Items that deal with people in and around Northfield

St. Olaf promotes Kneser to VP

kneser St. Olaf College President David R. Anderson '74 has announced the appointment of Northfield resident Greg Kneser to the position of vice president for student affairs and dean of students at the college. Kneser, who has worked at St. Olaf since 1989, has served as dean of students for the past seven years.

"You all know Greg," wrote Anderson in a recent message to the college community. "So you can understand why the title of vice president is appropriate given his passion for the college and his abilities and accomplishments while serving as dean of students." In the same message, Anderson explained that at an "intensely residential" college like St. Olaf, where the student life component is so critical to the overall St. Olaf experience, it is important for that part of the college to be led by a vice president who reports directly to the president. "The president," he wrote, "should take responsibility for direct engagement with that piece of the college."

Read the rest of the story at

Weekend Happenings and Events

Get all your happenings and events information here! Check out these great events at the Northfield Entertainment Guide. Just click the image at the left to see all the events for the month of July ... here's what's coming up this weekend:

Thursday, It's the day of the big event for anyone who enjoys great food ... and, who doesn't? The Taste of Northfield is here! Taste all the local fare brought to you by all the great restaurants in Northfield! Bring the family and have dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. at Bridge Square, listen to the live music and participate in the auction. It's fun for everyone!

Chief Smith goes on indefinite leave of absence

According to Locally Grown:

The Chief has requested an indefinite leave of absence and it has been granted by the City Administrator. Roger Schroeder has been promoted to Captain, effective immediately. Capt. Schroeder will handle day to day operations of the department. If you have any questions, please see a Supervisor. Any questions regarding the Chief will be handled by the City Administrator.

An interesting turn of events, considering the recent swirl of publicity around the Chief.


If you find more, leave a message in the comments and we'll add it to the story.

'Red Bulls' coming home

Editor's note: We welcome your stories of homecomings, deployments and any other news you'd like to shary with the community. Check out our content submission guidelines or send us an email for more info.

Robert Sommers Raquel Sommers is one of the many Northfield-area residents who are excited about the return of the “Red Bulls” -- members of the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the U.S. 34th Infantry Division of the Minnesota National Guard. The unit was mobilized in 2005 and it's been in Iraq since March 2006, the longest deployment to date during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sommers’ husband, Robert, was one of the first members of the brigade to land at Volk Field before heading to Fort McCoy in Wisconsin (read more about the soldiers' return in stories by MPR and the StarTribune).

St. Olaf names new vice president for advancement and college relations

St. Olaf College President David R. Anderson ’74 has announced the appointment of Michael Stitsworth as the college’s new vice president for advancement and college relations. Stitsworth, who will begin his new job at the end of the summer, is currently director of engineering advancement at Purdue University’s College of Engineering.

After 25 years at Purdue, Stitsworth did not take the decision to come to St. Olaf lightly. And he’s excited about the change. “One of the most important reasons for me to come to St. Olaf is that it’s a college of the church,” he says (St. Olaf is a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America). “The opportunity to work in a setting where students can explore their professions and their passions and then have that come together in a vocation is a really exciting thing.” Stitsworth is eager to help St. Olaf secure resources and tell the world about what’s happening at St. Olaf.

Northfield noted in magazine stories about Jesse James

jesse james Two publications with broad circulation focus on Jesse James and the Northfield raid. “Secrets of the Civil War” is the cover story of the current issue of U.S. News & World Report (July 2-9), and page 37 features a piece about Jesse James. "In Search of Jesse James" is an article In the July/August issue of Midwest Living featuring a trip guide through Missouri and Minnesota places related to the famous outlaw

Strib highlights Northfield's dynamic online community

Griff A story by Sarah Lemagie in this week's StarTribune South that featured Griff Wigley (Northfield's "most prolific blogger") also drew attention to "Locally Grown and, for which Wigley was chief contributor for years, have reputations as debate venues free of the bile and bad feelings inevitable in most communities as politically active as Northfield," writes Lemagie.

What does board member Doug Bratland have to say about Griff? "He's good at asking questions, drawing people out, getting people to talk."

Read the full story here.

Pictures from the 4th

100_6597.JPGNorthfield always puts on a good show for the 4th of July and this year was no exception. While the festivities went on, the photographers were out in full force, capturing the activity of the town one shot at a time.

A roundup:

If you've got pictures, you can click here to send them to us or post a comment letting us know where your gallery is and we'll link to it!

Northfielders in the News: CRWP

The Cannon River Watershed Partnership was featured on Minnesota Public Radio's Morning Edition last Friday (6/29/2007).

The story discusses the problem of algae blooms in Minnesota lakes and rivers and the role erosion plays in feeding phosphorus into these bodies of water. Highlighted is one farm practice advocated by the Partnership to reduce top soil erosion. Dave Legvold, the Cannon River Watershed Partnership's executive director, describes the no-till farm field as one approach that he practices. The Partnership's Hilary Ziols is also quoted for her work writing the watershed's pollution evaluation for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Click here to read the entire story.

Mary Griep's 'Anastylosis' show reviewed in StarTribune

Mary GriepSt. Olaf Associate Professor of Art Mary Griep's series of wall-sized collaged drawings, titled Anastylosis, currently is on display at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Griep's work is a combination of layers of original drawings, photograph fragments and other materials in intricately detailed panoramic collages. The show was reviewed recently by the StarTribune.

You can read more about Mary and find a link to the review at

The mayor almost loses his head!

chop chopstill attached!As part of Wednesday's community celebration at Spring Creek Park, magician Amye Scharlau tried to use her guilotine on Mayor Lee Lansing. It didn't work...proving the mayor "still has a good head on his shoulders!"

Next week's Books & Stars is at Bridge Square with STORIES ALIVE! Tuesday, July 3 at 7 pm. Booker opens at 6! Maybe someone will "lose their head for books!"

Kathy Ness is a children's librarian at the Northfield Public Library.

Electrical Wire Fire from Glenn Switzer

Screenshot of the wirefireHoly cow! Glenn Switzer posted a YouTube video of the electrical fire that took out the power for the south side this morning. It's really something to see.

Quote from the video:

Newly installed high voltage electrical transmission line catches fire and explodes just outside of sub-station.

I believe that the arc that we see is called "Jacob's Ladder", but I'm not entirely positive. If you know the correct term (if there is one other than 'arc'), drop us a comment.

Click here to view the video...

Photos and video from the Dundas Duck Race

649575462 F8A3Ca2629Glenn Switzer was on the scene during the Dundas Sesquicentennial, providing us with a bunch of photos and video of the Rubber Duck Race that took place...

Northfield Community Works Photo Gallery

Spring-Creek-MosaicMany thanks to Bright Spencer for sending in these pictures from last night's "Community Works" celebration at Spring Creek Park. Says Bright:

It was a wonderful turnout and a perfect summer evening!

Click here to view the gallery or click here to view the slideshow.

12:30p Update: Griff has posted some photos of the event also.

Healthy Community Initiative invites board nominations

HCI logo The Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) is currently seeking nominations for a position on the HCI board. HCI expects to have at least one open board position beginning in September 2007. HCI board members serve three-year terms.

Formed in 1992, HCI is a coalition run by a board of community leaders, youth, parents, and school personnel. HCI’s mission is to “promote an environment that strengthens the networks of support that will nurture competent, caring and principled youth.” To achieve this, HCI does not operate or manage its own programs. Instead, HCI works with community partners to foster collaboration and to support community-driven efforts that benefit Northfield youth and families.

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