Recent Area News

Today’s news update – Projects to spend down TIF 4 dollars; Public hearing on Dundas Dome; Northfield resident warns of IRS tax scam; Dakota County offers Swap Spots

February 12, 2016
news radio Projects to spend down TIF 4 dollars The TIF 4 redevelopment District expired in 2013.  There’s approximately $1.4 million  left in the fund.  Finance Director Melanie Lammers said there are 3 main projects budgeted for in 2016.  The Hwy 3 and 3rd street intersection was budgeted for $700,000, the East Cannon River Trail is budgeted for $173,00 and Garbage corrals for $30,000.  There are also 3 other funding requests including an extra $40,000 for the intersection project due to cost estimates rising. The City has a development agreement for the 303/305 Water St. river wall and they received a request from the Depot group.  If all those projects are done that would leave about $240,000 but that money is tied up in other loan projects right now.  The Highway 3 and 3rd street project will come back to Council next week. Public hearing on Dundas Dome A private company has been working for months to bring a sports dome to Dundas.  It’s a membrane structure for sports that will be on the corner of Hwy 3 and County Rd. 1.  City Administrator John McCarthy said there will be a public hearing on the project on February 18th. McCarthy added that they’d also had preliminary discussions with a couple of commercial operators interested in in expanding stores in the area.  He says they’re looking at a pretty big summer. Northfield resident warns of IRS tax scam It’s that time of year and a Northfield resident has been among the thousands of people who’ve received phone calls from someone representing the IRS and telling him he owed money.  They used multiple phone numbers from all over the country but it identified them as from the IRS. The resident did not answer the phone or return the messages but wanted to alert the community.  As a reminder, the IRS will first contact your through the mail if there’s an issue.  Police Chief Monte Nelson will be in studio next Tuesday morning to talk about recent scams and how to protect yourself. Dakota County offers Swap Spots The Dakota County Sheriff’s Office is opening Swap Spots.  Sheriff Leslie said in a press release that in an era of online shopping where an in-person exchange will happen, they want to provide a public space for residents to conduct those transactions.  The Swap Spots will include child custody exchanges or any transaction where meeting in a public location will help improve personal safety.  There are currently two signed locations at the Dakota County Government Center in Hastings, one indoors, the other outdoors for larger items.  I’ll have the full press release on later today.  Swap Spot Announcement 021116 Click below to listen to the 2-12-16 NEWS podcast:
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Today’s news update – Not all Councilors pleased with Regional Priorities; Superintendent closes school from a snowdrift; NRC to receive a Star of the North Award; Valentine’s Mystery Dinner Theater

February 11, 2016

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Not all Councilors pleased with Regional Priorities

Rice County Commissioners along with City Administrators from Dundas, Lonsdale and Faribault held meetings and came up with priorities for Regional Economic Development.  Lobbying the legislature as a group for state and federal funding has proved to be more successful.  Northfield was not involved as we didn’t have an Administrator at the time.  Commissioner Galen Malecha brought an agreement forward to Northfield Council this week stating the group’s priorities which included, in part, development along I-35 between Co. Rd. 1 and Hwy 19, Mill Towns Trail, broadband internet and a transit center.  Northfield was left out of the process due to the untimely exit of Administrator Nick Haggenmiller.  Councilor Zweifel was not pleased with the transit center being a Park n Ride for those heading up to the Cities, “I want to express my disappointment that that’s the direction the County is heading”.  She said we have a need “here, very strongly” for people to get to the Regional Center which has been “articulated for many many years”.  Nakasian questioned why there was nothing on passenger rail.  While the document can’t be changed, it can be added to.  Interim Administrator Linstroth said Northfield is now in the loop and they will be hosting the next regional meeting.  She said the great part about it is, “the conversations that have been started by the formation of this document have led to quite a bit of connectivity between the Cities”.  The document will come back to Council next week for adoption.  Northfield could abstain from voting on it this year and join in next year.  Dundas, Lonsdale and Faribault have already adopted the agreement.

