Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.
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The biggest day of the year in Farmington is almost here. No, not Christmas or city-wide clean-up day, although those are close seconds. The most exciting annual event in Farmington is the Kiss the Pig contest. For one brief, shining moment, a Farmington dignitary smacks lips with a piglet in front of the entire town. The high school principal, a Lutheran minister, the fire chief or someone else of prominence wins the honor every year. When I tell people from outside our little hamlet about the pig kissing contest, they usually think I'm pulling their leg.
There are certain things that go through your mind when you're in the middle of a multi-day music festival. Like, just how long can you go without showering before returning to civilized society is an impossibility? Or, what exactly goes into building a wrought-iron dance floor on top of a converted school bus?
Clarence Kamen still has the membership card he got when he first joined the Farmington Knights of Columbus. At this point, it probably qualifies as a historical document. Kamen joined the Catholic service organization along with his father and his brother in 1937, and he kept coming back year after year. He recently celebrated his 75th anniversary as a member of the group, all in Farmington. He still has all 75 of his member cards. "It's quite an accomplishment, I guess," said Kamen, who turned 94 on Jan. 6.
Farmington students scored above their peers nationwide at all grade levels on the Northwest Evaluation Association's Measures of Academic Progress given to nearly all second- through eighth grade students in the spring. Farmington students take the computer-based test in the fall and in the spring as a way to measure student achievement and growth from the beginning of the school year to the end.
Dew Days has its Queen and her court. Alexis Preese was crowned Miss Farmington at the city's annual pageant Wednesday night. Roni Page Peterson was named Junior Miss Farmington and Hailey White was named Little Miss Farmington. Heather Torkelson and Stephanie Barnes joined Preese as first and second Miss Farmington princesses, respectively. Riley King was the Junior Miss Farmington first princess and Vanessa Thraen was second princess.
Andrew Brobston has already been a music teacher and a software engineer. Now the Vermillion Township resident would like to be a Senator. Brobston filed June 1 to challenge incumbent Minnesota Senator Dave Thompson in District 58. The filing fills a gap that has existed since March, when local Democrats ended their convention without endorsing a candidate.
Warm weather has finally arrived and summer break is upon us. With the warm weather, the city of Farmington comes alive again. Though the vast majority of youth are out having innocent fun, the absence of daily structure (school) can often open the door to juvenile crimes. I wanted to pass on a few tips to keep parents, students and your property safer this summer.
It has become something of a tradition, this attempt I make each year to impart a little wisdom to another class of graduating seniors. I don't do it because there is an overwhelming demand. Far from it. I don't believe anyone has ever actually asked for my advice on the best way to tackle life post-high school. People ask me for advice about buying bikes, or about choosing a restaurant. But I get about as many people asking me how to develop a life plan as ask LeBron James about handling pressure situations. I try not to let that bother me, but you start to notice a pattern.
With just over a week before Dew Days gets under way, Darla Donnelly was feeling calm. In her second year as chair of the committee that runs the annual summer festival, Donnelly was confident things were in place for a successful event. "I'm actually very comfortable with Dew Days," Donnelly said. "It's kind of hectic, but it's going really well." That wasn't always the case. Just a few years ago crowds were dwindling and Dew Days was losing money.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation is getting ready to make improvements at the intersection of County Road 66 and Highway 52, and Farmington-area residents can have some input on what those changes will look like. MnDOT plans to do work in the summer of 2013 to improve safety at the intersection, which has been the site of 27 crashes since 2006. The current plan is to turn the crossing into what is known as a three-quarter intersection.