Emerald ash borer is found in trees in city

The invasive emerald ash borer has been found in trees near an Apple Valley bowling alley, its first known appearance in the city. Signs of the beetles, which bore into ash trees as larvae, were discovered near Bogart's Place in the city's downtown. Dakota County has been on alert since last year, when the emerald ash borer was found in Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan. A county quarantine has restricted transport of ash trees and hardwood firewood. Apple Valley has had a plan since 2010 to treat some infested trees and remove others, said natural resources coordinator Jessica Schaum. The trees near Bogart's have been marked for removal. "By the time we find it in a tree, it's already been there for three or four years," Schaum said. "Hopefully, we're preventing it from moving beyond our boundaries."

Emma Nelson


More safe spaces for Craigslist sellers

Dakota County is joining the list of law enforcement agencies that are designating safe spaces for people conducting online sales transactions through sites such as Craigslist or Facebook.

Two sites, in the Dakota County Sheriff Department's lobby and the Dakota County Administration Center parking lot, will be under surveillance starting this month, following similar actions by sheriff's offices in Scott, Hennepin and Anoka counties.

Law enforcement officials are reminding citizens to conduct sales in public areas after shots were fired between Craigslist users at a Wal-Mart in Shakopee last month. No one was injured.


New libraries chief takes the helm

A Dakota County senior library manager has become the system's new director.

Margaret Stone, who is president of the Minnesota Library Association, was introduced to the County Board at a meeting last week. She replaces Ken Behringer, who had held the position since 2004 and left at the end of 2015.

Previously, Stone worked in other metro-area county library systems, primarily in Washington County. She said she was drawn to Dakota County's reputation for innovation, customer service and workplace environment.

"Dakota County has a really excellent reputation in the library world," she said.

Emma Nelson


Planning sessions set for May referendum

Between now and 2021, the Prior Lake-Savage School District expects to enroll 1,500 more students. To accommodate them, officials say the district needs more space — and additional funding to create that space. A May referendum is scheduled, with the district making decisions about what amenities to include in its request between now and early March.

Projects being considered include construction of an elementary school and additions to all buildings. The board is also considering a technology levy.

Two information sessions will be held to get public input:

• 7 p.m. Thursday at Prior Lake High School (7575 150th St. W., Savage)

• 7 p.m. Feb. 16 at Twin Oaks Middle School (15860 Woodside Road SE., Prior Lake)

For questions, e-mail:

Erin Adler


Pine Bend refinery gets a new manager

Flint Hills Resources has named Hastings native Geoff Glasrud vice president and manager of its Pine Bend oil refinery in Rosemount.

Glasrud, who has worked at the refinery since 1995, is a graduate of Hastings High School and holds a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota.

Glasrud takes over for Scott Lindemann, who managed the refinery for eight years. Lindemann was promoted to vice president in Flint Hills' corporate operations division.



Van service offered to medical buildings

DARTS, a nonprofit group that serves the elderly in Dakota County, plans to offer a transportation service to connect Burnsville residents with nearby medical buildings.

Starting Feb. 25, the DARTS Wellness Van will operate one day a week, completing a loop every 30 minutes for five hours, with stops including the Park Nicollet and Fairview clinics.

Passenger fare is $7.50 for each one-way trip.

For more information, including a route map, call 651-234-2290.