Area briefs for the week of May 12

Garden club hosts plant sale
The Apple Valley Garden Club will hold its annual plant sale 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 20, at the Redwood Park pavilion located at County Road 42 and Elm Drive. The sale features hardy plants from members’ gardens.

Charlotte Read
Submitted photo by Sara Novak

Read earns Grand Cup
Charlotte Read of Apple Valley has earned the Grand Cup from the National Federation of Music Clubs after achieving superior ratings in piano solo (12 years), piano duet (five years), and piano concerto (six years).

Read is a multi-year winner in the Minnesota Music Teachers Association State Piano Contest and named alternate winner in the Junior Young Artist category. Studying with Jill Kilzer, Kilzer Piano Studio, since 2005, she hosted her senior recital April 22 at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church where she performed several pieces for piano, flute, and two original compositions.

Read is currently a senior at Eastview High School and the School of Environmental Studies. She plans to study biology at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in the fall.

Photo submitted

Pack 293 Scouting for Food
Cub Scout Pack 293 participated in Scouting For Food on April 30. The Scouts collected 375 pounds of non-perishable food items that were donated to Our Daily Bread Food Shelf/360 Communities located at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Apple Valley.

Free blood pressure screenings at Fairview
Fairview is offering free blood pressure screenings 3-6 p.m. Thursday, May 18, at Fairview Pharmacy – Burnsville – Ridgeview, 303 Nicollet Blvd. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is one of the most preventable causes of heart disease and death in the U.S. Adults should get their blood pressure checked regularly, starting at age 18.

Those with high blood pressure may be eligible for a year-long study to explore methods for faster, better care of hypertension. More information will be available at the screening event.

Thomas Allen Inc. hosts blood drive
Thomas Allen Inc., 12940 Harriet Ave. S. in Burnsville, is hosting a Red Cross blood drive 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, May 22. All presenting donors will get a free ticket to Valleyfair. To schedule an appointment, go to redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code: ThomasAllenBV or contact Kerri Peck at [email protected] or 651-789-4533.

DFL to host labor discussion
The Senate District 56 DFL Party will host a panel discussion with Minnesota labor leaders Monday, May 15, from 7-8:30 p.m. at Open Circle Church, 2400 Highland Drive, Burnsville.

Guests will include Jon Grebner, political director of AFSCME Minnesota Council 5; Javier Morillo-Alicea, president of  Service Employees International Union Local 26; and Paul Winkelaar, political organizer for Education Minnesota. The moderator will be Lindsey Port.

Burnsville to continue treating public ash trees
Burnsville will treat more than 1,100 ash trees on public property for the emerald ash borer and remove 270 ash trees that are in poor condition. Residents who have public ash trees that will receive treatment in the boulevard adjacent to their homes have already been notified.

Residents can take advantage of the city’s contract prices to treat ash trees on their private property. Residents will be responsible for the full cost of these private treatments.

Residents interested in scheduling a treatment for private ash trees should contact Rainbow Treecare at 952-767-6920 for pricing and scheduling. The contract prices are valid through the end of 2017.

While EAB has not yet been reported in Burnsville, the bug was found nearby in both Eagan and Apple Valley.

For more information, 952-895-4508 or visit www.burnsville.org/EAB.

Employers Breakfast set May 18 in Burnsville
An Employers Breakfast on “Engaging young & diverse employees in your workplace” will be offered 8-9:30 a.m. Thursday, May 18, at The Original Pancake House, 14351 Nicollet Court, Burnsville.

The event will help provide employers with some tools to recruit younger or more diverse talent.

Guest speakers will be Dr. Stacie Stanley from School District 191, and Hanane Kachman of Fairview Health Services.

Following the speaker presentations, audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions about situations they are facing with employees.

The cost to attend is $15 and includes breakfast. Registration is required. Contact the Burnsville Chamber at 952-435-6000 or Burnsville Promise at 612-790-3207 to register.