Superintendent closes school from a snowdrift

When the Superintendent of Northfield Schools gets stuck in a snow drift, chances are school will be closed.  Chris Richardson has a habit of driving the roads on questionable mornings, so last Wednesday, he did.. and got stuck, as did Matt Hillman and  Barb More from the bus company.  Richardson said he had his emergency kit and had one of those portable shovels.  “The first scoop of snow that I took the end of the shovel flew off and flew into a snowdrift”.  He sat for an hour and a half in the snow drift in the middle of a gravel road. That’s where he called KYMN to report school closed! The school calendar builds in 2 snow days, which they used last week.  If there’s another snowday, that means going longer in June.  So you might not want to wish for a snow day.

NRC to receive a Star of the North Award

The Northfield Retirement Community will receive an award next week on their efforts with Alzheimer’s.  2nd District Congressman John Kline has invited team members from the NRC to the Star of the North Award ceremony as representatives of Northfield’s Walk to Remember event, which last fall raised more than $5,500 for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. The event was co-hosted with Three Links Care Center.  NRC Director of Health Services, Emily Kerling and Amanda Gruber, staff member at Three Links, will accept the award on the volunteers’ behalf at the Star of the North Awards Ceremony next Tuesday, at 6:30 p.m., at Kenwood Trail Middle School in Lakeville, Minn.

Valentine’s Mystery Dinner Theater

If you haven’t made plans yet for Valentine’s Day, the Northfield Arts Guild is collaborating with the Northfield Golf Club for an evening of mystery dinner theater.  “The Case of the Riverboat Rendezvous” is an interactive stand-up comedy, mystery dinner theatre performance held at the Northfield Golf Club this weekend.  Ray Young the 3rd plays the Captain, “we’re actually going to have a ‘name that detective’ quizz with door prizes”.  Performances will be Saturday at 6:15pm and Sunday at 5:15pm.  Call the Guild at 645-8877.

Click below to listen to the 2-11-16 NEWS podcast:


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Today’s news update – Council accepts offer from League of Women Voters; Bogott joins the School Board; Citizens and law enforcement receive awards

February 10, 2016

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Council accepts offer from League of Women Voters

Northfield City Council meetings are not known to run smoothly.   Before they readdressed their Rules of Business last night, League of Women Voters of Northfield and Cannon Falls Board President, Mary Hahn brought forward an offer at the work session, to pay for a professional registered parliamentarian, Patricia Reymann, to do a 2 hour training for Council, “we want to present this on a platter with a bow.  And I hope it’s taken in the spirit it’s offered”.  She added that there would be no finger pointing.  “Just take it and run with it”.  Council chose to accept the offer.  Mayor Pro Tem Ludescher, “they rode in like the calvary, they offered to hire somebody”.  Based on that offer, they chose to postpone their discussion on Rules of Business.   Interim Administrator CC Linstroth will set it up as soon as possible.  The City’s leadership team made some suggestions to the meetings including meeting just 3 times a month.  That last week of the month could be uninterrupted time to get things ready for the next month.  Zweifel was very interested saying, ” I see how well that professional development time works for our schools and so I am very interested in giving staff that pause”.  This will come back to Council in the form of a resolution.  Ludescher’s full interview is posted on

Reymann’s information and proposal are in the Green Sheet packet.  Scroll down to page 4

green sheet packet

Bogott joins the School Board

The Northfield School Board chose a new member to replace Ann Maple who resigned on January 12th.  They held a public hearing for all 4 candidates.  Superintendent Dr. Richardson said each candidate had a chance to speak as did representatives on their behalf.  A sub-committee of Board members had reviewed their applications and recommended Ray Cox and Fritz Bogott as finalists.  The position will run through the end of this year.  Fritz Bogott was selected.  He’s been active in school issues since 2007 in a variety of ways.  He and his wife created the “Accelerate Northfield” program.

