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 shelves in the basement office at Farmington Community Church are all empty this week. Pastor Luke Wynja has packed the things he wants to take with him and tossed at least some of what he doesn't into a trash can that is filled well beyond its rim. Wynja's now-bare office is just one sign of a church that on Sunday will hold its final service before members go their separate ways. The church, which until 2008 was known as Christ Presbyterian, has existed as a congregation since 1984 and has occupied the little white church on Elm Street since 1992.
The Farmington School Board got what amounts to the beginnings of a construction-project wish list at a special meeting Monday. Board members took a first look at a facilities plan developed over the course of the last year by a group of district employees led by the Cunningham group, an architecture firm. The plan lays out a long list of projects the group felt would improve conditions at district schools. The plan lays out lists of perceived shortcomings at every district-owned building except the new Farmington High School.
Suspicious behavior behind the wheel has landed a 44-year-old New Prague man in hot water for drug possession. Robert Lorn Allen caught the attention of Dakota County Sheriff's deputies Aug. 2 as they responded to a report of lights on at a foreclosed home in Castle Rock Township. According to a complaint filed in the Dakota County Attorney's office Allen was driving slowly past the home and turning his left turn signal on and off before stopping on the shoulder of the road.
Last weekend I marched into a local department store armed with a 30 percent off coupon. I was ready to do my Christmas shopping. I know you're thinking, "Christmas shopping in October?" But the Halloween merchandise was already on clearance by October 1, so there was no shortage of holiday merchandise to choose from. The glowing trees were already decorated, sparkling at the front of the store. A large assortment of ornaments hung from silver racks clustered around them.
Traditions are important in Farmington. Homecoming is the perfect example of it and you can probably see it almost every time you pass a junior or senior's house. Toilet paper in the trees, shaving cream on the garage door and in the driveway, with the occasional paintball splatter as well. The parents most likely are the least to care as long as their kid cleans it up because it probably happened to them when they were kids, too. Whether they were the ones tee-peed or they were doing the tee-peeing. Although when something in their yard gets broken, that's a whole other story.
The Farmington School Board has a pair of meeting scheduled for Monday. The board will hold a special meeting at 4:30 p.m. in the little theater at Boeckman Middle School to discuss a report on district facilities.
I spent my junior year of high school in Sweden. It was a wonderful experience. I learned a lot about foreign cultures. About life. About meatballs. It wasn't perfect, I'll admit. I asked everyone I met about that bikini team that was so popular in all the beer ads at the time, but nobody seemed to know what I was talking about. They couldn't even point me in the direction of the JV team, which I believe mostly stuck to one-pieces. The lack of swimsuit-clad supermodels aside, though, the year was filled with remarkable opportunities.
A popular north-Farmington coffee shop is going to go through a transformation in the weeks ahead. The Ugly Mug has always been more than a typical coffee shop. With beer and wine on the menu, as well as hearty sandwiches, the business was designed as a mix of coffee shop, restaurant and bar. Now new owners Kathy Stronach and Dan Radmacher are going to push those distinctions even further.
Once again this weekend Farmington residents will have a chance to get scared for a good cause. On Friday and Saturday the Support our Troops Haunted House will return for the third year to the Dakota County Fairgrounds for its third straight October. The event raises money to support deployed soldiers and their families. The group behind haunted house has so far sent more than 250 care packages to deployed soldiers, sent Christmas trees and gifts to Iraq and Afghanistan and sent school supplies for Iraqi children.
Republican candidates in District 36 got an opportunity to speak directly to voters last week without any input from the other side of the ballot. DFL candidates Steve Quist, who is running for the Senate seat being vacated by Pat Pariseau, and Sigrid Iversen, who is facing incumbent Pat Garofalo in the 36B House race, were absent from the Sept. 29 forum sponsored by the Dakota County Regional Chambers of Commerce. Both said they informed organizers as soon as they got the invitation that they had a conflict that night. Quist was teaching confirmation classes at his church.