This event is a partnership of the Burnsville, Savage and Dakota County Regional chambers of commerce, Burnsville Promise, Dakota-Scott Workforce Development Board and ISD 191.

Native Plant Market in Burnsville
Burnsville will hold its third annual Native Plant Market 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 20, in the parking lot across from City Hall, 100 Civic Center Parkway. The sale will be open for both residents and nonresidents.

Native wildflowers, ferns and grasses will be for sale from multiple vendors at this farmer’s market-style event.

The sale will be held rain or shine. Only cash or checks will be accepted – no credit cards. The market area will be closed to the public before 9 a.m.

Exhibitors at the sale will include the Burnsville Natural Resources Department, Master Gardeners of Dakota County and the Dakota County Soil & Water Conservation District.

For more information on native plants and the Native Plant Market, visit www.burnsville.org/nativeplants.

Lake Byllesby refill scheduled
Dakota County Environmental Resources Department staff is scheduled to refill the Lake Byllesby reservoir to its summer elevation beginning Monday, May 15.

In the fall, the reservoir level is lowered 3 feet to 853.7 feet, and remains there until May 15 when refilling to the summer elevation of 856.7 feet is permitted to start.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources sets these seasonal lake levels to make it easier for farmers to get into their lower-lying fields in the spring and to offer residents the opportunity to enjoy water-related recreational opportunities in the summer.

Refilling the reservoir is done by raising 41 trip gates located at the top of Lake Byllesby Dam. Up to 20 percent of the water flowing from the Cannon River into the reservoir is captured to fill the pool. The remaining 80 percent of inflow is released downstream through the turbines and crest gates.

To ensure adequate flow downstream, the reservoir cannot be refilled if the flow of the river, as measured in Welch, drops below 50 percent of the normal water-flow levels.

Raising the Lake Byllesby reservoir level requires Dakota County employees to access the top of the spillway and manually lift and set the trip gates. This is only possible when there is little or no water flowing over the spillway. In the event that it is not possible to raise the gates May 15, the gates will be raised at the earliest possible date.

Access weather data at the Byllesby Dam and lake level information generated from river gages at www.byllesbydam.org. For information about the refill process, call the Dakota County Environmental Resources Department at 952-891-7000.

Citizen’s Climate Lobby to meet May 13
Citizens’ Climate Lobby of Dakota County will meet 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 13, at Robert Trail Library, 14395 S. Robert Trail, Rosemount. All are welcome.

CCL is a grassroots, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization focused on creating political will for climate solutions at the local and national level. For more information, contact Veda Kanitz at [email protected] or visit citizensclimatelobby.org/.

Business monthly bulb, electronics collection ending
The last monthly business bulb and electronic collection hosted by Dakota County will be Tuesday, June 13. Businesses can still use the Very Small Quantity Generator Program to safely dispose of fluorescent bulbs and electronic equipment. Make an appointment to drop off these materials by calling Rolland Meillier at 952-891-7545 or emailing [email protected].

Many private companies also offer collection for a fee. Visit www.dakotacounty.us and search “business bulbs” to learn more.

It is illegal to throw fluorescent lamps and electronics in the trash because they contain hazardous components such as mercury, lead, PCBs, mercury and cadmium.

Eagan Garden Club holds plant sale
The Eagan Garden Club will hold its annual plant sale 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, May 13, at Holz Farm Park, 4665 Manor Drive, Eagan.

Plants include perennials from members’ gardens, hanging baskets, annuals, vegetables and herbs. Cash and checks only will be accepted.

Proceeds from the sale support the club’s educational programs, city park plantings, and donations to horticultural-related organizations and The Open Door resource center.

Citywide garage sale set in Elko New Market
The Elko New Market citywide garage sale is May 18-20. Maps and addresses of garage sale locations will be available on the city’s website (www.ci.enm.mn.us) one week prior to the sale. For more information, call 952-461-2777.

