Kara Hildreth / contributor
Farmington police Sgt. Lee Hollatz thrived when investigating cases. Hollatz, 55, was recognized for his nearly 23 years of service by the city of Farmington at the Nov. 6 city council meeting. Police Chief Brian Lindquist awarded him his police badge on a commemorative plaque. Lindquist and Hollatz shared in a full bro-style bear hug after working together for more than two decades. This year the veteran Farmington police force will welcome three new officers who will replace three departing officers.
Farmington High senior Anna Urbach challenges all to play an active role in closing the equality divide in the United States. "According to Ronald Reagan, all great change begins at the dinner table," said Josh Wilson, senior at Farmington High who acted as master of ceremonies at the Nov. 9 Farmington Patriotic Day Celebration. Prior to the program, the community gathered to share in conversation and enjoy a free pork chop dinner served by volunteers, civic leaders and Farmington Yellow Ribbon Network.
Veteran Reid Erickson can live with more independence because of the care, nurture and skills of his service dog Milton. Milton has gained a reputation of "melting hearts" when people meet the sweet golden retriever. Erickson, 36, retired from the military in August 2014. He experienced a traumatic brain injury when he broke his neck after being near an explosion in Afghanistan. Today he lives 100 percent disabled and experiences frequent blackouts.
Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen has been sworn in as the 31st adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard. Gov. Mark Dayton administered Jensen's oath of office during a formal ceremony Saturday, Nov. 4, at the Minnesota National Guard Armory in St. Paul. Back in August, the governor appointed a committee that ended up selecting Jensen as a finalist. As the leader of Minnesota National Guard, Jensen will be in charge of more than 13,000 soldiers and airmen who live and work throughout the state.
"Strike up the band" will be celebratory theme for this year's annual Rosemount holiday tree-lighting ceremony. The event will be a send-off practice for the Rosemount High School Irish Marching Band, which is working hard to dazzle the audiences at the famous Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in New York City. Locals can hear a sneak preview and see a marching band performance on Saturday, Nov. 18.
New Farmington police officer Keaton Reuben took the oath of office at Farmington City Council with Farmington City Administrator David McKnight Monday, Nov. 6. Reuben follows in his father's footsteps, a Minneapolis police officer, and he graduated recently with honors from Minnesota State University, Mankato.
The musical "Beauty & the Beast" will bring the story of love and acceptance to stage the next two weekends in Farmington. Farmington High School music and theatre departments have been busy rehearsing for the musical production as more than 51 students make up the cast and 25 students work on the crew with sound and lighting. About 10 musicians will play stringed instruments in the pit under the direction of parent Dan Julson.
Since Farmington adopted the hurricane-damaged city of Port Aransas, Texas, in the Drop in the Bucket campaign, organizers report floods of generosity. Right away, there was a connection made to a trucking company in Rosemount. Wayne Transports, Inc., in Rosemount decided to step up and donate a truck and driver, who will head south this weekend on the 1,350-mile trip south to Port Aransas, the island community recovering after Hurricane Harvey devastated 85 percent of homes, businesses and schools.
Gale Sprute lived a life giving back to his hometown. His wife Carol Sprute shared her husband's life of civic service. Personally, Gale was a kind and gentle man who was analytical and never short tempered, Carol recalled. Born in 1938 in his grandparents' Farmington home, Gale, 79, died of cancer Oct. 26, in his Farmington home with loved ones nearby.
The upcoming Farmington Patriotic Day's theme of patriotism may be particularly poignant due to the divisive nature of politics in the United States, according to program leader Dr. Steven Geis. Approaching 20 years, Patriotic Day set for Thursday, Nov. 9, celebrates veterans' service and sacrifice with music, speeches and a Voice of Democracy student essay. Last year community attendance peaked at 1,300 residents who packed into the recital hall, Tiger commons and another viewing room at Farmington High School. Patriotism theme