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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Spring is just around the corner. My favorite weather guy promised a high of 57 degrees this week. For me the warm weather confirms the inevitable. Graduation is almost here. With only two months to finish the final projects for my master's degree, the pressure is intense. My class ring arrived this week, emblazoned with the name of my university and the emblem for my major on the side. My major is management information systems, so my ring sports a tiny picture of a computer monitor and a keyboard. I can't wait to show it off to my computer geek co-workers.
By the time you read this column, nerds all around the world should know exactly what features the latest version of Apple's incredibly popular iPad tablet will have to offer. Actually, depending on how diligent you are about getting to your newspaper, we might be well on our way to guessing what the iPad 4 will bring to the table. Guessing the features of a new gadgets is a big deal.
After more than a month of keeping quiet, Kate Steiner can finally talk to family and friends about her opportunity to come on down. The Farmington resident appeared on Monday's episode of The Price is Right. She taped the episode Jan. 31, but until this week she couldn't say any more than that she was in the audience. "My Facebook page exploded yesterday (after the episode aired)," said Steiner, who made it on stage and won a game of tic tac toe before losing her attempt to spin the game's big wheel for a spot in the final showcase showdown.
Statewide, the number of mortgage foreclosures decreased in 2011 from the previous year. The number of completed foreclosure sales in Dakota also showed a decrease of about 7 percent for the same time period. According to a report released late last month by the Minnesota Homeownership Center, there were 21,298 foreclosures in Minnesota in 2011, a decrease of 17 percent from the 25,673 foreclosure sales in 2010. This is the lowest number of sales since 2007. Dakota County reported 1,985 foreclosure sales in 2011, down from the 2,147 reported in 2010.
While many of his colleagues in the Minnesota House of Representatives are busy trying to figure out radically different districts and in some cases plan reelection bids against other incumbents, Pat Garofalo has things a whole lot easier. The Farmington resident will see only small changes to his district. A new legislative map introduced last week pairs 30 current House members in redrawn districts and leaves 15 districts with no incumbent. But for Farmington residents, the biggest change will be a new number. What was formerly Senate District 36 is now 56.
Two Farmington residents have been charged with felony drug offenses after Dakota County Drug Task Force agents found marijuana, THC caplets and Oxycodone in their home. Task force agents searched the home of Kristen Nevels, 27, and Kurtis Elliott, 29, Nov. 23. They entered the home by force after nobody responded to knocks.
A Hampton Township man and his mother have both been charged with interfering with a death scene after they allegedly moved several empty methadone bottles last December. The methadone that was in those bottles is believed to have contributed to the death of a man found in the home of 19-year-old Joshua Alan Brandt. The Dakota County medical examiner determined the man died of mixed drug toxicity involving methadone and clonazepam. According to a complaint filed in the Dakota County Attorney's office, Karen Alice Bongard, 52, of Randolph, went to visit Brandt at his home Dec.
Byron Wolt calls himself a teenologist, a term that at its most basic level just means he does what he can to reach out to young people. The Farmington resident adopted the term a few years ago because he liked it better than some of the other options he had for describing his job. Presenter sounded too pretentious and motivational speaker a little too much like the old Chris Farley character on Saturday Night Live. The one who lived in a van down by the river. What Wolt does is talk to students.
After 10 years, Father Dennis Thompson is nearing the end of his 12-year tenure at St. Michael's Catholic Church. We sat down with him this week to talk about his decision to enter the ministry, the Lenten season and his feelings about moving on to another church in two years. How did you end up in the ministry? Just through the Franciscan Retreat House in Prior Lake and getting involved in my faith through retreats there. Just getting to know more about my Catholic faith when I was out of high school. I know it kind of wasn't important for me until after.
Opening up to new ideas can be hard for some people. Opening up to new people can be even more difficult. Throughout life you'll meet numerous people and all meetings will be a hit or miss. Change and new things can be scary, but if you can find the time to open your mind to new possibilities or friendships, you'd be shocked by the results. No matter how crazy it may sound, everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. You can take what you want from what they think or you can just live and let live. It's your choice to listen to what they have to say or not.