Recent Area News

Today’s news update – Back in school – Board decides student’s fate; Dundas K-Mart to close; Defining Northfield Economic development analysis will wait

January 15, 2016
news radio Back in school – Board decides student’s fate  updated to include Quinnell statement It took the Northfield School Board 3 and a half hours last night to determine the fate of Noah Bamonte-Grebis.  He’s the 18 year old Northfield High School honor student who had an unloaded bb gun in his locked vehicle on school grounds.  In a 3 to 2 vote, the Board chose to allow him back in school.   A random sweep on December 18th by a K-9 unit discovered alcohol, drug paraphernalia and the weapon.  A hearing was held on Tuesday by an independent hearing officer.  School board members Ellen Iverson, Rob Hardy and Margaret Colangelo voted to not expel the young man.  Colangelo said, “the School Board members gave VERY thoughtful and researched and informed opinions to the discussion”.  Julie Pritchard and Jeff Quinnell voted to expel him.  Both were unavailable for comment for this report.  Superintendent Dr. Chris Richardson would not comment on the deliberations but did say that there were between 75 to 100 people outside the closed session last night, “and vast majority of those have been students at Northfield High School”.  A petition with about 425 signatures by students was given to the School Board on Monday evening.  The petition had stated that any student whose car is tagged during a search must unlock it or face expulsion.  Richardson said, “that’s actually not correct, there’s nothing in our student policies that indicates failure to consent is grounds.  That just isn’t there”.  The Board looks at petitions but also the level of understanding of those signing it.   Bamonte-Grebis was also cited for drug paraphernalia, a petty misdemeanor and having alcohol under the age of 21, a misdemeanor in the same incident.  He had been suspended for 12 days while awaiting the decision.  During that time he’s been able to continue school work at home.  UPDATE:  We just learned Bamonte-Grebis was give a 4th citation in the incident for having a small amount of marijuana, a petty misdemeanor.  He was fined for all 4 charges. Quinnell sent his official statement.  Here it is in it’s entirety: To Whom it May Concern,
The following is my public statement made at around 11;20 PM, after a four hour ‘closed meeting session’ with the Board of Education at NHS on 1-14-16, that began shortly after 7:00 PM. My statement was made prior to casting my vote in favor of expelling the student in question from the Northfield School District, effective immediately. My positions are based on the findings of the Northfield Police and the Northfileld Senior High School Administration during a legal search of the Northfield High School parking lot on December 18th, 2015. This search included, but not limited to the student in question’s vehicle with well trained law enforcement personal and drug detection or “sniff dogs” that are trained to detect illegal drugs and other contraband.
My statement and position on this matter are with out bias and apply to all students in the Northfield School District. I believe my position to be aligned with enforcing state and federal laws, as well as the policies of the Northfield School District. Further more, I support the findings and recommendations of the Independent Hearing Officer hired by the school district to review this case. I also stand behind the recommendation of the Northfield School District Administrator’s to expel the student in question, immediately. Based on the facts of the case. 
My statement is as follows:
Dundas K-Mart to close The Dundas K-Mart will close mid-April.   Corporate Communications Director for Sears Holdings, Howard Riefs, says until then, the store will remain open.  A liquidation sale will begin January 24th.  The Dundas location made it through the previous round of K-Mart closures when they closed over a hundred stores nationwide.  Dundas Administrator John McCarthy said he wasn’t surprised this time as their lease was up.  The City was informed on Monday.  McCarthy added it was “unfortunate but not unexpected”.  He was pleasantly surprised it stayed open for as long as it did.  The store has 32 employees, most of which are part-time. Riefs said those eligible will receive severance.  Most of the associates are part time/hourly.  The company would not comment on exactly how many more stores are closing in this round but they all have to do with leases being up and underperforming locations. Defining Northfield Economic development analysis will wait The Northfield Council had asked for an Economic Development Analysis to be presented to them in March.  Northfield Community Development Director Chris Heineman was seeking clarity, “there’s just sort of this general economic development analysis discussion with several caveats and directions and…  quite frankly, I’m not sure where to go”.  There are many possible economic partners in Northfield including those they currently contract with such as the NDDC and the NEC.  Peterson White warned not to bite off more than they could chew saying they should narrow the scope.  Pownell questioned the timing as they are just about ready to hire a City Administrator AND an Economic Development coordinator.  This will come back to Council in another work session after an Admin is hired. Click below to listen to the 1-15-16 NEWS podcast: 1-15-16 news Aviary northfieldretirement-org Picture 1

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

A Call for Extras – Film crew on KYMN this morning with annoucement

January 15, 2016

Brady SmithA number of the cast and crew from the upcoming movie entitled “The Last Love Letter” sat it on the Wayne Eddy Affair today at 10am. They announced that they will be replicating “Winter Walk” on Friday January 22nd 2016 around 5pm on Bridge Square in Northfield.  They’ll have props and their own stage where co-writer and actor Jay Black will be performing some stand-up comedy to entertain the crowd. Jay is currently the number one college stand-up comedian in the US.

