St. Olaf Class of '06 heads into history

Fun Facts about St. Olaf grads

If you want to hear about all the commencement speeches and know all the reunion details, you can check out the official website.

If you don't want that much info, here are some highlights for trivia fans, with many thanks to Tom Vogel...

ArtOnWater Gallery set to close June 4

Downtown gallery will host 4-day thank-you party and art sale beginning June 1

ArtOnWater is giving up its downtown location at 217 South Water Street after 21 shows in two and a half years.

The gallery would like to express its appreciation to not only the faithful customers (who created over 2500 patron visits), but also all the wonderful artists (50+, some more than once!) I have had the pleasure of meeting and doing business with. I will continue to keep up the ArtOnWater Gallery photos portfolio at website; it contains dozens of images of past shows, artists and patrons.

ArtOnWater Gallery will host a 4-day gallery closing party during its 'Collections Retrospective' Exhibition and Sale this first weekend of June, which opens at 11 a.m., June 1. There will be ChARTdonnay from 5-10 p.m. every day (our now famous ChARTdonnay wine and Just Food cheese event). We will have fine framed art including original watercolors, Eisenstein drawing prints, and other fine art at prices 50-75% off until our closing on June 4. For info visit ArtOnWater Gallery at

A Bit of Northfield History found in Moline Illinois

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On a recent road trip my husband, Dick, & I stopped at the world headquarters of John Deere in Moline Illionois. In their public building they showcase old and new equipment. The top mezzanine floor only contains 2 one bottom walking plows. As usual Dick was waiting for me to get done taking pictures so he checked out the one plow and was surprised to read the brass plaque. The original owner of the 1855 model plow was Joe Canedy of Northfield. He presented it to William Schilling in 1943 where it was kept in his "Hobby House" until 1954. He then donated it to the Deere & Co.

It's 5 A.M. - Do You Know Where Your Recycling Is?

It’s five o’clock in the morning and I’m mad. I’ve just thrown on my pants and chased the Waste Management truck down Division Street to ask the driver a question. I caught his attention with a whistle and he walked up to me in a friendly manner.

I asked, “Why did you just dump the contents of both of my recycling containers into your truck with the contents of my garbage container?”

He said, “I’m new on this route and I didn’t know.”

“C’mon” I said. “Both of the recycling containers are GREEN and clearly marked with BIG labels!”

Hundreds join in Memorial Day tribute

SFC Kory WeichThe new Northfield Area Veterans Memorial proved a fitting setting for a solemn ceremony this morning marking the service of veterans from Northfield and throughout the country.

Hundreds of people gathered on bleachers and chairs and spread through the grass, facing the morning sun as it rose behind the memorial, which features a bronze soldier flanked by stone tablets listing the names of his fallen comrades.

"It was just beautiful, very meaningful," said Barbara Knaak, whose husband, John Knaak, was a Korean War veteran who died last fall.

There were familiar songs and speeches, but the crowd rose to its feet when SFC Kory Weich, a veteran of the current war in Iraq, finished his remarks.  

"Great speech," said Jim Knowles, asking for a copy. Jim was one of many who came up to speak with Weich after the service. A Northfield native, Jim is a U.S. Air Force veteran who served in Iraq about the same time as Kory. Jim, who was commander of a trauma hospital there, retired from the service and now has a private surgical practice in Ohio.

Editor's note: I can't do justice to Kory's words, so I've included them in their entirety at the end of this post.

Locally Grown podcast #19: Peggy Prowe and the Mill Towns Trail

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We took our recording session to the back room of the James Gang Hideaway on Friday, featuring Mill Towns Trail board member Peggy Prowe. The legislature just allocated $1 million dollars for the trail, so I invited Senator Tom Neuville and Representative Ray Cox to chime in.

Click photo to enlarge and continue reading to hear the whole show (30 minutes).

Oles of all ages share the biggest party of the year

Here are a few photos taken before and during the progression of the reunion classes this morning at St. Olaf College. We thank Tom Vogel (Communications Specialist for the college) for taking time from a truly hectic weekend of commencement and class reunions to share them with us. You can check out the full story about the weekend and links in an entry below.

Tom also told us there are 17 local students graduating, so proud parents, get out your cameras and send some pictures. Just e-mail them to with names and info and we'll do the rest.

Read the rest of the entry to view the photos and captions.

Cannon River Rendezvous Returns

Editor's Note: The Cannon River Rendezvous begins this morning. If you head out to the event, please take a few minutes to email us your photos with a few words about the experience!

The Science Center at Maltby Nature Preserve is pleased to present this year’s Cannon River Rendezvous, FREE and open to the public!

The 4th Annual Cannon River Rendezvous will take place over Memorial Day weekend, May 27-29, at The Science Center at Maltby Nature Preserve in Stanton Township. Sponsored by the Twin City Muzzle Loading Club, the Cannon River Rendezvous takes you back in time to a tradition of long ago, recreating the everyday life of French fur trappers, traders and early settlers in the early 1800s.

