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Apple Valley | Rosemount

www.SunThisweek.com Opinion

May 18, 2012 | Volume 33 | Number 12

Indictment stirs debate about assisted suicide Neighbor reached out to Dunn before her death

‘Third City’ beat has been fun Larry Werner, Sun Thisweek general manager and editor, will take on new role as director of news for ECM Publishers Inc. Page 4A

sports

Cited in the indictment are nine Sun Thisweek felonies of assisting another to commit Until the pain, suicide and eight Doreen Dunn was a gross misdemeanor traveler, quilter and charges of interfermaster gardener, said ing with a death Julie Tussing, a neighscene. bor who helped care Charged are Fifor Dunn at her Apple nal Exit Network, Valley home before the a 501c3 nonprof57-year-old woman’s James Backstrom it; Thomas “Ted” apparent suicide. Goodwin, former president of Final Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom released on Monday a Exit Network; Roberta Massey, a May 11 grand jury indictment of 17 Final Exit “case coordinator;” Jerry counts against Final Exit Network Dincin, then-Final Exit Network and four of the nonprofit right-to- president; and the organization’s die organization’s volunteers for their medical director Dr. Lawrence Egalleged role in Dunn’s May 30, 2007, bert. Backstrom alleges Dunn commitdeath. by Laura Adelmann

ted suicide using a hood and inhaling helium gas after consulting with members of Final Exit Network without her family’s knowledge, and that Dincin and Egbert were present in Dunn’s residence when she took her life. Backstrom said materials allegedly used by Dunn and items referencing Final Exit Network were removed from the scene, as outlined in the organization’s training manuals. Robert Rivas, attorney for Final Exit Network, has argued volunteers do not physically assist a person committing suicide, but provide information that is constitutionally protected free speech. He told Sun Thisweek he intends See indictment, 6A

Dance revolution Pitcher hits the long ball, too Eastview’s Evan DeCovich leads the baseball team on the mound and at the plate. Page 14A

thisweekend Photo by Rick Orndorf

Zoo show brings Pines back home Now a nationally touring act, local indie folkrockers The Pines are set to headline a Music in the Zoo concert this summer. Page 12A

Online Look for photo slideshows after this weekend’s busy slate of events, which includes proms, the Scottish Festival and World War II re-enactment. Readers can contribute news items to Sun Thisweek’s website by using the Reader News feature. Tell us who your favorite guitarists are at a link from our Facebook page – facebook.com/ sunthisweek.

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Dancers at Apple Valley High School rehearse last week for their upcoming show “Danceworks 2012: Move Revolution,” which features 150 students performing a fusion of modern, hip-hop and other dance genres. Directed by Cathy Wright, the show includes choreography by both students and guest artists, along with pre-show dance films made by students. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. May 18-19 in the high school’s theater.

District offers $5 million for building Officials say Apple Valley purchase will result in savings for district by Jessica Harper Sun Thisweek

The Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District has offered to pay $5 million for a 28,0000-square-foot building in Apple Valley in an effort to save money. The offer, which was sent to building owner AVP Developers, was approved by the School Board on May 14 and will be sent to the Minnesota Department of Education for review. District 196 has leased the building for the past five years for adult education programs. To date, the district pays $380,000 in rent annually, which is projected to increase to $414,900. It also pays $112,000 in taxes and is responsible for maintenance. By purchasing the building, the district will have a lower payment and won’t have to pay property taxes. The building – located near the intersection of County Road 42 and Johnny Cake Ridge Road in Apple Valley – houses several programs and nearly 300 students. It is used for the district’s Area Learning Center, Transition Plus and Pathway. Transition Plus and Pathway help young adults with special needs transition from school to adult life. These programs would See building, 7A

Marching to the beat of a new strummer Guitar shop owner strikes a chord with customers by Tad Johnson Sun Thisweek

It’s taken Rosemount resident Brad Wegner a long time to find his new direction, but he’s doing so with help from his guitar. After Wegner’s wife died in March 2007 from complications due to cancer, he left his 17-year career in the banking industry to care for his two young adopted children. He took the time off with the idea that he would re-enter the workforce, but the Great Recession constricted the banking industry so much that Wegner couldn’t find another position. After it was apparent a change was necessary, the 53-year-old Wegner contemplated what kind of work he would enjoy that give him the balance he sought. That’s when he turned to his love a music and last October enrolled in a guitar-repair class offered at Southeast Technical College in Red Wing.

Photo by Rick Orndorf

Brad Wegner strums a guitar in his new downtown Rosemount business The Guitar Shop in the Rosemount Mall.

In Brief

For more information about The Guitar Shop, stop in at its 14555 S. Robert Trail location, call (651) 344-8177 or go online to www.mnguitarshop.com.

At first he contemplated opening a repair business out of his home, but then found reasonable rent and opened The Guitar Shop on May

20 in the Rosemount Mall between 145th and Lower 147th streets on South Robert Trail. “I like the downtown location and being in the center of the activity,” he said. “I am in the Rosemount mall that was the hub of Rosemount back in the early 80s. I want to bring that back.” He plans to do that with a mixture of selling guitars and music accessories, repairing guitars, offering lessons and inviting musicians in

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for in-store jam sessions. Since opening, the store has been a magnet in attracting guitarists from throughout the south metro. “It’s been great,” said Wegner, who grew up on a southern Minnesota farm and lived in Burnsville before moving to Rosemount 16 years ago. Among the local guitarists who have stopped inhave been flatpickSee guitars, 7A


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May 18, 2012 Sun Thisweek File photo

Dolphin exhibit’s days are numbered at Minnesota Zoo Allie and Semo will be saying goodbye to the Minnesota Zoo. The zoo’s two Atlantic bottlenose dolphins will be moved to other facilities later this year, as the zoo announced Monday it will be ending its dolphin program. The announcement came after the zoo received $4 million through the state Legislature’s bonding bill, and zoo officials say the money will help repair saltwater damage to the

15-year-old Discovery Bay, the tanks where the dolphins are housed. Though the zoo had planned all along to permanently move Semo and Allie to other accredited facilities – Semo, 46 years old and the oldest male dolphin in human care, is to be retired from the public, and 24-year-old Allie is set to join another social group – officials had originally intended to bring in a new pod of dolphins to Discov-

ery Bay. However, the cost and availability of dolphins make acquiring a new pod not an option, zoo director Lee Ehmke stated in a Tuesday Star Tribune report. Officials are now examining options for Discovery Bay in lieu of dolphins, which have been part of the zoo since 1978. “As part of the master planning process, we are working to determine what other aquatic animals and

Allie (above) and Semo, the Minnesota Zoo’s two Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, will be permanently relocated to other facilities later this year when the zoo begins repairs on the saltwaterdamaged Discovery Bay. environmental education activities might be featured in Discovery Bay when the pool repairs are completed,”

the zoo stated in a Monday are scheduled to move so news release. that guests can come to say The zoo plans on an- goodbye before they leave. nouncing when the dolphins —Andrew Miller

Suspect charged in 2011 disc golf course thefts by Andrew Miller Sun Thisweek

One of two teenage suspects accused of purloining equipment from Alimagnet Park disc golf course in Apple Valley last fall has been charged with felony theft in district court. Jonathan P. Hennessy, 18, of Apple Valley, was charged May 10 in connection with the removal of six baskets – the targets at which disc golfers hurl their hard-plastic flying discs – between Oct. 12 and 14 of last year. Police say the other suspect, a 17-year-old Apple Valley male, had his case handled through Dakota County’s juvenile court system. His name is not being released. Twice in two weeks last fall police and Parks and Recreation staff received reports of baskets being removed from the course. The first incident, around Oct. 1, saw baskets removed from four or five holes on the course, and city parks workers subsequently located all of those missing baskets within the park. The second incident, which authorities say occurred sometime between

File photo

Several baskets such as this one were removed from their poles last fall at Alimagnet Park disc golf course. One of two suspects was charged in district court last week with felony theft.

nizations – the Minnesota Frisbee Association and Little Canada-based disc golf outfitters Fairway Flyerz Discs – offered rewards totaling $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the culprits. According to the criminal complaint, police contacted Hennessy after receiving an anonymous tip from two individuals who believed they knew who had taken the baskets. Hennessy admitted to police he removed the baskets by using a pair of vice grips to dislodge the tamper-resistant screws, the complaint said. Randy Johnson, Apple Valley’s Parks and Recreation director, said the incidents last fall were the first instances of theft or vandalism to the disc golf equipment since the course was added to the park about six years ago. All the stolen baskets have since been replaced, Johnson added. “They’re all back and the course is open,” he said.

Oct. 12 and 14, saw six baskets removed. Two of the baskets were recovered – both were found submerged just off shore in Alimagnet Lake. In addition to the cost of replacement – the baskets are valued at $350 apiece – the thefts proved a nuisance for golfers, who when they teed off found themselves aiming for bare steel poles. The thefts caught the attention of the Twin Cit- Andrew Miller can be reached ies disc golf community, at andrew.miller@ecm-inc.com so much so that two orga- or facebook.com/sunthisweek.

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Sun Thisweek May 18, 2012

Theologian’s work lives on in writings of Apple Valley pastor Rev. John Matthews of Grace Lutheran Church publishes ‘Bonhoeffer’ by Andrew Miller Sun Thisweek

More than a half century after his death at the hands of Nazis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer still has much to teach the world. That’s the idea behind “Bonhoeffer,” an overview of the life and writings of the German theologian recently published by the Rev. John Matthews, a Bonhoeffer expert and pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Apple Valley. Bonhoeffer was imprisoned and killed for speaking against Nazi policies, smuggling Jews out of Germany and his involvement in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Matthews has studied Bonhoeffer since he was in college, even writing his master’s thesis on Bonhoeffer’s work. In 2005 he published a book on the theologian’s prison writings titled “Anxious Souls Will Ask … The Christ-Centered Spirituality of Dietrich Bonhoeffer,” and recently completed a term as president of the The International Dietrich Bonhoeffer Society. “(Bonhoeffer) was murdered because of his part in a plot to kill Hitler, and that’s how most people hear about him,” said Matthews, whose office at Grace Lutheran has a portrait of Bonhoeffer hanging on the wall, and shelf upon shelf

Photo by Andrew Miller

Rev. John Matthews has studied Bonhoeffer since he was in college, writing his master’s thesis on the German theologian’s work and serving as president of the The International Dietrich Bonhoeffer Society. of books by and about Bonhoeffer in both English and German. “His living through the traumatic and dynamic times of National Socialism in Germany – seeing him do that is inspiring as we try to navigate our way through turbulent times in our own country.” Matthews’ goal with the book, he said, was to take the life and writings of Bonhoeffer and “let his light shine through.” “You learn through his journey what it means to live in a complicated world,” he said. Bonhoeffer’s theology, Matthews said, has continued to have an impact long

after his death, influencing liberation movements in the latter half of the 20th century in places such as East Germany, South Africa, and Central and Latin America. The book, which Lutheran University Press commissioned Matthews to write for its Theology For Life series, was published last year and is available at www.lutheranupress.org, as well as online booksellers such as Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Andrew Miller can be reached at andrew.miller@ecm-inc.com or facebook.com/sunthisweek.

