A Montgomery man was taken into custody on Monday after Rice County Deputies investigated him for sexual misconduct with a child. 52 year old John Patrick Webster is charged with 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct, solicitation of a child to engage in sex and using electronic communication related to sexual acts. On July 6th, the mother of the 14 year boy, found the Grindr app on his phone. It’s an online social networking site for homosexuals. Deputies set up an interview with the boy and discovered evidence
that led to the arrest of Webster. According to court records he was convicted in 1997 in Winona County for the same crime. He told law enforcement he had to register as a predatory offender for 20 years. Bail has been set at $200,000 without conditions, $85,000 with conditions. Webster’s initial court appearance is July 25th.
Change order adds $69,000 to project
A change order of nearly $69,000, involving the reconstruction of Division Street, was put to a vote at the Northfield Council Tuesday night. Administrator Martig said,”we’ve got some pedestrian improvements, we’ve got benches, we’ve got some new landscaping that’s going out there, we’ve got some enhancements to the crosswalks for safety purposes and narrowing of the road. Along with that, Council actually designated some money for some public art with the project”. One percent of construction costs are now being designated for public art. In the change order, $10,000 was designated for the building of a pad for a future sculpture on Division at 6th street. Councilor DeLong said, “if we’re going to have this program, if we’re going to have 1% set aside for art, I think the art should stand by itself”. He was concerned that it would set policy before the Council had a chance to discuss it. Martig felt it was appropriate for the dollars to come from the construction budget, however, other councilors agreed with DeLong including Ness and Zweifel, who added, “I do like that we’re calling it out and that we’re preparing for the art and we’re starting down this road to a policy”. The vote for the change order taking $10,000 out of the Arts Budget was approved 5 to 1 with Mayor Pownell voting against it. The remaining $59,000 was approved for construction items including design modification on the new crosswalk installations and additional colored concrete for Stone Seat Walls and a Stone Column. There remains $307,000 in the contingency fund for this project.
Insect Safari on the Cannon
Kids caught crayfish, tadpoles and bugs out of the Cannon River on June 30th during an “Insect Safari” hosted by the Cannon River Watershed Partnership. CRWP Educator Kevin Strauss helped about 20 kids and their parent helpers identify what they caught. They also learned how to tell how clean the river is. Researchers use an insect life scoring scale from 0-20 to determine how clean a river or lake is based on the insects living there. So how did the Cannon do in Northfield? While not a scientific study, it was fair, at best. For more read the complete release: CRWP Insect Safari_July 2018