Recent Area News

Today’s news update – Hillmann gets Board approval; E. Cannon trail pulled and a payment questioned; Aerial platform yellow flagged

April 6, 2016


Hillmann gets Board approval

In a 6 to 1 vote last night, the Northfield School Board chose Dr. Matthew Hillmann to be the next Superintendent of Northfield Public Schools.  Board member Margaret Colangelo voted no citing concern that he was the only candidate that applied, although she supports Hillman.  He said this morning, “I’m really proud to have a chance to lead this world class organization.  We’ve got outstanding people, working with kids every day and that’s the best thing we can do as a school district”.  Hillmann anticipates meeting with Board members in the next couple of days to negotiate his contract. During the interview process Hillmann was impressed with the genuine desire of the Board to make sure there’s a focus on strong relationships between all the stakeholders including district leadership, building leadership, teachers and staff and the community and parents.  He said those relationships must be maintained.  Hillman praised retiring Superintendent Dr. Chris Richardson saying how grateful he is for his mentorship.  Hillmann has served in the Northfield School District for seven years, currently as the Director of Administrative Services and previously as the Director of Human Resources and Technology.   We’ll hear more from Hillmann coming up.  

E. Cannon trail pulled and a payment questioned

The East Cannon River trail project was pulled from last night’s Northfield Council agenda and there were several voicing their frustration over the late hour in which it was pulled and no explanation of why.  Interim Administrator CC Linstroth said that Dundas asked for more time to communicate with their Council.  Nakasian wanted it on the agenda saying for the purpose of transparency to the public.  Zweifel said the discussion they were having was enough.  They voted 5 to 1 to remove the items.  Mayor Graham added this morning that Dundas hasn’t had a chance to review it.  Audience members were caught unaware of the late removal, they expressed support of an asphalt paved trail at the open mic.  Graham says the project, with a paved trail, is coming in within budget.  Of course, that depends on Dundas council, which Administrator McCarthy says they will discuss it at their meeting on Monday.  Victor Summa asked about a $25,000 payment to the League of Minnesota Cities.  That led Ludescher to amend the motion to remove it from the disbursements as he was unaware of a litigation settlement.  The payment is being withheld until Council has more information.  We’ll have more on this issue on Monday morning, when Linstroth comes in studio at 8:45.  

Aerial platform yellow flagged

NAFRS Board Chair Glen Castore commented discussed the yellow flag received on the Aerial Platform Ladder truck. It was taken to Custom Fire for estimate.  It will cost $43,000 to repair all of the hydraulics and another $12,000 for transmission work.  At the same time, Castore says, there is an opportunity to buy a 10 year old truck for about $300,000.  In their Capital Plan is to buy a new one in 2020 which would cost about $1.3 million.  There’s a strong interest in buying the used truck.  It will now go to the equipment committee for further investigation.  

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Community News: BBB warns Shady job offer targets area college students

April 5, 2016

BBB newsShady job offer targets area college students

Burnsville, Minnesota – April 5, 2016 Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota ® (BBB) has received the first local report about an employment scam targeting college students nationwide. This scheme first came to the attention of BBB of Cleveland last fall, when they began receiving reports from concerned college students about possible employment opportunities from questionable entities such as Geneve Leasing Company, Worldwide Shipping Solutions and HYDROCK Inc LLC, which is the entity a University of Minnesota student recently reported has been in touch with them about a suspect job offer.

The U of M student recognized the posting from HYDROCK Inc LLC as problematic and some online research led him to a press release issued by BBB of Cleveland last November. A representative from that Better Business Bureau reports that in addition to the report from our region, they’ve received calls about this same scam from Ohio State University, Arkansas Tech and Arkansas State just in the last few weeks. BBB notes there is a legitimate company called Hydrock; however, they are located in England and are not associated with these questionable job offers.

“Many college students are looking for work to bring in money while they earn their degrees and others are looking for their first post-graduate job,” said Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota. “Fraudsters, unfortunately, know there’s opportunity for them, as well, which is why it’s vitally important for students to thoroughly research any employment offers they receive.”

Based on information submitted to BBB, a number of University of Minnesota students received emails from HYDROCK Inc. LLC claiming ‘the position will only require 4-6 hours weekly between Mon- Fri.’ The email further states that the position offers flexibility that allows applicants to choose their hours during the day to avoid conflicts between classes or other employment. However, as with most suspect job offers, scant details are offered as to what the position actually entails.

Bogus job offers have been victimizing job seekers for as long as there’s been a job market. Hopeful applicants typically run across these companies while searching for employment online or through unsolicited job offers after posting their resumes on job sites. While some of the scammers concoct business names, others mimic legitimate companies based here in the US or abroad. Addresses typically provided by the bogus companies either do not exist or are valid addresses at which the scammer is not actually located.

