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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When a wind storm swept through downtown Farmington during the city celebration a couple of years ago, Tim Dougherty had a feeling he'd lost one of the trees in his yard. When he came home that day, his suspicions were confirmed. But when the trees in his neighborhood disappeared last week ... well, that came as a bit of a surprise.
Things could have been much worse, but it still wasn't a great way to start off a Monday morning. Farmington firefighters were called to a vehicle fire on Highway 3 around 7:15 a.m. Monday. Fire chief Tim Pietsch said the fire was so hot, he could see an orange glow from the south as he left his driveway to respond. The vehicle was a bus owned by the nonprofit company ProAct, Inc., which provides transportation and services to individuals with disabilities.
Maybe if a couple of campground were in the proposals, things might be a little easier. As it is stands right now, there two sets of opinions when it comes to parks facility needs in Farmington, and it's all a matter of which camp is bigger. That's why the Farmington City Council voted 3-2 Monday to spend $10,900 for a community survey to find out how residents feel about a possible bond referendum in November to pay for parks and recreation facilities and upgrade. Two council members, Julie May and Steve Wilson, feel the timing for a referendum is simply not right.
The promise of warmer weather and sunny days in the months ahead hasn't distracted the Farmington City Council from making sure there's ice available come next fall. On Monday, the council gave the go-ahead on several portions of an improvement project for the Schmitz-Maki Ice Arena to get it up and running by next year's hockey season. Though there was some good news when it came to the bids on certain parts of the project, council members were still concerned the plans do not include a lot of help from the community. In past discussions, council members have expressed an interest in getti
Three Farmington businesses have served the suspensions of their liquor licenses after failing a compliance check in November. The Farmington American Legion and the VFW both served three-day suspensions, while B&B Pizza could not serve alcohol for seven days. The compliance check occurred in late November. A young man, under 21 years of age, was instructed to go into Farmington businesses where alcohol was sold, and try to purchase beer. He was accompanied by Farmington officer Andrew Van Dorn. The young man was successful in his purchase at the Legion, VFW and B&B.
Sure signs of spring: red-breasted robins, green grass and orange cones. And these days, all three of them can be spotted around Farmington. The cones are already up along Highway 3, marking the place where Farmington's largest road construction of the year is beginning. The Walnut Street reconstruction project began this week. The project is a complete reconstruction of the road and infrastructure. By the time it is done, new water main, storm sewer and sanitary sewer lines will be installed and the lines will all be covered by a new road that is free of cracks and potholes.
Whether it's spending time with kids, deciding where to spend a whole lot of money or simply having a few laughs, there are lots of reasons for getting involved in the Parent-Teacher Partnerships in Farmington schools. PTPs are groups of parents in each building who lend a helping hand to staff and provide activities and equipment for the kids. Right now, North Trail Elementary School's PTP is seeking nominations for officers for next year. Current president Laura Beam said her job takes about two to four hours a week.
The last couple of construction seasons have been pretty eventful, as road work goes. Two years ago, Highway 3 was closed for a few weeks so a roundabout could be constructed, and last year, a new bridge connected that roundabout to a new east-west route through the center of Farmington. This year holds no large-scale, traffic-pattern-changing projects, but there still several construction projects coming up. After all, what are the summer months in Minnesota known for? Road construction. There are a few projects on the books in Farmington this season.
Have you ever really thought about what motivates you? Gets you really going on something you've been thinking about for a while, but you keep putting off? Well, this year, it turns out Tony Orlando was my motivation. In all honesty, it was almost time, anyway. I'm one of those people who decides to go to the gym and get into shape on an annual basis. Not that I usually end up staying with my workout plan more than six months. At least I try. I figure I'm doing well this year.
Felony drug-related arrests in Farmington increased by 440 percent in 2009, but police chief Brian Lindquist isn't all that concerned. Lindquist attributes the increase to a natural ebb and flow. In 2007, the number of drug-related crimes was on the high side. In 2008, it dipped to a mere five felony drug-related arrests. In 2009, the number again spiked, this time up to 22. Lindquist does not believe Farmington has become a hotbed for drug activity. Often, Lindquist said, the charges come during traffic stops when police find drugs or drug paraphernalia while searching the vehicles.