Recent Area News

Today’s news update – Car/tractor crash sends victim to hospital via Air Ambulance; Man threatens employees at Jennie-O Turkey; ESSA puts control locally for School Districts

April 4, 2016


Car/tractor crash sends victim to hospital via Air Ambulance

A man was flown by air ambulance to North Memorial Hospital after a car/ tractor crash last night. The female driver was traveling west on 250th st. west at Elmore Avenue in Morristown when she struck a tractor parked along the roadside. Rice County deputies were called to the scene just before 9 o’clock.   The man is reported in stable condition, however, as of this press release, his injuries are not known.   The driver was taken to the hospital by a private party. The driver of the tractor was not injured.  We hope to have an updated status tomorrow morning.  UPDATED with names:  Mary O’Connor was the driver.  Gene O’Connor was the passenger.  

Man threatens employees at Jennie-O Turkey 

A “scary call”, that’s what Faribault Police Chief Andy Bohlen called the situation his officers walked into when a man threatened an employee last Thursday at the Jennie-O turkey plant.  Faribault police received a call just after 3am of an intoxicated screaming man.  When they arrived, there were 10 to 15 employees standing outside the south side of the building, a large man staring at them.  According to the criminal complaint, 27 year old Nicholas Paul Eustice of Faribault Eusticehad followed an employee to his car and threatened to stab him with a broken beer bottle.  Eustice followed the man into the breakroom.  That’s when security called police.  Chief Bohlen, “they could smell alcohol on him, I don’t know if there was a mental health was an issue but clearly when you’re at a point when you’re threatening unknown people with weapons there’s a concern for the officer safety as well as the public”.  At this point there seems to be no connection to the person threatened or Jennie-O.  When officers approached, Eustice refused to take his hands out of his pockets and resisted arrest.  They were able to handcuff him.  A pat down revealed a small knife and a full flask, which smelled like alcohol. While it’s not clear if this is a mental health issue,  Bohlen said, in general, it’s a tough position for law enforcement, “certainly mental health is something, again, that, we all in this State need to address and figure out how we deal with because law enforcement is the first one that’s called when people are not acting right”.  He added, “we have to deal with the facts we’re given at the time and in this particular situation on the early morning of the 31st, we’re lucky nobody got hurt.  The person was armed and he was threatening people earlier with a weapon and luckily he was taken into custody, some good police work and, hopefully, they’ll get some help for this guy”.  Eustice is facing 2nd degree assault with a dangerous weapon, threats of violence with intent to terrorize and more.  He’s currently in the Rice Co. jail.  eustice complaint

UPDATE:  During a pat-down, they found that Eustice had a knife on him and a full flask of alcohol.  They also found the broken beer bottle he’d threatened an employee with.  Eustice resisted arrest and is facing multiple charges.  He was released on $3,000 conditional bond yesterday afternoon.  His next court appearance is April 13th.

ESSA puts control locally for School Districts

Every Student Succeeds Act, ESSA, takes the place of No Child Left Behind.  Superintendent Dr. Chris Richardson commented that the big difference is the NCLB was very much a government program, whereas ESSA puts the power back to the States and local school districts.  Richardson says it’s more appropriate to put the control into local hands.  ESSA still requires assessments in grades 3 through 8 and at high school reading writing and science.  However the sanctions are gone, the State will decide what actions should be taken, if necessary.  Worlds Best Workforce will be the guide in Minnesota.  Richardson said that includes Kindergartners Ready to Learn, 3rd graders Literate, not being an achievement gap between students of any sort, students career and college ready and students graduating on time.  Richardson says it will take time to create the rules and regulations to go by.  He’s anticipating a no man’s land in the meantime.  

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Community News: Fire & Rescue Food Drive April 2nd

April 1, 2016

The annual Fire & Rescue Food Drive, to benefit the Northfield Food Shelf, will happen on Saturday, April 2. Fire and rescue vehicles visit neighborhoods, going door to door, collecting canned goods; if you will not be home, please feel free to leave your donation on a bag at your front door. Volunteers, individuals, families, groups, organizations, teams, etc. who would like to help are more than welcome to come along! We will celebrate with pizza, at the fire station, afterwards. Please email, for details. Our collection goal, this year, is 5,000# of food; see YOU on April 2!!   Check them out on Facebook


Community News: Northfield Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Salutes Military Kids

April 1, 2016


e9bac6d17f0c666375dfe90454b80bc4Northfield Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Salutes Military Kids

The Northfield Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Network proudly joins the military and Veteran communities in celebrating April as the Month of the Military Child. From deployments to new schools, military children face unique challenges most youth their age never experience. Their ability to adapt must be applauded, their courage must be recognized and their hard work must be celebrated.

