Lakeville has decided to follow the lead of neighboring cities by allowing its liquor stores to stay open an hour longer, until 10 p.m. on weeknights, during a trial period this summer.
The City Council voted last week to allow its three municipal liquor stores to stay open until 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday from April 1 through Sept. 30. After evaluating whether the later hours are profitable, the city will consider making the change permanent.
Lakeville stores currently close at 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday. They are open Friday and Saturday until 10 p.m.
Burnsville recently changed its ordinances to allow its liquor stores to remain open until 10 p.m. on weekdays. Apple Valley and Farmington, which like Lakeville only have municipal liquor stores, also are open until 10 p.m., said Brenda Visnovec, Lakeville's liquor operations director.
"We feel because of the increased competition we need to be open until 10 p.m. as well. So we will give it a trial period through Labor Day," she said.
She noted that Lakeville's stores had been open to 10 p.m. in the 1990s but reverted to a 9 p.m. closing in 1999 after a state law was passed requiring all liquor stores in Hennepin and Ramsey counties to close at 8 p.m. That attracted many undesirables to Lakeville, one of the only cities with a late closing time, and resulted in increased theft and shoplifting, so the city changed its closing time, Visnovec said.
Dakota County is looking for volunteers willing to wade into the water and help with the annual Wetland Health Evaluation Program.
Volunteers will work in teams to collect data on plants and macroinvertebrates (think beetles and dragonflies) from wetlands across the county between June and August. All equipment is provided.
Volunteers are asked to commit 10 to 30 hours for training, field work and lab analysis. For more information, go to www.mnwhep.org or call the Dakota County Water Resources Department at 952-891-7000.
The Eagan Foundation, a nonprofit community-building organization, will host a wine-tasting fundraiser April 19.
The fundraiser and silent auction from 6-9 p.m. at the Eagan Community Center will feature samples of wine from the Kowalski Wine Shop and beers from Granite City, along with a buffet catered by Kowalski's. There will be jazz by Kevin Gamble and silent auction items from local businesses.
"The dollars raised from this event help fund our own scholarships and facilitate the scholarships of the many companies and families that work through the Eagan Foundation," said Bob Braun, foundation chairman.
Since 1990, the Eagan Foundation has raised $800,000 for scholarships, community initiatives and community grant programs.
Tickets to the fundraiser are $40 until April 12. After that date, the ticket price will be $50. Tickets can be purchased online at www.eaganfoundation.com.
"Hastings Tastings," a benefit for the Hastings Family Service food shelf, will feature fine foods, a silent auction and entertainment from 5:30-8 p.m. Monday at the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church social hall, 2035 W. 15th St. in Hastings.
Nearly two dozen area establishments will provide samplings of their specialties for guests.
Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the door. For advance ticket information, contact Kelsey Matula at 651-437-7134 or e-mail kelseymatula@ hastingsfamilyservice.org. For more information, go to www. hastingsfamilyservice.org .
Apple Valley will hold a Home & Garden Expo from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Dakota County Western Service Center at Galaxie Road and County Road 42.
Events and activities will include displays of Minnesota Zoo animals, city fire trucks, free seminars and kids' activities.
The Rosemount City Council has asked residents to nominate community volunteers for recognition of their good works.
The names of people or groups whose volunteer efforts add to the city's quality of life should be sent by April 6 to city communications coordinator Alan Cox at 651-322-2078 or firstname.lastname@example.org .mn.us. Cox asks that nominations include contact information for both the volunteer and the person making the nomination.
The City Council will honor volunteers at its meeting on April 17.
JIM ADAMS, LAURIE BLAKE AND Katie Humphrey