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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Hampton made international news in November of 2008 when the city elected Paye Flomo as its new mayor. Flomo is the first native Liberian to be elected to a government office in the U.S., and some have suggested he's the first African-born American to be elected, he said. Flomo's election was hugely popular in his native country. "People were rejoicing in Liberia," he said. His native government is so appreciative of Hampton and the U.S.
Three people were killed in an accident involving an SUV and a semi tractor-trailer Monday afternoon in Vermillion Township. According to witnesses the SUV was ahead of the semi headed southwest on County Road 47 near Goodwin Avenue at 12:20 p.m. The witness told Dakota County Sheriff's deputies the SUV appeared to have slowed to make a wide turn when the semi hit it broadside. After the collision the SUV rolled off the road and into a ditch. One occupant was thrown from the vehicle and all three occupants of the SUV were killed.
The Iowa City Community School Board is still trying to figure out who it wants to be its next superintendent. Farmington superintendent Brad Meeks is one of three finalists for the position. The Iowa City board held a 2 1/2-hour closed meeting Sunday to discuss three finalists for its soon-to-be vacant superintendent position but came away without a consensus. School board president Patti Fields said the board is still working through its process. "One of the things that certainly is a good thing for us is that we have three excellent candidates," Fields said Monday.
Independent School District 192 will hold a public input session at 5:45 p.m. April 26 to hear what residents think of proposed budget adjustments. Finance director Jeff Priess announced the more than $300,000 in cuts and $87,000 March 22 in response to an estimated $119,000 budget shortfall for the coming year. Cuts include the elimination of a districtwide telephone specialist position and a special education coordinator.
The fight took place on an elementary school playground, but it was more than just one student bullying another. According to a complaint filed this week in the Dakota County Attorney's office Nicholas Lauer, 24, hit and robbed another man Jan. 18 on the playground of a Farmington school. According to the complaint, Lauer and another individual drove the victim to the school and walked with him to the playground. Lauer then reportedly punched the individual and held him down while another man took $200 in cash from his wallet.
Families looking for a cool ice cream treat in downtown Farmington have been coming away disappointed so far this spring. Bugaloo's, the six-year-old ice cream shop located at the corner of Third and Oak streets, has yet to return from its winter hiatus, and owner Stacey Schultz said the shop will not open unless she finds someone willing to buy the business. Schultz and her husband, Nick, made the decision earlier this year to close the ice cream shop's doors. It wasn't an easy choice. Bugaloo's was Schultz's first business downtown and it's named after her daughter.
Now that he owns a billiard hall, Dan Rider finds himself in the unusual position of wishing for miserable weather. When your business depends on people staying inside in Minnesota, the last thing you want is a sunny summer day. Rider bought Farmington Billiards in January. For him, it's the ultimate expression of passion for a game he started playing in college. It is also, he hopes, a way to keep busy and earn a little extra income when he eventually retires from his full-time job. In the meantime, Rider is busy trying to make some changes.
The Farmington Eagles Club will get a new name, a new look and a whole new menu at the beginning of May. Celts, a restaurant and bar that started in Rosemount in 2001 and has expanded to locations in Hastings and Inver Grove Heights, will take over operations at the Farmington club at the end of April. Owner Brandon Barth received a liquor license for the new restaurant at a Monday night Farmington City Council meeting. Barth said he plans to add a fresh coat of paint and 15 new TVs in the restaurant side of the Eagles Club.
A fire the evening of April 16 damaged a home at 5311 Upper 182nd St. A homeowner there who asked that her name not be used said she was watching TV in the basement when she smelled smoke shortly after 6 p.m. She grabbed her two cats and got out. A neighbor called 911. Nobody was injured. Fire chief Tim Pietsch said the fire was contained to a truck parked in the home's attached garage. Firefighters broke windows out of the garage door and in the side of the building. They went in through the home's front door to approach the fire through a service door from the house to the garage.
Farmington School District superintendent Brad Meeks is one of three finalists for the superintendent's position in the Iowa City Community School District. Meeks was interviewed April 15 in Iowa City. He was one of six candidates interviewed for the job in the approximately 11,000-student district. The other two finalists are Elk River School District superintendent Mark Bezek and Wausau, Wis., superintendent Steve Murley. Other candidates interviewed last week were not named. Meeks said his wife, Terri, noticed the Iowa City job posting a few weeks ago.