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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Farmington city council member Doug Bonar has likened the city’s new strategic plan to an onion. Onions, after all, have many layers. So does the proposed strategic plan. Introduced to the city council in draft form as part of Monday’s regular meeting, the strategic plan is the product of an all-day workshop held by city staff and council members in March. The workshop was conducted by Dave Unmacht of Springsted Incorporated, who facilitated the strategic planning process. Council members and staff identified several areas they wanted to concentrate on improving, as part of that process.
It took Alyssandra Ybarra a few seconds to spot the special visitor at the back of her classroom last Friday afternoon. When she finally did, a smile spread across her face that likely didn’t go far for the rest of the day. Maybe longer. “Daddy!” she said, then ran to embrace the father she hadn’t seen in person for nine months. Marine Cpl. Michael Ybarra had snuck into the back of the preschool classroom at Meadowview Elementary School as part of a group of parents there to see their children perform some of the songs they had learned.
North Trail Elementary School kids had to put off planting their Rainbow Garden Tuesday, thanks to the heavy showers most of the day. But that was OK, because by Wednesday, the ground was nice and soft, and there were plenty of plants to be planted. Students in every grade were asked to bring flowers to school with them this week. They could bring any kind, annual or perennial, short or tall, as long as they brought the color assigned to their grade. Art teacher Pam Tycer has been doing the Rainbow Garden since it was started in 2008.
I’m not sure how this happened, but it turns out I’m just 12 days away from hitting my 20th anniversary of covering Farmington. I thought about this last week, while I was at Randy Ferguson’s retirement party at Dodge Middle School. Randy came into our office a couple of weeks ago, handed me an invitation and asked me to attend. Back in the days when the old Farmington Middle School West did its Veterans Day program, Randy and I always wound up down in front of the assembly, both of us with cameras in hand. And back then, we both used 35 mm cameras.
A 24-year-old man died after leading police on a high speed chase from Farmington to Red Wing early Sunday morning. According to a press release issued by police chief Brian Lindquist, Farmington officers attempted to stop a suspicious vehicle near 220th Street and Canton Court at approximately 4:08 a.m. The driver, identified as Cody J. Swanson, did not stop. Instead, Swanson led officers on a high-speed chase east on County State Aid Highway 50. Police followed the suspect through Hampton and Miesville.
This week is one of the busiest, and one of the most important, to local veterans groups, as both the Farmington American Legion and Farmington Veterans of Foreign Wars are preparing for Memorial Day. It is a week of planning for three short, but important local ceremonies — a task VFW Commander Ron Ersfeld takes very seriously. The tradition of honoring the military deceased has been part of the Farmington community for more than a century.
50 years ago From the May 21, 1964 edition of the Dakota County Tribune Dairy princess crowned Dairy Princess Joyce Cummings and her two attendants were picked last Thursday evening at the Kon Tiki Club, Orchard Gardens. They are: Jeanne Fink, 17, Northfield; Princess Joyce Cummings, 18, Farmington; Donna Carroll, 17, Rosemount. Three girls will represent Dakota County at the June 13 regional contest to be held in Stillwater. Each regional contestant competes for the state crown. Joyce is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs.
Sometimes, people see something they know they should report to the police, but they just don’t want to get involved. Now, thanks to a new program being launched by the Farmington Police Department, they can report those tips, but still remain anonymous. FPD recently signed on to a new program called Tip411 that enables residents to send an anonymous tip to police. It is something FPD administrative sergeant Jim Constantineau hopes will encourage residents to start sending in more information. Tipsters can submit information by texting 847411 — or, TIP411 — on their cell phone.
It has been eight years since the city of Farmington eliminated its community development director position, but as of Monday, the position is back on the books. On Monday, the Farmington City Council approved the hiring of Adam Keinberger. Keinberger has been the economic development specialist for the city of Lakeville for the past 8 ½ years. Prior to that, he worked for the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development as a senior grants specialist in the Brownfields/Redevelopment/JOBZ unit.
50 years ago From the May 14, 1964 edition of the Dakota County Tribune 13 contestants for Dairy Princess title Dakota County will have 13 contestants in the County Dairy Princess Contest on Thursday, May 14. The contest will be held at the Kon Tiki Club near Lakeville.... Contestants include: Joyce Cummings, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Cummings of Farmington; sponsored by Hagen Hardware of Farmington.... Judy Schultz, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ed Schultz of Farmington; sponsored by Dakota County Farm Bureau Insurance Company.... Karyn Groth, daughter of Mr. and Mrs.