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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If the key to a happy life is taking chances, then why don't we? What are we so afraid of? Is it the possibility of failure, or could it be the fear of rejection? Either way you look at it, I can't think of anything that has happened recently that doesn't have something to do with taking a chance. If everyone just gave up on their goals then the world would probably fall apart. Nothing would get done and you could kiss whatever happiness you had goodbye. You can't always be afraid of failure. Last time I checked nobody is perfect.
The Farmington School Board approved a new contract for teachers Monday night that includes a total-package increase of 6.96 percent over the two years of the deal. Base salaries for teachers will not increase in the first year of the contract, which will be retroactive to July 1. Salaries will include a 1 percent increase in the second year of the deal. The new contract, approved by teachers last week, also includes language that allows the superintendent to waive the maximum number of teachers who may be absent for personal leave reasons.
From helping students identify their talents to year-round school, Farmington School Board members and superintendent Jay Haugen had some big ideas on their minds at a Friday night board retreat. Haugen organized the meeting as a way to familiarize board members with his thoughts on education, where it's going and what it can become in Farmington.
There weren't as many students as the most recent numbers projected, but classes were still a bit crowded on the first day of school last week. There were 180 more students in Farmington schools Sept. 6 than were enrolled on the last day of school in June and about 100 more than were enrolled on the first day of school in 2010. But that's still about 40 fewer students than the most recent projections anticipated. Projections in the weeks before school started called for as many as 6.652 students districtwide.
A leaky roof is forcing Farmington's New Heights Christian Fellowship out of its home. The church opened its doors in 2004 in the former Farmington Lutheran Church building on Walnut Street, but in recent weeks a for-sale sign has shown up on the church's lawn.
Celeste Ask woke up feeling sick on June 6, but she couldn't get in to see the doctor until the following day. So the Farmington woman decided to go to work. She wasn't there long, though. A few hours into her day she went to her boss and said she didn't feel well. Then she went back to her desk and collapsed out of her chair. Ask had suffered a massive stroke. The right side of her body was paralyzed, and at first doctors weren't sure just how well she would recover.
Peter Roufs had long dreamed of opening his own business. So when he lost his job earlier this year, he figured it was the perfect time to make that dream a reality. The only question he had to answer was, what kind of business did he want to open? Roufs' first thought was a restaurant. Though he'd worked most recently as circulation manager for the StarTribune, he had more than 20 years of experience in the restaurant business. He liked the work and he was good at it, but the more research he did the clearer it became the cost of entry was higher than he could manage. So, he kept looking.
There is a beautiful piano at the front of the worship space of St. Michael's Catholic church. Gleaming black, it has been there to accompany countless services. But for Eric Larson, it never felt quite right. Larson, who took over as the church's music director a year and a half ago, grew up in churches with pipe organs. In his mind, the sound of an organ goes with worship like wafers go with wine. He started advocating for the addition almost immediately. There was support, but no clear direction. Then, earlier this year, Larson made a search on the online classified site craigslist.
Social hub. Educational resource. Fitness center. Exactly what purpose Farmington's Rambling River Center serves for the city's senior population can vary greatly depending whom you ask. For some it's a place to meet old friends and make new ones. For others, it's a place to get needed food with events like a monthly Senior Food For Health distribution or day-old bread.
The Minnesota State Fair wrapped up another crowded, cholesterol-laden run on Monday with one last crowd pushing through the gates to take in clucking chickens, braying asses and oversized pigs. They also probably checked out some of the animals. I have been asked several times in the last couple of weeks whether I'd been to the fair yet.