Area briefs for the week of July 28

The Minnesota Zoo is holding a naming contest for its newest Amur tiger cub, a female born April 26. Photo submitted.

Zoo seeks help to name Amur tiger cub
The Minnesota Zoo’s newest female Amur tiger cub is now three months old and in need of a name. A special tiger cub naming contest launched on the zoo’s website on July 25. The public can submit name suggestions via an online form and the cub’s zookeepers will narrow down the name submissions to their top three to be shared with the general public for a final vote.
Naming timeline
July 25-Aug. 6: Online name submissions accepted at www.mnzoo.org/tigernamingcontest.

Aug. 7-9: Minnesota Zoo zookeepers will review name submissions and select the top three.

Aug. 10-16: General public will vote for their favorite name.

Aug. 17: The female tiger cub’s name will be revealed to the public.

The female cub, born on April 26 earlier this year, is currently being cared for behind the scenes with her mother, Sundari. Guests from around the world have been able to watch her grow up with a special Tiger Cub Webcam, sponsored by Cub. Her zookeepers say she has a curious and spunky personality.

“Our newest cub has definitely been a handful from day one. She reminds me so much of her mother, Sundari, when she was a cub with her spunky personality,” said Diana Weinhardt, curator for the Northern Trail. “It’s been really fun for my team to watch her grow and bond with her mom these past few months. She definitely has a lot of energy and Sundari is a very patient mother.”

The last tiger birth at the Minnesota Zoo occurred in 2012, when Sundari was born to female Angara, who is currently located at Como Zoo in St. Paul. Since its opening in 1978, the Minnesota Zoo has welcomed more than 40 Amur tiger cubs. Amur tigers can been seen along the Minnesota Zoo’s Northern Trail.

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.

Skateboard Camp, ages 7-12, 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 7-10, Rosemount Skate Park. For all skill levels. Individual skills/tricks taught include balance, stopping, turning, ollies, nollies, heel flips and kick flips. A skateboard and helmet are mandatory. Kneepads, elbow pads and wrist guards are highly recommended. Campers are required to bring a helmet, water, snack and apply sunscreen. Friday, Aug. 11, is inclement weather make-up day. Cost: $98. Register by July 31.

Farmers Market. Starting Tuesday, Aug. 1, the farmers market will move to Central Park, 2893 145th St. It will remain at the new location until the end of the season.

Science Explorers Elementary Engineering: Motor and More, grades 2-6 in the fall, 12:30-3 p.m. Aug. 29-31, Rosemount Community Center. Build different vehicles while learning about motors, gears and robotics. Then test your creations and motoring skills with fun and challenging obstacle courses. Lastly, create a vibro-bot to continue your tinkering at home. Cost: $60. Register by Aug. 22.

Science Explorers Mixture Madness, ages 3.5-6, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Aug. 29-31, Rosemount Community Center. Create slime while learning about polymers, have fun with magical crystals while learning about absorption, and formulate your own mixtures through open exploration. Dress to get messy. Cost: $50. Register by Aug. 22.

Lil’ Adventure Camp, ages 4-6, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Central Park, 2893 145th St. W. Camp 2: Aug. 7-10; register by July 31. Play group games, participate in nature activities and hikes, create arts and crafts and enjoy special visitors from Bruce the Bug Guy and the Minnesota Zoomobile. Cost: $76.

Advocacy binder training for parents
NAMI Minnesota will present a free parent training class on how to assemble an advocacy binder for your child on Aug. 3 from 6-8 p.m. at the Galaxie Library, 14955 Galaxie Ave., Apple Valley.

Parent educators will be on hand to help participants assemble an advocacy binder to help organize their loose papers into a resource. Participants can bring to the class their paperwork such as current Individualized Education Plan (IEP, IFSP), 504 Plan, Behavior Intervention Plans, County, Legal, Medical or Support Plans. Parents and caregivers will receive one free advocacy binder at the door. To register or get information, contact NAMI at 651-645-2948 or see “classes” at namihelps.org.

Nominations open for Officer of the Year in Lakeville
The Lakeville Public Safety Foundation is accepting nominations for 2017 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

The award recognizes an officer who has shown exemplary service and leadership through innovation and public relations. Eligibility is limited to patrol officers and detectives. All nominations must be received by Aug. 11. Forms are available online at lpsfmn.org.

