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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Farmington residents who commute south to Rochester every day have a new transportation option available to them. Earlier this year Rochester City Lines launched a new bus service that will bring people from downtown Farmington to downtown Rochester in time to start an 8 a.m. workday. The line, which originates in Burnsville, will be the bus company's second connecting the Twin Cities and Rochester. "We had been hearing increased demand for a broader range of service in the south metro area," said Rochester City Lines community liaison Christian Holter.
It was standing in the highway and yelling at traffic that drew police officers' attention to Jesse Gallagher. It was the drugs in his pocket that landed him in trouble. Farmington police found Gallagher, 29, Nov. 25 after receiving reports of a man blocking traffic on Highway 3 and yelling. According to a complaint filed in the Dakota County Attorney's office Gallagher screamed at police officers as they tried to talk to him. During a search conducted after Gallagher had calmed down police found a pink pill, later identified as the controlled substance Suboxone, in his right coin pocket.
The Farmington School District has put together a pared-down list of proposed building improvements. School board members got their first look Monday at a list of roughly $8.2 million in construction and maintenance projects that will use up what's left of bond funds originally meant for a fifth elementary school. Slowing growth has made that building unnecessary, at least for the immediate future. A district task force created the list presented Monday from a longer list the district was considering last year.
The Farmington School Board is making plans to cut an estimated $1.29 million from its 2012-13 budget. Finance director Carl Colmark told school board members Monday the cuts are necessary primarily because of a loss of $800,000 in federal jobs bill money and a $400,000 shift of technology staff funding from the capital budget to the general fund. "Those two items alone represent about $1.2 million of the $1.3 million (deficit)," Colmark said Monday.
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.