35 year old Nicholas Allen Anderson of New Prague, the driver who took police on a high speed chase from Faribault to Northfield, pled guilty yesterday (April 16th) to fleeing police. On March 25th, Anderson and a passenger, 26 year old Matthew Wayne Jones, were finally stopped in Northfield after Dundas officers put down stop sticks. The chase reached speeds of 120 mph on I-35 and they were clocked at 95mph into Dundas. Anderson fled through the strip mall parking lot off Hwy 3 and Heritage Dr. before being detained at gunpoint by law enforcement. Jones refused to get out of the vehicle until, eventually South
Metro SWAT team persuaded him. Sentencing for Anderson is scheduled for June 11th. Rice County Attorney John Fossum said he’s expected to get 20 months. Anderson has a lengthy criminal history. Jones was also in court yesterday and Judge Birnbaum has ordered a competency evaluation for him.
Mill Towns Tr. to run along Jefferson
Deciding not to turn down money and maintenance from the State, the Northfield Council chose Option B for the Mill Towns Trail route in Northfield. This opens the door for design work by the MN DNR in cooperation with the City. The designated bike/pedestrian trail will run along Jefferson Pkwy, the recommended route from Toole Design and the MN DNR. Donna Jackson, who lives along Spring Creek Road, where the trail is to come in from Cannon Falls, spoke at the open mic with concerns regarding the current narrow road, flooding issues, culverts that would not allow for a 10 ft. trail without taking “a good share of some of our backyards. Nobody has contacted us”. Northfield resident, Ben Witt, a former bike shop owner, told Council that they need not fear trail users won’t come into town, explaining that the Sakatah trail runs nearly 3 miles outside of Faribault but there are plenty of users who make the detour into town. He also pointed out, with DNR backing, they will be responsible for it’s maintenance. Remarking on the E. Cannon River Tr., a combined effort between Northfield and Dundas, he said, “it was built, the way I understand it, on the cheaper side as opposed to true rail-trail construction where you put the route on existing railroad infrastructure. You can’t, for instance, roller blade on that trail anymore because of root growth and things like that that have really degraded that surface”. Councilor Nakasian made the motion to select B, but Zweifel made a motion to amend that to include Option A as a local spur (meaning the City pays for it). THAT route, Mayor Pownell explains, “comes up 5th street to Union, jogs over to 4th and then heads out of town on Wallstreet Rd. is the proposed Option A”. This is a plan, still subject to change. The DNR has $500,000 for design work of Option B but no dollars for construction yet. Administrator Martig said this is a significant moment, “where we’re going to see some significant progress, we’ll see some actions coming back to the Council with some agreements that the DNR is already working on. So it’s exciting to work on such a fun project and one that I think has a lot of tourism impact for the City”. As for the local spur, that’s down the road. The plan is posted on our website. 2 – Exhibit 1 – Mill Towns State Trail_Planned Route Through Northfield
iPads and a cool new stylus
The Northfield School Board will vote Monday on whether to stick with iPads for students. As the lease runs out on the current technology, Superintendent Dr. Matt Hillmann said through feedback that there was consensus to continue with iPads. An item they’re adding is the Logitech Crayon, a highly responsive stylus that will work with numerous apps. Each student would receive one. The lease will be about $427,000 to bump up to full size iPads for all students, now including one for all 3rd graders. Grades 3 through 5 are not be allowed to take them home. K – 2 is one iPad for every 2 students. If the Board approves it on Monday, the current iPads would be collected at the end of this school year with the new ones being rolled out over the Summer in a tiered effort.