Items related to businesses in and around Northfield

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.

Chamber of Commerce to sponsor Customer Service Seminar

Submitted by Kathy Feldbrugge

The Retail Committee of the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a Customer Service Seminar on Wednesday, November 1.

There will be a key and important one-hour presentation for business owners and managers from 8-9 a.m. regarding the bottom line of great customer service. Two sessions will be offered for employees: one from 2-4 p.m. and another from 6-8 p.m.

The presenter will be Kristin Anderson, a recognized customer service seminar leader and keynote speaker. She has coauthored four of the seven volumes of the Knock Your Socks Off Service series.

The seminar fee for Chamber members is $25 for one person from a business plus $10 for each additional individual from the same business.  The seminar fee for Non-members is $30 for one person from a business plus $15 for each additional person from the same business.  All seminar sessions will be held in the community meeting room at Community Resource Bank.

Contact the Chamber office at or 645-5604 for registration information.  We encourage you to mark your calendar now, and plan to attend the seminar and send your employees.

Maltby Receives EPA Grant for Cannon River Education

The Science Center at Maltby Nature Preserve, located between Northfield and Cannon Falls, Minn., has received a $6,285 educational grant from the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help connect local communities to the Cannon River. The grant was one of just two EPA education grants awarded in the region for the 2005-06 school year.

"With education and awareness we hope more people will embrace the beauty of the river and make efforts to restore its health," says The Science Center's Executive Director Jeff Maltby. The Cannon River has been named a Minnesota Wild and Scenic River because of its beauty and the rare species that depend on the waterway. The Cannon River has also been designated an impaired waterway by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Northfield to host state mentoring conference

Nationally recognized youth mentoring author and researcher to visit Northfield 

Dr. David DuBois, one of the country’s leading authors and researchers in the mentoring field, will address more than 100 youth mentoring professionals during the seventh annual Statewide Mentoring Conference in Northfield. 

Dr. DuBois will share valuable research and recommendations for sustaining the mentoring movement through practice and evaluation at the Carleton College Sayles-Hill Campus Center on Monday, October 16.

College presidents to speak at NDDC Downtown Forum

St. Olaf College President David R. Anderson and Carleton College President Rob Oden will address the monthly NDDC Downtown Forum on Tuesday, Oct. 3. (Click the image to see the cool full-size poster for the event.)

The event, which is open to the public, begins at 8 a.m. in the lower-level conference room of the Archer House at Third and Division streets in Northfield. Coffee and refreshments will be served.

Collaborative method gains momentum in divorce process

Northfield attorneys Michelle Lasswell, Britt Ackerman and Carl Arnold, Faribault Attorney Michelle Ibeling and Northfield psychologist Michelle Millenacker. recently attended an all-day training session in Edina in Collaborative Practice, hosted by the Collaborative Law Institute of Minnesota.

Michelle Ibeling said said the training reflected a shift in client interest and demand. “I have had several custody and divorce cases where the parties wanted an alternative to traditional litigation. They wanted to proceed more quickly and amicably than traditional litigation could provide. They also wanted to save money so that they could use it for the benefit of their children.”

The collaborative method is designed to minimize conflict while working towards a divorce resolution that addresses both spouses’ emotional, financial and legal needs as well as the needs of their children.

Maltby names Catherine McBride as Finance Director

The Science Center at Maltby Nature Preserve has hired Catherine McBride as finance director. McBride, who has been in the investment services industry for 25 years, will oversee fundraising and membership at the nonprofit science center.

Most recently McBride was a registered investment advisor for Investment Centers of America, in Northfield, Minn. She has also been an investment advisor at RBC Dain Rauscher and Wells Fargo in Minnesota and Iowa.

Just Food Co-op Holds Harvest Festival

Just Food Co-op held a harvest festival on Saturday, September 23. Under threat of rain, they moved the celebration into the old Northfield Community Merchantile space, but many people still attended the event.

Music, food samples, and art, composting and yarn-spinning demonstrations and information all entertained attendees.

A video and some photos from the event after the jump...

Big winner plans to have friends share 'Dinner on Us'

Congratulations to Jane Fenton, the grand prize winner in our 'Dinner on Us' membership contest.

After 10 weeks of giving away dinners at restaurants throughout Northfield, we decided to give our final winner the option to choose the perfect dinner -- and we threw in $100 to pay for it.  Jane says she plans to invite her friends over, order dinner from her favorite restaurant, Kurry Kabab, and let the fun begin.

Here's a little more about Jane:

"I am the Director of community relations at Laura Baker Services and have been since last November.  I’ve lived in Northfield since my first days as a freshman at Carleton College, slightly over 20 years ago. 

"I have two sons, Eddie Martin, a sophomore at the high school, and Cliff Martin, a sixth grader at the middle school.  The three of us have appeared in several plays at the Arts Guild over the last couple of years, most recently “The Jungle Book.” I just competed in the 15K road race during the Defeat of Jesse James Days, and I finished, much to my delight. I visit at the Long Term Care Center at Northfield Hospital as a Pet Therapy volunteer with my dog Patch.  I’ll be spelling in Thursday night’s spelling bee at the Grand, and will appear as part of a dance troupe in the upcoming cabaret at the NAG on Oct. 14.  Fortunately in both cases, my sense of humor will keep me from dying of embarrassment in public."

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