It is estimated that aver 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by a parent’s deployment and that number continues to grow. We are encouraging our community to join together and honor our military youth for their sacrifices, for their courage, and for the important contribution they make to the strength of the military family.

If you know a military child thank them. Ask them what it means to be a military child. Ask them to share the very best of being a military child and what is a tough part of being a military child.  Building relationships is the best way to show support. Show them you see their sacrifice and admire them for their strength.

On April 15th you are invited to “Purple Up! For Military Kids” to show your support, raise awareness and thank military children. Purple is chosen because it is the color that symbolizes all branches of the military, as it is a combination of Army green, Navy blue, Air Force blue, Marine Corps red and Coast Guard blue.

Today’s news update – Parking spaces challenge Crossings development; Mayor talks Franchise fees on new video; HCI looking for Board members

April 1, 2016


Parking spaces challenge Crossings development

This week the EDA heard an update on The Crossings project at Hwy 3 and 2nd street..  Council approved extending the TIF district for 3 years to assist in development.  Community Development Director Chris Heineman said the hearing on it is taking place today in the Senate and the House.  If it moves forward, which they believe is likely, there will be an actual hearing with testimony from the local community as to why it’s necessary.  Rebound Enterprises is working on a $12.8 million hotel development with Marriott Fairfield and hope to use some TIF dollars.  Additionally they’re applying for a business subsidy and asking for another $650,000.  Challenges with the site include soil conditions that require extra foundation work and having enough parking spaces.   Brett Reese shared that, if they could utilize surface parking, they would probably be fine, but they’ll need to build underground parking which costs about $1.5 million.  Heineman laid out a few possible options.  Clearly more discussion will take place on how the EDA can better help business development.  Rebound’s vision is to create a comprehensive development in the area at Hwy 3 and 2nd street including the byzantine location.  The EDA will be asked to review the business subsidy application at their April 28th meeting with City Council action in May.  The hope is to open the hotel by August of next year.  

Mayor talks Franchise fees on new video

Mayor Graham discusses Franchise Fees on a new Minute with the Mayor.  He’s had a lot of phone calls since the subject of a fee added to your Xcel energy bill to pay for infrastructure came up at a Council meeting.  He tells residents that they are in a “such preliminary conversation”.  They’ve asked staff to get them more information.  “No decision has been made” and none will be until it’s been fully vetted.  Graham explains the fee adding that (the fee) would take away the need for assessments.  Rather the whole city would pay for infrastructure rather than only those living on the street being worked on.  He urges anyone with questions or concerns to contact him or their council representative.  These are all listed on the City’s website.  

HCI looking for Board members

The Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) is currently accepting nominations for positions on the HCI Board of Directors.  They expect to have at least three open adult positions and one position for a high school student, beginning in September.  HCI’s mission is to “to cultivate a collaborative community that supports, values and empowers youth.”   To achieve this, HCI does not operate or manage its own programs.  Instead, they work with community partners to foster collaboration and to support community-driven efforts that benefit Northfield youth and families.   HCI board members serve three-year terms. For more information on the HCI Board or to nominate yourself or someone else for the board, please contact HCI at 664-3524 or

Click below to listen to the 4-1-16 NEWS podcast:

 Listen for news updates on-air at 6, 7, 8, Noon, 3 and 5

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Community News: Computers Available for Online Tax Filers 4/1/16

April 1, 2016


CONTACT: Elizabeth Child, Northfield Area United Way, 507-664-3510 or 507-645-0119 (cell) or

NAUWComputers Available for Online Tax Filers

NORTHFIELD, Minn. (April 1, 2016) — is a free online tax preparation program offered by the United Way for those with incomes of $62,000 or less. If you don’t have access to a computer to file your taxes, and want to use, the Senior Center and Northfield Area United Way will offer computers and computer assistance Thursday, April 7 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Northfield Senior Center, 1651 Jefferson Parkway, in the computer lab. The average time to complete taxes using is one hour.

The Senior Center and United Way do not offer tax preparation, however, offers personalized tax assistance online and by phone.

If you cannot make it April 7, but need access to a computer to file your taxes online, please contact the Northfield Area United Way, 507-664-3510 or We will work with you to find another time.


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