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The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) found three more homes with private wells in the city's Red Oaks neighborhood contaminated with a cancer-causing chemical.

The agency last year found 40 homes in the neighborhood were contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, and retesting this spring found concentrations of the chemical above 1 microgram per liter in three additional wells. Anything above 1 microgram per liter creates health concerns, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

The three homeowners, like the others, will receive bottled drinking water from the state at no cost. The agency this month will install shallow groundwater monitoring wells near Bunker Lake and Crosstown boulevards and near the former Waste Disposal Engineering Landfill to try to pinpoint the source of the contamination.

A cost estimate calculated in 2023 dollars found it could take more than $5.5 million to bring municipal water to affected homes.

Tim Harlow

Golden Valley

City assists Mpls. park police in carjacking

A man heading to Theodore Wirth Golf Club on Wednesday afternoon had $3,000 worth of golfing equipment and his car stolen at gunpoint, the latest in a string of carjackings in the western suburb.

Because Theodore Wirth is a shared jurisdiction between Golden Valley police and Minneapolis park police, the agencies are working together in the ongoing investigation.

The stolen black Audi A5 was located in Minneapolis on Thursday but the suspect remains at large. A few days earlier, on May 25, two men stole a Jeep Patriot at gunpoint shortly after midnight in the parking lot of an apartment complex in the 600 block of Lilac Drive N. Two carjackings were also reported the previous week.

Police Chief Virgil Green said investigators see similarities in the cases — similar descriptions of the suspects as well as the use of a gun. He warned residents to be aware of surroundings while unlocking car doors and never attempt to fight with carjackers.

Green advised parking in well-lit areas at night and keeping a cellphone on your person at all times. He also suggested installing GPS tracking in vehicles.

Kim Hyatt

West St. Paul

City breaks ground on ice arena upgrade

Construction has begun on an addition and other updates to the John V. Hoene Ice Arena, also called the West St. Paul Ice Arena.

The facility will receive $1.65 million in updates, including the addition of high school locker rooms, office space, a new roof and an indoor training area.

"We've never had that in our program," said West St. Paul Mayor Dave Napier of the indoor "dryland" training space.

Napier said that players also lacked locker rooms on site and have always had to travel with their bags, even while at their home arena.

The parking lot will also be reconfigured, a project that was budgeted as part of another arena improvement project that started in 2016 and lasted several years. That effort involved replacing the arena's ice refrigeration system.

The project will be finished by mid-October and was funded by the West St. Paul Hockey Association and the Two Rivers hockey booster club, Napier said. Much of that funding came from charitable gambling proceeds, he said.

The city has contributed about $100,000, he said.

The West St. Paul Hockey Association website notes that private donors have also donated money.

"The goal is to help our kids have a place as home ice as well as to help them be more competitive," he said.

Erin Adler