Items related to businesses in and around Northfield

Rushing through the holidays? We'll help you get it done

Jon Manners, here. Connie and I have decided to keep Custom Framing Studio open longer during this busy time. Not round-the-clock, mind you, but:  Monday through Saturday, 10 am until 5 pm. We're going to drop the weird hours we've been keeping on Thursday and make it like any other day--there will be no siesta! And yes, you read that right, we will be open on Mondays.
    How long will we keep this up? Bring in your framing right up to, (maybe even through), December 19th and we will have it ready for The Big Day. For that matter, if you are truly a last minute gambler, I might be able to squeak something through on the 20th. Talk about last minute! 
    And even after the 20th, I'll take whatever jobs I can using moulding I have in stock.  I can work with your pre-existing frame, as is, or cut and resize to fit new projects.   Matting - no problemo.  Is there anything else I can do for you? I'll sure try!

NDDC to discuss priorities for 2007 at December forum

What are the priority projects for downtown vitality in 2007 and beyond? What would you, as a shopper or business owner, like to see downtown in terms of services and amenities?

The Northfield Downtown Development Corp. will turn its December 5 Downtown Forum into a conversation among the audience and members of the NDDC board of directors. The NDDC board wants to hear ideas from those who have a stake in the health and vitality of downtown, including building and business owners, retailers and shoppers.

The monthly forum will begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday in the lower-level conference room of the Archer House, Third and Division streets. The public is welcome, and coffee and cookies will be served.

Many substantial projects currently are being discussed in Northfield. Among them are: expanding or relocating Northfield Public Library, relocating the Municipal Liquor Store, upgrading or relocating City Hall, relocating the Safety Center, constructing a community Arts and Culture Center, constructing a YMCA and even renovating or relocating the downtown branch of the U.S. Post Office. All of them will require capital investment and offer potential economic return. And all of them could have an impact on the vitality and viability of downtown.

Chamber will host Winter Walk December 7

After 8 years, the downtown Winter Walk is becoming a holiday tradition. The Northfield Chamber of Commerce will host the event again this year from 5-9 p.m. Thursday, December 7.

If you haven't been to the Winter Walk before, you can click on the charming scene at left to see a whole gallery of photos from last year's event. And remember, you'll have a whole week to adjust to the cold before you have to venture out.

The Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce and downtown businesses sponsor this community event, which features caroling, sleigh rides, storytelling and other fun, all done amid lovely storefront decorations and luminaries designed to create a special holiday mood.

Of course, Santa's elves will be around all evening, and stores will have evening hours. There will be cocoa and marshmallows, live reindeer and an interactive live Nativity scene.

NPRE to collect food and gifts at the Winter Walk.

Northfield Professional Resource Exchange (NPRE) will be setting up a booth on Bridge Square, just across from Santa Claus, during the Winter Walk on December 7.

We will be collecting food as well as unwrapped gifts for children up to 18 years of age. All will be donated directly to the CAC and food-shelf.  Please stop by and visit us as we will be serving hot apple cider and will also be singing charols from 6-7 p.m. 

NPRE is a local professional organization dedicated to providing community members a trusted resource to turn to for business and professional services.  Please see our member list and website at

Clinic construction moves ahead

Steady progress is being made on the 19,000 square foot clinic addition to Northfield Hospital. The new clinic will be home to the FamilyHealth Medical Clinic --- Northfield, now located at 710 Division St., and the Women’s Health Center of Northfield Hospital. It is expected to be completed in May of 2007. This project also provides for a significant increase in parking at the hospital.

You can click on the image to see photos of the clinic groundbreaking, and here to see the groundbreaking story, with background on the project. 

Scott Richardson is communications director at Northfield Hospital. 

Send us your holiday news!

Once again the holidays are upon us, with Thanksgiving just ahead and a host of others following close behind.

Please share your holiday news. Is your church or organization holding a special holiday meal, a campaign to provide food or toys to families or a community music program?

Is your business offering special holiday hours, shopping services, delivery or shipping options or other great reasons to shop here? Is your restaurant offering seasonal menu items, entertainment or other holiday specials? We'd love to hear from the local business organizations, but we also are happy to hear from individual businesses.

You can post the information yourself, just by clicking on the Submit News link at left. If you have questions or need help, just e-mail me at and I'll get back to you.  

And, as always, we'd love to see your family photos, your thoughts about the holidays and any other ideas that pop into your heads. You can join one of the conversations in the new Forums at left or start one of your own.

Carleton Staff Raises Money for Northfield Area United Way

Click to enlargeLast month the Carleton College group Staff at Carleton (SAC) hosted an employee lunch fundraiser to benefit the Northfield Area United Way. They succeeded in raising $310 for the United Way, along with raising awareness on campus of the group and its local projects.

Pictured here (click the photo to view a larger size), from left to right, are: Jennifer Cox Johnson, Linda Irrthum, Noel Ponder, Julie Kimber, Carol Spessard, Candy Taylor (United Way of Northfield), Robbie Groth, Vicki Burgess, Melissa  Thomas, Nancy Nytes, Cindy Grisim, and Diane Frederickson.

Jessica Paxton is the media relations assistant at Carleton College. 

