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 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.
University of Minnesota officials hoped to have a wide-ranging discussion July 29 on the future of alternative energy on the school's UMore Park property. But the residents who showed up for the meeting seemed to have a more specific focus. Nearly all of the discussion during the question-and-answer portion of the meeting focused on the 2.3 megawatt turbine that will be built later this year on the property.
Farmington has no local primary races, but there is still reason for voters to cast their ballots Aug. 10. Voting is from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. There is a race for one of the 1st District judges' position, currently held by Timothy Blakely. Stephen Baker and Larry Clark are challenging him. And, of course, there is the Minnesota governor's race.
The summer is soaring by. Dew Days and the Soybean Festival have already come and gone, yet we still have more to look forward to. One of the most thrilling Farmington events of the year is nearly upon us: the Dakota County Fair. In the past I've written about my love of the demo derby, a sporting event which consists of cars smashing into each other in a big, muddy pit until only one car is still running. It's sort of like a vehicular mosh pit sweaty, dirty, loud and exhilarating. This year the brilliant planners at the Dakota County Fair are upping the demo derby ante.
Rachel Curran has learned a lot in the month she's had a exchange student living in her house. She's learned that despite a peace agreement conflicts continue in Northern Ireland. She's learned how different life can be for a kid growing up in Belfast. And she's learned some of the people around here don't necessarily know a lot about Ireland. "You would be amazed how many Americans have asked me how his English is," said Curran, whose family has served since late June as host for a 12-year-old boy from Northern Ireland. For the record, Ethan Stewart's English is just fine.