By Teri Knight, News Director
A Faribault man is in jail charged with 1st degree drug sale. On Wednesday, agents of the Cannon River Drug Task Force obtained a search warrant of the home and vehicle of 30 year old Victor Manuel Moreno. They first followed him from his home in the 500 block of 3rd st. nw to a business parking lot in Eagan where they observed, what they thought, was a drug transaction. He was stopped by a Rice County Sheriff’s K-9 Deputy in a gas station parking lot where the vehicle was searched. Agents then searched his home.
Based on the amount of cocaine found, hundreds of unused baggies, three scales, a “pay owe” sheet, and text messages on the defendant’s phone indicating sales, agents believed the 29 grams of cocaine was possessed with the intent to distribute. They also found 2 loaded handguns inside his home with additional ammunition. Bail has been set at $60,000 with conditions. His initial court appearance is May 1st.
Ten years after it was offered for fire practice, the Northfield Depot is poised for occupancy
Just a decade ago, the old Depot was offered up to be burned as practice for the Northfield Fire Dept. But a group, led in large part by Alice Thomas, took on the Railroad, the City of Northfield and anything else that may have gotten in their way, to “Save the Depot”. Thomas gave the annual update to Northfield City Council this week. There were too many items completed to list them all. They are in her report which is at the end of this story. As for what’s left before receiving a certificate of occupancy. Inside they need to install the permanent stairs and the flooring. On the outside of the building they need to install railings on the stairs of the entrance and a temporary or permanent ramp at the north entrance. With the exception of the ramp, they hope to complete all the other items by mid to late Summer. They will continue to work on the sculpture garden, plants and limestone walls.To address safety issues they’re in the process of applying for a Union Pacific grant. If successful, the grant would fund a four foot high iron fence between the tracks and the depot building for the entire length of the block, 320 feet. A former UP employee from Albert Lea discovered a sign in an old freight house. The long sign is the one that was on the roof of the Depot and read “Northfield”. They will be picking up the sign this week. Thomas shared that none of this would have happened without the Community offering dollars, in-kind support, building materials and moral support. The Save the Depot group continues to raise funds to complete the work. Click for Thomas’s full report: 2- 2018 Annual Report-FINAL
Northfield city officials plan for Transit Hub
Piggybacked on the Depot update was a discussion on the City’s Transit Hub project. Administrator Martig said this will spur economic development of the Q-Block. There are conceptual design plans for the Hub which includes the Depot and a covered pavilion. Martig said the long-term vision is for a community gathering place, information about Northfield and a place for visitors to be welcomed. Martig and city officials have asked for $2.5 million in state funding for the Hub that would serve Hiawathaland and Benjamin Bus with the hope that South Metro transit would also utilize the Hub.They’ll need parking lots as well. In the short term, city staff intends on bringing back to Council a resolution on May 7th to go out for bids on the access road. The idea is this will encourage State officials to grant Northfield further funding.The City will do some minor remodeling of the former Northfield ambulance building on 2nd street with the intent to store the Bookmobile there. As for that tin shed on the corner of 3rd St. W and Linden, there will be a closed meeting of the EDA next week on the possible purchase of it. This is a very early design: Depot-Pavilion-Transit Hub
Three Rivers and Rice County awarded funding for home visits that serve at-risk families
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has announced a new round of grant funding that will help local partners offer new or expanded home visiting services. The programs serve at-risk families such as first-time moms and families facing challenges like mental illness, domestic abuse or substance abuse. Through home visiting programs, a nurse or other trained professional provides practical health and parenting support to parents and pregnant women during ongoing home visits until the child is 2 to 3 years old. The new round of grants includes $32 million. Locally, Three Rivers Community Action, Inc. (southeast region), will receive nearly $2.3 million. Rice County Community Health Services will receive just over $700,000 to expanding services into Fillmore and Houston counties. The funding begins in May 2019 and will run through 2022. Full press release: New family home visiting grants