Area briefs for the week of July 8

Simon Says Give holds school supply drive 
Twelve-year-old Mandi Simon of Eagan is asking Minnesotans to donate backpacks and school supplies as part of her Simon Says Give annual High Five for Supplies program that aims to prepare 10,000 local students for the new school year.

Together with local volunteers, Mandi will stuff backpacks with pencils, notebooks and other donated items and distribute them to Minnesota students.

People can donate backpacks and school supplies at any of TCF Bank’s 99 branches in Minnesota July 1-31. To fill 10,000 backpacks, it will take 100,000 pencils and 20,000 notebooks. TCF Bank branch locations can be found at

All donated items will be picked up and then unloaded and sorted at St. Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights on Aug. 4-5. Volunteers will stuff the backpacks on Aug. 6-7 and distribute them to local students.

Mandi was just 7 years old when she founded Simon Says Give with the vision to help kids in need. The annual school supply donation and backpack stuffing effort has provided school essentials to more than 18,000 students to date. This is TCF’s third year partnering with Simon Says Give.

Rosemount Lacrosse Golf Tournament
RAAA Lacrosse is teaming up with Rosemount High School boys lacrosse to host a golf tournament on Saturday, Aug. 6, to raise money for the programs and as an opportunity to socialize with other program supporters.

The event will be at Southern Hills Golf Course. Registration and the free driving range open at 11 a.m. followed by a noon shotgun start. Dinner will follow.

Cost is $90 per player or $75 per student. There will be contests on the course, door prizes and a silent auction. The winning teams (flights) will be awarded prizes.

For a registration form and more information, go to

Sponsorships are available. Non-golfers can volunteer to help out with the event or come for the social/dinner following the event ($16 per person).

Building report for June 
The city of Lakeville has issued building permits with a total valuation of $98,648,806 through June 2016. This compares to a total valuation of $97,509,626 for building permits issued through June 2015.

Lakeville issued commercial and industrial permits with a total valuation of $10,616,000 through June 2016 compared to a total valuation of $26,309,000 during the same period last year. The city also issued permits for 182 single-family homes through June 2016 with a total valuation of $56,229,000. This compares to 171 single-family home permits through June 2015 with a total valuation of $54,520,000.

The city issued permits for 39 townhome units through June 2016 with a total valuation of $8,693,000. This compares to 16 townhome permits issued through June 2015 with a total valuation of $3,810,000.

Lakeville also issued a permit for a 62-unit affordable senior housing project with a value of $8,900,000 being developed by the Dakota County CDA in June. This project is located behind the Argonne Village Shopping Center on Kenwood Trail.

Lakeville had the highest number of residential permits issued in the Twin Cities for the month of June as well as year-to-date, according to the Builders Association of the Twin Cities.

Dakota County resident wins lottery 
Mary Haro of Randolph won $5,000 playing the $50,000 Gold Rush game. Haro claimed the prize on June 27. Kwik Trip, 17388 Glacier Way in Lakeville, sold the winning ticket.

Kids ’n Kinship receives grant
Kids ’n Kinship has received a grant donation from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation to support its youth mentoring program.

“We are thrilled to have received this grant from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation. It is satisfying to see their ongoing commitment to strengthening youth and families. Their support will assist us in matching youth on our waiting list with adult volunteer mentors,” said Jan Belmore, executive director for Kids ’n Kinship.

Kids ’n Kinship’s mission is to provide friendships and positive role models to youth ages 5-16 who are primarily from single-parent families.

Individuals, couples and families who have a desire to be a role model and friend to a child or youth are invited to an upcoming information session:

• 6-6:45 p.m. Monday, July 18, at the Burnhaven Library in Burnsville.

• 6-6:45 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17, at the Wescott Library in Eagan.

Contact Jan Belmore at 952-892-6368 or [email protected] for more information.

Farmington Library events
The Farmington Library, 508 Third St., will offer the following programs. Call 651-438-0250 or visit for more information.

Teen Book Club, 6-7 p.m. Monday, July 11. This month’s title is “Counting by 7s” by Holly Goldberg Sloan. Ages: 10-16.

Stop-Motion Animation with OgoBild, 2-4 p.m. Tuesday, July 12. Create characters using OgoBild parts and make your own animated movie. Registration required. Ages: 10-16.

Evening Storytime for All Ages, 7-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 12. Stories and activities for kids and families. Ages: 0-6.

Open Knitting, 1:30-2:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 13. Join other knitters in a casual focus group. Learn new stitches, get help with unfinished projects, or just enjoy new friends while knitting. Other crafters welcome.

Studio Ghibli-Inspired Art, 2-4 p.m. Thursday, July 14. Create art inspired by Studio Ghibli movies like “My Neighbor Totoro,” “Spirited Away” and “Howl’s Moving Castle.” Make your own pom-pom Soot Ball Sprite, papier mache Princess Mononoke mask, clay Totoro, relief printed images and more. Presented by Artistry. Registration required. Ages: 10-16.

Brodini Comedy Magic Show, 3:30-5:30 p.m. Friday, July 15. Magician Brodini makes you laugh as he amazes you with his magic skills. Ages: 2-12.

Teen Game Day, 3:30-5:30 p.m. Friday, July 15. Play board games and Wii with friends. Ages: 10-16.

