Recent Area News

Northfield gets ‘Age Friendly’ designation, $ requested of City; Local Legion post welcomes ALL veterans; Dakota County Fair offers something for everyone

August 9, 2019
By Teri Knight, News Director


The AARP approved the City of Northfield’s Age Friendly designation and action plan. FiftyNorth Director Lynne Pederson is co-chair of the Age Friendly committee. She gave a presentation to the city council stating that the designation deliberately considers the well-being of residents at every stage of life, especially older citizens. The committee is currently in step three of a four-step plan. Through multiple surveys, meetings and various outreach, the committee discovered the top priority is community information. Pederson said that includes “better communication of that information, how to access that information, keeping information up to date, assistance and understanding what services are (more…)

NH&C expansion jumps in cost by over $1M; New Northfield officer sworn in; 2018-19 winter ‘most severe weather in a decade’ according to MnDOT

August 8, 2019

By Teri Knight, News Director

At over a million dollars more than estimated, Northfield Hospital and Clinics moves forward with their Clinic and Birth Center expansion. President and CEO Steve Underdahl shared the final plans with the Northfield council this week along with the cost. The bids for the estimated $13 million project came in at $14.7 million. Underdahl explains there were a few reasons [for the increase] but, “…the big ones were the heating and air-conditioning, the HVAC systems, particularly as we add the in-suite c-section operating room. The level of sophistication and complexity for the air handling was beyond what we’d originally believed.” Soil conditions proved to be a problem as well. The area [where the expansion will exist] requires additional engineering to make the footings solid. Underdahl said there were escalations in labor costs related to bids vs. estimates. They considered options with the hospital board and chose to move dollars from their routine capital spending fund over the next couple of years to complete the project as designed. The plan is to award contracts September 3, 2019, which needs council (more…)

As Northfield council approves $ for legal work, negotiations with Bridgewater begin; Two rescued from Cannon – one firefighter injured; Rice County Public Health offers child vaccinations

August 7, 2019

By Teri Knight, News Director

The City of Northfield made it clear Monday night that they don’t want Bridgewater Township to become a city and Bridgewater has made it clear that they may very well file the petition to incorporate in September. Northfield’s current annexation agreement with Bridgewater expires at the end of this year and, over the last year, the township has held multiple meetings, engaged attorneys and financial consultants, and met with residents in their homes regarding possible incorporation. In February of this year, Northfield City Council approved the creation of a subcommittee of Mayor Rhonda Pownell and Councilors Brad Ness and Jessica Peterson White to work on negotiating a new annexation agreement. While there seems to have been a stalemate, news came that the subcommittee along (more…)

Internal investigation reveals pipe placement failure; Rice County Sheriff Dunn gives tips on Stranger Danger and Night to Unite; Northfield VFW teams up with Rescue Squad 

August 6, 2019

By Teri Knight, News Director


A pipe, used to clean up tank debris, was improperly placed and an alarm failed. That’s the conclusion of an internal investigation into the discharge last month of up to 5500 gallons of wastewater into the Cannon River from Northfield’s Treatment Plant. The press release from Public Works Director David Bennett said the investigation revealed that the discharge was due primarily to the City of Northfield’s scum pipe at the plant being turned, allowing more wastewater to fill tanks, and failure of an automated equipment alarm notification. Last year three significant events caused millions of dollars in damage and the dumping of a million gallons of wastewater into the Cannon River. Last night the Northfield City Council unanimously approved $150,000 to hire Jacob’s Engineering to complete an Operational Analysis and Facility Study Update. Justin Wagner gave the presentation to the council


New Prague man accused of threatening woman with gun; Northfield Council considers big $ expenditures for WWTP and Bridgewater Township issues; Divers down – maybe; Vintage Band Festival fills the air with music all weekend

August 5, 2019

By Teri Knight, News Director


A New Prague man remains in jail after an altercation with an ex-girlfriend. Last Thursday night, Faribault police were called on a report from a woman who said that 40-year-old Benjamin Michael Duff had been following her, threatening her and had a gun. He followed her from a friend’s house to the Speedway store. She said she saw him put a gun in his pants and then followed her into the store. The clerk was alerted by her and that’s when she called police. She told Duff she was calling the police and he left the scene. The victim also told police that he’d been stalking her, wrote “Catch you later” on her car, and sent pictures of guns and 45 messages over the past three weeks which read, “Die.” She also had a slashed tire after the incident. Police arrested Duff at his residence in New Prague. He’s charged with multiple counts including 2nd degree assault with a (more…)

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