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

The Looney Lutherans, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 16. Discover the fun and looney secret of living a long and healthy life from these talented ladies through an entertaining combination of music, comedy and help from the audience. There’s no need to be Lutheran to love these ladies. Refreshments provided by the Rambling River Center. Space is limited; contact the library for free ticket availability.

Books & Brew Book Club, 7-8 p.m. Tuesday, May 16. The group will discuss “TransAtlantic” by Colum McCann.

Open Knitting, 1:30-2:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 17. Join other knitters in an informal setting. Learn new stitches, get help with unfinished projects, or just enjoy new friends while knitting. Other crafters welcome.

Friday Fun for Teens, 3:30-4:30 p.m. Friday, May 19. Drop in for a variety of fun activities after a long week of school. Ages: 10-16.

Bike Rodeo, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 20. Bring your bike and helmet and navigate a fun obstacle course in the library parking lot. Learn the ABCs quick check for your bike and bike safety rules. Receive a free water bottle. Presented by Valley Bike and Ski Shop. Ages: 5-12.

Police open house in Farmington
The Farmington Police Department will hold an open house for National Police Week 3-7 p.m. Thursday, May 18, at 19500 Municipal Drive in Farmington.

The event will feature Farmington Police Department and Multi-Agency Assistance Group Team vehicle tours, K-9 demonstrations and refreshments.

More information is at www.facebook.com/FarmingtonMNPD.

Metro Republican Women meet May 13
Twila Brase, co-founder of the Citizens Council for Health Freedom, will address current health care issues at the monthly breakfast meeting of Metro Republican Women, May 13. The event also celebrates female family relationships and hosts a silent auction to benefit MRW.

St. Paul-based CCHF’s stated mission is to protect health care choices, and preserve individualized patient care, and medical and genetic privacy. In 2009, Brase was named No. 75 on the list of “100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare.” In 2014, she pushed for required parental consent law when newborn DNA is to be used for federal research. She stopped government-issued treatment directives, added consent requirement to access online patient data and decries that patient/doctor time is sacrificed to federally mandated data entry. She presents the “Health Freedom Minute” in over 400 radio stations and regularly meets with members of Congress and speaks around the country. Her article, “Blame Congress for HMOs” was put into the congressional record. Brase is trained as a registered nurse, specialized in emergency room nursing and is a certified public health nurse.

The event will be held at Mendakota Country Club, 2075 Mendakota Drive in Mendota Heights, with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m. and the program at 9 p.m. The cost is $18 for members, $20 for nonmembers and $10 for students. Walk-ins are welcome, but reservations are encouraged.

Those interested may go to metrogopwomen.org to pay online or to make a reservation and pay at the door. Reservations are requested by Tuesday, May 9.

Job Transitions Group meets May 16
James Doyle will present “Hope for Life” at the May 16 meeting of the Easter Job Transitions Group. The group meets at 7:30 a.m. at Easter Lutheran Church – By The Lake, 4545 Pilot Knob Road, Eagan. Call 651-452-3680 for information.

Library introduces text messaging service
Dakota County Library has added a new text message notifications service. Customers can now sign up to receive notices for item holds, overdue items, item renewals, accrued fines, announcements and closures.

Library notifications are currently sent out by phone or email, but due to popular demand the library has implemented the text message service to immediately notify customers of news regarding their account. Services are provided by Shoutbomb, which offers notices that can be customized and are available in Spanish.

To use the service, customers need a text message capable phone, text messaging services with their phone carrier, and a library card. Once service is connected, customers will receive text messages on the status of their account between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. The library doesn’t charge a fee for this service, but regular text messaging rates still apply.

For more information on how to sign up for text message service, visit www.dakotacounty.us/library or call 651-450-2900.

Books to the Rescue’s Dakota County coordinator Tami Zvolena, left, and Lakeville police Lt. Timothy Knutson show off the bags of children’s books and stuffed animals donated to the patrol division. Photo submitted

Books to the Rescue in Lakeville
The Dakota County chapter of Twin Cities Books to the Rescue delivered May 3 six bags packed with $250 worth of children’s books and stuffed animals to the Lakeville Police Department’s Patrol Division.

