If you bought evergreen wreaths, swags, boughs or other evergreen decorations at local big box stores, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is encouraging you to burn them, or bag and throw them away. The invasive insect elongate hemlock scale (EHS) has been found on them. So far,they’ve discovered EHS at Home Depot and Menards locations. EHS is native to Asia and feeds on nutrients on the underside of conifer needles. Earlier last week the Wisconsin Department of Ag issued a similar warning after finding EHS in greenery at several retail chains. The companies have cooperated and are pulling any remaining product off their shelves. The evergreen items, which originated from North Carolina,
may have been sold at other retail chains. The evergreen items should not be composted. Read full release HERE.
HRA plans County-wide housing summit
HRA Housing Coordinator Janine Atchison told HRA Board members that she’s met with surrounding city officials to consider a type of summit, the purpose of which is to gather employers and investors together to talk about solutions for workforce housing. Speakers would include DEED, Dept. of Economic Development, as well as representatives of different entities that provide funding. She added that they would brainstorm ways in which businesses could become involved in solutions. She said this is a different approach than they’ve used in the past. The idea is to look at it from a county-wide standpoint, which impacts all of us regardless of where the housing would be built. Atchison will be bringing back more information to the HRA. The plan is to have the summit sometime in March.
Nfld Middle School outperforms most of their peers
The Worlds Best Workforce came out of the legislature a couple of years ago. Northfield Schools Superintendent Dr. Matt Hillmann explains the five goals include all children ready for school, reading proficiently by the end of 3rd grade, closing all racial and economic achievement gaps, all students career and college ready and raise graduation rates. Hillmann said, because not all children start their pre-school here, they work with Northfield Promise, gathering data on kindergarten readiness and making sure they’re providing early childhood centers and daycare providers with the curriculum and training to help kids be ready for school. They had a 7% increase in their metric for proficient readers by the end of 3rd grade but they’re still not as far along as they want to be. The state picks 8th grade mathematics for “career and college” ready. Northfield has added to that goal, they look at 8th grade reading and benchmarks associated with the ACT. Hillmann said, in 2018, Northfield Middle School performed better than 82% of their peers in reading and better than 89% in mathematics.
Safe ride or stay put
Northfield Officers will be paying attention. Police Chief Monte Nelson said, “there’s the Safe Ride Program, plan ahead, stay somewhere if you’re going to be partying and you know your’e going to be “partaking” and know it might not be safe to drive, plan for a place to sleep whether it’s one of our local hotels”. Have fun, be safe.