Saturday, March 28, a documentary about the life of Rosalie Wahl, the first woman to serve on the Minnesota Supreme Court, will be screened at Circle Pines City Hall, 200 Civic Heights Circle, Circle Pines. The film, "Girl from Birch Creek," follows Wahl's life from Depression-era Kansas through her becoming a supreme court justice. The event will include a look at Wahl's time as a pioneer resident of Circle Pines as well as a brief membership meeting.

Wahl was appointed to the state Supreme Court in 1977 by Gov. Rudy Perpich and served until 1994. She died in 2013 at age 88.

Tickets for the screening are $7 ($5 for society members), and registration is required. Call 763-421-0600 or go to

Brooklyn Park

Breakfast fundraiser for Tater Daze

An all-you-can-eat waffle breakfast will be held Saturday, March 14, to raise funds for this year's Tater Daze festival.

The breakfast will run from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Brooklyn Park Community Center, 5600 85th Av. N. The 51st annual Tater Daze will take place June 18-21.

The breakfast will include Belgian waffles, eight kinds of syrup, whipped cream, sausage, coffee and orange juice. Tickets are $8 for adults and kids 6 and older, and $4 for kids under 5, They can be bought in advance (for a dollar less) at the Community Center and City Hall (5600 85th Av. N) or online (

And speaking of Tater Daze …

The button for this year's Tater Daze festival will bear a design created by student Katelyn Qualley. Her winning entry was one of more than 60 submitted for the annual button design contest, which is open to students ages 5 through 18.

The buttons will go on sale at various places starting in April.

As winner, Qualley will be part of the Tater Daze parade; she'll also receive two tickets to the festival's VIP thank you party and $20 toward carnival rides and be featured in an article in the festival guide.

Columbia Heights

It's bluegrass night at Murzyn Hall

"Bluegrass Comes to Columbia Heights" will arrive at Murzyn Hall Wednesday, March 11. The event will run from 6 to 9 p.m. and will feature the Roe Family Singers, Joe and Sherri Macko and Vanessa Bray. In addition to the music, there will be an amateur clog dancing contest.

Admission is free, with a goodwill offering requested. Murzyn Hall is located at 530 Mill St. NE.


Meeting on future of Columbia Arena site

The first of four workshops seeking public input on redevelopment of the Columbia ice arena site will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, at the Fridley Community Center, 6085 7th St. NE.

This first meeting will be an information-gathering session, asking questions such as: What is important and unique about the site, what are the concerns about future development and what can be achieved through development?

Subsequent workshops will be held on March 25, April 8 and April 22, all from 6 to 8 p.m. at the community center. The meetings are free and open to the public.

new hope

Food drive runs through March 21

A "Firefighters Fighting Hunger!" food drive continues through March 21. The drive, organized by the West Metro Fire-Rescue District, seeks nonperishable food items and monetary donations to benefit The Food Group (formerly the Emergency Foodshelf Network). Items can be dropped off weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Station 3 in New Hope, 4251 Xylon Av. N. They also can be dropped off at that station or Station 1 (5354 Douglas Dr. N., Crystal) or Station 2 (4101 Douglas Dr. N., Crystal) any time crews are present.

On Saturday, March 21, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., West Metro will have fire vehicles at several grocery stores, including Almsted's Fresh Market, Crystal Aldi, Crystal Target, and the Cub Foods on 36th Ave. N. in Crystal and 42nd Ave. N. in Plymouth.

New regulation for portable storage units

New Hope has adopted a regulation that limits the time that a portable storage unit may be placed on a residential property to 30 consecutive days (90 days if there is an active building permit).

In addition, the unit must be placed at least 15 feet from the curb of a public street and at least five feet from side property lines.

The City Council voted 4-2 for the regulation at a meeting last month. The city said the move came as increased use of temporary storage units resulted in complaints from residents.

For further information, call the Community Development Department at 763-531-5196.


100-plus students get together for a spell

A recent districtwide spelling bee by Robbinsdale Area Schools drew 103 students in grades 2 to 5 and wound up with first-place winners from four different schools.

Preliminary and semifinal rounds took place in classrooms before the finals moved to Robbinsdale Middle School on Feb. 28. Each grade group was given a list of grade-appropriate words, like "yarn" and "print" for second-graders and "ukulele" and "dromedary" for fifth-graders.

The final results:

• Second grade — first place: Sydney Podany, Noble Elementary; second place: Laela Dowell, Lakeview Elementary; other finalists: Nils Johanson, home-schooled, and Brendan Klaphake, SEA

• Third grade — first place: Candace Lewis, Northport Elementary; second place: Maheen Rahmatullah — Robbinsdale Spanish Immersion; other finalists: Jermaine Jones, Meadow Lake, and Nora Vladimirova, SEA

• Fourth grade — first place: Zain Adatia, Robbinsdale Spanish Immersion; second place: Alyssa Condon, Robbinsdale Spanish Immersion; other finalists: Duffy Watson, St. Raphaels; Kaden Starcznski, Zachary Lane, and Josh Ternyak, Zachary Lane

• Fifth grade — first place: Amir Seman, Lakeview Elementary; second place: Aleah Anderson, Zachary Lane Elementary; other finalists: Adrian Haro, Yashodhara Jayawardena and Catherine Van Wey, all from Robbinsdale Spanish Immersion)