Recent Area News

Today’s news update – Multiple sites for Muni discussed; MnDot’s okay for School Speed zone opens possibilities; Dundas approves deed restrictions; Hort Day

January 13, 2016
news radio Multiple sites for Muni discussed The Northfield City Council had a lengthy discussion regarding possible Liquor Store sites. They were presented with 10 possibilities, 5 of which met all 4 Council goals.  Liquor Operations Director Stephen DeLong’s preferences for further analysis were the Q-Block, Econo Foods lot and the Amcon site.  The analysis would include acquisition, demolition, environmental study, ballpark construction costs, operating costs and a cash flow analysis.  He added as an alternative he would be happy to include 1 or 2 more sites raising the analysis to 5.  “It seems like a lot and normally…. the way this process works is the City narrows it down to 3 or 4”.  Council had a hard time narrowing it down, although most appeared uninterested in the Amcon site due to a number of issues.  Seven sites were estimated at generating over $4 million in sales with nearly $5 million projected at the Q-block site.  Mayor Pro Tem Ludescher added, “I don’t know what the Council’s view on it is, we haven’t talked about in detail whether or not we are going to build a new liquor store, whether we want to but I think the first step is maybe just see if we can make money before we decide if we want to do it or not”.  Dakota Worldwide consultant Elliot Olson, who conducted the study, told Council, “I think for long term survival, if you want a Muni, you need to get bigger”.  The Chamber of Commerce site was also bandied about as an option with Nakasian pushing for it to connect with a possible future transportation hub, however the intersection in the area is also set to change.  The MnDot site at the corner of Hwy 3 and Woodley was also brought up.  Recently they’ve given indication that they would sell it.  Two councilors were interested in THAT site for a new Fire Station but that’s another discussion entirely.  Councilor DeLong thought it inappropriate for Council to narrow down the list at a work session but rather vote on it at a meeting. That would allow the public to comment.  Ludescher said, “I think what’s going to happen is, staff is going to bring it back for the Council to try to narrow it down to 3 sites”.  Stephen DeLong wants it narrowed and so did most of the Council.  You can view the full report by Elliot Olson here.  Dakota Worldwide Liquor Store Study MnDot’s okay for School Speed zone opens possibilities Once MnDot gave the go-ahead and Northfield Council approved it, creating a School Speed Zone on Hwy 246 has been moving along quickly.   The zone would start south of the Middle School to north of the High school.  Superintendent Chris Richardson said the speed will be lowered and signs will be posted.  They also need to provide MnDot with a plan for crossings of Hwy 246. They are considering a crossing on the south end that would get kids from east of 246 to the Middle school.  It would be at Anderson Drive.  They’re also considering a north end crossing.  MnDot’s okay has opened up many possibilities.  The District intends on getting public input and will be engaging parents and citizens in upcoming discussions. Dundas approves deed restrictions The Dundas Council took care of the new year administrative business and approved deed restrictions for land parcels attached to the regional park in order to start getting the grant dollars for land purchases.  City Administrator John McCarthy says this means that they agreed to utilize the land only for what’s specified in the grant agreement.  Northfield passed a similar resolution last week. Rice County Hort Day As we get through our cold snap, Rice County is sending out information on their Horticulture Day coming up March 12th.  It will be held at Buntrock Commons from 8:30 to 3:15.  There are 4 seminars, plenty of interaction and lots of garden ideas plus lunch.  For more information go to Rice County Master Gardeners U of M facebook page. Click below to listen to the NEWS podcast: 1-13-16 news Aviary northfieldretirement-org Picture 1

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

Today’s news update – Northfield man gets prison for multiple burglaries; Many attend School Board mtg to show support for student in possible expulsion; Council work session includes liquor store sites and construction updates

January 12, 2016

news radio

Northfield man gets prison for multiple burglaries

A Northfield man well known to law enforcement with a string of burglaries was sentenced last Friday on several charges in several incidents.  25 year old Benjamin Jacob Hunt pled guilty to 2nd and 3rd degree burglary for robbing the Woodley Car Wash twice last year.  He was sentenced to 27 months for the August theft and 24 months for the September break-in.  He was also given 19 months in prison for fleeing a police officer in a vehicle, 90 days in jail for his part in the robbery of Dawn’s Corner Bar in Dundas and is still facing felony gun charges in Waseca County.  He has been sent to St. Cloud State prison and will serve the terms concurrently.