Completed forms can be emailed to info@lpsfmn.org or printed and sent directly to: Lakeville Public Safety Foundation, Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, P.O. Box 1526, Lakeville, MN 55044.

The 2017 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year will be recognized along with the Firefighter of the Year at the Police & Firefighters Ball on Sept. 8.

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Network to have brat sale fundraiser
The Apple Valley Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Network is planning to hold a brat sale fundraiser Aug. 19 and 20 at Von Hanson’s Meats in Apple Valley. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. The organization’s mission is to serve veterans, those actively in the military and their families by assisting them in any way they can.

After a very successful fundraiser in May at Von Hanson’s, the nonprofit group is doing it again as these funds allow it to help many veterans and their families.

Please are encouraged to stop by and enjoy a brat or hot dog.

Contributions directly serve military families.

For additional information or those wishing to become involved with the Yellow Ribbon Network, contact President Paul Chellsen at Chellsen@charter.net or by calling 612-597-9809.

Rosemount hosts open house on city’s long-term planning
Rosemount residents and property owners are invited to learn about plans for land use, downtown, and parks facilities in the community out to the year 2040.

The city will host an open house on the topics 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8, at the Rosemount Community Center, 13885 S. Robert Trail, with a formal presentation scheduled for 7 p.m. The event is part of the effort to revise the city’s Comprehensive Plan, which guides future development.

Part of the plan is a detailed land use map, that shows what city planners believe will be the development trends for the next 20 years.

One of the main reasons the city devotes a lot of effort to its Comprehensive Plan is that it guides future development in the community. As Rosemount continues to grow, landowners can consult the Comprehensive Plan and find out what the city thinks the future land use of their property and the properties nearby will be.

The plan includes urban-style development after 2030 in the southeast area of Rosemount. It also includes some of the land in UMore Park. The University of Minnesota Board of Regents recently began the process of making part of its land available for residential development.

Adding those areas will help the city match the population projections for Rosemount of the Metropolitan Council. Individual development decisions will still be made by landowners that choose to change the land from current use, which is typically farmland.

The Aug. 8 open house will also cover potential changes to the city’s Parks, Trails and Open Space Master Plan. The final draft of the updated Development Framework for Downtown Rosemount will also be available for viewing. Personnel from the city’s Community Development and Parks and Recreation departments will be available to answer questions. Questions can also be directed to City Senior Planner Kyle Klatt at 651-322-2052.

Rep. Roz Peterson selected as Toll Fellow
Rep. Roz Peterson, R-Lakeville, has been selected to participate in one of the nation’s premier leadership development programs for state government officials, The Council of State Governments’ Henry Toll Fellowship.

The 48 leaders in the class of 2017 hail from 32 states, Puerto Rico and Guam and represent all three branches of state government. A committee of program alumni reviewed applications and selected the class.

“I want to learn more about how I can become a better leader for our community,” Peterson said. “This program is a great opportunity to connect with and build relationships with top leaders across the country.”

The Toll Fellowship, named for CSG founder Henry Wolcott Toll, has convened a group of the nation’s top officials for the intensive, six-day, five-night intellectual boot camp for more than 30 years. This year’s program will be held Aug. 25-30 in Lexington, Kentucky.

The program’s agenda includes a lineup of sessions designed to stimulate personal assessment and growth, while providing networking and relationship-building opportunities. Each year’s program is unique, but previous programs have included sessions on leadership personality assessment, media training, crisis management, appreciative inquiry and adaptive leadership.

“Elected leaders must address a variety of issues in a limited amount of time and craft sustainable solutions that will work for people well into the future,” Peterson said. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to collaborate with other leaders throughout our country to find common ground ideas to bring home to Minnesota.”

For his Eagle Project, David Cornelisen of Boy Scout Troop 263, Lakeville, led the construction and installation of six Little Free Libraries. Photo submitted.

Lakeville Boy Scout completes Eagle Project
David Cornelisen of Boy Scout Troop 263, Lakeville, completed his Eagle Scout project on Saturday, July 15.

Over the course of three days, Cornelisen led a group of volunteers to construct, paint and install six Free Little Libraries around the city of Lakeville. Cornelisen, an avid reader, wanted to share his love of books and promote reading among both children and adults in his community.

