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 High School's Youth Development group held its second annual Games for Change Friday night at the school. The overnight event is intended to raise awareness of poverty in Farmington and to collect food and money for the Farmington Food Shelf. This year's event drew teams of students, alumni, staff and community members to compete in games like floor hockey, volleyball an capture the flag. Participants paid $20 per person to compete and were encouraged to bring food donations.
Farmington students feel safe and respected at school, are drinking less and planning with greater frequency to attend college according to the results of the Minnesota Student Survey. The survey, given to sixth graders, freshmen and seniors in nearly all Minnesota school districts every three years, asks students about everything from their relationship with their parents to whether they feel bullied at school. The Farmington School Board heard the results of last year's survey at their regular meeting Monday night. There was some good news in the results.
The Farmington School Board wants to create some new opportunities to hear what's on the mind of district residents. After a series of meetings in which board members heard both complaints and compliments from residents, board members talked Monday about creating a regular meeting -- perhaps monthly, perhaps quarterly -- at which board members can sit down and talk with whoever wants to show up about whatever district business is on residents' minds.
The Farmington School Board will hear the results of the 2010 Minnesota Student Survey and get an update on communications and marketing efforts at its meeting tonight. The Minnesota Student Survey is given every three years to students in sixth, ninth and 12th grades to assess a number of topics including feelings about the school environment attitudes toward drug and alcohol use. According to the most recent survey, Farmington students for the most part believe their teachers show respect for them and feel safe at school.
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom is urging all citizens to do just that as Crime Victims Rights Week, "Reshaping the Future, Honoring the Past," is observed Sunday through Saturday, April 10 to 16. According to Backstrom, Crime Victims Rights' Week is a time to honor victims and the advocates of victims' rights. This year's theme pays tribute to the millions of crime victims who have summoned the strength to rebuild their shattered lives, families and communities.
This week I was working in my home office when a big bird flew past the window. Correction, this was not just a big bird, but a giant one with a pair of massive wings longer than my arms. The wings were a deep cocoa. The sun glinted on the feathers as the bird glided down to the pond in my yard. After it settled onto the icy surface and tucked in its wings, I saw the white, sculpted head. It was a bald eagle. The eagle stood on top of the grey carcass of a small animal, perhaps a rabbit. It stretched the skin, pulling it taut between its bright yellow beak and feet.
A 31-year-old Brooklyn Center man faces domestic assault charges after he apparently took a too-aggressive approach to getting his divorce papers signed. According to a complaint filed last week in the Dakota County Attorney's office, Robert Earl Riley walked into his soon-to-be ex wife's home in Eureka Township shortly before 5 p.m. March 21. He pulled her out of bed and according to the complaint was holding a tire iron and yelling about getting the divorce paper signed. The couple went into the kitchen and continued to argue.
Apparently, Charles Davis was in the mood for a lot of fried chicken. The 43-year-old Farmington man was charged last week with felony theft for stealing a large chicken fryer and a three-foot by three-foot gas griddle from the loading dock at EconoFoods in Farmington. The theft was reported to Farmington police on June 17. Employees at the grocery store told police the items were large enough it would have taken more than one person to load them into a truck.
A community effort to promote Farmington business is making progress and making believers among the business community. The effort, called Grow Farmington, has already inspired downtown business owners to bring back the decorative flower baskets the city once installed but eliminated as a cost-saving measure. Last week, the group worked on developing a brand for the city and a slogan to go along with it. "They've thrown around a couple of things," said city planner Lee Smick, who has led the group of city employees, business owners and community representatives.
A Castle Rock property owner will pay a $600 fine and clean up scrap metal on his property as part of a plea agreement reached with township attorneys Monday morning. Cole Empey pleaded guilty to two of the four misdemeanor charges the township filed against him in connection to an unlicensed scrapyard township leaders and neighbors said he was operating on his land. Empey pleaded guilty to a zoning violation and unlawful outdoor storage. Two nuisance charges were dismissed. Empey, who is one of three brothers listed as an owner of J.