Those interested in spring and summer jobs with the city's Parks and Recreation Department, including at The Grove aquatics and fitness center, can attend a job fair from 4-6 p.m. Sunday at Veterans Memorial Community Center.

Jobs available include front desk and child care attendants, concessions staff, youth sports instructors and officials, fitness and aquatics staff including lifeguards, and day camp staff. Benefits include free fitness center and pool memberships.

The community center is located at 8055 Barbara Av. Call 651-450-2580 for information.


County seeks volunteers for Lebanon Hills citizen's panel

The Dakota County Board of Commissioners is seeking applicants to serve on a Lebanon Hills Regional Park 2014 Master Plan citizen panel.

The panel will review elements of the park's draft 2014 Master Plan and provide comments to the County Board.

The panel — which will consist of no more than 20 members — is expected to meet approximately eight times between April 1 and Dec. 31, with meetings in the evenings and lasting up to three hours.

The county is looking for applicants who respect the perspectives of potential park users; have an ability to work toward common ground on a range of controversial and complex issues; and support the mission of Lebanon Hills Regional Park as serving the diverse outdoor recreation needs of the Twin Cities metro area and all Dakota County residents.

Applications can be mailed to the Senior Administrative Coordinator to the Board, Dakota County Administration Center, 1590 Hwy. 55, Hastings, MN 55033, e-mailed to, or faxed to 651-438-4405. They must be submitted by the end of the day on March 28.

Each commissioner will use the pool of applicants to nominate two representatives to the panel. Appointments will be made April 8.

For more information or to obtain an application, visit and search for master plan.


New city website domain is now up and running

Cities have been gradually abandoning 90s-style Web domains in favor of simpler, more intuitive ones, and Hastings is the latest, leaving behind in favor of

The new domain was put into service on Wednesday and fits into a larger rebranding effort taking place at City Hall, which also includes a new logo the city is using on e-mail signatures, on social media pages and in electronic communications. New letterhead, business cards and vehicle graphics will follow throughout 2014, said city spokeswoman Lee Stoffel. The city will also roll out a redesigned website at the beginning of the summer.

"One of our major goals is to simplify some of the information we offer and make it extremely easy for our users to find what they are looking for," Stoffel said.

All employees of the city will now be reached on e-mail at (username)@hast, with the username remaining the same as before.


Drivers of the year named

The Minnesota Valley Transit Authority has named two Drivers of the Year.

Full-time driver Fesseha Mekonnen and part-time driver Liz McLeod, both Burnsville residents, received the honors.

Mekonnen is a native of Ethiopia and moved to Minnesota 11 years ago. He has been a bus driver for the MVTA for seven years. He drove a bus for a nonprofit in Ethiopia before moving to the United States.

McLeod has worked for MVTA for two years and has operated nearly every express bus route as well as local routes in Burnsville and Eagan.


Workshop gets a jump on spring gardening

Spring is still weeks away, but gardeners can plan now to learn more about doing their part to counteract the alarming decline in the populations of bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects.

The city of Eagan's Lakes and Wetlands Program is sponsoring a Blue Thumb workshop 6:15 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, March 17, at Eagan City Hall.

Blue Thumb workshops teach residents how to create their own rain gardens and native plant gardens to attract pollinators. Over the past several years, more than 200 Eagan residents have attended a Blue Thumb workshop.

Registration is required. Introductory workshops are free and are open to all Eagan and Dakota County residents.An optional hands-on project design course, to be held two weeks after the initial workshop, will cost $25.Attendees to the design classes can apply for a $250 grant to help install their Blue Thumb garden project.

Register for Blue Thumb classes at or call the Dakota County Soil & Water Conservation District at 651-480-7777.