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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Through 103 years, a Great Depression and at least six wars, music has been a nearly constant presence in Ernest Johnson's life. Johnson, who will celebrate his 104th birthday May 6, was born in 1907 in Murdock, a tiny town about 120 miles west of the Twin Cities on Highway 12. He grew up with six brothers. Johnson started playing the banjo and ukelele in 1923, and as long as he was physically able, he continued to play. "I always liked music," said Johnson, who lives these days at Trinity Care Center in Farmington. "I was in all the music groups in high school.
I found Nathan Hansen's recent Independent column on the "mom cave" concept intriguing. I also found the article in that edition about beet juice being used as ice melt fascinating, but I digress. In case you didn't get a chance to read Nathan's article, mom caves are mini-sanctuaries where women go to nurture themselves. Unlike man caves, there are no pool tables, neon beer signs or paintings of pheasants. Instead there are bookshelves, alpaca throws, framed photos and scented candles. I might have been onto this whole cave trend before I even knew it.
Another edition of the Super Bowl has come and gone, which means millions of Americans can get back to normal behavior like not caring about large men running into each other and leaving the room whenever commercials come on. It also means that for the foreseeable future Minnesotans will be unable to escape a legion of smug Packer fans. Offices statewide were no doubt flooded Monday by giddy sports fans dressed in green and gold and suffering the effects of the kind of hangover only brought on by a night of overindulging in cheap beer and processed meat products.
On Monday morning, after half a decade of living in toy-filled rooms, Colleen Warner finally got back control of her home. It was a big day. With the opening of her new Colleenie's Beanies pre-school, Warner moved her five-year-old business out of her Farmington home and into a new space better suited for a growing population of youngsters.
After several years in which avoiding cuts in state funding felt like a victory, school leaders are happy to hear a Governor talk about increased education funding, as new Governor Mark Dayton did last week. Dayton talked about new money for schools as part of his seven-step plan for improving the education system in Minnesota.
After 30 years working for the Federal Aviation Administration, Ron Glaub wasn't quite ready to retire. So, he bought an H&R Block office. After working part time for the company for eight years Glaub started three years ago with an office in St. Peter. He last fall added offices in Farmington and Cannon Falls. With tax season coming up, he's getting ready for some long days helping people prepare their returns.
Dakota County agreed to make a big purchase Tuesday. At its regular meeting this week the Dakota County Board of Commissioners authorized the purchase of 20 vehicles /equipment for the sheriff, transportation and parks fleets. The approved 2010/2011 Fleet Capital Equipment Program budget includes $1.7 million to purchase vehicles and equipment. Outdated equipment in the departments is replaced in accordance with the Fleet CEP replacement criteria. The criteria for recommended replacement are based on a point replacement criteria system.
Reduced caseloads and reductions in staff have resulted in a restructuring of the Dakota County Attorney's office. The attorney's office will eliminate its Juvenile and Protective Services Division and combine that division's work with the Criminal and Civil Divisions. All criminal prosecutions, including prosecutions of juveniles, will be handled through the office's criminal division.
We live in a society obsessed with coining catchy terms to refer to the things we talk about in our daily lives. Nobody wears jean shorts anymore. They're jorts, a terribly clever combination of the two words that saves literally fractions of seconds every time you say it.
Some people retire and take it easy. Ken and Connie Svoboda are working as hard they ever have. Maybe harder. Earlier this month the couple opened a NAPA Auto Parts store in Farmington. It was the culmination of a longtime dream of owning a business, but it's also meant a lot of long hours. During construction it wasn't unusual for the couple to be at work on their store space from 6 a.m. to midnight. Now that they're open, their son Kyle, a longtime NAPA salesman, is their only employee. It can all be pretty exhausting at times, but neither one of them is complaining.