Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening.
You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'.
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Kerri Davis is a private person. So depending on the kindness of strangers is not something she's comfortable doing. However, after a fire destroyed her house on Nov. 4 the Farmington resident has found herself in that position. The fire, which started in the garage of her home, destroyed her house, vehicle and all of her family's personal belongings except for a few photographs. "We lost everything. Right now there is snow in my house," Davis said. Davis woke to the sound of her car tires popping due to the fire.
Jacob Grunklee likes science and he's good at it. So when the chance to be part of a science experiment came through 4-H the Rosemount eighth grader jumped at the opportunity. In all eleven Dakota County 4-H members participated in a near-space ballooning program over two weekends in mid-October. The members launched a latex weather balloon from Gaylord, Minn. Oct. 15. The members will gather one more time to see the results of data collected as part of their experiment.
The University of Minnesota turned on its new research wind turbine Tuesday with a ceremony at the UMore Park site. Hundreds of people turned out for the event. The Eolos Wind Energy Research Consortium is an industry-academic consortium led by project director Fotis Sotiropoulos.
The Dakota Communications Center will do a mass notification call Nov. 1. Before that, officials want residents to be aware that they can sign up to be notified in the case of emergencies in the area. The DCC operates the Emergency Alert System. The system allows the DCC to notify people of emergencies such as gas leaks, pandemics, floods, nuclear situations and other disasters, said DCC operations director Cheryl Pritzlaff. The Nov. 1 call will be a test of the system. Pritzlaff said the center changed vendors and wants to make sure things are working properly.
The wind turbine that has risen up on the eastern side of Rosemount is one of three wind energy research and energy projects in the nation. The Eolos Wind Research Station will be an important tool in the creation of new technology for the future of wind energy. And for Jeff Marr and others involved with the project it's just plain exciting. "This is really unique. It's a publicly owned turbine for research," said Marr. To show off the 80-meter turbine, the University of Minnesota-led Wind Energy Research Consortium will host a public commissioning event from 1:45 to 4:30 p.m. Oct.
4-H has long had a reputation as a farm-based activity, but it's definitely not just for country kids. The program has something for just about everyone. With programs that provide experience in fields ranging from science and technology to performing arts to culinary adventures and, of course agriculture, it can be the right fit for any kid. The Dakota County 4-H program will host a meet and greet from 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 24 at the University of Minnesota Extension building, 4100 220 th St.
As the UMore Park project gets up and going there's a lot going on. In coming months residents may notice some activity on the property. Here's a little information on what's happening out there. The University of Minnesota Outreach, Research and Education (UMore) Park is the University's 5,000-acre property that straddles border of Rosemount and Empire Township. The university's vision is to build a sustainable community of 20,000 to 30,000 people over 25 to 30 years.
Standing out in the middle of the University of Minnesota's land is the Rosemount Research and Outreach Center. It's a beautiful area full of big blooms, colorful vegetables and learning. Each summer, the Center and the Dakota County Master Gardeners partner to host an open house to show off what they've been doing. It's a chance for the public to come in and see what's going on out there. This year the event will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Aug. 18 at 1605 160th St. W. "It's fun.
Natural disasters can be expensive. Especially if you aren't ready for them. While there is no way to be 100 percent prepared for the unknown, Dakota County feels it can at least be well prepared. The county is going through the process of updating its All Hazard Mitigation Plan. The plan lists the types of disasters that pose a risk of injury or death to residents, ranks disasters by severity and identifies ways to minimize those risks. Emergency preparedness coordinator David Gish said the county first created the plan five years ago in compliance with a federal law that required it.
While a budget didn't get passed, plenty of other things did during the 2011 Legislative Session. Here is a list of several of the laws that went into effect July 1, according to the Minnesota House of Representatives information services. Synthetic marijuana has been banned. It is a gross misdemeanor to sell synthetic marijuana or to possess it. The drug has a number of names including K2 or Spice. A new law requires repeat DWI offender and first time offenders whose alcohol concentration is at least double the legal limit to use an ignition interlock device to drive in Minnesota.