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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A Monday morning accident led to minor injuries for the two drivers involved, but still closed 195th Street near Pilot Knob Road for about an hour. According to Farmington administrative sergeant Jim Constantineau, one of the two drivers in the accident was transported by Allina Ambulance for further treatment. Police closed 195th Street because the two vehicles were blocking traffic. "We took a proactive approach," he said. "The cars were in the roadway and not drivable, so for the safety of all involved, we shut down the road." The accident occurred around 8:20 a.m.
The next regular meeting of the Farmington City Council will be held Monday, Sept. 20, beginning at 7 p.m. Here's a look at what's on the agenda: Recognition of public works supervisor Bill Weierke, who is retiring from the city of Farmington. A proposal to purchase new playground equipment for Rambling River Park will be considered. Farmington Parks and Recreation director Randy Distad has received an offer to purchase playground equipment that will be on display at the National Recreation and Park Association convention this fall.
Lynn Bauman figured there would be some interest in gymnastics if a program were available in Farmington. But she didn't realize how popular the option would be. When she started working with Community Education and Farmington High School athletics director Jon Summer to set up a new, year-round gymnastics school in Farmington, Bauman figured she would draw 50, maybe 70 participants.
I'm usually pretty slow to accept a lot of change in my life. I grow fond of people, routines and even objects. I'm not fond of trying to change any of those things. I recently made a change that, frankly, was long overdue in my life: I got a new car. And I've had absolutely no problem adjusting to that particular change. I bought my little red Saturn in 1999. She was good to me for a long time -- I went for probably eight years and over 100,000 miles before I started having problems with her.
Now the hard part begins. With an $8.59 million preliminary levy set for 2011, the Farmington City Council must now start to figure out when and how that money will be spent. Or, for that matter, if even more of that money can be trimmed from the upcoming year's city budget. Council members approved their preliminary levy during the Sept. 7 regular meeting. The preliminary levy includes $5.98 million in general levy, plus another $2.6 million in debt service levy. Overall, the levy represents an increase of only 3.73 percent -- or $308,000 -- over 2010's levy.
Next Wednesday afternoon will be like every other day at Boeckman Middle School... except for the presence of dozens of mayors and city officials from around the state, and a helicopter possibly landing in the parking lot. Oh yeah, and Gov. Tim Pawlenty will be around the building, too. The students will not have much interaction with the building guests, but BMS has been named as the host site for Minnesota's first Yellow Ribbon Summit. Holding a statewide event such as this in Farmington isn't a stretch.
Katie Clausen doesn't like the word "condemned." To her, it's got a negative connotation. "Uninhabitable" doesn't really sound any better. Regardless, both words apply when it comes to describing the home she shares with boyfriend Kevin Lindquist. One month after a tornado shoved a tree through their living room wall, ripped more than half of the roof off and lifted the garage off its foundation, Clausen and Lindquist still can't stay in their home. "We can still go in there and get things," Clausen said Monday, one month after the Aug.
There was a time, not so long ago, when Farmington city officials had so many new housing developments being proposed, it was almost hard to keep them all straight. Ah, the good old days. Since the economy turned sour and the housing market came to a screeching halt, city of Farmington planners haven't seen many new housing development proposals. None, in fact, since the Dakota County Community Development Authority's Twin Ponds development was approved by the Farmington City Council in December, 2007. But that changed last week.
Have you ever noticed how much work goes into taking a vacation? It's not necessarily the packing. It's not necessarily the financial planning. You have to think about how you're going to get to where you're going, and you have to work out the timing while you're actually on said vacation. When it comes right down to it, the days leading up to a vacation can easily be stressful enough to offset any relaxing you might do. Such is my day today. It's Monday. I leave on a nearly two-week vacation tomorrow. But this day was one I'd been dreading all weekend.
The Aug. 13 tornado that damaged more than 120 homes in Farmington only took a few minutes to rip through the central section of the community, but the damage it caused took nearly 10 days to clean up. Though there are countless trees missing and quite a few homeowners are still dealing with repairs and insurance claims, the city of Farmington maintenance crews were able to wrap up most of the post-tornado clean-up efforts this week. Just how much the tornado actually cost the city of Farmington for services like collecting debris and downed trees hasn't been figured just yet.