By Teri Knight, News Director
It’s been a tough harvest and it got tougher for one local farmer. Northfield Area Fire and Rescue Service (NAFRS) Chief Gerry Franek gave details on a grain bin fire east of town last week, saying, “It’s an older design grain bin which has a false floor and then the grain is on top of the false floor and then there’s a great big fan, burner unit, on the outside of the bin blowing the hot air. Basically like exhaust gas out of a chimney underneath this false floor and then that air percolates up through that floor and dries the corn.” He said with build-up over the years “…it’s basically like burning a blowtorch underneath this area and it caught fire.” Franek said firefighters removed about 2,000 bushels of grain, put out the fire and left. He added, “What had happened is the fire ignited that whole bottom layer on the floor of the bin which was all
smoldering, we had to go back there. And they spent about, I believe, another two and a half hours there.” The farmer pulled the rest of the grain out and laid it his field; he lost it all.
FiftyNorth looks at client needs and expansion
FiftyNorth has been bursting at the seams and with the building of a new Greenvale Park Elementary School, it offers them an opportunity to expand. Currently the Northfield Community Resource Center (NCRC), which is owned by the city, houses other non-profits, some of whom will move to the old Greenvale Park building, which will become an early childhood learning center. That means space will become available. FiftyNorth completed a study of what the needs of their membership are as they head into the future. What they discovered was that there is a desire for small and large gathering spots, for quiet areas for reading or one-on-one conversations, and for areas set aside for activities like book clubs or grief support groups. They serve an older crowd and the not-yet-retired younger new members and all those in between. They came up with sixteen high priority objectives including a larger lobby area for check-in and socialization, improved check-in system and more space for physical activities. FiftyNorth will pay for a phase two with a “needs analysis” for space planning. That will be coming next year. Construction of Greenvale won’t be complete until 2021 and then renovation of the old space will take place. So FiftyNorth has time to really do some research.
LBSA celebrates 20th Thanksgiving Community Dinner
Thursday marks the 20th anniversary of the Laura Baker Services Association free community Thanksgiving dinner. LBSA Dietary Manager Eileen Anderson has helped put that free meal together each of those years. She commented that the first year she thought, “‘Oh lord,’ but it just kind of fell into place.” She said she has a wonderful staff and volunteers. While her staff of six is on hand, there are about 40 volunteers, many who have done it for years. They’ll serve about 300 meals that day! That means 22 turkeys at about 25 pounds a piece, over 200 pounds of potatoes. LBSA Director Andrei Sivanich said they have a lot of donors including Just Food Coop, Family Fare, Cub and Brickoven Bakery. The entire community is invited from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to enjoy the full Thanksgiving meal on Thursday at 211 Oak Strett. There are several more donors. Listen to the full interview HERE.