Sun Focus Editions Columbia Heights/Fridley

F ocus Columbia Heights • Fridley Boys baseball It took a couple of close con- tests, but the Totino-Grace base- ball team built a three-game win- ning streak as the regular season wound down this week. See page 8 $ 1 Friday, May 26, 2017 • Focus.mnsun.com • Vol. 27, No. 22 News Update Columbia Heights students’ art on exhibit at “Expressions” Art Show 100 talented student artists featured at Silverwood Park BY SARAH BURGHARDT SUN FOCUS NEWSPAPERS Athena Award Fridley High School’s 2017 Athena Award winner, Lauren back- stom, had a challeng- ing road to reclaim her footing on the athletic fi eld. To page 9 Two charged with sex traffi cking Two Wayzata residents face multiple felony charges for racketeer- ing, sex traffi cking and prostitution for alleg- edly running a nation- wide commercial sex business. To page 7 As the end of the school year drew near, Columbia Heights fi fth grader Gene- vieve Johnson began to feel the pressure. She had yet to have a piece of artwork ac- cepted into the art show at Silverwood. “Usually every year I get a piece, and I was bummed because this year I thought I didn’t,” Johnson said. Finally, upon completion of the last project of the year, she got the good news. “I was so excited!” she exclaimed. “I really wanted a piece of artwork in the show this year, and this was our last project.” She created a paper ma- chete deer head sculpture that will be on display in the nature-themed gallery at Silverwood Park for two weeks. “I did the head realisti- cally, but I wanted to add something that’s not realis- tic, so I painted the antlers blue and purple,” Johnson said about her masterpiece. She said it took a long time to fi gure out how to make the antlers, but fi nally achieved the look with lay- ers of tin foil and sticks on each side of its head. This excitement of earn- ing a spot in the “Expres- sions” Art Show at Silver- wood was shared by many other Columbia Heights students. The annual exhib- it features only 100 pieces from students of all levels in the district. The artwork is all selected throughout the year by the district’s art teachers. “At the beginning of the year, we ask all our students what their hopes and dreams are, and this has become a very popular hope and dream for most of our students,” Highland Elementary art teacher Joy Baleisis said. “They all hope that their work is at Silverwood, so it’s really caught on.” The exhibit’s grand opening to the public was held May 16, with an el- ementary night opening on May 17, followed by the Columbia Heights High School students at the secondary grand opening of the “Expressions” Art Show at Silverwood Park on May 18. (Sun Focus photos by Sarah Burghardt) secondary-level opening on Alison Thompson said the Thompson said that this May 18. Many students, event seems to get bigger year’s big excitement is the parents and staff attended each year. addition of elementary me- the openings to view the “As an art teacher, it’s re- dia arts. Elementary media impressive artwork of the ally exciting because I get arts is a pilot program for 2016-17 school year. The to see my high school kids third through fi fth grades environmental gallery, that I had as kindergarten- that began at Valley View which features 25 nature- ers, so it’s really fun to see last year. The class focuses themed pieces, will stay on their progression,” Thomp- primarily on the cross be- display in the rotunda until son said. tween art making and tech- after Memorial Day. nology, as well as preparing District arts specialist The age of media students for 21st century and Valley View art teacher arts ART SHOW TO PAGE 6 Columbia Heights welcomes new city council member Nick Novitsky is new to the council, but not to the community BY SARAH BURGHARDT SUN FOCUS NEWSPAPERS Sand Creek Park grand opening The public is invited to celebrate the opening of Sand Creek Park on Friday, May 26 at 6:30 p.m. to participate in a variety of fun and free activities. To page 3 Aviation Days canceled The popular Discover Aviation Days at the Anoka County-Blaine Airport will not hap- pen this year but will be back in 2018, according to the lead volunteer or- ganizer of this show. To page 3 Public Notices Check out the latest public notices for the Fridley and Columbia Heights areas. To page 11 Sun Focus 33 Second St. N.E. Osseo, MN 55369 763-425-3323 sunfocus@ecm-inc.com The Columbia Heights City Council appointed Nick Novitsky to complete the dias in early April. A longtime Heights resident and involved community member, Novitsky has hit the ground running. Al- ready familiar with the many projects and issues in the city, Novitsky has been spending his time catching up on the city’s Comprehensive Plan and communicating and con- necting with local groups. Novitsky has lived in Columbia Heights for his entire life, along with his wife and high school sweetheart Angie. The pair has two daughters, Alayna, 10, and Natasha, 8. Alongside his father and brother, Novitsky is part owner of local business J & M Auto Recycling and Nick Novitsky was recently appointed to the vacant seat on the Columbia Heights City Council. He will be serving as a council member until the end of 2018.(Submitted photo) Towing. Perception is not the reality If an event is going on in Heights, Novitsky is likely to be there. From com- munity picnics, to school events, to sports games, there are many opportuni- ties to stay connected. He stressed the importance of realizing that “percep- tion is not the reality” in most cases and encour- ages Heights residents to open their eyes to what the many community groups have to offer. “The city has so many great things to offer, but you hear people saying ‘oh, there’s nothing for kids’ or ‘oh, there aren’t any sports.’ Well, I’ve been participating in those things f "VvBV'2( ЧfG66B( ĆVvG22BbgV7GVfbBFW&R7F'FrFvWB&PvVGFVFVB( Ф2FVvFW'26VF7FFfFVB0vV26W'fR2&V֖FW FVB'WRP6B2FW7BFVvFW V2fVFVW"ЦrB7FrffVBvF&'FFV'FFR6B6R6&W276f"VWrFP7G&VWG26VB2&VV'F6FrFRFBЦԆvv&w&f FR7BffRV'2FBԆvv0&VV6V&VvG0Ɩ26V"7FRf"#V'2BfG6FfW"FR&w&ffRV'0vGv6RV"FffW&V@4T4DtR6V&VvG2Ɩ6RFW'FV@7G2( VBBw&VWN( 6VG60%4$%U$t$E@5Td5U2Uu5U%0g&7FW2f"GFVFVW2FVЦFRWfVB6fVGW&V@7FfFW2f"6G&V6VFrƖ6R6"Bf&PG'V6FW'2f6RFrvW2BӒFVЧ7G&F( vR&Rw&FVgVFWfW'ЦRvGW&VBWBBFW"FW"6GFW'FVG0B7G&FVv2'FW'2vFRFRvB6f&ЧF( 6V&VvG0Ɩ6R6Vb66GBFVP6&VB( r7W&RF@W"6GG2&W6FVG2@FW"7FVFW'2&R6ЦV7FVBBv&rFvWFЦW"2'FB26VЦ&VvG26FVW2F&w&W7226fRB6ЦV7FVBW&66G( ХFR6V&VvG0Ɩ6RFW'FVBV@FV"f'7B( VBBw&VWN( 6VG62bFPV"B4ЦV&6V&VvG2F2&VWfVB0'GVGf"FRЦƖ6RFW'FVBF6V7@vF&W6FVG2f"ЦWfVV&ǒ#SVЧR6RWBFVFPWfVBF2v&7VW vB6VG'FW'2Ц6VFr6V&VvG0V&Ɩ2662FR&V7&RЦFFW'FVB44fB6VbBF&gB7F&PB&RGFVFVBFR2Ц2F&fFRf&F6F7B6&'W&v&G@&W6W&6W2FB&RfB6&'W&v&GDV6Ц&RFFR6VGখ266'W6W76W2FFV@v^( ֖W"''BbBW76&7G&rr6rfbFV"vfW&RFVBf6W27V$RD2tRRf7W2F2'6&'W&v&GBBFw2'W&vW'2