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 8 months
Clean-up efforts are under way after strong winds caused a considerable amount of damage to the central part of Farmington Friday morning. Severe weather sirens sounded around 3:30 a.m. Friday. According to Farmington city administrator Peter Herlofsky, the winds moved from the west to east, knocking down several large trees and damaging several homes in its path. The storm itself came through the area sometime around 4 a.m. The area that received the most damage is near 193rd Street and Pilot Knob Road. Herlofsky said there is "a concerning amount of damage" to the homes there.
It's Monday afternoon, and I'm at my desk. I've been to the 2010 Dakota County Fair once already, and I've got to say - I love this time of year. Sure, it's a pretty steamy day, and sure, wandering through the heat and humidity already has me feeling like a good nap would hit the spot. And maybe the bellyful of Taco Dick's and 4H chocolate shake is adding to my fatigue. But I'm a sucker for a fair, no matter what the weather. I know I've said it before, but I'm a fair person. Maybe it's part of my upbringing. I was born in New Ulm, which is home to the Brown County Fair.
With one week down, and one to go, four Farmington residents have filed as candidates for two seats on the Farmington City Council. Filing for candidacy for the 2010 Farmington City Council elections opened at 7 a.m., Aug. 3. By the end of the first day, two residents, former city council member David Pritzlaff and Farmington parks maintenance supervisor Don Hayes, had filed their affidavits of candidacy. Farmington resident Lenny Hall filed his affidavit of candidacy the following day, Aug. 4, and current city council member Christy Jo Fogarty filed hers Tuesday, Aug.
It's been nearly one month since an improvised explosive device changed the lives of 2002 Farmington High School graduate Kyle Malin and his family. These days, though, they're all feeling better about the soldier's progress. Malin has been at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C., since July 18. He was transported to Walter Reed after an IED exploded nearby while he was on foot patrol in Afghanistan. According to his dad, Jon Malin, Kyle's recovery is "progressing pretty nicely." Kyle has been in a wheelchair for a couple of weeks now, spending more time in the seat every day.
Though we live in a community that has quite a few large family farms, there's very few of us who actually live on these farms. Very few of us who actually work with livestock. But once the Dakota County Fair rolls around, almost every visitor has to stop into the barns. If not the cattle or sheep barns, for sure, a trip through the children's barnyard is in order. That's just what you do when you go to a fair. There are quite a few kids around Dakota County who hang out in the barns, simply because it's what they do.
Over time, the cost of living tends to increase. A gallon of gas. A loaf of bread. Sooner or later, everything seems to cost more. It should come as no surprise, then, that running an ice arena also costs more than it did seven or eight years ago. That's why the city of Farmington is asking Independent School District 192 to kick in a little bit more to use the arena for hockey games. For the past several years, District 192 has paid $950 to rent the arena for boys junior varsity and varsity hockey games, and $900 for girls JV and varsity hockey games.
It's Monday morning. It's steamy-warm outside. It's one week until the opening day of the Dakota County Fair. And there's a 5x5-foot patch of black dirt outside the sheep barn at the fairgrounds that needs to be dealt with. Enter Jackie Dooley of Farmington, an enthusiastic horticulturist who's spent her entire summer wearing dirty clothes and carrying a garden hose. On the bed of the small cart she drives sits a couple dozen plants -- annuals and perennials, some that flower and others that do not.
On the first day of filing, two Farmington residents announced themselves as city council candidates. Filing for candidacy for the 2010 Farmington City Council elections opened at 7 a.m.,Tuesday morning. By the end of the day, former city council member David Pritzlaff and city of Farmington parks maintenance supervisor Don Hayes had filed their affidavits of candidacy. Up for grabs in the Nov. 2 election are two, four-year terms currently held by council members Christy Jo Fogarty and Steve Wilson. Fogarty has been on the council since 2003. Wilson has held his seat since 2005.
What's more fun than watching a small child in a hockey helmet try to ride a sheep? Well, seeing a young teen try to catch a 150-pound calf or wrestle a greased pig might be close. If any of that sounds like good, not-so-clean fun, grab a malt from the 4H stand,find a seat outside of Ahlberg Hall Saturday afternoon at the Dakota County Fair, and be ready to take in all three events. The Catch-a-Calf, Greased Pig and Mutton Bustin' contests have all been around for a few years, according to fair president and interim manager Don Storlie.
A Dakota County jury has acquitted the man accused of setting the Farmington American Legion on fire Feb. 10, 2008. On Friday, the jury delivered a not guilty verdict in the case against Kevin Leroy Kraus, the man who was brought up on felony charges for causing the fire after allegedly dropping lit cigarette butts down an air return shaft at the Legion. Farmington police detective sergeant Lee Hollatz said the jury found that a video tape from the night of the fire did not provide sufficient proof Kraus was the one who had lit the cigarettes and dropped them down the return air vent.