Apple Valley City Council member Clint Hooppaw was elected chairman of the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority board this month. He replaces two-term chairman Gary Hansen of Eagan.

Scott County Commissioner Jon Ulrich was elected vice chairman and Savage City Council Member Jane Victorey was re-elected secretary/treasurer.


Teen-driver safety program will be offered Feb. 16

Tire Rack Street Survival, a national teen driver safety program, will be offered 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 16 at Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount.

The program, offered by South Carolina-based Tire Rack Street Survival Schools, teaches driver competence using hands-on experiences in real-world driving situations. The program, entering its 12th year, has trained 12,000 drivers.

Students receive a short classroom session and then get behind-the-wheel instruction on braking, skid control and managing everyday driving hazards in a controlled environment on an advanced driving course. Students are taught in their own cars.

The program costs $75 and is open to licensed and permitted drivers ages 15 to 21. Forms, schedules and more information can be found online at

Dakota County

Wide range of activities mark Black History month

The Dakota County Library is celebrating Black History Month with history, music and poetry.

Activities will include presentations by the Minnesota Blues Society to teach kids how to play the blues on the harmonica. Harmonicas will be free. The program is for children ages 8 to 16, and registration is required for sessions from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Feb. 15 at the Robert Trail Library, 14395 S. Robert Trail, Rosemount, and from 11 a.m. to noon March 1 at the Wentworth Library, 199 E. Wentworth Av., West St. Paul.

Other activities include Nothando Zulu from 7 to 7:45 p.m. on Monday at the Burnhaven Library, 1101 W. County Road 42, Burnsville; Daughters of Africa music presented by Mixed Blood Theatre from 7 to 7:45 p.m. Feb. 13 at the Wentworth Library, and poetry readings from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Galaxie Library, 14955 Galaxie Av., Apple Valley.

The programs are paid for with money from Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

For more information, see and search Black History Month or call 651-450-2900.

Eagan, Rosemount

Interest-free loans offered for energy improvements

Eagan and Rosemount homeowners can receive no-interest loans from the Dakota County Community Development Agency (CDA) to make energy efficiency improvements.

The loans may be used for wall and attic insulation, air infiltration, sealing, venting, furnace repair or replacement, and installation of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

For those who qualify for the loans, the CDA will make home visits and determine what needs to be done.

The 15-year loans require no repayment until ownership of the home changes or the loan holder moves from the home. The minimum loan amount is $4,000, and the maximum is $8,500.

Homeowners can request applications by calling 651-675-4469 or visiting

Applicants must live in Eagan or Rosemount, have assets less than $60,000 and meet other qualifications.


Club names citizen of year

The Eagan Rotary Club will name Karen Akslen as its first Eagan Citizen of the Year at its annual gala on Saturday at the Eagan Community Center, recognizing her for personifying the value of "service above self."

While volunteering at her church, Berean Baptist, Akslen became involved with foster care volunteer work. This led her to learn about Lincoln Place, a Dakota County Community Development Agency apartment building that provides a home for young adults in danger of homelessness, the club said. Akslen began providing a home-cooked meal for the residents once a month, which she later increased to twice a month. Other church members have since pitched in, and every Thursday night is now "meal night" at Lincoln place.

Staff reports