Open house will help mark city’s big 5-0

As part of a year of events celebrating Blaine’s 50 years as a city, an open house will be held on Tuesday, April 21, from 3:30 to 8 p.m. at City Hall, 10801 Town Square Dr. NE., Blaine.

Among the features and activities:

• City vehicles, such as a police car, fire truck and rescue boat, will be on display.

• Tours of the police department will be given.

• Residents can meet the mayor, City Council members and police and fire chiefs.

• City staff members will be available to answer questions.


Big cleanup set for April 21

Champlin’s parks and other places in the city will get a spring cleaning on Tuesday, April 21, in conjunction with Earth Day.

The Champlin Environmental Resources Commission is leading the event, which will start at 4:30 p.m. at Andrews Park, 7200 117th Av. N. Volunteers will be dispersed from there. The plan is to clean up Mississippi Point Park, Chandler Park, Doris Kemp Park, Veterans Memorial Park, Galloway Park, the trail/wetland behind Target, and other places, as well. The effort will continue until 6:30 p.m.

The city will provide trash bags and collection tongs but asks participants to bring their own gloves and advises them to wear long pants and closed-toe shoes.

To register, call City Clerk Roberta Colotti at 763-923-7111 or e-mail her at

If weather causes the event to be postponed, it will be held on May 13, starting at 4:30 p.m. at Andrews Park.

Coon Rapids

Salvation Army withdraws proposal

The Salvation Army has withdrawn its proposal to build a $15 million, 107,000-square-foot complex in Coon Rapids.

The organization had been searching across the Twin Cities for a site to replace its current, deteriorating Adult Rehabilitation Center in the warehouse district of Minneapolis.

Coon Rapids officials said the organization did not offer a reason for the decision.

Salvation Army Major Jerry O’Neil, administrator of the adult rehabilitation center, said the organization ultimately decided “it wasn’t going to work out there.”

The current facility in Minneapolis, while old, is “safe and operational,” O’Neil said.

The facility will undergo some upgrades, but O’Neil said they are “always looking” for space.

26th annual ice show is coming next week

Four performances of “Skating Under the Big Top” will be presented from April 23-26 at the Coon Rapids Ice Center.

This 26th annual ice show will feature skaters from Coon Rapids and other area cities, along with special guests.

Joshua Farris, who captured the bronze medal at this year’s U.S. Nationals and was world junior champion in 2013, will skate at the shows on Saturday and Sunday, April 25-26. Figure skating aerialist Colleen Okolski, who won a junior national pairs championship with her brother Ben, will skate on Thursday and Friday. As an aerialist, Okolski blends “ice acrobatics and skating,” show organizers say.

Performances are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 23; 7 p.m. Friday, April 24; 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 25; and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 26. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students and seniors. The show is free for children age 4 and under.

The ice center is located at 11000 Crooked Lake Blvd. For more information, go to or call 763-951-7222.


Author will discuss ’65 Fridley tornadoes

As the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Fridley tornadoes approaches, author Al Taylor will give a presentation on the subject at 7 p.m. Thursday. The event will take place at the Anoka County History Center, 2135 3rd Av, Anoka,

Taylor has written two books on the deadly tornadoes: “The Night the Sirens Blew” and “Hidden Revealed: A Sequel Account of the May 6, 1965 Tornado Outbreak.”

The program is free and open to the public. No registration is required, but seating is limited.

Brooklyn Center

Forum on children and homelessness

The need for housing for teen parents and their children will be the subject of a program Thursday, April 16, at the Willow Lane Early Childhood Center in Brooklyn Center. Jim Koppel, assistant commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, will speak at the event, which is sponsored by the Northwest Hennepin Family Service Collaborative, the Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin County and the Hennepin County Teen Parent Connection.

The program will run from 6 to 7:30 p.m., with sign-in and a light meal from 5:30 to 6 p.m. Registration is required. To register, call 763-391-7253 or e-mail Include your name, phone number and organization.

Anoka County/Fridley

Firefighter recruitment expo scheduled Saturday

There currently are openings at the Fridley fire department for paid, on-call firefighters, the city reports, and Anoka County will host a Firefighter Recruitment Expo on Saturday, April 18, at the Joint Training Center, 300 71st Av., Fridley.

There will be two sessions: from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 3 p.m. The event will include fire department orientation, a search and rescue drill, agility test, CPR, first aid and more. Attendees should wear comfortable clothing, as fire gear will be involved.

The event is open to all Anoka County residents. It is free, but reservations are required. RSVP to Maddison Zikmund at 763-767-4003.


Meeting will look at arena site’s future

The last in a series of four public meetings on redevelopment of the Columbia Ice Arena site will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. next Wednesday, April 22, at the Fridley Community Center.

At this session, participants will have a chance to weigh in on recommendations that will be sent to the City Planning Commission and City Council.

The Community Center is located at 6085 7th St. NE., Fridley.

Class on raingardens and landscaping for water quality is set

A pair of experts will discuss rain gardens and landscaping designed to enhance water quality during a session from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 16, at the Fridley Community Center. Appearing will be Mitch Haustein, from the Anoka Conservation District, and city of Fridley Environmental Planner Kay Qualley.

Participants will receive raingarden take-home guides and pollinator information, as well as other materials, and one rain barrel will be given away.

The fee is $10 at the door (cash or check only). Registration is not required but is helpful for planning purposes. Call 763-572-3594 or send an e-mail to Kay Qualley at