south metro

State offers relief to flood-stricken areas

Local governments can request their state aid payments early because of financial hardships caused by the recent severe weather and flooding, the Minnesota Department of Revenue said.

Eight counties had been officially recognized as disaster areas by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) when this section went to press: Chippewa, Freeborn, Jackson, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Renville, and Rock.

Other counties affected by the disaster, and the cities and townships within them, can be eligible for early payment.

Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans said in a written announcement that getting scheduled aid payments “into the hands of local governments months in advance can go a long way in helping them recover and rebuild.”

Normally, aid payments for cities, townships, and counties are made in two installments, once in July and once in December. Minnesota law allows the state to make the December payment earlier if there’s financial hardship due to a natural disaster.

Early payments of state aid have been made in previous natural disasters, most recently during severe flooding in northeastern Minnesota in 2013.


Vintage bands to play for 12 hours straight

Twelve bands will perform in downtown Northfield on Saturday.

The Vintage Band Festival features musical styles ranging from Civil War to Old Time to Jazz. The concerts on Northfield’s Bridge Square start at 9 a.m. and go until 9 p.m.

The music is in conjunction with the Riverwalk Market Fair, including arts, crafts, and fresh foods. The event is free and open to the public, but donations are welcome.

The day is an abbreviated version of a full four-day Vintage Band Festival, next set for July 2016. The schedulefor this Saturday:

9 a.m.: New Prague Area Community Band

10 a.m.: Bridge Square Band

11 a.m.: Sheldon Theatre Brass Band

12 p.m.: “Swing and a Miss”

1 p.m.: Ameriikan Poijat Finnish Brass Band

2 p.m.: Mariachi mi Tierra

3 p.m.: Minnesota State Band

4 p.m.: Cannon Falls Community Band

5 p.m.: Lex Ham Community Band

6 p.m.: Manitou Regimental Brass Band

7 p.m.: New Ulm Original German Band

8 p.m.: Copper Street Brass Quintet

More info:

• On Facebook by searching for “Vintage Band Festival”.

• On Twitter it’s @vintagebandfest

• Online it’s

Dakota County

Helpers sought for fall hiking event

Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan is hosting the National Wildlife Federation’s annual Hike and Seek event and organizers are seeking local volunteers to help make it happen.

The event is Sept. 20. It’s called Hike & Seek, a cross between a scavenger hunt and a 1- to 2-mile nature walk, with live animals, activities and interactive stations along the trail.

It was developed in 2010 for families with young children, making it easier to connect with nature.

Volunteer job descriptions are at

The coordinator is Amelia Todaro, reachable at or at 703-438-6260 in Reston, Va.


City staff run drive for school supplies

City employees in Savage are asking for donated school supplies for kids in need in Scott and Carver counties.

Items will be collected at the following locations through Aug. 8:

• Savage City Hall, 6000 McColl Drive, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

• Public Works Building, 13770 Dakota Ave., 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

• City Liquor stores: Marketplace, 8200 County Road 42, and Dan Patch, 4425 W. 123rd St.

Marketplace is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday, Dan Patch from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday.

Items must be new and can include blue, black and red pens; colored pencils; crayons; dry-erase markers; blunt-edged scissors; pencils; markers; pencil cases; erasers; rulers; folders; glue; loose-leaf paper; spiral notebooks; and scientific calculators.

Staff reports