A microbrewery that will be Minnetonka’s first taproom and replace a century-old hardware store got unanimous final approval last month from the City Council.

JD and Megan Park, the husband-wife owners, plan to open Unmapped Brewing Company next May. The Parks, who live in Minnetonka, plan to lease the 9,000-square-foot facility at Excelsior Boulevard and Eden Prairie Road.

It will replace Kraemer’s, which has been part of the Glen Lake neighborhood for more than 100 years and is closing Dec. 1. Owner John Kraemer, the grandson of the store’s founder, said it’s still profitable but he couldn’t find a suitable buyer after he retires. He said he will be one of the investors in the brewery and will even help out in the taproom.

“I think it’s a very unique repurposing of a building,” said Council Member Tim Bergstedt, whose ward includes the brewery, at the Oct. 24 meeting. “I think it’s going to bring a new level of vitality and energy to the Glen Lake area.”

Unmapped Brewing will join a growing number of microbreweries and taprooms across the Twin Cities since a state law change in 2011, with taprooms in west metro cities from Maple Grove to St. Louis Park.



Organics recycling program has strong year

More than 42,500 households have signed up for Minneapolis’ curbside organics recycling program since it began a little more than a year ago.

That number, reached last month, covers 40 percent of all households served by Minneapolis Solid Waste and Recycling. The program collects organics weekly and recycles them into compost, which is then added to soil used in city landscaping and road construction.

Organic waste includes fruits, vegetables, eggshells, bread, meat, bones and certain types of paper. About 30 percent of what households throw away is organic waste, according to the city.

Medina, St. Louis Park, Wayzata and other neighboring communities also offer organics recycling for their residents.

Organic waste is picked up from the curb on collection day in its own separate container. Minneapolis customers who want to sign up for organics pickup can do so online at minneapolismn.gov/solid-waste/organics/ or by calling 612-673-2917.



County sets mark for preregistered voters

With Election Day still ahead, Hennepin County has already made election history, preregistering more than 760,000 voters before the Oct. 18 deadline, breaking the mark set in 2008 of 720,000 preregistered voters.

This year’s presidential election was the first for which Minnesota voters could preregister online. Voters can also register on Election Day at their polling place.

About 683,000 Hennepin County residents voted in the 2012 presidential election.

This year’s presidential election also is the first in Minnesota in which voters can cast absentee ballots without needing to cite a specific reason for not going to the polls. Voters can cast absentee ballots in person through Nov. 7 at most city halls or by mail (after requesting a ballot at mnvotes.org).

Hennepin County is expecting a historic number of absentee votes. As of Monday, Oct. 31, more than 93,000 absentee ballots had been returned by mail or cast in person and accepted by the county. County officials project that more than 150,000 absentee ballots will be cast in this year’s election, far exceeding the record in 2008 of 85,000 ballots. For more information, go to mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/.


Hennepin County

Sheriff honors ‘extraordinary citizens’

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office honored several residents in its annual Tribute to Extraordinary Citizens Award Ceremony on Oct. 24.

John Lundberg, Millicent Walsh, Earl Landry III and Cassie Drozynski were given the Lifesaver Award.

Doobie Kurus, Jeannie Joas and Fartun Weli were given the Distinguished Service Award.

Sheriff Rich Stanek said the awards “honor brave people who became first responders, and many other citizens who have served the community for many years.”

Award recipients were chosen for their efforts to help people who were either in peril or underrepresented by such things as donating a kidney, diving into a pool to rescue an 11-year-old girl and helping a man find permanent housing.

The Sheriff’s Office also recognized 13 residents who served as jail volunteers for either 10 or 15 years and six corporate partners.