Kara Hildreth / contributor
Veteran Reid Erickson can live with more independence because of the care, nurture and skills of his service dog Milton. Milton has gained a reputation of "melting hearts" when people meet the sweet golden retriever. Erickson, 36, retired from the military in August 2014. He experienced a traumatic brain injury when he broke his neck after being near an explosion in Afghanistan. Today he lives 100 percent disabled and experiences frequent blackouts.
Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen has been sworn in as the 31st adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard. Gov. Mark Dayton administered Jensen's oath of office during a formal ceremony Saturday, Nov. 4, at the Minnesota National Guard Armory in St. Paul. Back in August, the governor appointed a committee that ended up selecting Jensen as a finalist. As the leader of Minnesota National Guard, Jensen will be in charge of more than 13,000 soldiers and airmen who live and work throughout the state.
"Strike up the band" will be celebratory theme for this year's annual Rosemount holiday tree-lighting ceremony. The event will be a send-off practice for the Rosemount High School Irish Marching Band, which is working hard to dazzle the audiences at the famous Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in New York City. Locals can hear a sneak preview and see a marching band performance on Saturday, Nov. 18.
The musical "Beauty & the Beast" will bring the story of love and acceptance to stage the next two weekends in Farmington. Farmington High School music and theatre departments have been busy rehearsing for the musical production as more than 51 students make up the cast and 25 students work on the crew with sound and lighting. About 10 musicians will play stringed instruments in the pit under the direction of parent Dan Julson.
Talking about race in a truthful way can be uncomfortable. Talks may be inspiring and build bridges to spark meaningful conversations. Ultimately, community conversations can perhaps improve race relations across Minnesota. That was the community mission of One Book, One Farmington events in October. Besides weekly library events in October, three authors spoke at Farmington High School on Oct. 24, to share personal stories and essays from the book, "A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota."
Police said a Farmington woman died by suicide inside her home Monday, Oct. 31, during a seven-hour standoff at Twin Ponds Circle Townhomes located off Highway 3. Farmington police Det. Shawn Scovill responded to a call at 3:20 p.m. from the woman's mother and friend, who said she was making suicidal threats and possessed a handgun. Farmington police made contact with the woman by phone and at the residence. She was alone in the two-story townhome.
This year Rosemount will honor veterans in a collaborative effort by showing gratitude to men and women who served their country and sacrificed time away from family to protect America's freedoms. The four groups working together are the city of Rosemount, the Rosemount Area Arts Council, the Rosemount VFW and Rosemount Beyond the Yellow Ribbon group.
Understanding the backstory of human rights and the complexity of immigration law was discussed at a recent One Book, One Farmington library presentation. Michele Garnett McKenzie shared her presentation, "Immigration and Human Rights in Minnesota" at the Oct. 10 Farmington Library weekly talk that is part of the One Book, One Farmington collaboration between Farmington educators and the Farmington Library.
Life can be quite serendipitous in the way people come into our lives. Artist Nick Sinclair and Jimi Brown say this is true as they tell the story of how they crossed paths as adults. The two men attended grammar school in Prior Lake but were not friends. "I ended up finding Nick again when I worked with his brother in Lakeville," Brown said. "I was admiring Nick's art and I had it up on my computer when Andy came up to me and said, "You like that artwork?'" Said Sinclair: "My Dad was his soccer coach growing up and we never knew each other."
Alison Cromie connects to youngsters by pairing music with laughter. The singer and songwriter is not afraid to delve into dark places. She does not refrain from writing songs with lyrics about questionable manners. Last year she wrote her first children's song, "Don't Put Your Fingers in Your Nose." This tune was a big hit with her own children who gave her rave reviews as a captive audience. "I played it for them in the car and they went wild and if they could have rolled in their seats, they would have," Cromie said, laughing.