statistics - we hit a record!

This was a record month for, mostly due to the August 24th hail storm.  The following stats are based on data collected from July 27, to August 27.

Visits (a record!):

During the one-month timeframe, served up 54,000+ pages (about 10,000 more than last month). During the month, there were 22,000+ site visits,  and 10,000+ of those being unique visitors browsing  So the hail storm news indeed attracted new visitors. On the day of the storm, peaked at around 4000 site visits with a total of 9600+ page views!  Per day, the average number of visits during the month was a tad over 514 visits.  Click the graphs below to display larger versions. Look close, and you'll see the huge traffic spike on the 24th/25th...

Summary Stats-1

Well, there's the stats for the (record) month. We'll continue to post them every month for your viewing pleasure.

Minnesota Thunder vs. Latino Select Game to play tonight

According to the Star Tribune and the Minnesota Thunder web site, the Minnesota Thunder vs. Latino Select soccer game has been rescheduled for tonight (Monday, 28 August 2006), 6:45 p.m., Spring Creek Park Field #6 (510 East Jefferson Parkway). The game was originally scheduled for last Friday night.

All tickets that were purchased for the original date of August 25 are good for Monday's game.

The Thunder will be playing Latino Select, an all-star team composed of players from leagues in Faribault, Farmington and Northfield. All exhibition tickets are $10. For more information, see the Minnesota Thunder News Article or call 651.917.TEAM.

Northfield Tennis to host meeting Tuesday

Submitted by Zach Pruitt

Northfield community members of all ages who enjoy playing tennis are invited to attend a community meeting on Tuesday, August 29, 2006.  The gathering will be held from 7:00-8:30 p.m. in room SS106 of the Northfield Community Resource Center (1651 Jefferson Parkway).

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss current tennis opportunities in Northfield, as well as what community members would like to see in the future and what opportunities exist for collaboration.  The meeting is open to those of all ages and tennis ability levels.

Refreshments will be served.  RSVPs are appreciated.  For more information or to RSVP, contact Eric Lundin (663-7705, or Zach Pruitt (612-578-5984,

Zach Pruitt is a coordinator of the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative.

The Three Big Questions

Vintage Band Music FestivalHere are the three recurring questions people are asking me, following the Vintage Band Music Festival:

1.“How do you think it went?” People are extremely positive in their responses to me, but they also want to know my opinion. In spite of hot weather, the festival was a success beyond my hopes. I measure it not only by the audience response, but also by the satisfaction of the visiting musicians. They were enchanted by Northfield and charmed by its citizens.  They all want to come back. Our audiences came from surprisingly long distances just to be here. My original wish was to see if Northfield could put on a major cultural festival--and the result has been thoroughly satisfying.

2.“How did the money part work out?” The budget for the entire festival will be about  $37,000. More than 2/3 of this went to transportation, housing, and food for the bands. The rest was advertising, publishing, and administration. At present we are within a couple thousand of meeting our budget, but just slightly short. These funds have all been donations and local grants! Those of you Festival enthusiasts who haven’t yet sent in a contribution can now make the difference. Checks should be made out to “Vintage Band Festival:” and sent to the Northfield Arts Guild, 304 Division St., Northfield, MN, 55057.  All committee members, including me, have been unpaid volunteers. "Oh yes, I was going to do that.” So, do it!  I trust that it will come out just fine.

Canines At Play Hosts Northfield Community Dog Walks

Canines at Play (CAP), an all-volunteer organization dedicated to bringing a free off-leash dog park to Northfield, hosted the first of several community dog walks last Sunday. 

More than 20 canines and their companions showed up at Bridge Square to help raise money and awareness for the dog park. They took a leisurely stroll from Bridge Square to Babcock Park and back again, with several stops along the way to play in the grass or rest in the shade.

It was a great opportunity for the humans to meet other dog lovers in the community. But it was an even greater opportunity for the dogs to meet members of their future K-9 play group once the park is approved by the Northfield City Council and constructed by CAP volunteers and financial donors.

CAP will be hosting another community dog walk on Sunday, August 27, at noon in Bridge Square.  Grab your dog and leash, some water—and of course a couple of baggies for those necessary cleanups—and join us!

Telecommunications Disrupted

Editor's note: Service was finally restored at 7:45 p.m., after seven hours! Thanks to all the commenters for the great information and updates! You can see photos of the fiber that was cut in this photo set courtesy of Craig Dunton.

Northfield is experiencing a major telecommunications outage right now. Midwest Wireless, T-Mobile, Qwest (and Qwest DSL), and others are down. Cable internet service appears to be unaffected. Check out the comments attached to this story for more information.

Sharing photos, stories and videos

Editor's note: Want to learn more about Want to meet other photographers, talk about writing, suggest topics for future contests and projects? (Ok, we were going to announce it later, but we'll be doing this kind of group effort for football games and other events this fall.) Send a note—and any ideas you have—and we'll set up a very social get-together ASAP.

First of all, thanks to everyone who is sharing stories, photos and videos about the storms—and about everything that is going on in your lives. We had more than 1,500 visitors to the site (and over 4,300 views of the storm photo gallery!) on Thursday, a record for single-day number of visits.

That's what is all about: bringing people together. 

As you've demonstrated, it's easy to send things to us. We'll just give you a few tips here.

Hailstorm aftermath: be careful!

It goes without saying that everyone should be careful when cleaning up their homes, yards and vehicles following yesterday's storm. But it's just as important to exercise caution when having repairs made by others.