Northfield's (Forcefield's) Home-Grown Cabaret

Click to enlargeTonight’s Forcefield’s Cabaret will be a performance in the tradition of the original 1880’s Parisian cabarets, with music, dance, politics and humor combining for an eclectic and entertaining evening. Hosted by Hortense MacLeod (with a bit of competition from Steve Lawler), the cabaret will feature performances by Madame Starlight (AKA Dan Kallman), Liz Braaten and others from NAG’s recent musical production of Cabaret, Suzannah Ciernia, Peter Webb and his piano guys, and many more local talents . . . plus the political punch of Patrick Farwig’s lyrics.

I stopped to snap some photos at the rehearsal Friday night and was treated to some laughs and some thought provoking moments as well. I’m looking forward to seeing the whole show Saturday (May 27) at 7:30 pm at the NAG Theater. Admission is $6 at the door.

Sheryl Joy is the Office Manager of the Northfield Arts Guild.

St. Olaf holds Commencement, Seminars and Concerts

By Cate Grochala '06

click to enlargeCommencement is the culminating event of St. Olaf College's Celebration Weekend 2006—three days of events that begin today, May 26. The weekend will feature three learning seminars and three concerts, all of which are open to the public.

Commencement (open to the public if held outdoors at Manitou Field) will begin at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 28. This year's commencement speaker is Peter Agre, recipient of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Raised in Northfield, where his father was on the faculty at St. Olaf College, Agre went on to a successful career in medical research. In 1991 he discovered the channels that regulate the transport of water through cells, research that has led to a better understanding of many medical conditions and the Nobel Prize. Currently, Agre is vice chancellor for science and technology at Duke University Medical Center.

St. Olaf senior Breanna Peterson, who plans to continue her studies in nursing and public health at Emory University in the fall, will be the student speaker.

A public baccalaureate worship service will precede Commencement on Sunday at 9 a.m. in Skoglund Center Auditorium.

Read the rest of the story for more commencement events...

Sesquicentennial Executive Committee reunion

Click to enlargeSix months after the fact, the Northfield Sesquicentennial Executive Committee once again gathered to raise a glass to this fine community Wednesday evening at the Contented Cow.

Pictured [click photo to enlarge] are: Top row (l-r): David Gonnerman, Rob Schanilec, Bo Aylin, Dan Freeman, Debby Larsen and Dan Berguson. Bottom row (l-r): Jennifer Sawyer, Renee Huckle, Lora Steil, Candy Taylor and Brett Reese. Not pictured: Mark Fagerwick, Keith Covey and Geralyn Sheehan.

Richardson isn't going to Des Moines

Chris RichardsonOne of our readers passed along a story this morning from the DesMoines Register reporting that officials in Iowa's largest school district have selected Nancy Sebring as their new superintendent.

Northfield superintendant Chris Richardson, who grew up in DesMoines, was one of three finalists for the position. Richardson recently told the Northfield News that he didn't seek out the Iowa position and that if passed over for the job, he intended to remain in Northfield.

Weekend Entertainment and Events

Click to view PDFI know it's a long weekend, and you're thinking of leaving town, but you really should stay. There's a lot to do right here, and besides...your friends are here! A quick look at the Northfield Entertainment Guide (you can download it here or pick up a Guide at key spots around town) will tell you all you need to know.

Read the rest of this entry for the full scoop...

Rotary Honors WWII Vets

Click to enlargeToday's Rotary Meeting was dedicated to honoring the WWII Veterans in the Northfield Rotary Club and hear some stories that reminded us all of the sacrifices and dedication needed at a critical time on our planet to fight for the freedoms we enjoy.

Each of these men (click the photo to enlarge it) stood up to share a story or two with the group: (left to right) Bob Lampe, Earl Crow, Frank Cerny, Al Alberg, Orv Marks, Bob Will, Bill Culp, and Bob Reitz.

There's also photo gallery from the event.

Locally Grown features Mill Towns Trail, 2:30 pm Friday at The Hideaway

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We're taking our Locally Grown radio show/podcast to the streets this summer. This week, we're recording 2:30 PM Friday in back room at the newly opened James Gang Hideaway, 421 Division St. Our guest: Mill Towns Trail board member Peggy Prowe. Attend the recording session to help provide ambient background noise and maybe even participate.

The legislature just allocated $1 million dollars for the trail. I snapped the photo (above right) today after Northfield Rotary's lunch at the Northfield Golf Club. L to R: Rice County Commissioner Jessica Peterson, Faribault Councillor Carol King, Representative Patti Fritz, Peggy Prowe, Jim Schlicting, Representative Ray Cox, Mill Towns Trail Friends Chair Meg Otten, Senator Tom Neuville, Peter Stolley, Laurie Williams, Neil Lutsky. (Click all photos/images to enlarge.)

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