Recent Area News

Today’s news update – Richardson announces retirement; NHS to “pass the torch” on Fireworks display; Open meeting laws, data practices and NAFRS on Council agenda; Style show benefits NAUW

February 23, 2016
news radio Richardson announces retirement Northfield School Superintendent Dr. Chris Richardson announced his retirement at last night’s School Board meeting.  He’ll close the door on his career June 30th after 46 years in education as a teacher, building administrator or Superintendent.  The last 35 he’s been a Superintendent in communities in 3 different states.  We’ll have more on Richardson’s retirement and the School Board meeting tomorrow. NHS to “pass the torch” on Fireworks display For the last ten years the Northfield Historical Society, along with the late Dan Freeman, had been a part of presenting the annual Northfield 4th of July Fireworks display. After the passing of Freeman, NHS was honored to continue to raise the necessary funds for the show with the idea of transitioning out of that role at a future date.  NHS Executive Director Hayes Scriven formed a small working group that was interested in keeping the fireworks display going.  Through those efforts, they discovered that surrounding communities Fireworks Displays are put on by the City.  Often it’s their Parks Departments and in some cases with other partnerships.  (It’s rare that a non-profit would take it on)  Scriven and Chamber President Todd Bornhauser went before the Parks and Recreation Board last Thursday to broach the subject.  The idea was to set the stage but the Board added it to their agenda that evening and made a motion to recommend to City Council that the City take it over.  Scriven met with Streets and Parks manager Jasper Kruggel yesterday morning who said he would expect it on Council’s agenda in late March/early April.  Scriven added that they have funds to hand over to the City which should cover most of this year’s costs, which should help in the transition.  If the City doesn’t take over the fireworks display, Scriven said, “then another organization will need to come forward with a plan b“. Incoming City Administrator, Ben Martig, is coming from Marshall and in that City, there’s a partnership between the City’s Parks Department and the School District. Open meeting laws, data practices and NAFRS on Council agenda The Northfield City Council will hold a work session tonight at 7 o’clock.  They’ll receive training on data practices and open meeting laws.  Corrine Heine is currently the Minnetonka City Attorney and an instructor for the Minnesota Clerks’ Institute.  At 8 o’clock, the Northfield representatives on the NAFRS Joint Powers Board will be invited to the table to update council and to hear what their expectations are.  Then all the Board members will come to the table to discuss the fire facility.  Mayor Graham will be in studio tomorrow morning with a recap. Style show benefits NAUW Mainstream Boutique on Division Street in Northfield is presenting a Spring Style Show this evening and 10% of every purchase goes to the Northfield Area United Way.  Trending spring fashions will be modeled by local women including KYMN’s Karen Allawalla and Councilperson Suzie Nakasian.  Wine sipping starts at 5:45pm with the Runway Show from 6pm to 6:30pm.  There will be giveaways and a drawing as well as 20% off any 2 items you purchase.  The event is being held at the store on Division Street.  A $10 goodwill offering to NAUW is suggested for those attending.  The Northfield Area United Way has been a part of our community for more than 40 years and helps one-in-three residents.  All dollars raised stay within our community. Minute with the Mayor There’s a new Minute with the Mayor – updating residents about the new Administrator, a possible new liquor store location and new safe crossings across Hwy 3. Click below to listen to the 2-23-16 NEWS podcast:

 2-23-16 NEWS

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Today’s news update – CV Coop gets rezoned from rezoning; What you need to know about caucusing in Northfield; Bike group wants to use chainsaws

February 22, 2016

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CV Coop gets rezoned from rezoning

In an effort to improve the functionality and aesthetics of the Highway 3 corridor, the City of Northfield rezoned four parcels of Central Valley Coop land fronting Highway 3 to a new Highway Commercial zone district (C2) in 2011.  City Engineer Scott Tempe said, unfortunately it wasn’t quite sensitive to the existing land uses.  When the Coop applied for a Conditional Use Permit for the Bulk Storage of Liquids in 2014, they discovered that their use was now “non-conforming”.  So the Planning Commission rezoned that and they were able to get their C-U-P.  But there were still 3 more parcels zoned Highway Commercial and the Planning Commission held a hearing last week to change them back to Industrial.  Tempel said, however, “buildings that are zoned industrial that are within 150 feet of the Hwy 3 corridor still need to follow the C2 site development standards, not the industrial development standards”.  This applies to any business along Hwy 3.  Members of the Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the rezoning back to Industrial with the caveat of a 150 foot buffer.  The coop has no current plans for further expansion but felt that, as they were never consulted about the rezoning in 2011, it should be reverted back to it’s original zoned use.

