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.
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.
Civilian protesters took to the streets holding riot signs and shouting chants last weekend in Dakota County. The volunteers were actually part of a mock demonstration for a county law enforcement training session. The exercise was meant to help officers learn how to properly respond to civil unrest and how to properly protect public safety and property. Jim Iliff, a sergeant with the Dakota County Sheriff's Office, served as an emergency preparedness coordinator during some drills at the Saturday, Oct. 14, training.
Rebel Chef restaurant will soon serve up a fusion of California cuisine and comfort foods. The Farmington City Council approved the on-sale liquor and Sunday liquor license for the restaurant at the Monday, Oct. 16, council meeting. The restaurant is located 953 Eighth St., off Highway 3 in the building that connects to Amcon gas station and repair shop. Owner Keith Russell plans to open next month pending final restaurant remodel and building permit approval.
Support Our Troops Haunted House hopes to connect you with your worst nightmares at the Fright Night Resurgence in Farmington. "This year's haunt has some of our greatest scares with a twist," said Jason Schmidt, marketing director with Support Our Troops Haunted House in Farmington that is open the first two weekends in October at the Dakota County Fairgrounds. "We took some great scares and made them better, along with a few surprises inside," Schmidt added. One greatest hit scary room that will return include Twister Sister or the No Way Out room.
Farmington Rotary Club's Ramble Jam is building a reputation as the place for up-and-coming country music musicians in an outdoor venue. Each year Ramble Jam promises to deliver live music with bands who satisfy the soul. The festival is for all who love country music and even a few who may be on the fence and may like a little country and a little rock 'n' roll. Farmington Rotarian Lori Jensen, fundraising chair for Ramble Jam, said this year all the hard work paid off. The club will be ready to give back to local groups and fund local scholarships.
Living through a life-altering health scare turned into a beacon of life for one Rosemount family. Five months ago Chris Orr suffered a heart attack on March 3 when he was teaching gym class at Rosemount High School. Fellow Rosemount High physical education teacher Tracy Cassano saved her colleague's life when she acted swiftly with life-saving skills to resuscitate Orr. Cassano was honored by earning a Lifesaver of the Year award from Dakota County's Emergency Medical Services.
This week Dakota County Fair sells passports to fun. Loyal, veteran fair-goers return to the fairgrounds each year, but I aim to appeal to you who have never attended the Dakota County Fair or have not returned for a few years. You know who you are. This year fair organizers plan to offer more free music all day and into the evening across the fairgrounds. You can check out lively musical theatre at the daily Chautauqua tent show that makes fun of Minnesota nice with songs and one-liners.