Zahradkas continue their playground rebuild in memory of daughter
Sarah and Tony Zahradka are continuing their efforts toward building a preschool-age playground at Casey Lake Park in memory of their daughter, Janie, who died unexpectedly last September.
Their newest project: a fundraiser that would install name-plated bricks (paving stones) at the park, which is located off 17th Avenue and Mohawk Road in North St. Paul.
Southwood Nature Preserve is one of the focuses of the Resilient Communities project in North St. Paul. (Linda Baumeister/Review)
One of the emphases of the “sustainable” portion of the Resilient Communities Project is keeping North St. Paul residents aware of the gem they have in a local preserve. (Linda Baumeister/Review)
Southwood Nature Preserve is a haven to birds including migrating robins, mallard ducks and nesting wood ducks. (Linda Baumeister/Review)
Student energy powers Resilient Communities Project
Staying true to its name, the Resilient Communities Project is finally in North St. Paul.
After a pair of hiccups, students and staff from the University of Minnesota-driven organization are now working together with the city on a project that involves the Living Street Plan, a residential rebuilding concept that combines road reconstruction with environmental sustainability. It has included proposals for new sidewalks, bike paths and water-quality protection.
Christine Crittenden, the widow of North St. Paul police officer Richard Crittenden, listens as city manager Jason Ziemer (not pictured) testifies to a Senate committee March 3 at the state Capitol for a bill presented by Sen. Chuck Wiger, DFL-Maplewood, right. The bill passed the Senate March 24 to rename Hwy. 36 for the slain officer. (Kaitlyn Roby/Review)
For nearly a minute March 24, members of the state Senate stood in silence.
Moments after they unanimously voted to pass a bill from Sen. Chuck Wiger, DFL-Maplewood, to rename Highway 36 to the “Officer Richard Crittenden Memorial Highway,” they paused to honor the North St. Paul cop who was killed while responding to a domestic dispute call on Labor Day, Sept. 7, 2009.
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.
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.”
Sub-zero temperatures have frozen about 35 service pipes in neighborhoods around North St. Paul this winter, leaving some residents without water for less than a day to as long as five days.
Scott Duddeck said he hasn’t seen this many iced-up water lines in one year in the more than 20 years he’s worked with the North St. Paul Public Works Department.
“We’ve never had anything this extreme,” the public works director said. “We’ve had an occasional service freeze here or there. This year is very out of the norm.”
North St. Paul City Council member Terry Furlong, who also works with the Parks and Recreation Commission, left, stands with Tony and Sarah Zahradka. (Kaitlyn Roby/Review)
The story of Tony and Sarah Zahradka moved hundreds of people throughout the Twin Cities area to help build a park for younger children in North St. Paul.
With the help of many donors over about two months, the North St. Paul couple recently contributed $34,350 to a fund for a toddler-friendly play structure at Casey Lake Park. They presented the ceremonial check to the city at the Feb. 18 North St. Paul City Council meeting.
North St. Paul and Maplewood police are searching for a suspect who reportedly used a gun to force two women to drive their cars to another location, threatening to shoot and rape them in the adjacent suburbs. The man, who was described as a white male, 30 to 40 years old, wearing dark clothing and latex gloves, has not been apprehended. (Courtesy of the Maplewood Police Department)
Police suspect the same man held two women at gunpoint in their cars Sunday night, one in Maplewood right after the other in North St. Paul, forcing them to drive around and threatening to rape them.
One woman fled, and the other was let go unharmed.
The North St. Paul History Cruze Car Show usually draws more than a thousand vintage cars on Fridays in the summer. That extra traffic tends to benefit area businesses, but also makes parking a challenge for area residents. The History Cruzers and the city of North St. Paul are hosting a meeting on Feb. 22 to hear comments and address attendees’ concerns. (Linda Baumeister/Review)
Before car collectors and admirers swarm along East Seventh Avenue this summer, members of the North St. Paul History Cruzers want to make sure those who live in the area year-round are heard and helped.
The nonprofit group and North St. Paul city staff are hosting a community meeting from 9 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, in the Victorian Room of K&J Catering, 2546 E. Seventh Ave.