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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Norman Russell is a little fuzzy on a few of the details of his life. After 86 years, there's a lot to keep track of. Ask him about his life after high school and he'll think for a while, then talk about working in dry cleaning for a couple of years. But details are hard to come by. Other memories, though, come more quickly to mind. Things like growing up on a farm east of Canton, a city about 30 miles from LaCrosse in southeastern Minnesota. "We had cattle. We had pigs. We had chickens," said Russell, who has lived since June in Farmington's Trinity Care Center. "Just an ordinary farm.
The National Football League's lockout has come to an end, and across the country hurried preparations are under way for the season that's about to begin.
After a brutal winter and scorching summer, the long-awaited week of the Dakota County Fair has arrived. My mouth is watering at the thought of deep-fried cheese curds and chocolate shakes from the 4-H booth. Dairy foods are tasty. And at the county fair, you enjoy dairy foods while you meet some of the animals who produce them. Inside the dairy barn, award-winning cows are hard at work, eating and generating fresh moo juice. The food alley at the Dakota County Fair contains all of the good foods of the State Fair concentrated into a single convenient aisle.
With less than a month to go before the start of the new school year, Farmington teachers sat down to sharpen their skills at everything from organizing their in boxes to adjusting their lesson plans for the digital age. The district held its third annual technology academy Monday and Tuesday at Farmington High School. Over two days, 130 teachers attended 45 courses led by 27 teachers and others from within the district.
While the vendors around them hawk corn dogs and fried foods under flashing lights, Trinity Lutheran Church has carved out a much quieter Dakota County Fair tradition serving home-cooked comfort food in a simple building. No sticks required. Trinity started selling food at the fair in 1958. Church members cooked burgers and hot dogs and served them from a giant tent. Usually, two of the church members would spend the night in the tent to make sure nothing was vandalized or stolen. The operation has changed over the years.
Farmington's new superintendent chose two familiar faces for his first hires in his new school district. The Farmington School Board voted unanimously Monday to approve contracts for Carl Colmark as finance director and MaryAnn Thomas as human resources director. Both worked with new superintendent Jay Haugen in the West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan School District he left to come to Farmington. Haugen had said he was reluctant to raid his former district to fill the two big vacancies in his new cabinet.
Property owners in Dakota County have another opportunity to permanently protect land and water through the Farmland and Natural Areas Program. The application process for the 2012 term is open. Those interested in participating in the voluntary program must submit an initial application to the County by Aug. 30. Eligible property owners will meet with county staff and be asked to complete a final application. Dakota County works with interested property owners to permanently protect the land for future generations to farm or future residents to enjoy.
Well done, Dakota County. The National Association of Counties has presented three 2011 Achievement Awards to Dakota County in recognition of outstanding programs.
Hadler Family Chiropractic will make going back to school a little easier for some local families with its annual school supply drive. The clinic will hold its drive from Aug. 8-19. New patients who bring a minimum of five school supply items will receive a complimentary first visit. That initial visit includes: consultation with the doctor, state-of-the-art nerve system scan, postural and structural evaluation and a complete report of findings. For more information call Hadler Family Chiropractic at 651-460-6560 or check the clinic's website at www.hadlerfamilychiro.com .
Happy Harry is not so happy after Deangelo James Washington, 44, of Northfield failed to pay for a purchase in December of 2009. According to a complaint filed last week with the Dakota County attorney's office, after writing a check for more than $1,000 and repeatedly failing to fully repay the Happy Harry's location Washington has been charged with issuance of a dishonored check. If convicted, Washington could face up to five years in jail and pay fines of $10,000.