What you need to know about caucusing in Northfield

Minnesota will caucus on March 1st.  But what is that and why is it important for voters? Northfield Initiative is a student organization at Carleton College designed to increase voter turnout in the caucuses. Organizer, Nick Cohen explains they provide information regarding the caucus/primary system and how it plays into the general election, what Minnesota’s system is, and how Northfield residents can engage with it.  Their website is nofoinitiative.org and provides nonpartisan information on all of the candidates.  Also, students from St. Olaf and Carleton colleges persuaded the Rice County DFL central committee to move two of their caucus locations from the Northfield Middle School to the college campuses.  This will affect voters in Ward 4 precinct 2 and Ward 1 precinct 1, those residents living on or near the campuses.  Rice County Republicans received no request to move their caucuses which will be held at the Northfield High School.  For other details you can check out the Rice County DFL or Rice County Republican websites.  I’ll have links to these sites on kymnradio.net later today.

Bike group wants to use chainsaws

Marty Larson and Griff Wigley with Cannon River Offroad Cycling and Trails (CROCT) presented before council last week. (You can view it on the City’s website) They have done work in the wooded area of Sechler Park building obstacles for riders with City staff approval.  Right now the contract with the City does not allow them to use power tools.  They would like to change that.  Mayor Graham said they’ve even offered to increase their insurance coverage to satisfy City standards.  Wigley said he and the other volunteers work evenings and weekends on these projects so the ability to use power tools would increase their productivity.  They remain in contact with City staff for approval of the tasks but be able to do it on their time.  While the idea of allowing them the use of chainsaws or even a bobcat seems reasonable, Mayor Graham said they have to be concerned about the safety of everyone.  But they’ll look at the whole picture.  Staff will assemble their thoughts on the matter and this will come back to council.

Click below to listen to the 2-22-16 NEWS podcast:

2-22-16 NEWS

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Today’s news update – Construction of new intersection at Hwy 3 and 3rd St. set for Spring; NAFRS and Northfield Council will discuss facility; Rice County Board selects Interim Admin; BTYR Omelet breakfast

February 19, 2016

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Construction of new intersection at Hwy 3 and 3rd St. set for Spring

The Northfield Council have discussed many variations of pedestrian crossings across Hwy 3 in the past.  This week they approved awarding the contract on the Hwy 3 and 3rd street project.  It’s a reconfiguration of the large intersection that will eliminate left hand turns from 3rd street onto Hwy 3 and places a pedestrian island in the middle.  There will be overhead warning lights to alert drivers of a pedestrian.  The first bids on the job last year came in well above engineer estimates.  Public Works Director Dave Bennett said they then tried to align with MnDot who will be doing an overlay project further north on Hwy 3 but that did not work out.  Staff rebid the project in January.  The lowest bid was $634,000.  The engineer’s estimate was $552,000.  There are dollars in the TIF fund to cover most of it but there was a gap of $40,000.  Mayor Graham added that it’s a “needed” project and this busy intersection is a good spot for increased safety.  The vote was 6 to 1 with Ludescher voting no.  BCM Construction Co. of Faribault was awarded the contract.  Construction will begin this Spring.

NAFRS and Northfield Council will discuss facility

Next week Northfield Council will meet with NAFRS in a work session.  They’ll break it into 2 parts.  First they’ll bring to the table the 5 members representing Northfield and discuss their role and the council’s expectations.  The second part will be discussion on the building and then all the voting Board members will be invited to the table to discuss the pros and cons of repairing the facility with information from City staff and the investment dollars that it would take to get it done.  The building needs work, the question is how much work and does it make fiscal sense.

Rice County Board selects Interim Admin

The Rice County Board of Commissioners selected an Interim Administrator this week.  Jack Kemme served as the interim county administrator for Waseca County until mid-2015. He then moved into the role of interim human resources manager — a position he currently holds through the end of the month.  The motion passed 3-2, with Commissioners Gillen, Docken and Bauer in favor.  Commissioners  Malecha and Miller opposed. They would have preferred former Northfield Interim and then Administrator Tim Madigan.  He’s on the recommended list of interims for the League of Minnesota Cities.  If Kemme accepts the offer, he’ll begin as soon as possible.  Administrator Tony Murphy abruptly resigned in mid-January after just a year.  Commissioners chose to hire an outside firm to perform the search for a permanent County Administrator.  But not too outside as it’s Gary Weiers, former Administrator and now consultant with David Drown and Associates.   The contract with David Drown Associates is for $16,000 and comes with a two-year guarantee on the candidate chosen.  He plans on getting started in March.