Books to the Rescue is an outreach care program designed to promote goodwill and strengthen ties between the community and local law enforcement. Launched with the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office in January, the program has received positive feedback from the community and the officers who have been able to connect positively with the children they encounter.

“We see this program as a valuable tool for us to help children feel comfortable with the police in situations that may be traumatic or uncomfortable for them. Making a connection with a book or stuffed animal can make all the difference in the world to a young child, and we thank Books to the Rescue for providing us with this opportunity,” said Lakeville police Lt. Timothy Knutson.

Top sponsors of the book bags include BMO Harris Bank locations in Apple Valley, Lakeville and Burnsville, as well as The Well, a United Methodist Church in Rosemount and Apple Valley.

Dakota County coordinator Tami Zvolena said the program is off to a great start, but there is always a need to fill and restock bags for local first responders within Dakota County. For more information on donating to the program, email Zvolena at [email protected] or visit www.twincitiesbttr.org.

Lakeville building report for April
The city of Lakeville issued building permits with a total valuation of $68,105,912 through April 2017. This compares to a total valuation of $41,145,404 for building permits issued through April 2016.

Lakeville issued commercial and industrial permits with a total valuation of $5,148,000 through April 2017 compared to a total valuation of $4,361,000 during the same period in 2016.

The city issued permits for 133 single-family homes through April 2017 with a total valuation of $42,264,000. This compares to 89 single-family home permits through April 2016 with a total valuation of $27,834,000. The city also issued permits for 27 townhome units through April 2017 with a total valuation of $5,667,000. This compares to 18 townhome permits issued through April 2016 with a total valuation of $4,268,000.

Through April, Lakeville has issued the highest number of residential permits in the metro area, according to the Builders Association of the Twin Cities.

John Antolik, left, and Allan Pond were among 75 veterans to take part in the May 6 Honor Flight Twin Cities trip to Washington, D.C. Photo submitted

Lakeville men selected for Honor Flight
The Honor Flight Twin Cities selected three Lakeville men – John Antolik, Virgil Beck and Allan Pond – to take part in the May 6 Honor Flight to Washington, D.C.

Antolik was in the Navy during World War II; Pond served in the Air Force during both World War II and the Korean War.

Beck served in the Navy as a radarman petty officer second class from 1951-55. He was based in San Diego and was deployed twice to Korea aboard the destroyer U.S.S. Hopewell.

“I’ve been on the Honor Flight Twin Cities waiting list for many years, so being selected for this trip is especially meaningful,” said Beck. He was “excited to visit the Korean War Veterans Memorial, but also looking forward to paying respects to all the fallen soldiers commemorated throughout Washington, D.C.”

Virgil Beck

Beck is grateful to the staff at The Fountains at Hosanna, where he resides. Each year, The Fountains hosts a Veterans Day pancake breakfast to raise money to sponsor a veteran for the Honor Flight Twin Cities. The 2017 event will be held on Friday, Nov. 10.

The Honor Flight Twin Cities is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s World War II and Korean veterans. During the Honor Flight, the group transports veterans at no cost to them to Washington, D.C., for one day to visit and reflect at their memorials. The Honor Flight Twin Cities conducts two flights each year, one in the spring and one in the fall. There are more than 200 veterans on the waiting list for future flights.

Mental health support group offered in Burnsville
A NAMI Connection free peer support group for adults recovering from a mental illness meets weekly in Burnsville. The group is sponsored by NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Trained facilitators who are also in recovery lead NAMI Connection groups. The group meets 6:30-8 p.m. Thursdays at Mary Mother of the Church, 3333 Cliff Road E., in Room 15. For more information, contact Lyn at 612-749-5408, or call 651-645-2948.

Ospreys nesting on Buck Hill
Two ospreys have been spotted building a nest atop a 80-feet-high light pole situated between two ski runs at Buck Hill Ski & Snowboard Area in Burnsville. These majestic raptors, often called fish eagles, appear to be making a home for their future family.

