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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My parents gave me a lot of what I consider to be good qualities. They taught me to work hard for the things I want. They taught me to respect others, and to give back to my community. What they didn't teach me was how to say "no" and mean it. That's a bit ironic, too. In my baby book, my mother chronicled my first words as "no" and "mama." I'm pretty sure she liked the "mama" part. But I'm thinking she probably started discouraging the use of "no" from the beginning, simply because she was hoping to avoid raising a sassy, headstrong teenager.
The idea of implementing franchise fees to pay for the city's annual seal coating projects has been put on the back burner, but Farmington City Council members haven't turned off the heat. Council members have considered the concept of franchise fees since it was introduced last September. The fees would be added to the gas and electric company bills that residents pay monthly.
Before too long, Farmington residents will be able to get driver's licenses renewed right in their own downtown. Gone will be the days of driving to Lakeville or Apple Valley to get new license tabs for vehicles. Picking up a fishing or hunting license will be easier, too. As it looks right now, Farmington will have its very own deputy registrar's office in Farmington City Hall by the end of the month. At least, that's the plan. The city will not run the licensing center.
Parking your car on railroad tracks has a few negative implications. Not only does it get squashed when a train hits it, but you'll likely end up in court, too. That's what 36-year-old Chadwick Lichtsinn is finding out. He's got a court date coming up as a result of leaving his Chevy Aveo parked on the train tracks on Monday, Dec. 20. Police still don't know just how or why Lichtsinn turned his car and drove northbound for about 30 yards on the tracks.
Need something to warm you up on these cold winter days? Just think about how much fun you'll have on the warm summer nights in June, especially during the 2011 Farmington Dew Days celebration. Scheduled to take place from June 15 through June 19, the upcoming city celebration promises to be everything last year's event was and more, according to co-chairperson Darla Donnelly. Yes, that means everything will be held in downtown Farmington. "It's all downtown. Period. It's all downtown," Donnelly said. Well, there will be a couple of exceptions.
When Dan Jordan started his new job earlier this month, he had some big shoes to fill. He inherited a full calendar, too. Jordan started his new post as volunteer service coordinator at the Minnesota Veterans Home-Hastings on Jan. 3, replacing Roy Bressler, who held the position for more than 20 years. Bressler is well known among veterans groups in the area - he was the one to set up all of the fundraising events that went on at the vet's home and scheduled activities for the residents there. He was the contact person. He was the volunteer coordinator. And then he retired.
Watching a puppet show is always good for a few chuckles. But actually conducting a puppet show? As bunch of first graders over at Farmington Elementary will attest - that's way cooler. Over the course of a week, the FES students in Maureen Hudak's first grade class learned a thing or two about puppeteering from artist in residence Margaret McCleary. McCleary introduced the whole idea of puppets to the classroom. They talked about what puppets could be made from, they talked about what could be used for building a stage.
Muddled math might be to blame, but two women will appear in court Feb. 3 to face charges for selling alcohol to a minor in Farmington. The women both failed an alcohol compliance check conducted on Aug. 2, 2010, in the city of Farmington.
A couple of weeks ago, I made a pledge to myself to declutter my life. More specifically, my home. You might think I would just be able to settle down and sort out stuff, toss the stuff I don't use so much anymore. But I come from a long line of packrats. Throwing away treasures isn't something I'm accustomed to. It's funny how your home fills up over time. When I moved into my place nine years ago, I had hand-me-down furniture from my parents. Most of my plates and glasses were garage sale purchases.
Christian Life School seventh grader Abby Haenni has no doubt patriotism is alive and well in the United States. She's even written a pretty convincing essay stating as much. That essay of hers was so compelling, she convinced three judges in Farmington as well as judges for the Second District of the Minnesota Veterans of Foreign Affairs Patriot's Pen. A couple of weekends ago, Haenni was chosen to represent the Second District in the state Patriot's Pen contest.