Dakota County Sheriff's Office K-9 officer Cado is receiving a bullet- and stab-proof vest just like his human partner wears, thanks to an Inver Grove Heights couple and a Massachusetts-based nonprofit group that provides protective vests for police canines.

Deputy Brian Smidt has worked with Cado, a 2-year-old German shepherd born in Slovakia, since April 2013. When Susan and Keith Ogorek saw a news article on a South St. Paul Police Department K-9 named Sammy that had a vest, they contacted the president of Vested Interest in K-9s Inc. in East Taunton, Mass., to ask about other law enforcement dogs that needed them. The group put them in touch with Smidt.

Cado is one of 18 law enforcement dogs in Minnesota that is being provided with the lifesaving body armor by the group. The vests protect the dogs from bullet and stab wounds as well as blunt-force trauma.

Since 2012, the all-volunteer charity has given vests to canine officers in Roseville, Plymouth, Richfield, Forest Lake, Lino Lakes, Cottage Grove, Mounds View and the Washington County Sheriff's Office, as well as the Dakota County Sheriff's Office and South St. Paul.

The group has donated more than $400,000 worth of canine vests in 36 states since it was started in August 2009.

For more information, go to www.vik9s.org.


Lebanon Hills plan up for review

The Lebanon Hills Regional Park master plan will be before Dakota County commissioners at a public meeting at 9 a.m. Nov. 12 at the Northern Service Center, Conference Room 520, Fifth Floor, 1 Mendota Road, West St. Paul.

The county's planning commission has recommended that the board of commissioners release the draft master plan to the public. The board will discuss that in its Physical Development Committee that day.

The master plan calls for the paving of a bike and walking trail through the park — a development that some residents oppose.

Public comment will be taken at the meeting and limited to 5 minutes. For more information, people can call 952-891-7005.

West St. Paul

Ice arena rented again to Sibley High

West St. Paul will rent its ice arena to Henry Sibley High School again this year under a contract that will renew the arrangement from this fall through the fall of 2015.

The school will pay an hourly rate of $193 — an increase of $3 an hour over the current contract.

The agreement indemnifies the city against any liability or claims arising from the school's use of the arena and requires Sibley to carry insurance covering its use of the arena.

Residents to be surveyed during November

West St. Paul City Council has hired Morris Leatherman to conduct a telephone survey among randomly selected residents in the community during the month of November.

The purpose of the survey is to assess residents' satisfaction with city services and direction. The results will be presented to the City Council at the Dec. 16 meeting and used to guide the council in long range planning.

The survey will cost up to $22,000.


20 hours of training available

The Burnsville Fire Department and the cities of Bloomington and Richfield will provide 20 hours of training in emergency response in November.

Certification in Community Emergency Response is for residents age 16 and older who wish to learn skills that could help save lives in their neighborhood in the event of a disaster. The program encourages participants to help their families, neighbors and worksites prepare for emergencies ranging from natural to man-made disasters. The training occurs over three days and requires participants to be at all three sessions. The first is from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Nov. 15. The other two are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 16 and 17.

All three sessions will take place at Bloomington Fire Station No. 1, 10 W. 95th St., Bloomington. The training is for residents of all three communities.

To register or for more information, visit www.ci.bloomington.mn.us, keyword: CERT; or contact Lisa Brodsky at 952-563-4962 or lbrodsky@ci.bloomington.mn.us. For more information on the Burnsville Fire Department, visit www.burnsville.org/fire.