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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Over time, details sometimes become a little fuzzy. Occasionally, it's hard to remember exactly how or when or why certain things happened, but you still know they did. Sometimes, the exact details aren't necessarily important. What is important, though, is the impact.
There was a time in Farmington's history when the theft of chickens or livestock wasn't all that unusual. These days, though, that kind of thing doesn't happen so much. Suffice it to say, the recent theft of four beef cattle from the Donnelly Farms on Flagstaff Avenue has got Farmington police officers a little stumped. The theft was reported Oct. 29, after Bob Donnelly noticed a few of the gates on the farm looked like they had been tampered with.
It's back to the drawing board once again for Farmington city staff. Charged with finding $425,000 in budget reductions that will please the Farmington City Council, city staff now has two weeks before the next, and possibly last, workshop for the 2011 budget. In that time, city staff must make sense of a new set of directives that came out of this week's budget workshop, held Monday night at city hall. As the clock continues to count down the days until the final 2011 levy must be ratified, council members are still looking to trim money from the $9.2 million levy approved on Sept. 7.
Lauren Wustenberg is one of those people who enjoys a good challenge. For instance, the challenge of juggling time: the Northfield High School senior is on the yearbook committee, she participates in a youth and government program through the YMCA. She's a Link Leader, providing peer guidance and assistance to underclassmen. She's vice president of her concert choir, she loves to shoot photos and she participates in the NHS semi-annual musical, Rock and Roll Revival. And somehow she manages to pull pretty decent grades and test well.
Sometimes, saying "thank you" seems like it's hardly enough. That is especially true when it comes to thanking the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. Those who have put their personal lives on hold to go and defend a country. Those who fight for freedom, who put themselves in harm's way to fight terrorists half a world away so Americans can enjoy safety. But then they come home, and they continue to give of themselves. In a way, saying thank you isn't all Veterans Day is about.
Every candidate gets a little anxious on Election Day. Here in Farmington, though, a few city council candidates got a little feisty, too. A few of the city council candidates took last-minute issue with the location of signs for one of their challengers, Jason Bartholomay. Minnesota state statutes prohibit candidates from displaying campaign signs on public property within 100 feet of the building where a polling place is located. County ordinance also prohibits any signage from being placed in county right-of-way.
There will be one new face on the Farmington City Council come January. Jason E. Bartholomay finished second in the 2010 Farmington City Council race, unseating incumbent Steve Wilson. In January, Bartholomay will join Christy Jo Fogarty at the council table. The numbers were slow to come in Tuesday, but when the last of the precincts reported, Fogarty and Bartholomay were the clear winners. Fogarty led with 2,409 votes, followed by Bartholomay's 2,151. Wilson trailed by more than 100 votes, receiving a total of 1,976.
A little extra help never hurt anyone. In fact, it turns out, through School District 192's Tiger Academy, that extra help does quite a bit of good. An after-school program just gearing up for its third session, Tiger Academy is still relatively new to the school district, Akin Road Elementary School principal Karen Bergman said. It's designed to give students who might need a little extra push academically the attention they need.
The idea of saving lives is catching on around Farmington. The Farmington Heart Restart program has been up and running for about six months, and it seems to be growing more popular every week. At least, that's what organizer Glen Anderson thinks. In six months, the program has held a number of training sessions. Quite a few people have learned about sudden cardiac arrest, and how basic life-saving skills called Anytime CPR can help.
I'm getting pretty excited for next Thursday. Not this Thursday, because, frankly, I'm turning 43 and that's not really all that exciting. But next Thursday? I've been looking forward to that since last spring. I'm part of the group that is planning the Patriotic Day Celebration at the high school next week. There's about a dozen of us, give or take a few extras who have sat in here and there, and we've been meeting all summer and fall to get this event ready for our community.