Richfield has issued a $150,000 no-interest loan to the nonprofit developer that agreed to purchase the Seasons Park apartments earlier this year.

The loan, approved unanimously by the city's Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) on Aug. 21, will help developer Aeon finalize its purchase of the property. The money will go toward renovation of the 422-unit complex, which is made up of several buildings. The closing was expected last week.

The no-interest loan was approved on condition that 20 percent of the housing be made available for residents who make 60 percent or less of the area's median income. Blake Hopkins, a project manager for Aeon, said the company hopes all units will be affordable for residents in that income range.

The HRA also recommended the city issue Aeon a forgivable loan of $100,000 to go toward rehabilitation, despite concerns by Mayor Pat Elliott. "I'm not sure how often you can come back to the well and expect us to have money to make sure you can continue to service the debt and keep the maintenance up," he said.

Had Seasons Park been sold to a for-profit developer, it could have led to the displacement of hundreds of low-income residents. Aeon agreed to purchase Seasons Park in April.

Miguel Otárola


Churches to host discussion on Muslim faith

The Minnesota Council of Churches, a group of Protestant denominations, is hosting a discussion Monday in Bloomington on the Muslim faith.

The event, part of the council's "Respectful Conversations" series, comes weeks after an improvised explosive device blasted through a section of the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington. No one was injured in the attack, which Gov. Mark Dayton declared an "act of terrorism."

According to the council, the discussion series is an opportunity to talk about divisive issues in a safe and positive environment. The event will be held from 6-8:30 p.m. at Atonement Lutheran Church, 601 E. 98th St.

Miguel Otárola

Brooklyn Center

Super Bowl grant to help north metro youth

A grant from the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee will help a north metro organization in its efforts to bring health and fitness resources to area youth.

The committee awarded $50,000 late last month to Youth Determined to Succeed, which works with young people in Brooklyn Center and north Minneapolis.

The organization plans to purchase fitness and nutrition equipment for several programs that help children and families struggling with obesity and related diseases.

The grant is part of the Super Bowl Legacy Grant Program, which is making donations to community-based groups in the months leading up to the big game in February.

Hannah Covington


MyPillow donates pillows to Harvey victims

Six truckloads of pillows arrived in Texas last week as a relief donation for displaced residents from MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.

"I just want to give back. Sleep affects everything we do; it's just so important," Lindell told Fox News. He pledged to help deliver the pillows himself to make sure they go to those in need. About 1,000 MyPillow employees manufactured the products in just a few hours at the company plant in Chaska.

MyPillow also donated several thousand pillows to victims during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Liz Sawyer

Brooklyn Park

Officials confirm city's first ash borer case

Emerald ash borer, an invasive pest that has ravaged ash trees in Minnesota since at least 2009, has been found in Brooklyn Park. City officials and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture announced late last month that they confirmed the insect in at least one tree in the city, according to a news release.

An arborist working for a local tree company discovered the infected tree on private property in the 3900 block of 85th Avenue.

The city has been getting ready for the ash borer's arrival since 2011, when city leaders adopted a plan to prepare for and manage the pest. Crews have removed unhealthy trees and began two-year, ongoing treatment cycles for larger, healthy trees.

City officials are encouraging private property owners with ash trees to consider plans for treatment or removal. Residents with questions may contact City Forester Mark Anderson at or 763-493-8126.

Hannah Covington

Blue Wolf brewery and taproom get early OK

Brooklyn Park's first brewery and taproom soon could be coming to the Edinburgh Festival Centre.

The City Council approved a conditional use permit at its Aug. 28 meeting for Blue Wolf Brewing Co., a local brewing group in Champlin that wants to set up shop in a 1,700-square-foot space in Brooklyn Park next to Broadway Pizza.

The brewery will sell beer for on-site consumption and in jugs to take home. No food will be served, but the brewery will allow patrons to bring in their own fare. It plans to be open 3-11 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

The company also wants to convert three parking spots into patio seating.

Once the zoning approval process has been completed, the business will need to apply for a taproom license, according to city officials.

Hannah Covington