BLOOMINGTON

Airport posts PSAs about invasive species

Boaters, anglers and others flying into Minnesota to use the state's lakes and rivers will see warnings on invasive species right out of the gate. Wildlife Forever and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport are partnering to post four public service announcements in airport concourses to educate visitors on how to protect lakes and rivers from zebra mussels and other invasive species.

The main message: Clean, drain and dry all water equipment. Brooklyn Center-based Wildlife Forever is also posting messages on billboards, gas station pump toppers and print ads throughout Minnesota. State law requires boaters to remove the drain plug before transporting a boat. Boaters must also clean off weeds and drain water from bait buckets and livewells before transporting it, or risk a fine.

KELLY SMITH

MINNEAPOLIS

Fundraiser held to help kids in Sierre Leone

Dozens of people gathered Saturday in south Minneapolis to sample African foods and learn about a nonprofit's efforts to provide early education and increased food security for rural children in Sierra Leone. The event was held in commemoration of the International Day of the African Child.

Hindolo Pokawa, a Sierra Leone native living in the Twin Cities, is executive director of the Sierra Leone Foundation for New Democracy, a group that works to improve conditions for children in the West African nation.

The nonprofit is raising funds to help build an early childhood education center that will include a permaculture farm, which Pokawa describes as "a safe and stimulating place" where rural villagers can leave their children while they farm.

STAFF REPORT

Washington County

Opt out with signs if you're not OK with spray

Washington County is inviting anyone worried about chemical spraying of roadsides to opt out by planting signs.

Workers will spray about 220 miles of rural roadsides beginning about July 13, for at least two weeks, to control noxious weeds and brush.

The chemicals Telar XP and Tordon K are nontoxic to birds and animals "in quantities far greater than used by the county."

Still, the county is inviting anyone wanting to opt out to head out, before July 13, to Public Works, 11660 Myeron Road N., Stillwater, to pick up signs saying "Do Not Spray" and place them at both ends of the area to be avoided. For information, call 651-430-4389.

staff report

South Metro

Burnsville to host two job events for veterans

Veterans trying to enter the workforce can get job advice and network at events planned in Burnsville over the next two weeks.

On Monday, the Minnesota WorkForce Centers of Dakota and Scott counties will kick off a free five-day job skills training series. The workshop will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Burnsville WorkForce Center, 2800 W. County Road 42. Participants must have served in any branch of the U.S. military and should be able to attend the full five-day series. To register, go to www.mn.gov/deed and search "metro workshops" or call 952-703-3100.

The following week the Burnsville WorkForce Center will host a free networking club for veterans. That event, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. June 29, will provide a place to share job leads, referrals and support.

Jessie Van Berkel