Wellstone Commons

Construction of Wellstone Commons on Spring St at Greenvale Ave. is nearing completion.

"Income qualified seniors 62+ years of age will pay rent based on income."

What's going on?

Last January, I blogged a StarTribune news article (no longer online) titled Progressive Rail set to move into Northfield. Quoting from the article:
Progressive Rail, a short-line, industrial rail carrier based in Lakeville, is moving into Northfield this spring. It will become the local agent there for both the Canadian and Union Pacific railroads... Timothy Eklund, vice president of corporate development for Progressive Rail, told a group of Northfield residents last week that commuter trains are within the realm of possibilities... The company will move about 10 corporate positions to Northfield, and Progressive would like to make the old depot building its home.
I took this photo of the depot last evening... still boarded up with lots of graffiti on its exterior.

Anyone know the status of this development? Attach a comment or use the Contact Us form.

Northfield/National Night Out - Aug 3

See the Police Dept press release (PDF) on the event and the schedule of events for the day (PDF).

Crosswalk paver color - a decision

About 15 minutes ago, members from the Design Advisory Board and the Heritage Preservation Commission made a joint decision on the color of the crosswalk pavers for Bridge Square.

The pavers will be a dark red brick color, and the concrete band will be a light limestone yellow. Click the photo for a large, high-res version of the two.

For more photos of the event and the ongoing crosswalk construction, see the crosswalk photo gallery. (Photos should be done uploading by approximately 5:10 PM CDT.)

Village on the Cannon groundbreaking

A groundbreaking ceremony was held this morning for the first phase of Village on the Cannon at the site of the old Petricka's County Market.

Note the shovelful of dirt in the air from the kid in the middle.

Northfield City Administrator Susan Hoyt (L) with future resident/condo owner Jo, the mother of longtime Northfielder Nancy Ashmore of ashmoreINK.

See all the high-res versions of these and other photos of the event in the photo gallery.

Cannon River Cleanup on Saturday morning

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George Kinney, Cannon River Watershed Board Chair, writes: "Join us for a Cannon River cleanup on Saturday, July 17, from 9:00 till about noon. We'll supply gloves and trash bags, you bring the willingness to do some good in our community. Call Cannon River Watershed Partnership to let us know you're planning to come at 646-8400."

More details on the CRWP home page.

Northfield, Northfielders in the news


Northfield nine ready for baseball
As a way to promote last summer's Class B and C Amateur Baseball state tournament, Northfield invited the St. Croix Base Ball Club to town for a game played by 1860s rules.

School for a new century
Some of the past century's changes in education systems and lifestyles are reflected in the nearly finished new Northfield Middle School, set to open Sept. 1.

Pioneer Press

Funding plan for public defenders looks improbable
Sen. Tom Neuville, a key architect of the public defenders' agreement, said the agreement did not intend to bind future legislatures and would not have been a legal contract. The Northfield Republican said the best solution would be to hold a special session to deal with only the public defenders' budget. He believes the governor, House Republicans and Senate Republicans would be amenable to that.

NDDC: Council action on Chapati

NDDC president Dan Bergeson posted a detailed weblog post a few minutes ago on the City Council's actions last night re: Chapati.

First the Council denied the request for a Future Land Use Map Amendment at 1001 Division Street South and then it denied the request to adopt an ordinance to re-zone the property from R-2 (1 and 2 family housing) to C-2 (commercial). In the end, on a unanimous 6-0 vote, the Council approved a resolution that directs City staff to "expeditiously explore the use of a PUD (Planned Unit Development) zone for 1001 Division Street with the property owner, Mr. Butler, and the neighbors."

See Bergeson's entire post for his commentary, attach a comment here or there to contribute your own comment, or join the discussion on the "downtown Southern boundary" issue on the N.org ISSUES discussion list.

Bridge Square crosswalk construction begins

Construction on the Bridge Square crosswalks began this morning.

See the four PDF files for details on the construction phases.

Overall plan, Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3

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Heidi Hamilton, Director of Public Works/City Engineer and Sean Simonson, Engineering Technician are the City of Northfield staffers overseeing the construction.


The Northfield Arts Guild (NAG) has the schedule of events for ArtSwirl posted on their website. "ArtSwirl is a new Northfield Festival of the Arts, and will feature theatrical performances, music, dance, poetry and storytelling, artist studio tours, and more."

NAG Executive Director Karen Helland was parading around downtown this morning in this hat promoting the event.

Civic/citizen weblog newsfeeds

We're continuing to experiment with the best way to aggregate the syndicated feeds from the weblogs of local civic organization and individual citizens.

See the lower right column of this N.org homepage for the current weblog feeds, two posts per blog: LWV, NDDC, Alex Beeby, David Bly, Ray Cox, Adam Gurno, Scott Schumacher, and yours truly.

We'll be adding more in the next week, including (we hope) one or more weblogs by candidates for local political offices.

Northfield Soccer Association

The Northfield Soccer Association (NSA) is still raising funds to help pay for the Spring Creek Park Soccer Complex.

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Visit the NSA for more info on how to contribute.

Also visit the James Gang Coffeehouse and Eatery web site for more info on their "free coffee fundraiser" for the NSA.

And see the July 3 Northfield News article: Spring Creek Park quite a soccer complex

NHS 50th Reunion

The Northfield High School Class of '54 held their 50th reunion recently.

See their Shutterfly photogallery and their MSN photogallery.

Northfield, Northfielders in the news

Campaign controversy centers around free food
(Includes text and video)
Call it dessert-gate. State Republicans and DFLers are now butting heads over pie and popsicles. David Bly, a DFL candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives, decided to take advantage of a rhyme and incorporate pie into his campaign. He hoped it would help him win a race lost by less than 50 votes in 2002.

St. Paul Pioneer Press

Bribed by pie?
It could be the silliest political scandal in Minnesota politics since "Twinkiegate." On Wednesday evening, David Bly of Northfield, a Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidate for the Minnesota House, set up a picnic tent in Central Park here and served pie -- thick, juicy slices of apple, rhubarb, blueberry and mixed berry pie with vanilla ice cream -- to about 30 voters who stopped by for one of his weekly get-acquainted events.

Rochester Post-Bulletin/Associated Press

Northfield family committed to turkey production
Karen Zimmerman told her parents she was done with chores when she left her Oran, Iowa, home farm for college in Minneapolis. That was almost 40 years ago, and Zimmerman is still doing chores. She married Chuck Zimmerman in 1969 after a five-year hiatus from chores while she lived in Rochester and worked as a medical technician at Mayo Clinic. The couple moved to his home farm near Northfield where they raised turkeys and beef steers.

Painting the town

The Bateman family at work/play, along the west side of the River Walk Commons last night. Click the photo for a high-resolution image.

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