Civilians and law enforcement receive lifesaving awards

Two civilians were recognized at the Rice County Board meeting yesterday.  Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn said they received Lifesaving awards for performing CPR on a person who suffered a cardiac arrest out in Warsaw Township.  Sergeant Jeff Mullenmeister got there about 4 minutes later and had to use his AED 3 times.  He also received a lifesaving award.  The woman made a full recovery.  Dunn said it’s great to see the tools they carry are working.   Dunn listed several more law enforcement personnel recognized for their service above and beyond.  He said, “so many times our officers do things and it’s just part of the job and they’re not always recognized.  I’ve got a phenomenal staff that do great things every day but these were some of the things that were brought forward to me”.  He also thanked the civilians who stop and help.  He thanked all the citizens out there that support them, make donations, say good things about them, EMS and Fire personnel.  He said, “that goes a long way to our staff so thank you for the support because we need that in the community”.  Listen to Dunn’s full interview on

Click below to listen to the 2-10-16 NEWS podcast:

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Today’s news update – Barron bail set at $1.5 million; Heroin toxicity ruled cause of death for woman; TIF 4 dollars and Rules of Business on Council’s agenda

February 9, 2016

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Barron bail set at $1.5 million

Joshua Paul Barron of Northfield was out on bail when he led several law enforcement agencies on at least 2 high speed pursuits.  Rice County has 3 open files on him.  Rice County attorney John Fossum said one of those files is 1st degree controlled substance.  Barron was found in a stolen truck with 65 grams of methamphetamine.  Fossum, “that’s a lot”.  Twenty grams is a 1st degree felony.  He also had a gun.  Fossum’s office asked for $200,000 bail.  The judge set bail it at $100,000 or $50,000 with conditions but Barron was able to post $160,000 bail for charges in Rice and Steele counties on 3 or 4 open files when he was involved in these pursuits.  Barron is currently in the Dakota County jail having been arrested in Farmington after he went into the ditch.  His bail has been set at $1.5 million or $750,000 with conditions.  An omnibus hearing is scheduled for February 24th and a jury trial for June 27th.  Barron will be prosecuted in several counties.  When Rice County gets him for the 1st degree drug charges, Fossum said, “because of his criminal history score, he’s looking at a guideline sentence of something like 160 months plus an extra 5 years for the gun so we’re really looking at close to 20 years on our file”.  He’s eligible for the the “Career Offender” penalty which is up to 40 years in prison, “and so we’ll be looking for a way to get him close to that 40 years in prison because, clearly, he’s not a person we can have in the community”.  Barron shot a Northfield man in 2010 when the man tried to leave his residence after a domestic incident.  Barron was caught and convicted of 2rd degree assault and spent about 18 months in prison.

Heroin toxicity ruled cause of death for woman

Autopsy results revealed that Tiffany Louise Smith died of heroin toxicity.  The 31 year old woman was found on the grounds of Parrish House on the Carleton campus on January 3rd.  Smith had been reported missing on the afternoon of January 1st.  A resident discovered her body as they were preparing to return to classes after the holidays.  The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office noted that hypothermia could have contributed.  In a press release the “Manner of Death” is listed as “undetermined”.  Police Chief Monte Nelson, “that means that with the information we had from the autopsy and the whole investigation, that would be like our police investigation, anything the coroner did, anything the medical examiner did,  that the coroner was not comfortable determining a manner of death”.  That could mean intentional or accidental overdose.

TIF 4 dollars and Rules of Business on Council’s agenda

The Northfield City council will talk TIF.  The City has excess TIF 4 dollars from the redevelopment district that expired in 2013.  They need to spend down what’s left.  Determining which projects will get dollars is the aim.  They’ll also revisit their lengthy discussion on Rules of Business.  The meetings are streamed live on the City’s website.  Mayor Graham will be in tomorrow morning at 7:20 with a recap.

