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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Jeannette Schauer grew up in the country, but the search for work turned her into a city girl pretty quickly. Schauer was born to a farm family in Enderlin, North Dakota. The third of six children, she was a self-described daddy's girl who loved driving the horses and the tractors as the family worked the fields. She attended a country school where she had just four other students in her class. "I did a lot of farm work," Schauer said.
Like many Minnesotans, I am a proud and grateful grandparent. Whether I am hunting and fishing with my grandkids or playing games and helping them with homework when Vicky and I visit, we cherish the memories with all four family blessings. It seems like just yesterday when they, nestled on my lap, were bursting with unbridled excitement and enthusiasm on Christmas to tear off the gift wrapping and unveil the surprises that awaited them. But in no time at all, the annual opening of Legos, Tonka trucks and Barbie dolls has given way to the sights and sounds of the latest electronic gadgets.
A few days ago, my mom told me to look outside at the snow. As I walked to the window and stared out at the endless pillowy blanket of fluff, it came to me that this is the best and worst time of my year. Yes, it's the season with all the holidays and food, but it's also the season where you find yourself wondering why you even live here. Lets be honest, Minnesota has about three good months of weather before things start to get icy, literally. In Minnesota I guess it's hard to have a Christmas without snow. Without it, it isn't really Christmas at all.
A traffic stop for speeding and driving with a revoked license has led to drug and other charges against a 44-year-old Hampton Township man. A Dakota County Sheriff's deputy stopped Howard Nora July 5 for speeding and driving with a revoked license. During the stop, the deputy found a glass pipe with methamphetamine residue, as well as a baggie with 1.88 grams of the drug. Nora now faces a felony charge for possession of a controlled substance. If convicted he could face up to five years in jail and fines of up to $10,000.
A Nov. 27 house party apparently turned violent for one woman and has led to felony charges against a 21-year-old Farmington man. According to a complaint filed last week in the Dakota County Attorney's office, Jacob Severson got upset with one of his guests because she was being "overly dramatic." When the woman tried to call for a ride, Severson allegedly took her phone and head butted her. According to the complaint, Severson then refused to let the woman leave and threatened to kill her if she called police.
Two West St. Paul men face felony drug charges after a Dakota County Sheriff's deputy found marijuana plants in their car during a Sept. 28 traffic stop. The deputy stopped the car for speeding in Castle Rock Township. According to a complaint filed last week in the Dakota County Attorney's office, during the stop the deputy saw what appeared to be raw marijuana plants in the car. According to the complaint, both the driver of the vehicle, 73-year-old Nicholas Salvador Ramirez, and the passenger, 45-year-old Carlos Salvador Cordona, both claimed the marijuana was for medicinal use.
Howard Rapp was in a rush to find out if he was a lottery winner, but he took his time claiming his prize. Maybe he was doing some financial planning. Rapp won $1 million in the Nov. 18 Mega Millions lottery drawing. He claimed his prize Dec. 5 at the Lottery's office in Roseville. Rapp found out about the win two weeks ago while he was buying groceries. He scanned the ticket using a checker at the store and got a message informing him he needed to claim his prize at the Lottery office. That got him excited. "I hurried up and bought a newspaper and ran home," he said this week.
Are you ready for it? Are you ready for this holiday season? With Thanksgiving out of the way, you have little over a month to get ready for the craziness of Christmas, but are you prepared for it? Prepared for all the gift wrapping, the holiday shopping and the pounds a-gaining? All the snow, ice and decorating to do? I sure hope so, because it is just around the corner. With the Thanksgiving weekend being so beautiful, I hope you all started to put up your outdoor Christmas lights; who likes to do that in the freezing snow we got a quick glimpse of a few weekends ago?
I spent part of last Saturday morning using my lawn mower to mulch the leaves that remained in my yard. The mulching mower, as you perhaps know, is the lazy man's rake. But that's not really the point. The point is, as I watched those leaves disappear under my mower only to be chopped to tiny bits, I couldn't help but think about Black Friday. In this case, the leaves getting mulched were a stand-in for basic human dignity.
Players in Farmington's youth basketball program got to learn from the Farmington High School varsity teams Thursday night, then got to meet the players and get their autographs. Varsity players from the Tiger boys and girls teams ran drills for the youth players, then scrimmaged and held a slam dunk contest. Farmington Youth Athletic Association president Kevin Hunt worked out the annual event with the high school coaches as a way to provide some instruction for the younger players and remind the high school students they have people looking up to them.