We’re Number 61!
  We’re now officially the Roger Maris of cities. Eagan made Money magazine’s Top 100 places to live this year, placing sixty-first, ahead of Burnsville, Woodbury, and even Minnetonka. The city scored higher than many tony villages throughout the country including S. Portland, Maine; St. Augustine, Fla.; Norwood, Mass.; Rapid City, S. Dakota; and even Ellicott, Md.

Daycare provider convicted of assaulting toddler in her care gets little jail time

   An Eagan day care provider convicted of seriously injuring an infant in her care will serve little jail time under a sentence imposed by Dakota County District Court Judge David L. Knutson, furthering a pattern in which those who kill or seriously harm children in Eagan serve little to no jail time.
Mariel Grimm
      Under the terms of a sentence imposed Thursday, Sept. 29, day care provider Mariel Grimm, of 2069 Copper Lane, Eagan, will serve most of her sentence at home. In a detailed sentencing order, Judge Knutson stayed execution of the 86-month prison sentence recommended under state sentencing guidelines for 15 years. Grimm was sentenced to 30 days in county jail, a less restrictive environment than the state prison recommended under the guidelines, and 60 days of house arrest subject to electronic monitoring, according to the judge’s sentencing order.
      The court did not require Grimm, who was convicted of an assault resulting in a catastrophic brain injury to a 13-month-old boy, to be taken to jail in handcuffs after her sentencing. The court furloughed the sentence for a week, allowing Grim to wait until the next Friday night to report to jail.
      Judge Knutson also ordered Grimm to pay $1,000 restitution, in addition to court costs and fees of $429, and perform 200 hours of community service.
      A Dakota County jury convicted Grimm of first-degree assault last July. She was convicted of assaulting a 13-month old boy on Sept. 22, 2016 at her home day care. The child suffered a severe, debilitating head injury, according to court records. Doctors told investigators the child’s brain damaged was caused by blunt trauma, more severe than what could result from a child falling or being hit by another child, according to court records. The child spent several months in the hospital as a result of his injury.
      The Dakota County attorney’s office objected to the judge’s departure from sentencing guidelines. At the time Grimm was charged, the prosecution filed a notice it would seek a more severe sentence than required by the state sentencing guidelines. As ground for the enhanced penalty, the prosecution cited two aggravating factors in the case: the particular vulnerability of the victim and the defendant’s position of trust and/or authority.
      Judges who deviate from state sentencing guidelines are required to file a report with the state. In his departure report, Judge Knutson cited, as reasons for the lenient sentence, Grimm’s amenability to probation and the restitution requirement.
      Grimm has filed a notice she will appeal her conviction.
      The sentence against the daycare provider follows a recent pattern in which adults who kill or seriously children in Eagan face little to no jail time.
      No one has yet been charged in the June 7 killing of 3-year-old Eagan resident Zayden Lawson, whose death has been investigated as a homicide since investigators discovered the child suffered blunt trauma, according to authorities.        
      In another case involving the death of a child, the Dakota County District Court in 2015 also stayed execution of a 68-month prison sentence for an Eagan man who pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter after he fatally smothered his son. Despite a prior felony conviction, District Court Judge Christopher Lehmann sentenced Nathan Savage, 32, to 60 days in jail, served on weekends, rather than 68 months in prison after Savage pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter.
      Savage was found in violation of his probation on July 5. However, the court did not order him to serve the remainder of the suspended 68-month prison term, according to court records. Instead, the court sentenced him to 10 days in jail, with credit for 10 days served, resulting in no additional jail time.    

The end (or beginning) of the rainbow

Who needs a pot of gold when you've got an NFL team? A rainbow led to the Vikings' new practice facility and TCO Performance Center in northeast Eagan as cloudy skies covered the city this week. The site is scheduled for the City Council's agenda on Tuesday.
House fire prompts drug charge 
   An Eagan man is facing a felony drug charge after police allegedly found marijuana wax at the scene of a July 3 house fire.
     Andrew McAfee, 24, of 663 Waterview Court, is scheduled to appear in Dakota County court Nov. 20 to answer to a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance and a misdemeanor charge of unlawful sale, possession or use of fireworks, according to court records.
     The charges resulted from a report of a house on fire shortly after 12:30 a.m. on July 3. Police arrived at the house before the fire department and began putting the fire out with a garden hose.
     While checking to see if anyone was in the house, police reported finding fireworks in the garage and drug paraphernalia and what they suspected was marijuana wax inside the home, according to court records. Marijuana wax is a concentrated, more potent, form of THC typically created by extracting marijuana’s active ingredients using butane.