BYTR omelet breakfast

Also on Sunday is a family-friendly Omelet Breakfast at the Eagles Club to benefit the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon network which supports our veterans and military families. The omelet breakfast includes bacon, sausage, pancakes and all the fixings. $10 for Adults and $5 for Youth. Half the proceeds go to support Beyond the Yellow Ribbon.  Serving is from 8:30am to 12:30pm

Click below to listen to the 2-1916 NEWS podcast:

2-19-16 NEWS

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Community News: NAUW to benefit from Spring Style Show

February 18, 2016

Mainstream Boutique on Division Street in Northfield is presenting a Spring Style Show on Tuesday, February 23rd and 10% of every purchase goes to the Northfield Area United Way.  On trend spring sensations modeled by local women including KYMN’s Karen Allawalla and Teri Knight as well as Councilperson Suzie Nakasian, Jacqui Dorsey, Amy Machacek and Ramona Pumper.  Cost-conscious layering for your body type.  6d1906ff354350a440dd9232b8e8d7f5

Wine sipping starts at 5:45pm with the Runway Show from 6pm to 6:30pm.  There will be giveaways and a drawing as well as 20% off any 2 items you purchase.  The event is being held at the store on Division Street.

A $10 goodwill offering to NAUW is suggested.

The Northfield Area United Way helps one-in-three residents in our community lead fulfilling lives. For more than 40 years the Northfield Area United Way has fostered a caring community with both nationally recognized programs and unsung servCAC 1ices that have untold impact.NAUW

Today’s news update – Council okays going out for bids on E. Cannon River Trail; Wild and Scenic Film Festival comes to the Weitz Center; NAG auditions for “You Can’t Take it with You, the radio play”

February 18, 2016

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Council okays going out for bids on E. Cannon River Trail

The East Cannon River trail project was removed from the Consent agenda to iron out issues Councilor DeLong had regarding bituminous or crushed limestone surfaces.  When the resolution was passed in September, the surface material was not specific.  That was done purposely to get it to pass Council due to cost issues with bituminous.  It needed a 5/2 vote. The piece of the trail they’re referring to is the 2.6 mile loop around from Northfield to Dundas that includes 1.8 mile trail and .8 mile on-street trail to Veterans Park in Dundas.  Streets and Parks Manager Jasper Kruggel said there will be 3 scenic/educational rest areas and 12 culvert crossings.  You can view the map on the City’s website.  Kruggel says they have $454,500 in grant dollars, $173,000 allocated from TIF 4 and council approved $196,000 from the General Fund.  At some point they’ll need to develop a memo of understanding with Dundas regarding cost and maintenance.  Kruggel explained the bid saying that the base bid includes bituminous (black top) but there will be an alternative that includes aggregate ( the crushed limestone).  The difference between the two is estimated at $150,000.  Public Works Director Dave Bennett said that all the permits have been approved and they’re ready to bid the job.  Council voted 5 to 2 to allow staff to go out for bids.  They’ll open it up on March 17th and award the contract, or not, on April 5th.  Total cost of the project is $917,000.

Wild and Scenic Film Festival comes to the Weitz Center

The Cannon River Watershed Partnership is bringing the Wild and Scenic Film Festival to the Weitz Center.  Community Engagement Director, Kristi Pursell said they selected 8 films from the National festival to show with the focus on water as well as 2 St. Olaf student-made films.  Pursell said the films they chose focus on water.  One of the student films is about the Cannon River, the other is more global in scope. The festival is sponsored both nationally and locally by a variety of organizations.  Many will have tables at the showing including student organizations.  Just Food Coop is also giving away some tickets.  Check out their Facebook page.  The films last between 3 and 40 minutes in length.  We have a link to the CRWP to get tickets on get them at the door on Sunday.  Doors open at 1:30, the show starts at 2pm.

NAG auditions for “You Can’t Take it with You, the radio play”

The Northfield Arts Guild announces auditions for the Project Purple Door production of You Can’t Take It with You, the radio play.  Auditions are open to students in grades 6 to 12. Auditions will be held Sunday, February 28th from 2:00-3:30pm and Monday, the 29th from 4:00-5:30pm at the Northfield Arts Guild Theater on W. Third Street,. Call the Northfield Arts Guild at 507-645-8877 to schedule a 30 minute audition in one of these time frames. Students do not need to prepare anything in advance.  Purple Door Youth Theatre received a WINGS grant this year to provide a limited number of full and partial (50% discount) tuition scholarships for students who qualify for free and reduced lunch.  Please contact the Northfield Arts Guild at 507-645-8877 for more information.

Click below to listen to the 2-18-16 NEWS podcast:

 2-18-16 NEWS

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