Click below to listen to the 2-9-16 NEWS podcast:

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Today’s news update – As NAFRS works on SOG’s elected officials share concerns; Narcan video aimed at loved ones of addicts; Northfield Hospital – best place to have a baby; NEC lunch & learn on Facebook marketing

February 8, 2016

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As NAFRS works on SOG’s elected officials share concerns

NAFRS is in the process of updating their Standard Operating Guidelines or, SOG’s, from those written a few years ago when it was the Northfield Fire Department.  There were a number of red-lined items to the document that elected officials on the Joint Powers Board were concerned with and wanted further discussion.  Mayor Graham wanted to clarify that the Board was not discussing whether to have live-in personnel at the fire station, they definitely do, but rather, “that question at the Board meeting was under what rules and regulations should our sleepers have?”  Graham also took issue with Chair Glen Castore saying that the report done in 2011 as Northfield created SOG’s for the Fire Department was “osha-like”, when in fact it was done by OSHA’s Vikki Sanders.  KYMN spoke with the Communications Director for the Dept. of Labor and Industry, James Honerman who oversees OSHA.  He stated that Sanders is the leading compliance consultant in the State.  OSHA provides a free consultation to any small to medium sized company.  It is an effort to keep employees in a safe working environment.  Sanders went through every department in the City at the time.  Her report helped shape the SOG completed in 2012.  Graham added that the City of Northfield is the landlord of the building, “in that OSHA report it talks about the liability that Northfield has under certain circumstances.  So we can’t just brush it this off”.  The Board chose to send it back to committee.  As board members adjust to the new government entity, “this is Boardroom politics and we have to get these things settled before this new entity of NAFRS is going to be effective for the long range”.  NAFRS will meet with the City of Northfield at a work session on February 23rd.  Part of that discussion will be centered on the facility.

Narcan video aimed at loved ones of addicts

Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn was asked to assist with a naloxone and narcan video.  He said, “we reenacted an overdose scene utilizing the Sheriff’s office and Northfield Ambulance”.  They also shot a scene at Rolling Green cemetery.  The idea is to get people who have loved ones with a chemical addiction to purchase narcan.  It can save the life of someone who’s overdosing.  Jessica Astrup and Dr. Jennifer Fisher of Sterling Drug, and Kathy Sandberg from the Chemical Health Coalition put it together.  Kids from the Mayors Task Force on Youth Alcohol and Drug Use acted in the video.  Dunn says they’re still editing but hope the finished video will be available this week.

Northfield Hospital – best place to have a baby

Northfield Hospital is one of the best places in Minnesota to have a baby, according to the Women’s Choice Award, which rates healthcare organizations based on patient satisfaction and clinical excellence.  Northfield Hospital is one of 17 Minnesota hospitals to earn the award, and one of just five small hospitals (fewer than 100 beds) honored statewide.  The Award is based on patient recommendations collected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The award is given to hospitals that rank above the national average for patient recommendations. Other factors include above-average rankings for patient safety, and low rates of early elective deliveries. (Northfield Hospital has a policy against early elective deliveries, for best baby health.) Read the entire press release on

NEC lunch & learn on Facebook marketing

The Northfield Enterprise Center is offering a free Lunch & Learn this Thursday from noon to 1pm.  Facebook for Small Business.  Social media is everywhere and your business can utilize the online marketing tools. Facebook can be an asset for your business if used correctly. Holly Sobrack (Westbrack Marketing) will share the basics, show you the tricks and answer questions regarding this rapidly changing social media platform .  A light lunch will be provided free. Limited spaces available, please reserve your seat.  Call 507-786-9065.  The NEC is at 510 Washington St.

Click below to listen to the 2-8-16 NEWS podcast:


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Listen for news updates on-air at 6, 7, 8, Noon, 3 and 5

Northfield Retirement Community