Farewell event set for longtime mayor Jacobs

Jeff Jacobs, longtime mayor of St. Louis Park, will be honored at a public celebration on Thursday, Dec. 3. The event will be held at the Minneapolis Marriott West, 9960 Wayzata Blvd. in St. Louis Park. The event will run from 5 to 7:30 p.m. with a program from 6 to 6:30 p.m. Jacobs, known for his lively personality, is stepping down after 16 years as mayor and eight years as a City Council member before that. All are welcome at the event. Tickets are $20 per person and include appetizers. Cash bar will be available. RSVP and purchase tickets for the event at For more information, call 952-924-2632. RSVPs are due by Nov. 30.

History to come alive at synagogue talk

The sons of two men with a fascinating role in U.S. history will be guest speakers at Beth El Synagogue's "Heroes Among Us" series on Thursday, Dec. 3, at the St. Louis Park synagogue.

The sons of pilot Francis Gary Powers, captured by the Soviets when they shot down his U-2 spy plane during the Cold War, and James Donovan, a New York lawyer recruited by the CIA to negotiate his release, will speak at 7 p.m. at the synagogue, 5225 Barry St. W. They are Gary Powers Jr. and John Donovan.

Their fathers' story is the backdrop for the current movie "Bridge of Spies," as well as the recently rereleased book "Strangers on a Bridge." James Donovan boarded a plane to Berlin, hoping to win Powers' freedom through a prisoner exchange. If all went well, the Russians would get convicted spy Rudolf Abel, whom Donovan had defended in court years earlier.

The sons will offer their take on the spirit of service, as well as current challenges facing the United States and international diplomacy. More information and tickets are available online at

A portion of the proceeds will help underwrite Beth El Synagogue's Minnesota National Guard unit support initiative, directly benefiting the 682nd Engineer Battalion, currently deployed overseas.


Christkindlsmarkt to be held Nov. 27-29

Excelsior's 10th annual holiday event, Christkindlsmarkt, will take place this month.

The three-day event, which will take place Nov. 27-29 in downtown Excelsior, is modeled after the traditional German open-air Christmas markets held during Advent. The event, which is free and open to the public, will include food and entertainment, a marketplace of local vendors, lantern parades, live reindeer, the North Pole Trolley, KinderWorld and a beer garden.

For more information, go to


City starts indoor farmers market

The Maple Grove Farmers Market has started its indoor market season.

The market, which takes place inside the Maple Grove Community Center on Thursdays, started Nov. 19. It will be available from 3 to 6 p.m. Dec. 3, Dec. 17, Jan. 14, Feb. 11, March 10 and April 14. For more information, go to

Bus service continues for Morris students

University of Minnesota Morris students will continue to be able to bus to and from Maple Grove on weekends.

The city has approved extending the agreement with the university for a shuttle bus stop at the Maple Grove Transit Station starting Jan. 1 to December 2018. The Morris campus started the two-hour shuttle bus option to the suburb in 2009, bringing metro-area students who are returning home for the weekend to Maple Grove on Friday evenings and back to the campus on Sunday evenings. The city provides the free bus stop and the university handles all administrative and operational costs.


New taproom, retail set to open next year

ENKI Brewing and Hartman Communities are buying the former HEI headquarters property at 1495 Steiger Lake Lane in Victoria to develop a new $4 million brewery, taproom and retail space.

The 43,000-square-foot-building will include a new 20,000-square-foot brewery and taproom, outdoor beer garden and 23,000 square feet of retail shops. The project is expected to be complete by the end of 2016.

ENKI, which started in 2013, plans to increase production capacity to 14,000 barrels of beer per year (10 times more than the current capacity) in the new space designed by HGA Architects.