A fire on a farm near Hampton caused about $130,000 in damage Friday morning. The Hastings Fire Department was called to 21649 Darsow Ave., near the intersection of 215th Street, around 8:30 a.m. on the report of a fire in a corn dryer. Hastings fire chief Mike Schutt said some corn got clogged near a heater and was ignited. About 900 bushels of corn and the corn dryer were destroyed in the blaze. Putting the fire out was labor-intensive, Schutt said, because the corn had to be unloaded from the dryer manually as firefighters doused the unit with water.
There are challenges facing the Dakota County Board of Commissioners in the next four years. Dakota County Commissioner Joseph (Joe) Harris said he is looking forward to working with the other commissioners and staff to address them. On Tuesday, Harris, a county commissioner for 28 years, defeated challenger Doug Riles for another four-year term. When the last Dakota County precinct was counted shortly after midnight, Harris had defeated Riles 20,193 to 7,166. "I feel very good," he said.
Farmington resident Jerry Lee Wiley is awaiting trial after the Dakota County Attorney's Office has charged him with attempted murder and burglary. He is charged with four counts of attempted murder and two counts of first degree burglary. Wiley was taken into custody at 4:57 a.m. June 6 after a four-hour standoff at his apartment with city and county police. County sheriffs responded to a shots-fired call at 12:44 a.m. in Empire Township.
Family, friends and others from the community are invited to join together to give support and strength to the family of Karleen (Brockman) Holmstrom of Farmington. The Holmstrom benefit will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28 at Geri and Gary Wachter's home, 11121 270th St. E. in Elko. Karleen Holmstrom was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer in June.
Weather permitting, there should be some visible progress late next month at Vermillion River Crossings. Project manager Bob Pitner expects two businesses, McDonald's and Northfield Clinic, to break ground in late April at the development south of Highway 50 and west of Denmark Avenue.
To the editor, The board members of the Dakota Valley Arts Council would like to thank the Independent newspaper for their series covering the mural painted in downtown Farmington. The color pictures and information printed each week were very informative and answered many questions that people have wondered about the artwork. A friend commented that the series explained the thinking of the artist and what the pictures represented and how it concerned the history of Farmington and Dakota County.
A new University of Minnesota football stadium could mean the Farmington area will stay a whole lot greener down the line. A deal announced last Friday and approved Monday by the university's board of regents could turn more than 2,800 acres of the U's UMORE Park property over to the state of Minnesota in exchange for funding for the new Gopher stadium.
Starting next week, visitors to our web site at www.farmingtonindependent.com will notice some changes. The appearance will be the most obvious change. We and other newspapers in our company have changed to a design we believe is both more attractive and easier to navigate. But we have done much more than just improve our online looks. The biggest changes to the site have all been made with the idea of making our online home more useful to you, our readers. Some of these changes are passive. In the upper right-hand corner of the site, for example, you will now find weather information.
Pat Garofalo's on-again, off-again re-election campaign is back on. Garofalo, the State Representative for District 36B, received the Republican party endorsement at a March 18 endorsing convention after his opponent, Farmington Planning Commission member Chaz Johnson, withdrew. Garofalo won his seat with 62 percent of the vote in 2004 and said early on he planned to run again. But he was unhappy about the challenge by Johnson, the chair of the Republican party in the district.
Mayor Kevan Soderberg painted a pretty rosy picture of Farmington during his State of the City address last week. Why shouldn't he? That is what such speeches are all about, and there is a lot of good stuff going on in Farmington. Farmington taxpayers are getting their money's worth from the city, Soderberg said, and that is probably true, in large part. There are big things on the horizon, he said, and his talk about providing a fiber optic connection to all homes and businesses in the city is certainly reason for excitement.