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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Decisions, decisions. That's what the past few weeks have been all about for members of the Farmington Area Education Foundation. If they weren't making decisions on how to distribute money, they were busy trying to figure out who deserved to be recognized at this weekend's upcoming Partners In Education celebration. Glen Anderson knows both tasks are easier said than done. As the Foundation's president, he's put a lot of time and energy into the two tasks in the past weeks. But following this weekend, he'll get a little breather.
Sometimes, the actions -- or, inactions -- of a few can have a huge effect on the many. That seems to be the case with air quality control issues at ice arenas around the state. A couple months back, an ice skater became ill from breathing carbon monoxide generated by an ice resurfacer. Now, several state legislators are calling for new controls that local parks and recreation director Randy Distad expects to come without state funding to help pay for them. Called the Ice Arena Air Quality Mandate, the bill was introduced in March.
There's something murky in the waters of the Vermillion River, but it's too soon to tell what it is. On April 21, the city of Farmington received a report of a white substance floating in the Vermillion River near the Kuchera Entrance to Rambling River Park. City employees responded, but could not tell what the substance was. City staff contacted the Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District. SWCD staff came down to the Vermillion and took samples. Those samples have been forwarded to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for testing.
For years, if Farmington High School students wanted to go to a college fair, they had to travel to Minneapolis or Inver Hills Community College. This year, though, all they have to do is stay after school. Sixteen to 20 colleges will have representatives at the April 29 College Fair at FHS. It's not the first one the school has ever had, but it's the first of its kind in 15 years. FHS Career Center counselor Amy Olson has been working on this project for a couple of months.
The sound of nail guns is echoing through the neighborhoods of Farmington once again. For the first time in almost three years, the housing construction market in Farmington seems to be picking up, as the number of building permits being issued for single family homes is on the rise. City of Farmington building official Ken Lewis compiles a quarterly report of the permits issued. His latest report shows that 36 single family housing permits were issued in the first three months of 2010. That's the most single family permits since first quarter of 2006, when 38 were issued.
Farmington's first community garden is starting out small. Only 10 plots are being planned so far. But if it's successful, there's always room for it to grow, so to speak. Located on part of the Meadowview Elementary School campus, the community garden is a collaborative project between School District 192 Community Education and the City of Farmington. But it's more than just a place for a few families to grow some produce. It's an education tool and something that will benefit others.
They say cancer touches everyone at least once in a lifetime. For Theresa Warner, that's true. But for her, it's not just any cancer - it's colon cancer that has taken a friend, and is stealing her father. So she wants to do something about it. To get her rear into gear, so to speak. Warner and her friend Jamie Chapman are planning an event to raise money for the Colon Cancer Coalition's Get Your Rear In Gear walk, scheduled for May 16. It was about a year ago Warner's friend, Jennifer Wilson, died from colon cancer.
Though most Farmington High School students had a nice, sunny day off Friday, there were still quite a few who did not. It's not like they were having a rough day of testing or anything like that. They were learning, but they were also fine-tuning their crafts. With a couple hundred of their closest friends, at that. The Missota Fine Arts Festival was held at Farmington High School April 16, which meant a day off for students who aren't in any of the bands, choirs or art classes at FHS.
Believe it or not, I got lost in Farmington last Friday. It was a good idea, going to Lake Julia to find a picture for the Looking Around photo on the Farmington page. It was just the matter of actually finding Lake Julia that threw me for a loop. See, here's the deal: my co-worker Emily, is out on maternity leave. That leaves Nathan and me to pretty much write and photograph most of the non-sports stuff that goes into our paper these days.
Neither Anne Pfeifer, 15, nor Luca Hartmann, 16, had ever taken a multiple choice test in their lives, up until a couple of weeks ago. In their homeland, Germany, multiple choice tests aren't an option. The two high school students are on a monthlong exchange program through The Friendship Connection Inc. They arrived in Minnesota March 18, and were scheduled to leave Wednesday. They both wanted to come to the United States on an exchange program, but didn't want to take too much time away from their school work in Germany.