Michelle Leonard started covering the Farmington community in June, 1994. 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 Farmington American Legion Auxiliary Unit 189, and acts as 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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Peter Herlofsky is the only city administrator Farmington city engineer Kevin Schorzman, has worked with since coming to the community 4 1/2 years ago. On June 1, Schorzman will replace Herlofsky -- sort of -- when he officially starts his duty as interim city administrator. Schorzman's appointment isn't official yet. It will be on Monday's city council agenda. Following the council's May 2 meeting, mayor Todd Larson called around to other council members, asking whom they would feel comfortable appointing.
Usually, when the fifth graders at North Trail Elementary School compose their four-measure songs in music teacher Nancy Huppert's class, Huppert has a hard time hearing herself think because the sound of kids tapping out tunes on xylophones fills her room. But not this year. This year students are taking a different approach to their assignment. They're composing their songs on iPads, with the benefit of a keyboard application and a set of headphones. The NTES Parent-Teacher Partnership recently bought 30 iPads for the school.
Something big is coming to Rambling River Park in the next couple of weeks. Before Memorial Day, a new castle will be erected in the park. It's not just any castle, either. It's a really cool one that is likely to delight the community's younger population. The park is getting its first piece of new playground equipment in years, and it's sure to impress its users. Farmington parks and recreation director Randy Distad calls the piece a "theme piece." In this case, it's a castle theme.
The suicide of a Farmington woman has led to her husband being jailed by the Dakota County Drug Task Force on an unrelated charge. Farmington police responded to a home on Upper 189th Street Friday afternoon after receiving a request to check the welfare of a resident. Arriving at the house, police found a 33-year-old woman dead in a vehicle in the garage. According to Farmington police chief Brian Lindquist, evidence at the scene indicates she died of asphyxiation, due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Police then entered the home to make sure no one else was injured or in danger.
Maybe it was just good planning, but maybe there was a little divine intervention, too. Whatever it was, the members of Highview Christiania Lutheran Church are celebrating this weekend. The little church on a hill in Eureka Township has been placed on the National Registry for Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior. It's a recognition the 152-year-old congregation has earned, but it almost didn't happen - more than once. The process to be placed on the National Registry for Historic Places is a long, complicated one, as the congregation learned.
A few things about the hiring process for a new city administrator are still up in the air, but Farmington City Council members know they would like to hear what residents think about the finalists. With Farmington city administrator Peter Herlofsky's final day coming up at the end of the month, council members have decided to conduct the search process on their own. While they still haven't chosen an interim administrator to fill in once Herlofsky leaves, council members expect to name one in the next couple of weeks.
Ever wonder what to do with those old, dirty, stinky, smelly tennis shoes? Just ask any North Trail Elementary School student - they'll take 'em. At least, for the next 10 days or so, they'll take them. NTES students are hoping to find as many pairs of old tennis shoes as possible. There's extra phy-ed time in it for them. Through May 13, North Trail Elementary students are collecting old tennis shoes for the GreenSneakers EcoChallenge for Education. For every pound of tennis shoes collected, GreenSneakers will pay 50 cents.
They say one man's trash is another man's treasure. That explains a lot when it comes to the treasure hunters who come to town annually about this time of year. You see them everywhere, especially on Thursdays and Fridays. Men and women in trucks with trailers attached, driving slowly up and down the streets. They'll find a pile of discarded items set out for Farmington's annual cleanup days. They'll get out, survey the pile and pick through the items. They'll toss some into their vehicles, leave some behind.
More than 200 volunteers battled the elements just so they could clean up their community Saturday morning. The annual Park and Pond Cleanup Day was marred by cold temperatures and rain Saturday, but Farmington natural resource specialist Jen Dullum said the weather didn't dampen the spirits of volunteers. "There were some people who came in their jackets and their boots. They were prepared for the elements," Dullum said. "We had about 550 volunteers RSVP, and about 200 of them showed up. I'm still happy we had 200.
It might be hard to think of the warm, sunny days of summer during these gloomy, rainy days in Farmington. But summer isn't all that far off - and neither is the opening night of Farmington's annual farmer's market. Organized by city of Farmington staff, the market will begin its third season June 16, though it's the first time executive assistant Cindy Muller has been in charge. She's made a few changes to the market, too. This week, she talked about some of those changes and the upcoming season. Tell me what's new with the farmer's market. This year, we have a new location.