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
The promise of warmer weather and sunny days in the months ahead hasn't distracted the Farmington City Council from making sure there's ice available come next fall. On Monday, the council gave the go-ahead on several portions of an improvement project for the Schmitz-Maki Ice Arena to get it up and running by next year's hockey season. Though there was some good news when it came to the bids on certain parts of the project, council members were still concerned the plans do not include a lot of help from the community. In past discussions, council members have expressed an interest in getti
Three Farmington businesses have served the suspensions of their liquor licenses after failing a compliance check in November. The Farmington American Legion and the VFW both served three-day suspensions, while B&B Pizza could not serve alcohol for seven days. The compliance check occurred in late November. A young man, under 21 years of age, was instructed to go into Farmington businesses where alcohol was sold, and try to purchase beer. He was accompanied by Farmington officer Andrew Van Dorn. The young man was successful in his purchase at the Legion, VFW and B&B.
Sure signs of spring: red-breasted robins, green grass and orange cones. And these days, all three of them can be spotted around Farmington. The cones are already up along Highway 3, marking the place where Farmington's largest road construction of the year is beginning. The Walnut Street reconstruction project began this week. The project is a complete reconstruction of the road and infrastructure. By the time it is done, new water main, storm sewer and sanitary sewer lines will be installed and the lines will all be covered by a new road that is free of cracks and potholes.
Whether it's spending time with kids, deciding where to spend a whole lot of money or simply having a few laughs, there are lots of reasons for getting involved in the Parent-Teacher Partnerships in Farmington schools. PTPs are groups of parents in each building who lend a helping hand to staff and provide activities and equipment for the kids. Right now, North Trail Elementary School's PTP is seeking nominations for officers for next year. Current president Laura Beam said her job takes about two to four hours a week.
The last couple of construction seasons have been pretty eventful, as road work goes. Two years ago, Highway 3 was closed for a few weeks so a roundabout could be constructed, and last year, a new bridge connected that roundabout to a new east-west route through the center of Farmington. This year holds no large-scale, traffic-pattern-changing projects, but there still several construction projects coming up. After all, what are the summer months in Minnesota known for? Road construction. There are a few projects on the books in Farmington this season.
Have you ever really thought about what motivates you? Gets you really going on something you've been thinking about for a while, but you keep putting off? Well, this year, it turns out Tony Orlando was my motivation. In all honesty, it was almost time, anyway. I'm one of those people who decides to go to the gym and get into shape on an annual basis. Not that I usually end up staying with my workout plan more than six months. At least I try. I figure I'm doing well this year.
Felony drug-related arrests in Farmington increased by 440 percent in 2009, but police chief Brian Lindquist isn't all that concerned. Lindquist attributes the increase to a natural ebb and flow. In 2007, the number of drug-related crimes was on the high side. In 2008, it dipped to a mere five felony drug-related arrests. In 2009, the number again spiked, this time up to 22. Lindquist does not believe Farmington has become a hotbed for drug activity. Often, Lindquist said, the charges come during traffic stops when police find drugs or drug paraphernalia while searching the vehicles.
Organizers of the annual city celebration have heard the pleas of the many loud and clear: Bring Dew Days back downtown. And so, they have. Plans for the 2010 Dew Days celebration are in full swing, and much of the activity being planned is going to be held right in downtown Farmington, like it was for so many years. And a lot of the old, popular events are back, too - the bed races, the craft fair, and of course the Grand Day Parade. But there are a few differences in this year's event, too.
Miss Farmington pageant organizers are looking for a few good young women. So far, six teens have registered to compete for the annual Miss Farmington crown, but pageant organizer Cindy Muller would like to see a few more applications before the deadline. The pageant is not a contest to see who can sell the most Dew Days 2010 buttons. Nor is it a beauty pageant. "It's to promote the girls to become ambassadors for the Farmington area," Muller said.
Touching on the "proud past" of 2009, Farmington mayor Todd Larson delivered his state of the city address Thursday morning. Held at the Farmington Eagles Club before a group of 18 Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce members, the mayor's speech recounted many of the positive things to happen last year. The speech ran about 20 minutes. In that time, Larson touched on activity in every department in the city of Farmington. In the area of public safety, he noted that the Farmington police department now has 24 officers and four support staff.