Items related to the running of Northfield

Come celebrate another year of

Tis the season for fun—and for the Northfield Citizens Online annual meeting. We will be gathering at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13, at Carlson Capital Management to share a toast to another great year, another as we elect and install our new board members, another as we honor and thank our outgoing board get the idea. Let's just say it won't be a boring business meeting.

Police say Wednesday incident wasn't an abduction

Good news from Police Chief Gary Smith, who issued this press release Friday afternoon: 

The individual Northfield police officers were seeking in connection with a reported incident of a possible child abduction that had reportedly occurred on Wednesday, December 6, 2006 at 4th and Nevada has been identified.

We thank everyone who contacted the police with leads.The incident appears to not be an attempted child abduction incident.  We wish to thank the members of the news media who got this information out in a timely manner that resulted in the person in question contacting our office with the details of the incident.

Northfield Police report possible abduction attempt has received a press release from the Northfield Police Department stating, in part...

Northfield Police Officers are investigating a belated complaint of a child reporting a person attempting to get the child into their vehicle. The incident reportedly took place on Tuesday December 6, 2000 at approximately 10:20 a.m., at the corner of 4th Street and Nevada Street.

Click here to read the complete report. (PDF Format)

This Week in the Northfield Blogosphere: Repeal Day Edition

TWINB LogoThe 'Sphere ish back and we're got that... uh... thing, 'cause it's Repeal Day today wooooooooo!  Yeah!  We wuz jusht sitting here and we were all like "We should totally write that Blogostuff 'cause, it's like, due, man." And I was like "That's the besht idea I've heard all night" and then that waitress came by, you know the one... yeahhh, you know the one... and we ordered another pitcher, 'cause it's Repeal Day!  Wooooooo!  The Sphere is back!

City Hall Insider

Al Roder

City Administrator Al Roder prepares a detailed report of everything that goes on each week at  City Hall. You can check it out here.

Below is a summary of meetings this week. You can head to the City Hall site to check out the complete city events calendar and find the agendas and other details for all meetings.

This week...

Hospital Board, 7 p.m. Northfield Hospital.

City Council, 7 p.m. City Hall.


Police seek leads in armed robbery Sunday night

Editor's note: We just received this report from the Northfield Police Department.

At 8:32 p.m. this evening, Latinos Menas Servicious, 507 Water Street in Northfield was robbed by two adult males at gunpoint taking an undisclosed amount of cash.

One male subject was wearing a blue coat with a white bandanna.  The other male subject was wearing a ski mask.  It is believed that the subjects left the area in a white later model Ford Taurus.

Both subjects are to be considered armed and dangerous.  Do not attempt to apprehend them. 

Anyone having information in connection to this robbery or who was in the area at that time is asked to call the Northfield Police Department at 507-645-4477.  Persons wishing to remain anonymous may call our tip line at 507-663-9494.

There is up to a $5,000 reward being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the persons involved in this incident.

Jon Denison: Something to Prove and Much to Learn

About twenty Northfield residents showed up at the St. John's Fireside Room Saturday morning to meet the new Ward 4 council member Jon Denison.

The self-described "townie" answered many questions -- some basic issue focused, some more pointed. Denison describes himself as an atypical candidate who represents people who are usually not involved in public policy. He says he has always been interested in politics but only recently has become involved. He has worked at McLane for about four years, walks instead of drives, and rents instead of owns. He identifies with low-income and younger residents and says he ran because he wanted to prove that someone like him has something important and intelligent to say in public policy.

Who is Jon Denison? Find out Saturday

"Who is Jon Denison?" Ever since this year's election, this common question could be heard around Northfield's coffee shops, bars and other gathering places. Additional conversation included references to his MySpace page, where we grabbed his photo.

On Saturday, December 2, Northfielders will have the opportunity to learn more about who Denison is. Citizens of Northfield's Ward 4 have arranged a ward meeting to get to know their new council representative. 

Denison has agreed to attend the meeting from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in the Fireside Room at St. John's Lutheran Church. All community members -- particularly Ward 4 residents -- are encouraged to join in this opportunity to meet Denison and learn about him and his approach and goals as the new city council member for the ward.

City Hall Insider

Al Roder

City Administrator Al Roder prepares a detailed report of everything that goes on each week at  City Hall, but with a short holiday week, there was no report Friday.

Below is a summary of meetings this week. You can head to the City Hall site to check out the complete city events calendar and find the agendas and other details for all meetings.

This week...

Joint Governments Meeting. 7 p.m. Bridgewater Town Hall.

