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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Lord of Life Lutheran Church wants to kick off the togetherness a little bit early this holiday season. As families get ready to gather for Thanksgiving on Nov. 25, the church is making plans for its second annual community Thanksgiving dinner to be held the previous Sunday. The free meal, open to the public, will take place at 5 p.m. Nov. 20. There will be a worship service at 6 p.m. "It's kind of our minimal attempt to say, Thanksgiving isn't just a day," said Lord of Life pastor Jamie Thompson.
Verna Josephine Fischer -- Jo to her friends -- has developed a reputation around Trinity Care Center for making people laugh. It's a reputation that seems to have followed her through much of her life. When she was young, she said, some people didn't think she would amount to much because she didn't take things seriously. She has even done a little stand-up comedy in her life. A word of warning, though, her material isn't always for the faint of heart. "It depends on the situation whether I use clean jokes or dirty ones," Fischer said.
Farmington police rerouted traffic on Pilot Knob Road for about two hours early Thursday afternoon after a construction company working in the area near 195th Street hit a gas line. According to Farmington police the construction company repaired the line without incident. But because of safety concerns police routed automobile and pedestrian traffic around the leak while the repair was in progress.
One of Farmington's oldest churches is getting a second life as a place where happy couples start a new life of their own. The little white church at 104 Elm Street, the original home of St. Michael's Catholic Church and most recently home to Farmington Community Church will open for business Nov. 11 as a wedding chapel. The rapid transformation, which included snowflake-like lighting fixtures and a new coat of paint, is thanks to George Maverick, whose part time job for the past seven years has involved helping couples make their wedding dreams come true.
The Farmington School District got what amounts to a road map to budget cuts Monday with the presentation of a draft of a report prepared to identify potential savings. The report, prepared by accounting firm Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, focused on district-level administration. It identified from $636,000 to nearly $1.1 million in potential savings, depending on a number of factors. Those savings will not come all at once, assuming they come at all.
Doing less with less. That is how Dakota County Finance Director Matt Smith described the recommended 2011 Dakota County budget to the Dakota County Board of Commissioners this week. The recommended budget is $307.1 million, compared to the 2010 budget of about $368 million. The recommended tax levy for 2011 is $129.402 million, a .8 percent increase over this year's levy of $128.4 million. Smith said the budgets for both county operations and capital improvement program will be smaller.
The Farmington School Board will hire an outside investigator to look into whether one of its own members has been breaking the board's code of conduct. The board voted 3-1 with two abstentions Monday to take a closer look at whether Tim Burke's frequent requests for information, interaction with district employees and comments about district actions qualify as a violation of that code. The decision comes a month after an Oct. 11 meeting at which board members confronted Burke about what some have called bullying behavior and burdensome requests for information.
When we were younger and our parents asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" you probably said something fairly generic like, a doctor, teacher or a lawyer. Now that you understand there are so many more choices out there it's overwhelming. High school students have time to decide, make mistakes and change our minds. Rather, it is later in life where the world will eat you and spit you back out. From the time our parents were in college to now, many things have changed. Colleges are more selective, more expensive and you need more education to go further in life.
Does everyone you know seem starved for time? I work nearly every day between my two jobs. I try to fit in my graduate schoolwork around the stuff I'm doing to make a living. Sometimes I sleep five hours a night. Today my dog is sleeping next to me as I work, his tiny paws curled under him. He is not starved for time. Starved for Pup-peroni treats, maybe, but not time. All of my co-workers and friends are busier than they would like, hoping to find more time for themselves and their family. Yet this week I came across a shocking statistic indicating time-wasting is rampant.
We as a society have become increasingly accustomed to a daily onslaught of videos of people we will never actually meet. We can hardly check our e-mail or scan our Facebook pages anymore without seeing a video of a sneezing kitten, a dog running into a wall or some unfortunate guy getting whacked in his privates, a home-video favorite since well before Bob Saget was televising crotch-related tragedies for all the country to see. It can all start to feel like a bit much when you're on the receiving end. When you're on the other side, though?