Everything else in Northfield

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.

ODNS introduces science partnership with St.Olaf

pdf image Open Door Nursery School is excited to announce that it will be teaming up with the Biology Department at St.Olaf College to offer new environmental science curriculum. St.Olaf Professor of Biology and Curator of Natural Lands Dr. Gene Bakko and his biology students will bring science into our classrooms and our children into the natural world.

ODNS will host college students from the Biology Department in our classroom throughout the year to introduce preschoolers to several ideas in biology. In addition, the ODNS staff will receive in-service training to conduct field trips to St.Olaf’s natural lands (prairie, hardwood forest, and wetland areas). Children will discover the diversity of organisms as they examine a variety of zoological museum specimens and explore the unique habitats throughout the natural areas. These tri-annual field trips will also give children the opportunity to experience the changing of the seasons first-hand.

June Weather Wrap Up


With classes finally out (and the pressures of a “full-time” job looming overhead) I have been struggling to complete this month’s report. I do apologize for the lateness of this piece. However, there is one good thing about the aforementioned job. It begins at 7:30am (much earlier than I would awaken during the school year), so I get to see almost all the day!


Much like gas prices, temperatures in the month of June were constantly fluctuating. Some days were cool and rainy, others it were very warm and humid.

Results: Northfield community straw poll on illegal use of drugs

poll results Here are the results (PDF) of the Northfield Community Straw Poll on Illegal Use of Drugs. (See original blog post.)

82 people responded in two days.

(You can also see this slideshow of the results, another way to view the results instead of the PDF. Click the "FULL" button in the lower right corner to enlarge the view.)

Among the graphs are the comments and questions which, IMHO, are the most important part of the poll since it wasn't a scientific survey. Remember: a straw poll is like saying, "Okay, everyone in the room, raise your hand if you're in favor of..."

Northfield community straw poll on illegal use of drugs

Editor's note: we received this message tonight from our friend Griff Wigley at Locally Grown. You can click the image to participate in the poll.

straw pollThis is an informal straw poll (unscientific) designed to better understand the problem of illegal drug use in the Northfield Minnesota area and engage local citizens in helping to work on it.

I will make the results of the straw poll (including comments) available here on Northfield.org in a week or so. And I will make them available via PDF summary to interested public officials, community organizations, and members of the media.

The discussion thread on this issue is continuing.

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

Ongoing collaborative efforts to reduce youth substance use

PDF thumbnail In recent days, much attention has been directed to the use of heroin by young people in Northfield. On Tuesday, July 3, 2007, Northfield Police Chief Gary Smith held a press conference to talk about the use of this drug and about the associated criminal activity. A number of area media outlets have picked up on the story and requests have been made for information about current efforts underway in the community to address youth substance use.

Since 2004, the Rice County Chemical Health Coalition has been working to prevent youth use of alcohol and other drugs. From its beginnings as a county-wide, multi-sector work group convened by the Rice County Family Services Collaborative (RCFSC), the Coalition developed a comprehensive, research-based plan to address youth substance abuse in Rice County.

Sign up now for YMCA summer fun

Kids getting bored? Are you looking for fun things to do? Check out the new programs at the Northfield Area Family YMCA. You can go to the Y website and check out the full list of activities, or just click on the image at left and download the full brochure. The second summer session starts in July, so there's still time to sign up. Programs are being planned for fall, and Y Guides groups are being formed. For more information to the Y site or call 507-645-0080.

Summer programs include:

Lightning strikes tree in local cemetary

(Submitted by Steve Moses) The storms of last weekend did cause a little trouble around town as lightning struck (and probably killed) this fine pine in the cemetery across from the high school.


NIMBY makes a comeback - Nfld in the News

Chief Gary NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) is getting a positive spin. Northfield Police Chief Gary Smith announced Tuesday that through a collaborative effort throughout the community, Northfield will use a three pronged approach to stop drug usage from spreading here: Prevention & Education, Support and Treatment Options, Dry up the supply. The latter came through the press conference. Chief Smith has said: "Consider your Northfield users burned ... we know who they are. We just need to catch up with them." Formally, the NIMBY program is 1.) Sound crime prevention strategies and community education; 2.) Stopping the access to the drug through aggressive drug enforcement and; 3.) Removing the funding sources for drug purchases through "fences" and other means and the heightened awareness of treatment options.

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...

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.

How Green is Your Team?

In my multi-tasking efforts of working at home I was suckered into one of Google's "webclips" that hover above the many work emails I am reading and flipping back and forth among. This caught my eye: Official Google Blog - A clean energy update. Me being the clean energy awareness trivia hunter that I am thought I'd check it out. Apparently one of Google's core missions is to address climate change. I guess they believe the hype of global warming. They are using solar panels to offset peak electricity consumption at their headquarters. They are also constructing solar carports with charging stations for plug-in hybrids. Huh.

So I wondered, what are local Northfield businesses and organizations doing to 'greenify' their operations?

Dime-sized Hail Hits Northfield

Residents shake fist at sky: "Is that all you've got?!"

Okay, the worst seems to have passed rather quickly. It was a long build-up and a blessedly quick crescendo. Hail strikes Northfield again, dredging up memories of the massive hail storm of August 2006, but the hail is much smaller this year, sparing us from the type of damage wreaked last year.

Do you have pictures? Stories? Video? Send the pictures to pictures@northfield.org, post the video to YouTube or Google Video and/or post a comment in the comment section.

Update: David Gonnerman has sent in a bunch of excellent storm pictures. We've moved the pics into a gallery - click here to see the pictures.

This Week in the Northfield Blogosphere - June 19, 2007

The 'Sphere is back just in time for Juneteenth.   Fully half the states in the US of A recognize Juneteenth as a holiday or observance; Minnesota does not.   TWINB does, but we're a holiday-type crew.  Anyways, on with the show!...

The Northfield Construction Company is renovating the new Montessori School that is coming on the south side of town...

One of the bigger tasks involved the removal of the existing concrete
basement floor. The building official determined that the existing
floor to ceiling height was 2” lower than the height prescribed by the
building code. Our only viable solution was to remove the concrete
floor, excavate soils, and re-lay a new concrete floor.

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