Sun Current Editions Eden Prairie

Current eden prairie $ 1 Thursday, April 20, 2017 Vol. 47, No. 17 Emerald ash-borer On your marks Public notices With ash trees threatened by emerald ash8 borers throughout the country, learn how to fi ght them. Page 8 Eden Prairie High School’s boys and girls track teams begin their seasons with two meets in two days. Page 12 Check out the latest public notices from Eden Prairie area governments and agencies. Page 16 Wings of the North hosting last pilot ace Gen. Steve Ritchie (Submitted photo) Wings of the North is offering a rare opportunity to meet Brig. Gen. Steve Ritchie, America’s last pilot ace. Ritchie will be presenting at noon Saturday, April 22, at Wings of the North museum, 10100 Flying Cloud Drive, Suite 100. After his presentation, he will be available for questions, photos and autographs. This event is open to the public with a $10 suggested donation to the museum. Ritchie is the only Air Force pilot ace since the Korean War. During his two combat tours, he became one of the most decorated pilots in history. He has received four Silver Stars, the Air Force Cross, 10 Distinguished Flying Crosses and 25 Air Medals. During his Air Force career, he logged more than 4,000 hours including 800 hours in combat in the F-4 Phantom during 339 missions in Southeast Asia. Ritchie left active duty in 1974, but continued to serve in the Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard hold- ing important positions at AF Headquarters in the Pentagon. He retired in 1999 after six years as mobilization assistant to the Commander of AF Recruiting Service. EPPD Crime Prevention Fund receives $15k donation Gift from family of former Eden Prairie animal vet to bolster police K-9 unit In SERVICE of a SERVICE MEMBER BY SEAN MINER SUN CURRENT NEWSPAPERS W hen it rains, it pours. More often than not, that phrase pertains to a fl ood of ill fortune, but that’s not the case for Eden Prairie resident Ralph Hoffman. Thanks to the combined efforts of a slew of volunteers from three different organizations, Hoffman, a World War II veteran, received several renovations ex gratia to his home. “I’m not used to this kind of treat- ment — I don’t expect it,” said Hoff- man. “And suddenly, the rain falls on me, and I have to accept it. That’s the way life is.” A couple weeks ago, Hoffman reached out to Eden Prairie’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon for help changing a furnace fi lter. With limited fl exibil- ity at age 91, Hoffman contacted the veteran-focused organization with just that simple request, having no way of knowing the deluge of kindness it would touch off. That call was fi elded by Bill Hot- tel, who visited Hoffman’s house to change the fi lter. “I was going through the house to do the fi lter, and I noticed he had a need for some other things to be taken care of,” said Hottel. “As we were going through the house, it became apparent that he has some diffi culty HOFFMAN - TO PAGE 15 “ I’ve never had this kind of treatment before, ever. It’s like winning the lottery. “ World War II veteran receives updates to home from three charitable organizations - Ralph Hoffman Above: Volunteers who worked on Hoffman’s house stand with him. (Submitted photo) A veterinarian who was instrumen- tal in forming the Eden Prairie Police Department K-9 program passed away last fall, and on April 13, mem- bers of his family generously donated $15,000, part of his estate, to con- tinuing the work of the Eden Prairie Police Department K-9 Unit. Dr. John Wright opened the Wright Animal Hospital in Eden Prairie in 1954. While he initially worked with large farm animals, his practice evolved into serving smaller animals, including dogs. “He truly was a friend of the city,” said Eden Prairie Police Chief James DeMann, former member of the department’s K-9 unit. “Not only did he help us with our K-9 program and getting that up and running, he helped us with the crime prevention fund. He had is hands in a lot of things in the beginning days of the city.” After helping establish the unit in 1981, Wright provided free veterinary services to the department’s K-9s for 10 years up until his retirement in 1991. During that time, one of his patients was DeMann’s K-9, Champ. DeMann recalled Wright as a steadfast supporter of the K-9 program who was kind, compassion- ate and professional. Upon Wright’s retirement, the police department recognized his work by giving him the department’s Award of Merit. When Wright passed away in Septem- ber 2016 at age 90, his family wanted to honor his commitment to the K-9 pro- gram. They reached out to DeMann and arranged to donate $15,000 to K-9 UNIT - TO PAGE 2 County board accepts homelessness alleviation funding BY CHRISTIAAN TARBOX SUN POST NEWSPAPERS The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners accepted funding that will assist in the housing of people suf- fering from mental illnesses who are ei- ther homeless or at the risk of becoming homeless. During its April 11 meeting, the board agreed to accept $759,450 of Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness funding from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, which will be used to fi nance outreach, case management and other services. In 2016, the initiative found housing for 46 chronically homeless clients. According to the county, services are based on evidence-based practices meant to build upon a client’s existing strengths and life goals. 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