Items that deal with people in and around Northfield

Norwegian explorer to deliver lecture tonight

Norwegian explorer Thorleif Thorleifson will lecture at St. Olaf about climate change Oct. 11, 2012.

Norwegian marine explorer Thorleif Thorleifsson is visiting St. Olaf College Thursday, Oct. 11, to deliver a lecture titled "A Voyage Around the North Pole: Modern Exploration and Climate Change." His lecture -- free and open to the public -- will begin at 7 p.m. in Regents Hall 150.

In 2010 Thorleifsson and fellow explorer Børge Ousland became the first to sail around the North Pole in a single short season. Their voyage — which took them through the Northern Sea Route in Russia, the Northwest Passage in Canada, and across the North Atlantic — covered 10,000 nautical miles in a record-breaking 80 days. 

Re-scheduled Trial Approaching for Man Charged in Death of Shea Stremcha

The re-scheduled trial date is approaching for Semaj Williams, one of the men charged with first degree murder in the death of Shea Stremcha.  Jury selection is expected to begin on November 6, with the trial itself likely beginning on Monday, November 12. Shea was killed during an invasion of his home located in an otherwise quiet residential neighborhood in south Minneapolis on July 20, 2011.  Williams has pleaded not guilty of the crime.

Youth Video PSA Contest Winners Named


Many thanks to everyone who voted in the 2nd annual Northfield Youth Video PSA Contest.  Nearly 500 people (a record number!) cast votes to determine this year’s winner.  The top vote getter was “Wave,” produced by Chen Ye and Seth Hanson.  Chen and Seth will receive a cash prize for their win.   Click HERE to view this year’s winner.

The theme for this year’s PSA contest was “Youth Under Pressure,” with entries focusing on stress faced by youth and ways that adults can help reduce this stress.  This year’s three finalist videos can be found HERE.

“We were very excited about the quality of submissions for this year’s PSA contest,” said Zach Pruitt, Northfield Healthy Community Initiative director.  “They speak to the truly amazing talents of Northfield youth.”

The video PSA contest is sponsored by the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative and the Northfield Mayor’s Task Force on Youth Alcohol & Drug Use.

The 2013 video contest theme will be announced in the late spring, with entries likely due in early September 2013.

"Civic Stories" Photo Essay of the Day - Jessica Peterson White

Jessica Peterson White

Jessica Peterson White attended Carleton College and has remained a part of the Northfield Community. Jessica founded a knitting supply business downtown, and then was elected, as one of the youngest women ever elected to a county board in Minnesota, to the Rice County Board. Jessica was the DFL-endorsed candidate for State Senate in the 25th district in 2006, and is also active in the League of Women Voters. She is now a Senior Project Manager at Grassroots Solutions, which is a consulting firm that specializes in grassroots engagement and organization.

See the photo essay covering Jessica on the League of Women Voters Northfield - Cannon Falls Website

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

Investing in Youth Grants logo.PNG

At their September 2012 board meeting, the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) Board approved grants to support five projects and activities designed to benefit Northfield youth.  The projects are funded through HCI’s Investing in Youth grant program. 

Funded projects included:

Remember to vote by Sunday for this year’s youth video PSA contest!


Don’t forget to VOTE and help pick this year’s winner of the youth video PSA contest, sponsored by the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative and the Northfield Mayor’s  Task Force on Youth Alcohol & Drug UseVoting ends this Sunday (September 30, 2012).

The theme of this year’s contest is "Youth Under Pressure," with videos focusing on stress and young people.  The three finalists were selected from entries from across the community.

Check out the three finalists HERE and vote for your favorite!  The top vote getter will receive a $200 cash prize!

"Civic Stories" Photo Essay of the Day - Susan Sanderson

Susan Sanderson

Susan Sanderson is a prominent Northfield citizen who, along with other moms from Northfield, began the Community Builders program, started the middle school youth center, and is currently the head of the TORCH (Tackling Obstacles and Raising College Hopes) program at the Northfield Middle School working with students who are minority, low-income, and/or first-generation college.

See the photo essay covering Susan on the League of Women Voters Northfield - Cannon Falls Website

Four times in a row! Northfield again named as one of the nation’s best communities for youth

Winning 100 Best Seal - Northfield.jpg

On Wednesday, Northfield was named one of America’s Promise Alliance’s 100 Best Communities for Young People, presented by ING. The national award was given to Northfield to recognize its outstanding and innovative work in addressing the high school dropout crisis and for its programs and services that make it an outstanding place for youth to live, learn and grow.

