Recent Area News

Construction on Northfield Depot; Drug bust in Faribault; NAFRS Monthly Call List Report

July 30, 2019
The Northfield City Council approved a bid for improvements to be made at the train depot and transit site. The project, to be completed by BCM Construction, came in at just under $413,000 dollars. Northfield’s engineer’s estimate was at $272,000. Ultimately there were two bids to be decided upon, both in the $400,000 range, so the city council took the lowest bid. Mayor Rhonda Pownell explains the project will entail upgrades to the existing depot site and the construction of a driveway to prepare for an eventual transit hub. With the public support of that site, especially with “Big Boy” making an appearance a few weeks ago to much fanfare, and the historical significance of the site to Northfield, the council has typically voted unanimously in favor of improving the site, as was the case with a 6-0 vote to accept the bid and move forward with construction. Work will begin between August and November of this year, with a final resolution to accept improvements and authorize final payment in June 2020. (more…)

No Wake restrictions lifted on some Rice County waterways

July 30, 2019

Here is information from a press release from Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn:

Effective immediately, we are lifting the no wake restrictions on a majority of our lakes in Rice County. The No Wake Restrictions will remain on the following lakes: Cedar Lake, Shields Lake, Cannon Lake, Wells Lake, Horseshoe Lake and Sakatah Lake. We will continue to monitor the lake levels on these lakes this week in hopes that we can remove the restrictions in the near future.

On the remaining lakes in Rice County water levels have decreased to a level we are comfortable with for recreational watercraft. We thank everyone for their cooperation and patience. Please remember to wear your PFD’s when boating and be cautious to debris in and around our lakes, rivers and waterways. Stay safe!

Wastewater plant gets its own review; Meth bust in school zone; Tavern restaurant update

July 29, 2019
Northfield’s Wastewater Treatment Plant will undergo a review from an engineering firm to update city staff and city council on necessary improvements to the facility. At last week’s city council meeting, the council approved a $150,000 addition to their budget to update their Capitol Plan and do a full operational audit. The wastewater plant will be independently reviewed aside from other city departments. There have been a couple of recent incidents with the wastewater plant in regard to discharge of wastewater in the Cannon River. Although the amounts discharged were of no danger to the public, an independent review was deemed necessary. That process should begin August 5 with the review to happen in September.


Assault at Viking Terrace leads to one arrest

July 26, 2019


A Farmington man is in jail for assaulting a man with a knife. Yesterday afternoon, police were called to Viking Terrace on report of an assault. On arrival a man was holding a shirt to his chin and was covered in blood. The victim, JDS, revealed a very deep cut on the left side of his cheek. Police report the wound appeared to be consistent with being slashed by a sharp object. According to the criminal complaint, the victim said he’s dating the woman living there and her ex-boyfriend, 38-year-old William Randall Saba Jr. of Farmington, was very angry that the woman broke up with him and is dating the victim, who states that he punched him in the face. The woman told (more…)

Northfield Hospital & Clinics work to expand services to a regional Surgical Center; Rotary/Ashoka engages local change leaders to talk ideas; Divers down around the Ames Mill Dam

July 26, 2019

By Teri Knight, News Director


Northfield Hospital and Clinics (NH&C) has been exploring adding an ambulatory surgical center in the Lakeville area for some time. This week, president and CEO Steve Underdahl told the Northfield council that they’ve been careful about discussing it in public because of the competitive nature of the project. A same-day surgery center provides service at a lower cost than is possible in a hospital setting, yet is still safe. This is the trend with insurance companies preferring the less expensive setting. In fact, Blue Cross Blue Shield is now demanding their clients must drive to an ambulatory surgical center if they live within 25 miles of one, going so far as to tell patients they must switch doctors if their’s doesn’t use that facility. Procedures include anything from hip replacements to colonoscopies.  Underdahl added, “We think this is a substantial national trend but we (more…)

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