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
A few young Farmington athletes had to go home early Monday after a gas leak near Akin Road Elementary School forced fireighters to evacuate one of the school fields. According to Farmington fire chief Tim Pietsch, around 5:50 p.m., a contractor working on a fiber line nicked a three-inch gas main on 195th Street between Pilot Knob Road and Akin Road. Farmington police officers at the city's law enforcement center, located across the street from the leak, blocked off the area before firefighters arrived. "It did affect one ballfield at the school," Pietsch said.
If there was one place that was pretty popular during last week's hot weather, it was the Farmington outdoor pool. The pool is open seven days a week, 1-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m., for open swim. They offer two-week session swimming lessons Monday through Thursday, and hold water aerobics at 9 a.m. Monday through Thursday, too. Single session water aerobics is $4, and the sessions are open to the public. The pool is also open Friday through Sunday, 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m., for adult open swim. On Friday, we sat down with pool supervisor Krystle Graber to talk about how things are going out there.
School is out for the summer, but the halls of North Trail Elementary School and Meadowview Elementary School/Community Education are filled with students anyway these days. Just short of 300 students are spending time in Farmington school buildings over the summer as part of community education's Kid Connection program. It's not a summer school, where students are taking classes to catch up in subjects like math or reading.
He was born and raised here. He went to high school here, and he has spent all of his adulthood as a resident here. And now, David McKnight has been asked to work here, as Farmington's new city administrator. Farmington City Council members met Wednesday afternoon to pare down the list of candidates for the position from five to two or three. But just a few minutes into the meeting, it became evident they all favored the same candidate.
The Vermillion River is just a fact of life when you live in Farmington. It shimmies through the midsection of the county. It spills over the shores in the spring and after heavy rainfalls. It's even got a pretty good reputation as a trout stream. But the Vermillion River and its well-being isn't something that should be taken for granted. It's a valuable resource, and the University of Minnesota is looking for a little help to keep it that way. In May, the U of M's Department of Forest Resources sent out about 1,000 surveys to landowners in the Vermillion River Watershed.
Farmington residents interested in raising chickens on their property may still get the opportunity to do so. It seemed like the city's chicken ordinance had gone away for a while after some council members indicated last spring they were not interested in developing such an ordinance. But that's not the case, according to assistant city planner Tony Wippler. Earlier this month, planning commission members reviewed a revised version of the ordinance. The ordinance applies to all residential properties 2 1/2 acres and smaller.
When the five candidates for city administrator came to city hall Friday, the Farmington City Council wasn't the only group they had to impress. Before the candidates sat down with council members, they were interviewed by an eight-member advisory panel.
Fate does funny things to people. It brings them together, it gives challenges, it provides successes. Fate can tear some apart, but it can make others so much stronger than they ever knew possible, too. Just ask Kyle and Alicia Malin. They know all too well how big an impact a split second can have. They learned the hard way almost a year ago, when Army Staff Sgt. Kyle Malin, a Farmington High School graduate, stepped on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. Malin had already been deployed to Iraq three times before last July's IED explosion.
He was born here. He was raised here. He went to high school here, and has spent all of his life as a resident here. Now, David McKnight has been asked to work here, as Farmington's new city administrator. McKnight is currently city administrator in Mendota Heights. Farmington City Council members met Wednesday afternoon to pare down the list of candidates for the position from five to two or three. But just a few minutes into the meeting, it became evident they favored the same candidate.
Where did it go? I'm at my desk. It's Monday. I'm looking out the window (again) and I'm looking at Oak Street, just the same as it is every Monday. And I wonder, where did Dew Days go? I saw the picnic tables being hauled away this morning. I know we had a city celebration around here, but it's amazing how fast it went by this year. I celebrated an anniversary in Farmington June 10. It marked 17 years since I started covering the community -- which also means I have 17 Farmington city celebrations under my belt. I remember my first Mountain Dew Days.