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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All that's left is to check off the days until Aug. 29. That's when Farmington's new city administrator, David McKnight, will begin his job. The background check on McKnight is finished, and the current Mendota Heights administrator has passed with flying colors. He doesn't need to move far - McKnight was born and raised in Farmington and still calls the community home. And now, his contract is squared away, too. On Monday, the Farmington City Council approved McKnight's employment agreement, which lays out McKnight's salary, pension plan and paid time off.
If you're planning to hold a National Night Out party and would like Farmington police or firefighters to stop by, now is the time to get your party scheduled. Farmington community service officer Richard Girard is accepting registrations though Friday, July 22, for the 28th annual National Night Out block party. So far, Girard has only received four registrations. He typically, he receives 25 before the event. He figures more will come soon, but hopes residents will get those in sooner than later.
While most Farmingtonites were sweating out the hot temperatures over the weekend, a few folks found a spot to stay cool - maybe even cold - last Sunday. They headed to the Schmitz-Maki Ice Arena and laced up their skates. During July, the city of Farmington is offering ice skating lessons and open skates at the arena on Sundays. The lessons require pre-registration, but the open skates are held every Sunday through the end of the month. It's been about five years since the city has provided summer ice at the Schmitz-Maki Arena, parks and recreation director Randy Distad said.
It might have been a sixth sense, it might just have been a case of being in the right place at the right time. Whatever it was, it was not fun for Farmington police officer Steve Kuyper to see a teenage girl get hit by a car. Kuyper was just coming back from washing his squad and picking up a soda at 9:30 a.m. Monday. He was at the four-way stop at Pilot Knob Road when he spotted a 14-year-old girl on a bicycle crossing 195th Street.
Parking might be a bit sparse in downtown Farmington on July 16, but that's a good thing. In fact, if you ask Farmington Business Association president Clyde Rath, that's kind of the point. Next Saturday evening, Rath is expecting somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 classic cars to be parked up and down the streets of downtown for the FBA's annual block party and car show. Technically, this is the third year for the event, but the past two had some bad luck. The first was a motorcycle show that just didn't attract many visitors.
Someday, Farmington families could well hop on bicycles and ride a paved trail all the way to the Minnesota Zoo.
When I got my new car last August, the salesman told me my car had Bluetooth capabilities. Now, I'm not completely technology-literate, so I figured out that meant I'd be able to connect my cell phone to my car, and I'd be able to go hands free while talking to people on the road. I knew I had this Bluetooth capability, but frankly, I had no idea how to make it work. Every so often I'd bump the button on my steering wheel, then swear at the canned voice when it prodded, "Pardon?
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.