Local nonprofit DARTS will launch its new “Memory Cafe” Sept. 12, an opportunity for social interaction and activities for people with dementia or cognitive impairments and their caregivers. Crafts, games and conversation are offered at the events, which will be held monthly.

The events will fill a need for caregivers, who are often isolated and may find public outings challenging, DARTS staff said in a news release.

The first meeting will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the BreakAway Cafe (121 3rd St. E., Hastings), followed by meetings on the second Tuesday of the month at the same location.

The events’ timing coincides with the Hastings LOOP bus service, a door-to-door transit service for seniors.

Attendance is free. The United Way of Hastings and the BreakAway Cafe are sponsors.

DARTS is a community-based nonprofit serving seniors and their families in the south metro.

For information e-mail Tabatha Barrett at tabatha.barrett@darts1.org.

Erin Adler

Dakota County

Historical Society to host Civil War Weekend

The Dakota County Historical Society will hold its annual Civil War Weekend, which encourages the public to learn about the reality of the “War Between the States” more than 150 years ago.

This year’s theme is titled, “Where the soldier spent his time: The Civil War encampment.” Visitors will learn about the typical lifestyle in the camps and how soldiers’ surroundings affected their physical and mental health. The two-day event will involve re-enactors, music from the era and various presentations.

The cost is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors and $7 for children ages 5 to 17. Children 4 years old and under and members of the Dakota County Historical Society are free. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 9 and 10 at the Leduc Historic Estate at 1629 Vermillion St., Hastings.

Erin Adler

Dakota County

Water quality meetings planned

Six community meetings about improving water quality are scheduled for September around Dakota County.

Wilderness in the City and Conservation Minnesota, both nonprofits, are co-hosting the meetings, which will focus on community challenges relating to water quality and what residents can do about them.

The impetus for the gatherings is Governor Mark Dayton’s goal to improve the state’s water quality 25 percent by 2025.

Meetings will be held:

From 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Steeple Center, 14344 Cameo Ave W., Rosemount, room 202.

From 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Burnhaven Library, 1101 County Road 42 W, Burnsville.

From 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sept. 9 at Apple Valley Community Center, 14603 Hayes Road, Apple Valley.

From 6 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 21 at Rasmussen College, 3500 Federal Drive, Eagan, Room 116.

From 6 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 26 at Inver Glen Library, 8098 Blaine Ave E., Inver Grove Heights.

From 6 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 28 at Heritage Library in Lakeville, 20085 Heritage Drive (co-hosted by Lakeville Friends of the Environment).

Erin Adler

New Prague

Police hire two new officers

The New Prague Police Department has hired two recruits since June, bolstering the agency’s numbers to 10 full-time officers.

Officer Zak Ambroz previously worked for Lonsdale Police before joining New Prague’s force June 1. He earned his bachelor’s degree in law enforcement from Minnesota State University Mankato and an associate degree from Alexandria Technical College.

Neil Flum, a former correctional officer for Scott County, was hired a few weeks later. Flum graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in criminology and later attended the Law Enforcement Skills Program at Metropolitan State University.

Liz Sawyer


Recycling Facility to collect yard waste

Starting Sunday, Scott County residents are invited to drop off yard waste for free at the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community’s Organics Recycling Facility.

The facility at 1905 Mystic Lake Drive S. will accept drop-offs every Sunday in September and October from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Residents must show an ID to prove they live in the county. The site accepts items such as leaves, brush, shrubs, logs, mulch and grass clippings.

For information, visit www.smscorf.com/services.

Liz Sawyer


Police K-9 gets suited up for duty

Officer Jet, a fluffy German shepherd, will soon look the part of an official peace officer.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., a Massachusetts-based nonprofit, will donate a bullet and stab protective vest for Jet. The vest is expected to arrive in eight to 10 weeks. It will be embroidered with the commemoration, “In memory of K-9 Rocco, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.”

Since 2009, the charity has provided 2,600 protective service vests to dogs working in law enforcement throughout the United States. The program is open to dogs actively employed with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months old. New K-9 graduates, as well as K-9s with expired vests, are also eligible to participate. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, visit www.vik9s.org.

Liz Sawyer