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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Farmington High School teacher Jason Kohlbeck isn't a speech coach. But that's not stopping him from organizing an oratorical contest for students this year. Kohlbeck is a member of the Farmington American Legion. He's an adjutant for Post 189, which means he's got a few extra things he's working on for the Legion. He's the guy who is working to build up membership, and he's the guy who is responsible for organizing many of the post's programs for students. Well, not too long ago, Rick Rottman of the Cannon Falls American Legion came to visit.
We've all been there and done that: something in the oven or in the stove gets just a little too hot. The smoke detector in the kitchen goes off. Sometimes you can just open a window and wave away the smoke, but sometimes pulling out the battery works just as well, right? Well, yes and no.
Two city of Farmington employees may be looking for new jobs if the Farmington City Council decides to cut their positions next Monday. During a 2011 budget workshop Monday, council members identified two staff positions they feel could be eliminated in order to save city programs and other departments. The positions in question are the economic development specialist post, held by Tina Hansmeier, and the administrative services director, held by Lisa Shadick.
Farmington's economic development authority learned Monday it is more or less broke because of tax increment financing decisions made more than a decade ago. EDA members got a crash course this week in TIF issues. A popular funding tool to woo businesses to a community in the 1990s, TIF was designed to give tax breaks to businesses. Those businesses would pay back the taxes over the years. The goal was to attract businesses to communities, spur new development and create new jobs. State rules require cities to use TIF funds only on the projects where those funds originated.
The Farmington High School 2010 homecoming court has been announced. Homecoming queen candidates are Devyn Alberts, Nicole Clifton, Madeleine Cook, Kaitlyn Habeck, Brianne Kashak, Brook King, Paige Lindrud, Janine Miller, Viktoriya Nesvetaylov and Emily Severson. Candidates for homecoming king are Sebren Baer, Blair Berg, Bryce Clark, Tyler Grubb, Matthew Kadrlik, Kyle Kapustka, Thomas Korbein, Trevor Lachance, Zachary Wallace and Zachary Wyatt. Candidates were chosen by a vote of the senior class. Students will be asked to vote on these candidates to choose the 2010 homecoming royalty.
Now that it's all done, the Schmitz-Maki Ice Arena equipment replacement project seems to have gone as smooth as, well, a fresh sheet of ice. As of this weekend, a fresh sheet of ice is in place, and it was put down right on schedule. Farmington Parks and Recreation director Randy Distad said the project - which included the replacement of the building's entire ice-making system - finished up right on schedule. Just in time, he said, for the first Learn to Skate program lessons scheduled for Monday evening.
There was a whole lot of energy coming out of the Farmington High School recital hall Tuesday evening. About 110 Farmington students joined another 40 or 50 college-aged adults in a night full of song, dance and good entertainment. The concert capped an intense three-day workshop conducted by The Young Americans, a nonprofit musical education group from California. A team of The Young Americans - mostly musical performers between 18 and 24 years of age - had been working with Farmington students since Sunday night.
My, my, my. Popular 80s hair band Great White is coming to Farmington this weekend, headlining Saturday's second annual Rocktoberfest, sponsored by the Farmington Rotary Club. Known for songs like "Once Bitten, Twice Shy," "Rock Me," and "Save Your Love," Great White can take just about any 40-something back in time. And that's just what the Rotary folks are hoping will happen. "We're pretty excited," said Rotary fund raising chair Tom Severson. "Great White is going to be the main entertainment.
Hear ye, hear ye, all young kings and queens of Farmington! Come next summer, a new kingdom awaits ye. The kingdom will be the royal Rambling River Park, where a new castle will be erected in the spring. Really. A castle. In Rambling River Park. On Monday, the Farmington City Council approved the purchase of a new playground structure for Rambling River Park. It just happens to come in the form of a really cool-looking castle. What's more, the city is getting the structure for about $30,000 off the original price.
Additional franchise fees tacked on to monthly electric and gas bills could generate about $400,000 in additional funds for the city of Farmington, but not all council members are sold on the idea just yet. After a discussion that lasted nearly an hour, Farmington City Council members chose to table the topic for more discussion at an upcoming workshop. For some, the idea was cut and dried, and they either understood and supported the recommendation or they understood and didn't favor it. Others wanted more information, and a little more time to weigh options.