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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The NCAA men's basketball tournament kicked off last week with a two-day celebration of sports that over the years has become one of this country's favorite second-tier national holidays. It's got less drunken debauchery than St. Patrick's Day but more mail delivery than Columbus Day. Businesses don't typically give employees time off for the opening rounds of the NCAA tournament, which featured 16 games both Thursday and Friday last week, but they might as well.
The Farmington School District has identified more than $300,000 in budget cuts and $87,000 of new revenue to help balance a budget hit by several years of flat funding from the state of Minnesota. Among positions to be cut are a districtwide telephone specialist, an educational assistant at Farmington High School and a special education coordinator. Finance director Jeff Priess told board members he expects a $119,000 budget shortfall if the state does not increase funding this year.
With the major building projects from a 2004 facilities task force all wrapped up, Independent School District 192 will start looking around next month to see what else their buildings might need. A new facilities task force will start meeting in mid-April to explore needs in buildings around the district. The resulting recommendations aren't likely to be as grand as those in the last facilities report.
The District 192 School Board approved an updated policy on board conduct this week without any new rules about board members' use of social media tools. The board reviewed the policy March 8 as part of an ongoing effort to keep district policies up to date. That's when board member Veronica Walter raised the issue of social media and the potential for miscommunication. Walter said this week she only wanted to ensure board members knew where the lines were when using tools like Facebook and Twitter.
The quarters will be a little closer and there won't be any eggs to hunt, but some intervention by downtown businesses will keep Farmington's Easter carnival up and running this year. CEEF, the Castle Rock, Empire, Eureka and Farmington community group that has held the carnival in recent years and an egg hunt long before that, announced earlier this year that it didn't have enough volunteers to hold the event. That's when Farmington's Downtown Business Association stepped in. Amy Nielsen, owner of downtown's Grand Hall Studio, brought the carnival to the DBA looking for help.
Farmington School Board members want to know if tweeting is best left to the birds. Veronica Walter raised the issue of board members using social media services like Twitter and Facebook during a March 8 discussion of a board conduct policy. She said the topic of social media has come up a lot lately in conversations she's had with school board members both in Farmington and in other districts. Walter and other board members are concerned about knowing just what the rules are with an increasingly popular method of communication.
Under normal circumstances I would never presume to offer advice to women on how to live their day-to-day lives. Like all men -- with the possible exception of Elton John and Dr.
This is a busy time of year for Jim Bell. Bell is Dakota County's highway maintenance manager. That means he's the guy in charge of potholes. And with the frequent freezes and thaws that come with the transition from winter to spring, business has been good. When you've got some 450 miles of county roads to care for, that's a lot of holes to fill. Bell has had crews running nearly nonstop in the last few months to keep up with the cratered moonscape those paved roads become this time of year.
Prom season in Farmington got off to a running start last weekend. There were 85 dresses sold cheap at a prom event held Friday through Sunday at downtown's Grand Hall Studio. That has event organizer Michelle Overbey excited, but it's only the beginning. Overbey, who owns downtown secondhand store Shidor, still has 150 dresses left to sell. Overbey teamed up with Total Care Cleaners owner Yury Slutsky to hold the event. For the past several years Slutsky has collected used prom dresses, cleaned them and sold them cheap to people looking for a bargain.
Farmington residents can get a jump on spring styles and support the city's Rambling River Center at a March 16 fashion show planned to raise money for the facility. The Ladyslipper Garden Club, which moved its monthly meetings the the center earlier this year, will hold the event. "That's what our club is. We give to the community," said president Sue Holmen. "In September we did Feed My Starving Children in Eagan. We give to the Farmington Elementary School every year....