For his project, Cornelisen reached out to several elementary schools and the Lakeville Parks Department. He received requests from the parks director and two schools.

The bright blue and white Little Free Libraries can be found at Lake Marion and Cherryview elementary schools as well as Bassett, Lakeridge, Lynwood and Terrace parks. The land where Basset Park sits was donated to the city by the family of Cornelisen’s godparents Amy and Dave Basset several years ago, a fact that was not discovered until after the project had begun.

The registration process for the Little Free Libraries should be completed by the end of summer. The building supplies and food for volunteers was donated by Ace Hardware, Builder’s Source, Cub Foods, Dominos Pizza, Hirschfields, Home Depot, Kwik Trip, Sam’s Club, and Subway.

Military Appreciation Dinner
The Apple Valley Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Network is holding its 18th Military Appreciation Dinner at the Apple Valley American Legion Post 1776 on Aug. 17. The free dinner for veterans and their families starts at 5:30 p.m.

More than 100 military service members and their family members typically attend the monthly dinner. Volunteers from the Yellow Ribbon Network and Boy Scouts from Troop 293 organize the event. The goal is to let service members and veterans know that they are appreciated by their community and connect them with resources and each other.

Early registration is encouraged at 952-923-5014 or by email to yellowribbonav@gmail.com. There is no charge for the dinner, which is open to all active military, veterans and their families.

Horsing around during National Night Out
Golden Ridges Stables is hosting an evening of pony rides, a hay ride (weather permitting) and “horsey” activities Tuesday, Aug. 1, during National Night Out.

The free event is held rain or shine. Festivities run 5:30-8:30 p.m. at 8315 190th St. W., Lakeville. For more information, visit www.goldenridgestables.com.

Habitat for Humanity fundraiser
Wintrust Mortgage, Kona Ice and Heavy Metal Grill are teaming up for a beach volleyball and bean bag tournament and fundraiser for Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2. The event is at the beach at Antlers Park, 19740 201st St. W., Lakeville.

The tournament is a casual, fun beach volleyball tournament. There will be no referees and teams will self-regulate. A DJ will provide music. Nets, balls and lines will be provided by Wintrust Mortgage.

All registration proceeds benefit Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity.

Volleyball: 16 teams (real estate offices), six people per team (two females required per team), winner and loser bracket, award trophies for the winners, each team guaranteed three games. Cost: $90 per team.

Bag toss: two people per team, winner and loser bracket, award trophies to the winner, each team guaranteed three games. Cost: $30 per team.

Raffle prizes will be given throughout the day.

The Heavy Metal Grill and Kona Ice food trucks will have food options for purchase. A portion of the sales will be donated to Habitat for Humanity.

Snacks, water, Gatorade and refreshments will be provided.

Register at https://habitat-wintrust.eventbrite.com.

Kids ’n Kinship receives grant
Great River Energy has awarded a $1,500 grant to Kids ’n Kinship to further the mission of the youth mentoring program.

“This support is extremely important to the Kids ’n Kinship program,” said Jan Belmore, director. “With this investment in our youth, we work to reduce isolation, build positive relationships with adult mentors and reduce risky behaviors in youth.”

Great River Energy, based in Maple Grove, provides wholesale electric service to 28 distribution cooperatives, which distribute electricity to approximately 685,000 members across Minnesota.

Kids ’n Kinship is a local volunteer mentoring organization serving the communities of Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, Farmington, Lakeville and Rosemount for 45 years.

To learn more about mentoring, contact Kids ’n Kinship at 651-686-0990 or www.kidsnkinship.org. The next mentor information session is Monday, Aug.14, at the Burnhaven Library in Burnsville. Visit www.kidsnkinsip.org for dates and locations and to register.

Job Transitions Group meets Aug. 1
Abby Doyle will present “47 Uncommon Ways to Conduct an Absolutely Awesome Job Search” at the Aug. 1 meeting of the Easter Job Transitions Group. The group meets 7:30 a.m. Tuesdays at Easter Lutheran Church – By the Lake, 4245 Pilot Knob Road, Eagan. Call 651-452-3680 for information.

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.

