Items that deal with people in and around Northfield

Beth Berry is Making a Difference

Beth Berry

Beth Berry, who recently retired as high school coordinator of the TORCH program, has received the Healthy Community Initiative “Making a Difference” Award for October. The award celebrates groups and individuals in the community who have a positive influence on Northfield youth.

Berry has been the driving force behind Tackling Obstacles and Raising College Hopes (TORCH) since it formed in 2005. Concerned that few Latino students were graduating from Northfield High School in the early 2000s, Berry organized the collaborative effort to encourage and motivate Latino students to graduate from high school and pursue post-secondary education or training. The program grew to include low-income students and potential first-generation college students, and it now serves more than 300 youth in grades 6-12.

Rick Esse, Candidate for 4th Ward City Council

Rick Esse

I have lived and worked in Northfield since 1981. I am a graduate of St. Olaf College and have studied at Luther Theological Seminary. My career path has led me from retail clothing (including Freeman’s the Hub in downtown Northfield while a college student) to the insurance and travel industries, and ultimately, advertising and communications. I currently work with a wide range of clients in agriculture, construction, financial services, manufacturing, health services and retail.

My wife Pam and I live in a two-story stucco home on North Orchard Street that we purchased in 1983 and have painted several times. We have one adult son, Alexander, and a barking Bichon named Churchill, who is too well known in the neighborhood.

Community Involvement:

Jessica Peterson White, Candidate for 4th Ward City Council

Jessica Peterson White

I'm proud to be part of Northfield, a community that supports people at all stages of life, and invests in economic prosperity for the long term and for the common good. I'm proud to know that we put our key assets—the environment, our local businesses, and our unique culture—at the heart of our decision-making. I'm honored—and excited—to keep working hard to bring these values to the City Council. In my many roles in our community, I've learned the importance of collaborative leadership, of innovation, and of appreciating the wonderful range of lives being lived here.

Let's keep Northfield vital, unique, and moving forward.

Scott Oney, Candidate for 4th Ward City Council

Scott Oney

I’ve lived in Northfield, in the same house, since 1987. Our neighborhood was in Ward 2 until the last redistricting, when it was placed in Ward 4. I’m a full-time freelance copy editor and proofreader, mostly for college textbook publishers. I maintain an office in downtown Northfield, but I’m not a member of the Chamber of Commerce or the NDDC.

What issues or council actions have prompted you to run for council? What relevant experience do you bring to the job?

I would like to bring some fairness and common sense to the council. It’s no secret that members of the present council haven’t been getting along well lately. They seem to have divided into two factions, hence all the 4-3 and 3-4 votes. I am not locked into either of these camps, but I would like to work with members from both.

Arts Learning Grants Have Epic Impact

The people we serve at Epic Enterprise are experiencing the opportunity to develop artistically thanks to Arts Learning grants awarded by the Minnesota State Arts Board.

Epic is a non-profit organization providing supports to adults with disabilities in the Rice County area and we have used Arts Learning grants in 2010, 2011 and this year to host a variety of artists that work directly with individuals who encounter significant barriers to engaging in creative experiences on their own. Visiting artists have shared their instructional skills in the areas of visual art, puppetry, clay, papermaking, music, dance and storytelling with our staff. As a result, we have developed a daily program at Epic that enables us to help individuals discover empowering forms of self-expression through the arts.

Northfield Civil War Veterans Featured at Northfield Historical Society Cemetery Stories


Executive Director Hayes Scriven announces that the Northfield Historical Society will present the 8th annual Cemetery Stories on October 19 at the Northfield Cemetery. As part of the 150th observance of the Civil  War, this year’s event will highlight Northfield-area veterans of that war.  In spring 1861, political solutions having failed, southern forces fired upon Fort Sumter and the American Civil War had commenced.

First National Bank of Northfield Hires Assistant Vice President of Technology, Operations Officer

Taylor Ebneter

First National Bank of Northfield, the longtime cornerstone of Northfield’s banking community, announced that it has hired Taylor Ebneter as assistant vice president of technology and operations officer. Ebneter brings more than 10 years of banking experience to First National.

First National President Tim Viere said, “Taylor is an outstanding addition to the First National team. She represents the bank’s ongoing commitment to providing a community banking experience that is rich with the everyday technology conveniences customers have come to expect from their financial institutions. We’re delighted to have a person of her caliber join us.”

Prior to joining First National, Ebneter served in the technology department at Voyager Bank in Eden Prairie, Minn., spearheading key technology initiatives, managing the network, and configuring and installing the network infrastructure and software.

Growing Up Healthy awarded grant through Blue Cross Foundation

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Growing Up Healthy has received a $50,000 grant, with a chance for renewal for a second year, from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation to help improve health in Rice County. The funds will be used for social capital development work in low-income neighborhoods in Rice County. The work will empower groups of leaders from historically marginalized communities to better advocate for their peers and foster important connections both within and beyond their neighborhoods.



