Items that deal with people in and around Northfield

St. Olaf College recognizes 20 retiring employees

St. Olaf retirees 2013

This year's group of retiring St. Olaf College faculty and staff includes (front row, l–r, including year hired in parentheses): Phyllis Larson '69 (1993), Dean of the College's Office and Asian Studies; David Schodt (1977), Economics; Jill Ewald '87 (1998), Art and Art History; and Ruth Block (2006), Bookstore. Back row: Alan Norton (1996), Treasurer's Office; Bob Jacobel (1976), Physics; Kathy Schuurman (1999), Alumni and Parent Relations; Susan Jorgensen (1985), World Languages Center; Duane Schlobohm (1985), Facilities; Diane Thompson (1990), Facilities; Wendell Thompson (1990), Facilities; Cathy Draves (1984), Facilities; and — not retiring — President David R. Anderson '74.

Teresa Jensen, new Director of Library and Information Technology Services

Teresa Jensen and Martha's treats

The Friends of the Northfield Public Library welcomed Teresa Jensen, our new Director of the library and IT, with a gathering at the library. Teresa shared her story of earning her MLS at the University of Minnesota and working in the Hennepin County Library System for a number of years. Could it have been our winters? -- she decided to stretch her professional legs in the warm sun that shines on the San Antonio TX Public Library. But her family in the Twin Cities and the position at our library beckoned. Now she is getting to know Northfield, whose riverwalk was inspired by San Antonio's Paseo del Rio riverwalk (thanks to former Northfield News editor Maggie Lee). You'll find Teresa in the Director's office or out and about in the library. Introduce yourself! Or you can welcome her via email at

St. Olaf writer in residence releases second novel to critical acclaim

Red Moon by Ben Percy

St. Olaf College Writer in Residence Benjamin Percy recently released his second novel, Red Moon, to widespread critical acclaim. 

Teen Risk Taking and the Developing Brain

Teen Risk-Taking and the Developing Brain


This article was written by Joan Janusz, a member of the Northfield Mayor’s Task Force on Youth Alcohol and Drug Use. 

Where is she? Why didn’t she plan ahead and call? Smoking?—he said he would never try cigarettes.  Surely our son wouldn’t ride with someone who has been drinking. 

Last month in our Guest Column, the Mayor’s Task Force on Youth Alcohol and Drug Use talked about concerns of possible high risk behaviors connected with prom such as substance use, drinking and driving, unsafe sex.  For fun and safety, planning ahead was emphasized.

HCI funds 15 “Investing in Youth” grants to benefit area youth

Investing in Youth Grants logo.PNG

At their April 2013 board meeting, the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) Board approved grants to support four projects and activities designed to benefit Northfield youth and 11 Service Learning projects designed by Arcadia middle school students.  The projects are all funded through HCI’s Investing in Youth grant program.


Funded projects included:

“Strengthening Families” facilitator training – registration deadline May 15

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Rice County is very fortunate to be able to host a facilitator training for the “Strengthening Families: For Parents and Youth Ages 10-14” program.  The training will be June 11-13, 2013, at St. Olaf College.  It will be led by Dr. Virginia Molgaard, the program’s developer.

Strengthening Families is an evidence-based program recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.  In independent research, it has been shown to dramatically decrease substance use and abuse, reduce aggression, and strengthen academic success in teens.

Click HERE for the registration form.  CEUs are available.

The registration deadline is May 15, 2013.

The training is sponsored by the St. Olaf Social Work & Family Studies Department and the Rice County Chemical Health Coalition.

Help Northfield Citizens Online figure out “What’s Next?” logo

The Northfield Citizens Online (NCO) board is looking for two fans (or critics) of to join the “What’s Next for NCO?” workgroup.

The group, chaired by Christopher Tassava, will be meeting bi-weekly, and will look at the big picture question - what changes can we make to better pursue our mission “to create an electronic commons that strengthens the fabric of community in the greater Northfield area.”

What should we keep doing? What should we stop doing? What should we start doing?

The workgroup will develop questions (and methods) to gather feedback from the public about our future directions. The goal is to present concrete recommendations for short term and long term goals to the Northfield Citizens Online Board this summer.

