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 7 months
A member of the Farmington Fire Department and a Dakota Electric employee, Tim Vanderlinde was crowned as the 2011 Kiss the Pig winner Saturday. It wasn't as bad an experience as he thought it might be, but Vanderlinde's still not sure why he was asked to be a contestant. Once he was named the winner, though, he stepped right up to the challenge and gave the crowd a good laugh at the same time. Kiss the Pig has been a mainstage attraction at Farmington's city celebrations for at least a decade. All of the proceeds from Kiss the Pig go to the Rambling River Center.
It might not be too long before paper copies of the Farmington City Council agenda packets are a thing of the past. Council members are considering doing away with the traditional paper copies of biweekly council packets and instead opening the documents on a laptop or iPad. Going paperless isn't a new concept these days. Farmington School Board officials have made the switch, so have several communities around the state. The reason? Because paper and ink cost money, and making all the copies and assembling the packets takes time.
Farmington mayor Todd Larson is excited for Friday - and not just because he's looking forward to the weekend. On Friday, Farmington City Council members will conduct the first round of interviews for the vacant city administrator position. With six candidates to choose from, Larson is looking forward to getting started. The candidate names were released last Wednesday after all six agreed to interviews.
Every once in a while, life gets going so fast it's hard to sit back and remember what you missed -- especially when life throws a big old curveball and you have to rely on the help of others just to make it through. That's something the Malin family knows all too well. Last July 12 Army Staff Sgt. Kyle Malin, a 2003 graduate of Farmington High School, lost his legs in an explosion in Afghanistan. It was July 12 when the lives of his wife, Alicia, his kids, and his parents, Jon and Deb Malin, completely changed.
One way or the other, Farmington residents will have to pay extra for road maintenance next year. At a city council workshop this week, council members said they would support increasing the city's tax levy to build up funds to pay for seal coating road maintenance. City officials are still not interested in utilizing franchise fees to pay for the work. Seal coating has been put on hold for this year due to budget constraints, but interim city administrator/city engineer Kevin Schorzman recommends getting back into the program soon.
For more than a decade, groups in Farmington have talked about building a Veterans memorial somewhere in the city. Now, the idea might finally become a reality - and within a couple of years, too. A group of Farmington residents has been meeting for a couple of years to develop a plan. They've had a few setbacks, but they've still made progress. They have a rough idea of where it will be located. They have a design in mind. They have a plan.
The city of Farmington won't get out of the liquor business anytime soon, but city officials intend to look at other options for the future. At its June 6 meeting the Farmington City Council approved a plan to downsize its Pilot Knob liquor store by 1,262 square feet. At the same time they approved a fixed, five-year lease at $3 per square foot less than the city had paid in the past.
"Be strong." Two little words, printed on little red bracelets, made a big impact this year at Dodge Middle School. The bracelets were just one of the fundraising efforts the school's new Red Ribbon Crew tried this year. The sales, and the Red Ribbon Crew, were both successes. Designed like a modern-day DARE drug and alcohol awareness program, Red Ribbon Crew encouraged DMS students to make a pledge to stay away from tobacco, drugs and alcohol. The members taught positive messages meant to help their peers decide to live healthy lifestyles.
Six candidates, including one former Farmington City Council member, have accepted interviews for the vacant Farmington city administrator position. The names of the six candidates were made public early Wednesday afternoon.
The city of Farmington hasn't given up on opening a licensing center just yet. It may take some time, but the concept is still alive and well. City staff has been working to get a revised application to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Driver and Vehicle Services division. They have the go-ahead to do Department of Natural Resources licenses -- fishing and hunting and such -- and they can also issue license plate tabs.