Farmington Afternoon Book Group, 1:30-2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1. The group will discuss “Summer of the Wolves” by Polly Carlson-Voiles, which is a Maude Hart Lovelace book award nominee.

Evening Storytime, 6:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1. Read, play, sing, talk and write together with stories and activities to develop early literacy skills for toddlers and preschoolers and their families. Siblings welcome. Ages: 2-6.

Open Knitting, 1:30-2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2. Join other knitters in a casual setting. Learn new stitches, get help with unfinished projects, or just sit and knit. Other crafters welcome.

Learn to Quilt, 2-4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 3. Registration required. Session 3: Assemble and choose quilting and binding options.

Friday Fun for Teens, 3:30-4:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4. Drop in for a variety of fun activities all summer long. Ages: 10-16.

Fare For All and The Shoe Bus in Eagan
Easter Lutheran in Eagan is hosting Fare For All and The Shoe Bus 3-5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8, to fight hunger. Everyone in the community can help, including people who don’t need food assistance.

Fare For All is a program selling packs of fresh produce and frozen meat for up to 40 percent off grocery store prices. It’s a community-supported, budget-stretching program open to everyone. Fare For All gives people who don’t need food support the opportunity to help just by purchasing the food to keep it less expensive. The program purchases the groceries from wholesalers and volunteers pre-package the food into packs. The Produce Pack includes 16 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables for $10. There are two sizes of frozen meat packs: a Mega Meat Pack (eight to nine frozen meats) for $25 and a Mini Meat Pack (four frozen meats) for $11.

The Shoe Bus sells new and gently used shoes to raise funds to provide food to people in need. Shoes are $2 for sizes 0-6.5 and $5 for sizes 7 and up. For every pair of shoes sold, The Shoe Bus is able to feed a person with up to seven days of essential groceries.

Hours for The Shoe Bus will be 3-5 p.m.; hours for Fare For All will be 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Easter Lutheran Church is at 4545 Pilot Knob Road in Eagan (corner of Cliff and Pilot Knob roads). Everyone is welcome.

Volunteers needed to help recycle at county fair
Dakota County Environmental Resources and the Dakota County Fair are taking steps to recycle more waste and are in need of volunteers to help out. Bottles, paper and organics such as food and napkins will be collected and recycled again this year to keep them out of the landfill.

The Dakota County Fair is Aug. 7-13 in Farmington. Volunteers are needed during the fair to help instruct fair visitors on what to recycle and highlight why recycling is important. No experience necessary; training provided. Volunteers get free admission to the fair on the day of their shift and a free T-shirt.

Organic materials that are collected in food vendor areas will be taken to a local facility for composting. Glass bottles, cans and paper are taken to recycling facilities to be sorted and made into new, useful products. Last year, more than five tons of recyclables were saved from the landfill.

To sign up, visit www.dakotacounty.us and search “volunteers” or call Garrett Zaffke at 651-438-4635.

Local DFL hosts ‘hootenanny’
The local DFL is hosting a Hog Roast and Hootenanny 3-8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, in rural Farmington. The event features live music, as well as 2018 Democratic candidates for statewide and local offices.

“It’s a fun time for the general public to come out and kick the tires on the Democratic party,” said local DFL Senate District 58 Chair Greg Hansen, whose unit is putting on the event. “There will be ample opportunity for people to meet one-on-one in a casual atmosphere with many of the state’s political leaders.”

The hootenanny will be held at the home of Marla Vagts, who has been a candidate for the Minnesota House.

The menu includes slow roasted pork and beef by chef Ron Wacks, and vegetarian options, as well as salads, snacks and desserts. The event is family-friendly and non-alcoholic beverages will be served.

The event is open to the public and tickets are available online at www.dfl58.org/party for a $20 donation for adults or $10 for kids. Proceeds will go to supporting DFL candidates for the Minnesota House of Representatives from throughout the Second Congressional District in 2018.

DWI All-Star Team
A Dakota County deputy has been named to the 2017 DWI All-Star Team.

Dakota County Sheriff Dep. Michael Vai was named to the team during a pre-game ceremony at Target Field July 18.

The team this year is comprised of 43 law enforcement officers and prosecutors throughout Minnesota who have demonstrated outstanding efforts in the fight against drunk driving.