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Opinion

May 18, 2012 Sun Thisweek

It’s been a privilege to manage your weekly newspapers by Larry Werner Sun Thisweek

I’ve always prided myself in doing things differently. When I graduated from Michigan State University in 1969, thousands of people were moving from places like Kentucky to take jobs in Michigan’s auto plants. I left Michigan to take a job as a reporter in Kentucky. In the newspaper business, the conventional career path would be to start with a weekly newspaper, get a job with a daily and then retire to a life of golf, fishing or hanging out in the neighborhood coffee shop. For me, it went this way: Spend 38 years working for daily newspapers, retire, and then spend four years working for weeklies. Since January of 2007, following my retirement from the Star Tribune and eight long months of retirement, I’ve had the privilege of serving as editor and general manager of Thisweek Newspapers and the Dakota County Tribune. After the acquisition of the Minnesota Sun papers by ECM Publishers, we merged competing Dakota County papers into Sun Thisweek. Beginning next week, Sun Thisweek and the Tribune will be managed by Sun Group General Manager Jeff Coolman. I will be moving to ECM’s Coon Rapids headquarters in a new position called director of news. As I look forward with excitement to this new challenge of leading ECM’s editors and writers, I look back with some sadness on the people, places and events that have been part of my life since 1999. That was the year I moved with my wife and son

Sun Thisweek Columnist

Larry Werner

from Edina to Lakeville. During my previous 15 years in Minnesota, I hadn’t spent much time south of the river, but shortly after Ann and I married in 1995, she began talking about heading south. Ann is a Zweber – one of those names that cause heads to nod with familiarity when mentioned down here. There are lots of Zwebers in Dakota County. One of them, her father, LeRoy, was a dairy farmer and then director of buildings and grounds for the Lakeville schools. After LeRoy died in 1996, just as the family was turning the dairy farm into a golf course, we decided we should move closer to her widowed mother and the family business. Her brother, Mark, lost his wife to cancer in 1997, and Ann wanted to be more available to him as he raised his two young boys. So we moved to a condo near downtown Lakeville, and one of the first things I noticed was the local newspaper office. Even though I was still working for the Star Tribune, I would romanticize about becoming editor of Thisweek and telling the interesting and important stories about this land south of the Minnesota River. Magically, ECM advertised for a general manager to run its Dakota County papers shortly after I retired from the Star Tribune in June of 2007. In January of 2008, I started at

Thisweek’s Burnsville office. The Lakeville office had been closed by then in a cost-cutting move, and Mainstreet After Hours, a wine bar, now operates in that Lakeville space, adjacent to Mainstreet Coffee Cafe. I’ve had a ball putting out newspapers for Lakeville and Farmington, Burnsville and Eagan, Apple Valley and Rosemount, and turning the 128-year-old Tribune into a Business Weekly. I love local news, and our Dakota County communities have provided us with a lot of opportunity to tell great stories about your neighbors, your city councils, your schools and town characters. We’ve written stories about growth and recession. And we’ve provided local businesses with a means for telling customers about their products and services. Not every day has been a bowl of cherries. Facing a recession and intense competition from other newspapers and the Internet, we’ve had to spend way too much of our energy cutting expenses. In March, we moved from Burnsville to smaller, less expensive space in Apple Valley. And later the same month, we merged the Sun Current and Thisweek papers into a paper called Sun Thisweek. I’m proud to report Sun Thisweek is exceeding expectations as a news and advertising medium. It seemed like a good time to retire again. I’ll be 65 in July. But my boss, ECM President Marge Winkelman, offered me an office at the ECM Center in Coon Rapids, where I’ll be involved with improving the reporting, writing and editing done by the company’s 84 journalists. I’ll be working closely with Keith Anderson, director of news for the Sun Group, who will lead

our journalists in Dakota County. Our much larger company now delivers newspapers to about 700,000 homes throughout Minnesota. I appreciate the opportunity to work with a growing news company to serve readers with stories that inform and entertain. Having moved back north of the river to be near my four grandchildren and Ann’s work at the University of Minnesota, I spend less of my free time at the Lakeville Area Arts Center or at the arts centers in Burnsville and Rosemount. And since I’ll be working in Coon Rapids with ECM’s northern newspapers, you won’t see me as much at my favorite Dakota County lunch places – the Valley Diner in Apple Valley, Jo Jo’s Rise & Wine in Burnsville and, of course, Mainstreet Coffee Cafe in Lakeville. I’ll be hanging out at coffee shops in other communities where ECM has papers – such towns as Anoka, Milaca and Princeton, the place our company was started by former Gov. Elmer Andersen 35 years ago. It’s likely I’ll use this space for stories from those places up north. So you’ll hear from me on this page. I’ll miss south of the river, which I’ve named “The Third City,” after Minneapolis and St. Paul. And I’ll miss our new offices in Apple Valley, where Managing Editors Tad Johnson and John Gessner will continue to dispatch writers to cover the news of this dynamic and growing county. Larry Werner is editor and general manager of Sun Thisweek and the Dakota County Tribune. He can be reached at larry.werner@ecm-inc.com. Columns reflect the opinion of the author.

Letters Misplaced tough love To the editor: At a recent gathering at Rasmussen College, a group of people heard about some of the challenges faced by students and their parents around funding public schools. Parents itemized some of the difficult things about funding schools, including the forced borrowing of billions of dollars from the education budget by the Legislature, to balance the state budget. Back in 2001, when the state Legislature declared its policy of providing schools with the great majority of needed funding, the policy had no teeth. Two years later the Legislature made its first outright cut in education funding in the state’s history. Failure to keep up with inflation and using budgeting gimmicks like “borrowing” from future years’ funding, have had the effect of increasing class sizes over 50 percent, and requiring parents to pay extra for music, art and sports, while transportation services have suffered major reductions. Each of us has seen skyrocketing property taxes, partly due to passage of local levy referenda to support school districts. The incumbent congressman for the 2nd District, who is the chair of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, has not seen fit to fund mandates which Congress has made requiring state

special education spending. Such money accounts for a major part of the state education budget. He apparently believes it is better to have most projects except military projects, funded at the state and local, not the federal, level. He openly says that’s his opinion about funding early childhood education for school readiness. The people who suffer most in this dance to cut education, are the young people. They continue to see reduced funding for K-12 education, after inflation, and would-be college students have had to ask whether the cost of college is worth the decades required to repay burgeoning school loans they have to take out. Stinting on the education of our children and young people may be tough love. But the shift of responsibility of their education to the young themselves is a stingy habit that serves nobody and hurts us all. PAUL HOFFINGER Eagan

Minnesota needs Voter ID To the editor: Regarding the letter from Lauren Kelly discussing Voter ID: 1) Ms. Kelly suggests requiring voter ID would disenfranchise “many” voters. I would like to point out that elections do not sneak up on anyone. The first Tuesday after the first

Monday in November happens every year. People have ample time to get a photo ID and register. So, would there be “many” people who would not vote for lack of a photo ID? We need photo IDs for almost all commercial transactions in today’s society – check cashing, using a charge card, driving a car, buying cigarettes, buying liquor, boarding a plane – even, I understand, signing up for government benefits. For the few citizens without access to photo IDs, they would be provided at no charge. The real people who could be disenfranchised are the legitimate voters whose votes are diluted by fraud. 2) The author says there

Letters to the editor policy Sun Thisweek welcomes letters to the editor. Submitted letters must be no more than 350 words. All letters must have the author’s phone number and address for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be accepted. Letters reflect the opinion of the author only. Sun Thisweek reserves the right to edit all letters. Submission of a letter does not guarantee publication.

Andrew Miller | Apple Valley NEWS | 952-846-2038 | andrew.miller@ecm-inc.com Tad Johnson | Rosemount NEWS | 952-846-2033 | tad.johnson@ecm-inc.com Andy Rogers | SPORTS | 952-846-2027 | andy.rogers@ecm-inc.com Mike Shaughnessy | SPORTS | 952-846-2030 | mike.shaughnessy@ecm-inc.com Mike Jetchick | AD SALES | 952-846-2019 | mike.jetchick@ecm-inc.com Managing Editors | Tad Johnson | John Gessner Publisher. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Julian Andersen President. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Marge Winkelman General Manager/Editor. . . . . . . . . Larry Werner Apple Valley/Thisweekend Editor. Andrew Miller Rosemount Editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tad Johnson District 196 Editor. . . . . . . . . . . . Jessica Harper

Photo Editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rick Orndorf Sports Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Andy Rogers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mike Shaughnessy Sales Manager. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mike Jetchick Office Manager. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ellen Reierson

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were 113 persons “convicted” of voter fraud out of 2.9 million voters and implies that this miniscule number depicts the extent of the crime. Not true. A person has to be found to be prosecuted. The following is quoted from www.minnesotamajority.org/TheIssues/ ElectionIntegrity/tabid/188/ Default.aspx The underlining is mine: “The state’s primary registration verification tool is the Postal Verification Card (PVC). These post cards are mailed to newly registered voters. … If the card is returned as undeliverable mail, the voter’s identity is in question. … Over 46,000 of these postal verification cards have been returned to the county auditors as non-deliverable since 2004. About 38,000 of them were from 2008 and 23,000 stemmed from Election Day Registrations (EDRs). After accounting for legitimate reasons for undeliverable PVCs, over 6,000 unexplained, undeliverable PVCs … remain outstanding from the 2008 election, and over 1,200 from 2010.” 3) For all the readers who think that voter fraud is a non-problem in “nice” Minnesota, would I be correct in concluding that you do not lock the doors of your house? Diana Bratlie Lakeville

Business is backbone of America To the editor: Please don’t call me “America Hater.” It’s tough for me to understand all this military worship. I retired from the military. I flew Special Operations aircraft

and logged combat time. I flew supersonic jets in pilot training. It was a blast. How did I “defend freedom”? Our government today limits our freedom by regulating every aspect of our lives. But those same politicians order the military to go “defend our freedom.” Compare that to the private sector. Businesses ask for nothing except a chance to make your life better, and they work their butt off to do it or go out of business. In the military the taxpayers were forced to pay for my flying. American private businesses have shown the world why freedom is so wonderful by giving us the greatest wealth in history. Business has done this despite being hamstrung by ridiculous regulations from our “freedom-defending” government. What has the military, through the government, given us? From 1981-2001, there were 42 suicide missions against the U.S. From 9/11 to 2011, there were 1,833, according to The University of Chicago’s Project on Security and Terrorism. Don’t military members die for our freedom? In 2010, there were 462 combat-related deaths. The military had more deaths from suicide than combat in 2010. Were all those deaths “worth it”? I have never felt threatened by an Afghani or Iraqi. 9/11 was run by Saudis that trained in Minnesota. In 2010, 6,210 private sector workers died to improve your freedom, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. More truckers and farmers were killed doing their jobs, than

military were killed doing theirs. If you look at deaths per 100,000 workers, military doesn’t even break the top 10. Yet I am always thanked for my military service and told by the media that my corporation is greedy and evil. Next time you feel like thanking someone, don’t thank me. Thank an entrepreneur or private sector employee. HAL CRANMER Lakeville

