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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When Farmington celebrated Arbor Day last Friday, it wasn't a lot different than any other Arbor Day celebration the city has held. There were kids in a park, learning how to plant trees. The kids picked up shovels and rakes, pushed the earth around the root ball then covered it all with mulch. Some were a little unsteady with the shovels, some just chose to use their hands to push the dirt into the hole.
Farmington is on tap to get a new police officer in a couple of weeks, but that hiring was called into question at Monday's Farmington City Council meeting. A review of the police department's fine revenues at the April 19 meeting showed that the PD's revenues to date were down from earlier projections, and talk turned to questions of whether that would affect the police department's overall budget.
Results of samples taken in the milky waters of the Vermillion River are starting to trickle in, so to speak. And so far, nothing seems out of the ordinary. Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District manager Brian Watson said some of the original samples taken from inlet water near the Kuchera Entrance to Rambling River Park have come back. For the most part, the initial results do not show anything "that's not within the range of normalcy," he said.
Sixth grade 4.0 honor roll: Lucas Berg, Alison Berreth, Cody Billins, Jenna Boelter, Kelsey Corcoran, Juliann Felter, Tyra Jaramillo, Michael Johnson, Courtney Kimmell, Erin Lunz, Kyler Nordquist, Molly Rudorfer, Tara Sauber, Addison Seal, Victoria Sontag, Elizabeth Welter A honor roll: Paula Asmus, Dylan Barton, RacqueL Beckett, Kaitlyn Besler, Leah Boozell, Elizabeth Bryan, Jesse Chanthakhoun, Joshua Cline-Cole, Derek Cole, Nicole Colvard, Cameron Cumpston, Jacob Dentinger, Bailey Dexter, Riley Doe, Nicholas Fancher, Madison Farran, Kaylin Finstad, MaKayla Ford, Christian Groves, Phillip H
Andrea Swedin isn't a mom. She hasn't really had anyone close to her go through a troubled pregnancy. But all the same, she put in a really long day Sunday, helping to coordinate the March for Babies through the March of Dimes. A special events coordinator for the March of Dimes, Swedin is one of a handful of people who plan fund raising efforts around the state to raise money for research on birth defects and the causes of premature births. A self-described "Farmingtonite," Swedin attended the University of Minnesota, Duluth after graduating from Farmington High School.
High school students always have lots of options when it comes to post-secondary education. Ad sometimes, there's options within options to think about, too. Take for example, the idea of going into "the military." With five branches to choose from, plus things like ROTC or reserve programs available, "the military" can be a pretty broad set of options.
Farmington's parks and recreation department is responsible for many of the activities that happen in the community, as well as the care and maintenance of parks, trails and facilities like the outdoor pool and the Schmitz-Maki Ice Arena. On April 19, Farmington parks and rec director Randy Distad presented his annual report to the Farmington City Council. The report highlighted some of the activity and accomplishments of the department in 2009.
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.