The Dakota County Library will sponsor its annual Teen Short Story Contest, open to residents ages 12 to 18, during October. The story can be up to 1,000 words and must describe a photograph. The image students should write about can be viewed at by searching for “short story.” Rules and an entry form are also available online or at any library branch.

All entries must be submitted to the library branches or by e-mail to Julia Carlis at by 5:30 p.m. Oct. 31. Six winners in two age groups will be announced in mid-November.

Apple Valley

Council updates ordinances for cats, dogs

Apple Valley residents with feisty dogs or numerous cats may face to new regulations from the city.

The City Council approved two ordinance changes Sept. 22 to clarify existing rules regulating catteries and one regulating potentially dangerous dogs.

Previously, Apple Valley didn’t specify clearly the number of animals that a cattery can have. The updated ordinance defines a cattery as “any premises used for the purpose of keeping, maintaining, breeding, training or raising more than three and not more than six cats over four months of age.”

The council updated the ordinance on potentially dangerous dogs to make it consistent with state law. A dog qualifies as “potentially dangerous” if it chases or approaches a person on any property that doesn’t belong to the dog owner.

Emma Nelson


Youth center opens recording studio

The Garage youth center is unveiling a new recording studio, with plans to expand its musical offerings in coming years.

Previously a city-run venue, the Garage was taken over by Twin Cities Catalyst Music and reopened in July 2015.

According to a Sept. 26 news release, the recording studio is part of a larger effort to expand music opportunities at the Garage, in collaboration with the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage school district. Plans are in the works for an after-school music workshop, concerts, internships and a music curriculum for the 2017-18 academic year.

The recording studio’s grand opening event is scheduled for 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 6 at the Garage, located at 75 Civic Center Pkwy. in Burnsville.

Emma Nelson


Main Street program coordinator resigns

The coordinator of Shakopee’s Main Street program has resigned after two years.

Laura Pecaut resigned in September, effective immediately, to move closer to family in Iowa. The Chamber of Commerce created the job to develop the Main Street program that started in 2014. The program received national accreditation by the National Main Street Center in June.

Pecaut was responsible for attracting businesses to the historic downtown and County Road 101 district beside the Minnesota River.



City implements transparency tool for citizens, public officials

Rosemount citizens can more easily access city data online with a new budget transparency tool.

The city partnered with a company called OpenGov to publish condensed information on finances and other areas of interest over the last five years. The information is organized into graphs and tables, and web visitors can easily download or share sets of data on social media.

Data sets include the crime rate for serious crimes, tax levy per person and average hours to remove snow. While governmental budgeting information is public, the information organized by OpenGov is touted as more user-friendly than dense, hundred-page documents.



Controversial water treatment plant approved

The Chanhassen City Council approved building a $20 million water treatment in the residential Lake Harrison neighborhood despite opposition from a homeowner’s association that argues the plant will diminish property values. Members of the group had other concerns, including the possibility of a toxic chlorine spill. The city bought the land in 2005 with potential plans to build a water treatment plant.

Many residents hoped the city would relocate the building to a more industrial area, but the council voted 3-2 to move forward. Two dissenting council members, Dan Campion and Elise Ryan, sought a 90-day extension to look at other locations.

Erin Adler