Amendment discriminates To the editor: Let’s be clear on why the marriage amendment should be defeated. This amendment supports discrimination of our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender sisters and brothers. A vote to support this travesty is to write discrimination into our state constitution. Let’s be clear that discrimination is not only a sin, but a sin that can trace its roots in earlier history through discrimination against non-white races, other countries, women, children, Muslims, and those of other religions. It goes on and on. Loving God and loving our neighbor as ourselves are the two great commandments given to those of us who follow Jesus. To support this amendment, in my judgment, is to act counter to what Jesus taught. Voting no on the marriage amendment shows our love, support and respect to those in the LGBT community. STEVE KOESTNER Lakeville


Cross gets probation Lakeville man who abandoned son said he’s remorseful by Aaron M. Vehling and Laura Adelmann Sun Thisweek

It started out as an act of hopelessness: Steven Alexander Cross of Lakeville left his son in July 2011 with neighbors and fled to California on the heels of unemployment and the foreclosure of his house. Cross wrote in a note to the neighbors that his son would be better off with them than with him. Cross’s eventual arrest, extradition and court dates has culminated in a two-year probation sentence on May 16. He gets credit for his 32 days served in county jail. He also has to pay $2,520 in restitution to the courts for extradition costs, in addition to $415 in court fees. An emotional Cross gave a statement at the sentencing hearing. Through broken speech, he said he has wanted to apologize to his son. He said he wished he could do it all over again. The court read the victim statement of Cross’s son, who was not present. The boy said that when Cross left, “it felt like my life was over. It was horrible.” Cross was arrested in August 2011, living in his car and working at a sandwich shop along one of northern California’s touristy coastal cities and extradited to Minnesota, charged with child neglect. Cross served jail time and eventually moved in with a neighbor across the street from the house he designed and built during better days, when he was an architect with sole custody of his 11-year-old son. He told Sun Thisweek that he “watched as the house was torn down.” “It was hard to see that,” he said. At the sentencing hearing, the boy also said he wished his dad had not lied to him about his family. Cross got sole custody of his son early in the boy’s life and

Photo by Laura Adelmann

Steven Cross went through court security as he arrived for sentencing May 16.

his mother after spending months with a great aunt. Cross said the relationship between him and his son’s mother has progressed. He told reporters at a postsentencing press conference that he wanted to work things out. But most importantly, he wants to see his son again. As part of his sentence, Cross also has to continue regular therapy appointments. “I’ve been saying all I want to do is apologize to my son,” Cross told Sun Thisweek. “It’s been nine months and I’m still not allowed to do that.”

had at one point told him his mother was dead. The son has gotten to know his teenaged halfbrother (on his mother’s side) he never knew he had. They have developed a bond, the courts said, and are allowed Aaron Vehling can be reached to see each other. The boy at aaron.vehling@ecm-inc.com (Cross’s son) is living with or facebook.com/sunthisweek.

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Sun Thisweek May 18, 2012

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May 18, 2012 Sun Thisweek

indictment, from 1A to file to have the case dismissed.

Good neighbor

Tussing and Dunn were never close friends but raised their families in the same neighborhood for over 20 years. Knowing Dunn was in chronic pain following surgeries, Tussing one day brought Dunn a flower and a card. “It said ‘Thinking of you,’ ” Tussing said. “She just grabbed on to that, because she knew somebody cared.” The years of chronic pain had taken a toll on some relationships, including Dunn’s marriage, Tussing said, and family members appeared unsure of what to do to for her. For the last few years of Dunn’s life, Tussing would give her rides to appointments, shop for her groceries and help with her care. According to Tussing, Dunn suffered from insomnia, frequently took headache medicine and was de-

pressed. She said the former musician who spoke with pride about her children grew to complain more frequently as she suffered constant “excruciating pain” set off by even the slightest touch. “She just became unbearable at times. … She was always appropriate with me, but you could tell she was under a lot of stress,” Tussing said. After Dunn’s body was discovered, and the coroner ruled she died of natural causes, Tussing said she felt “sort of relieved” for Dunn because she was no longer suffering. When Tussing learned evidence uncovered in a Georgia investigation indicated Dunn had contacted Final Exit Network apparently seeking to end her life, Tussing said she was not surprised, considering all she knew about Dunn’s situation. She said Dunn had spoken to her about her suffering. “She let me know she just couldn’t take it anymore,”

In Brief To read a story about the Monday announcement of the Dakota County Grand Jury’s indictment, go online to www.SunThisweek.com. Tussing said. Having witnessed Dunn’s situation and knowing others who struggle with depression and pain, Tussing said she believes people should be legally allowed to end their suffering. “I agree with the rightto-die,” Tussing said. “It’s unfortunate that in Minnesota, we don’t have that option.” In an interview, Backstrom said he has “great compassion” for those suffering from serious pain, illness or disease, but noted Minnesota law does not allow for assisted suicide. “Until such time as the Minnesota Legislature chooses to enact legislation allowing assisted suicides in cases of terminal illness or irreversible medical condi-

tions that adversely impact a person to the extent that their quality of life is unacceptable to them, aiding, encouraging or assisting someone suffering from any condition to kill themselves is against the law in Minnesota.” Oregon is the only state with laws that allow physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients under the 1998 “Death with Dignity Act.” Gordie Haug, a representative for ADAPT Minnesota, a disability-rights organization, told Sun Thisweek he has concerns about a society that condones suicide. He said when discussions were occurring about legalizing assisted suicide of the terminally ill, it was proclaimed a slippery slope that would lead to ending the lives of those who are not terminal, as in Dunn’s case. “I oppose any policies and practices that threaten the lives of persons with disabilities,” Haug said, adding that he works with

many disabled people suffering from depression. Haug said there are treatments and options to ease pain and effectively treat depression, but with Medicaid cuts and tight budgets, Haug worried people may decide it is cheaper to take a life than to preserve one. “I don’t think it’s anyone’s right to take their life,” he said. The Final Exit Network volunteers will have to travel to Minnesota for trial, as they have in other states where prosecutions have occurred. Last year in Arizona, a jury found Final Exit Network’s medical director not guilty of conspiring to assist in a suicide. The jury was deadlocked in the case of an exit guide accused of assisting and conspiring to assist in the same suicide. Two other volunteers pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges. Laura Adelmann is at laura. adelmann@ecm-inc.com or facebook.com/sunthisweek.

It claims good people.

TREAT DEPRESSION #1 Cause of Suicide

http://www.save.org


Sun Thisweek May 18, 2012

Man charged following LSD-fueled assault A Lakeville man faces assault charges after he allegedly attacked his brother and a female friend during an LSD-fueled altercation in March. Julian Michael Denny, 22, is charged with one count of felony domestic assault and one count of felony fifth degree assault following the March 1 confrontation. Over the course of the night before and the early morning of March 1, Denny allegedly punched his brother in the face and a female friend in the cheek when they tried to encour-

age him to go to the hospital, according to the criminal complaint. Denny had been getting increasingly violent over the course of the night. As the effects of the LSD became more pronounced, Denny began talking to people who were not present. At around 4 a.m., his brother and friend were concerned about him and tried to get him to get dressed so they could take him to the hospital, the complaint said. Denny violently opposed their suggestions, resulting in the attacks: a single punch thrown at his brother

guitars, from 1A

help spread the word about the business, in addition to marketing in local schools and media. He’s played in the classic rock cover band Flashback for the past 20 years. The “weekend” band has played mostly town festivals and weddings in recent years and pulls from a catalog of songs from the 50s, 60s and 70s from the likes of the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Elvis. That experience has led him to installing a mini stage inside the shop. He plans to have live music in the store on Thursday nights. “At first I thought this place was pretty big, but now I don’t know if I have enough space,” he said of the shop that has 50 guitars in stock. He has had a few jam sessions already, but he hopes to formalize it so people can view it as a community gathering event. “Hopefully, I can bring more foot traffic to downtown,” he said. “This is kind of a hidden gem.” He said he has had six students sign up for guitar lessons, which he is offering every day of the week. “It’s gone better than I

ing champion and Sawtooth bluegrass band member Clint Birtzer, DFL state House candidate Jeff Wilfahrt and Nashville studio musician Ken Wilson,who has played with Mary Chapin Carpenter. “They are all different people from different walks of life,” Wegner said. “It’s great just to sit and talk to these people and find out what’s their experience. I like to get to know my customers.” The most important connection Wegner’s made so far is with his old acquaintance, Donny Swanson, a guitar teacher for the past 27 years at Lavonne Music in Savage. “I called him two nights before I was going to open,” Wegner said. “After I told him what I was doing, he said: ‘I’m in.’ ” With Wegner’s financial experience, he’s concentrating on running the business, while Swanson provides a deep knowledge of all things guitars. “He is like a walking encyclopedia,” Wegner said. Wegner also is counting on his many connections in the local music scene to building, from 1A stay put if the building is purchased by the district. The facility was built between 2005 and 2006 for the district by AVP Developers. District 196 moved its programs into the building in 2006 and agreed to lease it until 2016. At the time, the district’s lease on another facility had expired, and the new building seemed to be a temporary solution until officials could decide whether to move the programs back into other buildings. “We determined the old facility was not ideal for those programs,” said Jeff Solomon, finance director for District 196. Although enrollment has declined in recent years, the district’s existing buildings don’t have enough space, he said.

The mandate also strives to ensure schools have equity in school-lunch pricing by providing the same level of financial support for all students. Lunch prices were increased by 5 cents for the 2011-12 school year as a result of the first year of Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act requirements.

and a two-to-three to the female friend, who began bleeding from the mouth. He also grabbed onto her and would not let go, the complaint said. The brother told police he was afraid of Denny during the incident. Denny has two prior qualified domestic violence convictions from 2009 and earlier this year, according to the Dakota County Attorney’s Office. The charges each carry a maximum penalty of five years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine. —Aaron Vehling

In Brief Brad Wegner and Donny Swanson trend mostly old school with their top 10 guitarists of all time. Wegner – Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple), Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, Jimmy Page, Robin Trower (Procol Harum), Slash, Angus Young (AC/DC), David Gilmore, Tom Scholz (Boston), Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme) Swanson – Joe Satriani, Eddie van Halen, Ace Frehley (Kiss), Michael Shenker (Scorpions, UFO), Vinne Moore (UFO), Randy Rhoads (Ozzy Ozborne, Quiet Riot), Al Di Meola, Paul Gilbert (Racer X, Mr. Big), Yngwie Malmsteen, Nuno Bettencourt expected,” he said. “People from town and from the area, they are happy to have a guitar shop and music store in town. There is really nothing like this in the area.” Tad Johnson can be reached at tad.johnson@ecm-inc.com or facebook.com/sunthisweek.

Prior to the mandate, the district subsidized its lunch program, in part, through its a la carte program. The mandate prohibits such an exchange, Solomon said. Jessica Harper is at jessica. harper@ecm-inc.com or facebook.com/sunthisweek.

