January is National Skating Month, and a free skating event will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 4, at the Burnsville Ice Center, 251 Civic Center Pkwy. It is sponsored by the Minnesota Valley Figure Skating Club and the Burnsville Ice Center Learn to Skate Program.

In addition to free admission and skate rental, the event will include free lessons for new skaters. Lesson space is limited, and lessons will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

At 2 p.m., registration will begin for Learn to Skate winter lessons. Group and private lessons are available for ages 3 to adult. Registration can be done in person at the Ice Center, or online at www.burnsville.org/LTS. For further information, call 952-895-4657.

Dakota County libraries

Drop-in sessions offer help with e-books

Did you get an e-book for the holidays and need some help figuring it out? The Dakota County Library system offers drop-in sessions that might be the answer. No registration needed. Here are sessions on the schedule this week:

• Tuesday, Jan. 6: 10-11:30 a.m. at Burnhaven, 1101 W. County Road 42, Burnsville. 952-891-0300

• Thursday, Jan. 8,: 6-7:30 p.m. at Galaxie, 14955 Galaxie Av., Apple Valley. 952-891-7045

• Saturday, Jan. 10, 10:30 a.m. to noon at Wescott, 1340 Wescott Road, Eagan. 651-450-2900


FANtastic Saturdays at Community Center

The Eagan Community Center will hold another “FANtastic Saturday” from 5 to 9 p.m. this Saturday, Jan. 10. The events take place each Saturday, and are family-oriented evenings that feature gym games, a movie and crafts, Children must be accompanied by an adult, and admission is $4 per child.

The Community Center is located at 1501 Central Pkwy., Eagan. For further information, call the center at (651) 675-5550.


Community Expo is on the horizon

Farmington’s annual Community EXPO will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 31, at Farmington High School, and the deadline for businesses or organizations to register is Thursday, Jan. 8.

Businesses must be located within the Farmington Area Public School District. The city notes the event is promotional, and no sales of merchandise are allowed.

Planned features at the Jan. 31 event include:

• community education and city of Farmington program information

• youth sports program information and registration

• family-friendly and informational exhibits

• displays from local agencies and organizations

• refreshments and entertainment

For further information, go to www.ci.farmington.mn.us.


Youth ice fishing contest next month

Valley Lake will be the location for some holesome activity on Feb. 7, when the Knights of Columbus sponsor an ice fishing contest. The contest will take place from noon to 2 p.m. and is free, but participants will need to bring their own gear and bait. Prizes will be awarded in various categories for kids 13 and under.

You can register the day of the event at Valley Lake Park, 16050 Garrett Path. For further information, call Lakeville Parks & Recreation at (952) 985-4600


Police sergeant is employee of the year

Sgt. Bryan Burkhalter of the Rosemount Police Department was recently named Rosemount’s 2014 Employee of the Year, recognized for service to the department and the community.

Burkhalter, who became a Rosemount police officer in 1987, was one of six city workers nominated by colleagues and is the 12th person to win the annual award.

Starting in May, he served a stint as interim police chief before the current chief, Mitchell Scott, started on the job.

“Sgt. Burkhalter rose to the occasion,” Scott said. “His actions truly made my transition as your new chief easier.”

Scott also said: “Sgt. Burkhalter is always one to go the extra mile and give 110 percent to ensure the residents of Rosemount are safe and secure.”

Names of employees of the year are engraved on a plaque displayed at City Hall.

Apple Valley

Winter concert series begins Jan. 17

The Frozen Apple Winter Concert Series kicks off Jan. 17 with a performance by the jazz-funk group New Sound Underground at the Valleywood Golf Course Clubhouse. The concert is set for 6 to 9 p.m. and is free, with food and beverages available for purchase onsite.

Future concerts will feature Uncommon Roots on Feb. 7 and Michael Monroe on March 7. Both of those are also scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. at the Valleywood clubhouse, 4851 McAndrews Road, Apple Valley.

The series is sponsored by the Apple Valley Arts Foundation.


Open house set on Argenta Trail project

Dakota County and Inver Grove Heights are conducting a study for the realignment of Argenta Trail in the area of Hwy. 55, and the public is invited to an open house on the project from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 7. Attendees will have a chance to learn about proposed realignment options, to ask questions and to provide feedback.

Wednesday’s open house will take place at the Veterans Memorial Community Center, Community Room No. 3, 8055 Barbara Av., Inver Grove Heights.