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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Garden tractors have long been useful tools for hacking away at overgrown lawns, but at this year's Dakota County Fair the normally peaceful landscaping tools are going to unleash a whole new kind of destruction. The lawn tractors and their drivers will be set lose on each other in a miniature-scale demolition derby to be held at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 11. The lawn mower derbies are a relatively new phenomenon in Minnesota, but fair board member Chris Wright said they're big in the South.
Hal Brown's first introduction to animal chiropractic was while he was still studying chiropractic therapy for humans. In one class, he watched a video that showed a cowboy in South Dakota adjusting horses. At the time, Brown dismissed the concept as impossible - chiropractic for people was difficult enough, he said. Not to mention, practicing on animals was illegal in the U.S. A show on canine physical therapy inspired Brown, though, and with encouragement from his wife he looked into animal chiropractic again.
The 2010 Great Prairie Dakota Dash 5K run at the Dakota County Fair is planned for 8 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 15 at the fairgrounds. It will be the first time that the fair has played host to a fun run, but organizer Todd McIntyre hopes it won't be the last. "We thought the fair would be a nice spot," said McIntrye, the founder of Great Prairie Sports, which is organizing the run. "It's the second largest county fair in the state.
A few weeks ago I said in this space that I planned to write a column about my new bicycle. That didn't happen, though, and now I feel guilty. I can only imagine my legions of fans (six counts as a legion, right?) weeping at home as they imagine the wonders, the absolute joy that column would have contained. By way of consolation I can only say you're probably right. That column would have been glorious. But its time has passed. And now you're stuck with this one. It's just the way things happen sometimes. I didn't conduct this bicycle search by choice.
For good friends Randy Johnson and Jim Hunt, Monday morning was supposed to be spent floating on the St. Croix River and catching walleyes. Instead, the two Farmington men escaped tragedy, then spent the new few hours watching from shore as crews fished their truck and trailer out of the water. At 6 a.m., Hunt picked up Johnson and they traveled to the public boat launch in Hastings, located on the Mississippi River. They got the boat in the water, but it wouldn't start and they eventually drained the battery on the boat.
A heated argument between a husband and wife has ended with felony domestic assault charges against a 32-year-old Farmington man. According to a complaint filed last week in the Dakota County Attorney's office Lucas Gordy admitted arguing with his wife July 27 and putting his hands around her neck at one point. The woman told police Gordy choked her to the point it was difficult to breathe. She was feeding the couple's baby at the time. The woman told police Gordy let go when their son screamed.
A 47-year-old Farmington man faces DWI charges after a Farmington police officer pulled him over July 24. According to a complaint filed last week in the Dakota County Attorney's office Jay Myrle Alexander caught the police officer's attention as he made a wide turn from 170th Street to Highway 3 early on the morning of July 24. The officer followed and watched as Alexander weaved "significantly" on the road. Alexander denied drinking, but his speech was slurred and there was an odor of alcohol in his car. He failed field sobriety tests and a preliminary breath test.
Some people recommend you designate a driver when you're planning a night out on the town. Others might suggest calling a cab. But two local businessmen hope you'll consider taking the train. Or, rather, the Trane. Paul Mickelson started Nite Trane, a party bus business, about a year ago. Tony Jerin joined the business a couple of months ago after meeting Mickelson at the Farmington American Legion, where he is assistant manager. Both came to the business in much the same way.
Talking last week about the Farmington School District's disappointing results on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment science test, assistant superintendent Christine Weymouth suggested teachers would have to find ways to work together. At Riverview Elementary School, they're way ahead of her. In June, a group of five RVES teachers traveled to Itasca State Park to take part in a 10-day, University of Minnesota-led session designed to help elementary school teachers get more comfortable teaching science.
The 2010 edition of Farmington's annual fund raiser for the American Cancer Society was bigger, longer and more successful than ever. Friday night's Relay for Life, the first overnight walk held in Farmington to benefit the ACS, brought in at least $47,000 for cancer research. That's about $15,000 more than last year's Ramble and Amble and $6,000 more than the group's goal heading into the event. The Ramble and Amble involved teams walking a few hours on the paths through Dakota City Heritage Village. This year's Relay for Life took that idea and made just about everything bigger.