Dep. Vai arrested 47 individuals for drunk driving in 2016.

Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie praised his efforts, and those of all law enforcement officers, for making communities safer by taking drunk drivers off the road.

Leslie said he is proud to partner with the Office of Traffic Safety in the Towards Zero Deaths initiative in the cooperative effort.

Sen. Hall honored as Legislator of Distinction
The League of Minnesota Cities has named Sen. Dan Hall, R-Burnsville, as a Legislator of Distinction for his support of cities during the 2017 legislative session. Hall is one of 14 senators to receive the award.

“Minnesota is at its strongest when its cities are flourishing,” said Hall. “As chairman of the Local Government Committee, it is important that cities know they have an open door to discuss the challenges they are facing and provide feedback on issues that might affect them. I’m proud to receive this award, and I hope we can continue our great working relationship next year.”

The Legislator of Distinction award is given annually by the League of Minnesota Cities to state senators and representatives who support cities by being accessible to league representatives and receptive to their concerns, seeking input and advice from the league, by sponsoring or supporting league initiatives and issues important to cities; and by demonstrating the importance of partnership between the state and city governments.

Sen. Clausen receives Minnesota School Boards Association award
Sen. Greg Clausen, DFL-Apple Valley, was awarded Outstanding Legislator of the Year for 2017 by the Minnesota School Boards Association. He was honored with the award along with five other state legislators.

Clausen was recognized for his support in the reform of Minnesota’s teacher licensure system. Early on, Sen. Clausen recognized the system needed change in order to meet staffing needs — especially in shortage areas like Career and Technical Education (CTE) and teachers of color.

“Sen. Clausen’s willingness to fund Minnesota public schools and support decision-making at the local level demonstrated great leadership,” said MSBA Executive Director Kirk Schneidawind. “We appreciate his thoughtful discourse and willingness to tackle complex educational and political challenges. His determination to provide Minnesota students with a high-quality education and his commitment to closing the achievement gap, while addressing teacher shortage, is noteworthy.”

Clausen serves on the Senate E-12 Policy Committee.

BBB warns of EGrid Sales
Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota is warning job applicants about employment offers extended by a company called EGrid Sales. This online entity, which falsely claims an address in St. Paul, purports to offer shipping services the world over. However, based on a report BBB has received through BBB Scam Tracker and multiple inquiries from the public, BBB believes EGrid Sales is operating a reshipping scheme, wherein individuals seeking legitimate employment instead become entangled in a supply chain involving the reshipment of stolen merchandise – or merchandise paid for with stolen credit card information.

“This kind of thing is becoming more common,” said Susan Adams Loyd, president and CEO of BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota. “First, this fraudulent entity victimizes a business by claiming their address. Second, they give job applicants false hope and actually involve them in reshipping schemes which are illegal.”

In regard to the EGrid Sales claimed address in St. Paul, a review performed by BBB revealed that’s also the same address listed for a local BBB Accredited Business. However, BBB has confirmed with that business that EGrid Sales is not located at that address and they are not affiliated with them in any way.

As reshipping schemes often involve the transfer of stolen merchandise – or merchandise paid for with stolen credit card information – people who become involved in such schemes may be at risk of prosecution. BBB advises the public to be very leery of any work-from-home offers they receive. If you feel you may be involved in a reshipping scheme, you should contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service immediately at 877-876-2455.

The Scam Tracker report that BBB received indicates EGrid Sales also has “employees” fill out tax forms, which might put people who accept positions with them at risk of identity theft. Job seekers should always be very cautious with personal information they share online.

Common warning signs of potential employment scams include:

• The position involves transferring money or reshipping goods – domestically or outside the country.

• The company is or claims to be located in another country.

• The position does not list education or experience requirements.

• The offer promises significant earning potential for little effort.

• Emails contain grammatical and typographical errors, or contact takes place solely via email.

• The company claims to have been in business for many years but their website was only recently created.

BBB has also seen instances where scammers claim to represent an established business and offer employment opportunities. It’s important to visit company websites or contact appropriate HR departments to ensure job offers are legitimate. Job seekers are always encouraged to contact BBB in regard to suspect job offers or to research businesses where they’re considering seeking employment. They may do so by visiting www.bbb.org or by calling 800-646-6222.