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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No more traveling to neighboring communities to get your driver's license renewed - just head down to Farmington City Hall. Farmington City Council members have approved a contract with Quick-Serv, the company that runs the licensing center in South St. Paul. The company will run Farmington's new registrar's office, which was also approved this week. Farmington city administrator Peter Herlofsky has been named deputy registrar for Farmington. In his absence, human resources director Brenda Wendlandt will be the alternate. The registrar's office should be opened by the end of the month.
Taxpayers like to know where their money goes, and rightfully so. To help them understand who makes the most money at city hall, the State of Minnesota, in 2005, ordered that all cities with a population of more than 15,000 annually notify residents of the positions and base salaries of its three highest-paid employees. In accordance with the law, the city of Farmington has posted that information on its web page, www.ci.farmington.mn.us . It was posted on Jan. 24, and, according to the law, must remain posted for a period of 90 days.
It takes a lot of time and planning to make a garden grow. You plow the land, you choose the seeds. You plant them, you water and fertilize the garden. And if you're lucky, you'll soon reap the benefits of your hard work. That's kind of what folks over at Farmington City Hall are hoping for -- to reap the benefits of a successful growing season. Only, they want to grow Farmington's business base. Hence, the Grow Farmington meetings, one of which was scheduled for Wednesday night.
Nora Lenz doesn't really have much time to get homesick, even though she's been away from her home in Germany for almost half of a year. No, this 17-year-old from Daurenheim -- a small village of about 2,000 in the German state of Hessen -- has plenty to keep her occupied right here in Farmington. And when all else fails, she's got Skype and the Internet to touch base with her family and friends back home. Lenz arrived in Farmington on Aug. 27. She's been staying with Nancy and Kenneth Stein of Farmington, and she's got her 20-year-old host sister, Teresa, to spend time with.
My parents gave me a lot of what I consider to be good qualities. They taught me to work hard for the things I want. They taught me to respect others, and to give back to my community. What they didn't teach me was how to say "no" and mean it. That's a bit ironic, too. In my baby book, my mother chronicled my first words as "no" and "mama." I'm pretty sure she liked the "mama" part. But I'm thinking she probably started discouraging the use of "no" from the beginning, simply because she was hoping to avoid raising a sassy, headstrong teenager.
The idea of implementing franchise fees to pay for the city's annual seal coating projects has been put on the back burner, but Farmington City Council members haven't turned off the heat. Council members have considered the concept of franchise fees since it was introduced last September. The fees would be added to the gas and electric company bills that residents pay monthly.
Before too long, Farmington residents will be able to get driver's licenses renewed right in their own downtown. Gone will be the days of driving to Lakeville or Apple Valley to get new license tabs for vehicles. Picking up a fishing or hunting license will be easier, too. As it looks right now, Farmington will have its very own deputy registrar's office in Farmington City Hall by the end of the month. At least, that's the plan. The city will not run the licensing center.
Parking your car on railroad tracks has a few negative implications. Not only does it get squashed when a train hits it, but you'll likely end up in court, too. That's what 36-year-old Chadwick Lichtsinn is finding out. He's got a court date coming up as a result of leaving his Chevy Aveo parked on the train tracks on Monday, Dec. 20. Police still don't know just how or why Lichtsinn turned his car and drove northbound for about 30 yards on the tracks.
Need something to warm you up on these cold winter days? Just think about how much fun you'll have on the warm summer nights in June, especially during the 2011 Farmington Dew Days celebration. Scheduled to take place from June 15 through June 19, the upcoming city celebration promises to be everything last year's event was and more, according to co-chairperson Darla Donnelly. Yes, that means everything will be held in downtown Farmington. "It's all downtown. Period. It's all downtown," Donnelly said. Well, there will be a couple of exceptions.
When Dan Jordan started his new job earlier this month, he had some big shoes to fill. He inherited a full calendar, too. Jordan started his new post as volunteer service coordinator at the Minnesota Veterans Home-Hastings on Jan. 3, replacing Roy Bressler, who held the position for more than 20 years. Bressler is well known among veterans groups in the area - he was the one to set up all of the fundraising events that went on at the vet's home and scheduled activities for the residents there. He was the contact person. He was the volunteer coordinator. And then he retired.