A Plymouth nonprofit this month launched its annual “Prevent Hunger” campaign, aiming to collect 100,000 pounds of donations and $125,000 to address and prevent hunger in west-metro communities.

Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners’ campaign is part of the statewide Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign that keeps food shelves stocked throughout the year. The campaign runs through March 31.

Residents may donate food and household items such as toiletries and cleaning products, as well as make cash donations. The nonprofit links thousands of families to employment services, case management and food-shelf resources, and it helps residents in Plymouth, Wayzata, Long Lake, Orono, Hamel, Medina, Minnetonka Beach and Medicine Lake.

To donate or get more information, go to iocp.org/donate or iocp.org/preventhunger.



Wooddale bridge makes historic list

The Wooddale Avenue bridge over Minnehaha Creek has been officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The bridge was built in 1937 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the federal relief program created during the Great Depression to provide work to the unemployed.

Edina, a village at the time, provided the design, engineering and materials for the bridge, while the WPA provided the labor.

The bridge has a steel arch faced with Platteville limestone. Edina’s Heritage Preservation Board has asked the City Council to designate the bridge as a local heritage landmark.



Ryan says he will run for sixth term as mayor

Blaine Mayor Tom Ryan announced that he would seek a sixth term in office.

Ryan, 72, has served as mayor for nearly 20 years and was on the City Council for 10 years before that.

“I still enjoy doing it. Physically, l am still in good shape. I feel good,” he said.

Anti-growth sentiment first swept Ryan into office three decades ago. He said he quickly learned that he couldn’t stand in the way of progress.

“You can’t stop a city the way it’s going to go,” said Ryan, who ended up shepherding Blaine through years of swift growth. The city’s population has doubled to 62,000 since the 1980s.

Born in St. Paul into a large family, Ryan and his wife, Dianne, moved to Blaine in 1969 to help with his father’s sod farm. Ryan also worked as a truck driver until he retired nine years ago. The couple have four grown daughters.

Ryan did not face a challenger in the last two elections. The mayor’s job in Blaine is considered a part-time position and pays an annual salary of $14,000.

Shannon Prather


Just retires as parks and rec director

Terry Just, Maple Grove’s longtime parks and recreation director, will retire at the end of March.

Just has worked 40 years in parks administration, including more than 29 years with Maple Grove.

The city honored him last week and will hire a new director by April.



Goettel gets national leadership honor

Mayor Debbie Goettel received the Susan Burgess Leadership Award at the Democratic Municipal Officials’ (DMO) national meeting last week.

The award honors one member of the DMO for outstanding service to the organization.

“Debbie Goettel has been a true leader,” said Barbara Moore, the organization’s executive director. “Her expertise and determination help ensure a strong future for DMO.”

Previous winners of the award include Northfield City Council Member Suzie Nakasian.



Counties to host resource fair for veterans

Two counties will offer a first-of-its-kind veterans resource fair next month, when Carver and Scott counties host the one-stop shop for veterans looking to apply for benefits and resources.

The event will take place from noon to 4 p.m. on April 2 at the Chaska Curling Center, 3210 Chaska Blvd.

“We want to identify as many veterans out there and get them everything they have already earned,” said Dan Tengwall, Carver County veterans service officer.

Vendors will include VFW and American Legion posts as well as government agencies. Veterans service officers will be on hand to help veterans with benefits.

Carver County has about 5,000 military veterans and active service members.