Matt Long and David Holm, both with Buck Hill, installed a video camera on the next light pole up the hill located about 125 feet away. To observe the osprey, visit http://www.buckhill.com/osprey-cam/.

According to the University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center’s website, ospreys build a bulky nest of sticks similar to eagle nests. In some places, they nest in colonies. Ospreys lay three to four eggs that hatch in about 30 days.

Visit the Raptor Center’s website, www.raptor.umn.edu, for more information.

Portfolio Show slated May 24
The fifth annual Portfolio Show featuring area high school students will be 4:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 24, at the Rosemount Steeple Center.

The show will include students exhibiting work in graphic and video game design along with those from the food industry career program.

The event will include a 3-D printing demonstration.

The show is seeking judges to score the works in four categories. Students will be awarded prizes for their efforts.

The high schools represented at the show are Burnsville, Lakeville North, Lakeville South, Farmington, Dakota County Area Learning Center, Hastings, ISD 917 Transition, Bloomington Jefferson, Bloomington Kennedy and Sibley.

The free event is being organized by the Rosemount Area Arts Council. To inquire about being a judge, go online to rosemountarts.com.

Commerce Department issues warning about real estate closing scam
Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman is warning home buyers and sellers, as well as real estate professionals, about a wire transfer scam that targets real estate closings.

The Commerce Department is currently investigating several Minnesota real estate transactions in which hundreds of thousands of dollars were diverted and stolen as a result of fraudulent wire transfer instructions received via fake emails.

“This scam has been spreading around the country and now it’s begun to hit Minnesotans,” said Rothman, whose agency regulates the real estate industry in the state. “Crooks are hacking into computers, getting private information about real estate transactions and using it to rip people off. We want to stop these thefts and make sure Minnesotans are on guard against fraud when they buy their dream homes.”

This is how the scam typically works:

To get information about upcoming real estate closings, crooks hack into the computers or email accounts of real estate professionals. This may be done by sending an email containing an attachment or link that, when opened, downloads malware that lets the crooks gain access to the computer or email account.

As a closing date approaches and arrangements are made to wire funds to the sellers, the scammers send a bogus email to the closing agent with a “last minute” change in instructions to send the money to a different account. The email, which purports to be from the seller’s title company, looks legitimate and often contains accurate details about the transaction.

Once the funds are unwittingly wired to the fraudulent account, the money is quickly withdrawn, never to be seen again. It is suspected that many of these criminals are operating from overseas, and the Commerce Department is working with other law enforcement agencies.

For a safe and successful real estate closing, the Commerce Department offers the following tips:

• Never send financial information via email, unless it is encrypted.

• Never wire money for a real estate transaction based only on an email.

• Confirm all money transfer instructions, preferably in person or through a trusted and independently-verified phone number. Don’t rely on a phone number or website address in an email.

• Be suspicious of any “last minute” changes in payment instructions.

• Do not open an attachment or link in an email unless you are absolutely sure who sent it to you. It may contain malware that allows a hacker access to your computer.

• Practice good computer protection. Regularly change your passwords and make sure your computer’s operating system, browser and security software are up-to-date.

For questions or concerns about a real estate issue, contact the Commerce Department’s Consumer Services Center by email at [email protected] or by phone at 651-539-1600.

Rosemount City Council to visit five parks during bike tour
The Rosemount City Council will visit five parks during its Thursday, May 18, spring bike tour in the community. Members of the public are invited to come along for the ride.

Council members are reaching out to the community to get opinions on neighborhood issues and to hold meetings beyond City Hall. They took a trip that included some different parks last June.

The ride will begin from City Hall at 5 p.m. Visits will include:

• Schwarz Pond Park, 13787 Dodd Boulevard, at 5:15 p.m.

• Connemara Park, 13930 Connemara Trail, at 5:45 p.m.

