Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.
- Member for
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Three people, including two Farmington residents, were injured early Friday morning when their SUV crashed while they fled Farmington police. Police started following the vehicle, a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe, around 1:30 a.m. after seeing it downtown and becoming suspicious. "You see a vehicle parked in an odd spot at a weird time of night. (The officer) just went around to keep an eye on him," police sergeant Jim Murphy said. When the officer made another pass, the truck left at a high speed, Murphy said. When the officer activated his siren the driver sped away.
The newest members of the Farmington School Board took on some of its most important roles at the first meeting of the new year. Tera Lee, who was the top finisher in the Nov. 2 election, was elected chair at Monday night's meeting. Brian Treakle, who finished second, was elected vice chair and Melissa Sauser, the third of the new board, members was elected clerk. There were a few stumbles as the new board members found their foot ing.
The Farmington School District is laying out a plan for improvements at district schools. The board got a first look Monday at a four-year plan for making a series of improvements identified in a facilities plan completed late last year. The proposal includes several improvements for 2011.
It looks like the Farmington School Board isn't quite done with the report compiled from the district's investigation of board member Tim Burke. At least, this board isn't. With three new members on the board, there was talk Monday of taking a closer look at the report. New board chair Tera Lee asked that each board member get a copy of the final report to allow further consideration. "I do not feel like I can make an educated decision about whether or not to move forward until I see that report," Lee said.
Tim Burke is getting the pay cut he asked for two years ago. Board members voted 4-2 Monday to cut the salaries paid to school board members. The move cuts the board chair's salary from $5,250 to $4,500 and board members' salaries from $4,200 to $3,600.
The Farmington School Board will welcome some fresh faces tonight with the swearing in of new members Tera Lee, Brian Treakle and Melissa Sauser. The new members will get right to work with a meeting that includes budget projections, an update on the district's strategic plan and the presentation of superintendent Brad Meeks' annual performance evaluation. Tonight's agenda also includes a presentation on a four-year plan for facility improvement projects. The board has talked for several weeks about improvements identified in a recently completed facilities plan.
Two months ago, Tanna Howie wasn't sure what her next step in life was going to be. The 2010 Farmington High School graduate had hoped to attend the Art Institute in Minneapolis this year, but when the finances didn't work out, she was left without a clear direction. So, she waited, she prayed and she hoped to figure out what she was supposed to do with her life. Now, all of a sudden that next step is turning into an intercontinental leap of faith.
A lot of Dakota County land has disappeared under new homes over the past 10 years, but there is still plenty of open space out there for residents to explore. And the amount of land dedicated specifically to outdoor recreation is growing all the time. According to the county's 2010 indicators report, there are 48 square miles of protected open space spread among city and county parks, wildlife refuges, the Minnesota Zoo and land protected under the county's farmland and natural areas preservation efforts.
With most of the final bills in hand, it appears the investigation of Tim Burke will cost the Farmington School District at least $13,370. That total includes bills from two law firms involved in the investigation. Outgoing school board chair Veronica Walter said last week Minnetonka Attorney Jim Martin planned to charge the district $10,000 for his part of the investigation. That is the number attorney Mick Waldspurger, who hired Martin and brought the report to the board, had identified as a likely maximum cost. The total is less than Martin's original bill.
As the 2011 legislative session kicks off this week, Pat Garofalo is getting used to being a whole lot more popular around the capitol. Garofalo, the Farmington Republican who on Tuesday kicked off his fourth term in the state House of Representatives, said people started paying more attention to what he had to say once he was named chair of the state's K-12 education finance committee. "As soon as I was named chairman, suddenly my jokes became funnier, I was better looking and I was much smarter," Garofalo said.