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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Tough times call for tough decisions and the Dakota County Board of Commissioners has had to make plenty of those this year. One of those decisions was to cut funding for the popular Dakota County Master Gardner program. On Dec. 14 the Dakota County Commissioners approved their 2011 budget. Part of that process was cutting funding to the University of Minnesota Extension, which pays for a staff person, Barbara Stendahl, to coordinate the master gardener program. "We're sad this happened, but we understand it.
It will take years to come to fruition but eventually residents will be able to walk, bike or run around Dakota County. With the help of cities within it, county planners have put together a plan to interconnect green areas countywide. The plan, called the Greenway Collaborative, calls for government agencies within the county to work together to create 200 miles of trails. The trails, some of which already exist, will connect large natural areas to others within the county through an eco conscious system.
The Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce will host a candidate forum from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 29 at city hall. The first hour of the forum will focus on the on legislative races. The candidates for the District 36 State Senate race are Dave Thompson (R) and Steve Quist (DFL). Both seek the seat vacated this year by the retiring Pat Pariseau. The State Representative candidates in District 36B are incumbent Pat Garofalo (R) and Sigrid Iversen (DFL). The second hour will focus on the city council race. Two seats are open on the Farmington City Council.
The Dakota Communications Center has postponed hiring a new executive director until after the New Year. Interim executive director Diane Lind will continue to lead the 911 dispatch center until then. "The board has decided to take a step back and go into a holding pattern," said Lind. The board made the decision July 14 after months of searching for a replacement for Kent Therkelsen.
A young man was shot and killed early Monday night at the Car Spa Car Wash. Police responded to the incident shortly after 6 p.m. According to information from the city, officers found a 22-year-old male dead at the scene. The victim, whose name was not released, was from Apple Valley. Witnesses reported seeing a suspect leave the scene in a 1997 to 2000 gold or tan Mercury Sable. The suspect is described as a light-skinned black male, 25-30 years old and possibly 6'3" or taller. Detectives are interviewing witnesses to determine the events leading up to the shooting.
The Dakota Communications Center executive committee has recommended Diane Lind be named the interim executive director for the center. The board of directors will vote June 17 on whether to approve the recommendation. A few delays have pushed back the decision on a new executive director for the center until mid-July. Current executive director Kent Therkelsen's last day is June 30, so the board has to pick an interim director. Therkelsen said Lind, who is the center's operations director, is in the best position to take over in the interim after his departure.
A few hang ups have delayed the decision on a new executive director for the Dakota Communications Center, current director Kent Therkelsen said. So the board of directors will have to pick an interim director during their June 17 meeting. Therkelsen's last day is June 30. He said vacation and business trips have slowed up conducting pre-employment background checks and leadership assessments on the final three candidates. Therkelsen said the board will receive a recommendation for an interim director Thursday.
After 40 years of service the Community Action Council has a new name. In January the community service organization became 360 Communities. It will go under the new moniker from here on out. President Mary Ajax said the new name reflects the cyclical relationship between the community and the people it helps.
As the 1,000 or so soldiers with the 34th Infantry Division return from Iraq they will undergo more training. But unlike the training they received to go to war, this time they will learn how to adapt to the world they left a year ago. Coming back from war isn't a simple process. For many it means learning to be part of their old lives again.
It's been a long year for Korbin Noyes. His mom, Sgt. Jinny Noyes, a Rosemount resident, has been deployed to Iraq since February with the 34th Infantry Division and he has waited for her to return. The wait ended Sunday evening when Jinny burst through the doors of the Rosemount Community Center gymnasium. "It feels good to have her home," said Korbin, talking into his mother in her Army issued fatigues. Sgt. Noyes returned Sunday with the first wave of 34th Infantry Division soldiers to come back from Basra, Iraq.