Registration is underway for Eagan's Take A Kid Ice Fishing-Try It Clinic, set for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 18 at Blackhawk Park.

In celebration of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Take A Kid Fishing Day, no fishing licenses are required for the event. Fishing poles and bait also will be provided. Participants are encouraged to bring a chair or bucket to sit on.

The city's water resources staff members and volunteers from the Minnesota In-Fisherman's Club will be on hand to help people learn one of state's most popular outdoor winter sports.

Last year more than 200 people — preschoolers to senior citizens — enjoyed the event. Since ice fishing poles are much shorter than standard poles, they are the perfect size for little hands.

The clinic requires preregistration by phone by calling the Parks and Recreation Department at 651-675-5500 or online at The class number for registration is 20969.


Library closed for remodeling

The Farmington Library closed for remodeling Dec. 31, and starting Jan. 13, it will open in a temporary location at the Farmington City Hall, 430 Third St., right across the street from the library.

The renovation is scheduled to be finished by June.

A remodeling of the Inver Glen Library in Inver Grove Heights also is underway. That library will remain open during construction, which is scheduled to be finished in summer 2014.

Dakota County

Library's winter reading program starts

The Dakota County Library's winter reading program for adults runs from Jan. 6 to Feb. 28. Adults are encouraged to read books and share their review of the book with other library readers.

To fill out a "Winter Jackets" book review form, visit the library website and download a form or find out more at the library of your choice.

The book reviews will be anonymous. For every book read and reviewed, participants are entered into a weekly prize drawing. The more books you read and review, the more chances you have to win.

For more information about Winter Jackets, author events or other library programs, call 651-450-2900 or e-mail

Workshops assist people applying for MNsure

Dakota County is offering workshops to assist people in applying for new MNsure health care programs.

MNsure is a health insurance marketplace where Minnesotans can get help, compare plans and choose from a variety of companies.

Workshops will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on the following dates:

• Wednesday, Jan. 15, at Galaxie Library, 14955 Galaxie Av., Apple Valley; 952-891-7045.

• Monday, Jan. 27, at Burnhaven Library, 1101 W. County Road 42, Burnsville; 952-891-0300.

• Thursday, Feb. 6, at Wentworth Library, 199 E. Wentworth Av., West St. Paul; 651-554-6800.

• Wednesday, Feb. 12, at Wescott Library, 1340 Wescott Road, Eagan; 651-450-2900.

• Thursday, Feb. 20, at Pleasant Hill Library, 1490 S. Frontage Road, Hastings; 651-438-0200.

• Tuesday, Feb. 25, at Heritage Library, 20085 Heritage Drive, Lakeville; 952-891-0360.

• Wednesday, March 5, at Robert Trail Library, 14395 S. Robert Trail, Rosemount; 651-480-1200.

• Tuesday, March 11, at Wentworth Library, 199 E. Wentworth Av., West St. Paul; 651-554-6800.

An application counselor will help participants set up a MNsure account online, guide them through the application and answer questions. Anyone interested in attending should bring the names, dates of birth, incomes and Social Security numbers of anyone in their household applying for health care coverage.

Registration is required. Call the library branch where you hope to attend a session to sign up for its workshop.

South Metro

Buses pass safety inspection

The 128 buses operated by Minnesota Valley Transit Authority — which serves Apple Valley, Burnsville, Rosemount, Eagan and Savage — passed their annual inspection by the Minnesota Department of Transportation with zero deficiencies.

It is the fifth consecutive year of inspections with zero deficiencies.

"MVTA passengers can have confidence that the buses they are riding on a daily basis are safe and well-maintained," said Dan Schmitt, president of Schmitty and Sons, service operator for the MVTA.

Wi-Fi test underway on buses

The Minnesota Valley Transit Authority is trying out a new Wi-Fi service on five buses and at two transit stations. If the service performs well during a 90-day test period, it would be extended to additional buses and stations, the transit agency said.

Buses with Wi-Fi are numbered 4692, 4693, 4048, 4049 and 4946, and they will be in service on 12 routes. Riders looking for a bus with the service will see a Wi-Fi symbol near the passenger boarding door.

Drivers will offer cards showing the network name (MVTA Public Wi-Fi) and password (openMVTA). Use of the system is subject to MVTA's terms and conditions, which are posted on the MVTA's website at

"In the past six months, more and more riders have asked for this service," said MVTA Board Chairman Gary Hansen, who is an Eagan City Council member. "We look forward to rider feedback and to rolling this service out at additional stations and on additional buses."

Call 952-882-7500 for additional information or visit the MVTA website at

Staff reports