Dakota County sheriff’s deputy Matt Schuster and his canine partner, Ace, recently completed recertification for narcotics detection through the U.S. Police Canine Association. Among 60 K-9s at the trial, Schuster and Ace finished first on the interior search with a perfect score and third overall, with a score of 199.6 out of 200. Schuster and Ace have worked together since 2007.

Dakota County

Get your bin

Compost pails and rainwater barrels are on sale for a reduced rate for Dakota County residents through the Recycling Association of Minnesota.

Products are available at http://tinyurl.com/o8w45dx, with pickup dates ranging from April 17 to June 6 at locations in the Twin Cities. The pickup date for the Burnsville distribution site is June 6.

Compost piles need an equal mix of brown and green materials to feed microbes and make rich compost. Brown materials include items such as dried leaves, twigs and wood chips. Green materials include fruit and vegetable leftovers, grass clippings and coffee grounds.

The Recycling Association advises those interested in composting to pick a level location about 5 feet square, preferably out of direct sunlight and away from roof drainage. The agency also suggested checking with your city to see if it has any regulations, such as hiding a bin away from street view.

Trail passes

Archery and equestrian trail passes for Dakota County parks will go on sale April 8.

People 18 and older need a daily or seasonal pass to use those trails.

The cost is $5 for a daily pass or $32.14 for a seasonal pass. They can be purchased online at http://tinyurl.com/kl3jvm2, or by calling 952-891-7000 during business hours.


Blue Thumb workshop April 9

A free workshop to learn about rain gardens, native gardens and other water-saving plantings will be held at 6:15 p.m. April 9 at Burnsville City Hall, 100 Civic Center Pkwy.

The workshop is open to all Dakota County residents. Those who attend will be eligible to apply for a Blue Thumb grant through the county to help build a water-quality-friendly project. The city of Burnsville also offers grants of up to $1,000 for residents with qualified water-quality improvement projects.

Preregistration is required for the workshop. Go to http://www.dakotaswcd.org/bluethumb.html.


Development meeting

A public meeting on development in the city will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Rosemount Community Center, 13885 S. Robert Trail.

University of Minnesota students will share their findings from a survey of residents that asked about the direction and pace of industrial, commercial and residential development.

Garden plot lottery

Monday is the deadline to apply for a garden plot in Rosemount.

Unlike previous years, no one is guaranteed a plot, but those wanting a 20 by 20 foot or 10 by 20 foot piece of land to grow vegetables or flowers can fill out an application at www.ci.rosemount.mn.us. Gardeners selected for a plot will be notified in early April.

The plots are available at Biscayne, Jaycee, Winds and Lions parks and at the new Flint Hills Outdoor Recreation Complex at Akron Avenue and Bonaire Path. All the locations have good soil and water sources, the city said.

For more information, call Tom Schuster at 651-322-6005.



About back-yard fires

Apple Valley is reminding residents of single-family homes that recreational fires, bonfires and barbecues are allowed in the city — within limits.

Here are the rules:

• Fires, either on the ground or in free-standing containers, must be contained to a 3-by-3-by-3 foot area and flames should not shoot higher than 3 feet.

• Only clean, dry firewood can be used; yard waste and treated lumber are not allowed.

• Fires must be at least 25 feet from the nearest combustible structure and at least 15 feet from the nearest property line.

• An adult resident and a water source, such as a garden hose, must be present from the start to the finish of the fire.

• Residents of multifamily homes, such as apartments, condos and townhouses, should check with their association before making or using a fire pit on the property.

For more information, call the Apple Valley Fire Department at 952-953-2600.


Family Fun Fest

Lakeville’s annual free Family Fun Fest will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. April 11 at Ames Arena, 19900 Ipava Av.

The movie “Big Hero 6” will be shown at 7 p.m. People should bring a chair or a blanket to sit on. Activities and features from 5 to 7 p.m. include inflatable jumpers, ice skating, games, face painting, chair massages, concession and sponsor booths and other children’s activities.


Thrift store finds

The Textile Center will sponsor a “Thrift Store Transformation” event for teens age 13 to 18 from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Farmington Library, 508 3rd St. Participants should bring an item of clothing they’d like to restyle.

Registration is required and teens are encouraged to arrive at least five minutes early.

To register, go to http://tinyurl.com/kbdb2ja.

Pat Pheifer