Many attend school board mtg to show support for student in possible expulsion

About 70 people showed up last night at the Northfield School Board meeting in support of a student who is facing expulsion.  During a random K-9 sweep of the high school parking lot it was discovered that a student reportedly had an unloaded bb gun inside his locked vehicle.  A hearing is scheduled to take place today.  Superintendent Dr. Chris Richardson could not comment on the student specifically due to data privacy laws but added that during the hearing the school district will be able to present it’s case, call witnesses who can be cross examined and the student and parents will also be able to present their case.  (attorneys for both sides)  It’s in the style of a courtroom but without the legal piece.  At the end will be closing arguments.  Once completed, the Hearing Officer creates findings of fact by reviewing all the testimony and then makes a recommendation to the Board as to what he believes should happen based on the school district policies and state and federal policies.  A special closed Board meeting will take place Thursday evening at 7 o’clock to review all the results and make a final determination at which time they’ll open the meeting.  State and Federal law and district law policy says that the possession of a weapon [in this case, under Minnesota law, a bb gun is a firearm] on school grounds is grounds for expulsion.  That could mean a semester up to to a year out of school.  Most students who’ve been expelled attend another school district or learn online.  The School Board could choose to uphold the recommendation of the Hearing Officer or choose another avenue.  A source told KYMN that the student in question is an honor student heavily engaged in youth organizations.  Additional information:  18 year old Noah Bamonte-Grebis is the student in question.  He was given citations for possession of a weapon on school grounds (a misdemeanor), possession of alcohol by someone under 21 (a misdemeanor) and possession of drug paraphernalia (a petty misdemeanor). 

Council work session includes liquor store sites and construction updates

The Northfield City Council meets for a work session tonight.  It begins with a discussion on possible Liquor Store sites, an update on development of 303/305 Water St. and an update on the Library construction project among other items.  Mayor Pro Tem David Ludescher will be sitting in for Mayor Graham tomorrow morning at 7:20.

Click on the link below for the 1-12-16 NEWScast:

1-12-16 News

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

Today’s news update – Council approves HPC funding; Dundas Council holds their first meeting of the year tonight; Ready, set …. ACTION!; Farms and farmers markets that sell direct

January 11, 2016

news radio

Council approves HPC funding

The Northfield Council last week heard a request for an RFP to conduct a study for the Northfield Historic Preservation Commission.   (HPC) The study will update information on 65 properties within the Northfield’s Historic District and provide an intensive level survey for up to 38 properties in the adjacent commercial areas.  This will also provide mapping of the information as it currently doesn’t follow property lines.  Community Development Director, Chris Heineman said, if an adjacent property is found to actually be in the historic district there are still several steps to follow including HPC recommendation, a Planning Commission review and City Council approval and then it could be recommended to the State Historical Preservation Office.  HPC Chair Cliff Clark said this would give them a broader perspective and help them define any  long term goals.  Sixty percent of the $20,000 cost of the study was funded by a grant.  The HPC was unable to attain the additional $8,000 needed through other grants.  City money would come from the Planning Division consulting budget.  Ludescher pulled the item from the consent agenda.  He sees no benefit and in talking with others on their dealings with the HPC, he’s heard, “there hasn’t been any good discussion.  They say that it’s difficult to work with the HPC”.  He said that whatever they recommend is a lot more money.  He went on to say there are some who’ve not done things to their buildings because they don’t want to pay for the HPC’s recommendations.  Council voted 4 to 1 in favor.  Proposals will be sent out February 5th with an anticipation of the actual study in March and April.  A final report will be due in May to the HPC with the final grant report due to the Minnesota Historical Society in June.

Dundas Council holds their first meeting of the year tonight

The Dundas City Council will hold their first meeting of the year tonight.  They’ll select an Acting Mayor.  Chad Pribyl is expected to be named again for 2016.  Council will be asked to approve between a 2 and 3% wage increase for staff not covered by a labor agreement.  City Administrator John McCarthy will be in tomorrow morning at 8:45 to recap.

Ready, set …. ACTION!

The Strike Accord production crew has begun filming today on Division Street.  Parking is at a premium with parking blocked on the East side between 4th and 3rd streets.  Tomorrow they’ll block parking from 2nd street to 3rd as they’ll be shooting at the Archer House.  All the businesses will remain open.  Chief Nelson will continue to update KYMN as necessary over the next 2 weeks.  A tentative schedule is posted on

Farms and farmers markets that sell direct

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is about to print its popular statewide Minnesota Grown Directory of farms and farmers markets selling directly to consumers. There is still time for Minnesota producers who grow or raise products, and those selling directly to consumers to list in the Directory. The membership deadline is January 31, 2016.   The Minnesota Grown Program has more than 1,200 members, representing fruit and vegetable farms, livestock producers, farmers markets, CSA farms, orchards, garden centers, farm wineries, Christmas tree growers, and many more.  Go to for more details and to sign up.

