Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening.
You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'.
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December will be a busy month in Rosemount, with several events planned to mark the Christmas season. Here is a list of what is going on around town. Get out and enjoy some homegrown entertainment. A Christmas production The Rosemount United Methodist Church has two events that will celebrate the season in very different but musical ways. On Dec. 11 and 12 the church's worship arts department will put on a production called "Is there room?" Worship arts director Natalie Olsen said the event will include a little bit of everything.
The Dakota County Libraries held a short story writing contest for teens. And while participation wasn't huge the stories that resulted were wonderful. "I was very impressed with their creativity," said Gladys Kim, teen librarian for Robert Trail Library. "I'm just amazed when kids take the time to sit down and write." In all, 19 middle school students and nine high school students participated. To get inspiration the students were asked to look at a picture of a guitar in a field with a person in the background and write a story based on it.
There are only a few certainties in life and taxes are one of them. While you're going to have to pay them, you can say something about the way your money gets spent. The city will hold its Truth in Taxation meeting at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at city hall. The meeting, while dry, will give residents the chance to have their say about the 2011 budget and levies. Finance director Jeff May said he and city administrator Dwight Johnson will begin the meeting by giving a brief presentation on the budget and levies.
Despite misgivings expressed by some downtown business owners the Rosemount Planning Commission voted last week to recommend the city council adopt a new Downtown Zoning Ordinance, after tabling the item on Oct. 26. The commission tabled the item to allow staff, time to address issues brought up by business owner Don Sinnwell. Time didn't seem to change much, though, as the commission recommended the ordinance with only one slight change. During an Oct. 26 public hearing for the ordinance Sinnwell brought a list of 16 concerns to the commission.
As a business, sometimes it pays to reinvent. At least that's what the owners of TOPS Pizza and Hoagies: The Original Philadelphia Style are hoping for. The small, family-owned restaurant is expanding its current location, at 14531 Dodd Blvd., by 2,000 sq. ft. and will add a full service bar. Owner Markos Chouliaris said they hope to have the new area open before the New Year starts. Markos and Soula Chouliaris opened TOPS in 1990. At the time, fewer than 3,000 people lived in town. As the town grew, so did TOPS.
The Dakota County Technical College Landscape Horticulture program wants its students to stand out. So although it was costly and time consuming the program set out to renew its Professional Landcare Network accreditation. "We consider it vital," said Sherralyn Cox, dean of design and health and human services. "It shows that we've gone the extra mile." The landscape horticulture program falls under design. According to information from the school PLANET's accreditation program evaluates and recognizes landscaping curricula that keep pace with the evolving needs of the landscape industry.
Sarah Gutierrez and Carrie Riesgrad Bruder will admit they've been blessed. That's why the stay-at-home moms feel it's their responsibility to give back. Out of that ambition they created Chicks for a Cause. Chicks for a Cause holds monthly events that benefit a number of charities and causes throughout the Twin Cities. Events so far have supported causes such as domestic violence prevention, cancer awareness and research and children's illnesses. In December the non-profit will throw its weight behind helping kids in need have a merry Christmas.
Icy weather late Saturday and early Sunday caused some real bummers for a few Rosemount residents. Police chief Gary Kalstabakken said while for the most part people played it safe police received a few weather-related calls. A thin sheen of ice covered roads and sidewalks Saturday and Sunday after the area received a freezing rain. In the larger Metro areas the ice caused many accidents and traffic delays. Locally, the ice didn't have nearly the impact. Police responded to more medical calls than anything due to people falling on the ice, said Kalstabakken.
The city of Rosemount has completed its election recount, and the results have not changed. Mark DeBettignies will serve another four years on the city council after a Monday recount came to the same result as the original vote. DeBettignies won over challenger Tim Judy by 26 votes. DeBettignies said he's excited to serve the people of Rosemount for another four years. Going forward, he said the council will stay focused on being fiscally responsible and keeping taxes down.
Rosemount's Operation Minnesota Nice group will have a one time Holiday Packing Event at 7 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Rosemount American Legion. The goal is to bring some holiday joy to soldiers stationed overseas. While the group sends boxes to predetermined soldiers monthly, for December it will double its efforts to try and reach more. Rosemount group leader Diane Tapper said they are trying to get people in the community involved with the effort. Usually members adopt a soldier and send them a care package monthly.