Food shelves aim to feed 5,000

Hope for the Community, a north metro food shelf, will team up with Second Harvest Food Bank and the Matter food shelf in "The Feeding of the 5,000" — an effort to feed 5,000 people — on Thursday, Aug. 13. The organizations will distribute free food to anyone in need from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Hope Church, 1264 109th Av. NE, Blaine.

Hope for the Community was launched in 2010. The organization says that it feeds about 600 families each week an that it is on pace to give out more than 1 million pounds of food by the end of the year.

For further information, go to


Wanted: A pine tree for holiday ceremony

It's August, but it's not too early to think about the holiday season: The Anoka Area Chamber of Commerce is seeking a pine tree for the annual downtown tree-lighting ceremony scheduled for Dec. 5. The chamber says the tree should be at least 30 feet tall and one that the donor has already decided to remove. It will be removed from your property free of charge. After the holidays, it will be recycled by the Anoka Parks Department and the mulch will be used in the tree nursery at Forest Hill Cemetery.

If you're interested, call the chamber at 763-421-7130.

Anoka County

Sheriff Stuart earns national recognition

Anoka County Sheriff James Stuart was nominated for 2015 National Sheriff of the Year through the National Sheriffs Association, and although he wasn't selected for the award, he earned a "Medal of Merit" from the organization. The medal recognized "the positive social impact Stuart has made" in Anoka County and programs implemented under his watch, the sheriff's office said in a news release.

"It was truly an honor to be selected as a nominee by the NSA, and to have our office recognized for our efforts," Stuart said in the release. "As an office, we will continue to push ourselves to be better in the future and strive to exceed the expectations of the citizens that we proudly serve."

The release noted some of the efforts made during Stuart's tenure: anti-heroin initiatives; anti-human trafficking initiatives; development of a countywide Prescription Drug Take Back Program that now provides seven drop box locations; expansion of efforts to combat domestic violence; implementation of a mobile digital forensics lab; implementation of several outreach programs.


New City Council member appointed

Maple Grove has appointed a new City Council member.

Judy Hanson, a longtime resident and assistant city attorney for St. Paul, was officially sworn in to office Aug. 3.

After Council Member LeAnn Sargent stepped down, the city received 19 applications for her spot and narrowed the field to six finalists. All six were interviewed by the City Council, who unanimously picked Hanson. Sargent, who was on the five-member council since 1991, retired in April, citing health reasons.

She was sentenced last year to a gross misdemeanor for exploiting her dying father, cheating him out of $100,000, but the state Court of Appeals later ruled that the sentence was unjustifiably lenient. She was resentenced in June to a felony, which disqualifies her for public office.

Hanson will now finish Sargent's term, which ends Dec. 31, 2016, and pays $13,000 a year.


Silvera memorial run set for Saturday

The 10th annual Officer Shawn Silvera Memorial Run will take place on Saturday at Legacy Park, located in front of the community YMCA. Last year, more than 500 people took part.

The race partners with the Chain of Lakes Rotary Club to celebrate the city's largest festival, Blue Heron Days, which runs Friday through Sunday (see next item).

Officer Silvera served Lino Lakes for eight years before he was killed in the line of duty on Sept. 6, 2005. The race has been held in other locations in past years.

Activities will begin at 8 a.m. with a 5K run, a children's 50-yard Daisy Dash and a Splash and Dash Swim Event at the YMCA. The 5K course is certified and the race is chip-timed.

Proceeds will benefit the Centennial School Scholarship Fund, the Police Explorers scholarship fund and MN C.O.P.S. Go to for additional information and to register.


Summer festivals are still coming

Summer may be winding down, but there are still several seasonal community festivals on the horizon. A quick rundown:

• This weekend, it's time for Blue Heron Days in Lino Lakes. Activities start at 8 p.m. Friday with a street dance and movie screening at Lino Park (7850 Lake Dr.) and continue on Saturday and Sunday. A parade, petting zoo, family picnic and garden tour are just some of the events. Lino Park is the main festival location. For more, go to

• Next week, it will be time Ki-Chi-Saga Days from Aug. 20-23 in Chisago City (see and the Mounds View Festival on Aug. 22 (

And even after summer unofficially ends on Labor Day, Ramsey will have its Happy Days celebration on Sept. 12. The festival will be preceded by a Taste of Happy Days on Sept. 10 (

Staff reports