This is the fourth consecutive time Northfield has received this national 100 Best distinction.  Each time, Northfield’s application has been written primarily by young people themselves.  The Northfield Mayor’s Youth Council (an official City of Northfield Board of high school juniors and seniors) again authored this year’s successful application.

"Civic Stories" Photo Essay of the Day - Griff Wigley

Griff Wigley

Active in the Northfield online community, Griff Wigley helped to launch and He now uses Locally Grown to cover the people, issues, and events of Northfield. Griff discusses the influences of his blog, one example being on the town council’s decision on replanting trees. He emphasizes the importance of active citizenship.

See the photo essay covering Griff on the League of Women Voters Northfield - Cannon Falls Website.

Recovery Rocks!

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

September is Recovery Month. Recovery Month promotes the societal benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery for mental and substance use disorders, celebrates people in recovery, lauds the contributions of treatment and service providers, and promotes the message that recovery in all its forms is possible. Recovery Month spreads the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, that prevention works, treatment is effective and people can and do recover. (

Recovery Month art show this Saturday in Northfield

Recovery Rocks 2012.PNG

As part of Rice County’s Recovery Month activities, the Rice County Chemical Health Coalition is hosting a community art show this Saturday (September 8, 2012).

The show will feature artwork by local individuals in recovery from drug or alcohol abuse.   The exhibit will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Main Street Moravian Church (713 Division Street South in Northfield).

"Civic Stories" Photo Essay of the Day - Erica Zweifel

Erica Zweifel

Erica Zweifel currently is a City Councilor for Northfield, Minnesota. She was a research associate in the Biology Department at St. Olaf and now is the project manager at Carleton's Science Education Resource Center.  She also serves on Northfield's Environmental Quality Commission. Projects she has helped develop include the addition of bike trails extending from Northfield to Mankato and a new bus route for the city. One major project underway is the implementation of solar panels throughout the public buildings of Northfield, receiving help and recognition from Minnesota’s Senator, Al Franken.

Watch the Photo Essay on the League of Women Voters Northfield - Cannon Falls Website.

"Civic Stories" Photo Essays Now Available Online

League of Women Voters

St. Olaf students in the American Conversations 102 and Intermediate Photography classes worked in partnership with the League of Women Voters to create photo essays about Northfield-area community leaders. The fourteen leaders profiled in the photo essays are involved in a range of political, civic, and humanitarian endeavors in the local community and beyond.

The Academic Civic Engagement Project began during the first semester of 2011-12, when students engaged with local community members, interviewing and pondering what an active citizen does on behalf of their locale. This enabled students to see how people participate in a local community and, through their actions, better define citizenship. During the second semester, the American Conversations and Photography students teamed up, combining sight and sound to craft these photo essays with the intent of providing profiles of community leaders and examples of engaged citizenship.

We're Growing - The Y has a Variety of Positions Available - Join Our Growing Team!

Join the Y

Northfield Area Family YMCA now has positions available - Join Our Growing Team!

At the YMCA, our programs incorporate our Core Values of Honesty, Caring, Respect and Responsibility. We work hard to support healthy lifestyles by reaching out and engaging families and individuals who seek well-being and who are looking for ways to sustain a healthier lifestyle. Join our YMCA team and help us provide quality, safe and healthy programs and services in our community.

Bridge Chamber Music Festival - Festival Concert III

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Festival Concert III features Erin Keefe, Concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra, Anthony Ross, Principal Cellist of the Minnesota Orchestra, and Gustavus Adolphus piano faculty Esther Wang. This concert will showcase Zoltan Kodaly's Duo for Violin and Cello, Beethoven: Piano Trio Op. 70 #2 as well as Mozart's Piano Trio in E major, K. 542.

The concert will take place on Thursday, August 23, at 7:30 p.m. at Urness Recital Hall, St. Olaf College. The cost is $5 at the door.

Of interest for this concert: Violinist Erin Keefe performs around the US and abroad as a member of the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society in addition to her duties as Concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra which she assumed in September 2011. Cellist Anthony Ross is a frequent soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra. Pianist Esther Wang has extensive experience as a soloist and chamber musician. The music of Zoltan Kodaly, like his countryman Bela Bartok, draws heavily on folk influences from their native Hungary, central Europe, and extending to North Africa. Kodaly and Bartok were searching for a new influence for their musical style to set it apart from the late Romantic Germanic tradition.

Content supplied by David Carter.

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