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Lunch prices rise Parents in District 196 can expect to pay more for their children’s school lunch next year due to a new federal mandate. The School Board on May 14 approved a 10-cent increase for lunch at the district’s elementary and high schools. Adults will also pay 10 cents more next year. As a result, lunch prices will rise to $2.20 at the elementary schools and to $2.35 at the high schools. Lunch prices for middle school students would remain the same at $2.25, and breakfast and milk prices would also be unchanged. The price of lunch for adults will increase to $3.40. Board Member Rob Duchscher has noted that the district wouldn’t have to raise its lunch prices had it not been for a recent federal mandate. The federal Healthy Hunger-Free Act of 2010 requires more fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy items be served on all school menus. District 196 has voluntarily used healthier products, including locally grown fruits and vegetables, for several years, district officials say.

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May 18, 2012 Sun Thisweek

Seniors The following activities are sponsored by the Rosemount Parks and Recreation Department and the Rosemount Area Seniors. For more information, call the Rosemount Parks and Recreation Department at (651) 322-6000. Monday, May 21 – Bridge, 9 a.m., Do Drop Inn; 500, 1 p.m., DDI Tuesday, May 22 – Cof-

fee, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., Rosemount Cub; Bid Euchre, 9 a.m., DDI; Bunco, 1 p.m., DDI Wednesday, May 23 – Water Color Painting, 9 a.m., DDI; Velvet Tones, 10 a.m., Apple Valley Community Center; Bowling, 1 p.m., City Limits in Rosemount; Card Bingo, 1 p.m., RCC Thursday, May 24 – Ad-

visory Board, 9 a.m., RCC; Mystery Lunch, 11 a.m. (RSVP Req.); Cribbage, 1 p.m., DDI Friday, May 25 – Euchre, 9 a.m., DDI; Lunch Out, 11:30 a.m., Carbone’s in Rosemount; Bowling, 1 p.m., Apple Place in Apple Valley See seniors, 9A

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Ness - Bodurtha

Thomas Tix

Angela Ness and Dan Bodurtha, of Rosemount, plan to marry. Angela, daughter of Steve and Becky Ness, graduated from Northwestern College in Iowa with an elementary education degree in 2011 and now teaches in District 196. Dan, son of Mark and Julie Bodurtha, will graduate from the University of St. Thomas in May 2012 with a mechanical engineering degree. A July 14, 2012 wedding is planned at Peace Church in Eagan.

Thomas “Tom” P. Tix age 72, of Farmington, passed away peacefully at his home on May 15, 2012 surrounded by his family. Tom served his country in the US Army. He was a plumber for over 50 years and owned and operated Tom Tix Plumbing & Heating for 30+ years. Tom enjoyed being in the outdoors fishing and bird watching. He is preceded in death by his parents, Mattie and Cecelia Tix and brother, Jim Tix. He was a loving and devoted family man to his wife of 50 years, Shirley; children, Michelle Piggott, Mitch Tix and Lisa Berthiaume; grandchildren Seth Piggott, Hunter and Austin Berthiaume; great grandson, Jacob Piggott; siblings, Gene (Phyllis), Matt (Joyce), Ron (Dianne) and Sharon Tix; sister in law, Marlene Tix; also by many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Mass of Christian Burial will take place 10 AM Saturday, May 19, 2012 at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 22120 Denmark Ave., Farmington with visitation on Friday (5/18) from 3-8 pm at the White Funeral Home, 901 3rd St., Farmington (651-463-7374) also 1 hr prior to Mass at Church. Interment, Church Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorials preferred. On line condolences at: www.whitefuneralhomes.com

Memorial Memorial for Linda Meyer O’Brien Memorial Services for Linda Meyer O'Brien, 51 and daughter Angela J Budreau, 31 of New Prague will be held Saturday, May 26th at 11 AM at Spring Lake Cemetery Prior Lake off County Road 12 and Lime Road. Memorials preferred Wells Fargo Linda M O'Brien and Angela Budreau Donation Trust.

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Shelley Renee Hawkins Age 49 of Apple Valley passed away on May 11, 2012. Preceded in death by father Clarence. Survived by loving husband Mike, children Ben and Liz, mother Lorraine (Arland) Bebensee, sisters Ann (Danny) Hair and Deb Olson, brother Tim (Linda) Schommer. Also by many loving relatives and friends. Memorial Service 11AM Friday, May 18, 2012 at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 12650 Johnny Cake Ridge Road, Apple Valley, MN. Gathering of family and friends one hour prior to service at church. In Lieu of flowers. Memorials preferred to Be The Match, CaringBridge or Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. White Funeral Home Apple Valley 952-432-2001 www.whitefuneralhomes.com

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In Memorandum

Warren Keith Happy 80th Birthday Giles Marian Brown would rather see you at her 80th birthday than her memorial service. Come celebrate with her May 27th, 2-5 at Rosemount United Methodist Church, 14770 Canada Ave. 80 years olds don’t need more stuff, cards fine. Marian graduated from the U of M with a BS in Home Economics, and from Hamline with a MALS. She’s a 50 yr 4-H leader. Active in the UMC local and beyond, local politics, and a member of many history groups. Former DCHS board member. Elected to DCSWCD, DEA committees, Toastmaster, 12 step & similar groups. Retired from U of M and Burnsville Sears.

Guess who turns 85 on May 25th? Maxine Rutten Happy Birthday Grandma!

You are the best! Love, Brett, Mike, Sean, Brooke, Andy, Dylan, Riley, Devin, Camellia, Anton and Ashton.

Today’s The Day Stop Smoking

Age 61, passed away on November 16, 2011. He is preceded in death by his parents, Ardell and Jerene Giles and brothers Gary, Larry and Ron. Warren is survived by his daughters, Mindi, Angie, and Charissa; grandchildren Nicolai, Maren, and Leo; sisters Cheryl and Kathy and many nieces, nephew, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. A memorial service will be held on June 2, 2012 at 12:30pm, with lunch to follow, at 27640 Galaxie Ave, Farmington, MN

May recalls sad memories of a loved one laid to rest, and those who think of you today are those who loved you best. The moment that you died, our hearts split in two...the one side filled with memories, the other died with you. We often lay awake at night, when the world is fast asleep...and take a walk down memory lane with tears upon our cheeks. Remembering you is easy, we do it every day. It’s the heartache of losing you that never goes away. Your smile is gone forever, and your hand we cannot touch... we have so many memories - we loved you oh so much. We hold you tightly within our hearts, and there you will remain. Life goes on without you, but it will never be the same.

Josh Keeler 3-17-1987 to 5-21-2007 Forever in our hearts Forever in our memories

To submit an announcement Forms for birth, engagement, wedding, anniversary and obituaries announcements are available at our office and online at www.thisweeklive.com (click on “Announcements” and then “Send Announcement”). Com­pleted forms may be e-mailed to class.thisweek@ecm-inc.com or mailed to Sun Thisweek, 15322 Galaxie Ave., Suite 219, Apple Valley, MN 55124. If you are submitting a photograph along with your announcement, please only submit photographs for which you have the right to permit Sun Thisweek to use and publish. Deadline for announcements is 4 p.m. Tuesday. A fee of $50 will be charged for the first 5 inches and $10 per inch thereafter. They will run in all editions of Sun Thisweek. Photos may be picked up at the office within 60 days or returned by mail if a selfaddressed, stamped envelope is provided.


Sun Thisweek May 18, 2012

seniors, from 8A

“Pearl of the Lake” Cruise

Join us Thursday, July 12 (8:45-3:45) for a scenic cruise on Lake Pepin and the Mississippi River aboard Pearl of the Lake. It is a modern day replica of the grand riverboats that traveled the Mississippi River in the 1800s. After the

cruise we will head to the Chickadee Cottage Café for lunch. Menu: old fashioned chicken salad with grapes, almonds and ring pasta in a delectable creamy dressing, accompanied by colorful fresh fruit, homemade nut bread, beverage and a dessert. This cost of this trip is $71 which includes bus, cruise, meal, tax and gratuity). Registration can

be done at the Rosemount Parks and Recreation Office; registration deadline is June 18. The Rosemount Area Seniors Do Drop Inn is open to senior citizens 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday. The room is located in the Rosemount Community Center and allows seniors a place to stop by and socialize during the week.

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May 18, 2012 Sun Thisweek

Eagan organic farmer shares experiences Atina Diffley to speak about her new book in Apple Valley by Elizabeth Sias Sun Thisweek

For over 30 years, Atina Diffley and her husband Martin owned and operated Gardens of Eagan, one of the first certified organic produce farms in the Midwest. Now the organic vegetable farmer educates consumers, farmers and policymakers about organic farming through her consulting business, Organic Farming Works. Diffley shares her experiences through her new memoir, “Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works.” The University of Minnesota Press author will be in Apple Valley on Saturday, May 26, at 4 p.m. at Barnes & Noble Booksellers to sign and talk about her book. “It’s really about empowerment and relationships and renewability of life itself, of weather, plants, animals and humans,” she said.

“It’s about life, more reabout relationnewable ships between ansystems, it’s imals and plants crucial for and people.” long-term Readers exsustainperience the loss ability,” she of the family-run said. farm; the way the Organic farm is stripped farming of all life in its defocuses on velopment, with soil buildtrees removed, ing and topsoil shaved crop coveroff and the land ing, Diffley reshaped. In said, ex1991, the Diffleys plaining bought their own that farmland and spent ers will 36 months transPhoto submitted grow plants forming the land Atina and Martin Diffley have operated Gardens of other than to an organic sys- Eagan for more than 30 years. the cash tem. crop, which Organic farmcreates fering is key to our future and pesticides and herbicides, tility and protects the soil is crucial for several rea- she added, people need not by bringing in nutrients sons, Diffley said. Fertility, worry about consuming through growing plants. pest and disease manage- toxic chemicals. “Drought proofing of ment are based on work- Organic systems use soil is really crucial, and ing with life forms, rather about a third of the energy organic farming adds more than bringing in off-farm as conventional farming. carbon to the soil,” she said. synthetic input. Without “As we look into the fu- “Research is showing that ture and start to develop

organic systems have higher yields in droughts.” Diffley goes on to explain that pesticides work by killing species, which throws nature out of balance. “If you think about what pesticides are, they’re poison to life,” she said. “They really throw an ecosystem into chaos, both through poisoning of different species, but also by killing the species that is the food for another species. It’s a really vicious chain.” Most approved chemicals have not been tested for effects on humans, she added. “That’s the beauty of organic systems; they’re looking at the whole cycle of life,” Diffley said. “We actually want to have some pests in our system, or we don’t have anything for our beneficial species to eat.” For instance, a disease on winter squash called zucchini mosaic is spread by the insects aphids. It’s not the

aphids the organic farmer minds — they just need to prevent them from spreading the disease. The solution Diffley found successful was planting wheat around the squash field to clean off the disease from the aphids. “We’re creating ecosystems where we look at the relationship between all different species and look at that chain of life,” she said. “If we poison the lives we’re living with, we’re poisoning ourselves.” As these systems become more the mainstream, organic produce will become more affordable so it’s less of a specialty crop. One of the biggest barriers is that the first three to five years are difficult for farmers as they transform their land. “The farmer no longer has the chemical tools, but they also don’t have the life system yet, and that takes See diffley, 11A


Sun Thisweek May 18, 2012

diffley, from 10A time to build, so the transition period is really difficult,” Diffley said. In “Turn Here Sweet Corn,” the story comes to life through its characters and their struggles. In 2006, Diffley gained local attention when she successfully fought Koch Industries, preventing them from putting a crude oil line through her Dakota County farm property and proving in court that organic farms deserve legal protection. More than 4,500 letters of support poured in during the legal battle. Today, new policies exist for placing pipelines through organic farms. Readers face their own belief in stereotypes, such as one Diffley herself grew up with that farmers are not intelligent. “I really work on bringing the reader into the story emotionally so they feel the characters and take them through all the experiences we went through,” she said. Diffley also hopes the story will be a source of strength for women, as a main theme from a female farmer’s perspective is power and respect for women. “Writing was so healing,” she said. “It allowed me to look at many painful or wonderful experiences I had and see how clearly I came through them and am so strong from them. Bad things happen, but I came through just fine, so it’s about resiliency.” Diffley said she hopes the book will help educate readers about organic farming, bringing it into their consciousness by starting a conversation around land use. “Through my experiences I really understood, on a really deep level, how profoundly dependent all life is on nature,” Diffley said. “We take it for granted because we don’t see it in our everyday lives, and here we were seeing it directly headon.” For more information, visit www.atinadiffley.com.

