Items that deal with people in and around Northfield

Conversations That Matter Series at Senior Center

Senior Center Logo.jpg

Patsy Dew, Assistant Director of the Northfield Senior Center, announces that the Northfield Senior Center and the Cannon Valley Elder Collegium are presenting a series intended to help people think about, and plan for, their own death.    This is a topic many would rather avoid until a health crisis forces decisions to be made.   Attending this series will help individuals identify what is important to them, what their resources are, and how to effectively communicate their end-of-life wishes.   The series may also be helpful to spouses or adult children as they anticipate the death of a family member.   The hope for the whole series is that it will engage people in significant conversation with each other, and eventually with their loved ones.  In addition we will be offering concrete tools, eg. on writing of wills, advance-care directives, etc.    

Best Wishes from, Corey

Patch.jpg would like to extend its best wishes to Corey Butler, Jr., as he leaves Northfield Patch for a new position as communications coordinator for the Minnesota Society of CPAs. You can read Corey's farewell to Patch here.

Northfield History Collaborative Schedules "Preserving Your Family's Stories" Classes



The Northfield History Collaborative announces their four-part series, Preserving Your Family’s Stories, an opportunity for people to learn how to collect and celebrate their family’s life stories.  Staff and volunteers from the Northfield, Rice County and Minnesota Historical Societies and the Northfield Senior Center will lead classes and provide individual assistance on each of the topics covered.  Additional work sessions will be available with the presenters on the Saturday following each class, all of which will be held at the Northfield Senior Center or the Northfield Historical Society.

Cost for the series is $50 for members and $60 for non-members of either organization.  Individual sessions are $15 for member and $20 for non-members. Registration is at the Senior Center.

For detailed information about each session:

Becky Carlson Joins Neuger Communications Group

Becky Carlson

Neuger Communications Group, a full-service strategic communications firm specializing in marketing communications and public relations, announced that Becky Carlson has joined the firm. Carlson, who has served as an intern with the organization since June, will hold the position of communications assistant.

Carlson’s new role at the company will span a breadth of disciplines; among them, writing, editing, proofreading and photography. Prior to joining Neuger Communications Group, Carlson enhanced her art portfolio when she was chosen for the St. Olaf 5th Year Art Apprentice program, a highly selective, intensive program designed to prepare students for careers in the arts.

David Neuger, president and CEO of Neuger Communications Group, said, “Becky has already proven to be a wonderfully dedicated individual who shares the firm’s values of integrity, excellence and success. She’s a valuable member of our team and we’re delighted to have her on board.”

Carlson is a graduate of St. Olaf College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in studio art and management studies. A native of Shakopee, Minn., Carlson now resides in downtown Northfield.

Ron Griffith Young Leaders Fund Announces New Grant Recipient


The Ron Griffith Young Leaders Fund announces a new grant recipient, Cliff MartinCliff participated in the National People’s Action Leadership Training that took place in Cedar Lake, Indiana in August. National People’s Action is a nationwide activist and organizing group. This grant gave Cliff the opportunity to participate in a week-long training where he learned how to build a team, analyze community problems and create solutions, use tactics to move issues forward and to manage organizations. Cliff will bring what he has learned back to the Northfield community by organizing around issues concerning environmental sustainability, social equity and participatory governance.

Bishop Whipple's Role in War of 1862 Topic of Northfield Historical Society Program


On Thursday, February 21 at 6:00 p.m. at the Northfield Historical Society, writer and church historian The Venerable Canon Benjamin Scott will speak on the role Bishop Henry Whipple played in the 1882 U. S. Dakota War. This event is part of the Northfield Historical Society’s seven-month observation of the 1862 war which includes an exhibit depicting the roles local Rice County residents played in this episode of our state’s history.

Whipple was Minnesota’s first Episcopal Bishop.  He came to this state in 1859 with his wife Cornelia and six children.  When the fighting broke out in August of 1862 Whipple returned home from Northern Minnesota as fast as possible.  He had seen the conflict coming since the signing of the Treaty Traverse des Sioux when many promises were broken.  He went to St. Peter were many injured were taken and he served as nurse and chaplain.

Artist Tom Frank Debuts Children’s Video Storybook


Bridging the gap between an artist’s childhood dream and the retelling of this story years later is a new video storybook by author and illustrator Tom Frank titled, “It Happened One Night on the Milky Way Trail.”

An exhibit revealing the electronic talking storybook and the process of making it will be held at the Paradise Center for the Arts in Faribault, February 26 through April 16. A family-friendly artist’s reception with kids’ activities and live acoustics by the ebook’s musicians will be held March 1, from 5-7 p.m. Visitors to the exhibit will be able to view Tom Frank’s creative process - from hand drawing characters, to developing a storyboard, to writing copy and adding colorized scenes to the finished product.

