Residents of Dakota, Scott and Carver counties will likely see tax hikes in 2017.

County boards in each of the south metro counties approved preliminary property tax levies last week. The levies will be finalized in December, after an opportunity for public comment. All three county boards set their preliminary levies on Sept. 20.

Dakota County commissioners approved a preliminary levy of $132,800,558 — up 2 percent over this year.

Scott County commissioners approved a preliminary levy of $63,660,000, up 4.65 percent.

Carver County commissioners approved a preliminary levy of $51,649,500, up 2.8 percent.

Emma Nelson and Erin Adler


Masonic concert hall celebrates opening

The Minnesota Masonic Heritage Center in Bloomington will present the inaugural concert in its new $20 million Ives Auditorium on Sunday. The show will feature the music of Ludwig van Beethoven, who was a Mason.

The day includes a preconcert talk, the concert and a champagne reception with the musicians after their performance, along with tours. The event includes some of Beethoven’s most popular music, including excerpts from the “Pathétique” piano sonata, the “Archduke” piano trio and “Ode to Joy” from his Ninth Symphony.

The center is located at 11501 Masonic Home Drive, Bloomington. Admission starts at $18.

Erin Adler

Scott County

Police catch indecent exposure suspect

A man who allegedly exposed himself multiple times in New Prague, Belle Plaine and Jordan has been caught with help from each city’s police department and the Scott County Sheriff’s Office, according to Jordan Police Chief Brett Empey.

Between May and July 2016, there were a number of reports of a man in a white minivan exposing his genitals to adult and teenage women. He also concealed his identity.

Police arrested Joseph Gill, 47, of rural Le Sueur County and took him into custody Sept. 16. Empey said that Gill confessed. He has been charged with two felonies, four gross misdemeanors and five misdemeanors.

Erin Adler


Inver Hills seeks comments for accreditation

Inver Hills Community College is seeking comments about the college as officials there prepare for an evaluation by a regional accrediting agency that plans to visit in March 2017. Inver Hills has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1976 and undergoes periodic reviews. Comments should be related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. Submit comments to: Public Comment on Inver Hills Community College, Higher Learning Commission, 230 S. LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, Ill., 60604-1411 or online at

Erin Adler


High school vandals will face charges

The Dakota County Attorney’s Office is expected to charge three people with first-degree criminal damage to property in connection with vandalism at two Lakeville high schools.

On the nights of Sept. 13 and 14, vandals spray-painted profanities and obscene images in black and white paint at Lakeville North and South high schools, said district spokeswoman Amy Olson.

Athletic facilities, including tennis courts, and hundreds of feet of the schools’ outer walls were covered with graffiti, she said, and security cameras were also damaged.

The Lakeville Police Department investigated the incident. Cleanup costs are not yet known, Olson said.

Emma Nelson

Dakota County

County seeks funds for broadband network

Dakota County is seeking $912,000 in state grant funds to build a broadband network that will reach unserved areas on its rural, southern side. The Legislature allocated $35 million this year for the Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program. The grants provide a 50 percent match, up to $5 million. The Dakota County project is expected to cost $1.9 million, with a local match of $988,000. Of that, the county will contribute $494,000.

Emma Nelson