The city of Eagan is planning monthly events and promotions throughout 2013 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Eagan Community Center, starting with a fitness promotion and a birthday party this month.

New members can join the fitness center for $10 in January. The birthday party is 5-9 p.m. Jan. 26. There will also be a blood drive from 1-7 p.m. on Jan. 31.

Throughout the year, admission to the Blast indoor playground will be $3 - down from $5. The center is also planning surprise gifts for guests on the 10th of each month, the city says.

To make an appointment for the blood drive, see and enter code ECCBirthday. Call the Eagan Community Center at 651-675-5550 or follow the city on Facebook for more details.

The center is at 1501 Central Pkwy.


Babysitting classes for 'tweens and teens

Babysitting classes for ages 11 to 14 through the Eagan YMCA will teach about safety, life-saving techniques and behavior management.

The first of two Safe Sitter Program classes will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. next Saturday; the second is March 16. The cost is $55 per participant, and classes are open to members and nonmembers of the Y.

Participants will receive an official certification at the end of the course.

Registration is required; register at the Eagan YMCA's member service desk. For more information, contact Karen Roberts at 651-683-4717 or karen.roberts@ymcatwin


County still seeking photo contest entries

The county has extended its deadline for submissions for a photo exhibit through Jan. 28.

Photographers must be Dakota County residents age 8 or older, and each entrant may submit two photos reflecting the theme "Human Faces of Dakota County."

Eighteen winning photographs, chosen by the county Board of Commissioners, will be displayed at the Dakota County Western Service Center in Apple Valley for six months starting in March.

The photography exhibit is a project of the Dakota County Public Art Citizen Advisory Committee and the Dakota County Historical Society, with the goal of making local art more accessible to residents, according to the county.

Photographs must be 11 by 14 inches. Framing will be done by the county. Criteria for photos and instructions for submissions are at and can be found by searching "photography exhibit." Photographers can also contact Jean Erickson with questions at 651-438-4286 or


Info center open for business

Rosemount recently had a ribbon cutting for its Front Porch information center for visitors and residents at the Steeple Center on Hwy. 3 downtown.

The center will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through next Saturday. It will be staffed by volunteers from the Rosemount Area Arts Council. In return, the city will give the council free space for its displays and shows in the Steeple Center.


Men win youth service awards

A Burnsville businessman and a supervisor at The Landing, a historic village in Shakopee, recently received Willis E. Branning Excellence in Youth Employment Services Awards.

Businessman Orz Szabo and The Landing supervisor Jefferson Spilman received the awards at the Dakota-Scott Workforce Investment Board's annual awards event last month at the Eagan Community Center. The award was just renamed after Branning, a longtime Dakota County commissioner and advocate for youth and youth employment opportunities.

Szabo owns and runs Plus Center, a Burnsville service treating children with motor skill disabilities. He uses conductive education, a system of teaching children with motor disabilities by combining a traditional school and motor control curriculums.

Christine Hermes-Parker, a Lakeville schools teacher who nominated Szabo, said he provided high school-aged students with work opportunities by hiring a number of students, honing their employability skills and encouraging them to reach their employment goals.

For the past 17 years, The Landing -- formerly known as Murphy's Landing -- has been part of an effort to help teenage students who are behind earn high school credits, develop work skills, and get paid for their efforts. Imbedding the academic program in a work setting helps students understand the connection between school and work.

Spilman tailored summer Landing activities to the students' skill levels. He balanced work with time spent on academic requirements and assigned work students could complete in the time allowed. Typically 90-95 percent of student workers complete the program and earn academic credits.

The Branning award is presented to an organization, program, employer or an individual in Dakota and Scott counties who show commitment and effectiveness in preparing young people ages 14-21 to enter the workforce.