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 sound of nail guns is echoing through the neighborhoods of Farmington once again. For the first time in almost three years, the housing construction market in Farmington seems to be picking up, as the number of building permits being issued for single family homes is on the rise. City of Farmington building official Ken Lewis compiles a quarterly report of the permits issued. His latest report shows that 36 single family housing permits were issued in the first three months of 2010. That's the most single family permits since first quarter of 2006, when 38 were issued.
Farmington's first community garden is starting out small. Only 10 plots are being planned so far. But if it's successful, there's always room for it to grow, so to speak. Located on part of the Meadowview Elementary School campus, the community garden is a collaborative project between School District 192 Community Education and the City of Farmington. But it's more than just a place for a few families to grow some produce. It's an education tool and something that will benefit others.
They say cancer touches everyone at least once in a lifetime. For Theresa Warner, that's true. But for her, it's not just any cancer - it's colon cancer that has taken a friend, and is stealing her father. So she wants to do something about it. To get her rear into gear, so to speak. Warner and her friend Jamie Chapman are planning an event to raise money for the Colon Cancer Coalition's Get Your Rear In Gear walk, scheduled for May 16. It was about a year ago Warner's friend, Jennifer Wilson, died from colon cancer.
Though most Farmington High School students had a nice, sunny day off Friday, there were still quite a few who did not. It's not like they were having a rough day of testing or anything like that. They were learning, but they were also fine-tuning their crafts. With a couple hundred of their closest friends, at that. The Missota Fine Arts Festival was held at Farmington High School April 16, which meant a day off for students who aren't in any of the bands, choirs or art classes at FHS.
Believe it or not, I got lost in Farmington last Friday. It was a good idea, going to Lake Julia to find a picture for the Looking Around photo on the Farmington page. It was just the matter of actually finding Lake Julia that threw me for a loop. See, here's the deal: my co-worker Emily, is out on maternity leave. That leaves Nathan and me to pretty much write and photograph most of the non-sports stuff that goes into our paper these days.
Neither Anne Pfeifer, 15, nor Luca Hartmann, 16, had ever taken a multiple choice test in their lives, up until a couple of weeks ago. In their homeland, Germany, multiple choice tests aren't an option. The two high school students are on a monthlong exchange program through The Friendship Connection Inc. They arrived in Minnesota March 18, and were scheduled to leave Wednesday. They both wanted to come to the United States on an exchange program, but didn't want to take too much time away from their school work in Germany.
Francis Kofi has been teaching Farmington elementary students African drumming skills and traditions for a few years now. But last week, he did something even better. He brought them 12 new, authentic drums from Ghana. Here's how it works. Kofi has a dance company called Hayor Bibimma Dance Co. The group's purpose is to share and teach African culture, all the while keeping the heritage alive among the members.
A little recognition now and then is always nice. A statewide recognition, though -- well that's pretty big. At that point, it's not just nice. It's really nice. And that's why Rambling River Center coordinator Missie Kohlbeck is very flattered by the recognition she received last week. Kohlbeck was given the Outstanding Senior Services Award from the Minnesota Association of Senior Services. The coordinator of Rambling River Center for nearly 15 years, Kohlbeck has gone to the statewide MASS conference more than once. This year was just like any other.
Ah, spring. Sunnier days and warmer temperatures. Everyone likes to see spring come after the winter. But firefighters also know spring can be a busy time of the year. Farmington fire marshal John Powers said spring is the most dangerous time of the year for grass fires. Since the trees are just starting to bud, and the brush around the community is still dead from the winter, there's a burning restriction in place these days.
Given the opportunity, there's a pretty good chance any of the 19 Christian Life School students who recently returned from a Kenya mission would talk for hours about their experiences. Describing a life-changing event usually takes some time. The students and four CLS staff traveled to Kenya March 24-April 3 for a mission trip. To hear the tales of a handful who were there, it was an experience they will never forget. The school typically does a mission trip every other year.