"Girl from Birch Creek" film screening on Saturday, April 27 at Weitz Center for Creativity

Rosalie Wahl Screening Poster

The League of Women Voters Northfield - Cannon Falls, in collaboration with Carleton College, is showing a documentary on Carleton honorary degree holder Rosalie Wahl -- at the Weitz Center for Creativity, 320 3rd Street East, on April 27 (Saturday) at 11 am.

The new documentary "Girl from Birch Creek,” chronicles the life and legacy of Justice Rosalie Wahl - the first woman to sit on the Minnesota Supreme Court. This film is brought to us by Lightshed Productions, a Minnesota film production company owned by John Kaul and Emily Haddad, who also produced the film. It is narrated by Nina Totenberg.

The Northfield Skateboard Coalition is Making a Difference


The Northfield Skateboard Coalition has received the Healthy Community Initiative’s “Making a Difference” Award for March/April 2013. The award celebrates those groups and individuals in the community who have a positive influence on Northfield youth.

Rob Hardy, an adult adviser to the group, and filmmaker Cecilia Cornejo nominated the coalition members for the award, citing the dedication and resolve the youth demonstrated throughout the lengthy civic process of working to bring a permanent skate park to Northfield.

“There have been times when the adults have gotten frustrated, angry, or rude, and the kids have never done that. They’ve been models of good behavior and civility,” Hardy said.

Community Organizer Rea Dol Visits Northfield: Haiti Justice Alliance of Northfield Announces Events

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Paul Miller of the Haiti Justice Alliance of Northfield announces that Rea Dol, Director and Co-Founder of the SOPUDEP School in Port au Prince, Haiti, will be in Northfield for a number of public events: Wednesday, at 7:00 p.m. in the Black and Gold Ballroom, Buntrock Commons on the St. Olaf Campus, and 6:00 p.m. in Room  236 of the Weitz Center on the Carleton Campus.  At the latter event,  Soup Joumou!, Haiti’s Independence Day meal, will be featured. The Northfield community is welcome to any and all of these events.

Looking for a job that makes a difference?

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More than 10 full-time AmeriCorps positions are available in Northfield for next school year working with youth and/or families.

CLICK HERE to see the descriptions and application processes for positions that are currently accepting applications.

Application review for many of the positions is underway so APPLY TODAY!

Positions are available with the Northfield Public Schools, Growing Up Healthy, the Northfield LINK Center, the Northfield Union of Youth/The Key, the Northfield Tackling Obstacles and Raising College Hopes (TORCH) program, and Accelerate Northfield.

Questions?  Contact the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative.

For Prom This Year, Plan Ahead for Fun and Safety

This article was written by Joan Janusz, a member of the Northfield Mayor’s Task  Force  on Youth  Alcohol and Drug Use. 

It’s spring says the calendar.  Really? you say--with snow still around. But there are signs.  Ask those high school juniors and seniors who will be going to prom in a month (May 4).  And talk with parents who are planning the After-Prom party.

HCI Board funds eight “Investing in Youth” grants to benefit area youth

Investing in Youth Grants logo.PNG

At their February and March 2013 board meetings, the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) Board approved grants to support eight projects and activities designed to benefit Northfield youth.  The projects are funded through HCI’s Investing in Youth grant program.

Funded projects included:

Film "Bidder 70" Screening on April 13

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On Saturday evening, April 13 at 7:00 p.m. in partnership with students from St. Olaf SustainAbilities and Transition Northfield, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is screening the award-winning film “Bidder 70.”

The film centers on an act of civil disobedience in 2008 by University of Utah student Tim DeChristopher in the name of climate justice. He disrupted a land auction, preventing pristine land adjacent to Canyonlands National Park in Utah from being leased for oil and gas extraction. Registering as Bidder #70, he obtained 14 parcels for $1.8 million. He was removed from the auction by federal agents and taken into custody and questioned. He was indicted on two federal felonies, and in 2011, sentenced to two years in federal prison and will be released in April.

Genesis: The Art of Creation to be shown at St. Olaf's Viking Theater

Genesis painting

Genesis: The Art of Creation, featuring the creation of a painting by Fred Somers, Northfield's own nationally acclaimed artist, 

will be shown on Thursday, April 11 at the Viking Theater, Buntrock Center, St. Olaf College. Doors open at 6:30pm and the show

starts at 7pm. The film was made by Paul Krause of Northfield. For more information visit the film's website

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