Trial Approaching for Man Charged in Death of Shea Stremcha

The scheduled trial date is approaching for Xavier Walker, one of the criminals charged with first degree murder in the death of Shea Stremcha.  Jury selection is expected to begin on Tuesday, March 5, with the trial itself likely to begin on Monday, March 11. Shea was killed during an invasion of his home located in the otherwise quiet Longfellow area of south Minneapolis on July 20, 2011. Walker has pleaded not guilty of the crime.

Two AmeriCorps Promise Fellow positions currently accepting applications to start immediately


There are currently two openings for part-time AmeriCorps Promise Fellow positions working in Rice County.  These positions will provide additional academic support and community connections for youth in grades 6-10 who are at-risk of not succeeding academically.

The Promise Fellows will also assist with the expansion of the Rice County Dollars and $ense financial literacy program.  For more information on how to apply, please read the position description HERE.

Application review begins soon and the positions are open until filled.

The Promise Fellow positions have been awarded to Rice County by the Minnesota Alliance With Youth.

Local Doodle Artist Goes National


Shona Brooks, local artist and co-owner of the Eclectic Goat, was recently awarded a contract with MindWare®, a national game and toy company for kids, for the production of two illustrated books based on her line of Doodle your day away. The illustrations are intended as artwork to be added to by coloring with crayons, colored pencils or markers. The books, titled Fantastical Style Animals and Fantastical Style Flowers, will hold over twenty pages of designs and will be available for purchase on the company’s website in the fall of 2013.

“I’m grateful to have this opportunity,” said Brooks. "The goal is to aspire others to create their own art."

First National Bank of Northfield Promotes Kim Paddock, Hires Lindsay Hawkins

Kim Paddock

First National Bank of Northfield, the longtime cornerstone of Northfield’s banking community, announced that it has promoted Kim Paddock to vice president and hired Lindsay Hawkins as deposit services officer.

Paddock, who has 26 years’ experience at First National, will continue to serve the personal lending needs of customers. With her promotion, she’ll take on additional leadership responsibilities for the retail banking team at First National – South.

Hawkins brings with her 12 years of banking experience. She is also an Iraq War veteran. Located at the bank’s historic downtown location, her primary responsibilities will be to educate personal and business banking clients on the products and services available through First National.

Ruth Hansen Palestine Travel Scholarship Applications Sought


Anyone who has dreamed of visiting Palestine/Israel but found it unaffordable may be excited about a new travel opportunity. Northfielders for Justice in Palestine/Israel is accepting applications from area residents for its Ruth Hansen Palestine Travel Scholarship. Applications are being accepted now through Feb. 15, 2013. The scholarship is named for the long-time Northfield resident and her decades of activism for peace and justice in the Middle East.

The scholarship will pay program expenses and ground transportation for the selected applicant(s), who will participate in an alternative tourism program by the Siraj Center for Holy Land Studies ( Siraj offers a variety of programs ( throughout the year.

Stepping Out for Mr. Northfield - A benefit for Danny


A community-wide celebration for and tribute to Dan Freeman at the Grand Event Center is planned for January 25, from 6 to 10:00 p.m. Everybody is welcome for this chance for Northfielders to honor Dan for all he has done for Northfield all these years. There is no admission charge, but a silent auction, a live auction, and “donations” of storytelling at the microphone will bring in money to make his life easier this coming year.

The event is free. Planners seek auction items: for example, merchandise, creative dinners, tickets for games or entertainment venues, and gift certificates. Contact Susy Immel at to make a contribution. She can take them right now or any time until January 25.  

Y Kids Tri Volunteers are Making a Difference


Nine Northfield area residents who organized the third annual Y Kids Tri have received the Healthy Community Initiative “Making a Difference” Award for November/December. The award celebrates those groups and individuals in the community who have a positive influence on Northfield youth.

Andrea Hoff, Angie McCarthy, Amy McBroom, Anne Lehmkuhl, Kelly Foster, Sally Lindell, Kristy Mikula, Marilyn Nelson and Leah Sand were all members of the coordinating team that oversaw the most successful kids triathlon yet—the July 14 event attracted 222 participants, 100 more than the previous year.

Ranging in age from 6 to 14, the youth swam (50-100 meters, depending on their age group), biked (1.25 miles to 5 miles), and ran (a 1/4-mile to a mile). The event was sponsored by the Northfield Area Family YMCA, and about 75 adult volunteers assisted with the logistics.

Safe Rides for the Holidays

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

Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season and reminds us of all the things we are thankful for — like family and friends.  I am also thankful that through the work of the Northfield Mayor's Task Force on Youth Alcohol and Drug Use and the Rice County Toward Zero Deaths Safe Roads Coalition, there is hope for a future without underage drinking and drug use and even without drunk driving.  Working with wonderful organizations like MADD, Minnesotans for Safe Driving, and the Rice County Chemical Health Coalition we have been able to do some amazing things together this year.

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