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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There was a moment on July 4 when Jordan Dibb wondered if maybe he'd walked as much as he needed to walk. It was cool. It was rainy. And, well, technically once he'd passed the city limits he'd met his goal of walking from Minneapolis to Miami. Did it really matter if he didn't finish things out on the steps of city hall?
An observant parent who had a bad feeling about another patron at the Robert Trail Library last month led Rosemount police to a 38-year-old man with a camera filled with surreptitiously taken photos of young girls. Police first had contact with Dean Kenneth Lindo June 12 after receiving a report of a suspicious individual. When police arrived at the library they were given a camera and a cell phone taken from an individual later identified as Lindo.
The call started with concern for a driver's well-being and ended with a 28-year-old Farmington man facing drug-possession charges. Farmington police found Michael Alan Wilson in his car at the corner of Fourth and Willow streets around 9 a.m. June 27 after receiving a call from someone concerned about the man's welfare. According to a complaint filed last week in the Dakota County Attorney's office police tried to talk to Wilson, then yelled at him but couldn't get his attention until they touched his arm.
For most of the past two decades Tony Weng has helped his cousins run a successful restaurant. Now he and a few family members figure it's time to do the same for themselves. For 18 years Weng worked at Peking Garden, a St. Paul restaurant owned by his cousins. He's been a waiter. He's been a manager. He's handled just about every part of the operation. So when a friend told Weng he was looking to sell Farmington's New Moon Buffet, he saw his chance. He knew the restaurant business. He knew the Farmington area didn't have a lot of options for Chinese food.
Farmington's municipal pool has long been a source of summer fun for Farmington kids, but this season the city wants to open up the opportunities to a new age bracket. The Farmington Parks and Recreation Department is making an increased effort to draw adults to the pool this year as something other than chaperones. They have added adult swim times from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday and a new water aerobics class just wrapped up the first of three summer sessions last Thursday. Kids have always had their open swims and their special parties.
A pair of $200,000 grants should help Dakota County get a handful of polluted properties ready for redevelopment in the next three years. The county will use the Environmental Protection Agency grants to identify and evaluate so-called brownfields, areas where pollution left over from previous uses is preventing development, and figure out which are good candidates for cleanup and construction. The county is currently using existing mapping information and working with cities countywide to identify properties that are good candidates for the program.
Last Friday the air conditioning went out in the Independent offices. As the thermostat climbed to 80 degrees and above, things got a little bit uncomfortable. It was the most you'll see modern journalists sweat in a situation that didn't involve either a deadline or the words "about those circulation numbers." We toughed it out, though.
The United States Post Office has played an important role in Jim Weir's life. The postal service kept him employed for much of his life, for one thing. Weir spent 35 years working for the government, starting as a substitute carrier and eventually working his way up to management. But that's not the important part. The post office also helped Weir find the woman with whom he would spend nearly 60 years. With whom he would raise two children. The love of his life. Weir grew up on a farm in Windom. He attended country school and Windom High School.
I've had my share of pets in my life, and I understand the appeal. I've had dogs I could run and play with, birds that chirped pleasantly and cats that ... well, the cats all kind of did their own thing. But they would occasionally acknowledge my presence with a not entirely unpleasant reaction. Once, one of the cats ate one of the birds. But I don't like to think about that. I've loved all of my pets -- well, love might be too strong a word for the rats, which were mostly there to be fed and occasionally run along my arm -- but I'm far from an animal fanatic.
Farmington students scored better than their peers statewide at most grade levels on this year's Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment test, but fell short of state averages at three grade levels. Farmington scores fell short of statewide averages among eighth graders and high school juniors taking the MCA math test and among sophomores taking the MCA reading test. Farmington eighth graders and juniors also fell short of state averages on last year's math test. Results for the state-mandated test were released late last week.