Hennepin County Board approves plan to re-open 32 county libraries

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners on June 23 approved a plan to re-open 32 of the 41 libraries in the county library system.

The libraries to be opened before the end of the year include Brookdale, Edina, Excelsior, Hopkins, Rockford Road, Rogers, St. Louis Park, Champlin, Southdale and Wayzata.

The libraries that will not open this year include Golden Valley, Minnetonka and Osseo.

Beginning in mid-April, eight library locations began offering curbside pick-up library services. Those locations include Brooklyn Park, Eden Prairie, Maple Grove, Plymouth and Ridgedale. Maple Grove will be temporarily staying as curbside location.

The approval of the plan requires county administrators to return to the board with a plan for library staffing for the rest of the year. Libraries will continue the reintroduction of limited in-person services that meet the county’s standards for safe, sustainable service. Upcoming phases include expanded curbside pickup, expanded book returns, computer use by appointment and grab-and-go services that accommodate short duration visits.

Rockford Farmers Market

Fridays from 3 to 6:30 p.m. at 6121 Main St. (Downtown city parking lot at Main Street and Cedar Street)

Movie in the Park

“Trolls World Tour,”- Friday, July 10, (7:30 p.m. Meet the Rockford Ambassadors and save your spot for 9 p.m. movie) at Riverside Park, 8220 Elm St. Hosted by the Rockford Ambassador Program. Movie rental sponsored by Hanover Athletic Association. Movie screen and personnel provided by Sherburne Wright Cable Commission. Bring a chair/blanket, bug spray and enjoy the movie. The Ambassadors will have concessions for sale starting around 7:30 p.m. COVID-19: Social Distancing in Public. Do not attend if exhibiting symptoms. Observe social distancing of 6 feet.

(Spaces will be marked for a group of 4 or family of 6). It is recommended that people wear a mask. Limited to 250 people in attendance.

Rockford blood drive

The Rockford community will host a blood drive for the Red Cross on Tuesday, July 16, from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. at United Presbyterian Church, 6301 Maple St. To make an appointment or get information, visit the website at RedCrossBlood.org and enter the sponsor code: Rockford or call 800-733-2767.

Help shape future Diamond Lake Regional Trail Route

The Three Rivers Park District is beginning the master planning process for future development of a new north-south regional trail through the western portion of Hennepin County.

Identified as the Diamond Lake Regional Trail, it will travel 20 miles through Dayton, Rogers, Corcoran, Medina, Long Lake, Orono and Wayzata. The vision for the trail is a 10-foot-wide paved, multi-use trail that will connect natural areas, other regional trails in the Three Rivers system, and local parks and trails. Trail uses include biking, hiking, dog walking, running, and in-line skating.

Visit LetsTalkThreeRivers.org for more information about the master plan and to give feedback about potential routes for the trail.

Sheriff’s Office offers drug disposal bags, online training on naloxone use

Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson said his office can’t – and won’t – lose sight of the opioid crisis even though the issue has been overshadowed of late by violence in Minneapolis, peaceful protests after the tragic death of George Floyd, talk of overdue police reform measures and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hennepin County has seen several distinct spikes in overdoses in the overdose tracking tool ODMAP –the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program – since the beginning of the pandemic. Since March 16, 615 suspected overdoses have been recorded in ODMAP, including 52 that were fatal.

“We have seen an uptick in fatal opioid overdoses nationwide and in Hennepin County over the past four months,” said Hutchinson. “We’re not hearing or reading about these tragedies as often, but they are still happening.”

The sheriff has announced two new strategies to combat the opioid addiction crisis specifically designed for the pandemic era.

The Sheriff’s Office will now mail Deterra drug disposal bags to anyone in the county who needs to dispose of unwanted or expired medications. The bags offer a simple, safe way to dispose of medications at home. People place their unwanted medication in the bag, add water, seal and shake. The entire bag can be disposed of in household trash.

Anyone who needs a Deterra bag can request one by emailing drugdisposal@hennepin.us and providing their mailing address. The Sheriff’s Office will mail out the bags at no cost.

In partnership with RALI Minnesota, the Sheriff’s Office is now offering online trainings on how to properly administer naloxone to someone experiencing an overdose.

Naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, is a prescription medicine that reverses an opioid overdose.

To schedule an online naloxone training, send an email to drugdisposal@hennepin.us.

Upon completion of the online training, the HCSO will mail the participant a supply of naloxone, free of change.

If you or someone close to you is struggling with addiction, resources are available. Call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or reach out to Hennepin County social services at 612-348-4111.

For more information about the opioid addiction crisis and how the Sheriff’s Office is working to fight it, visit hennepinsheriff.org/stop.

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