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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More than a decade ago, the land at Denmark Avenue and County State Aid Highway 50 was earmarked for future retail development in Farmington. A site plan was drawn up. Developers tried to find businesses for the buildings that were going to be constructed. The development was given the name Vermillion River Crossings. The city built a bridge to get customers to the shops that at that time existed only on paper. Then, the development fell through.
Nancy Stein was never a cheerleader in her own high school days, and yet, she was recently named Coach of the Year by the Minnesota Cheerleading Coaches Association. Stein has been coaching all of the high school cheerleading teams at Farmington High School since her daughter, Teresa, was a member in 2007. These days, Teresa Stein is the assistant coach for the FHS teams. Though Stein was never a cheerleader — she was in her high school marching band’s flag and rifle corps instead — she’s been around cheerleading for more than a decade.
Two Farmington men have been convicted in connection to a series of burglaries and check forgeries this past winter. Doran Eugene Ritzman, 21, and Austin Hall, 20, appeared in Dakota County court earlier this year. On Feb. 18, Ritzman appeared before judge Mary Theisen on a count of second degree burglary, a felony, on Jan. 14, 2014. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, and five years of supervised probation.
Although the content isn’t exactly new, Dakota City Heritage Village will be host to a new event this weekend. The Origin of Food — Early Farming in Dakota County is a family event planned to showcase the farming methods that were used from the 1860s through the 1920s. It is a joint presentation between Dakota City Heritage Village and the Dakota County Historical Society. The event came about after the county historical society’s new executive director, Lynn Gruber, visited Dakota City for the first time.
I know this may sound weird, but I’m going to say it anyway: there’s something comforting about coming to work. Specifically, coming to Farmington. Don’t get me wrong. I certainly love my job and my co-workers are awesome people who are likewise dedicated to the Farmington and Rosemount communities. But there’s just something nice about being able to come to Farmington every day. I thought about this last week, as I was turning onto Oak Street. While I was stopped at the stop sign on Fourth, another car was passing me. I recognized the driver, she recognized me.
At 10:05 a.m. Saturday, a long line of cars stretched out of the Farmington City Hall parking lot and down Spruce Street. Little by little, cars pulled forward as volunteers helped the drivers unload their sensitive documents. It was part of the annual Paper Shred Fest, co-sponsored by the Dakota County Library in Farmington and Castle Rock Bank, and it was a pretty popular event this year. The shred fest has been a popular event since it first started four years ago, said Geraldine Jolley, from Castle Rock Bank.
Kids’ artwork is bright. It’s cheerful. A lot of the time, staying inside the lines isn’t even a consideration.
It may seem as if the weather is holding up progress on the Farmington Veterans Memorial, but there is plenty of work going on, all the same. With a hope of dedicating the memorial by late July, the veterans memorial committee has been tying up loose ends during the winter and early spring. That way, committee member Leon Orr said, when the weather finally clears up, the final construction can move ahead. Much of the work these days is going into fundraising, Orr said.
No one likes to think about what would happen if a tornado struck this area. Fortunately, there are people who specialize in thinking those thoughts. On April 23, first responders from the police, public works and fire departments in Farmington, Rosemount and Lakeville got together at the Dakota Communications Center for something called a tabletop training session.
More than four months into the year, the Farmington City Council and police officers have come to terms on a two-year contract for the officers. Farmington’s police officers have been working without a contract since their previous contract ended Dec. 31, 2013. The two-year contract approved by council members during Monday’s meeting is in effect from Jan. 1, 2014 through Dec. 31, 2015.