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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The suicide of a Farmington woman has led to her husband being jailed by the Dakota County Drug Task Force on an unrelated charge. Farmington police responded to a home on Upper 189th Street Friday afternoon after receiving a request to check the welfare of a resident. Arriving at the house, police found a 33-year-old woman dead in a vehicle in the garage. According to Farmington police chief Brian Lindquist, evidence at the scene indicates she died of asphyxiation, due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Police then entered the home to make sure no one else was injured or in danger.
Maybe it was just good planning, but maybe there was a little divine intervention, too. Whatever it was, the members of Highview Christiania Lutheran Church are celebrating this weekend. The little church on a hill in Eureka Township has been placed on the National Registry for Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior. It's a recognition the 152-year-old congregation has earned, but it almost didn't happen - more than once. The process to be placed on the National Registry for Historic Places is a long, complicated one, as the congregation learned.
A few things about the hiring process for a new city administrator are still up in the air, but Farmington City Council members know they would like to hear what residents think about the finalists. With Farmington city administrator Peter Herlofsky's final day coming up at the end of the month, council members have decided to conduct the search process on their own. While they still haven't chosen an interim administrator to fill in once Herlofsky leaves, council members expect to name one in the next couple of weeks.
Ever wonder what to do with those old, dirty, stinky, smelly tennis shoes? Just ask any North Trail Elementary School student - they'll take 'em. At least, for the next 10 days or so, they'll take them. NTES students are hoping to find as many pairs of old tennis shoes as possible. There's extra phy-ed time in it for them. Through May 13, North Trail Elementary students are collecting old tennis shoes for the GreenSneakers EcoChallenge for Education. For every pound of tennis shoes collected, GreenSneakers will pay 50 cents.
They say one man's trash is another man's treasure. That explains a lot when it comes to the treasure hunters who come to town annually about this time of year. You see them everywhere, especially on Thursdays and Fridays. Men and women in trucks with trailers attached, driving slowly up and down the streets. They'll find a pile of discarded items set out for Farmington's annual cleanup days. They'll get out, survey the pile and pick through the items. They'll toss some into their vehicles, leave some behind.
More than 200 volunteers battled the elements just so they could clean up their community Saturday morning. The annual Park and Pond Cleanup Day was marred by cold temperatures and rain Saturday, but Farmington natural resource specialist Jen Dullum said the weather didn't dampen the spirits of volunteers. "There were some people who came in their jackets and their boots. They were prepared for the elements," Dullum said. "We had about 550 volunteers RSVP, and about 200 of them showed up. I'm still happy we had 200.
It might be hard to think of the warm, sunny days of summer during these gloomy, rainy days in Farmington. But summer isn't all that far off - and neither is the opening night of Farmington's annual farmer's market. Organized by city of Farmington staff, the market will begin its third season June 16, though it's the first time executive assistant Cindy Muller has been in charge. She's made a few changes to the market, too. This week, she talked about some of those changes and the upcoming season. Tell me what's new with the farmer's market. This year, we have a new location.
Warmer weather has finally arrived in Farmington and residents are starting to get outside and enjoy all the amenities offered by the Farmington Parks and Recreation Department. Did you know that Farmington has 876 acres of parkland and 22 parks that are available to the community? There are also 45 miles of trails - paved, nature trails and boardwalks - that make up the city's extensive trail system. The parks and recreation department recently presented its 2010 annual report to the Farmington City Council.
They don't really want to say "I told you so," but they certainly could. For the past decade, the city of Farmington has used one method to calculate the community's population growth. The Metropolitan Council used something else. When the 2010 Census results came back, the city's numbers were more accurate. That means Farmington has officially crossed the 20,000-resident mark.
I am pretty sure I need a new alarm clock. Either that, or a nice, long vacation that doesn't include packing or unpacking boxes. Maybe it was the sniveling weather outside. The damp, dark, dreary weather. The steady patter of raindrops on the roof. Whatever it was, I just slept right through my alarm Tuesday morning. I've had this alarm clock for a little over a year. Its predecessor had this annoying bright blue light that illuminated the numbers. It was huge, but then again, I got it when I was 13 years old and things weren't quite as compact as they are these days.