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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Way back at the beginning -- before all the lessons and recitals, conventions and classes -- dance was all about the outfits for Dana Riste. That was in 1976. Riste had never set foot in Brenda's School of Dance, and the only thing she knew about dance class was that she had a friend who was in in them, her friend got to wear a cute outfit and Riste wanted one. A lot. "I just thought the costumes were great," said Riste. So, she came for the clothes. But Riste stuck around for very different reasons. She discovered the way dance allowed her to express herself, and she kept coming back.
A Farmington couple is recovering in a Sioux Falls hospital this week after a tire blowout caused them to crash their motorcycle July 15 on a South Dakota Highway. According to information posted at caringbridge.com David Herrmann is up and about but his wife, Judith, is on a ventilator following the accident.
Dakota County has lost another $2.8 million in state revenue.
I used to carry an analog Motorola cell phone the size of a brick. I lugged it around for six years, carrying it back and forth between downtown Minneapolis and Farmington, carefully shielding it in a waterproof pouch on rainy days. Although I know I look really cool when I'm sporting a cell phone clipped to my belt, I didn't drag this electronic behemoth around just for fashion. As an IT professional I was on call for work. I've spent six years of my life on call, around half my career so far. For an IT person, that isn't all that bad.
A 42-year-old South St. Paul man charged with criminal sexual conduct was found dead Friday at the Dakota County Jail, apparently having hanged himself. A jail employee found the body of Raymond Ernest Cesmat at 4:23 p.m. Friday during routine rounds. He could not be revived. Cesmat was charged Wednesday of first degree criminal sexual conduct with an individual under 13 years of age. According to the sheriff's department it appears all jail procedures were followed. The sheriff's office, the Dakota County Medical Examiner and the Minnesota Department of Corrections are all investigating.
Plenty of people would be in the mood for a drink after nearly getting hit by a train, but police believe Christopher Brula started his drinking a little earlier than he claims. Brula's snowmobile was on the railroad tracks near 275th Street in Castle Rock Township last February when the train came along. The train's conductor told police he saw someone jump off and run from the scene just before the train hit the snowmobile. When he stopped the train and walked back, he found nobody there. He found Brula, 39, about 25 minutes after the crash as he walked back toward the engine.
A Farmington trucking company faces felony charges after allegedly writing more than $46,000 worth of bad checks. Farmington police received a report March 29 from a former employee of Dragon Creek Carriers who said two checks the company wrote to him were dishonored. According to a complaint issued last week by the Dakota County Attorney's office, Dragon Creek's bank account was $4,172 in the hole at the time the check was written. According to police Dragon Creek's account was open from March of 2009 through April of 2010.
The University of Minnesota has named the Al and Beth Bester family of Hampton Dakota County's 2010 Farm Family of the Year. The Besters were recognized locally Tuesday, July 13, at the Dakota County Board of Commissioners meeting. Al was raised on a farm in Rosemount that was originally bought by his grandfather in 1919. Throughout his childhood, he helped his father on the farm. In 1988, after studying at Dakota County Technical College, Al married Beth and they bought their current farm in Hampton.
The walls of Laura Mitchell's new preschool are a sunny yellow. The shelves have colorful labels identifying spots for glue sticks and finger paints. The rest of the room, well, that's kind of a work in progress. There are shelves that need assembling, toys that need organizing and an outdoor play area that looks a little lonely with just one small item for kids to play with. Mitchell is in the process of building Rising Stars Preschool in a space at 115 Elm Street.
Up until about 9 p.m. Monday I had a pretty good idea what this column was going to be about. I was going to write about being unusually tall. And about buying a new bike. And about the challenges that arise when those two things come together. It was going to be funny and observant and, had circumstances allowed, it would have included a brief but tasteful nude scene. But if there's one thing I've learned in the nearly 13 years I've been doing this job, it's that things don't always go the way you planned.