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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The tarp came up. There were two cars, smashed nose-to-nose. A body lay on the ground, another on the hood of one of the cars, sprawled through the windshield. And then the panicked voice called out for Maria. It was a mother's voice, a mother trying to determine whether her family was okay after a crash. A drunk driving crash. Last Friday morning, Farmington High School juniors and seniors witnessed, hopefully, the closest thing they will ever come to the scene of a double-fatality caused by a drunk driver.
Inspectors still aren't quite sure what the cloudy substance is that showed up last month in an inlet to the Vermillion River, but they think they might be on the right track to determining its origin. A park visitor first noticed the milky water April 21 at the base of a storm sewer pipe near the Kuchera Entrance to Rambling River Park.
When Peter Herlofsky started his new job on May 1, 2006, he had his work cut out for him. He came into the Farmington city administrator position after a few years of turmoil. Over the previous five years, Farmington had gone through two city administrators and three interim administrators. The city of Farmington and School District 192 were in litigation over the site for the new high school. The building boom of earlier in the decade was waning at a fast pace. Farmington was in a state of change.
The Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Feely Elevator for seven violations following the Feb. 4, 2010 accident which led to manager Mark Malecha being partially buried by corn. The citations include $7,750 in fines. Feely Elevator is contesting the citations. All are listed under OSHA's "serious" category. The accident occurred when Malecha entered a grain elevator to try to dislodge a clog. The corn below Malecha shifted, causing him to become covered to his chest. He was trapped for eight hours, but successfully rescued.
It was a small group of nine people that met Monday afternoon in the North Trail Elementary School media center. A small group that hopes to accomplish a huge task. The group included a couple of School District 192 representatives, a few members of the Farmington Lions Club and representatives from the Farmington VFW, American Legion and Warrior to Citizen. The meeting was the first of maybe half a dozen that will be spread out between now and Nov. 4.
They were there. The mothers. The grandmothers. They were there, wearing yellow ribbons pinned over their hearts. Each ribbon bore the name of a loved one who is serving or has served his or her country. Some wore pins with the faces of sons and daughters in uniform. Others wore sweaters of red, white and blue. Still others had sweatshirts proclaiming their affiliation: "USAF." "A Proud Navy Mom." This was the Warrior to Citizen Mother's Luncheon Saturday. In one corner of the social hall at St. Michael's Catholic Church, the Red Hat Ladies chorus sang standard favorite patriotic tunes.
Now that he's retired, Ted Dau has the time to sit back and visit. To tell his stories. To reflect on his 30 years as a police officer. He has time to realize the impact one person can have on an entire community. Of course, Dau being the type of guy he is, will gladly share his stories, but he'll humbly shrug off the kudos. He was just doing his job, he'll tell you. And it was a job he loved to do. Hired as a reserve officer while he was still in college at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, Dau joined the Farmington Police Department on April 8, 1980.
Everybody has a hobby. Some people collect stamps. Some people have gardens. And some people crawl across the ground on their stomachs and point guns at other people. That's what the reenactors of the World War II Historical Reenactor's Society do. It's a hobby, says reenactor Jon Boorom, for "history nerds." And he's one of them. Boorom is the go-to guy for this weekend's World War II Reenactment, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at Dakota City Heritage Village on the Dakota County Fairgrounds.
You know what? I love to clap my hands. I really, really do. Seriously, think about it. Every time you clap your hands, it's for a good reason. Even when the occasion is a somber one, clapping means someone somewhere has done something that deserves recognition. And it can be anywhere, at any time. Last Friday, I clapped my hands and cheered on my 2-year-old niece Emma as she finally learned how to lift her little feet off the patio and successfully complete the art of jumping up and down.
The term "hit the ground running" isn't lost on the city of Farmington's new finance director, Teresa Walters. She's been here just about a month, and already she's completed the city's 2009 audit, and is now gearing up for the 2011 budget season. Walters came to Farmington from Waseca, where she was the finance director. Prior to that, she worked for about 10 years in the city of Bloomington's finance department. Farmington's a much better drive for her, since she's a resident of Elko.