SpeechGear on Discovery Channel


I took a tour of SpeechGear's HQ in the Central Block building this week. Hardware-type guy Gary Reed (left) and founder/owner type guy Rob Palmquist showed me the their Interact speech translation gizmo that will be featured this fall in an upcoming episode of the Australian TV show, Beyond Tomorrow which airs in the US on the Discovery Channel. "In the episode, the program's host uses Interact while traveling in New York City. This includes communicating in Arabic with a taxi cab driver and in Korean to order a meal in a restaurant."

SpeechGear is growing rapidly and plans to move into the old Montessori school building on Hwy 19 across from Malt-O-Meal.


Donation drop-off site volunteers


Some of the volunteers who were on hand Thursday afternoon at the Katrina Relief truck at Lansing's (L to R): Robbie Wigley, Cynthia "biker babe" Anderson, Vicki Dilley, Judy Covey, Jutta Thompson, Kathleen Doran-Norton. Click photos for larger views.

See this blog post for the schedule of volunteers for Friday and Saturday, with time slots still needed to fill.


Volunteers needed for donation drop-off site

Volunteers are needed to help handle donations at the Lansing's Hardware drop-off this week. (See this earlier blog post for details.) If you can help, contact Jutta Thompson (email) or at 507-645-9508... or visit her on-site. (Please don't call Lansing's.)


Left: Jutta with Dave Lansing at 9 am Thursday morning. Right: with donors/volunteers Pat and David Halsor. CLick for larger views.

Time slots (last updated: Sept. 10, 7:00 AM) available are ...


DJJD special events today

genefinger.jpgGene Finger, this year's recipient of the Joseph Lee Heywood Award, at last night's Heywood Award Banquet at the Northfield American Legion.

Some of the Defeat of Jesse James Days events for today:

CARNIVAL Wrist Band Night - 5pm to Close
Advance Purchase Wrist Band --- $12
At-The-Door Wrist Band --- $15
Wrist Bands are available at the following businesses:

  • Community National Bank
  • 1st National Bank of Northfield
  • Kids on Division
  • Premier Bank Minnesota

ENTERTAINMENT CENTER "TOWNIE NIGHT"
5:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.
Button Event - No Cover Charge
"Crossfire" 6 p.m.-10:30 p.m.

PEDAL TRACTOR PULL
5:30 p.m., Between 4th & 5th Sts. on Division St.

(For complete details and additional links, see the DJJD Thursday page.)


United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)

A group of Northfielders from the United Methodist Church were getting ready to depart tonight for Meridian, Mississippi.

They are part of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), an international aid group that supports relief training and humanitarian missions.


State of MN's Operation Northern Comfort contact info

hsem1.jpgThe State of MN has a new web section of its HSEM site dedicated to Katrina survivors called Operation Northern Comfort.

The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) hotline numbers are 651-297-1304 and 800-657-3504.


Northfield arts community and Katrina survivors

NDDC's Ross Currier alerted me to this article in the Seattle Times: Arts efforts to help Katrina victims.

jonmanners.jpgI posted it to the ISSUES list (where Katrina-related discussion is hot and heavy), wondering if anyone has some similar ideas for the Northfield arts community. (If you have ideas on how the Northfield arts community could help, join the ISSUES list or contact me.)

Out of the blue, I get an email from local musician Jon Manners (details below), announcing his donation of all proceeds of his "Frankie Said" CD to Katrina survivors.

Things are not going so well in New Orleans. Everyone needs to help however they can. I sure want to do my part, and I thought of something I could do. This month's "song of the month"...


Katrina survivors: Northfield area supplies and volunteers needed

juttathompson100w.jpgJutta Thompson is coordinating the effort for the people of Northfield to send a truckload of needed supplies to Katrina survivors at Red Cross facilities in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Supplies and volunteers are needed.

WHEN: Sept 8-10, 2005, 8am-9pm each day

WHERE: Lansing's Hardware on Division St.

SUPPLIES NEEDED:


A message from the CAC re: Katrina survivors

jim_blaha100w.jpg cacthumb.gif
Jim Blaha, Executive Director of the Northfield Community Action Center is working to coordinate the Northfield area's response to Katrina survivors.

Jim issued this document late this afternoon (PDF).


Lightning hits Boe Chapel

David Gonnerman alerted me to this St. Olaf news item:

"Lightning took out a piece of the cross atop Boe Memorial Chapel during an intense series of thunderstorms that began Saturday and continued through Sunday morning.

The strike caused fissures in the cross, which will be removed for repair, and it damaged the chapel's organ and sound system."


Former Chief Justice "Sandy" Keith at NDDC forum

sandykeith.gifFormer Chief Justice A. M. "Sandy" Keith will be the speaker at the NDDC's September Forum on Tuesday, September 6th, 8 am at the Northfield Arts Guild.

The topic: Rochester's efforts to increase the vitality of their downtown.

See Ross Currier's blog post for complete details.

Full disclosure:


A volunteer prepares for DJJD


My wife Robbie and I were walking past the high school this afternoon when we saw this woman pulling weeds along the curb on Division St., adjacent to the Northfield Cemetery. Her name is Doris Nelson and she wanted to make sure the cemetery was looking as good as possible for DJJD this week. (Click any photo for a larger view.)

Not only is her husband buried there ("Charles E.


Neighbors raising money for Katrina relief

Two families have set up a vegetable stand on Maple St., just south of Sibley Elementary School and the United Methodist Church, to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. (Click photo for larger view.)

Back: Dennis McNamara and Erik Burton.
Front: Isaac Burton, Bret McNamara, Evan McNamara.

As of 3 pm when I took this photo, they'd raised over $180 which will be given to the Red Cross. And a tip of the blogger hat to John Thomas for the phone call alerting me to their efforts.


Building changes: MOM, Lansing's, The Merc

Malt-O-Meal is getting a paint job. Cannon Construction has started work on the condos above Lansing's. Just Food's Northfield Community Mercantile has a new sign. Click photos for larger views.


A new, 4-story building in downtown Northfield?


Left: I took the photo of the Central Block building after Saturday's 6 pm thunderstorm. (Click photos for larger views.)
Center: the plaque on the north side of the building reads: "Northfield Downtown Historic District. Central Block 1893. Renovated by the Jasnoch Family 1988. Heritage Preservation Commission."
Right: The Community National Bank building across the street. The Northfield City Council and the Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) will soon consider a proposal from Mendota Homes to tear down the bank building and build a 4 story building in its place.


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