November 2015 News and Events from Commissioner Linda Higgins

Commissioner Linda Higgins, Hennepin County, MN




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Daylight saving time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 1, which means you’ll want to turn your old-school clocks back before you go to bed Saturday night, Oct. 31. And yes, the change is automatic for most smartphones, computers, tablets and other digital devices.


Linda Higgins
Commissioner, District 2

Tina Sanz
Principal Aide

Roshonda Royston
Administrative Secretary


District 2 serves the cities of Golden Valley, Medicine Lake, north and northeast Minneapolis, southeast Plymouth and St. Anthony.

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Top stories

Plan could shape the future of Lowry Avenue Northeast corridor

Lowry NE Community Works

The board voted October 20 to approve an updated Lowry Avenue Northeast Corridor Plan and Implementation Framework. The current plan grew out of a program the board established in 1999 to improve transportation options, offer housing choices, and support business growth along the five-mile Lowry Avenue corridor in North and Northeast Minneapolis.

The planning process involved extensive community engagement and evaluated opportunities for bicycle and pedestrian improvements along the Northeast corridor, with a focus on infrastructure improvements and redevelopment opportunities at six intersections: Marshall Street NE, Second Street NE, University Avenue NE, Washington Street NE, Monroe Street NE and Central Avenue NE. Funding for any approved projects will be considered at a later date.

Further information about the Lowry Community Works project is online at


Wildwood Park Youth Sports grants

Hennepin Youth Sports grant deadline Nov. 2

The Hennepin Youth Sports Program makes grants to local governments to improve youth athletic and recreation facilities and purchase capital equipment. Minnesota law authorizing the construction of Target Field allows Hennepin County to use proceeds from the 0.15% sales tax surcharge to award more than $2 million each year for sports facilities and equipment. Since 2009, the program has awarded more than $15 million to communities throughout Hennepin County. This same amount has been used to keep Hennepin County libraries open on Sundays as well.

The facility criteria have changed slightly. The facility and fall equipment application deadline is 4:00 p.m. on Monday, November 2, 2015.

  • The maximum facility grant award is now $300,000
  • There will be a separate application and award pool for playground equipment in the spring. That application will open in January 2016, the same time as the spring equipment application.
  • The Twins Community Fund has a grant program for baseball and softball projects in Hennepin County.  

For further information, visit For a map including District 2 grant recipients, visit

TFL auction nov 6
map and dot

A public auction is scheduled of Tax Forfeited properties on Friday, November 6, 2015. Registration starts at 8:15 a.m. and bidding begins at 9 a.m. at the A-level Auditorium, Hennepin County Government Center, 300 S. 6th Street, Minneapolis, MN.

See the Auctions section of for information.  Go to Interactive map, property pictures and associated documents  and click the map dots for property address, photos and Truth in Sale of Housing Disclosure Reports. Be sure to review the terms and legal notice specific to this auction - they change with each different auction. Lastly, check back often as we will be adding more information on auction specific properties as it becomes available.


Green Tip: Choose to Reuse this Halloween

Halloween is a time for carving pumpkins, dressing up in spooky costumes, trick or treating and this year – choosing to reuse! Hennepin County has partnered with 50 reuse retailers to offer Choose to Reuse coupons with discounts through October 31, just in time for Halloween.

Check out what Choose to Reuse retailers offer instead of buying new this Halloween: 

Find a unique costume at one of the Choose to Reuse clothing stores. Many reuse retailers offer deals on Halloween costumes for adults and children, such as Arc’s Value Village’s Halloween BOO-tique and Goodwill’s Halloween Headquarters

Dig into a spooky read from Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Bookstore or Uncle Edgar’s Mystery Bookstore. You’ll find books with great Halloween stories and save 20% on your purchase.

Crank up the creepy tunes to get in the Halloween spirit! Many reuse music retailers such as Down in the Valley and Electric Fetus offer discounted scary sound effects or eerie background music that is perfect for a Halloween party.

Fix it Clinic

Fix-It Clinic celebrates three years of success

Hennepin County’s popular Fix-It Clinic program celebrated its third anniversary in September. At Fix-It Clinics, residents bring in small household appliances, clothing, electronics, mobile devices and more and receive free guided assistance from volunteers with repair skills to disassemble, troubleshoot and fix their items.

