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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Wednesday was a big day for big-time college football programs. In early-morning gatherings, high school seniors nationwide formally declared their intention to play for Michigan or Ohio State or Florida or whatever other schools have a high-profile team these days. I don't watch much football. Is Princeton still good? Across the country, excited crowds gathered in high school gymnasiums to see highly-touted recruits put on baseball caps from their college of choice. In some cases there were television crews on hand.
The city of Farmington is in a difficult spot when it comes to its budget. It finds itself with a $370,000 hole to fill next year, and not a lot of easy ways to fill it. The city took one step toward making needed cuts this week when it eliminated the position of economic development specialist.
Considered from the outside, the name is deceptively simple. Whitetail Woods Regional Park. But those four words, the name of a planned Dakota County Regional Park in Empire Township, are the result of a process that stretches back more than a year.
When you work for an animal rescue you get used to hearing hard-luck stories, sad stories and just about every variation on the theme of an animal becoming homeless. But that doesn't make the stories any easier to hear. At Farmington's Last Hope animal rescue, the latest variation on the story starts with a couple trying to give two puppies a good home and ends with an influx of sick dogs in need of adoption. The couple picked up the dogs, given away for free, from a farm in Montgomery. The puppies, a mix of Labrador retriever and something unidentified, were happy and seemed healthy.
As the biting cold set in last week, I struggled walking the block from my house to the gym. The wind caught the narrow strip of exposed flesh between my boots and my track pants with searing pain. Sticking to those New Year's resolutions about exercising more is hard when the weather is actively trying to kill you every time you leave the house. Luckily, thanks to a sale at ALDI, I have a backup plan for subzero mornings. If you haven't checked out the ALDI grocery store in Rosemount, I highly recommend it. Everything is always on sale.
Determining what classes you want to take the next year is a big step that comes every January. In the last week students have been given the choice to decide what they will learn next year, and in the long run, what will help them get into college. That's a scary thought. You can take it as being an exciting time or as one of the most stressful of your high school experience. Farmington High School offers multiple choices of classes you can take: art, music, English, math. The older you get, the more options you seem to get. But how do you know what classes are the best fit for you?
You could say I have an aspirational relationship with fresh fruit. I'm not sure exactly why you'd say that, there being a nearly infinite selection of conversational topics more interesting than my attitude toward produce. But were you to say it, it would be accurate. That occurred to me last week as I picked through the apple bin at the grocery store. It's something I've done many times before.
Clark Bledsoe would like to sing Happy Birthday for you. Or maybe help you wish a special someone a happy anniversary. Or even say you're sorry. Basically, if you've got a special occasion, Bledsoe believes he has a song to make it just a little more special. Earlier this month the Farmington resident launched Juliograms, a singing telegram business he hopes will become an important part of the living he makes as a professional musician. Bledsoe, who graduated from Farmington High School in 1980, has been playing music for much of his life.
Saying it will be "bigger and better" might sound a little cliché, but the 2012 Farmington Community Expo will likely live up to that claim. School District 192 Community Education adult and community programs director and expo coordinator Barbara Pierce says this year's event will be the biggest it's ever been, with 127 vendors covering most of the commons area at Farmington High School. Last year, the expo boasted 119 exhibitors and the rows at Farmington High School were a little tight.
There are almost certainly iPads in the future for at least some students in Farmington schools. School board members heard a report at their Monday night board meeting from a group that described the Apple-made tablet computers as vital tools for the kind of customized education superintendent Jay Haugen has preached since he interviewed for the job last year. The group, made up of district administrators and staff members and school board member Brian Treakle, recently teamed with a similar group from the Spring Lake Park School District to travel to Apple's Cupertino, Calif.