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May 18, 2012 Sun Thisweek

Thisweekend The Pines bring indie folk blend to the zoo Minneapolis-based band headlining June 23

by Andy Rogers Sun Thisweek

The Pines have performed at venues ranging from bars on Minneapolis’s West Bank to churches, theaters, and concert halls across the country. It has led to an eclectic audience that includes young and old from the city to the country. On June 23, the Pines will add trumpeter swans, Amur tigers and caribou to the growing list of listeners when they play at the Minnesota Zoo. The Pines have opened for a few artists in the Minnesota Zoo Concert Series in recent years such as Solid Gold and Mary Chapin Carpenter, but this is the first time the band has headlined a show. “When the sun goes down, with the pond there and the birds there, it’s like no other venue,” Pines guitarist and singer Benson Ramsey said. “It’s in the city but it’s in its own environment out there. It’s a good place to get away for a show. “It’s a cool thing for us to come to the Cities where we started The Pines years ago and to get to play out there. It’s a big deal for us.” The Pines will arrive at the Minnesota Zoo for the last leg of the first tour in support of their recent album “Dark So Cold” with the full band, while playing a full catalog of songs from the albums “Sparrows in the Bell” and “Tremolo.” They started as an acous-

tic duo with David Huckfelt and Benson Ramsey playing in coffee shops and evolved into a full band playing at the Basilica Block Party and selling out the Cedar Cultural Center. They’ve shared the stage with artists such as Bon Iver, Loudon Wainwright III, Arcade Fire and Iris Dement. Last fall and winter, the Pines were on the road in support of Mason Jennings. The music has been described as Americana with a blend of gothic folk, but Ramsey gets a bit more specific, labeling it “Midwestern Americana,” linking the progression to the Mississippi River matching the landscape of farmland, forests and streams. “It was just a little trickle at first,” Ramsey said. “We started out learning folk and blues songs. Music from around the world filters through the Midwest and we just remain open to it – let it creep into our writing.” Songs such as “Cry, Cry, Crow,” “All the While,” “Prey Tell,” “Heart and Bones,” and “Don’t Let Me Go” have seen frequent airplay on radio station 89.3 The Current over the years. “They’re not sad songs. They’re not happy songs,” Ramsey said. “They live in between light and dark. You can’t have one without the other. If you’re happy, it’s because you were probably sad at some point. In between there’s all kinds of strings connecting them and we get tangled in the

Photo courtesy of Red House Records/Cameron Wittig

The Pines are scheduled to play at the Minnesota Zoo on June 23 with Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapels. wires. “It gets complicated when you start getting in there. It’s those open-ended spaces that keeps a song interesting.” Ramsey and Huckfelt share leadership duties as the singers and songwriters. “You don’t get stuck on your own ego and lost in your own head,” Ramsey said of working with Huckfelt. “It helps you see the music objectively and stay on point. You have that

reference point to check on the song and see how they translate to the both of us.” Along the way Ramsey’s brother Alex Ramsey (keyboards), Michael Rossetto (banjo), J.T. Bates (drums) and James Buckley (bass) joined the party. “It’s been a natural progression really,” Ramsey said. “We’ve always kept it interesting to us. Whether it’s stripped down or the whole group of people, it’s really a malleable and

organic entity. When you break it down it comes from an acoustic guitar. Then you decorate it in all these different ways.” Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelle, a six-piece acoustic group highlighted by the distinctive voice of Michelle, is scheduled to open for the Pines in support of their new album “Heat.” Tickets are on sale at www.mnzoo.com/musicinthezoo for the Pines and

‘Signs of Love’ in Lakeville

family calendar

“Signs of Love” is a play with plenty of starring roles but no speaking parts. The original musical that highlights the talents of local deaf children – mostly drawn from Gideon Pond Elementary in Burnsville – will be performed entirely in American Sign Language. The play runs this week-

To submit items for the Family Calendar, email: darcy. odden@ecm-inc.com.

end at the Lakeville Area Arts Center. Show times are 7 p.m. Friday, May 18, and 1 p.m. Saturday, May 19. Producers of the play – from the Burnsville-based nonprofit that’s also called Signs of Love – say it highlights “everyday heroes found in our community and their transforming ef-

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fect on one lonely boy’s heart.” Earlier this year the show’s young deaf actors worked with Lakeville emergency personnel – police, firefighters and medical responders – to create a film that will be shown during the play. With deaf performers joined by voice interpreters, “Signs of Love” is intended for both hearing and deaf audience members. For more information about “Signs of Love,” or to purchase tickets, visit www.signsofloveplay.org. Tickets are $12; included with each ticket is a bag of items that audience members will use during interactive portions of the play. —Andrew Miller

Friday, May 18 Community Wide Garage Sales in Burnsville. More than 75 garage sales. Map: www. burnsville.org/garagesale. Saturday, May 19 Community Wide Garage Sales in Burnsville. More than 75 garage sales. Map: www. burnsville.org/garagesale. Dakota Gardeners perennial sale from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Community of Christ Church, 5990 134th St. Court, Apple Valley. Eagan 5K Your Way Activity Festival, 8:30 a.m. at Central Park, 1501 Central Parkway, Eagan. Features a 3.1-mile course participants can bike, inline skate, walk or run, kids bike rodeo, family lawn games, minihealth fair, free fitness trying stations and free healthy snacks. Information: (651) 675-5500. Plant sale by the Apple Valley Garden Club from 9 a.m. to 1

other artists featured at the Minnesota Zoo Concert Series, which begins June 2 with Feist. To watch a music video for the song “Cry, Cry, Crow” and listen to samples from “Dark So Cold,” visit www.thepinesmusic. com. Andy Rogers can be reached at andy.rogers@ecm-inc. com or facebook.com/sunthisweek.

p.m. at Redwood Park Pavilion, County Road 42 and Redwood Drive, Apple Valley. Perennials and annuals for sale. Information: Chris at (612) 709-7137. Sunday, May 20 Bird banding from 9 a.m. to noon at Ritter Farm Park, 19300 Ritter Trail, Lakeville. Cost: $2 per person for ages 10 and above, free for children under 10. Ride for the Greenways community bike ride from noon to 4 p.m. starting at the Minnesota Zoo’s east parking lot, Apple Valley. Choose from 10-mile or 30-mile route. Helmets required. Cost: $12 individual, $20 family. Register at http://valleybikeandski.com. Get well party and benefit for the John Schoeben family from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Embassy Suites Hotel, 7901 34th Ave., Bloomington, (952) 8541000. Admission: $20, children free. Event includes silent auction and wine toss. Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo location to “John Schoeben Family Fund.” Information: Frank Schoeben, (612) 3537789. Tuesday, May 22 Free information session on unmarried parents’ rights from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday,

May 22, at the Galaxie Library, 14955 Galaxie Ave., Apple Valley. Presented by the Dakota County Law Library. Friday, May 25 Surprise benefit for Sarah (Krause) Walsh from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at 15400 Buck Hill Road, Burnsville. Dinner served from 6 to 8 p.m. Silent auction closes at 8 p.m. Cost: $15/adult, $10/child, $40/family, children 3 and younger are free. Dress is casual, but wear some pink. All proceeds will go to the Sarah Walsh family and will help jumpstart Sarah’s nonprofit organization to support other moms with breast cancer. Saturday, May 26 Bike sale fundraiser for Kids ’n Kinship from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 12738 Ethelton Way, Apple Valley. Information: Rick Anderson at (952) 322-4729 or Ricka@pcgagencies.com. Blood drives The American Red Cross will hold the following blood drives. Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. • May 29, noon to 5 p.m., Christ Lutheran Church, 1930 Diffley Road, Eagan.

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Sun Thisweek May 18, 2012

Eagan teen tops theater and arts calendar in poetry slam To submit items for the Arts Calendar, email: darcy. odden@ecm-inc.com.

Auditions The Chameleon Theatre Circle will hold auditions for “Speed-the-Plow” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 19, at 430 Gateway Blvd., Burnsville. Auditions are by appointment only. To register, go to http://chameleontheatre.org/auditions. Performances will be Oct. 12-21 at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center. Camps The Allegro Choral Academy is now accepting registrations for its “Pitch Perfect” Summer Singing Camp June 18-21 at St. John’s in Lakeville for children ages 6 to 11. Find information and registration materials at www.allegroca.org or (952) 846-8585, artisticdirector@allegroca.org. Comedy Leo Flowers with special guest Michael Callaghan at 8:30 p.m. Friday, May 18, and Saturday, May 19, at MinneHAHA Comedy Club, 1583 E. First Ave., Shakopee (lower level of Dangerfield’s), (612) 860-9388, www.minnehahacomedyclub. com. Tickets: $13.

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Photo submitted

Cody Abel (above) of Eagan took top honors in the ninth annual Poets in the Park teen poetry slam on May 13 at Caponi Art Park in Eagan. Farmington teens Emily Miller placed second and Nikii Post placed third.

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Concerts Eagan Women of Note will present “Songs For Her Beloved,” at 7:30 p.m. on May 19 at Eagan High School. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for seniors and children under 12. Strings program concert by students from Harriet Bishop Elementary and Eagle Ridge Junior High schools at 7 p.m. Mon-

day, May 21, at Burnsville High School Mraz Center. VocalEssence will present its ¡Cantaré! Concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 22, at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center. Admission is free. Tickets may be picked up at the box office, 12600 Nicollet Ave., or go to www.vocalessence.org/2012_ cantare_concert for details.

