City saluted as great place to bring up kids

Northfield is a great place for kids, according to a national organization that has named the city one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People in the nation.

America's Promise Alliance conducts the annual competition, which recognizes outstanding community-wide efforts that improve the well-being of its children. The competition also inspires other localities to take action to help young people with the challenges they face today.

Other Minnesota cities honored are St. Paul, Mankato/North Mankato, St. Louis Park and Landfall, which is a small mobile home community in Washington County.

Nationwide, the 100 communities selected range from large urban cities to small rural towns. The winning communities are honored for finding innovative ways to solve problems that will improve the lives of children and young people.

Gen. Colin Powell founded the organization in 1997 after the Presidents' Summit for America's Future.


Seminar to outline how to have great '08 Five Lakeville health and fitness experts are sponsoring a seminar called "How to Make 2008 Your Best Year Ever" at 7 p.m. on Feb. 5. The event will take place at the Lakeville Gander mountain store's meeting lodge in Lakeville. For more information, call 952-220-2448 or go to www.lakeville


Scott County to study dangerous intersection

Scott County is holding an open house for those concerned about traffic at the increasingly dangerous corner of McColl Dr. (County Rd. 16), Lynn Ave. and Glendale Rd.

Officials will be seeking reaction to a proposal to create a two-lane roundabout at that spot, rather than upgrading it in a more conventional way.

A roundabout would be safer, officials say, and would allow for plantings in the middle. And it might not cut any further into peoples' property nearby.

Conversely, they say, it does require everyone passing through the intersection to slow down, and would require a total shutdown during construction.

The open house takes place at Savage City Hall from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.


Legislators to seek opinions on taxes

The House Property Tax Relief and Local Sales Tax Committee is holding several meetings across the state to gather input from residents and local officials about property taxes. The committee will be in Eagan on Feb. 5 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Eagan City Hall, 3830 Pilot Knob Road.


Website shows way to reach caucuses

Cities south of the river are encouraging people planning to take part in Minnesota's party caucuses next week to use a new one-stop online service that helps with times and locations.

A Precinct Caucus Finder has been launched by the Minnesota Secretary of State ( If for some reason the site doesn't help you, it directs you to your political party's website.

Precinct caucuses are open to all. To take part, you must be able to vote Nov. 4 in the general election. As part of next week's "Super Tuesday," the DFL and Republican parties will hold straw polls for presidential candidates. The results of those polls will appear on the Secretary of State's Web site.


Residents to learn how police do jobs

The cities of Shakopee and Prior Lake are inviting folks to take part in Citizens Police Academies to find out more about how officers do their jobs. Participants learn about the real version, as opposed to the Hollywood one, of such common scenarios as high-risk traffic stops and decisions on use of deadly force.

Shakopee's course takes place Monday evenings from March 31 to April 21. Contact the police at 952-233-9400 to learn more. Registration is due by March 21, but class size is limited, so it's wise to register early.

In Prior Lake, applications are accepted through Friday. Classes meet Tuesdays, Feb. 12 to April 8, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Call 952-440-3555 to find out more.

Joy Powell covers Dakota County and can be reached at 952-882-9017 or at David Peterson covers Scott County and can be reached at 952-882-9023 or