Freeman will appear at free author event
Brian Freeman, a Minnesota-based suspense author, will discuss his books at a Feb. 10 event sponsored by the New Prague Area Education Foundation. The event, the second in the foundation's Minnesota Author Series, is free and open to the public. Social hour is at 5:30 p.m. and the event is at 6:30 p.m. at Prairie Pond Winery, 105 Main St., New Prague. Please register ahead of time at www.therootstogrow.org
Several teams win Future City awards
A number of teams from area schools fared well at the recent Future City competition at the University of Minnesota. Fifty-three teams from Minnesota and North Dakota competed in the Jan. 18 event.
A team from Dodge Middle School in Farmington placed in the top five, winning an honorable mention award for their city, called Artistic Colony.
Nine special awards went to south metro teams, including:
• Most Innovative City Setting: Blackhawk Middle School in Eagan, Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan district, for its city, Orbis
• Engineering Excellence: Friendly Hills Middle School in Mendota Heights, West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan, for Mahogany City
• Safe Drinking Water: Boeckman Middle School in Farmington, Farmington district, for its city, Ironwater Ridge
• Best Energy Use: Scott Highlands Middle School in Apple Valley, Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan district, for its city, Palekaiko
• Readiness for Natural and Man-made Disasters: Scott Highlands Middle School in Apple Valley, Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan district, for its city, Megalopolis
• Most Environmentally Friendly Power Source: Scott Highlands Middle School in Apple Valley, Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan district, for its city, Apollumes
• Best Virtual City: Boeckman Middle School in Farmington, Farmington district, for its city, Minas Tirith
• Best City Model: Rosemount Middle School, Rosemount, Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan district, for Awecity
• Outstanding First Year Participant: Dodge Middle School in Farmington, Farmington district, for its city, Artistic Colony
Union reaches tentative agreement
On Jan. 15, the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage district and Burnsville Education Association (BEA) reached a tentative agreement on a new two-year contract, which would run from July 1, 2013 (retroactively) through June 15, 2015.
Union representatives met six times between January and September 2013 to negotiate. The district requested mediation at the end of September and the two groups met with a mediator in late November.
"Generally, it went smoothly," said Bob Nystrom, BEA president. "I was a little surprised it didn't go quicker."
The BEA board voted this week on whether to bring the contract to all 775 union members. The group would vote on whether to ratify it the first week in February. "I have no reason to believe it won't be ratified. I think it's a fair and competitive settlement," Nystrom said.
BEA represents all licensed, professional staff in the district, including counselors, nurses and adult-education teachers.