'Green' open house

The county is hosting an open house today from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a "Greening Our Future'' theme. The lobby of the Government Center, at 2100 3rd Av. in Anoka, will be active with exhibits and clinics. At the various booths, the public can get information about victim services, libraries, road projects, even Sheriff's Office dive teams.

Family Read at library

The Mississippi Branch Library will host two free Family Read events, today and next Wednesday.

At 6:30 tonight, author Marsha Wilson Chall will present her popular children's book, "Up North at the Cabin.'' On May 13, also at 6:30 p.m., the library will host a program for adults called "Finding Books Your Kids Want to Read." The library is at 410 Mississippi St. NE. in Fridley.


Mortgage tips offered

Learn about new ways to modify your mortgage or buy a home at the "Money in Your Pocket'' seminar from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on May 13.

The event, presented by the city of Coon Rapids and Freddie Mac, will provide information on new legislation allowing homeowners to modify their mortgages to lower their payments, as well as a $8,000 tax credit available to first-time homebuyers. Representatives from Freddie Mac, the city, nonprofit groups and mortgage companies and local real estate agents will be on hand.

The event will be held at the Coon Rapids Civic Center at 11155 Robinson Drive. For more information, call Kristin at 763-767-6517 or Cheryl at 763-767-6422.


Stimulus money goes to 17 cities

Seventeen Hennepin County cities will receive $5.5 million in crime-fighting grants from the federal stimulus package. The Hennepin County Board accepted the Justice Assistance Grants award from the U.S. Department of Justice on April 28.

The awards, which are based on a formula, are targeted to assist Minneapolis and suburban police departments in criminal justice efforts.

Cities that received funding include: Brooklyn Center: $229,771 for police officer overtime, squad car modifications, various equipment and vehicle leases, acquisition and setup; Brooklyn Park: $423,769 for reception staff, community liaison specialist, part-time cadets and equipment; Champlin: $23,849 to replace a squad car; Crystal: $57,329 for DVR/audio recording system, in-squad mobile data computers, handguns, ballistic shield; Golden Valley: $54,117 for bike/foot patrol overtime, homicide cold-case overtime and equipment; Maple Grove: $67,876 for Smartboard symposium system and accessories, officer training, computers, portable evidence printer and other equipment; Minneapolis: $3.8 million to maintain 87 police officers from July through December; New Hope: $56,411 for access control system, computers and related supplies, panic alarm button for council chambers; Robbinsdale: $50,907 for retention of one police officer.


Sign up for housing resources seminar

The registration deadline is Friday for a free Housing Resources seminar for city residents. The seminar, set for 7-9 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, will include information on county and state programs, foreclosure prevention counseling, home improvement advice, and Xcel home-energy audits. A panel of speakers will feature people from the real estate and mortgage company fields.

To register, call Heidi Steinmetz at 763-717-4029 or e-mail The event will be held in City Council chambers at City Hall, 2401 Hwy. 10.


Cleanup Day is May 30

The city of New Brighton will hold its Cleanup Day on Saturday, May 30, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Residents can dispose of household items -- mattresses, couches, appliances, tires, tech waste and more -- not usually accepted by garbage haulers. Hazardous household waste, such as paint and oil, and yard waste such as leaves and grass clippings will not be accepted. Disposal fees vary depending on the item. Hazardous household waste, such as paint and oil, and yard waste such as leaves and grass clippings will not be accepted.

The dropoff site is at the New Brighton Maintenance Garage, 700 5th St. NW. Residents should bring proof of New Brighton residency. For information, call City Hall at 651-638-2050 or go to


Eat well, benefit local food shelves

More than 500 people are expected to turn out to sample cuisine from 25 local restaurants at the 3rd annual Taste of the Northwest on Thursday, May 14. All proceeds from the event will benefit Community Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP) food shelves in Brooklyn Park and Blaine.

The ticket price -- $20, or $10 each for groups of 10 or more -- covers food; drinks will be available for purchase at an open bar. The event will be held at the new Embassy Suites at 6300 Earle Brown Drive in Brooklyn Center. Find ticket forms online at; for more information, call CEAP at 763-450-3664.


Get help for road dust

Residents interested in road dust control should contact the city by May 14 to set up service. The cost of one application of calcium chloride solution to residential roads is $100 or less for one application of 100 feet, at 20 feet wide. Road treatment will occur in June. Advance payment is required. For more information, call the Public Works Director Paul Teicher at City Hall, 763-753-2630.

Compiled by staff writers Mary Jane Smetanka, Maria Elena Baca and Kathleen Clonts.