Dance DAdance will present “The Three Bonnies” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 8, at Burnsville Performing Arts Center, 12600 Nicollet Ave. Tickets are $26 for adults, $19 for seniors and $16 for students and can be purchased at the box office or via Ticketmaster at (800) 982-2787 or ticketmaster.com. Exhibits Children’s Art Festival exhibit is on display through June 2 at Burnsville Performing Arts Center, 12600 Nicollet Ave. Free. Information: (952) 8954685. Festivals Minnesota Scottish Fair & Highland Games will be Saturday, May 19, at the Dakota County Fairgrounds, 4008 220th St. W., Farmington. General admission is $15 for adults, $10 for seniors age 65 and older, $5 for children ages 6 to 15, and free for children 5 and younger. For more information, visit www.mnscottishfair.org. World War II re-enactment May 19-20 at Dakota City Heritage Village, 4008 220th St. W., on the fairgrounds in Farmington. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Cost: $7, or $5 with a

non-perishable food donation. Free for children under 5. Information: www.dakotacity.org. Rhythm & Words Family Music and Book Festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, June 9, at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center, 12600 Nicollet Ave. Free. Information: www.dakotacounty.us/ library. The International Festival of Burnsville will take place from 3 to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 16, in Nicollet Commons Park, Burnsville. The free festival will feature a variety of cultural dance and musical performances, ethnic food, cultural exhibits, and children’s activities. Information: www.intlfestburnsville. org.

Workshops/classes Music Together in the Valley offers classes for parents and their infant, toddler and preschool children in Rosemount, Farmington, Lakeville and Apple Valley. Information: www.musictogetherclasses.com or (651) 439-4219. The Eagan Art House offers classes for all ages. For a complete listing go to www.eaganarthouse.org or call (651) 675-5521. Dan Petrov Art Studio in Burnsville offers oil painting classes for beginners, intermediate and advanced skill level painters, www.danpetrovart. com, (763) 843-2734. Teens Express Yourself with Paint, 5 to 7 p.m. Mondays at Brushworks School of Art in Burnsville, www.BrushworksSchoolofArt.com, (651) 2144732. Drama/theater classes for ages 4 and up at River Ridge

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Arts Building, Burnsville, (952) 736-3644. Special needs theater program (autism-DCD), ages 5 and older, Burnsville, (952) 7363644. Join other 55-plus adults at the Eagan Art House to create beaded jewelry. The Jewelry Club meets on the third Friday of each month from 1 to 3 p.m. Fee is $3 and includes all supplies. Bring any old jewelry you would like to re-make. 3981 Lexington Ave. S., (651) 675-5500. Savage Art Studios, 4735 W. 123rd St., Suite 200, Savage, offers classes/workshops for all ages. Information: www. savageartstudios.com or (952) 895-0375. Soy candle making classes held weekly in Eagan near 55 and Yankee Doodle. Call Jamie at (651) 315-4849 for dates and times. $10 per person. Presented by Making Scents in Minnesota. Country line dance classes held for intermediates Mondays 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Rambling River Center, 325 Oak St., Farmington, $5/class. Call Marilyn (651) 463-7833. Beginner country line dance classes on Wednesdays, 5:30-7:30 p.m., at the Lakeville VFW, 8790 Upper 208th St. $5/class. Call Marilyn (651) 463-7833. Country line dance classes on Wednesdays at the Lakeville Senior Center, 20732 Holt Ave. Beginners, 9-10 a.m.; Intermediate, 10 a.m.-noon. $5/class. Call Marilyn (651) 463-7833. The Lakeville Area Arts Center offers arts classes for all ages, www.lakevillemn.gov, (952) 985-4640.

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Sports

May 18, 2012 Sun Thisweek

Lightning can strike anytime DeCovich is on the field Eastview senior has .510 batting average, 1.50 ERA

by Mike Shaughnessy

Conference championships to be held at Burnsville

Sun Thisweek

Nobody can do it all, but Evan DeCovich has done a lot for Eastview’s baseball team. He gives the Lightning the feeling that good things will happen whenever he steps in the batter’s box or on the mound. Monday afternoon’s South Suburban Conference game against Burnsville was an example. DeCovich pitched a two-hit shutout against the defending state Class 3A champions and added a single in the Lightning’s 2-0 victory. Eastview’s victory prevented Burnsville from clinching the conference championship. The Blaze, 13-2 in SSC games, held a one-game lead over Eastview (12-3) and a twogame lead over Lakeville North (11-4) with two league games remaining. As well as DeCovich has pitched (4-2, 1.50 ERA), he has been even better at the plate. Through Monday’s game, he’s hitting .510 with four homers and 26 RBI. Assistant coach Mark Groebner drew some laughs from fans near the Eastview dugout when he said, “It kind of sucks for Evan to be 1-for-2 and have his average go down.” Is DeCovich the best player in the South Suburban Conference? “That’s hard to say because there are so many good players,” Eastview head coach Tom Strey said. “Burnsville has three or four outstanding players. But I think Evan has had as good a season as anybody, and I don’t know if anybody is more valuable to his team. He’s our best hitter and best pitcher.” DeCovich came into the season as one of the Lightning’s core players, but predicting this kind of success might have been a stretch. He batted .300 as a junior but was not used much on the mound, pitching only 9 2/3 innings. He became not only a feared power hitter (half of his 26 hits this season have been for extra bases) but the ace of a pitching staff that lost its projected No. 1 starter, Adam Moorse, to an el-

South Suburban track talent on display next week by Mike Shaughnessy Sun Thisweek

Photo by Mike Shaughnessy

Eastview senior Evan DeCovich pitched a two-hit shutout in the Lightning’s 2-0 victory over defending state Class 3A baseball champion Burnsville on Monday afternoon. bow injury. “I didn’t pitch much at all for the high school team last year, but I did pitch a lot in the summer and put in a lot of work in the fall and winter,” DeCovich said. “I probably gained three or four miles per hour on my fastball.” DeCovich said a Grand View University coach timed his fastball at 88 mph during a game against Burnsville in April that the Lightning lost 5-3. He has signed with Grand View, an NAIA baseball power in Des Moines, Iowa. “They said they would probably use me at first base to start,” he said. “For pitching, I would probably be a reliever for the first part (of his college career) and maybe a starter later. “They recruited me and one of the Burnsville kids,

Dillon Bloomquist. I’m looking forward to being his teammate.” While some players have had difficulty adjusting to new metal bats designed to reduce the speed of the ball coming off the barrel, it doesn’t appear to have bothered DeCovich. “With my winter team (a youth all-star team called the St. Paul Saints), we used wood bats,” he said, “and I know these new bats are better than wood.” Cameron Hall had two hits and scored both runs in Monday’s game against Burnsville. The Lightning had a chance to break open the game in the fourth inning but had two runners thrown out on the bases. That didn’t matter to DeCovich, who struck out eight Burnsville hit-

ters. “He’s such a competitive kid,” Strey said. “In an important game like this one, he’s a guy you want out there.” And DeCovich was the guy who wanted to be out there. “Oh, I love to pitch in games like this,” he said. “I don’t know why, but I think I can keep the pressure from getting to me. “This was a big game because we’ve always had a rivalry with Burnsville. We know they’re No. 1 in the state and No. 1 in our conference, but we’ve always battled with them and we know we can compete with them.” Mike Shaughnessy is at mike.shaughnessy@ecm-inc. com or facebook.com/sunthisweek.

To get an idea of how competitive the South Suburban Conference track and field championships will be, “Just look at the state honor roll and see how many kids from the conference are on it,” Apple Valley boys coach Rod Dirth said. A number of the state’s top athletes will compete in the SSC meet Tuesday and Wednesday at Burnsville High School. Tuesday’s preliminaries start at 3 p.m., with Wednesday’s finals beginning at 3:30. On the boys side, “Rosemount has a pretty strong team, Prior Lake is good and Eastview has really been coming on,” said Dirth, who added that he believes Apple Valley also can contend. Prior Lake, Lakeville North and Lakeville South – three schools that qualified for this week’s state True Team finals – are the teams to beat on the girls side. Lee Bares of Lakeville South is defending state Class AA champion in the boys pole vault and has already cleared 15 feet, 3 inches this season – 3 inches higher than his state-winning vault of last season. Apple Valley is defending Class AA boys champion in the 4x100-meter relay and has three of the sprinters back from that group. A dropped baton stalled the Eagles in that race at a True Team section meet last week. Quinn Hooks, one of the returning Apple Valley relay sprinters, also should contend in jumping events. Eastview’s Leandre Kennedy won two sprint events at last week’s True Team Section 3AAA meet. Apple Valley’s Mitch Hechsel also won two races, and the Eagles’ Jalen Stewart was the high jump winner. Eagan’s Adam Peters has cleared 14-3 in the pole vault. Burnsville senior Cole O’Brien had his track season cut short in 2011 because of a leg injury but finished fifth in the state cross

country meet last fall. Dirth said the boys discus should be a competitive event with four athletes having already thrown 155 feet or better this season. Eagan eighth-grader Maddie Gourley, in her first season of varsity track and field, is second on the state honor roll in the 200 dash and fourth in the 400. Eagan’s Danielle Anderson, Burnsville’s Vivian Hett and Lakeville North’s Taylor Perkins are part of a potentially loaded field in the girls 3,200. Lakeville South’s Shaina Burns is one of the state’s top hurdles racers. Lakeville South’s Jordyn Thornton, Lakeville North’s Emma Erickson and Burnsville’s Lateeka Thompson are among those seeking girls shot put and discus titles. Eastview’s Melita Ware is one of the conference’s top long jumpers, and Lakeville South’s Morgan Pieri is second on the state honor roll in the high jump. Apple Valley’s Kelsey Harms and Hannah Linder, along with Eastview’s Allison Funk, all have cleared at least 11 feet in the girls pole vault this season.

State True Team Rosemount will defend its Class 3A boys championship at the state True Team track and field meet at 4 p.m. Friday at Stillwater High School. The Irish qualified by winning the Section 3 championship last week by 41.5 points over secondplace Apple Valley. Rosemount’s Chandler Dye and Calvin Lehn were first and third in the 1,600 at the section meet, and Dye was second in the 800. Prior Lake, Lakeville South and Lakeville North advanced to the Class AAA girls True Team finals. Lakeville South won the Section 1 title, Prior Lake took first in Section 3 and Lakeville North earned a wild-card spot. Mike Shaughnessy is at mike.shaughnessy@ecm-inc. com or facebook.com/sunthisweek.

Eastview lacrosse seniors know time is short With playoffs approaching, No. 2-ranked Lightning doesn’t want to slip up

by Mike Shaughnessy Sun Thisweek

High school athletes know the drill on Senior Night. The parents come on the field with them and have their pictures taken. Maybe the mothers get flowers. Then the coach takes a moment to talk about what the seniors meant to the team. For Eastview’s boys lacrosse team, Senior Night means all that and something else – that the end of the season is fast approaching and it’s no time to let up. “It really makes you want to make sure these last few games count,” said senior attackman Jake Heppner after Eastview routed Burnsville 16-5 on Tuesday night. The Lightning, 10-1 and ranked second in the state, missed the state tournament the last two years after placing second in 2009. The team is aiming not just to get back to the tourney, but to win it. It’s easy for seniors to be distracted during their final few weeks of high school, but Eastview head coach Tim Roche has marveled at his team’s focus. “It’s the best senior group I’ve ever had,” Roche said. “They’ve just done a phenomenal job.