The Friends of the Farmington Library are now collecting gently used, recently published books for their book sale in August. Donations can be dropped off at the library during normal business hours.

‘Bring Your Family to the Golf Course’ 
Cleary Lake Golf Course in Prior Lake is participating in the Minnesota Golf Association’s “Bring the Family to the Golf Course Week.” From Monday, July 11, through Sunday, July 17, one child ages 17 and under can play free with each paying adult (18-plus) or senior (62-plus). The offer also applies to footgolf. Tee times are recommended.

For more information, visit

‘Employer of Excellence’ awards announced
Nine Dakota County organizations were recently given Employer of Excellence awards by the Dakota-Scott Workforce Development Board.

The following organizations were recognized: Bankers Equipment Services, Burnsville; Carlson Capital Management, Hastings; Custom Drapery and Blinds by Esch, Burnsville; Firefly Credit Union, Burnsville; MRCIWorksource, Rosemount; Valley Natural Foods, Burnsville; Anchor Bank; Living Well Disability Services, Eagan; Post Consumer Brands, Lakeville.

The awards program was a commissioned study by Dakota-Scott Workforce Development Board. The purpose of the program was to recognize some of the best employers in the local area and provide vital information to companies about the practices they use to attract and retain employees.

Each participating company completed a 40-question survey that allowed employment practices to be analyzed by a consulting firm. Each organization then received a 20-page report detailing results of the survey.

The data was measured on turnover, rate of growth, promotion rates, employee evaluations and feedback, percentage of employees injured, diversity of management, benefits offered, training expenditures, paid days off, and increase in pay.

The Dakota-Scott Workforce Development Board and sponsors, including Inver Hills Community College, Dakota County Technical College, Dakota County Community Development Agency and Scott County Community Development Agency, joined forces to bring the program to area employers.

Duck race to raise funds for YMCA youth leadership 
The Eagan YMCA will host its second annual duck race raffle on July 10. Funds raised will support the Y’s youth leadership development program.

Cascade Bay, 1360 Civic Center Drive, Eagan, will open the water park to the public from 6-8 p.m. for a $2 entry fee. Attendees can participate in family-friendly activities including swimming and mini-golf. Duck raffle tickets ($10) will be sold separately at the Eagan Y (550 Opperman Drive) and at YMCA summer program sites. Eagan YMCA community board members will also sell tickets.

There will be 10 prizes awarded at the race, including a grand prize of $500 cash sponsored by Eagan Rotary. Other prizes include Minnesota Twins, St. Paul Saints and Minnesota Vikings tickets. The first nine ducks that complete the course will win a prize. The 10th prize is reserved for the last duck to cross the finish line.

Community partners and sponsors include Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Eagan Lions Club, Eagan Rotary, Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth, Allegra Design-Print-Mail, The Urgency Room and Cascade Bay.

Volunteers sought to raise, lower flags at Burnsville facilities 
The city of Burnsville is seeking dedicated patriots willing to volunteer to raise and lower flags at a number of city facilities. Currently, Burnsville flies the American flag, the POW/MIA flag, the Minnesota State flag and the city of Burnsville flag at multiple locations.

Flag volunteers are needed to help raise and lower flags on designated holidays, and at set times when flags are to be at half-mast as set forth by federal, state and local proclamations.

Those interested in becoming a flag volunteer can visit and complete the “Volunteer Application” or contact Amber Jacobson at 952-895-4575.

Fire sprinklers save two Burnsville businesses 
Fire sprinklers saved two Burnsville commercial businesses within five hours.

The Burnsville Fire Department responded to a reported commercial water-flow alarm at a manufacturing business located on the 11500 block of 12th Avenue South at 8:41 p.m. Friday, July 1.

Upon arrival, fire crews made entry into the building and found the manufacturing area full of smoke and could hear water flowing from the building’s fire sprinkler system. The crews quickly determined that the fire was out, shut down the sprinkler system and began ventilating smoke from the building.

The cause of this fire was determined to be a malfunctioning mist collector, which had caught fire. The fire was extinguished by a single sprinkler head. The fire damage was contained to the malfunctioning mist collector. An adjacent office did sustain some minor water damage from the sprinkler system activation.

Burnsville fire crews responded to a second commercial water-flow alarm at 1:30 a.m. Saturday, July 2, at 3201 County Road 42 W. Burnsville fire crews found water coming from a shipping dock door located on the rear of the building. Fire crews forced entry into the tenant space and found the interior of the space filled with smoke. Fire crews quickly determined that the buildings fire sprinkler system had extinguished the fire and then shut down the sprinkler system. The fire damage was contained to a small area of the warehouse.

The cause of this fire was determined to be a ceiling-mounted, malfunctioning mercury light bulb which exploded and ignited storage items located below the light. Two sprinkler heads activated and extinguished this fire prior to Burnsville fire crews arriving on scene.

In both cases the properly functioning sprinkler systems located inside these two commercial buildings quickly extinguished the fires and prevented millions of dollars in property damages to both the structures and contents.

For more information on the Burnsville Fire Department visit

Augustana Care golf tourney is July 18
The 26th annual Augustana Care Golf Tournament will be held 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, July 18, at Crystal Lake Golf Course in Lakeville. Proceeds support Augustana Care’s spiritual programming.

To register or find out about golf and sponsorship opportunities, email [email protected], call 612-238-5213 or visit