Upcoming Fix-It Clinics

Saturday, November 14, noon to 4 p.m.
Folwell Park Rec Center, 1615 Dowling Ave N, Minneapolis (Facebook page)

Saturday, December 12, noon to 4 p.m.
Maple Grove Community Center, 12951 Weaver Lake Road

Sentencing to Service

Employee profile: Working for Hennepin Sentencing to Service

Hennepin County Sentencing to Service is a structured work program that provides a sentencing alternative for low-risk adult and juvenile offenders. Instead of serving time in jail or paying a fine, offenders can work, learn new skills and gain self-confidence, while completing community improvement and restoration projects. To learn how to pay a ticket by the restorative justice option by completing Sentence to Service (STS), visit the Courts web page.

This month’s employee is John Ekholm, a Program Manager in STS (click the picture above for a short video). John says, “I love working outdoors, I love working with people, [and] here we have the best of both worlds.”

For more information about current open jobs with Hennepin County, visit the link at left. 

Growing for a better future: First tree transplants done at county gravel bed nursery

Gravel bed nursery

Hennepin County transplanted its first trees from the gravel-bed nursery in Plymouth to a permanent planting location on the Hennepin County Adult Corrections Facility property.

Hennepin County constructed a gravel-bed nursery this past spring with 500 trees that will now be planted on a variety of county projects and properties. The gravel-bed nursery gives the county access to hardy, diverse and cost-effective trees that will be used to proactively address emerald ash borer infestations and learn more about tree species that survive well in an urban environment.

Partner organizations include the University of Minnesota, Tree Trust, and cities of Plymouth and Crystal.

Criminal Jutice 101 video

Video teaches about criminal justice

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office recently debuted an educational tool called Criminal Justice 101, a video designed to introduce and better explain to the community how the criminal justice system works.

The ten-minute video is available in three languages: English, Spanish and Somali. It was produced in partnership with the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee, Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, Hennepin County Public Defender’s Officer, Fourth Judicial District Court, and the Department of Community Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The video can also be helpful for Hennepin County residents who have lived here their whole life. For example, if they have a family member or friend arrested, the video is an easy way to get an overview of how the system works.

The full-length versions of the video can be found at the Hennepin County Sherriff’s Office YouTube Page.

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Board news

October 6

$3.8 million federal grant will expand successful lead abatement program

The Board voted to accept a 27-month, $3.7 million federal grant to continue residential lead hazard mitigation in Hennepin County. Over the past 10 years, Hennepin County and partners have carried out lead abatement projects in about 4,100 homes, with the aid of $29 million in grants. The current grant will fund 400 lead inspections and create about 350 lead-safe homes. The average cost make a dwelling lead-safe is $6,500; financing varies from case to case. This grant will also address home health and safety hazards in the enrolled homes such as trips/falls, radon, and moisture. To learn how to apply for lead abatement grants and other programs, visit


The board approved a two proclamations at the October 6 meeting:

Mental Illness Awareness Week

Hennepin County Board of Commissioners hereby proclaims October 4-10, 2015, as Mental Illness Awareness Week in Hennepin County, and urges all citizens of the county to make a difference by learning about mental health and what it means to live with a mental illness, being there for friends, family members, and others in need, and raising awareness of mental health issues to improve the chance of recovery for people who have a mental illness.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The Hennepin County Board declares October to be Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time to reflect on abuse in area homes, its implications and positive ways to assist victims, and to recognize those members of our community devoted to making homes safe havens, and these officials join U.S. and world leaders in recognizing domestic violence as a human rights concern and declare that freedom from domestic violence is a human right toward which state and local governments should aspire on behalf of all of the citizens they serve.

October 20

Federal grant, state match will help homeless families transition from shelter to stable housing

The board voted to accept a $503,868 federal Department of Housing and Urban Development Department grant to provide a rapid rehousing program for families during 2016. The Continuum of Care grant will be supplemented by a 25 percent match from Minnesota Housing’s Housing Trust Fund and a variety of state-funded human services programs. Rapid rehousing helps families to find, secure and transition into housing from shelter. Once in housing, families receive supportive services to increase their incomes and access community-based resources. The program is working toward a goal to keep 70 percent of families in stable, permanent, decent, affordable housing for at least 12 months. 

  • In 2013, the program served 915 households – 1,135 adults and 1,639. Of those households, 71 percent successfully transitioned into permanent housing. 
  • In 2014, the program served 702 households – 880 adults and 1,266 children. Of those households, 67 percent successfully transitioned into permanent housing. 

