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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Some people recommend you designate a driver when you're planning a night out on the town. Others might suggest calling a cab. But two local businessmen hope you'll consider taking the train. Or, rather, the Trane. Paul Mickelson started Nite Trane, a party bus business, about a year ago. Tony Jerin joined the business a couple of months ago after meeting Mickelson at the Farmington American Legion, where he is assistant manager. Both came to the business in much the same way.
Talking last week about the Farmington School District's disappointing results on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment science test, assistant superintendent Christine Weymouth suggested teachers would have to find ways to work together. At Riverview Elementary School, they're way ahead of her. In June, a group of five RVES teachers traveled to Itasca State Park to take part in a 10-day, University of Minnesota-led session designed to help elementary school teachers get more comfortable teaching science.
The 2010 edition of Farmington's annual fund raiser for the American Cancer Society was bigger, longer and more successful than ever. Friday night's Relay for Life, the first overnight walk held in Farmington to benefit the ACS, brought in at least $47,000 for cancer research. That's about $15,000 more than last year's Ramble and Amble and $6,000 more than the group's goal heading into the event. The Ramble and Amble involved teams walking a few hours on the paths through Dakota City Heritage Village. This year's Relay for Life took that idea and made just about everything bigger.
University of Minnesota officials hoped to have a wide-ranging discussion July 29 on the future of alternative energy on the school's UMore Park property. But the residents who showed up for the meeting seemed to have a more specific focus. Nearly all of the discussion during the question-and-answer portion of the meeting focused on the 2.3 megawatt turbine that will be built later this year on the property.
Farmington has no local primary races, but there is still reason for voters to cast their ballots Aug. 10. Voting is from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. There is a race for one of the 1st District judges' position, currently held by Timothy Blakely. Stephen Baker and Larry Clark are challenging him. And, of course, there is the Minnesota governor's race.
The summer is soaring by. Dew Days and the Soybean Festival have already come and gone, yet we still have more to look forward to. One of the most thrilling Farmington events of the year is nearly upon us: the Dakota County Fair. In the past I've written about my love of the demo derby, a sporting event which consists of cars smashing into each other in a big, muddy pit until only one car is still running. It's sort of like a vehicular mosh pit sweaty, dirty, loud and exhilarating. This year the brilliant planners at the Dakota County Fair are upping the demo derby ante.
Rachel Curran has learned a lot in the month she's had a exchange student living in her house. She's learned that despite a peace agreement conflicts continue in Northern Ireland. She's learned how different life can be for a kid growing up in Belfast. And she's learned some of the people around here don't necessarily know a lot about Ireland. "You would be amazed how many Americans have asked me how his English is," said Curran, whose family has served since late June as host for a 12-year-old boy from Northern Ireland. For the record, Ethan Stewart's English is just fine.
The Tour de France finally rolled to an end last weekend with some foreigner most Americans probably have never heard of narrowly edging out another foreigner most Americans couldn't identify even if he rode past them on his bike yelling "Vive le tour!" which I believe is French for "Watch out for the drug tests!" This year's Tour was particularly thrilling and somewhat controversial, with Spaniard Alberto "El Pistolero" Contador winning by just 39 seconds over Luxemburger Andy "The Luxemburger" Schleck.
The Dakota County Attorney's office has filed property damage and disorderly conduct charges against a Farmington woman who allegedly forced her way into a neighbor's apartment, yelled at him and poured water and baby powder on the floor. The incident happened around 4:30 p.m. July 3 at an apartment complex in Empire Township. According to a complaint filed last week in the attorney's office Jody Marie Wiggin, 50, damaged the apartment complex's main door, doing more than $500 in damage.
The continued deterioration of a Burnsville road has pushed a south-metro bike racing institution a little bit farther out into the country. The Silver Cycling club was scheduled to hold its first Farm Dog Time Trial July 28 on the roads of Eureka Township. The race will take the place of the long-running Black Dog Time Trial, which has taken place for nearly 30 years on Black Dog Road in Burnsville. Events are also scheduled Aug. 11 and Aug. 25. Black Dog has long been a rough road, pockmarked with potholes.