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 is 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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I was initially delighted Monday when, for the first time this season, I was able to pick ripe, red cherry tomatoes from one of my two potted cherry tomato plants on my patio. So sweet. So yummy. So ... a sign that this summer is going by way too fast. Props to Farmington Greenhouse for the great job they do of getting those little seedlings ready for me. I've been pretty pleased with my little patio garden so far this year. I've been picking summer squash and zucchini for three weeks already, and I have a bunch of yellow banana peppers I have to figure out how to use.
There was a time, not so long ago, when the "new" roundabout on Highway 3 was an educational experience for drivers in Farmington. These days, though, it's become more of a simple fact of life. The roundabout - which was a joint project among the city, Dakota County, the Minnesota Department of Transportation and Empire Township - will celebrate its two year anniversary in just a couple of months.
During these lazy, hazy days of summer lots of anglers hope to get out of town for a fishing weekend, but finding the time sometimes proves tricky. But there's good news for Farmington's fishers - living in a town where there's more than 100 ponds means there's plenty of fishing holes, right here at home. It's pretty well known that the Vermillion River is a protected trout stream, and lots of anglers enjoy going out and doing some catch-and-release fishing for the brown trout in the river.
If you're feeling like you'd like to take a really long walk one of these days, you're in luck. By this fall, you should be able to walk all the way down Pilot Knob Road, and right over to Lakeville. The city of Farmington is currently accepting bids for the construction of a trail extension along Pilot Knob Road. The trail will begin at the 203rd Street and Pilot Knob Road intersection, and continue to the south to County Road 50, where it will connect the trail system that leads east into downtown Farmington and west into Lakeville.
Farmington High School has a long tradition of school spirit and athletic accomplishments. "Tiger Pride" spans generations. But what happens to all of the trophies those generations have brought home? That's something FHS athletics director Jon Summer has had to deal with recently -- deciding what to do with the 500 to 600 trophies, plaques and certificates Farmington High School sporting teams have accumulated over the years. His decision to simply throw away a few of them caught the attention of some FHS alumni. The old high school, now Boeckman Middle School, had many display cases.
I have to admit -- probably much to Nathan's chagrin -- I've been a little slow to get back into the swing of things this week. I'm trying to get my groove back. I really am. I'm suffering from a vacation hangover. You know, that first few days when reality comes crashing back and obligations you've run from can't be outrun anymore. The Friday after Dew Days, I took a simple little 10-day break from everything. No newspaper. No part-time deli gig. No American Legion Auxiliary. No nothing, with the exception of a meeting for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum at the state fair.
It took the owners of the Exchange Bank building nearly a decade to fulfill their end of a purchase agreement with the city of Farmington, but it's the city that has to pay up in the end. Farmington city council members voted 4-1 Monday to approve a settlement agreement between the city and the building's owners, Hosmer Brown III and Hosmer Brown IV, owners of the 2004 Real Estate company. The settlement prohibits either party from pursuing future litigation over the building's ownership, but still requires the city to pay the Browns $21,500.
After one year of student drivers taking a new route to school, the city of Farmington now has a better idea of what kinds of new traffic patterns have to be dealt with in future years. On Monday, Farmington city engineer Kevin Schorzman reviewed the projects he intends to ask Dakota County to place on its annual capital improvement program. Most of those requests will affect traffic within a few miles of the new high school. Made up of requests from all communities within the county, the CIP is updated annually.
One month later, not much has changed in the Farmington School District's preliminary budget, and that has some parents disappointed. A group of Farmington parents felt like they had won a victory May 24 when they convinced the District 192 School Board to delay a decision on a preliminary budget that included elementary school classes with as many as 31 students. But as the school board prepares to take action on that budget next week those class size projections remain unchanged. That doesn't mean those numbers won't change in the months ahead.
The weather was perfect, the crowds were large and by the time the final ride had been ridden Sunday afternoon the message seemed to be pretty clear: That's the Dew Days we remember. That was the idea with this year's version of Farmington's summer celebration. For several years Dew Days bounced around town, and it seemed to lose fans and build up debt along the way. So when a new group took over for this year's event the idea from the beginning was to bring things back downtown, where the celebration had been held for most of its history.