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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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.
Though the field of candidates has narrowed to five, the Farmington City Council is still spending Friday conducting interviews for the next city administrator. Interviews began at 10:15 a.m., when Newport city administrator Brian Anderson sat down with an eight-member community advisory panel.
Somewhere around 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Farmington Dew Days committee members made a decision: the Grand Parade would go on, rain or shine. Though the shine never really came and the rain barely stopped in time, Mother Nature went easy on Farmington parade goers. By the end of the parade, the rain had subsided enough that umbrellas were put away and spectators stayed dry while waiting to see who would earn this year's Kiss the Pig honors.