City tree lighting is set for Saturday

Anoka’s annual tree lighting ceremony will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, at City Hall Plaza, 2015 1st Av. N. The event will feature bonfires, holiday music, free horse-drawn trolley rides, Santa Claus and more.

The lighting itself will happen at 6 p.m.

For information, call the Anoka Area Chamber of Commerce at 763-421-7130 or go to

‘Beauty & the Beast’ coming to Lyric Arts

A Mainly for Kids production of “Beauty and the Beast” will open at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, at the Lyric Arts Main Street Stage in Anoka. Performances will also be given at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on three Saturdays: Dec. 6, 13 and 20. In addition, school day matinees will be offered on Dec. 11, 12, 18 and 19 (contact the box office at 763-422-1838 for more information).

Tickets are $10 to $18. Go to or call 763-422-1838.

This holiday season, Lyric Arts is also presenting “A Christmas Carol.” The theater is located at 420 E. Main St.

Anoka County

Cities paying more for salt from county

The price of salt that cities buy for snow and ice removal from Anoka County has increased by about $6 a ton.

County officials said there was a huge demand for salt during the winter of 2012-13 winter, causing stockpiles to dwindle and leading to the cost increase.

The cities that can afford to do so buy their own salt and sand supplies for snow and ice removal, while others purchase salt and sand from the county.

The price of salt sold from the Bunker Hills shop of the county’s public works department rose from $64.30 to $70.23 a ton. The prices at the shops located in St. Francis, Columbus and Lino Lakes increased from $73.32 to $79.29 a ton (because of added handling costs). The cost of sand increased by 7 cents a ton.


City sells senior living apartments

They City Council voted Nov. 20 to sell two senior apartment buildings, Blaine Courts and Cloverleaf Courts, to Lang-Nelson Associates for $10.65 million.

The two city-owned buildings, which have a total of 157 units, opened in 1990 (Blaine Courts) and 2000 (Cloverleaf Courts).

Although the city owned the buildings, an outside company managed day-to-day operations while city officials set the annual budgets and authorized projects.

The city will negotiate a purchase agreement with Lang-Nelson. It could be three to four months before Lang-Nelson takes over operations.

Lang-Nelson owns 15 properties in the Twin Cities metro, including seven “55+” senior properties.

Brooklyn Park

‘Bridges out of Poverty’ on Dec. 13

As part of its Community Engagement Initiative, Brooklyn Park will hold a Bridges out of Poverty workshop on Saturday, Dec. 13, at the city’s Community Activity Center. It will be led by Jodi Pfarr, who was a certified critical debriefer and chaplain with the St. Paul Police Department and has advised cities and county agencies on projects related to poverty issues.

Among other activities, the workshop will look at economic classes; review research on causes of poverty; examine the impact of poverty on family structures; and identify ways to improve relationships.

A light breakfast at 7:15 a.m. will be followed by the workshop, which will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. There is a $15 fee for the workshop (meals included) and registration is required. Space is limited and registration will close Dec. 8.

For information or to register, go to or call 763-493-8333.

Volunteers needed to help with tax returns

The Anoka County Retired and Senior Volunteer Program is seeking volunteers to assist senior residents and others with tax returns. The volunteers will help senior or low-income and disadvantaged residents file their income, property and mobile home tax returns in February.

Volunteers must pass a background check. No previous tax experience is needed, but training is required and will be provided on Jan. 5-9 and 12-16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Volunteers are needed at various locations February through July. If you’d like to register for the training, contact Tricia at 763-422-7090.

Columbia Heights

Film fundraiser for new library

The Columbia Heights Public Library Foundation will hold its holiday fundraiser on Sunday, Dec. 14, at the Historic Heights Theatre, 3951 Central Av. NE.The event will feature the Alfred Hitchcock movie “The Man Who Knew Too Much.” The theater organist will play at 1 p.m. and the movie will follow. Tickets are $10 each and will be available at the door.

With voter approval in November of a levy request, Columbia Heights will be building a new library. The Foundation will continue raising funds to enhance the new library.


Prostate cancer group to meet Dec. 3

The North Memorial prostate cancer support group will meet from 5:30-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 3, in the Vance de Mong classroom in the Main Hospital Building of North Memorial Medical Center, Robbinsdale. Coping with the treatment side effects of urinary incontinence/erectile dysfunction will be discussed with Dr. Dean Tortorelis, urologist. Wives, family and friends are welcome. There is no charge, park in the hospital ramp, and light refreshments served. For information, call 612-388-3588.

karen zamora, shannon prather, jim kern