Hennepin County developing its first pedestrian traffic plan

County officials want to improve sidewalks along county roads to encourage more walking, the Star Tribune writes. A draft plan is expected to be ready early next year, but, the county has already set aside $200,000 this year to begin building safer sidewalks and crossings.
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County officials want to improve sidewalks along county roads to encourage more walking, the Star Tribune writes. A draft plan is expected to be ready early next year, but, the county has already set aside $200,000 this year to begin building safer sidewalks and crossings.

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Violent crime drops in Hennepin County

New preliminary estimates from the Sheriff's Office show violent crime is down 38 percent over the past five years. The Star Tribune reports last year was the fifth consecutive year it dropped across the county.

Street homelessness down 40 percent in Hennepin County

A report to the Minneapolis City Council counts 204 people living on the streets as of January this year. That's down from 341 during the same period in 2010. The report on "Heading Home Hennepin," an initiative aimed at ending homelessness in the county by 2016, credits the decline to more outreach workers helping the homeless find access to housing.

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The 57-year-old was riding his ATV on Lake Sarah Saturday morning when he drove into open water. Two men heard the man yelling for help and were able to pull him to safety. Last week, all cars, trucks and SUVs were banned from lakes in Hennepin County because of the unseasonably warm weather.

Property-tax warnings hit record high in Hennepin County

The number of delinquent taxpayers in Hennepin County has dropped, but more taxpayers are at risk of losing their properties to pay off their tax bills. Hundreds of property owners owe the county nearly $43 million in back taxes and penalties. The Star Tribune reports the county sent out a record 931 notices last year warning owners the deadline to redeem their properties was about to expire.

Hennepin County to start screening for weapons in suburban courts

Authorities are installing screening equipment similar to that in airports to scan visitors for guns, knives, mace and other such items. The change comes after a district court judge and the county sheriff said they were worried about the lack of security in suburban courtrooms.