Plan could shape the future of Lowry Avenue northeast corridor

The board voted to approve an updated Lowry Avenue Northeast Corridor Plan and Implementation Framework (see story above).  

Program will promote hiring opportunities in areas where projects are located

The board directed the county administrator to develop a joint application with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to participate in the Local Labor Hiring Program. Through the federal Department of Transportation, this program promotes hiring opportunities and offers limited hiring preferences for residents of the communities where infrastructure projects will be located, residents of economically challenged communities, Hennepin County veterans and people who are in training to become skilled workers. Projects proposed for the program in 2016 include Bottineau Boulevard, 66th Street and Highway 169.

Read more about the resolution


The board appointed Maressia Twele to the Nine Mile Creek Watershed District Citizen Advisory Committee. 

Read more

Information about County board meetings - including agendas, minutes, and viewing information - is online at

Look for more news on the Hennepin County website at

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St. Anthony

  • Saturday, October 31, 5:30-8pm
    Halloween Carnival. For children up to age eight and their parents. $5 per child at the door, includes nine activity tickets.
    St. Anthony Community Center
    3301 Silver Lake Road, St. Anthony
  • Monday, November 2, noon-7pm
    St. Anthony Library book sale
    St. Anthony Shopping Center
    2941 Pentagon Drive, St. Anthony
  • Sunday, November 8, 3pm
    St. Anthony Civic Orchestra Anniversary Concert. Free. For more information, call 612-788-3516.
    St. Anthony Community Center
    3301 Silver Lake Road, St. Anthony
  • Thursday, November 9, 5:30-8pm
    Sustainability Fair. Learn about current efforts and what you can do to help your community. Free and open to the public.
    Silverwood Park
    2500 County Road E West, St. Anthony
  • Friday, November 13 and Saturday, November 14, 7pm; Sunday, November 15, 12:30pm
    “Shrek the Musical.” $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors at the door. Pre-show celebration with the characters on Sunday. $10 includes admission to the show. 
    St. Anthony High School/Middle School
    3303 33rd Avenue NE, St. Anthony
  • Saturday, November 28, 11am-3pm
    Shop Small Holiday Market. Shop more than 40 Minnesota (and one Wisconsin) small businesses featuring locally made artisan and organic foods, custom art and prints, health and beauty products, natural cleaning items and gift baskets. Free child care for shoppers. Yoga class at 1:30pm. Free parking. For a list of participating businesses, visit
    St. Anthony Community Center
    3301 Silver Lake Road, St. Anthony


  • October 31 through November 22 
    “The Storms of November.” The drama is set on the high seas of Lake Superior. Tickets are $10 on Thursdays and Sundays and $15 on Fridays and Saturdays. Pay-what-you-can performance, Monday, Nov. 9. For tickets or more information, call 612-548-1380 or visit
    Nimbus Theatre
    1517 Central Avenue NE, Suite 300, Minneapolis
  • Thursday, October 29, 5-7pm
    Evening of Business and Community Awards. The Northeast Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce and the East Minneapolis Exchange Club will honor those that serve and support our community. Cash raffle, silent auction, cash bar and complimentary appetizers. Admission is $40. For more information and to register, visit
    Jax Café
    1928 University Avenue NE, Minneapolis
  • Friday, October 30, 10am-noon
    Preschool Halloween Party. Free. For ages 1-6. For more information, visit
    Logan Park
    690 13th Avenue NE, Minneapolis
  • Saturday, October 31, 10pm
    Hallow's Eve bonfire. Telling and reading of stories appropriate to the day. 
    Casket Arts Building
    681 17th Avenue NE, Minneapolis 
  • Saturday, October 31, 5:30-8:30pm
    Fall-O-Ween party. Food, games, candy, a Halloween movie and neighborhood trick or treating. For more information, email
    Waite Park Wesleyan Church
    1510 33rd Avenue NE, Minneapolis
  • Saturday, October 31, Sundays, November 1 and 8, 2pm
    “Into the Woods.” Musical intertwining fairy tales. $20 at the door, $15 for seniors/students/online. Call 612-724-8373 for discounts for groups of 10 or more.
    Edison High School Auditorium
    700 22nd Avenue NE, Minneapolis
  • Thursday, November 5, 5:30-7:30pm
    Open House. Middle school students, and their families are invited to attend. Free. Registration is not required. For more information, call 612-668-1300 or email
    Edison High School
    700 22nd Avenue NE, Minneapolis
  • Thursday, November 5, 2pm
    “Back to the 50s with the Floras.” Dress up in your favorite 50s outfit. Free public event. Refreshments and 50s music. 
    Legacy of St. Anthony
    2540 Kenzie Terrace, St. Anthony 
  • Thursday, November 5 through Sunday, November 8
    Art This Way Fall Crawl. Free public event. Pre-holiday shopping of local original art. Open art studios, live music, art demos, food trucks and beer. For times and more information, visit
    Solar Arts Building
    711 15th Avenue NE, Minneapolis
  • Saturday, November 14, 10am-3pm
    Autumn Bazaar. Silent auction, sale items from local artists and crafters.
    Edison High School
    700 22nd Avenue NE, Minneapolis
  • Saturday, November 14
    Boutique Crawl. Kick start the holiday season. For participating boutiques, visit
  • Sunday, November 15, 9:30am-2pm
    Build your own breakfast. $10 adults $5 children.
    Psycho Suzi's
    1900 Marshall Street NE, Minneapolis


