Tiger mom Cathy Katzenberger is determined to fight against bullying in schools with peaceful, open discussion and collaborative listening. She seeks greater understanding to solutions that can reduce bullying incidents in Farmington schools. How does she plan on accomplishing this? By founding the grassroots parents group called "It Takes a Village" that connects on Facebook with more than 200 parent members currently. As a mother of three children, Katzenberger has witnessed how bullying has negatively affected her children's life at school and home.
Farmington School Board adopted the 2019 property tax levy during its Dec. 10 meeting. District Finance Director Jane Houska offered a detailed summary of the 2019 school levy, approved to be $26,968,507. The levy funds the school for 2019-20. "Just like everything else in school finance, it is highly regulated by the state of Minnesota, and we really don't do anything without a formula and some guidance from the state," Houska said. The state determines each school district's revenue, tax policy and maximum property levy authority.
Students at North Trail Elementary are busy testing out pollination methods in science class. Last week first-graders learned how to pollinate flowers if no bees were present. Katie Bellmont, science specialist at North Trail Elementary, led the science pollination lesson with a classroom full of first-graders sitting in small groups.
Now that Old Man Winter has given us a white, winter wonderland, the time is perfect to unleash your inner child by sledding down "The Big Kid Hill" at Whitetail Woods Regional Park. The 456-acre Dakota County park is located minutes away from Rosemount and Farmington in Empire Township. The park is open daily from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and the sledding hill is well lit.
Holiday packages sitting on front porches can tempt criminals with Grinch-like tendencies. Becoming a victim of porch piracy can occur anywhere outside of Whoville. Rosemount Police Chief Mitchell Scott said theft calls related to packages on porches have ramped up in the last few years since more gifts are ordered online. Report activity Reports of package thefts usually go up every year around the holidays, and Scott said he encourages residents to be proactive to avoid package theft.
By the time you read this column, I will be entering the holiday cookie baking zone. I plan to bake dozens of gingerbread men, women and children, holiday-shaped sugar cookies, along with tins of my grandmothers' finest holiday sweet treats. This Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of the Cookie Walk where volunteers from the Farmington Yellow Ribbon Network package cookies to deliver to military families in Farmington, Rosemount and other communities such as the Veterans Home in Hastings.
Visioning is underway for the Highway 3 Corridor Plan after a public comment open house on Nov. 28. Adam Kienberger, city community development director, led the open house along with planners, Eric Maass and Tom Ramier-Olson who work for the consulting and design firm of WSB & Associates in Minneapolis. "This is about what can be done at a local level and what steps can be taken to gather public input," Kienberger said. Farmington resident Tammy Helgestad lives on the west side of Highway 3. She showed up to listen, learn and share concerns.
Farmington City Council approved the final 2019 budget and tax levy projected to be 2.87 percent higher than last year. Farmington City Administrator David McKnight presented the 2019 budget and tax levy analysis at the City Council meeting Monday, Dec. 3. After six months of work by city staff, the general fund levy was approved to at $7,583,305. The net tax levy is projected to be $10,795,765. Looking at the past five years, McKnight said this is the lowest tax increase the city has seen, with three of the last five years at a 4.9 percent increase.
Dogs can leave paw prints on your heart and mud on the floor. These words are shown on a sign inside The Dog House, which opened Nov. 20 in the Farmington Mall. Business co-owners Nicole Johnson and Niels Schapochnicof invested three years into planning The Dog House. It offers four main services — doggie day care, boarding, self wash and full-service dog grooming. Last week the new small business witnessed great community response at the soft opening and enjoyed getting to know dog owners and their pooches.
Adjustments with school start times for students who attend Farmington Public Schools may be on the horizon. Dan Miller, director of operations for Farmington Public Schools, presented a report with Farmington School Board on Monday, Nov. 26. Miller explained why the school district is investigating changing school start times. Elementary earlier, high school later