New Northfield Store opens -- online

There's a new retail store in Northfield but you won't find it downtown, along Hwy. 3 or anywhere. There an "online only" store that offers a collection of "anything Northfield" to buyers all over the world.  Just go to

We sell everything from Northfield Raider buttons, hats and shirts to Carleton & St Olaf coffee mugs, to many things you could find at the Northfield Historical Society's Museum store.  And this is just the beginning.  This high-tech store is my brain child, my baby.

My name is Tim, and I am a locally grown entrepreneur who has corporate experience in managing online commerce sites for some major companies. I decided to apply my expertise to a store that was solely dedicated to the town that I grew up in and am quite fond of.

Share the fun -- and your ideas -- at NCO annual meeting

It's that time of year...time to celebrate our accomplishments, thank our friends and plan our next adventures.

And you're all invited along for the fun. That's right. It's time for the Northfield Citizens Online annual meeting, Thursday, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m. at Carlson Capital Management. Paying members are special guests, but everyone who reads the site is welcome. No reservations are required, but we'd love to know if you're coming so we can plan refreshments. (We don't want to blow our tiny budget on cookies and then have to eat them all ourselves.)

You can come and meet and vote on our new board members, hear our plans for the new year -- and add your ideas and opinions. (Be warned that people with ideas get to help implement them.)

We'll have reports available in writing and will post them online after the meeting, so we can keep the business meeting short. We'll be around to show you how to post a story or join an online discussion.
But most of the evening will be devoted to fun, good conversation and a good start to 2007.

Carleton receives $5 Million grant From the Starr Foundation

The Starr Foundation has awarded a $5 million grant to Carleton College to support the school’s “Asia in Comparative Perspective” program. The grant will be paid over a five-year period and will be used to fund scholarships as well as program needs. This is the third time The Starr Foundation has given Carleton College a grant for this program; in 1999 and 2001 the Foundation awarded the College $5 million for the same initiative, bringing their total support to $15 million.

Now in its sixth year, the “Asia in Comparative Perspective” program encourages comparative study of cultures and prepares Asian and American students to live and work in an increasingly global society. With the support of The Starr Foundation, 31 Starr scholars will study at Carleton this year, coming to Northfield from Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar/Burma, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tibet and Vietnam. The Starr Foundation funding also supports academic programs and leadership initiatives.

Farmers Market heads indoors

Submitted by Dianne Hohrman

Winter is coming and the Farmers Market has closed for the season. But the Winter Farmers Market will be held this Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Village School building from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Please stop by and check out the market. There will be fall vegetables, jams, several choices of meats and eggs. There will also be baked goods and maybe a few crafts.

The Winter Farmers Market will also be held in December on Saturday the 9th. from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Village School.

St. Olaf Magazine wins six statewide honors

St. Olaf Magazine scooped up six awards at the 10th annual Minnesota Magazine & Publications Association "Excellence Awards Gala" in Minneapolis on Nov. 2.

Editor Carole Leigh Engblom and Art Director Don Bratland '87, of Northfield's Holmes Design, were on hand to accept the following honors in the "Association, Over 30,000 Circulation" category:

  • Gold award for "Best Overall Design"
  • Gold award for "Best Feature Article" for Carole Engblom's story "On the Front Lines," about the 50th anniversary of the St. Olaf nursing program (May 2006)
  • Gold award for "Best Use of Visuals & Photography" for Don Bratland's design of the article "Love Your Neighbor," about Ole Spring Relief (May 2006)
  • Silver award for "Best Single Topic, Special Section or Special Supplement" for "Global Oles," (September 2005);
  • Bronze award in the above category for "Alumni World," the center section of the magazine edited by Communications Specialist Tom Vogel
  • Bronze award for "Overall Excellence"

The Day of the Dave...

..yes, THAT Dave, Dave Machacek.

While I certainly want to promote the Day of the Dead celebration (Wednesday, November 1st, 6 to 9:30 p.m., at the Northfield Armory), it also seems like a perfect time to celebrate Dave.

Editor's note: I just saw this while trolling through our local blogs. You can read the rest of Ross Currier's really interesting profile of Dave and his amazing work at ArtOrg by clicking through to the NDDC site or clicking on the NDDC blog at right.

Random acts of reporting

Good morning!

I was just updating pages for when I saw this breathtaking sunrise out my window. I risked the wrath of the cat by moving her from my lap, then shot this photo and e-mailed it to

Total elapsed time: 3 minutes, including apology to the cat and time to find the photo card gizmo for my laptop. That's how easy it is to share something on

Truth in Lending Services opens office in Northfield

Truth in Lending Services, LLC, otherwise known as TILS, had its official start with the launch of our website and opening of our new office at 516 South Water Street (behind Just Foods)!

My goal as owner and president is to provide third party negotiation, education, and consulting services to anyone seeking a mortgage loan for purchases, refinances, second homes, or investment properties.

TILS is not a mortgage company and offers no loans. What we are however, is a brand new service designed to bridge the gap between what the brokers know and what the average borrowers know about the mortgage industry. Ultimately we hope to level this playing field so that any borrower, either on their own or with our direct intervention, can better shop for and negotiate much better rate and fee pricing on their loan, thus saving literally thousands of dollars! 

The primary reason for starting this company was that after spending a decade in the real estate and mortgage industry I have become quite frustrated with the lack of transparency in the mortgage industry when it comes to their fees and other compensation received as a result of putting together a client’s loan.

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