Recent Area News

Community News: MN Crime Alert in Cannon Falls

March 24, 2016
325df3e88a8b855a3524dbb2cece4be5     Law enforcement are looking for 2 men suspected of robbing O’Reilly Auto Parts and a theft in Red Wing. a79cc326f9232c6a09a41388f0f4155b Click below for information and pictures of the suspects: Minnesota Crime Alert Network

Today’s news update – They’re back – Chief Nelson says check for permits; Organics and Northfield’s Industrial Park; NHS debuts new exhibit “Through the camera lens…”

March 24, 2016


They’re back – Chief Nelson says check for permits

Maybe not today, but with the warm weather we’ve had, door to door solicitors and peddlers are back and for a variety of reasons.  Police Chief Monte Nelson says each person that comes to your door must have a permit including those taking surveys for political groups or environmentalists.  The permits are issued by the City Clerk but, “part of the process before they get their permit is each person who’s going door to door must fill out an application and the police department essentially does a mini background check on them”.  The goal is to make sure they’re not unsavory.  Having a city permit is very important.  If someone comes to your door without a permit or has one and is making you uncomfortable, Nelson says call the police non-emergency number at that time.  They want to know at the time of the incident so they can follow up right away.  Call 507-645-4475.  He added that, “we don’t condone or condemn those businesses.  We don’t research the business and say this is a good business or a bad business, it means they have a permit”.  Nelson said if you’re not interested in what they’re pushing, then politely tell them no and close your door.  We’ll hear more from Chief Nelson on companies selling solar credits.  His entire interview is online at   

Organics and Northfield’s Industrial Park

Accessibility and affordable prices for organic food could be an economic driver for beginning farmers if House District 20b representative David Bly has his way.  Bly is working on a bill to give incentives to organic farmers, “that bill did make it through that committee.  The Chair of the committee said he would try to include it in his omnibus bill”.  Another bill in ag policy is about the Organic Task Force which was supposed to sunset at the end of this year.  Bly is working to extend the task force and get a report from them to the legislature.  He’s also pushing for agricultural zones which could incentivize farmers who want to convert, which Bly believes would save on costs and could attract processors in the area too.  Bly thinks, “it would be great if Northfield perhaps used it’s Industrial Park, that they’re still looking for people to move in to, that if that became a kind of organic agricultural processing area”.  These bills are still going through committees.  Bly’s entire interview is online at

NHS debuts new exhibit “Through the camera lens…”  

Old photographs say much but when you blow them up, they say even more!  Tonight, the Northfield Historical Society presents the grand opening of a new exhibit.  Curator Stephanie Hess has been working on the exhibit for months.  They chose 10 original images never before seen in public from around 1890 to enlarge.  The glass plates Northfield photographer Ira Sumner used to take images of the dead James gang members will also be on display.   Hess said there were hundreds of images to search through, many donated with the photographers name but not the identity of the subject.  She said 60% of the portraits they have, have no identification.  Herb Fick, a local man, processed the images which took between 10 and 20 hours to clean up,enhance and enlarge.  The exhibit debuts at 6:30 with a program at 7 o’clock detailing the process of selection and preparation.  The event is free to the public for the evening.  There will also be refreshments.  Brand new is an interactive feature at the museum.  Executive Director Hayes Scriven says they’ve recreated an old time photographers studio.  You’ll be able to stand in front of “this really old, regal looking staircase” and take your own phone a take a picture of yourself.  They’ll also provide a selfie-stick, should you need to use it.  Scriven said they’ll be encouraging folks to post it and use the hashtag northfieldphotos.  

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Community News:

March 24, 2016

For Immediate Release: March 24, 2016

For more information call: Kayla Horan 651-480- 7729   [email protected]

SWCD Board Election Filings Begin May 17Dak Co swcd

Individuals interested in natural resource management in Dakota County should consider filing May 17 to May 31 to run for the position of Supervisor of the Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD).

Soil and Water Conservation Districts are political subdivisions of the State and are governed by an elected Board of five Supervisors. Each Board Supervisor represents a district within the County and each district is defined by population.  “Supervisors play an important role in a wide variety of natural resource management issues at the local level, including water quality, soil erosion, stormwater management, agricultural conservation and land protection” noted Brian Watson, District Manager of the Dakota County SWCD.

“Serving as a supervisor is a terrific opportunity for people who want a voice in how we manage our environment and place conservation on the land” he said. SWCDs are special purpose units of government that manage and direct local conservation activities with landowners and communities. An elected Board of Supervisors governs each of Minnesota’s 90 SWCDs.