• Dallara Park, 4175 147th S. W., at 6:15 p.m.

• Chippendale Park, 14876 Chrysler Ave., at 6:45 p.m.

• Camfield Park, 14795 Canada Ave., at 7:15 p.m.

All times are approximate. Each visit will last about 20 minutes. The ride should end back at City Hall around 7:30 p.m.

The council will be joined by members of the Rosemount Parks and Recreation Commission and the Youth Commission.

Rosemount Parks and Rec programs
Register for the following Rosemount Parks and Recreation programs online at www.ci.rosemount.mn.us, at the parks and recreation office, or call 651-322-6000 for more information.

SkateStart Mini Shredder Camp, ages 5-10, 9-11 a.m. June 19-22, Rosemount Skate Park. Learn the basics of skateboarding. Each SkateStart skateboard uses markings on the grip tape to indicate proper foot placement to get kids to the fun parts of skating quickly. Campers are required to bring a helmet, water, snack and apply sunscreen. The board (to use during class) and all pads will be provided. Wear appropriate shoes – no open-toe shoes or Crocs. Cost: $98. Register by June 12.

Rosemount Little Explorers, ages 3-5, Mondays and Wednesdays, June 14 to July 19 (skip July 3) at Jaycee Park (south of Highway 42 on Shannon Parkway). Kids will explore the wonders of our world through nature, crafts, games and friendship. Register by June 7. Cost: $48.

Sports of All Sorts, age 3, Tuesdays and Thursdays, June 15 to July 20 (skip July 4), Bloomfield Park, 14225 Bloomfield Path. The instructional program is designed to help boys and girls develop a basic interest in sports, increase self-confidence and help them find success in sports. Three sessions offered: Class A, 9-9:45 a.m.; Class B, 9:55-10:40 a.m.; Class C, 10:50-11:35 a.m. Cost: $44. Register by Thursday, June 8.

Rosemount Spring Clean-up Day and Shredding Event, 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 20, east parking lot, Dakota County Technical College, 1300 145th St. E. Information: www.ci.rosemount.mn.us.

Stamp Out Hunger food drive May 13
The 25th annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive takes place Saturday, May 13. It is the largest single-day food drive in the country. Locally, Second Harvest Heartland – in partnership with more than 2,000 metro-area letter carriers – aims to collect 1.2 million pounds of food this year, which will provide nearly one million meals to hungry neighbors in our community.

During the week of May 8-12, residents across the Twin Cities metro area will receive blue plastic or brown paper grocery bags in the mail. Bags can also be picked up at any of the 21 participating Cub Foods locations, including the Eagan Cub Foods at 1276 Town Center Drive. Simply fill the bag with non-perishable food items – such as canned meats, fruits, and vegetables; peanut butter; pasta; rice; or boxed meals – and leave it by the mailbox for a letter carrier to pick up.

On Stamp Out Hunger Day, letter carriers will pick up the bags of food on their regularly scheduled routes and deliver it to a local Cub Foods location or directly to Second Harvest Heartland.

Anyone who is unable to leave food at their mailbox on May 13, or those wishing to increase their impact, can make a matched donation online until May 18 at 2harvest.org/stampout.

Youth mental health first aid class offered
Fairview Health Services will host a Youth Mental Health First Aid class 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 17, to help individuals learn to identify, understand and respond to youths experiencing a mental health challenge, crisis or substance abuse problem.

Youth Mental Health First Aid is an internationally recognized evidence-based program that was created and is managed by the National Council for Behavioral Health.

Participants use group discussions and role-playing to better understand the risk factors and warning signs of common mental health and substance use disorders, strategies for how to help someone crisis and non-crisis situations, where to turn for help, and non-judgmental communication and listening skills.

This class is free and open to the public. It will be held at Fairview Ridges Education Center, Willow Room B, 152 Cobblestone Lane, Burnsville.

Register online at https://tinyurl.com/kry3sqm or by calling Tiffany Utke at 612-706-4566.