Females-only swim brings together diverse cultures, views in Maplewood
A females-only swim time in Maplewood has become much more than an opportunity to get into the water.
Over the past two years, organizers have watched women and girls from a variety of backgrounds, religions and cultures find common ground while they learn to swim and enjoy snacks and conversation afterwards. The program, which is funded by the Educational Equity Alliance, even garnered an award in late 2013 from the Minnesota Community Education Association, and it continues to be a unique offering in the Twin Cities.
Some potholes on local roads have grown from small depressions to lane-wide rivers, as snow melt seeps into a crack, freezes and loosens the pavement from underneath. (Linda Baumeister/Review)
The culprit: water. With sudden melting of this year’s snowfall — coupled with the fact many stormwater drains were still covered with ice — water seeped into cracks and holes all over area roads. After a couple cycles of freezing and expanding, its effects were obvious to those in even the “smoothest-riding” vehicles. (Linda Baumeister/Review)
Potholes of various depths have been nuisances in need of repair on some roads this winter. (Linda Baumeister/Review)
How to report issues
Maplewood has already packed 18 tons of asphalt into potholes on city streets in recent weeks, and staff members say that’s just the beginning.
Public works director Michael Thompson said the department is on track to slap down about 100 tons of the cold mix material over the next few weeks, and will break out a hot-mix asphalt for finer, more durable repairs once the snow melts and the streets are swept.
Dan Fisher of the VFW Post 1350, left, speaks in support of a request to set aside $100,000 of state funds to complete the North St. Paul Veterans Park Memorial. State Sen. Chuck Wiger, DFL-Maplewood, right, presented the bill to the State and Local Government Committee on March 11. (Submitted photo)
Members of the North St. Paul Veterans Park Memorial committee, state legislators and North St. Paul Mayor Mike Kuehn spoke at the state Capitol March 11, supporting a bill that would fund the city’s memorial park project. The request will go to the Senate floor as part of an omnibus bill. (Submitted photo)
A Senate committee recently advanced a bonding request that would put $100,000 of state funds towards the North St. Paul Veterans Park Memorial.
The bill, which was introduced by Sen. Chuck Wiger, DFL-Maplewood, is being folded into an omnibus bill and sent to the Senate floor for consideration.
A father-and-son team recently sold 9 Dragons Liquor in North St. Paul to a newcomer from Robbinsdale.
Tommy Thao has purchased the business at the Polar Plaza shopping center, 2231 11th Ave. E., from the sellers, Ryan and Suterra Yann, according to city documents.
After more than a year and a half without one, North St. Paul recently welcomed a full-time finance director.
Jeanne Day, who has more than two decades of local-government accounting experience, had her first day in the position March 3.
The city’s previous finance director, Al Mahlum, retired in July 2012 after 24 years working with the finance department.
North St. Paul Police Chief Tom Lauth testified at the Capitol on March 3 on behalf of a bill by Sen. Chuck Wiger that would rename a stretch of Hwy. 36 in honor of slain North St. Paul Police Officer Richard Crittenden. Christine Crittenden, widow of the slain officer, also testified. (photo courtesy of Sen. Wiger's office)
Christine Crittenden testifies at a state Senate committee meeting on March 3 at the Capitol in St. Paul in support of renaming the stretch of Minnesota Highway 36 that runs the North St. Paul after her late husband. Sen. Chuck Wiger, DFL-Maplewood, right, presented the bill, honoring Officer Richard Crittenden who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Sept. 7, 2009. (Kaitlyn Roby/Review)
Christine Crittenden, the widow of North St. Paul Police Officer Richard Crittenden, listens as city manager Jason Ziemer (not pictured) testifies for a bill presented by Sen. Chuck Wiger, right, which would rename a stretch of Minnesota Highway 36 for the slain officer. (Kaitlyn Roby/Review)
Pictured, from left to right, are North St. Paul Police Chief Tom Lauth, state Sen. Chuck Wiger, DFL-Maplewood, Christine Crittenden, the widow of North St. Paul Officer Richard Crittenden, state Rep. Leon Lillie, DFL-North St. Paul, and state Rep. Dan Schoen, DFL-St. Paul Park. Schoen is a Cottage Grove police officer. (Kaitlyn Roby/Review)
Supporters of a bill to rename Minnesota Highway 36 in North St. Paul “the Officer Richard Crittenden Memorial Highway” stand in front of the slain officer’s squad car, which was repainted as a memorial to Minnesota officers killed in the line of duty, at the state Capitol March 3. Crittenden’s wife, Christine, is at center, holding pictures of her husband. (Kaitlyn Roby/Review)
Pain palpable nearly 5 years after Rick Crittenden’s death
Nearly five years after North St. Paul Officer Richard Crittenden was shot and killed responding to a domestic dispute call, those who revered and loved the husband, father and grandfather are still striving to honor him.
“He gave his life for two people he didn’t even know,” Police Chief Tom Lauth said. “He answered the call. We don’t all know that. We’re not all tested with that. He was and he did.”
The Maplewood Police Department recently began digging into two inactive cases, which previously didn’t lead to charges, involving members of the clergy who were accused of sexual abuse.
With a similar lookback by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and Twin Cities law enforcement recently, Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell said the department wanted to ensure such cases have had a chance at a thorough investigation, if possible.
When they weren’t robbing Twin Cities banks more than 80 years ago, gangsters would kick back at Keller Golf Course in Maplewood.
They could be spotted not only by the expensive clothing they wore but the fact each man had two golf bags: one stuffed with golf clubs and the other filled with firearms.
As one would expect, they tipped their caddies well.
The rendering of part of the unique playground from Play by Design
At the Parks and Recreation Commission meeting on Feb. 26, Sarah Zahradka describes the options for an all-ages playground that will be built at Casey Lake Park in North St. Paul as a memorial to her daughter, Janie, who passed away in September at 18 months old. She and her husband, Tony, collected donations for the whimsical play structure.
Tony Zahradka holds his daughter, Janie, on a swing at Casey Lake Park in North St. Paul when she was about 7 months old. She died less than a year later, on Sept. 30. The family is donating money toward toddler-friendly structures at the playground in her memory. (submitted photo)
At 17 months old, Janie Zahradka heads toward the playground at Edgerton Park in Maplewood. (submitted photo)
A whimsical, toddler-friendly playground could be built at Casey Lake Park in North St. Paul this summer.
The Parks and Recreation Commission moved the unique play structure one step closer to construction on Feb. 26 by recommending hiring New York company Play by Design, which put together a colorful “Magical Forest Tot Lot” that organizers say would draw families throughout the region.