The storm slid over Northfield for the most part but a barn fire in Nerstrand is being blamed on high winds that downed a power line and windmill. Rice County Sheriff’s deputies along with Nerstrand Fire were dispatched just after 2 o’clock this morning to a structure fire in the 12000 block of 170th st. east. The barn, on a farmsite, was fully engulfed when they arrived. It had sustained damage last evening when the power line with an adjoining windmill had fallen on it during
straight line winds. Authorities believe that damage led to the fire several hours later. There were no injuries. Nerstrand was assisted by Faribault and Kenyon Fire departments.
Woman and child abduction resolved at I-35 and hwy 19
An incident that started in Owatonna Sunday morning around 8:15 ended at I-35 and Hwy 19 about 45 minutes later. Owatonna Capt. Eric Rethmeier told KYMN yesterday, they received a call of a woman being held against her will with her child and they were traveling northbound on Interstate 35. The State Patrol took over the call and were able to stop the vehicle at mile marker 72 with a tire deflation device. Rethmeier says a man was taken to the hospital on a mental health hold, the woman and child were uninjured. Charges are pending in Steele County. The man had a handgun. Traffic was diverted for a time, backing things up in both directions.
Nfld Council ponders paid parental leave
The Northfield City Council is pondering paid parental leave for City employees. While there are a number of large corporations, and some colleges, that offer programs with paid parental leave on the birth or adoption of a child, there are, in the State of Minnesota, just 7cities and Hennepin County , reported that offer 2 to 3 weeks of paid parental leave. All of them, including Northfield, allow for 12 weeks unpaid leave but they can use accrued sick time, vacation and FMLA. The policies over who qualifies for the leave vary with each city. The Northfield Council spent an hour discussing the issue last week, which would include, on average, 3 employees a year. Mayor Rhonda Pownell said, “and ultimately we really want to ensure that we have, that we are in a sense a company, right, that supports families”. She added that they want to attract and retain employees. Administrator Martig said this is an emerging topic, “these are real decisions that people have as they’re balancing work and family. In some cases even deciding to get out of the workforce for a period of time”. The range they’re considering is 2 to 4 weeks. This would cover both parents. The cost would add from $17,000 to about $34,000 per year on the City’s budget. Councilor DeLong expressed concern that this benefit leaves out all the other employees and asked about those who may have to take time to help an aging parent. The City has already budgeted for it in 2019. This will come back to them in September. More details HERE
Contract work on Division
Northfield Public Works Director Dave Bennett said the City is performing minor contract repairs along Division Street in the downtown area. You can expect some minor delays. All work, he added, is planned to be completed this week.