People curious about law enforcement can get a peek inside the criminal justice system by participating in the new Citizen Academy to be offered this spring by the Dakota County Sheriff's Office.

The classes, designed to give residents a chance to learn more about law enforcement in local communities, will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursdays from March 1 through April 19.

A wide range of topics will be covered, from history of the sheriff's office to handling of traffic stops. The judicial process will be discussed, and a Taser demonstration is planned.

Anyone interested in signing up for the Citizen Academy can contact Capt. Jim Rogers at the Dakota County Sheriff's Office, at 651-438-4721 or


Community awards

Five people who have worked to make Burnsville a better place have been honored by the city with Community Builder Awards.

The annual awards recognize community building, acts of bravery and lifelong impacts on quality of life in Burnsville.

Amie Burrill of the Burnsville Convention and Visitors Bureau was recognized for leading the effort to get the city recognized by Rand McNally and USA Today as one of the nationwide finalists for "Best Small Town for Food."

School District 191 Band Director Gregory Sylvestor won the award for his musical and volunteer contributions, including his compositions to honor Burnsville and Heart of the City and bugle playing at memorial services.

Sasha Martin was recognized for her efforts to keep youth programming in the spotlight as the state dealt with its budget deficit, organizing her peers at The Garage to contact elected representatives and the governor and urge them to continue financial support for youth programs.

Realtor Richard Tucker of Coldwell Banker Burnet was named a Community Builder for connecting real estate agents with the school district, city and other groups.

Cindy Koehler was recognized for her longtime involvement with Kids 'n Kinship, a Dakota County mentoring program, and her volunteer work as a tutor for school kids and exercise instructor for seniors.


New city clerk

Lillydale has a new city clerk starting this month. Mary K. Schultz, the former city clerk/administrator of Hampton, was chosen by the city council from 40 applicants. Schultz had worked for Hampton since 2007.


Expo is Saturday

The Farmington Community Expo will be held on Saturday morning at Farmington High School, 20655 Flagstaff Av.

The event, scheduled for 9 a.m.-noon, will feature information on area businesses, community education and city parks programs.

There will be cooking demonstrations, Farmington youth sports registration and refreshments provided by the Tiger Snack Shack.

For more information, call the Community Education office at 651-460-3200.


Nonprofit grants

Nonprofits based in and serving Eagan are encouraged to apply for the Eagan Foundation's 2012 grants program.

Grants are typically $1,000 or less. For applications and grant criteria, see Applications are due Feb. 24 and can be mailed to Eagan Foundation, c/o Community Grants committee, P.O. Box 211192, Eagan MN 55121. Awards will be announced in March. For more information, contact the Eagan Foundation at admin