Group to discuss vet suicide prevention

Suicide by military veterans will be the topic of discussion when a coalition of south-metro churches and human-service organizations meets on Thursday.

The Families and Individuals Sharing Hope (FISH) meeting, at 9:30 a.m. at Fish Lake Immanuel Lutheran Church in Prior Lake, will include a presentation from Lyaman McPherson, a retired Gulf War veteran who has developed a model for how communities can step up to show support and aid in prevention.

“Suicide rates have continued to increase every year with many families and friends being left to simply ask why,” McPherson said. “There is no one answer. Each individual is just that — a unique individual with differing life experiences, pains, and needs.”

Families, survivors, service providers and faith communities all are welcome, according to FISH Executive Director Beth Loechler.

The church is at 20200 Fairlawn Av., Prior Lake. Space is limited, so please RSVP to or 952-440-3600.


Art wall makes debut

A wall at Savage City Hall will become home to a rotating art exhibit featuring works by local artists and high school students.

The Savage Art Wall has made its debut with the nature photography of Savage resident Darrell Tangen, whose work will be on display through June 28.

The exhibits, in the main lobby of City Hall, are open during normal city hall hours and are free to the public. Residents interested in sharing their artwork with others can contact Sharon Allen at 952-388-7730 or The art wall is a collaborative effort between the Savage Arts Council and the city of Savage.

Tangen is the founder of Backroad Images and has been an art instructor for 25 years. He is actively involved in the local arts community, including the spring Savage Juried Art Show and Competition.


Police roll out bike patrol for the summer

A handful of Shakopee police officers will be back on two wheels this summer, patrolling community events and working the beat on bicycles.

The bike patrol breaks down the barriers to approaching a police officer, said Sgt. Jason Arras; an officer on a bicycle is a lot more approachable than one in a squad car, the theory goes.

Bikes are also more versatile than squad cars, especially during crowded events such as the city’s Derby Days festival. This year, officers also plan to use the bikes at Canterbury Park during concerts and racetrack events.

The bikes can also provide more stealth in crime prevention: Police can identify areas of high crime reports using mapping technology and send officers on bikes, which are much less conspicuous than squad cars, in hopes of catching criminals in the act of vandalism or theft, Arras said.

The department has three bike patrol bicycles, and eight of its officers have attended the International Police Mountain Bike Association’s weeklong certification training.

New rental ordinance to require registration

The City Council last week adopted an ordinance aimed at ensuring rental owners and managers take reasonable steps to ensure tenants and neighboring property owners have safe, sanitary and nuisance-free homes.

The rental registration ordinance requires all residential rental property owners, including single-family homeowners who rent their property, to register with the Shakopee Police Department. The ordinance doesn’t go as far as rental licensing ordinances used by many neighboring cities; it does not require in-depth inspections, for instance. But it will require owners to have contact information on record with the city, and all rental owners and managers will be required to participate in an educational program that covers applicant screening, rental agreements, identification of illegal activity, eviction process, the role of the police, crime prevention, code enforcement and public health, and other topics.

“This is a very reasonable ordinance that will address many of the issues we’re facing,” said Police Chief Jeff Tate.

A full copy of the ordinance is available on the city’s website at


Golf tournament set

The date of the annual ProAct Golf Classic, which raises money for the Eagan-based nonprofit that serves the needs of people with disabilities, has been set for Aug. 19.

The scramble-style event will be at Hastings Country Club. It begins with registration from 10 to 11:30 a.m., with an early lunch starting at 10:45 a.m. and a shotgun start at 11:45 a.m. A live auction, raffle and a gourmet dinner will follow.

The cost is $150 per golfer, which includes lunch and dinner, a golf cart, use of the clubhouse and driving range and a future free round of golf with the purchase of one round at the country club. A portion of the tournament golf cost is tax-deductible. The price for the dinner only is $35. To register, see or contact Sheena Henry at 651-289-3149 or

Elko New Market

Session on Obamacare

The Elko New Market Chamber of Commerce will host an informational session, “The Affordable Care Act and What it Means for Your Small Business,” on June 19. Andy Weitnauer, consultant with Financial Concepts, Inc., will help small businesses understand the forthcoming changes in health care insurance, including MNsure, the state’s health care exchange, and the potential tax penalties employers could face for not offering health insurance.

The event starts at 6 p.m. at Elko New Market City Hall, 601 Main St. It is free and open to the public.

For information, contact Todd Anderson at 612-910-2260 or


‘I Love Burnsville’ essays recognized

Three third-graders have been chosen out of 125 entries as the winners of the sixth-annual “I Love Burnsville Week” essay contest. Zoie Dundon and Teresa Le-Vu of William Byrne Elementary School and Caitlyn Isenberger of Sioux Trail Elementary School were the winners. Each was awarded $50 from USFederal Credit Union and their school received an additional $50 donation from to be used in the child’s name.

To read the winning entries, see

Following is the essay written by Caitlyn Isenberger:

“I love Burnsville because it is a great place to live. You have great neighbors that could dog sit, baby sit, and play with. I feel I am safe in my neighborhood. I don’t know why you would not want to live in Burnsville?

“I also love Burnsville because of the Dakota County Library. I enjoy checking out books like ‘The Littles,’ ‘Rainbow Fairies,’ ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid,’ and ‘The Boxcar Children. In Burnsville, I also love going to the Black Dog Park. I love going down slides with my brother and sister. When I swing I feel like a bird flying higher and higher. So high that it’s hard to stop!! I also like climbing and a bunch more.

“I love Burnsville because of Buckhill. You can ski, go tubing, buy things, and sit by the warm hot fire. My favorite thing is to go tubing. When I get cold I get some cocoa and relax by the fire until I want to go back tubing. There is this cool ramp that you go up. You really just stand on a moving platform and go up. I think that is a really long ride up, but it is worth it.

“I love Burnsville and I hope you do too!!!!!”