Seven hours after she went missing, a Nerstrand girl has been found. Rice County Deputies were dispatched to a rural farm south of Nerstrand for a missing child last night around 6:30. Four year old Sawyer Hanson was last seen in the yard that borders a corn field. Sheriff Troy Dunn said it was amazing to have the resources at his fingertips to call on all those surrounding agencies.
Fire/ and rescue personnel from Kenyon, Nerstrand, Wanamingo, Faribault, Northfield and Medford assisted with the search. Law enforcement from Minnesota State Patrol; the Department of Natural Resources; Goodhue and Dakota County Sheriff’s offices; Faribault, Kenyon and Northfield Police departments; and Minnesota State Patrol also helped in the search and rescue effort. He said lots of civilians showed up to help but they may have been disappointed as they were turned away. Dunn asked them to come back in the daylight saying, “we were afraid of putting civilians out there that didn’t have the proper equipment, proper clothing. And if something else happens then we have additional missing people or injured people”. He added that, “especially with the air assets, we’re trying to search with [thermal imaging] and keeping people out of certain areas and if you have people wandering in there and then we have to go check and it’s volunteers, it just slows the search down”. There were 160 first responders searching. Sawyer was found about 3/10ths of a mile from her home, she had some cuts and nicks from the corn but, “within 10 seconds of being reunited with mom and dad, she cracked a big smile for us, so it was a great thing to see”. However, she never found the cat she was chasing. Sawyer was found at 1:36 this morning.
Lots of calls, no leads
Early yesterday afternoon, Northfield Police alerted the community to a suspected professional shoplifter. Just after 1pm, alerts went out describing the suspect as a white female, 5’5″, possibly 200lbs with blue eyes and short brown hair. She took jewelry and other small items from stores on Division St. The Police department received several calls but none of them have led to the suspect.
Nfld sets sights on jump in levy to 8.5%
Northfield City Councilors approved an 8.5% preliminary levy last night, about 3 times more than recent years. Councilor Zweifel made the first motion for 9%, with debate, that was amended to 8.5 but Councilors DeLong and Ness were not convinced and voted no. Administrator Martig said 6.2% of the increase, or a little over half a million dollars, is directly related to the pay plan Council approved for staff wages. However the 8.5% increase would enable them to also add a full time communications position. Martig and Mayor Pownell implied that the levy is really closer to 2% if you adjust for wages. However, it’s still 8.5% on our taxes. Pownell said the City compares to peer groups within cities of 10 to 20,000 and 20,000 to 100,000 and, “we are significantly less across all sectors in terms of debt capacity, expenditures, revenue… we are less”. That’s a leap from 20,000 to 100,000 population. Councilor Zweifel wanted more dollars for the City to add Youth and Administrative Interns. Martig said, assuming your home value is $200,000 and stays the same, “the annual increase is about $29 total over a year. Now if you’re value goes up that will be a higher percentage”. At the open mic, Citizen Don McGee pointed out that the City came in under budget by last year and noted the 2nd quarter report for 2017 shows the City is $460,000 under budget to date. With the levy increases and Northfield’s School Referendum, it could be an expensive jump for Northfield taxpayers. The Council has until December to decide whether to lower their preliminary. 2 – 2018 Levy Only Preliminary Resolution 8 A public hearing will be held December 5th. Let your voice be heard. Click to see the presentation: 4 – 2018 Budget Update 9.19