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I've been struggling to consistently workout since Slim Down started. Last month, I wrote about dedicating myself to cooking more and attempting to eat out less. It's healthier for me and my wallet, and that's been going well. Almost every week I cook five or more times and it's almost always something healthy.
FARMINGTON — Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, questioned two speakers on the benefits and drawbacks of recreational marijuana at a town hall on Wednesday night.
Minnesotan actor and comic book writer Harwan Thomas Altman and his friend and fellow actor Landyn Banx were walking in downtown Hastings when they stopped at the aged Riviera Theatre. Altman, to some effect, said "this is where Frank will live." He was referencing detective Frank Boon, the main character of his forthcoming comic book "The Big Bad Book of Boon," a murder-action-thriller story. "I wanted him to have a definitive base of adventures like the batcave for Batman or the fortress of solitude for Superman," Altman said. "Frank's got the Riviera Theatre."
Record snowfall in February led to high costs for Dakota County and multiple, long shifts for the workers who run the plows. "This is the toughest (month) that I can remember where we just had to keep going and going," said Todd Howard, an assistant county engineer with Dakota County. "No one snowfall was especially noteworthy, but they just kept stacking on top of each other."
My family has always loved eating out. We make it a priority to eat out often when we're together and so when my sister was visiting a few weeks ago we did what we always do. We ate out. That night's menu included pastas, meat and one other surprising addition. My sister ordered a seafood dish paired with some mushrooms. Mushrooms?
Dakota County is planning a $7.1 million reconstruction project of County Road 42 from Highway 55 to Lock Boulevard this spring. The project entails adding paved shoulders and turning lanes. The road was last reconstructed 60 years ago and is three time higher in crashes and crash severity than other similar roads, according to Dakota County documents. The county is set to receive construction bids in March, with construction concluding in November, said Bobby Kuennen, the project's manager. "The age of the pavement and the base of the pavement is old," he added.
Dakota County's homeless population's need for shelter continues to outpace what is available. In Hastings, officials surveyed nine people as part of its the annual Point in Time survey — a federally-mandated count of the number of unsheltered people in a community — in late January, up from last year's count of five people. Housing vacancy rates around 2 percent and a lack of shelter space has left some struggling to put a roof over their heads, sometimes for even a night.
Mirroring other library systems statewide and nationally, the Dakota County Library system plans to waive overdue material fines during an eight-day period in April. The library has about 10,000 active users blocked, those who have been to the library within two years, and 23,000 total users blocked. The fee waiving effort has a projected loss of $30,000 for the system, but officials hope it will be worth it through encouraging blocked users to return and stick around, while attracting newcomers.
Dakota County legislators have education and gun control at the top of their legislative priorities for the 2019 session. At a town hall Jan. 14 in Apple Valley's Falcon Ridge Middle School, Sen. Greg Clausen, DFL-Apple Valley, Rep. John Huot, DFL-Rosemount, and Rep. Robert Bierman, DFL-Apple Valley, heard from Dakota County residents who shared those priorities and more. Residents voiced concerns ranging from health policy and environmental policy to 2018's last-minute omnibus budget bill.
A roughly $13 million Dakota County police training center is on pace to move forward in 2019, after receiving state funding this year. The Safety and Mental Health Alternative Response Training Center, known as the SMART Center, will give Dakota County Sheriff's Office and other regional law enforcement offices training in growing areas of emphasis for police — things like de-escalation, crisis intervention training and others.