Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages. Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing.
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It might have been a sixth sense, it might just have been a case of being in the right place at the right time. Whatever it was, it was not fun for Farmington police officer Steve Kuyper to see a teenage girl get hit by a car. Kuyper was just coming back from washing his squad and picking up a soda at 9:30 a.m. Monday. He was at the four-way stop at Pilot Knob Road when he spotted a 14-year-old girl on a bicycle crossing 195th Street.
Parking might be a bit sparse in downtown Farmington on July 16, but that's a good thing. In fact, if you ask Farmington Business Association president Clyde Rath, that's kind of the point. Next Saturday evening, Rath is expecting somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 classic cars to be parked up and down the streets of downtown for the FBA's annual block party and car show. Technically, this is the third year for the event, but the past two had some bad luck. The first was a motorcycle show that just didn't attract many visitors.
Someday, Farmington families could well hop on bicycles and ride a paved trail all the way to the Minnesota Zoo.
When I got my new car last August, the salesman told me my car had Bluetooth capabilities. Now, I'm not completely technology-literate, so I figured out that meant I'd be able to connect my cell phone to my car, and I'd be able to go hands free while talking to people on the road. I knew I had this Bluetooth capability, but frankly, I had no idea how to make it work. Every so often I'd bump the button on my steering wheel, then swear at the canned voice when it prodded, "Pardon?
A few young Farmington athletes had to go home early Monday after a gas leak near Akin Road Elementary School forced fireighters to evacuate one of the school fields. According to Farmington fire chief Tim Pietsch, around 5:50 p.m., a contractor working on a fiber line nicked a three-inch gas main on 195th Street between Pilot Knob Road and Akin Road. Farmington police officers at the city's law enforcement center, located across the street from the leak, blocked off the area before firefighters arrived. "It did affect one ballfield at the school," Pietsch said.
If there was one place that was pretty popular during last week's hot weather, it was the Farmington outdoor pool. The pool is open seven days a week, 1-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m., for open swim. They offer two-week session swimming lessons Monday through Thursday, and hold water aerobics at 9 a.m. Monday through Thursday, too. Single session water aerobics is $4, and the sessions are open to the public. The pool is also open Friday through Sunday, 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m., for adult open swim. On Friday, we sat down with pool supervisor Krystle Graber to talk about how things are going out there.
School is out for the summer, but the halls of North Trail Elementary School and Meadowview Elementary School/Community Education are filled with students anyway these days. Just short of 300 students are spending time in Farmington school buildings over the summer as part of community education's Kid Connection program. It's not a summer school, where students are taking classes to catch up in subjects like math or reading.
He was born and raised here. He went to high school here, and he has spent all of his adulthood as a resident here. And now, David McKnight has been asked to work here, as Farmington's new city administrator. Farmington City Council members met Wednesday afternoon to pare down the list of candidates for the position from five to two or three. But just a few minutes into the meeting, it became evident they all favored the same candidate.
The Vermillion River is just a fact of life when you live in Farmington. It shimmies through the midsection of the county. It spills over the shores in the spring and after heavy rainfalls. It's even got a pretty good reputation as a trout stream. But the Vermillion River and its well-being isn't something that should be taken for granted. It's a valuable resource, and the University of Minnesota is looking for a little help to keep it that way. In May, the U of M's Department of Forest Resources sent out about 1,000 surveys to landowners in the Vermillion River Watershed.
Farmington residents interested in raising chickens on their property may still get the opportunity to do so. It seemed like the city's chicken ordinance had gone away for a while after some council members indicated last spring they were not interested in developing such an ordinance. But that's not the case, according to assistant city planner Tony Wippler. Earlier this month, planning commission members reviewed a revised version of the ordinance. The ordinance applies to all residential properties 2 1/2 acres and smaller.