Due to recent redistricting, the Dakota County SWCD has all five Supervisor positions up for election. SWCD candidates appear on the ballot during the general election which will take place on November 8. Again, individuals who wish to be on the ballot must file for candidacy between May 17 and May 31.

Election terms are four-years. However, because all five districts are up for election there is a need to stagger terms for future elections. For the 2016 election, Supervisors representing districts 1, 2 and 3 will serve four-year terms and districts 4 and 5 will serve two-year terms.

District 1 includes the City of Coates, Douglas Township, City of Hampton, Hampton Township, Marshan Township, City of Meisville, City of New Trier, Nininger Township, City of Randolph, Randolph Township, Ravenna Township, City of Rosemount, City of Vermillion, Vermillion Township, and sections of Apple Valley and Lakeville.

District 2 includes the cities of Lilydale, Mendota, Mendota Heights, South St. Paul, Sunfish Lake and West St. Paul, and sections of Inver Grove Heights.

District 3 includes the City of Eagan, and sections of Apple Valley and Inver Grove Heights.

District 4 includes the City of Burnsville, and sections of Apple Valley.

District 5 includes Castle Rock Township, Empire Township, Eureka Township, City of Farmington, Greenvale Township, City of Lakeville, City of Northfield, Sciota Township, and Waterford Township.

A more detailed description of each Supervisor district including precinct numbers can be found on the Dakota County SWCD home page at

Supervisors meet monthly to discuss the business of the SWCD including conservation priorities, grant opportunities, coordination with other local units of government or state and federal agencies and set legislative priorities. Supervisors receive compensation for attending meetings and are reimbursed for related expenses. Soil and Water Conservation Districts do not have taxing or land use authorities.

Any eligible voter that is 21 years old and lives in a nomination district up for election can file for that SWCD Board vacancy.

If you are interested in filing for an SWCD Board Supervisor position a “Minnesota Affidavit of Candidacy” is available from the Dakota County Election and Voter Registration Department, and there is a $20 filing fee. More information can be obtained at or by calling (651) 438-4380. Information about the Dakota SWCD programs and activities are available at If you would like more information you may also contact the SWCD Office at 651-480- 7777.

Today’s news update – Weapons an “eye opener” for Task Force; Northfield Manor receives AED from Mdewakanton Life Program; Beyond the Yellow Ribbon helping veterans “old and new”

March 23, 2016


Weapons an “eye opener” for Task Force

Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn produces “Chat with the Sheriff” every month on the Rice County website.  Last month he talked with Northfield Police Chief Monte Nelson said, “it’s very important that the Sheriff’s department and the police departments all in our area work together.  There are many investigations, in fact, it’s almost few investigations that don’t cross some boundary”.  They also work together through the Cannon River Drug and Violent offender task force which is now fully staffed with the addition of an agent from Northfield.  What was surprising, even to the agents involved, “firearms was a big eye opener for the Task Force on search warrants and arrests.  How often they were running into firearms being present and many times they were stolen firearms”.  A large bust for Northfield was the man manufacturing and selling automatic weapons and suppressors in town. Nelson said Northfield didn’t have the ability and resources to investigate that. He added, “because of our ATF agent who was assigned to the Task Force this last year, along with the work of the Task Force, they were able to bring that investigation to a close and arrest the person who was charged in federal court”.  37 year old Edward Evan Lasley of Northfield pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a machine gun in November but has not yet be sentenced.  Guidelines provide for 24 to 30 months in federal prison.  Nelson will be in studio tomorrow morning to discuss the recent arson and other issues.  

Northfield Manor receives AED from Mdewakanton Life Program

Northfield Manor, the affordable senior living community at the Northfield Retirement Community, received an Automatic External Defibrillator from the Mdewakanton Life Program.  Vice President of Residential Housing and Property management, Shelly Holden, explained that a resident, Tom Maus, heard about the program and applied for it.  She said it’s basically a lottery program.  They select a name and it was theirs! She said, “It was really pretty exciting for us to receive this”. Maus and Holden received the AED at the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Fire Department earlier this month. Northfield Manor 3-9-16 002 Holden said, “I think it’s their way of giving back to the community, the greater community and to date they’ve given out over 800 this year. Which is a considerable amount”. The new AED’s literally talk you through CPR so there’s really no room for error.  Holden has been with the Manor for 10 years.  She oversees all of the different housing and assisted living and memory care units that they have for rent.  Northfield Retirement Community has a 45 year history, Northfield Manor was built in 1981 and has expanded with independent housing and assisted units.  In error, they were identified with the Northfield Senior Center.  They have no affiliation to them.  The Manor is one of the housing option on our campus which has several different housing options including independent, assisted Living and Memory care. The Manor is an independent affordable housing option.

