Prior Lake police are letting folks know that a burglar is kicking in front doors on the city's north end in broad daylight.
The burglar knocks on the front door to see if anyone's home, and hearing nothing, kicks in the door, opens the garage from inside, and parks his vehicle inside. He then ransacks the house, stealing things like flat-screen TVs, laptop computers, CD players, remote controls, jewelry, game consoles and golf clubs.
The suspect appears to drive a dirty, dark-colored two-door vehicle with one working tail light, police said.
For anyone not yet relying on GPS, a new highway map of Scott County is now available.
The 2012 version can be picked up at either the government center in Shakopee, at 200 4th Av. W., or at the highway facility near Jordan, at 600 Country Trail E.
The first copy is free; others are a dollar apiece. Call 952-496-8346 if you'd like to have one mailed to you.
Northfield Hospital has proposed making a $105,000 donation to the city's park and recreation program to promote wellness.
The donation was arranged by an ad hoc finance study group appointed by the City Council to review city operations and look at ways to cut costs and find new revenues, said City Administrator Tim Madigan.
The donation "would be used to fund city recreation programs. That fits Northfield Hospital's mission of health and wellness," Madigan said.
He said final council and hospital board approvals are needed, but everyone appears comfortable with the donation.
You're invited for marshmallows and snowshoeing this week at McColl Pond.
The second of two Winter Extravaganzas being staged by the city's parks department is set for 1-3 p.m. on Saturday at the McColl Pond Environmental Learning and Event Center.
Activities include a snowshoe hike around the pond, roasting marshmallows at a bonfire, face-painting and various crafts and activities.
It's all free and no registration is needed.
The center is located at 13550 Dakota Av. S.
Shakopee is the location Thursday for the latest in a series of twice-monthly free health clinics for people who are uninsured, underinsured and underserved.
Scott County has teamed up with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community to provide the clinics, which include screening, preventive care and other assistance. The clinics take place from 2-5 p.m.
Upcoming dates include:
• Thursday at the Russian Baptist Church, 1205 10th Av., Shakopee;
• March 8 at the county fairgrounds, 7151 190th St. W., Jordan;
• March 22 at Savage Public Library, 13090 Alabama Av.;
• April 5 at Russian Baptist Church;
• April 19 at the Scott County fairgrounds.
JIM ADAMS, DAVID PETERSON
NOTE: THESE EXTRA BRIEFS FROM WEST ARE HELD IN RESERVE:
Sixty exhibitors will show their wares and offer tips at a free Home Improvement Fair from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Bloomington Civic Plaza, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Road.
Homeowners can learn how to reduce utility bills through low-cost changes and get ideas for remodeling, additions and upgrades. Bill Bliesath, "The Organizing Guy," will be the featured speaker.
For a list of seminars and a schedule, go to www.ci.bloomington.mn.us and type in the keywords "Home Fair."
As part of a new public awareness campaign sponsored by the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, the arboretum is seeking suggestions about which plants have had the greatest impact in the state's history and the way we live our lives today. The arboretum hopes to come up with a Top 10 list of its plant life all-stars.
Dubbed "10 Plants that Changed Minnesota: Growing Solutions to How the World Lives Today," the initiative, led by horticulture professor Mary Meyer , former interim director of the arboretum, is intended to "build awareness of the crucial role plants play in nourishing and sustaining life on Earth," the arboretum says.
"In asking for nominations, we hope to start conversations about plants and their role in the historic and economic factors that changed the course of our state," Meyer said. School children are encouraged to participate.
Nominations will be accepted through April 15 at the arboretum's website at www.arboretum.umn.edu/10plants.aspx or at the Oswald Visitor Center.
The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's Spring Expo the weekend of March 9-11 will offer discussions on a range of topics, from biodiversity to heirloom plants.
"Learning to Grow, Growing to Learn" is the theme of the event, which will feature lectures, book signings and other attractions for gardening enthusiasts.
Highlights will include: on Friday, programs on seed saving and heirlooms with representatives of the Seed Savers Exchange organization of Decorah, Iowa; on Saturday, book-signings of new gardening editions from Timber Press and author talks; and on Sunday, lectures dealing with native plants, landscaping with grasses and sedges, garden pests and fruit-bearing shrubs and trees.
Displays and information tables on gardening trends and products also will be up throughout the event.
Admission for all three days will be $35 for Arboretum members and $45 for non-members. Daily admission will be $20 for members and $25 for non-members.
For a detailed schedule go to www.arboretum.umn.edu/springexpo2012.aspx call 952-443-1422.