“Our first week of practice was spring break. Not one senior went on spring break. That told me a lot about these guys – that, and our East Coast trip (last summer). It’s an amazing group.” With the help of the dozen seniors on the roster, the Lightning rebounded from its only loss of the season – 9-8 to Lakeville North on May 8 – by outscoring its next two opponents 31-8. Eastview went into its final regular-season game at Apple Valley on Thursday needing a victory to clinch at least a share of the South Suburban Conference championship. Asked if the loss to Lakeville North could benefit Eastview later in the season, Roche said, “We hope so. Lakeville North is a team we could see in the section playoffs. I think losing to them shocked our guys. They’ve seen what can happen if they’re not playing their best.” While most high school lacrosse observers know about the firepower supplied by Eastview attackmen such as Heppner and junior Ryan McNamara, the Lightning’s defense sometimes is overlooked.

net to Luke Frederickson to our D-poles to our longstick middies, we’re deep. We were putting some new guys out there who had to play Minnetonka in their first game, but we knew our defense would be good.” Against Burnsville, “We didn’t let up,” Heppner said. “I don’t think we gave up a goal in the second half. I think we’ve shown we’re a balanced team.” Junior attackman Tanner Hamill had four goals against Burnsville, while Heppner and McNamara scored three each. McNamara also had three assists and led his team in groundball recoveries with five. A victory over Apple Valley likely would assure Eastview of the No. 1 seed in the Section 3 playoffs. First-round games are May 23 (the top seed will receive a bye) with the quarterfinal round scheduled May 25. “Eagan and Rosemount, if we faced them, would be Photo by Rick Orndorf tough games” in the secEastview’s Bradley Hogan and Burnsville’s Dyllon Dunsworth pursue the ball after taking tion tournament, Heppner a faceoff in Tuesday’s South Suburban Conference boys lacrosse game. Eastview won 16-5 said. Of course, there’s also to remain tied for first place in the league. the possibility of a rematch with Lakeville North. Eastview allowed 15 goals – but has not given up more nents to five goals or fewer. in its season opener against than nine in any of the 10 “Those guys go unno- Mike Shaughnessy is at mike. Minnetonka – a 16-15 games since. Eastview has ticed,” Roche said. “From shaughnessy@ecm-inc.com or Lightning overtime victory held six conference oppo- (Andrew) Koenen in the facebook.com/sunthisweek.


Welcome home

Sports Briefs Youth shoot at Dakota County Gun club

Photo by Rick Orndorf

Apple Valley’s Julia Gerlach (2) is greeted by teammates after hitting a home run in the Eagles’ 10-1 softball victory over St. Paul Johnson on Tuesday. The Eagles, who finished the regular season 12-8, were to play Eagan in the first round of the Section 3AAA playoffs on Thursday, with the winner going to Eastview for a quarterfinal game at 4:30 p.m. Monday, May 21.

The next free youth shoot at the Dakota County Gun Club in Rosemount is scheduled for 10 a.m.-2 p.m. June 2. Boys and girls 16 and under are welcome. All equipment will be provided free. Participants will be outfitted with .22-caliber rifles, 20-gauge shotguns, ammunition, hearing and eye protection, bows, arrows and arm protection. Participants will receive one-onone instruction on how to handle firearms and archery equipment safely. Youth shoots this summer are scheduled for June 2, June 16, July 7, July 21, Aug. 3 and Aug. 18. There will also be a free women’s shoot from 3-8 p.m. Aug. 18 to try rifles, handguns, muzzle-loading rifles and shotguns. Participants must be 16 or older. For more information on the youth and women’s shoots, call (651) 402-0368, email reddutchman@ dt340.com or visit www. dakotacountygunclub.org. Persons attending the free shoots are asked to donate non-perishable food items.

Eagles aiming for No. 2 section tourney playoff seed Girls lacrosse team improves to 8-4 after beating Kennedy by Mike Shaughnessy Sun Thisweek

For Apple Valley girls lacrosse coach Alexandra Ross, it doesn’t pay to put off thinking about the playoffs until they’re on the doorstep. That’s why, in a 16-12 victory over Bloomington Kennedy on Tuesday that was Apple Valley’s second-to-last regular-season game, Ross was already trying to implement strategies her team might need in the section tournament. “The last five minutes, we were working on a stall that we could use against the tough teams we’ll see in the playoffs,” Ross said. “If you have a lead, you need to know how to wear down the time on the clock. On the other hand, if a team is trying to do that to us, we have to know how to take the ball away from them legally.” Apple Valley was 8-4 overall and 6-2 in the South Suburban Con-

ference after its victory over Kennedy. The Eagles closed their regular season against Eastview on Thursday. They went into that game tied with Bloomington Jefferson for second place in the conference (Lakeville North had already clinched the championship). If the Eagles finish tied for second with Jefferson, they likely would be the No. 2 seed in the Section 3 playoffs and would be assured of playing at home at least through the semifinal round. “That’s what we’re hoping for,” Ross said. “We played a tough (non-conference) schedule, and we also beat Jefferson and Rosemount.” Lakeville North is expected to be the No. 1 seed in Section 3, which includes all 10 South Suburban Conference schools. Section pairings had not been announced when this edition went to press, but

Apple Valley is likely to play a first-round game at home Monday. Three of Apple Valley’s four losses were by one or two goals. Its only one-sided loss was 18-7 to Lakeville North on April 24. One of the Eagles’ losses was 13-11 to No. 1-ranked Blake on May 9. Blake also owns a victory over Lakeville North, 1514 on Monday night. Apple Valley was able to build a lead against Kennedy on Tuesday and maintain it even though Kennedy made several attempts at closing the margin. “Hannah Segar had a fantastic game with nine goals and two assists,” Ross said. “She was so fast in the midfield and picked up a lot of ground balls (six).” Katrina Vogelgesang had three goals and Liz Hermes and Marina Gabor scored two each for

the Eagles. Segar (68 points) and Vogelgesang (63), both senior captains, were the Eagles’ leading scorers heading into the regular-season finale against Eastview. Mike Shaughnessy is at mike. shaughnessy@ecm-inc.com or facebook.com/sunthisweek.

Sun Thisweek May 18, 2012

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May 18, 2012 Sun Thisweek

SWCD Board election Youth programs offered filings begin May 22 through parks department

Individuals interested in soil and water protection in Dakota County should consider filing May 22 to June 5 to run for the position of supervisor of the Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District. This year, the Dakota County SWCD has four supervisor positions up for election. Candidates appear on the ballot for the general election which will take place in November. Nomination Districts up for election this year are District 1, 2, 4 and 5. The District 1 supervisor position is considered a special election and will serve only a twoyear term. The other elected supervisors will serve four-year terms. District 1 includes the cities of Burnsville, Eagan, Inver Grove Heights, Lilydale, Mendota, Mendota Heights, South St. Paul, Sunfish Lake and West St. Paul. District 2 includes the cities of

Apple Valley, Coates, Farmington, Lakeville and Rosemount and Empire Township. District 4 includes the City of Northfield and the Townships of Castle Rock, Eureka, Greenvale, Sciota, and Waterford. District 5 includes the cities of Hampton, Miesville, New Trier, Randolph, and the townships of Douglas, Hampton, and Randolph. Any eligible voter who is at least 21, and lives in a nomination district up for election, can file for an SWCD Board vacancy. For those interested in filing for an SWCD Board supervisor position, a “Minnesota Affidavit of Candidacy” is available from the Dakota County Election and Voter Registration Department, and there is a $20 filing fee. More information can be obtained at www. co.dakota.mn.us or by calling (651) 438-4380.

The following activities are being organized through the Rosemount Parks and Recreation Department. For more details, contact the department at (651) 322-6000 or online at www.ci.rosemount.mn.us/ parks. Tiny Tot Investigate Science (ages 3.5-6) – Join Science Explorers May 29-31 (10-11:30 a.m.) for a hands-on, discovery based adventure, where junior scientists will begin to consider some of the hows and whys of science, and dare to imagine “what happens next?” Participants will classify, measure and predict as they explore such concepts as physical space and structure, balance, and the flow of sand. This three-class program costs $39 and meets at the Rosemount Community Center, Room 210. Kid’s Corner - Online regis-

tration is available for this free program. Kid’s Corner keeps participants, ages 6-12, busy with constructive activities that focus on games, fitness, nature, friendship and fun from June 13July 18 from 1-3 p.m. (MondayThursday) at select community parks. Preschool Sports – Preschool T-ball, soccer and sports of all sorts are being offered to help introduce children to sports in a relaxed, non-competitive atmosphere. Fundamentals and techniques will be taught through drills and exercises. The cost of each program is $42; which includes a T-shirt and trophy. For a full listing and program details, go online for the summer brochure. Golf Lessons (ages 16 and up) –Beginning and intermediate golf lessons will be taught by

instructors/professionals at Emerald Greens Golf Course. The cost of the lesson package (seven hours) is $59/person and includes two one-hour lessons on the driving range, two one-hour lessons around the green, and a threehour “on-the-course” lesson. The second session starts the week of June 5. Go online for information regarding all sessions, days and times available. Free USTA Community Cardio Tennis Classes – USTA Certified Tennis Professional Mike Goldhammer will offer a free Cardio Tennis Class at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 2 and/or June 16 at Charlie’s Park tennis courts (3155 144th St W). Cardio Tennis is a healthy, calorie-burning, heart pumping workout for tennis players of all ability and fitness levels.

Local YMCA hopes to help needy with green thumb by Jessica Harper Sun Thisweek

As the obesity epidemic continues to swell, local food shelves have taken steps to provide healthier options. Now one Eagan nonprofit is looking to become another resource for a local food shelf to obtain fresh produce. The Eagan YMCA broke ground last week on its first 200-square-foot community garden, which will grow vegetables for the Eagan Resource Center. “This is our way to respond to the community in a larger way,” said Terry Creegan, community garden board leader for the YMCA. Creegan said he ex-

pects volunteers will begin planting tomatoes, squash, peppers and rhubarb in June with the assistance of the University of Minnesota Master Gardeners. The nonprofit chose to limit its variety of vegetables Photo submitted the first year The Eagan YMCA held a ground breaking May 11 in its 200-square-foot garden, which will produce fresh due to limited vegetables for the Eagan Resource Center. space. While growing food for teach children about plant mote health, social respon “We’ll see sibility and educational how it goes this year and ex- low-income families, the life. pand it next year,” Creegan garden will be used by the “This project fits well opportunities,” said Sheri YMCA’s child care center to with our mission to pro- Wallace, community board said.

chair for the YMCA, “And it’s something that could be copied at other locations.” The Eagan YMCA has already raised $200 to purchase plants, but is still accepting donations for additional plants and to build a fence around the garden to keep wildlife out. An informational session will be held at 10 a.m. May 22 for those interested in volunteering at the garden. To donate or volunteer, contact Angie Cameron, member service director at the YMCA, at (651) 6834708 or at angie.cameron@ ymcastpaul.org. Jessica Harper is at jessica. harper@ecm-inc.com or facebook.com/sunthisweek.


