SCOTT COUNTY

Group organizing effort to save farmland

Nearly 75 people turned out recently for a public meeting in New Prague aimed at organizing to save farmland in Scott County, organizers say, with the next big event on the calendar scheduled for tomorrow.

But there are already disagreements between county officials and farmland advocates over how to proceed.

The Local Harvest Alliance wants any Scott County farmer to be welcomed at Thursday's kickoff event for a new farm advisory group to assist the County Board. But county officials say it's invitation-only, owing to "space limitations and lunch orders," in the words of planning manager Brad Davis.

The main topics of the meeting, however, are available to anyone with a computer: two studies of farming in Scott County and farmland preservation nationally that can be accessed on the county's website (www.co.scott.mn.us, click on "2030 Comp Plan").

Event organizer Andy Hingeveld of the county planning office can be reached at 952-496-8839 or ahingeveld@co.scott.mn.us.

BURNSVILLE

Discounts available for marathon and 5K

Discounted entry fees are being offered for the sixth-annual Heart of the City Half Marathon and 5K Fun Run on May 30.

All proceeds from the events go to Safe Haven to help homeless youth.

You may register online at www.safehavenmn.org/marathon.html or visit the website for race details. Participants must be 12 or older. The $35 entry fee applies until May 1 and then rises.

If you're willing to volunteer to help at the race, contact Carla at 952-288-2685. For general information, contact Dan at 952-288-2650.

EAGAN

Donate photos to historical society

The Eagan Historical Society needs your photos and is hosting a photo reproduction event in conjunction with the annual antique assessment show from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 29 at the Eagan seniors' monthly potluck luncheon in the Lone Oak Room.

City officials are inviting people to bring photos of Eagan locations, homes, businesses, people and events that have taken place anytime during the city's nearly 150-year history. The Historical Society members will make electronic copies of the photos to be added to the society collection. Those who donate photos will be asked to supply information about them and permission for the Historical Society to use those images. For more information, contact the Eagan Historical Society at 651-675-5038.

INVER GROVE HEIGHTS

Spring clean-up

The city's annual spring clean-up day will be from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 25. Household hazardous wastes are not accepted and should be delivered to the Dakota County Recycling Zone. Household Appliances: $10 per unit plus a $5 surcharge on air conditioners and water softeners. Commercial and RV appliances are extra. For a list of fees on various items, see the city's website at www.ci.inver-grove-heights.mn.us.

ROSEMOUNT

City honors cop and firefighter

Lt. Chris Dyson from Fire Station No. 2 and Sgt. Jim O'Leary of the Rosemount police are the city's public safety employees of the year.

The pair were honored at American Legion Post 65 last month.

Dyson, the firefighter of the year, joined the Rosemount Fire Department in 2000. He was nominated by his colleagues for his enthusiasm, willingness to help out and the assistance he provides to new firefighters who have questions.

O'Leary served as a Rosemount police officer for 29 years, the last 10 of them as a sergeant, prior to his retirement in February. Working the night shift throughout his career, O'Leary has coordinated the Dakota County Traffic Safety Project, launched the Neighborhood Watch program in Rosemount, investigated bad check cases and overseen field training for new officers. Even as a sergeant, he continued to respond to calls alongside patrol officers.

DAKOTA COUNTY

Sirens will warn of severe weather

As the wintry weather recedes, Dakota County wants residents to listen for sirens if severe weather, such as thunderstorms or tornadoes, rumbles through the region.

Dakota County Communications Center dispatchers activate the sirens if the National Weather Service issues a severe thunderstorm warning or a tornado warning, or if a trained weather spotter or law enforcement officer recommends it. They can also be used to notify residents of a hazardous materials incident.

The county uses its sirens during severe thunderstorms because of the threat of high winds, large hail, lightning and heavy rain. The sirens are useful for warning people who may be outdoors or in particularly vulnerable areas, such as mobile home and trailer parks.

The sirens also sound, with steady tones for three minutes, at 1 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month when the county tests them.

Job advice for teens

Teens can get free summer job advice at libraries around the county this spring.

The informational sessions, presented in conjunction with the Dakota County Workforce Center, will include tips on what employers want, where to look for jobs online and ways to calm nerves before and during interviews.

The hour-long sessions will also include guidance about how teens can keep their jobs once they find them. Teens and parents are welcome to attend together.

There will be five seminars from April 18 to May 2 at libraries around Dakota County. For more information, including times and locations, check out www.dakotacounty.us/library or call 651-450-2941.

DAKOTA COUNTY/LAKEVILLE

Veterans can get info on reintegrating

A free session to help combat veterans reintegrate into the community will be held in Lakeville on Thursday.

The session, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Lakeville City Hall, 20195 Holyoke Av., is open to veterans and their families, business owners and managers and members of the community. There will be information on resources to help returning veterans and discussions on a variety of topics, including supporting military kids at school, counseling for military marriages and families, and resources available through the local faith-based community.

Lakeville is one of several Dakota County cities embracing the Minnesota National Guard's Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program. Burnsville, Eagan, Farmington, Hastings and Rosemount have hosted similar events.

For information about Thursday's veterans event in Lakeville, call Assistant City Administrator Brian Anderson at 952-985-4402 or e-mail him at banderson@ci.lakeville.mn.us. More information about Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Programs throughout the county is available by calling Dakota County Veteran Services at 651-554-5601.

KATIE HUMPHREY, DAVID PETERSON AND JOY POWELL