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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A 30-year-old Rochester woman faces charges of criminal vehicular operation, child endangerment and driving while impaired after she reportedly drove drunk with her five children in the vehicle Feb. 28 and crashed her car on Highway 52 near Hampton. Four of the children suffered minor injuries. The accident occurred around 2:45 a.m. as Kyra Larae Lindsey was southbound on Highway 52. According to a complaint filed in the Dakota County Attorney's office Lindsey crashed into a guard rail, suffering "severe damage" to the front and back ends.
Three years ago, Dan Oberer had a lot of uncertainty in front of him. The pastor of the brand-new Hope Lutheran Church had a congregation of three -- his wife and their two children -- and a lot of work to do. Three years later, that gamble appears to have paid off. Hope Lutheran has grown steadily over the years, and on Sunday the church will celebrate its incorporation with a special ceremony and an open house at their new worship center, 319 Fourth St., at which they'll serve lunch to the community.
There was smoke, but no fire early Sunday morning in Desiree Kramer's home, but it was still enough to raise some heart rates and cause a major disruption. Kramer woke at around 2:15 a.m. Sunday to the sound of smoke detectors blaring. The air in her bedroom was thick with smoke. "It was pretty crazy. We couldn't really see anything, because it was so smoky," Kramer said. "It was just grab your cell phones and get out the door." Kramer grabbed her 1 1/2-year-old daughter and made sure her mother and her aunt were able to get out.
A former Dakota County employee, Aleathea McWilliams, 52, has been charged with theft of more than $5,000 and possession of stolen property valued between $1,000 and $5,000, both felonies. She allegedly stole funds and bus passes from Dakota County while she was employed as a case aid in Dakota County Social Services. McWilliams had been employed with the county since 2002 and resigned last May.
A new program in Farmington's middle schools aims to make the transition to a big, new building a little less frightening for next year's sixth graders. Called Where Everybody Belongs, the program, which will launch in the fall, is designed to make new middle schoolers feel comfortable in an environment that can be intimidating to a group of students making one of the biggest academic adjustments of their lives. The program provides students an introduction to their school and connects them with older mentors who are there to make them feel welcome.
The Farmington School Board got an early look at some of the cuts that could come if the district is forced to make budget adjustments over the next few months. The list includes the elimination of a night custodian position at Farmington High School, a $10 increase to fees for all co-curricular programs and the elimination of at least five and maybe as many as nine teaching positions. All told, the list presented at Monday's school board meeting adds up to $1.9 million in reductions and revenue increases.
With a 5-1 vote Monday night the Farmington School Board brought a sudden if apparently protracted end to the more than seven-year tenure of superintendent Brad Meeks. The board and Meeks agreed Monday on a separation agreement that will have him serve as a transition superintendent until Aug. 31, one year before his contract was set to expire. He is also free to leave the district earlier if he finds a new job.
Dan Scheuermann, a 22-year-employee with the Dakota County Sheriff's Office, has been promoted to commander. His appointment became effective Monday, Feb. 14. Scheuermann's most recent position has been captain in the patrol division, During his career, he has held a variety of assignments, including jail administrator, patrol sergeant, and seven years as detective with the Drug Task Force. Scheuermann, teamed with his canine partner, Rajah, was recognized as one of the top drug detection canine teams in the United States.
With every generation there's always something that everyone's life seems to revolve around. With this one, I'd have to say its Facebook. It seems like every picture, every event, every person has something on Facebook. Whether you have an account or not, most likely you're in a picture out there. I'm not saying that's completely bad, but privacy isn't really an option anymore. Pictures, pictures and more pictures. Can you really think of a time when someone wasn't taking any? Even at school my friends and I just take random ones and post them.
As I write this, we are in the throes of a blizzard. The snow is storming down, blanketing my deck so thickly the plant stand and picnic table look like misshapen lumps. Since I've been snowed in I'm spending enormous amounts of time with my new electronic book reader. I'm embarrassed to say I spent over $30 on electronic books this week. It's been an e-book bonanza. Usually I check books out of the library or buy them at the Goodwill for a dollar apiece.