Winterfest court

Members of the Orono High School Winterfest court are, from left: Front row — Andy Baran and Anna Hughes. Second row — Kevin Kvern, Sarah Harrison, Jenna Rakos and Owen Erpelding. Third row- Paulina Gabos, Haley Deters, Jen Soshnik, Paige Ament, Kiera Nelson, Ariana van Dyck, Eleanor Fossen, Clare Swanholm, Julie Berger and Etta Moline. Back row — Ben Fiedler, Angus Sullivan, Garrett Savoie, Pierce Thysell, Joey Luedtke, Mac Bendickson, Jake Rosendahl, Alex Parke, Matt Rogge and Trip Renard.

Orono High School celebrating Winterfest

Orono High School students will celebrate Winterfest 2015 Jan. 20-24. The schedule of theme days and events is:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 20: Theme: Beach Day; Event: Coronation, 2 p.m., OHS gymnasium, free admission
  • Wednesday, Jan. 21: Theme: Class Color Day; Event: Class Competition, 8:35-9:15 a.m., gymnasium, $1 admission
  • Thursday, Jan. 22: Theme: Ugly Sweater Day
  • Friday, Jan. 23: Theme: Western Day; Event: “Dancing With the Stars,” 8:35-9:15 a.m., OHS gymnasium $1 admission
  • Saturday, Jan. 24: Event: Winterfest Dance, 9-11 p.m., OHS cafeteria, $5 admission - semiformal attire; students should plan pictures and dinner so they can arrive at the dance before 10 p.m.

Holbrook Park Skating Rinks and warming house open

The ice skating rinks at Holbrook Park in Long Lake are open for the season.

Skaters are welcome to the rinks at any time, but staff supervision is only available when the warming house is open. The warming house hours are Monday through Friday, 3:30-8 p.m. and weekends from noon-6 p.m. It will close when weather conditions, such as snow storms, severe cold or windchill temperatures, do not permit safe skating.

Hammer Residences selected at Weber Shandwick's 2015 pro bono client

The Minneapolis office of Weber Shandwick has selected Hammer Residences, Inc., as its pro bono client for 2015.

Weber Shandwick plans to work with Hammer throughout the year to bring more awareness to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a civil rights law marking its 25th anniversary in 2015. Together they will address how the act impacts the disability services industry in Minnesota.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with Weber Shandwick,” said Tony Baisley, communication director for Hammer Residences. “For more than 92 years, Hammer has been ahead of the curve when it comes to supporting individuals with developmental disabilities. We look forward to working together in the coming year as we strategically share how our work impacts Twin Cities’ communities.”

“Advocacy is at the heart of what we do at Weber Shandwick, and we’re looking forward to working with Hammer Residences to raise awareness of the disability community,” said Liz Miklya, senior vice president at Weber Shandwick and head of the Minneapolis office’s pro bono program. “We chose Hammer because they are passionate about the people they serve and the disability community at large throughout Minnesota. With the 25th anniversary of the ADA, it’s an exciting time to collaborate and engage the community in their mission.”

Since opening in 1923, Hammer has provided quality services for adults and children with developmental disabilities. Today, Hammer Residences provides residential and customized support services to more than 1,400 people throughout Minnesota and operates 46 group home and apartment programs in the Twin Cities’ west metro suburbs.

For more than 25 years, Weber Shandwick has been giving back to the community. In addition to working with pro bono clients since 1988, the agency partners with a wide range of non-profits via its annual communications workshop for non-profit agencies across the state and several small-scale community volunteer projects.

Orono School Board re-elects John Malone as chair

John Malone was unanimously re-elected by his Orono School Board colleagues as chair for the 2015 calendar year. The vote, taken at the Jan. 12 meeting, was part of the board’s annual reorganization actions.

Malone, who is beginning his 15th year on the board, has served as chair since 2010. He served as vice chair for six years prior to that.

In addition, Malone serves on the board Negotiations Committee and on its Cocurricular Committee. He is also the board’s local legislative liaison to Minnesota School Boards Association and liaison to the Association of Metropolitan School Districts.

Martha Van de Ven was re-elected vice chair, Michael Bash as clerk and Dick Lewis as treasurer.

Board members will continue to serve without compensation, a practice that’s been in place for more than 10 years. Orono is the only district in the west metropolitan area that does not compensate its board members.

Long Lake seeking planning and park board commissioners

Long Lake officials are now accepting applications from people interested in serving on one of the city's advisory boards.

There are two openings for Long Lake residents who would like to serve on the planning commission for terms that will run through Dec. 31, 2018. The commission is responsible for making recommendations to the city council on land use planning and zoning matters. There are also three openings for residents who would like to serve on the park term. One of the openings has a term that runs through Dec. 31, 2016 and the other two have terms that run through Dec. 31, 2017. The park board is responsible for making recommendations to the city council concerning parks, trails and recreation areas.

A completed city boards and commissions application is required in order to be considered for the volunteer positions. Those interested in serving on one of the boards are encouraged to call Long Lake City Hall at (952) 473-6961 ext. 1. Completed applications will be received until 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28 and may be dropped off in person at city hall, scanned and emailed as a PDF to or mailed to City of Long Lake, Attn: Jeanette Moeller, PO Box 606, Long Lake, MN 55356.

Hennepin County Citizens Academy registration now open

Registration is open for the Hennepin County Citizens Academy.

The seven-session course is free and open to the public and is designed to give residents an overview of the county’s role and how we do our work. Participants must be at least 18.

Citizens Academy participants learn about county services, interact face-to-face with county leaders and elected officials, and get behind-the-scenes tours of facilities – including a public safety facility, library, and the public works facility.

Topics will include developing the county budget, the elections process, transportation and road safety, human services, the county’s role in public safety, public health and medical services and other aspects of Hennepin County government

Sessions will be held at locations throughout the county and run weekly on Wednesdays from 6:30-9 p.m., March 25 to May 13. There is no session on April 1.

For more information or to register for the academy, go to Registration ends Monday, Feb. 23 or when the session fills.