Veterans making record visits

Veterans are visiting the Anoka County Veterans Service office for the first time in record numbers this year.

Some 1,300 new veterans made initial visits to the office in the first nine months of 2008 -- an 11 percent increase over the total for new veterans for all of 2007, said Duane Krueger, the county's veterans services officer.

New discharges, more claims of post traumatic stress disorder and effects of the troubled economy are among reasons listed by Krueger.

The county and the Mental Wellness Campaign for Anoka County have promoted a Veterans Day poster that encourages veterans to access services. Copies are available at under County News.

For more information on veterans' resources, call the Anoka County Veterans Office at 763-323-5290 or the Family Assistance Center at 763-424-6392.

Free financial management classes

Need help figuring out your finances? Free financial management classes, titled "Dollars Into Sense," are offered the third Tuesday of each month. The 11/2-hour classes cover the basics, including tracking expenses, planning and reducing debt.

The next classes are Nov. 18 either at 10 a.m. at the Bunker Hills Activities Center, 550 Bunker Lake Blvd. NW. in Andover, or at 7 p.m. at the Anoka County Library, 711 County Rd. 10 NE., Blaine. Please register three days in advance at 763-755-1280. The classes are presented by the University of Minnesota, Anoka County, and Anoka County Dollar Works volunteer consultants.


The two Brooklyns celebrate 150 years

A sesquicentennial tribute to military veterans and early settlers of what is now Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park will be held Saturday at Brookdale Library, 6125 Shingle Creek Pkwy.

The two-hour event, called "150 Years of the Brooklyns," begins at 10 a.m. It includes a social time, displays of area history and maps, and viewing of "Stories of Minnesota's Greatest Generation," a film produced by the Minnesota Historical Society. The MN150 event will be hosted by the Brooklyn Historical Society. For more information, call 763-560-8893.


Mounds View senior to Air Force Academy

Cadet Capt. Keyona Sanchez, a Mounds View High School senior, is headed to the U. S. Air Force Academy in June.

Sanchez, of Ham Lake, has been a leader with the Anoka Composite Squadron, one of 25 squadrons in the Minnesota Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, a volunteer organization that dates back to World War II.

Capt. Andy Bosshart, commander of the Anoka Composite Squadron, read her acceptance letter before squadron members and guests at a meeting on Oct. 28.

"This is a dream come true," Sanchez, of Ham Lake, said, according to a news release. She received the acceptance while her father, Cmdr. Adrian Sanchez, in the Navy Reserve, was home on leave from Afghanistan.

More than 9,000 applied to the Air Force Academy, in Colorado Springs, for last year's class, and a little more than 1,300 were accepted for admission. The rigorous application process requires applicants to be nominated by a member of Congress.


Groundbreaking for new library

A groundbreaking for Hennepin County's new Maple Grove Library is scheduled for 2 p.m. next Wednesday, Nov. 19, at the site at 8001 Main St. in Maple Grove.

The new library, scheduled to open in 2010, will feature 40,000 square feet of space, nearly triple that of the existing 15,000-square-foot library at 8351 Elm Creek Blvd. 

The new facility will include an expanded collection of books and periodicals, more than 100 computers and a drive-up book drop. The library is one of 41 libraries in the Hennepin County system.


Meals for winter packed for the needy

During a weekend-long event, hundreds of volunteers packaged meals that will end up in the hands of more than 4,000 needy residents. The "Blizzard Box Blitz" brought together 29 Meals on Wheels programs to create "shelf-stable" meals for clients to eat when winter weather prevents volunteers from delivering fresh food to their doors.

Because of corporate sponsorships, a meal packaged as part of the "Blizzard Box Blitz" costs a Meals on Wheels group only 75 cents. Typically, such a meal costs about $4.50, said Patrick Rowan, executive director of Metro Meals on Wheels, an association of 37 local Meals programs.

The event Oct. 28-29 was held at the Second Harvest Heartland Warehouse in northeast Minneapolis.


WWII vets to share music and stories

Through music and stories, a group of World War II veterans from the Silvertones Harmonica Group will share a living history of their experiences today, 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., at the Winnetka Learning Center Multi-Purpose Room in New Hope.

The program will feature Larry Robillard, a Navy Seaman signal man on the destroyer North Carolina; Marie White, a post-war nurse stationed in Italy; Howard Helland, an Army engineer stationed in Iceland, and Merlin Marlowe, a machinist mate on the aircraft carrier, the Enterprise. Beverages and treats will be provided at the center, at 7940 55th Av. N., New Hope.

Compiled by Paul Levy, Jim Adams and Kathleen Clonts.