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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For more than 90 years, St. Mathias School in Hampton has held true to its mission of offering a Christian, Catholic education for its students. At the end of the 2010-11 school year, that tradition will end. The school, located next to its namesake church in Hampton, will close. There are 22 students at the school. On Jan. 14, the Rev. John Nienstedt, archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, made the announcement that St. Mathias, St. Joseph's School in Red Wing and San Miguel Middle School in Minneapolis would close.
Amber Page doesn't remember much about last Saturday. When you find out one of your best friends has died, everything else starts to feel unimportant. Amanda Lynch, who Page met when they were sixth graders together at Farmington Middle School, was killed early Saturday morning when she lost control of her car on an icy I-494 near Maple Grove. According to reports from the Minnesota State Patrol, Lynch, 25, was northbound on 494 when she went through the median, rolled and was thrown from her car.
I'm an unabashed fan of the dollar store. I relish strange generic items in flimsy packaging. I am thrilled about buying headphones for my Walkman at the dollar store because I go through a pair or two a month. I have a habit of getting the headphone cord caught on stuff while I'm at the gym, like the handle of the treadmill, the seat of the stationary bike or my own elbow. There are cameras everywhere at my gym. In general, the cameras make me feel safe, but they also make me feel forlorn and embarrassed at my inability to coordinate my body movements when using a Walkman.
Today, it seems like everywhere you look there is hatred and cruelty. You take one look in a newspaper or online and you see headlines about all the bad in the world. I understand is near impossible for every single person to get along, but why do we choose to act out in violent ways? The only thing that comes from violence is more violence and because of that we get nowhere. Sept. 11, 2001, the World Trade Center towers were attacked and fell in a matter of hours.
Myrtle Kelly knows what it's like to work hard. She grew up on a farm near Elko with three brothers and a sister. There were cows and pigs and chickens to care for, and everybody had a job to do. There were 30 to 35 cows that needed milking, and there were no milking machines to help do the work. "I didn't enjoy it, but it had to be done," said Kelly, who has lived the past three years at the Trinity Terrace senior apartments in Farmington. "I milked six or seven cows, morning and night." When she wasn't working on the farm, Kelly attended school.
Farmington School District superintendent Brad Meeks did not meet all of the goals the school board set for him last year, but he met enough to earn most of his performance-based bonus. On Monday, school board member Julie McKnight read a summary of Meeks' performance evaluation. Meeks fell short of goals for improving math and reading scores on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment test and met goals on improving RIT scores and updating the district's facilities plan. He also met goals for implementing the district's communication goals.
Tim Burke is getting the pay cut he asked for two years ago. Board members voted 4-2 Monday to cut the salaries paid to school board members. The move cuts the board chair's salary from $5,250 to $4,500 and board members' salaries from $4,200 to $3,600.
Three people, including two Farmington residents, were injured early Friday morning when their SUV crashed while they fled Farmington police. Police started following the vehicle, a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe, around 1:30 a.m. after seeing it downtown and becoming suspicious. "You see a vehicle parked in an odd spot at a weird time of night. (The officer) just went around to keep an eye on him," police sergeant Jim Murphy said. When the officer made another pass, the truck left at a high speed, Murphy said. When the officer activated his siren the driver sped away.
The newest members of the Farmington School Board took on some of its most important roles at the first meeting of the new year. Tera Lee, who was the top finisher in the Nov. 2 election, was elected chair at Monday night's meeting. Brian Treakle, who finished second, was elected vice chair and Melissa Sauser, the third of the new board, members was elected clerk. There were a few stumbles as the new board members found their foot ing.
The Farmington School District is laying out a plan for improvements at district schools. The board got a first look Monday at a four-year plan for making a series of improvements identified in a facilities plan completed late last year. The proposal includes several improvements for 2011.