Click below to listen to the 1-11-16 NEWS podcast:


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

Today’s news update – Lock down but no threat; UPDATED 4 men and 1 woman make the short list for City Admin; Youth delegates to National Conference present report to Council; Townships looking for candidates

January 7, 2016

news-radioLock down but no threat

Sibley Elementary School was briefly locked down this morning when a staff member confronted a man who had a weapon on his person.  Protocols were put in place quickly and Northfield police responded to the school immediately.  They quickly determined that it was a police officer from another jurisdiction dropping of his child for school.  Police Chief Monte Nelson said no one was ever in any danger.  The officer never entered the school.

4 men and 1 woman make the short list for City Admin

Thirty-one people applied for the Northfield City Administrator position.  Consultant Gary Weiers whittled that number down to twelve and then Council selected 5 candidates for interviews.  Mayor Graham said Council will interview candidates individually and as a whole over 2 days, February 3rd and 4th.  There will also be a community Meet & Greet.  Applicants will meet with staff for their feedback.  Council discussed whether to pay for a psychological evaluation at a cost of about $1,000 per candidate and additional work simulations but chose instead to direct Weiers to put together scenarios to test the candidates.  There are 4 men and 1 woman among those chosen:  They are listed in no particular order.  Also listed is their current position.  Click below for their resume

Noah Schuchman – Interim Director  at the Dept. of Regulatory Services for Minneapolis

Noah D Schuchman resume (5)_Redacted

Alene Tchourumoff – Public Works Director for the Planning Dept. in Hennepin County


Matt Hylen – President of Public Sector Professionals, LLC and former City Administrator for St. Francis

Matt Hylen Resume Northfield_Redacted

Joel West – Village Administrator for Osceola, WI

Joel West Resume_Redacted

Ben Martig – City Administrator for Marshall

Ben Martig Northfield Resume & References (2015)_Redacted

Council also approved David Ludescher as Mayor Pro Tem.

Youth delegates to National Conference present report to Council

Two Northfield High School students were selected to attend the National League of Cities World conference in November.  Council approved expenditures to send Jack Beaumaster and Noah Bemonte Grevus who reported back to Council this week saying they were honored to attend and they took a lot away from the experience.  The boys also had a chance to meet Vice President Joe Biden which they thought was “awesome”.  They were even able to speak with him for a few moments.  There were several sessions for the pair to attend along with other youth delegates from around the country that included speaking with young elected leaders, a mock presidential caucus and how to engage their peers.  They added that they believe Council should definitely send delegates and suggested they send more than two.  They suggested an application process to select seniors and juniors, allowing them an extra year to implement some of the things they learn.  They wrapped it up with asking the Council to consider sending youth delegates to the National League’s Congressional conference in Washington, DC in March.

Townships looking for candidates

Some area Townships are taking applications now through January 12th for positions with terms ending.  Two Supervisor positions are expiring in Castle Rock currently held by Russ Zellmer and David Nicolai.   Randolph will be looking for a Supervisor, the position now held by Steve Dungy and Sciota Township Supervisor Renee Otte’s term expires as well.  All the terms are for 3 years.   Elections for Townships take place March 8th.

Call Clerk Brenda Taylor at 263-2900 in Randolph

Call 507-645-8195 in Sciota

Contact Clerk Barbara Long at 651-460-2221 to apply in Castle Rock

Open House on EMS classes tonight

If you have interest in a career in Emergency Services or just want to learn more about classes offered by Northfield EMS, there’s an Open House tonight at the EMS Station on Riverview Lane beginning at 7 o’clock.  Director Tex Edwards talked about it with Jeff Johnson this morning.  The interview is on

Click below to listen to the 1-7-16 NEWS podcast:

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

Community News: Sibley Elementary briefly on lock down – no one ever in danger

January 7, 2016

Northfield Police BadgeSibley Elementary School was briefly locked down this morning when a staff member confronted a man who had a weapon on his person.  Protocols were put in place quickly and Northfield police responded to the school immediately.  They quickly determined that it was a police officer from another jurisdiction dropping of his child for school.  Police Chief Monte Nelson said no one was ever in any danger.