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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There were more adults charged with felony-level offenses last year in Farmington, mirroring a trend countywide. There were 39 individuals charged with 70 offenses last year in the city. In 2010 there were 31 individuals charged. Among Dakota County cities only Mendota Heights had fewer defendants and fewer charges. The Dakota County Attorney's office recently released adult felony statistics for the year. Sex-related offenses, including possession of child pornography, were the most commonly charged last year in Farmington with 15 instances.
A Farmington man who caused a Christmas Eve accident that killed a Prior Lake man in 2009 has been sentenced to more than a year in jail, 90 days of electronic home monitoring over three years and 13 years of probation. Jeffrey Arthur Martin, 39, received the sentence Wednesday from judge David Knutson. He will serve 545 days in jail and submit to 30 days of electronic home monitoring each year for three years. He was also fined $1,000 and ordered to pay restitution. Martin had a blood alcohol level of .17 at the time of the crash, which occurred in Lakeville.
A 35-year-old Farmington man is in jail this week, facing charges he carried on long-term relationship with a 16-year-old girl. Police received a report Feb. 6 that Adam Walter Bentz had on several occasions had inappropriate contact with the girl, described in a criminal complaint as having a significant relationship with Bentz. According to the complaint, the girl told police that on several occasions in the last year and a half Bentz had put his hand down her shirt, masturbated in front of her and touched her vagina.
Jaime VanderWoude became a pastry chef in part because of the shows she saw on television. Now she's becoming a regular in the kind of culinary competitions that have become staples of channels like the Food Network. It turns out, she might be a natural. VanderWoude, a Farmington resident who works in the bakery at Beyerley's in Edina, took second in November in the first cake decorating competition she entered. She finished third in a Sunday afternoon competition at the Mall of America despite losing one third of her work time to technical difficulties. She will compete again Feb.
A 27-year-old Castle Rock Township man faces several felony charges after he allegedly slapped his girlfriend and threatened others in the house with a broken pen, a steak knife and a sledgehammer. According to a complaint filed this week in the Dakota County Attorney's office, Jeremy Jesus Trinidad also threatened to set a dog on fire. According to the complaint, the argument started after Trinidad's girlfriend and her father had a meeting with an attorney. When she told Trinidad about the meeting, he reportedly started slapping her.
It was the sound that first attracted Scott Engen to letterpress printing. In a world filled with electronic beeps and whines and whirrs, he liked the locomotive chugga-chugga the big metal machines made while they worked. Engen was living in Colorado at the time, having followed some friends from Minnesota to Denver. He was working in a print shop. The owner, who had hired Engen because another Minnesota native had turned out to be a hard worker, gave him a chance on the press. "He gave me the opportunity to hang myself and the opportunity to prove what I could do," Engen said.
Their fingers aren't as quick as they used to be, and they have a little more trouble threading a needle, but there's little question the members of Rambling River Center's lap robe group still have their hearts in the right place. For four or five years now, the group has gathered monthly to make lap robes for veteran's home and for nursing home residents. Last year alone they made 98 of the blankets, which are intended for people in wheelchairs.
Farmington superintendent Jay Haugen has a reputation for being a big thinker about education. Already in his time in Farmington he's talked about a vision that dramatically changes the notion of moving students through grades as is currently done. We sat down with Haugen a little more than six months into his time in Farmington to see how things are going. Have there been things that surprised you since you've come in?
Less than a year after it transformed from an Econo Foods to an experimental concept called Savers Choice, Farmington's grocery store is getting another new name and going back to an old way of doing business. Nash Finch, the store's parent company, confirmed Friday that the store will change its name to Family Fresh Market and return to full-service operation. Savers Choice offers primarily store-brand products with a frequently changing selection of name brand products that often brought big discounts but also made it difficult for shoppers to know what they would find.
The Super Bowl took place last Sunday. You probably knew that. It's been discussed. If you didn't know, maybe you could use some catching up. Let's start at the beginning. The Super Bowl is a football game. It's played once a year to determine which football team is the best football team in the United States and, pretty much by default, the world.