Economic Development Authority. 7:30 a.m. City Hall.
Hospital Board Meeting. 6:45 p.m. Northfield Hospital.

Clinic construction moves ahead

Steady progress is being made on the 19,000 square foot clinic addition to Northfield Hospital. The new clinic will be home to the FamilyHealth Medical Clinic --- Northfield, now located at 710 Division St., and the Women’s Health Center of Northfield Hospital. It is expected to be completed in May of 2007. This project also provides for a significant increase in parking at the hospital.

You can click on the image to see photos of the clinic groundbreaking, and here to see the groundbreaking story, with background on the project. 

Scott Richardson is communications director at Northfield Hospital. 

Send us your holiday news!

Once again the holidays are upon us, with Thanksgiving just ahead and a host of others following close behind.

Please share your holiday news. Is your church or organization holding a special holiday meal, a campaign to provide food or toys to families or a community music program?

Is your business offering special holiday hours, shopping services, delivery or shipping options or other great reasons to shop here? Is your restaurant offering seasonal menu items, entertainment or other holiday specials? We'd love to hear from the local business organizations, but we also are happy to hear from individual businesses.

You can post the information yourself, just by clicking on the Submit News link at left. If you have questions or need help, just e-mail me at and I'll get back to you.  

And, as always, we'd love to see your family photos, your thoughts about the holidays and any other ideas that pop into your heads. You can join one of the conversations in the new Forums at left or start one of your own.

Park Board Supports Creation of a Nonmotorized Transportation Advisory Board

Northfield’s Park and Recreation Advisory Board has voted to support the creation of a Nonmotorized Transportation Advisory Board. Creation of a new board still requires City Council approval.

Discussion at the Park Board meeting last Tuesday included how the two boards might work together, how the new board might help the city, and the challenges of getting City Council approval. Attending the meeting as advocates in support of the resolution were myself; Bruce Anderson, Executive Director of RENew Northfield; John Stull, board member of the Mill Towns Trail and former mayor of Northfield; Charley Skinner; and Dave Davison. Each advocate made valuable contributions to the discussion. Special thanks to all for their support and to the Park Board for its favorable vote.

Note: A slightly different version of this post can be found at

Ciy Hall Insider

Al Roder

City Administrator Al Roder has prepared a detailed report of everything that went on at  City Hall last week. Everything's here, from police activity statistics to street closings and budget meetings.

Just click here to read the pdf version of the report. You need Acrobat Reader to read the file. And head to the City Hall site to check out the complete city events calendar and find the agendas and other details for all meetings.

This week...

It's a short week, with City Hall closed Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving.

City Council, 7 p.m. Regular meeting. City Hall.

Charter Commission
, 5:30 p.m. City Hall.
Environmental Quality Commission, 7 p.m. City Hall.
Library Board, 7:30 p.m. Northfield Public Library.

City seeks comments about rental home issues

Submitted by Brad Kmoch

Editor's note: This story was published earlier, but City Clerk Deb Little e-mailed to let us know that there is no public hearing scheduled on Nov. 20. There is a City Council meeting, and residents are allowed to speak on issues, even when they aren't on the agenda. The city is involved in a long process to balance the concerns of landlords and neighbors of rental housing, particularly in the areas near the colleges.

Do you have any houses in your neighborhood that are for sale or might be in the near future and might be bought by a rental-developer?  How would you feel about that?

The Northfield City Council plans to hold a public hearing regarding changes to the existing rental codes in Northfield on Monday, November 20, 2006 at 7 p.m.  Please attend this meeting to let the city council know about your concerns.

In this past week a group of 30 to 40 landlords met with the city and declared that there are no problems with rental properties in Northfield or with the present ordinances and asked that the city drop all plans for changes to the ordinances.

If you are concerned about the general quality of our neighborhoods or if you are concerned about these problems moving into your neighborhood please let the city council know about your concerns.  Even if you are not able to speak at the meeting your presence is still crucial to show the council the level of concern in the community.

We've set up a forum for you to discuss this issue - click here to visit it. 

Recount Results: Voting Machines Win!

recount2006The vote tabulators counted and we recounted.

I had the priviledge of sitting in on both the Rice County election review and the Rice County Commissioner District 2 recount today. Both Rice County precincts selected at random for post-election review passed with flying colors with results matching those of the vote-tabulator machines.

The recount of the race between Galen Malecha and Betsey Buckheit also showcased the accuracy of the machines with a net change of only one vote. The post-recount unofficial results show Galen with 2,040 votes and Betsey with 2,031 votes.

I 'blogged in more detail at

Photo courtesy of Betsey Buckheit.

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