Carleton stables/barn burns - arson investigation begins

The old Carleton stables/barn in the Arb burned Friday night (located at the start of Wall St. Road near 4th and Prairie). According to the Carleton security personnel I spoke with at noon today when I took these photos, there was nothing of value inside.

A tip of the blogger hat to Greg Carlson, CEO of Carlson Capital Management who alerted me to the fact that there was a fire, as he saw huge flames from his house two miles south of Northfield; and to Brent Nystrom, Associate Director of Alumni Affairs at Carleton College, who alerted me on the details via email.

7/20 update: Police Chief Gary Smith's press release on his weblog: "Upon further investigation in conjunction with the Minnesota State Fire Marshal

Not a tornado

Jasnoch Construction continues to clear the section of land between south Highway 3 and Jefferson Road, south of the Allina Clinic.

Late last week, the two remaining houses on the land were moved.

Pottermania photo album

pottermaniaalbumtn.gifSee 100+ photos in the Pottermania album, the festivities leading up to Friday's midnight release of the new Harry Potter book.

Northfield, Northfielders in the news

In the non-Northfield media recently: Gary Smith, Carleton College, Ray Cox.

Pottermania photo album... coming soon

My wife Robbie and I took hundreds of photos at last night's Potter festivities. But alas, I may not get them posted till Sunday morning. In the meantime, enjoy these (click for a larger view) taken at (L to R above) the Art Store and ArtOrg; and (L to R below) the Contented Cow and in front of River City Books.

If you have photos you'd like to submit, use the file upload form. Or Contact Me about getting a photo gallery account so you can upload them yourself.

Pergola gets benches, vines

The Northfield Garden Club's Memorial Pergola in Riverside Park now has benches.

And flowering vines have been planted at the base of each beam.

Pottermania Continues

About a hundred or so people have gathered outside of River City Books in downtown Northfield awaiting the sale of the newest Harry Potter novel. Many are in costume and more are expected to arrive to get in line.

Retraction: Ranch House not sold

1:15 update: I got a call from Mike Hoover, owner of the Ranch House, who said that it has not been sold to Perkins. My apologies for the false alarm.

River City Books and Pottermania

Carleton College's River City Books is at the center of things tonight (Friday, July 15), starting at 10 PM... despite what their website says. ;-) (I've alerted them to the error.) But other festivities start at 7 PM.

Police Chief Gary Smith released from jail

Northfield Police Chief Gary Smith was released from the Muscular Dystrophy Association's jail cell yesterday at Applebee's after posting $300 "bond". MDA's Brian Gioielli and Jim Leighton said they raised over $7000 in their one-day fundraising visit to the Northfield area.

Residents moving into Village on the Cannon today


Village on the Cannon is still two weeks away from their grand opening but some residents are moving in today.

The development, along with the Riverfront development site "The Crossing" by Mendota Homes, was profiled in the current issue of Minnesota Real Estate Journal in a front page story titled Northfield's small-town charms draw developer interest. sponsor: The Contented Cow

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New sign, new ATM, new domain for First National Bank Northfield

Former County Commissioner candidate Craig Redalen has a new job... doorman for First National Bank of Northfield's new 24 hour ATM machine area.

Their new ATM sign went up earlier this week.

The bank also has a new easier-to-remember domain name according to Rick Estensen, VP of Business Development: Their other one,, still works, of course.

Hwy 3 cleanup to begin

Carbon Air Environmental Systems, the Houston company that's been hired to purify the contaminated water found last week on the Hwy 3 project, has its equipment in place this morning. (Click photos for a closer look.)

There's evidently a 9 am meeting today with representatives from MN DOT, the City of Northfield, and Heselton Construction. I've asked City Engineer Heidi Hamilton, MN DOT's Anthony Stakson, and city/MN DOT liaison Steve Cuddy for an update which I hope to have posted here later today.

Update 3:30 PM: I got this email from Anthony Stakston, MN DOT District 6 Project Engineer: "The equipment is a portable groundwater treatment system. The two major components seen in your pictures are the 18,000 gallon weir tank, and the four liquid phase carbon absorbers with 10,000 pounds of activated carbon in each vessel."

John Ophaug, minor league pitcher

Sarah Maxwell, Director of Media Relations at Carleton College, sent me these photos and a blurb on Northfielder John Ophaug:

Carleton College sponsored the St. Paul Saints baseball game on Friday, July 8, at Midway Stadium. The game was billed as "Renaissance Knight Night sponsored by Carleton College" and included a number of promotional activities that highlighted the College.

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