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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Jonas Gerald Grice was sentenced to 25 years and nine months in prison for murdering Anthony Hartman in a Rosemount car wash in 2010. Judge Karen Asphaug also ordered Grice to pay restitution to the family as determined by community corrections. The sentence was handed down today in Dakota County Court. Grice pleaded guilty to intentional second degree murder but held onto a mental illness defense.
Steve Meyer has worked as a police officer for seven years. During that time he's gained a lot of experience, but nothing compares to the week he spent in Mexico City as part of a group from Saint Mary's University. "I've never known anything but the Midwest and this offered a global perspective. It was a fantastic opportunity," said Meyer. Meyer, a Rosemount resident, works for the Mendota Heights Police Department. He currently is in the public safety administration graduate program at St. Mary's. He travelled to Mexico City in mid-November with seven of his classmates.
County sheriff and ice fishing host Madge Dulik is looking for a killer. She's got an interesting group of suspects, including Colonel Geoffrey Blankenship, who owns a north woods resort. She'll hook the killer Jan. 28 at the Rosemount Steeple Center. The Rosemount Area Arts Council will present its fourth annual Mystery Dinner Theater at 6 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Steeple Center. Once again the cast of Mr. Mystery Productions will provide the performance. This year's play is titled "Cabin Fever." Mr.
It's a strange experience to look back at the last year's work. Some stories I remember well. Others I completely forgot. Either way 2011 was an interesting year full stories that needed to be told -- some wonderful, some sad and some that were just weird. Here are my favorite stories from the last year. The addition of the community garden I chose this story as a favorite because it's a topic close to my heart.
The Rosemount City Council voted Tuesday night to change its website services provider. Starting later this year, the city will use CivicPlus instead of its longtime provider, GovOffice. The council has made it a goal to improve its communications with residents. Part of that goal is improving the city's website so it's more user-friendly and offers more to residents. Communication director Alan Cox said that GovOffice has too many limitations to make the city's website goals happen.
If you hear the sirens going off this week, don't worry. The outdoor warning sirens are being upgraded to meet federal requirements. And to test the new equipment the sirens will be activated for brief periods during daytime hours this week. According to a press release from the city, the project is being jointly funded through a Federal Department of Homeland Security Urban Area Security Initiative grant secured by Dakota County and by the City of Rosemount. The work is expected to done by Jan. 6. The usual monthly siren tests will continue on the first Wednesday of the month at 1 p.m.
Since her time at the School of Environmental Studies, Rochelle Roche knew she wanted to work with the environment. After being laid off last spring, the 26-year-old decided to follow her heart. She did that through the Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa. Roche recently finished a six month stint with the Conservation Corps. As part of the corps she helped manage natural resources around the Twin Cities. Duties included buckthorn removal, erosion control and creating rain gardens. The Conservation Corps traces back to the Civilian Conservation Corps that was started in the 1930s.
Dakota County is looking for your opinion on a new 456-acre regional park in Empire Township. County staff will use those comments to create a final master plan for the project. County staff will take comments through Jan. 12 on the draft master plan, and the county will hold an open house from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Jan. 5 at the Dakota County Western Service Center in Apple Valley. Mary Jackson, with the county's planning and analysis office, said so far comments have trickled in.
2011 has been a big year for the Rosemount Area Arts Council. The group, which aims to build and strengthen the community through the arts, sponsored 25 events over the past 12 months. And while members would like to do more, it's definitely been a year of accomplishment. RAAC started in 2007. During its first few years the small group of volunteers decided to concentrate their efforts on getting the nonprofit established. That meant becoming a 501©3 and writing bylaws. Over the last few years RAAC has concentrated on hosting more events to meet its mission.
Christine Larson has long had an interest in her family history. She enjoys learning about her ancestors and making connections to the people who went before her. As a Dakota County librarian she also enjoys helping others find their own family histories. Larson will lead a class on finding family history on the Internet from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 11 at the Robert Trail Library computer lab. Larson said the class will focus on the basics of finding family history online.