Marie Vogl Gery and Judith Stoutland, organizers of the event, invite all to  the 11th Northfield Community Celebration of the International Day of Peace in Bridge Square on Saturday,  Sept. 21. 

“Education for Peace” is the theme for this year. It grows out of concern for the UN Second Millennium Development Goal which promises basic education for every girl and boy on the planet. Progress in achieving this goal  revealed a widening circle of advantages in the cultures where this had happened. War and recession have stopped and reversed many benefits.  

The theme also offers opportunities to learn about making, retaining, and renewing peace. We will hear about the work of local peacemakers and groups. There will be information and encouragement for the work.

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

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

EMS Explorer leaders are Making a Difference

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Brian Edwards, Jim Ingham and Julia Smith, members of Northfield Hospital & Clinics Emergency Medical Services (EMS), received the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative “Making a Difference” Award for September.  The award celebrates groups and individuals in the community who have a positive influence on Northfield youth.

The three honorees were instrumental in forming an Explorer Post that gives participating youth an introduction to the world of first responders. Ingham, a paramedic with Northfield Hospital EMS, said the Explorer experience allows members to learn more about careers in emergency services as well as gain valuable training in assessment and life-saving protocols.

Book by Eighth Graders Chronicles Northfield History

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Northfield Historical Society volunteer and middle school teacher, Earl Weinmann, reports that history is alive and well in southern Minnesota, so much so in fact that students in Northfield, Minn., are writing it. In a soon-to-be-released book, Our Story: A Guide to the History of Northfield, Minnesota , eighth graders at Northfield Middle School have engaged in an innovative research and writing project that had them searching back through Northfield’s history from the early geology of the area to the present day.   The 42 chapter and richly illustrated history is written in the style of a textbook and will be used in the local schools.   The book is a stunning example of how teens can learn and participate in scholarly endeavors while contributing to the historical landscape of the area.

Genesis: The Art of Creation to air Saturday on TPT-MN

Genesis: The Art of Creation, a new documentary film by Paul Krause, will air this coming Saturday on Twin Cities Public Television's Minnesota channel. The documentary will air at 2am, 8am, 2pm and 8pm.

Bridge Chamber Music Festival – Concert lll

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The Bridge Chamber Music Festival concludes its musical series with a concert at Carleton Concert Hall this evening, Tuesday, August 27, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $5 at the door. Featured guests are Susanna Perry Gilmore, Concertmaster of the Memphis Symphony, Sabina Thatcher, Principal Viola Emeritus of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Anthony Ross, Principal Cellist of the Minnesota Orchestra. Accompanying tonight’s special guests at the highly-anticipated performance are Violinist Francesca Anderegg, Violist Charles Gray and Cellist David Carter, music faculty at St. Olaf College, along with Pianist Nicola Melville, music faculty at Carleton College. 

“It's a privilege and a joy to work with such fine musicians,” said Artistic Director David Carter, speaking of his colleagues and special musical guests, all of whom are currently or have been first chair players in major orchestras and are well-known nationally.

Bridge Chamber Music Festival - Jazz Concert II, featuring Snowblind with David Hagedorn


The Bridge Chamber Music Festival's jazz series continues on Monday August 26, with a performance by the Twin Cities - based band “Snowblind.” This concert will be held at 7:30 pm in the Northfield Middle School Auditorium. Snowblind will also feature Northfield’s own David Hagedorn on vibes.

“For this particular concert, we will be performing the music of acclaimed bassist Dave Holland who leads his own quintet, sextet, octet, and big band,” said Reid Kennedy, Snowblind’s drummer.  "Holland performed with Miles Davis, Kenny Wheeler, Chick Corea, and countless other jazz greats,” he added. “His groups often include vibraphone, which is why we wasted no time in contacting Dave Hagedorn to join us in this project.  He has a strong understanding of Holland's music, and it gives us a rare opportunity to perform with a chordal instrument,” said Kennedy.

The group Snowblind, part of the Twin Cities jazz community, has been together for over seven years. Reid Kennedy said they know David Hagedorn through his work at St. Olaf and as a mainstay in the jazz scene in the Cities.  “He was a guest soloist with the U of M Jazz Ensemble when some of us were in school, and we've been in touch ever since.  We have also performed with him in other bands including Pete Whitman's X-tet,” Kennedy commented.

“We’re able to witness some history in jazz as it progressed from its classical roots into the second half of the 20th century,” Artistic Director David Carter added, speaking of the Festival’s two jazz concerts: the first featuring Laura Caviani, who played classical jazz renditions from the 20s and 30s, and next on tap Snowblind, performing fluid, free form group improvisations, by Dave Holland, the English-born progressive jazz composer.

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