People should always be leery of situations where they receive a check upfront, as this is not how legitimate job offers take shape. In particular, avoid situations where you’re asked to deposit a check and send funds back to the ‘employer’ or unknown third-parties. You should not have to pay for an employment opportunity. Job seekers should also watch out for offers to take part in reshipping schemes. Many times, individuals accept these positions not knowing they’re participating in illegal schemes to reship merchandise paid for with stolen credit cards out of the country.

In some cases, fake employment ads or phony job offers are nothing more than attempts to gather the personal information of job seekers for the purpose of identity theft. You should never provide your Social Security number – or sensitive personal information – to any company until you’ve interviewed with them in person, vetted both the business and the offer thoroughly, and formally accepted the position.

“There are definitely red flags people should be looking for – such as being offered a position without so much as a job interview,” added Badgerow.

Other warning signs of potential employment scams include:

  • The position involves transferring money or reshipping goods
  • The company is or claims to be located in another country
  • The position does not list education or experience requirements
  • The offer promises significant earning potential for little effort
  • Emails contain grammatical and typographical errors
  • Company claims to be in business for many years but their website was only recently created

Job seekers are encouraged to contact BBB in regard to suspect job offers or to research businesses where they’re seeking employment by visiting or calling 800-646-6222.

The mission of Better Business Bureau is to be the leader in building marketplace trust by promoting, through self-regulation, the highest standards of business ethics and conduct, and to instill confidence in responsible businesses through programs of education and action that inform, assist and protect the general public. We are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact BBB at or 651-699-1111, toll-free at 1-800-646-6222.


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Community News: NHS wins Statewide History Awards

April 5, 2016

nhsNorthfield Historical Society (NHS) is receiving two statewide history awards this spring in recognition of its work preserving and interpreting local history.  Click below for the complete information!

Northfield Historical Society

Today’s news update – “the whole world is watching” Will body cameras be required?; Five new firefighters continue “intensive” training; E. Cannon River Trail and study of 246 and Jefferson on Agenda; “Happy Couples” at Carleton College; Dundas street sweeping

April 5, 2016


“the whole world is watching” Will body cameras be required?

Mental health issues, drug and alcohol fueled incidents and non-compliance with officer requests opens a broader discussion.  Faribault Police Chief Andy Bohlen, speaking for the City of Faribault, said, “we deal with people from all different cultures and the reality is… I told our people to just continue to be professional, be smart, do good policework, assume that the whole world’s watching and you always have to be professional”.  He added, “I think we’re entering an age in law enforcement where eventually in law enforcement’s going to be required to wear body cams because it’s something I think .. law enforcement in general wants to have that implemented”.  The hard part is how to handle the storage of the data and disseminating public vs private data.  He mentions another incident explaining that last week his guys were dealing with a man bent on harming himself.  He had a loaded firearm in his pocket.  The police were able to hold the gun against his thigh until they could get his hand out.  Bohlen says mental health issues across the state and nation are something that have to be addressed.  Law enforcement are the first ones called when things go bad and if there are weapons involved “or threats of violence are involved, law enforcement’s always going to be questioned afterwards, like well why did you do this, why did you have to hurt this person or … why were they subject to deadly force?”.  In that split second they have to make a decision on a threat to them and/or the public.  Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn will be in studio on Thursday.  

Five new firefighters continue “intensive” training

NAFRS Chair Glen Castore comments on the 5 new firefighters, “people are going through what’s called Firefighter 1 and Firefighter 2 EMS training, so it’s pretty intensive”.  Castore says it takes about 2 years, “from somebody who comes in new, with no experience, to the point where, at a fire, you would be really comfortable teaming them up with somebody taking responsibility for some activity”.  He said the training is 1 to 2 evenings a week for months.   Castore’s full interview is online at  

E. Cannon River Trail and study of 246 and Jefferson on Agenda 

Northfield Council meets tonight.  On the agenda is a resolution regarding Chapati’s Liquor License Penalty Hearing & Proposed Penalties. Council is being asked to approve $85,000 for a study on the intersection at Hwy 246 and Jefferson pkwy.  The E. Cannon river Trail project is on the agenda but there are already questions regarding wetlands.  Staff received bids with over $300,000 difference.  The low bid for a paved asphalt trail is nearly $620,000.  Mayor Graham will be in studio tomorrow morning at 7:20 with a full recap.  

“Happy Couples” at Carleton College

Renowned author, television personality, and relationship expert Dr. Pepper Schwartz will present “Affection, Sex and Satisfaction in Happy Couples” at Carleton College on Wednesday, April 6 from 5 to 6 p.m. in Leighton Hall Room 305. This lecture will look at some of the newer (and older) research on love, affection and sex.  This event is free and open to the public.  

The City of Dundas reminds residents they’ll be street sweeping today through tomorrow.  

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

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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.  

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

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

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