EDEN PRAIRIE

Police investigate four maybe related robberies

Eden Prairie police are investigating four robberies in the city over the past six months that they think may be related. The four incidents happened between 4 and 9 p.m. near walking paths or apartment buildings, with one or two suspects approaching women to take a purse or cellphone. In one incident, a suspect displayed a knife, injuring the victim, police said. The first robbery happened June 12 near Fountain Place Apartments, the second on Sept. 23 near Broadmoor Apartments, the third Oct. 25 near Anderson Lakes Parkway and Neill Lake Road and most recently on Dec. 8 near Briar Hill Townhomes. Anyone with information is asked to call 952-949-6200.

KELLY SMITH

GOLDEN VALLEY

Contract approved for Brookview center

The City Council last week formally approved a design contract and construction schedule for the new Brookview Community Center. The $18.2 million project will be built on the site of the existing center, 200 Brookview Pkwy. S.

We've had the chutzpah to say, 'We've got to get something here that's going to benefit the community,' " said Mayor Shep Harris.

The new center, at 37,000 square feet, will be about twice the size of the current facility, with expanded meeting and dining facilities and an indoor children's play area.

It "will be such a year-round, dynamic facility, we expect our usage patterns to grow dramatically," said Rick Birno, parks and recreation director. Brookview currently gets about 150,000 visits a year.

The council also approved a design contract for the project with Minneapolis architectural firm HGA.

JOHN REINAN

EDINA

Team gives $30,000 for pool upgrade

The Aquajets Swim Team is donating $30,000 toward the cost of a new filter at the Edinborough Park aquatic center.

Last week Edina approved a $162,500 bid for installation of a new filter at the center. Pool filters typically have a life of 12 to 15 years, and the filter at the aquatic center is 18 years old.

"The Aquajets have enjoyed many years of use of the pool. This is our way of giving back to the Edina Aquatic Center and saying thank you," team President John Wanninger wrote the City Council.

john Reinan

MAPLE GROVE

City opens new ice skate loop

Maple Grove has opened a new ice skating loop, the first of its kind in Minnesota and an attraction found in more places across the country.

The curvy concrete loop, 810-feet long and 20-feet wide, is refrigerated for the skating season and has lights and a sound system. It takes six laps to skate a mile.

The loop is free and open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.; skate rentals are available for $6 a pair. For more details, go to maplegrovemn.gov.

The skating loop is one of the new attractions of Central Park, Maple Grove's second community park and its first so-called urban park. The park, at 12000 Central Park Way, opened earlier this year, converting longtime gravel mining pits into a lush tree-lined park with a central lawn near the Arbor Lakes retail area.

KELLY SMITH

Group holds a free throw contest

The local Knights of Columbus will hold a youth free throw competition.

The Maple Grove contest, which is open for any boys and girls ages 9-14, will be held at 9 a.m. Jan. 9 at Ave Maria Academy, Maple Grove, by Knights of Columbus Council 13359.

For entry forms or additional information, contact Andy Fischer at fiscap@hotmail.com or 612-418-7417.

KELLY SMITH

west metro

Three Rivers to host New Year's events

Three Rivers Park District will host several New Year's Eve and New Year's Day events:

• Silverwood Park in St. Anthony will host a New Year's Eve celebration from 5:30 to 7 p.m. that includes crafts, a photo booth and roasting marshmallows; cost is $5.

• Sochacki Park in Robbinsdale will host a New Year's Eve snowshoe and s'mores event from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 31; cost is $7.

• Lowry Nature Center in Victoria will host a New Year's Day snowshoe hike from 9:30 to 11 a.m.; cost is $5.

• Kroening Interpretive Center in Minneapolis will host a New Year's Day snowshoe hike with hot cocoa from 1 to 3 p.m.; cost is $5.

To make a reservation, call 763-559-6700.

Kelly SMITH