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Police department to use drones

Maplewood police plan to launch unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, for public safety purposes.

The drones will be used in accordance with state statute, Lt. Michael Dugas said during a recent City Council meeting. Uses will include public safety emergencies; crash reconstruction and crime scene documentation; locating vulnerable or missing people; fugitive searches; community events, and when authorized by warrant.

The city has spent $13,000 on equipment and $2,500 on training and certifying seven operators.

In 2021, 76 agencies in Minnesota used drones for 2,265 deployments, according to data collected by the state. Nearly half of those deployments were for training purposes.

Shannon Prather

Brooklyn Park

Dentistry program expands at Hennepin Tech

Hennepin Technical College in Brooklyn Park has revamped its dental assistant program classroom, learning lab and clinic.

The school used a $1 million grant from Delta Dental and state government to carry out renovations that replicate a dentist's office with eight chairs for patients, X-ray units, lab space and a waiting and reception area.

With the expanded space, the school has added faculty and is providing more scholarships for students. Enrollment has jumped from 24 to 48 this term, school officials said.

Students can complete the program in a year. Faculty have reported that recent graduates have been offered jobs paying up to $30 an hour, said spokeswoman Lisa Kiava.

Tim Harlow


Farmington Library pilot offers self-service hours

The Farmington Library will be open to adults for more hours each week, thanks to the addition of self-service hours.

The library was previously open and staffed during limited hours on weekdays and closed Sundays. It is still staffed for about 50 hours a week, but now those over 18 can sign up to use the library without staff during extended hours.

The new hours run from 6 a.m. to noon and 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Sundays are open for self-service from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

During self-service hours, patrons can use computers, reserve and use meeting rooms and check out materials. All library rules must still be followed and patrons are responsible for any guests they bring in.

Security cameras have been installed throughout the library "to offer customer peace of mind," a county news release said.

For more information or to sign up for the self-service hours, visit

Erin Adler


Sidewalks coming to more Morningside streets

Edina plans to add sidewalks as it reconstructs Monterrey, Lynn, Kipling, Grimes and Inglewood avenues and 40th Street this year.

Chad Millner, director of engineering, said sidewalks were part of the initial plan on three of those streets, but resident input pushed the city to add sidewalks on all six.

The city has a fund set aside for pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, and Millner said these sidewalks would be covered with that money. Adding sidewalks without cutting down too many trees means the new streets will be narrower, Millner said, with parking allowed on only one side.

Council members were effusive in their support.

"I love any opportunity to increase the walkability of our city and our community," said Council Member Kate Agnew. "Especially as someone with young kids — love having a sidewalk to push a stroller on."

Josie Albertson-Grove