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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A few months ago, Farmington resident Glen Anderson attended chamber of commerce function in Lakeville. He didn't realize one day, he might be able to save a life because of that event. An investment representative for RoundBank in Farmington, Anderson likes to get around to different business gatherings to do a little networking. When he went to that particular function Anderson got to hear about a new program in Lakeville called Take Heart Minnesota.
It's a good thing lightning doesn't strike the same spot twice, because one hit last weekend could have been much worse than it was. Sometime around 2:40 p.m. Saturday, Farmington firefighters were called to the Northern Natural Gas plant on County Road 50 in Farmington, because one of the buildings was on fire. Farmington fire marshal John Powers believes the fire was started by a lightning strike. The National Weather Service confirmed there had been lightning in the area prior to the time when the fire started.
Pretty soon, getting new license tabs or a passport will be just a little easier for Farmington residents. Earlier this month, Minnesota legislators approved a bill sponsored by Sen. Pat Pariseau (R-Farmington) that gives the go-ahead for an Office of Deputy Registrar for the Department of Motor Vehicles in Farmington. In other words, Farmington residents will only have to drive to city hall to get a new driver's license or buy license tabs, instead of going to Lakeville or Apple Valley.
On May 17, the Farmington City Council presented Heritage Preservation Awards to Farmington residents Gary and Cynthia Raynor, owners of the home at 421 Oak St., and to former Heritage Preservation Commission member Edgar Samuelson. According to city of Farmington administrative services director Lisa Shadick, the HPC has given out the awards since 2000. In that time, 13 locations and individuals around the city have received the award. The Raynors were recognized for their attentiveness to their home and for serving as a model for preservation efforts in their home.
Last year, Farmington's Warrior to Citizen group held a picnic for the families of men and women in the military. It was at the Dakota County Fairgrounds, and about 160 family members turned out for the occasion. It was, by all measures, a success - so much so, another Military Family Day picnic is planned for this weekend. And organizers are hoping to have just as many - if not more - military families join in the fun. "It's just an event to bring military families together to have a fun day," said Warrior to Citizen founder Annette Kuyper.
We're coming up on a couple of really big, important weekends in the world of military and veterans affairs. This next Saturday is Armed Forces Day, and a World War II reenactment event has been scheduled at the Dakota County Fairgrounds to coincide with the holiday. The following weekend, Warrior to Citizen will hold its second annual Military Family Day at the Dakota County Fairgrounds. And the weekend after is one of the biggies -- Memorial Day. But along with all of those holidays and activities comes another -- Buddy Poppy Day and Poppy Day, two separate but equally important days.
The tarp came up. There were two cars, smashed nose-to-nose. A body lay on the ground, another on the hood of one of the cars, sprawled through the windshield. And then the panicked voice called out for Maria. It was a mother's voice, a mother trying to determine whether her family was okay after a crash. A drunk driving crash. Last Friday morning, Farmington High School juniors and seniors witnessed, hopefully, the closest thing they will ever come to the scene of a double-fatality caused by a drunk driver.
Inspectors still aren't quite sure what the cloudy substance is that showed up last month in an inlet to the Vermillion River, but they think they might be on the right track to determining its origin. A park visitor first noticed the milky water April 21 at the base of a storm sewer pipe near the Kuchera Entrance to Rambling River Park.
When Peter Herlofsky started his new job on May 1, 2006, he had his work cut out for him. He came into the Farmington city administrator position after a few years of turmoil. Over the previous five years, Farmington had gone through two city administrators and three interim administrators. The city of Farmington and School District 192 were in litigation over the site for the new high school. The building boom of earlier in the decade was waning at a fast pace. Farmington was in a state of change.
The Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Feely Elevator for seven violations following the Feb. 4, 2010 accident which led to manager Mark Malecha being partially buried by corn. The citations include $7,750 in fines. Feely Elevator is contesting the citations. All are listed under OSHA's "serious" category. The accident occurred when Malecha entered a grain elevator to try to dislodge a clog. The corn below Malecha shifted, causing him to become covered to his chest. He was trapped for eight hours, but successfully rescued.