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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Dozens of military families in the Farmington area will get some help indulging their holiday sweet tooth thanks to a group that's willing to turn Christmas baking into a good deed. Farmington's Warrior to Citizen group will hold its third annual cookie walk Sunday at the Trinity Terrace senior apartments.
Snowmobilers have only had a small window for riding so far this winter, but one Farmington man has already gotten himself in trouble with police. He can blame a wet wallet for giving him away. According to a complaint filed last week in the Dakota County Attorney's office, Robert Astgen, 35, was racing his snowmobile up and down 180th Street Nov. 19, much to the annoyance of residents in the area. They called police, and when officers showed up they watched a snowmobiler drive across Pilot Knob Road without slowing to look for traffic.
What's charity but something good done to help someone in need? Then again, some people flinch at the sound of the word. To them it means weakness, pity and being degraded. They couldn't be more wrong. We all fall at times, some harder than others. There's no doubt times are tough, but the only thing you can do about it is to keep your head held high and take help when appropriate. If you're fortunate enough to have a roof over your head and food on the table, then give back. It can be as simple as putting your change in the Salvation Army bucket or volunteering.
Dakota County is planning to once again hold steady its share of residents' property taxes for 2012. The preliminary levy, as set in September, is at $129.4 million. But some taxpayers may already have seen some increases in their property taxes for the next few years, because of what the Minnesota State Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton did this past summer to balance the state's budget. Dakota County's tax rate remains the lowest county tax rate in the state.
Rhonda Rademacher likes chickens. She really, really likes chickens. She used to keep some chickens outside her Castle Rock home, but eventually, let those go. When she picked up a white glass chicken with paint peeling from it at an auction 10 years ago, though, Rademacher stumbled onto a new hobby. It was a white rooster, a figurine-turned-dish of some sort. The rooster's head and upper body were a separate piece from a basket-looking base. Both pieces were elaborately etched. The rooster's comb and waddle at one point had been painted red, the beak painted yellow.
A downtown Farmington convenience store is getting an expansion outside and a facelift inside to bring it in line with the times. The Kwik Trip at the corner of Third and Elm streets is getting an addition that will increase its 3,121-square-foot space by about 50 percent.
Jim Hoey might be getting a reputation as Minnesota's trivia guy. Hoey, a longtime middle school teacher in Farmington, recently released Puck Heaven: Minnesota State Boy's Hockey Tournament Trivia. The book is Hoey's second compilation of trivia, following a book about the Minnesota Twins.
It's that time of year again, when it's going to snow soon. In the middle of November it could very well start snowing tomorrow, but is that a good thing or a bad thing? That all depends on your perspective. If you're like me, and hate the cold, then you probably don't like the snow very much. Snow means cold, and cold is just ... gross! The benefits of the snow for people who don't like cold are few, but they do exist.
The fast and the furious it wasn't. When a Dakota County Sheriff's deputy stopped 21-year-old Hastings resident Wyatt Jon Hostutler Nov. 1 in Empire Township, there wasn't much risk of a high-speed chase. Hostutler was on a moped, and according to a complaint filed in the Dakota County Attorney's office he wasn't wearing protective eyewear and didn't have a rear license plate. When the deputy stopped Hostutler on County Road 66 he discovered Hostutler did not have a valid driver's license or even have a key for the moped.
A 52-year-old Farmington man faces felony drug possession charges after police found marijuana seeds in paraphernalia in his bedroom and marijuana plants in an outbuilding in his yard. Police found the drugs Aug. 31 while at Keith Doan's home on another call. According to a complaint filed in the Dakota County Attorney's office Doan told Dakota County Drug Task Force officers he harvested the plants Aug.