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon helping veterans “old and new”

Northfield became an official Beyond the Yellow Ribbon City last Veterans Day.  Organizer Virginia Kaczmarek, a former Marine and Adjutant of the Northfield American Legion, explains that it is a network of businesses, service organizations, individuals and more that support our local active military families and veterans with a wide variety of needs including transportation to the VA, job placement assistance, help to families of deployed veterans with household chores or daycare and more.   They’ve had 4 requests so far from both old and new veterans.   Kaczmarek noted that the U.S. has been in constant conflict since the ‘80’s. She said many military returning home don’t feel like they belong, she said, “serving your military, in our military services, is a different experience and they just need a friend sometimes with friendly eyes and sometimes they need a little more”.  Beyond the Yellow Ribbon does that.  If you have a service or could offer assistance of any kind, contact Virginia at [email protected].org                                                                                                                      

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Today’s news update – Reward offered in Arson case at Library construction site; Hillman receives Leader Award from MASA – looks to lead District; Aging Mastery program offered at Senior Center; Y gets nutrition trainer

March 22, 2016


Reward offered in Arson case at Library construction site

The State Fire Marshal has determined that the mobile lift machine, or forklift, was intentionally set on fire.  Northfield Deputy Chief Mark Dukatz said Fire Marshal’s office has offered a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification of the person(s) responsible.  Duke said, “any information people have is helpful but the reward is determined by the Fire Marshal.  It’s coming out of their fund”.  The hotline number is 1-800-723-2020.  This information is also posted on   LINK   The fire was March 16th, the forklift was a total loss.

Hillman receives Leader Award from MASA – looks to lead District

The Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA) has named Northfield Schools Director of Administrative Services, Dr. Matthew Hillmann, as the recipient of the 2016 Outstanding Central Office Leader Award. Hillmann received the award for his willingness to risk, strong communications skills, being a progressive change agent, and having high expectations for himself and others. He was honored at a statewide recognition ceremony during the MASA/MASE Spring Conference, last week. Hillmann led the re-organization efforts within the Schools’ district office, he led the redesign of the district’s principal evaluation as a part of the Minnesota Department of Education pilot program and co-facilitated the district’s Teacher Development and Evaluation committee. Hillmann has played a key role in leading the Transformational Technology and is leading the district’s master facilities planning process. Superintendent Dr. Chris Richardson said, “I believe Matt has demonstrated excellent skills and the potential to continue to do great things as a district administrator in Northfield. His passion and commitment coupled with his talents and skills have allowed him to serve as a role model for MASA colleagues across the state.”  Superintendent Richardson is retiring in July after a long and distinguished career with the last 12 years in Northfield.  An internal search will begin soon, Hillman said he will apply for the position.  

Aging Mastery program offered at Senior Center

The Northfield Senior Center was received a grant from the National Council on Aging to offer a cutting-edge 10 week series called the “Aging Mastery Program”.  Program Coordinator Chris Ellison says people are living longer yet few are prepared for it.  The program is designed to guide adults 55 and over in how to make small but meaningful changes in their lives to improve overall health and wellbeing.  Fitness Director Craig Swenson says some of the subjects include, in part, fitness, healthy eating, fall prevention, finance and medication management.  There’s a wide variety of issues that affect every part of your life.  Swenson says local experts, including those from Northfield Hospital and Clinics, will lead the segments. The series begins March 30th and will run from 1 to 3:30 each Wednesday afternoon at the Senior Center.   The cost is $50 for the program and materials.  Scholarships are also available.  To register call 664-3700 or go online.  Links and the full interview is on  

Y gets nutrition trainer

Northfield YMCA Executive Director/CEO Virginia Kaczmarek has ticked off another item on her bucket list for the Y.  They most recently hired a personal nutrition trainer. Curwin Gett is Board certified and will do one on one training for a variety of issues, including, in part diabetes and weight loss.  She’ll tailor programs for individuals.  Gett is doing “quick bites” on Mondays.  She has a table near the front door for quick questions.

Click below to listen to the 3-22-16 NEWS podcast:

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