Community News: Northfield youth spotlighted

4f1a3f8beeab9a1a5e821fdf516d73bfA Northfield youth was recently spotlighted in the national State Farm good neighbor blog

“It takes a village to raise children.” How many times does one hear that phrase in a lifetime? Imagine raising a successful individual without the support of friends, family and acquaintances along the way to offer their advice and expertise. Think about it for a minute. Northfield, Minnesota figured out just how important caring adults can be in the lives of youth, so they set up Northfield Promise, a Healthy Community Initiative (HCI).

Leslie V.

Leslie V.

Through this effort, the group has pulled together resources to support Americorps Promise Fellows in the schools, coordinate a citywide after-school network, offer scholarships to low-income youth to participate in sports, and provide mini-grants for youth-designed community engagement initiatives.  Continue reading:

Today’s news update – A new City Administrator is named; Drug Task Force “hits it out of the Park”; Permit denied (again); Resthaven Rescue holds fundraiser

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A new City Administrator is named

MartigThe Northfield City Council selected a new City Administrator.  Yesterday they directed Gary Weiers of Drown and Associates to negotiate a contract with Ben Martig.  He’s currently the City Administrator in Marshall, MN. Mayor Graham said they were very fortunate to have 4 highly qualified candidates which made their deliberations tough for the first round but he’s “very excited” to offer the postion to Martig “who will be a wonderful addition”.  Council’s initial straw poll had Martig with 2 first choice votes and 3 – 2nd place votes.  Graham said he wanted to welcome someone here by consensus.  He moved his vote to Martig because he was the consensus candidate.  Zweifel, Peterson White and Delong moved their votes as well.  Graham said it sends a message of unity and welcome. The final vote was 6 to 1 with Ludescher voting no. Martig plans to move his family to the community.  Graham added that he thinks everything about it is “very promising” and he looks forward to working with him.  Martig is scheduled to start Feb. 29th, Interim CC Linstroth’s contract is up March 2nd.

Drug Task Force “hits it out of the Park”

As witnessed the last couple of weeks, the Cannon River Drug and Violent Offender Task Force has been busy.  They’ve been fully staffed now for a year.  While understaffed in 2014, they had about 40 cases.  Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn set a goal to open 75 cases in 2015.  Dunn said the opened 156 new cases, made 168 arrests and seized over $400,000 in drugs and property.  Dunn appreciates the support of the public and believes they’ll see big changes in decreasing property crimes and assaults.  In nearly all the search warrants they’ve executed where there were narcotics, weapons were also found with the drugs.  He added, “kudos to our staff.  Chief Nelson said it the other day, they hit it out of the park in 2015”.  He says they want to bring back the quality of life.  The task force is made up of officers from the Sheriff’s department, Northfield and Faribault PD’s and an additional agent from the ATF.

Permit denied (again)

The Northfield City Council again denied a resident a permit for 4 dogs.  Helen Edell has been cited twice for having too many animals.  Northfield police got involved last July when an agency checking on her welfare asked police for assistance.  That’s when they discovered 4 adult dogs in cages.  Their fur matted and the smell of urine in the home.  Councilor Ludescher, acting as Edell’s attorney, the City Council approve the permit.  Peterson White questioned why it was on the agenda since they already denied it late last year.  Council DID approve Staff to revise the City’s ordinance.  Many nearby communities, including Northfield, allow only 3 adult animals but the way the ordinance is enforced varies widely.

Resthaven Rescue holds fundraiser

Resthaven Horse Rescue of Cannon Falls is holding a fundraiser tomorrow night at The Grand.  The group rescues horses possibly bound for slaughter.  While it’s illegal in the U.S., the horses are shipped to Mexico.  The event includes live entertainment, a raffle and silent auction.  Funds will be used for additional quarantine pens and outbuildings. Doors open at 7 o’clock.  Find their facebook page and get tickets through eventbrite or purchase at the door.

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ArtZany!-Radio for the Imagination | Northfield Arts Guild – MNJAG exhibit & PDYT Robin Hood 02/05/2016

granquistpaulaListen Fridays at 9:00am (replayed on Saturday at 9:00am) to Paula Granquist on ArtZany! – Radio for the Imagination

Today in the ArtZany! Radio studio Paula Granquist welcomes artists from two upcoming Northfield Arts Guild ( shows:
* First, jewelry artist Susan Crow from the Minnesota Jewelry Artist Guild (MNJAG) Exhibition in the gallery.
* Then, director Rachel Haider and actors Henry Hillemann (Robin Hood) and Isaac Leer (Sheriff of Nottingham) from the Purple Door Youth Theater (PDYT) production of Robin Hood.

Today’s news update – Barron in custody [Update]; Discussion on Orderly annexation agreement becomes disorderly

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Barron in custody [Update]

Within minutes of receiving a press release asking for the public’s help in apprehending a “very dangerous criminal”, Police Chief Monte Nelson said he was apprehended yesterday afternoon.  Investigators found him and followed him into Farmington.  He went into the ditch which made it easy to arrest him.  On Monday Agents with the BarronCannon River Drug and Violent Offender Task Force assisted by Faribault Police and Rice County Sheriff’s Investigators, attempted to apprehend 32 year old Joshua Paul Barron of Northfield, for narcotics sales and suspected possession of a stolen vehicle.  Agents had followed him to Burnsville and thought he was going to surrender, instead he smashed into police officers’ vehicles in a stolen pickup nearly striking a Northfield agent and hit several unoccupied vehicles allowing him to escape.  Barron is also suspected of being involved in a chase last week that ended in Lakeville, involving another stolen vehicle pulling a stolen snowmobile trailer.  Eventually police stopped that chase. Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn said this morning, “we’re glad that Mr. Barron is in custody for the public’s safety and his own safety because he showed no respect and a blatant disregard for public safety in his actions the last few weeks since he bailed out of jail”.  Barron has a violent history including multiple felony convictions.  He has pending criminal files in Rice and Steele Counties involving Theft, Narcotics, and Possession of a Handgun.   Barron is in custody in Dakota County right now looking at 4 more felonies.  Barron had been out on $160,000 bail in Rice County.

Discussion on Orderly annexation agreement becomes disorderly

Waterford Township has sent an invoice to Northfield every year since 2010 for payments they feel due them on an Orderly annexation agreement from 1980.  It’s up to $27,000 now.  In 2009 legislation passed that made those types of agreements void after 6 years.  City Attorney Chris Hood determined that, since the City had paid for 30 years, they didn’t have to any more.  In an attempt to soothe relations, Councilors Ludescher and Zweifel were on a subcommittee to address the issue.  Ludescher brought forward a wordy resolution.  Mayor Graham explained that it says “we should just continue to pay so pay them the back money and continue to pay”.  The debate was lengthy and at times contentious when Ludescher asked Hood a question…                  (Hood attempts to answer … )

LISTEN TO the podcast for the audio clip

Councilor Zweifel brought forward a much simpler agreement that would make a one time payment to Waterford and agree to release the City from any further claims.  Most council members seemed to want a hybrid of the two.  Council approved Mayor Graham and a City staff person to negotiate with Waterford a one-time payment and a release of claims.  Ludescher said, “I believe the agreement is valid and if they want to sue the City of Northfield, I will support them and testify on their behalf”.  This will come back to full council.

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