Former Dakota County Sheriff Dave Bellows has taken a temporary post in academia.

He will spend the upcoming school year managing the criminal justice, emergency medical services and law enforcement programs at Inver Hills Community College in Inver Grove Heights.

He took over the interim job of director of emergency services at the beginning of the month.

“It was intriguing,” Bellows said of the job offer. “Inver Hills was actually where I got … my law enforcement degree.”

He worked in law enforcement for 35 years, and stepped down as sheriff last year after holding the post for one four-year term. In addition to studying law enforcement at Inver Hills, Bellows has a bachelor’s degree from Metropolitan State University and earned his master’s in public administration at Hamline University.

Bellows said he is not interested in staying in the position long-term.

“If I can help them find a permanent replacement, I’m fine with that,” he said.

Jessie Van Berkel



Fire department adds oxygen masks for pets

Maple Grove is the latest metro area fire department to get free animal rescue oxygen masks that can be used to give oxygen to pets rescued from fires.

On July 15, the west metro city’s fire department received six mask kits donated from Invisible Fence Co. of Minnesota. An estimated 40,000 to 150,000 pets die in fires each year, according to Invisible Fence, which has donated more than 10,000 masks to fire stations throughout the U.S. and Canada as part of its Project Breathe campaign.

In Minnesota, the company has donated 81 animal oxygen mask kits to fire stations in Hopkins, Excelsior, Chanhassen, St. Bonifacius, Victoria, Albertville, St. Anthony, Long Lake, Minneapolis and Mound.




Vikings pay for new stadium glow lights

The new Minnesota Vikings’ stadium will have “colored bowl glow lights” because the team is putting in another $300,000 to pay for them.

Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority executive director Ted Mondale said the lights will give the stadium roof an appearance of floating over the bowl. The interior lights will glow through the roof and around the clerestory glass that rings the building just under the roof.

They can be illuminated in different colors. “So when Prince plays there, we can make them purple,” Mondale said.

Bird-safe glass was also briefly discussed at Friday’s regular monthly meeting.

Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen said the state Audubon Society wasn’t ready for testing to begin yet on 3M-developed protective film.

Minneapolis Audubon member Jerry Bahls, who has long pushed for safer glass, urged for careful tracking of bird safety. In one hopeful sign for environmentalists, Bahls said he noted some of the glass was tilted rather than vertical. The tilted glass is easier for birds to avoid, Bahls said.

The bird advocates have been worried about migratory birds smashing into the massive stadium’s glassy exterior. They unsuccessfully sought fritted glass.

Rochelle Olson



Library access moves to transit center

Washington County libraries and the city of Newport are moving the Newport Library lockers and book return from Newport City Hall to the Newport Transit Station, 2222 Maxwell Av. The station offers enough space to double the number of lockers from 10 to 20. What the system calls “express lockers” and book return are available 24/7.

When users request titles from the Washington County library catalog, they can be notified by e-mail when the materials are ready for pickup at the secure lockers outside the transit station. Returns can be made to the station’s own book return or any public library in the metro area. For information, visit or call 651-459-2040.

Dave Peterson