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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Aside from a burst of rain that drove away crowds and washed out one of two music stages, Saturday's first-year Minnesota Soybean Festival went pretty much as expected. Festival organizer Vida Raine said crowds Saturday were good early on, but heavy rains sent most people home in the late morning. The crowds were slow to return, but by the time the late-night bands took the stage there were people dancing in the street.
Farmington police chief Brian Lindquist wasn't ready to entirely give up patrol work when he took the department's top job, so events like Monday's kickoff to a wave of increased seatbelt enforcement efforts are right up his alley. Lindquist joined chiefs from around Dakota County for a so-called alumni day of enforcement Monday afternoon. He patrolled along Highway 3 to spread the word about Minnesota's seatbelt laws. This is the second year for the event.
On the same day Meadowview Elementary School students planted a garden in memory of former classmate Alexis Iverson-Ferkul, the Dundas teenager who caused the Dec. 12 accident that killed her and two of her family members pleaded guilty in Dakota County Court. The teenager, a student at Farmington's Christian Life School who was 17 at the time of the accident, pleaded guilty May 20 to careless driving, a misdemeanor, in juvenile court.
Meadowview Elementary School students brought a storybook to life May 20, but it wasn't a story with a happy ending. At least not entirely. Under sunny skies last Thursday afternoon the students dug and watered and tended to four lilac bushes and a flowering crabapple tree that will stand as a permanent reminder of Alexis Iverson-Ferkul, a Meadowview student who was killed along with her aunt and her grandmother in a Dec.
As the Farmington School Board discussed its preliminary budget Monday night it asked residents to trust it would keep class sizes from growing too large next year. The public, or at least the representatives in attendance, politely declined. A growing group of Farmington parents launched an e-mail campaign in recent days to ask board members to hold off on approving a budget and to take a closer look at the need for teachers, particularly in the elementary level. As a result, the board, which was scheduled to approve its budget Monday, voted instead to wait until June 28.
Until recently, about the most exciting thing likely to happen to the hair that ended up on the floor at Farmington's Cahill Salon was becoming a pest deterrent in someone's garden. But a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has turned hair into a hot commodity, and the local salon is committing its customers' locks to the cause. Hair, it turns out, does a great job of soaking up oil. That's the reason we have to shampoo on a regular basis and it's the reason groups like Matter of Trust are looking all around the country for donations.
It was speed -- or a lack thereof -- that first brought Lonnie Giles to the attention of a Dakota County Sheriff's deputy. More trouble followed from there. According to a complaint filed last week in the Dakota County Attorney's office the deputy was northbound on Highway 3 Feb. 2 when he noticed a car traveling "extremely slowly" on 250th Street. When he drove past the car, the deputy saw Giles, 40, of Farmington, in the driver's seat, but when he turned around Giles reportedly jumped from the front seat to the back, and a passenger slid over to take the wheel.
Shoppers looking looking to liven up their yard with some new plants or flowers will find most of the expected items at Jerry's Farm and Garden Place. It's the chicken that sometimes take them by surprise. The farm fowl have their own coop in a back room of the building, but most of the day they're free to roam the property around the Flagstaff Avenue business. If the chickens quiet, shoppers might never know they're there. But when they start making noise, they tend to draw attention.
Every year the United States Social Security Administration sends media outlets around the country a list of the past year's most popular baby names.
May 15 marked my halfway point of the walk. It suddenly hit me that it really is just flying by and its amazing how far a person can come by just getting up and walking every day. It also made me realize I'm running out of time to fundraise for my goal of raising $100,000 for Action Against Hunger's Haiti Relief fund by the time I reach Miami on July 4. So far we've raised a little over $10,000 through Facebook and the web site, which is simply brilliant!