I managed to get a call back from my insurance agent this morning and learned a few important details. His advice was: Do not have any repairs made to your home or car until a representative from your insurance company has assessed the damage. If you can't get through to your particular agent, call the parent company and ask them how to proceed.

There have already been reports of local citizens being taken advantage of by unethical "storm chaser" scammers, and Police Chief Gary Smith has a great blog post up about using caution when hiring repair contractors.

Hot rods as art? Head to ArtOrg and see

Most of the news about our cars this week has been bad, but if you want a break head to  Lowbrow-High Octane, a decidedly different art exhibit by local artist Nick Sinclair.

The show opens with a reception from 6-10 p.m. tonight and runs through September 10 at ArtOrg Moving Walls Gallery on Division Street. There's even a cruise by Nick's exuberant and colorful tributes to automobiles reminds us  why they are so much more than just transportation.

Nick and ArtOrg would like to thank the sponsors of "Lowbrow-High Octane": Hering Kustoms, The Art Store, Witt Brothers, NAPA-Northfield, Storm Chaser Street Machines, The Northfield Entertainment Guide, and Tiny's Hot Dogs.

Susie Beaumaster is our Beat the Heat winner

The mystery is solved! Northfield soccer coach and mom of three Susie Beaumaster e-mailed to let us know that she’s the winner of our Beat the Heat Photo Contest – and the mom of the little boy in the winning photo. She’s also the mom of one of the three little mermaids in a photo that won honorable mention. (Just click on the mosaic to see all the photos.)

That means mom and the whole family win $25 in ice cream and toppings for an end-of-summer party.

“My kids are so excited!” Susie said when we talked about the contest.

The kids include two-year-old Will, who is the boy in the spray of water in the center of the mosaic above. Sidney, age 12, and friends Madison VanWylen and Sydra Smith are the three girls swimming underwater. Sidney is away at camp and doesn’t know about her mom’s accomplishment, so Susie plans to delay the party and surprise her when she gets back. Jack, age 8, and dad, Paul, missed out on being in a photo, but they’ll get a share of the treats.

Hailstorm: Northfield Takes a Lickin', Keeps on Tickin'

Editor's note: Thanks to all the people who have contributed photos. We have nearly 200 shots of the hail and hail damage from all over town in our Hail Storm Photo Gallery. There's more info in the comments below, and the St. Olaf College website also has a great story and photos.

PLEASE, if you have photos, send them to! We will place them in the gallery. If you have stories and comments, add them in the comments below.

Lots, lots, lots more inside - more pictures, videos, insurance information, etc...

League to host county candidate forum

Submitted by Kiffi Summa

The Northfield League of Women Voters (LWV) will continue its “4th Monday” public meeting series on August 28th... but, Fourth Monday changes its style for the August meeting.

Every fourth Monday of each month at 7 p.m., in the Northfield Public Library’s first floor meeting room, the LWV hosts a lightly moderated discussion of an issue of current interest or concern to the community.

The August meeting, will provide public disclosure of candidates positions and style as they meet the public in a more informal than usual public candidate forum. This is not a debate, but more a meet and respond to the public... roundtable. The dialogue will be moderated by the LWV to keep candidates and the public alike responsible to equal time and civility and most importantly timely exchanges that deal with County concerns and their Northfield/Dundas impact. It is the intention of the organizers to provide a venue for the public to ask and get answers from the candidates.

Northfield in the news

Lawyer jokes aside, we happen to like the ones down this way. One of our favorites, attorney and activist—and blogger—Carol Overland of Red Wing sent us this note:

"Didja all notice Carleton & St Olaf in the STrib today?"

We hadn't until she noted it, and we're glad she did. It's a wonderful piece on college rankings and the friendly rivalry between our two outstanding local colleges, St. Olaf and Carleton College.

Check out the story, then you can take sides here, adding comments in support of your personal favorite.

Rotary hosts 25th DJJD bike tour

The 25th annual Jesse James Rotary Bike Tour will be held Saturday, September 9, with all events and start/finish taking place at the Northfield Middle School, located just off Hwy 246.

The tour offers well-marked and scenic 10-, 30-, 60- and 100-mile routes. This is one of the largest rides in Minnesota, hosting nearly 1,200 riders. Cost for the ride depends on the age of the rider and the route selected. For details click here

There are three ways to register:

  1. Online at
  2. Advance mail-in
  3. Same day registration

Advance registration is encouraged to enable better planning on behalf of race organizers. This is the Northfield Rotary’s largest fundraiser, which generates thousands of dollars for the club. The greater part of the proceeds goes toward the Mill Towns Bike Trail, which will go from Faribault to Cannon Falls, linking to existing trails that will ultimately connect Mankato to Red Wing.

Congrats to our Beat the Heat photo winners

Well, they finally did it. It was a tough job, but our judges have chosen the winners in our Beat the Heat Photo Contest.

Yes, I said winners. Just look at the mosaic at left and you can see why it took so long to get the job done. With 67 entries on a huge range of summer topics, narrowing down the choices was almost impossible. So the judges decided to have the best of both worlds.

The judges (three of our volunteer board members) did pick a grand prize entry, the amazing center shot of the boy cooling off in a spray of water. The photographer wins an ice cream party, with $25 worth of ice cream and toppings to share with family and friends. The only problem is that the photographer didn't include a name, so we are trying to make contact by e-mail. We'll keep you posted.

The judges gave honorable mention to all the other photos in the mosaic.  You can click on it to see larger versions of all of them. And we all want to give special recognition to David Perez, a professional photographer who submitted a remarkable collection of photos—and who has graciously volunteered to help with future photos for We're hoping this contest inspires many of you to submit photos from events—everyday life—around Northfield.

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