This is your chance not just to show off our nostalgic downtown, but to gather your friends and family for what is to be a memorable evening of filming in Northfield. Since Winter Walk was so popular this year, they’ll need just as many people to be present during the scenes they shoot.

Be sure to dress accordingly and be ready to “hurry up and wait” as the filming process does take patience. They are currently on day six of shooting with five more days planned in this area.

Lead actors include the following:

Marguerite Moreau
Mike Faiola
Brady Smith

Listen to the interview HERE

Community News: Edina Realty Supports Habitat for Humanity

January 15, 2016

Edina Realty Supports Habitat for Humanity

habitatBob Stangler recently applied to the Edina Realty Foundation for support for Rice County Habitat for Humanity
and was awarded $2,000 to help with local efforts to build simple, decent and affordable housing.
Habitat thanks Edina Realty and their continued support with financial contributions and their efforts on the
annual Realtor Build Day.

Rice County Habitat for Humanity partners with families who otherwise may be unable to achieve the dream of
homeownership by establishing partnerships among God’s people to build simple, decent, affordable homes.

Today’s news update – School Board elects officers and 1 member resigns; Rice County Commissioners look to regional partnerships for Economic development; Statewide stats on DWI enforcement cite some scary incidents

January 14, 2016

news radio

School Board elects officers and 1 member resigns

The Northfield School board held elected officers on Monday.  They are Julie Pritchard as Chair, Ellen Iverson as Vice Chair, Noel Stratmoen is clerk and Treasurer is Rob Hardy.  Superintendent Dr. Chris Richardson said long time Board Member Ann Maple resigned her position Monday evening.  He said she was an “excellent” board member and heavily involved in the Middle School Bond issue and the 2006 Operating levy campaign.  With less than a year left in her term, Richardson said, the Board is able to appoint someone to finish out her term.  If you’re interested go to or call 663-0600.  You have until February 1st to apply, a committee will review the applications and make a recommendation to the Board at their February 8th meeting.  Tonight the Board will meet in closed session to decide the fate of a student who had an unloaded bb gun in his vehicle.

Rice County Commissioners look to regional partnerships for Economic development

Rice County Commissioners have had an ongoing discussion with Lonsdale and Faribault regarding regional economic development priorities.  Commissioner Galen Malecha said on the list are road, street and bridge funding.  Malecha says Northfield is very aware of the conversation and will become more involved when a new City Administrator is named.  He says lobbying as a group for state and federal funding worked successfully to resurface Hwy 52 from Rochester to St. Paul.  Hwy 14 is another example from New Ulm to Rochester.  Rural economic development is another area they’d like to receive more tools to help start and grow businesses.  Tax abatement is the only tool they have right now.  They’ve discussed the Mill Towns trail expansion and a bus transit center.  They’re “doing some visioning for the future of possibly  locating a transit center somewhere around the I-35 and Hwy 19 corridor”.  Malecha says they’ve already met with Benjamin Bus and Minnesota Valley Transit Authority to “pick their brains” for more information.  There’s no firm timeline but Malecha said it could happen within 5 years.

Statewide stats on DWI enforcement cite some scary incidents

Just over 2500 people in Minnesota were arrested for DWI during the Holiday enhanced enforcement campaign.  The State Department of Public Safety released information on some of the most frightening incidents.  In Olmsted County a driver with a blood alcohol level 3 times the legal limit was arrested for the 3rd dwi in 3 weeks.   A 50 year old man whose BAC was .25 was driving with his 11 year old in the car in St. Paul.  The highest BAC registered was 5 times the legal limit by a driver in Minnetonka.  Traffic Safety Director, Donna Berger, said “unfortunately these examples are all too common”.  Northfield Police Sgt. Kevin Tussing said they had two DWI’s, one was a test refusal and one is pending blood test results after an ATV crash. Dundas Police had 7 DWI arrests and 2 controlled substance arrests, Faribault had 5 DWI and the Rice County Sheriff’s Office had 2.  The numbers reflect additional TZD officers working overtime as well as on-duty officers. Berger says if you choose to drink, you have a responsibility to find a sober ride home.  If you don’t, you’re putting other lives at risk.

Click below to listen to the 1-14-16 NEWS podcast:

1-14-16 news

Aviary northfieldretirement-org Picture 1

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

Community News: Cub Scouts support our local veterans and military members and their families

January 13, 2016

6d82d0b98f8c14d21ceb651aaf678373Cub Scouts support our local veterans and military members and their families.

On Tuesday, Jan 12, St. Dominic’s Cub Scout Pack #300 presented the Northfield Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Steering Committee with a $200 check.  The Cub Scouts worked hard to raise money and made a donate in support of our local family members who have either serviced in the military or are currently serving.  Special thank you to all the cub scouts for all the hard work and this very generous gift!

St Dom Cub Scout Pack 300 donation (1)










back row, Left to right:  Ray Ozmun, Virginia Kacmarek, Tom Franklin, Michelle Bornick, Monte Nelson, Brian Edwards.  Front row, left to right: Brent Klein, Mike Roth and Cub Scout members: Isaac Lyman, ALex Lyman, tommy Brown, tommy Hawanchak, Bennet Edwards.

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