Corey Butler for Northfield School Board

Public schools have mattered to me my entire life.
As a child, I found comfort and shelter in my schools. It was a place I looked forward to daily for learning, for friendship and for a sense of belonging.

Absentee/early voting options

Voters can vote early using an absentee ballot. Absentee voting for the November 3 General Election begins on September 18, 2020. Due to COVID-19, the City of Northfield is encouraging voters to vote by mail using an absentee ballot for the upcoming elections.

Pick up a new “Mask Up” window cling

As part of an ongoing effort to encourage community members and share the message to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth, the City of Northfield is making “Mask Up” window clings available for anyone to pick up at a variety of locations. People can attach the window clings to the inside of their window at home or in their office, dorm room, business or vehicle.

“COVID-19 is front and center of everyone’s mind. With the wear a mask order, we wanted to get the message out in fun way and to tailor it to Northfield,” said Michelle Mahowald, communications and human resources director.

The window clings come in two designs. One design features a cowboy hat and mask with the words “Mask up, partner.” The other features a cow wearing a mask with the words “Mask up, Northfield.”  

Northfield Public Broadcasting launches free video streaming website

The City of Northfield is launching a free video streaming website for its public access television stations.

Northfield Public Broadcasting (NPB) manages community channels 180 and 187 through Charter Spectrum. The website allows anyone to stream the cable broadcast live online regardless of individual television subscription.

Programming includes local historical biographies, library programs, gardening shows, city council meetings, school board meetings, church services and a variety of informational videos. A complete catalogue of NPB’s previous programming is available for viewing at any time.

Northfield Public Broadcasting (NPB) was formerly known as Northfield Community Television (NCTV) and NTV26. The new branding is part of an overhaul of Northfield’s public access cable stations. While the channels were previously managed by an independent contractor, NPB functions as a new organization within the City communications department.

Water Street will reopen in Bridge Square

On August 7, 2020, Water Street in Bridge Square will resume two-way traffic and the pedestrian barriers over the Fourth Street Bridge will be removed.

The City Council passed a motion in June to temporarily close Water Street and add the barriers from June 19 until August 7.

“The temporary situation approved earlier this summer provided additional pedestrian enhancements to improve access in the heart of downtown, near Bridge Square and the Cannon River,” said Public Works Director David Bennett.

The City of Northfield urges motorists to always drive with caution and watch for pedestrians in city limits.

Give us your best shot, photographers!

Northfield is in the process of updating the city website. The City is seeking new photos of community members enjoying events, activities, city parks, landscapes and cityscapes, culture and art, and nature and animals. Photographs must be original and taken in the last two years.

Want to show off your amazing photos for all of Northfield and the world to see? Submit your photos by Thursday, August 6. Photographers will get photo credit on the city’s website.

See requirements and submit at:

River Bend Nature Center Annual Meeting to be Held Thursday at 5:30 p.m.


The 2020 Annual Meeting of River Bend Nature Center will be held virtually at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, July 30. Given the complications of an in-person gathering, the board decided to hold the meeting online.

There will be the election of two board members.  Executive Director Breanna Wheeler will give the Annual Report, including the adjustments the Center is making in its programing in response to the challenges the pandemic has created. She and staff will also talk about how they are planning for the year ahead.  The Center’s Gambling Manager, Stacy Dupont will give the annual Charitable Gambling Star Report.

For more information about how to join the meeting and for copies of meeting documents, contact:

Breanna Wheeler, Executive Directot

Phone 507-332-7151






Governor Walz Mandates Face Coverings in Minnesota, Supersedes and Terminates City of Northfield Ordinance

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Executive Order effective Saturday, July 25, 2020

Northfield, MN (July 23, 2020) -

On July 22, 2020, Governor Walz issued Executive Order 20-81 (EO 20-81) mandating face covering use in many public spaces.  Under EO 20-81, Minnesotans must wear a face covering in indoor businesses, indoor public settings, and outdoors when it is not possible to maintain social distancing; they must also follow related industry guidance on the Stay Safe Minnesota Website.


