Dakota Valley Symphony performs

The Dakota Valley Symphony Orchestra will present "The Feeling in Baroque Music II" at 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday at the Ames Center, 12600 Nicollet Av. S. in Burnsville. The featured artist will be retired St. Paul Chamber Orchestra harpsichordist Layton (Skip) James.

Tickets are $20 for adults; $15 for seniors, and $5 for students of any age. They are available at the Ames Center box office at 952-895-4680 or through Ticketmaster.

'Narnia: The Ballet' set for Ames Center

Tickets are available now for Twin Cities Ballet of Minnesota's "Narnia: The Ballet," which will be performed May 8 to 10 at the Ames Center, 12600 Nicollet Av. S. in Burnsville.

The production is based on C.S. Lewis' classic book "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" and features original story adaptation, music compilation, stage designs, sets, costumes and choreography.

Ticket prices are: $34, $30 and $18; for seniors 65 and older and children 12 and under, $30, $26 and $18. They are available at the Ames Center box office at 952-895-4680 or through Ticketmaster.


Polar plunge raises thousands of dollars

About 1,000 people jumped into a freezing cold lake on Feb. 28 for the 10th annual South Metro Polar Plunge, raising more than $232,000 for Minnesota Special Olympics, organizers said.

Among the plungers were Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie and three of his deputies, along with Savage Police Chief Rodney Seurer, his wife and a few dozen of his relatives and friends.

Gun permit applications decline

The Sheriff's Office accepted 3,052 gun applications for permits to carry, purchase and renew in 2014, the agency said. That number was down 33.9 percent from 2013 and about the same as in 2012.

The notable increase in 2013 — to 4,620 permits — was attributed to the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, which spurred many gun control discussions and debates.

According to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, permits issued in the state were down 31 percent in 2014. Dakota County had the third-most permits issued, behind Hennepin and Anoka counties. As of Dec. 31, there were 13,127 permits issued in Dakota County.


Road improvement meetings planned

An informational meeting about the Maple Lane, Mushtown Road and Panama Avenue improvement project will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday in the Parkview Room at Prior Lake City Hall, 4646 Dakota St. SE.

The meeting will include a review of the proposed street, storm sewer and utility improvements. Engineers will be available to answer questions.


Book club for adults meets at library

The Savage Pagers book club will meet from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Savage Library, 13090 Alabama Av. S.

The club is for adults. The book for March is "My Antonia." For April, it is "Safe From the Sea," and for May, "The Kitchen House."

Free small business counseling available

The South Metro chapter of SCORE will offer free, confidential small-business counseling, coaching and mentoring from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Savage Library, 13090 Alabama Av. S.

To register, call 952-707-1770. For more information, go to www.score-mn.org.

AARP offers tax assistance

AARP will continue to offer free tax assistance to low-income seniors and families eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit from noon to 3 p.m. Mondays through April 13 at the Savage Library, 13090 Alabama Av. S.

There are no appointment times available; only walk-ins will be accepted.

Scott County

Tap into syrup

Oh, the sweetness. Children and adults can learn how to identify maple trees, tap them, collect the sap and boil it into syrup at an event from 2 to 4 p.m. Friday at Cleary Lake Regional Park, 18106 Texas Av., Prior Lake.

The cost is $5 (or $6, including an optional $1 donation). Registration is required. Go to www.threeriversparks.org.


Dog walkers serve as neighborhood watch

The Shakopee Police Department is encouraging dog walkers to be extra sets of eyes and ears for law enforcement while they're out exercising themselves and their pets.

A Dog Walker Watch class will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Shakopee police station, 475 Gorman St. Graduates of the class will receive a certificate and a dog bandanna. People without dogs are also welcome to attend. Refreshments will be served.

To register, go to www.shakopeemn.gov/dogwalkerwatch or call 952-233-9441.

Construction to begin on Hwy. 169

Construction of a third southbound lane of Hwy. 169 between County Road 21 and County Road 83 in Shakopee is expected to begin in April.

The $1.5 million project, which is meant to ease traffic congestion in Shakopee, is being led and funded by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. The project is scheduled to be completed in August.

As part of the project, the southbound Hwy. 169 shoulder will be reconstructed to put an additional driving lane before the County Road 83 exit. To minimize disruption, both existing lanes and the exit ramp will be open to traffic during this project.

When complete, the one-mile stretch of road will contain a new driving lane with a 10-foot shoulder all the way to the County Road 83 exit. Currently, southbound Hwy. 169 drops from three lanes to two lanes one mile before the heavily used County Road 83 exit.


Park hosts bunnies, egg hunts and crafts

Children ages 3 to kindergarten can meet the Easter bunny, hunt for special prize eggs and do crafts starting at 8:15 a.m. March 28 at the Thompson Park Activity Center, 1200 Stassen Lane in West St. Paul.

Children in kindergarten through fifth-grade can do crafts at the center from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m. March 28. The crafts will be followed by an egg hunt at 8 p.m. Organizers urged parents to bring along a flashlight for the egg hunt at dusk. The cost for each is $3. Register by March 23 at www.wspmn.gov.

Pat Pheifer