Sun Thisweek May 18, 2012

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Eagan coach charged with ��� ������� stealing nearly $30,000 �������� ��� by Jessica Harper Sun Thisweek

Eagan High School’s first basketball and soccer coach faces felony theft charges following a police investigation into the financial management of youth sports camps he operated. Kurt Bruce Virgin, 60, was charged by the Dakota County Attorney’s Office on May 9 with six counts of felony theft by swindle by aggregating. He is scheduled to appear in court at 8:30 a.m. June 11 in Hastings. The criminal complaint alleges that between April 2009 and December 2011, Virigin took $29,184.42 from accounts belonging to several youth sports camps and teams. During his time with the Rosemount-Eagan-Apple Valley School District, the coach had some discretion in compensation for his services and how participants registered for the events. Virgin was given the choice to either run the camps separately or within the school district operations. He allegedly chose to do both, which enabled him to accept checks made payable to him and avoid paying rental fees. Instead of allocating the money to the basketball and soccer camps, Virgin allegedly pocketed $16,595.42,

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while also receiving a salary from the district. Virgin also oversaw fundraising efforts for Eagan’s boys basketball teams. While directing those efforts, Virgin allegedly pocketed $12,589. A district administrator notified police after discovering money was missing and that Virgin had used both methods of running the camp. Virgin was placed on administrative leave Nov. 21, and Rosemount resident Mike Sullivan, Eagan High School’s junior varsity coach, was elevated to interim head coach. Virgin retired Jan. 9.

Longtime coach Virgin is a 1970 graduate of South St. Paul, where he played basketball, in addition to playing at St. Cloud State University. He began his coaching career at Claremont High School (now Triton) in 1978, coaching the football and boys basketball teams for five years. Next was a move to Apple Valley where he coached girls basketball and soccer for eight seasons, establishing the Eagles soccer program as a power in the mid1980s. Virgin started the boys soccer and basketball programs when Eagan High School opened in 1990.

File photo

Eagan coach Kurt Virgin was charged May 9 with felony theft by swindle for allegedly pocketing nearly $30,000 while overseeing youth sporting accounts in School District 196.

Virgin is the only Minnesota varsity boys coach to earn more than 400 wins in both soccer and basketball, according to the school. He reached the 400-win mark in soccer in October 2008 when he was already at 441 wins in basketball. Jessica Harper is at jessica. harper@ecm-inc.com or facebook.com/sunthisweek. Jason Olson and Andy Rogers contributed to this story.

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Sun Thisweek May 18, 2012

Education

Apple Valley

Local teens earn College notes Bridget Hennen, daughGold Award Meredith Cocker and Britney Mathiesen of Apple Valley earned the Girl Scouts’ highest achievement, the Gold Award, by helping girls deal with stress. To earn the award, girls in high school must fulfill requirements related to leadership, career exploration and community service. Cocker and Mathiesen created a workshop on stress management for girls in the community. In addition to their workshop they printed a booklet filled with their experiences and research.

District 196 adult graduation Graduation for District 196 Adult Basic Education students will be 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, at Falcon Ridge Middle School, 12900 Johnny Cake Ridge Road, Apple Valley.

21A

ter of Brenda Berg of Apple Valley, has been awarded a Presidential Scholarship for the 2012-13 school year at Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato. The scholarship is valued at $32,000 over four years. University of Wisconsin-Green Bay graduate: Romina Cruz of Rosemount, nursing. Minnesota State University, Mankato, graduates from Rosemount: Jennifer Hansen, B.S., cognitive science; Jennifer Hansen, B.A., Scandinavian studies; Ryan Maki, B.S., automotive engineering technology; Adedayo Ologunde, B.S., computer science; Eric Pittelkow, B.S., human biology, summa cum laude; Andrew Simonson, B.S., biomedical sciences; Christine Thomas, B.S., music education; Cassandra Wenzel, B.S., dental hygiene, summa cum laude; Joel deRegnier, B.S., family consumer science.

Church of Christ VBS The Church of Christ will hold a free Vacation Bible School for children age 4 through sixth grade June 25-28 at Lebanon Hills Regional Park, Camp Sacajawea, located at 5120 McAndrews Drive, one block west of Pilot Knob Road in Apple Valley. The theme will be “Adventures on Promise Island – Where kids discover God’s lifesaving love!” Registration will be at 6:45 p.m. Monday with activities from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. There will be a parent/child activity from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday. The sessions will include Bible study, skits, refreshments and more. Preregistration is by phone at (651) 452-1102. Leave a voice message with your name, child’s name, current grade and telephone number.

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22A

May 18, 2012 Sun Thisweek

Bike ride to raise money for Kids ’n Kinship 900-mile trek in honor of group’s 40th anniversary

In just a few days, John Elder will once more become a spokesperson on wheels when he embarks on his seventh annual 900-mile bicycle ride benefitting his personal passion: mentoring. The Christian Elder Memorial 900 (www.CEM900. com) trek raises money for Apple Valley-based Kids ’n Kinship, a 40-year-old nonprofit organization that matches kids ages 5-16 with volunteer mentors. On May 24, six riders will begin a journey along the trails and country roads of Wisconsin. It will officially conclude in Apple Valley during a welcome home celebration on June 9 at 11 a.m. “We have ridden in Iowa for the last two years, and were looking for a change in scenery. Wisconsin will be beautiful,” Elder said. The riders, who have been training all year, will be accompanied on their journey by support drivers Jim Elder and Gordy Clough. Since this is the 40th anniversary of Kids ’n Kinship, the ride is special for John Elder, who mentored Rosemount High School graduate Dante Lundstrom for seven years through the program. Lundstrom, who is now seeking a job, has remained close friends with Elder despite their official mentoring relationship ending when Dante turned 18. An online road diary will chronicle the bike ride, which includes news of the places they go and people they meet. Elder’s goal is to reach $30,000 in donations and pledges. “Kids ’n Kinship is such a wonderful, worthwhile organization,” he said. “Even if you’ve never donated in the past, this is the year to do it because it is a milestone year. It makes our pedaling easier knowing that we are doing something that will directly

����� ����� ������� ������� PUBLIC NOTICE PUBLIC NOTICE CITY OF APPLE VALLEY, MINNESOTA

CITY OF ORDINANCE APPLE VALLEY, NO.MINNESOTA 932 ORDINANCE NO. 932 AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE ZONING AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THELAND ZONING MAP BY REZONING CERTAIN IN MAP BY REZONING CERTAIN LAND IN THE CITY OF APPLE VALLEY, DAKOTA THE CITY OF APPLE VALLEY, DAKOTA COUNTY, MINNESOTA COUNTY, MINNESOTA WHEREAS , the Planning Commission of , theValley Planning of theWHEREAS City of Apple heldCommission a public hearofr oApple ithe n g City on p p e r t yValley d e s cheld r i b eadpublic h e r e ihearn on i n g o n p r o21, p e r2011, t y d e sas c rrequired i b e d h e rby e i nCity on December December 21,155.400(D); 2011, as and required by City Code Section Code Section 155.400(D); and WHEREAS, on March 7, 2012, the Plan2012, n i WHEREAS, n g C o m m i son s i March o n r e c7, om m e nthe d e dPlanthe n i n g C oas mm i s s i o n r edescribed. commended the rezoning hereinafter rezoning as hereinafter BE described. NOW, THEREFORE, IT ORDAINED by THEREFORE, by theNOW, City Council of the BE CityITofORDAINED Apple Valley, the City Council of the City of Apple Valley, Dakota County, Minnesota, that: Dakota Minnesota, 1. TheCounty, boundaries of the that: zoning districts 1. The boundaries of theSection zoning 155.006 districts established by City Code established by City Code Section 155.006 are hereby amended by rezoning the folare hereby amended by rezoning following described property locatedthe southlowing described property located southeast corner of County State Aid Highway 42 east corner of County State Aid Highway 42 and Flagstaff Avenue from “SG” (Sand and and Flagstaff Avenue “SG” (Sand and Gravel) to “RB” (Retail from Business): Gravel) to “RB” (Retail Business): of the Northwest The northwest 25 acres of theThirty Northwest The northwest 25 acres Quarter (NW 1/4) of Section Five Quarter (NW 1/4) of Section Thirty (115) Five (35), Township One Hundred Fifteen (35), Township One Hundred Fifteen (115) North, Range Twenty (20) West of the North, RangeMeridian, Twenty Dakota (20) West of the Fifth Principal County. Fifth Principal Meridian, Dakota County. 2. This ordinance shall become effective 2. This ordinance become effective upon its passage andshall publication. upon its passage and publication. PASSED by the City Council this 12th PASSED by the City Council this 12th day of April, 2012. day of April, 2012. /s/ Mary Hamann-Roland /s/ Mary Hamann-Roland Mary Hamann-Roland, Mayor Mary Hamann-Roland, Mayor ATTEST: ATTEST: /s/ Pamela J. Gackstetter /s/ Pamela J. Gackstetter Pamela J. Gackstetter, City Clerk Pamela 3017130J. Gackstetter, City Clerk 5/18/12 3017130 5/18/12

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benefit the children in our own communities.” All donations go to Kids ’n Kinship, serving children in Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, Farmington, Lakeville and Rosemount. Currently, 45 youths are on the organization’s waiting list for mentors. “You don’t need a lot of experience to have a significant impact on a young person’s life,” Elder said of mentoring. It is this impact that fuels Elder’s passion for the bike

riding fundraiser, which is named in memory of John and wife Sherry’s son who died unexpectedly in 2007. “It’s amazing what a mentor can do in a young person’s life and, in turn, what the young person can do for you,” he said. Jan Belmore, Kids ’n Kinship director said the nonprofit is proud of the anniversary and the healthy development of the area’s youth. “There is a rich history of caring and involved citizens

who founded the program, and those who have carried the mission of providing friendships to youth forward,” she said. This year’s ride will conclude at Merchants Bank in Apple Valley, the primary corporate sponsor for the event. The riders will be greeted by a carnival-like celebration including entertainment, local dignitaries and refreshments. At age 65, Elder hopes to continue riding for many more years but adds: “I like

to think that we’ve reached a point where this ride will survive me and will continue to benefit Kids ‘n Kinship far into the future.” Belmore said the ride’s funding has been so important as it was started to replace a longtime funding source that was lost six years ago. “Without the money raised that year and in subsequent years, we would not have been able to make our budget and fewer kids would have gotten mentors,”

she said. “This bike ride has created greater awareness in corporate circles through the team’s corporate sponsorships, and more people in general have learned about Kids ’n Kinship over the past seven years than we would ever have had the possibility of reaching otherwise.” Those interested in sponsoring or donating or learning more about mentoring may go online to www. cem900.com.


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