The Northfield City Council had requested the Governor mandate indoor facial coverings statewide at their July 7th meeting.  Additionally, the City Council recently approved an indoor mandated facial covering Ordinance for the City of Northfield at their July 21, 2020 meeting but is now null and void due to the Governor’s action.


Early Months of Opioid Response Project Yield Success, Hope

MOST Update

The Rice County Integrated Opioid Response Project has made impressive strides in addressing the impact of opioid drug misuse throughout Rice County. In its first six months, it addressed the local availabililty of Medication-Assisted Treatment, and it referred more than 50 people to local services that support opiate use disorder treatment and recovery.

"Providers in Rice County have been desperate for these services for over 10 years, and we have worked with clients in crisis who have struggled to get the services they need and deserve," said Yvette Marthaler, Rice County chemical health social worker. "The Opioid Response Project provides treatment and hope for people and our community."

RiverBend Nature Center Seeks Board Members


Do you care about environmental education, outdoor recreation and restoration of natural lands? 

River Bend Nature Center is looking for new members to serve on the Center’s Board of Directors.  Candidates will be voted on at the 2020 Annual Meeting on July 30.

RBNC board members may serve two three-year terms. The board meets once a month to work with Center staff to establish programs to implement the Center’s mission:  “ . . . to help people discover, enjoy, understand and preserve the incredible natural world that surrounds us.”  

Located in Faribault on the Straight River, RBNC is comprised of over 700 acres of forest, prairie and wetlands. Extensive trails provide places to walk, ski and bicycle.  During the school year, staff provides environmental education programs for schools and other groups. During the summer, various camps with environmental themes attract children of all ages. 

Overnight construction on Seventh Street

Concrete crews will be on-site during the early morning hours of Friday, June 5 to complete concrete sawing and sealing on Seventh Street concrete parking bays between Water Street and Washington Street. This work will require the parking bays to be closed between midnight and 6 a.m. on Friday, June 5, 2020. 

Swenke Ims Contracting LLC of Kasson, Minnesota is the prime contractor for the $3.72 million project.

TH 246 & Jefferson Parkway Intersection Project

The intersection of Trunk Highway 246 and Jefferson Parkway will close to all traffic beginning on Monday, June 8, 2020 to begin construction on the main road project. Access to Bridgewater Elementary School, Northfield Middle School, and Northfield High School will be maintained throughout construction.

Eastbound and westbound traffic on Jefferson Parkway will be detoured to Woodley Street via Highway 3 and Maple Street while northbound and southbound traffic on Trunk Highway 246 will be detoured to Highway 3 via Woodley Street and County Highway 1. The detours are anticipated to stay in place throughout the summer and into October.

Northfield curfew is not extended to Monday or Tuesday nights

On Sunday, May 31, Northfield Mayor Rhonda Pownell signed a proclamation declaring a local emergency and curfew starting 8:00 p.m. Sunday, May 31. The proclamation included the possibility of the curfew being extended to Monday, June 1 and/or Tuesday, June 2 if deemed necessary. City Administrator Ben Martig and Chief of Police Monte Nelson have reviewed information and decided not to extend the curfew at this time.

Other cities and counties, including Dakota County, are also cancelling their curfews as the possibility of violence and/or property damage has decreased. Northfield Police staff will continue to monitor events and potential threats in the region and locally. If threats or concerns of potential violence or damaging activity resurface, the curfew could be used again. 

Northfield Mayor Pownell Declares Local State of Emergency and Curfew

For the safety and protection of life and property

Northfield Mayor Rhonda Pownell signed a proclamation declaring a local emergency and curfew starting 8:00 p.m. Sunday, May 31.

“I applaud all those that want to safely and peacefully protest the tragic death of George Floyd; however, we cannot control those who may take advantage of the situation and damage property or endanger the safety of our community as has happened in neighboring cities. It is out of an abundance of caution and for the safety of all of our community members that this curfew declaration is put in place,” said Mayor Pownell.

Dakota County and other greater Twin City areas have experienced continuous nights of civil disobedience, including damaged and burglarized property, since George Floyd died while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department on May 25. 

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