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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Earlier this week Farmington's Faith United Methodist Church sent several of its members on a mission trip to Haiti. On April 30 the church will bring a taste of Haiti to Farmington. The church will will play host to a concert by the Union Brothers Singers, a group of Haitian-born musicians who perform a capella music in English, French and Creole. Money raised at the concert will go to support people in Fermate, Haiti, the singers' hometown. Pastor Kevin Fox said the idea for the concert started with church member Jeff Turner, who has been on several mission trips to Haiti.
The Library of Congress announced last week that it plans to maintain a complete record of every message ever sent on the social networking site Twitter. It's a move that all but guarantees future generations looking back to April of 2010 will have unfettered access to thousands upon thousands of tweets that read, "OMG! The Library of Congress wants to know what I had for breakfast!" This is serious business. The Library of Congress is America's permanent record.
NEW LONDON - A little boy out for an afternoon adventure with his puppy got lost in a wooded area northeast of New London on Monday, triggering a frantic search. After the nearly 2 1/2-hour search Monday, Elijah Jacobson, 4, was found waist-deep in a pond about a quarter of a mile from his rural New London home. His feet were stuck in the mucky bottom of the wetland. He was wet and cold, but otherwise just fine. His puppy, Izzy, never left his side. "It's a good ending.
Hampton made international news in November of 2008 when the city elected Paye Flomo as its new mayor. Flomo is the first native Liberian to be elected to a government office in the U.S., and some have suggested he's the first African-born American to be elected, he said. Flomo's election was hugely popular in his native country. "People were rejoicing in Liberia," he said. His native government is so appreciative of Hampton and the U.S.
Three people were killed in an accident involving an SUV and a semi tractor-trailer Monday afternoon in Vermillion Township. According to witnesses the SUV was ahead of the semi headed southwest on County Road 47 near Goodwin Avenue at 12:20 p.m. The witness told Dakota County Sheriff's deputies the SUV appeared to have slowed to make a wide turn when the semi hit it broadside. After the collision the SUV rolled off the road and into a ditch. One occupant was thrown from the vehicle and all three occupants of the SUV were killed.
The Iowa City Community School Board is still trying to figure out who it wants to be its next superintendent. Farmington superintendent Brad Meeks is one of three finalists for the position. The Iowa City board held a 2 1/2-hour closed meeting Sunday to discuss three finalists for its soon-to-be vacant superintendent position but came away without a consensus. School board president Patti Fields said the board is still working through its process. "One of the things that certainly is a good thing for us is that we have three excellent candidates," Fields said Monday.
Independent School District 192 will hold a public input session at 5:45 p.m. April 26 to hear what residents think of proposed budget adjustments. Finance director Jeff Priess announced the more than $300,000 in cuts and $87,000 March 22 in response to an estimated $119,000 budget shortfall for the coming year. Cuts include the elimination of a districtwide telephone specialist position and a special education coordinator.
The fight took place on an elementary school playground, but it was more than just one student bullying another. According to a complaint filed this week in the Dakota County Attorney's office Nicholas Lauer, 24, hit and robbed another man Jan. 18 on the playground of a Farmington school. According to the complaint, Lauer and another individual drove the victim to the school and walked with him to the playground. Lauer then reportedly punched the individual and held him down while another man took $200 in cash from his wallet.
Families looking for a cool ice cream treat in downtown Farmington have been coming away disappointed so far this spring. Bugaloo's, the six-year-old ice cream shop located at the corner of Third and Oak streets, has yet to return from its winter hiatus, and owner Stacey Schultz said the shop will not open unless she finds someone willing to buy the business. Schultz and her husband, Nick, made the decision earlier this year to close the ice cream shop's doors. It wasn't an easy choice. Bugaloo's was Schultz's first business downtown and it's named after her daughter.
Now that he owns a billiard hall, Dan Rider finds himself in the unusual position of wishing for miserable weather. When your business depends on people staying inside in Minnesota, the last thing you want is a sunny summer day. Rider bought Farmington Billiards in January. For him, it's the ultimate expression of passion for a game he started playing in college. It is also, he hopes, a way to keep busy and earn a little extra income when he eventually retires from his full-time job. In the meantime, Rider is busy trying to make some changes.