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.
- Member for
- 1 year 4 months
Farmington's housing construction is far from what it was in the heyday of the earlier part of the decade, but it's still coming back. "It's slow, but steady," said Farmington building official Ken Lewis. To date this year, the city of Farmington has issued 76 building permits for single-family housing. Lewis expects to see another dozen or so before the end of the year. That will bump the totals for this year past last year's total of 77. "We'll bypass that this year," Lewis said.
For five years now, the Tiger Stars program has been helping Farmington's elementary kids understand what's right and what's wrong, and how to act accordingly. The idea behind the program is that there are some core values every person should have: Respect. Honesty and trust. Courage. Responsibility. And generally, most families teach those characteristics. Kids usually learn those behaviors at home. But sometimes it doesn't hurt to have a little positive reinforcement at school, too. That's where the Tiger Stars program comes into play in Farmington's elementary schools.
Farmington Scouts from Pack 120 and Troop 120 learned about the proper disposal of the US Flag during a flag burning ceremony at the Farmington American Legion Saturday. They helped Legion members inspect flags and burn ones that were old and tattered. Pictured, Isiah Toutges and Ben Wilson place one of the larger flags on the fire while Commander Leonard Weisbrich and member Frank Lamberty watch.
MEA Week is something most kids look forward to, and something their parents are not necessarily as excited about. It's a long weekend for students and, presumably, their teachers. There seems to be a general impression that teachers get a few extra days off. And for some, that's true. But there are quite a few misconceptions out there, too. Farmington High School social studies teacher Todd Karich plans to head to St. Paul later this week to attend some of the annual teacher's convention.
The problem with hobbies, I've decided, is finding the time to hobbyize. I was so proud of myself on Sunday night. I finished an afghan that I started Fourth of July weekend. Yep, three months ago. It wasn't even a big afghan. And it was a pattern I'd made before. I simply didn't have the time to do it. My house is a collection of hobbies -- I have an incredible stamp collection, if only I'd have the time to mount them all instead of leaving them in the sleeves. I've dabbled in genealogy. I enjoy wine tasting. I love to cook.
A 46-year-old Castle Rock man who was charged with using a front-end loader to charge at police and firefighters last January has been acquitted of all charges. Brady John Gunhus was arrested by Dakota County sheriff's deputies for denying firefighters access to a fire on his property. He was charged with a gross misdemeanor for obstructing firefighting.
The old saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." While that's probably true for a lot of things, sometimes a little tweak here and there can't hurt, either. So maybe that's part of the reason the people who organize Farmington's annual Parent Fair decided to change things up just a bit this year. Instead, a new Parenting Series is being offered. Change, after all, can be good. For the past several years, the annual Parent Fair rotated between hosts in Farmington and Lakeville, as the two Community Education departments work together to offer the fair.
A severed fiber optic line is to blame for the service outage Charter Communications customers experienced Wednesday night. Tucker Carlson, director of government relations and communications for Minnesota's Charter service, got a call from a Charter customer in Red Wing around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. The service there had been knocked out. It didn't take long before more complaints began to come in. Carlson said Thursday a construction crew had been doing some line relocation work under Cedar Avenue, between 177th Street and 190th Street in Lakeville.
Farmington City Council members did not make much progress Monday in figuring out where to trim more money from the city's final 2011 levy and budget, but for the most part, they apologized for pushing too hard. Nearing the end of a 2 1/2 hour workshop Monday, council member Christy Jo Fogarty opened the 2011 budget discussion portion of the agenda with an apology to city administrator Peter Herlofsky. Council members had previously directed Herlofsky to trim $400,000 from the preliminary levy approved in September, which he did.
Since a fire gutted the Farmington American Legion 2 1/2 years ago, folks around there sometimes get a little skittish when the subject of burning things comes up. But that's not going to be the case this Saturday. Farmington American Legion Post 189 is actually setting out to burn things. And not just any things - they're going to burn the flag of the United States of America. The American Legion is holding a flag burning ceremony. It's something the Legion endorses as a proper, respectful disposal of flags that have reached the end of their lifespan.