  • Thursday, October 29, 5-7:30pm
    Bottineau LRT Open House. Learn about how the Metro Blue Line Extension (Bottineau LRT) will impact the environment in Harrison and surrounding neighborhoods. Share comments or concerns.
    Harrison Community Center 
    503 Irving Avenue N, Minneapolis
  • Tuesday, November 3, 6-8pm
    West Broadway Transit Study Open House. Metro Transit, in partnership with Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis, is conducting a transit study to identify possible transit improvements along West Broadway. We will be premiering a video about the study. Learn about the streetcar and bus rapid transit alternatives.
    Capri Theatre
    2027 W Broadway Avenue, Minneapolis
  • Tuesday, November 10, 5:30pm
    The Raising of America: Minnesota’s Early Childhood Challenges and Opportunities. The interactive event will feature a screening of episode two of the new documentary series, airing nationwide on public television stations this fall.
    University of Minnesota researchers and state policy makers will lead a discussion with comments and ideas to be submitted to Governor Dayton’s Children’s Cabinet. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is requested. For more information, or to register, visit
    Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center (UROC)
    2001 Plymouth Avenue N, Minneapolis
  • Saturday, November 14, noon-4pm
    Fix-It Clinic. Free to the public. Bring in small household appliances, clothing, electronics, mobile devices and more.
    Folwell Park Recreation Center
    1615 Dowling Avenue N, Minneapolis

North Loop

  • Saturday, October 31, 4:30-6pm
    Trick or Treating. Indoor event for all downtown families.
    Washington Avenue Lofts
    801 Washington Avenue N, Minneapolis
    Entrance is on 8th Avenue 

Medicine Lake


  • Friday, October 30, 6-8:30pm
    Halloween at the Creek. $8 in advance $10 at the door. Cost of admission includes a slice of pizza and beverage. Ages 2 and under free. Activities geared toward preschool to early elementary age children, including carnival games, inflatables, music, entertainment, prizes and treats. 
    Plymouth Creek Center
    14800 34th Avenue N, Plymouth
  • Tuesday, November 3, 11am-noon
    Walk with a Doc. Each month a different doctor will lead a 45 minute walk that is open to all Plymouth community members.
    Plymouth Creek Center Fieldhouse
    14800 34th Avenue N, Plymouth
  • Sunday, November 8, noon-2:30pm
    Kids Garage Sale. Sell items include children’s toys, clothes and games. Open to the public.
    Plymouth Creek Center
    14800 34th Avenue N, Plymouth
  • Saturday, November 21, 10am-5pm and Sunday, November 22, 11am-4pm
    Art Fair. 30 local & regional juried artists will display, demonstrate, and sell their artwork. Entertainment and music. 

Halloween Activities

  • Friday, October 30, 10am-noon
    Logan Park
    690 13th Avenue NE, Minneapolis
  • Friday, October 30 6-8pm
    North Commons Park
    1801 James Avenue N, Minneapolis
  • Friday, October 30 6-8pm
    Harrison Park
    503 Irving Avenue N, Minneapolis
  • Saturday, October 31, 1:30-3:30pm
    Creekview Park
    5001 Humboldt Avenue N, Minneapolis
  • Saturday, October 31, 5-7pm
    Windom NE Park
    2251 Hayes Street NE, Minneapolis
  • Saturday, October 31, 5-6:30pm
    Bottineau Field Park
    2000 Second Street NE, Minneapolis

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