The first two weeks of May are set aside each year to honor the American law enforcement community and thank those who work each day to keep us all safe.
President John F. Kennedy first proclaimed in 1962 that May 15 would be National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls, National Police Week. Then, in 1984, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first week of May National Correctional Officers and Employees Week in recognition of the important work done by correctional employees.
Next week there will be ceremonies and proclamations honoring the men and women of law enforcement, and on Sunday 15and A memorial ceremony will be held at the Peace Officers Memorial in St. Paul to honor the 279 members of Minnesota’s law enforcement community who died in the line of duty.
Rice County Sheriff Jesse Thomas said the two-week period was truly appreciated by his department, and he singled out correctional officers for the work they do.
“If you know someone in the corrections field, or would like to send a support card to the corrections office, please send it to us, and we will share it with our staff. They do a great job for us, and it’s not always the most glamorous job, but it’s a necessary part of what we do.
As luck would have it, among those to remember on May 15andwill be Rice County Sheriff’s Deputy John Liebenstein.
On May 3, 1996, Liebenstein was killed when Timothy Chambers, then 17, drove a stolen car into Liebenstein’s unmarked squad after a 90-minute high-speed chase. Liebenstein had parked his car in front of an exit ramp in order to block Chambers.
Thomas said he had just joined the sheriff’s department as a correctional officer three weeks prior when Liebenstein was killed.
“I was coming back from Rochester after training on drug disbursements when they made the call,” he said.
The death of a fellow officer is a very difficult thing for anyone in law enforcement, no matter if a person is thirty years on the job or three weeks old.
“Being so young and new,” he said, “it sets you back.”
Chambers was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole and has been in prison ever since. However, due to changes in federal sentencing guidelines, he will be eligible for supervised release in 2026.
For more information about National Police Week and the state memorial service, visit the Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial Association website at mnlema.org
Jeff Johnson’s full conversation with Rice County Sheriff Jesse Thomas can be heard here
Council establishes new Brand Committee
On Tuesday evening, Northfield City Council created a new advisory committee dedicated to city branding. The group will advise the city as it strives to find a new way to present itself to the region, the state and beyond.
Northfield Town Administrator Ben Martig said that although there have been marketing campaigns, the town has never had a real branding process. A brand reflects the people, culture and values of a city and gives a good idea of the community itself. This is done through thorough research, analysis and planning.
The idea, Martig said, is to identify the essence of Northfield and build around that. And that requires professionals.
“A result may look like a logo, but it’s more than a logo. Rather, it is about helping to create who you are. Helping to communicate what could help us with economic development, it could be related to the creation of places in the center of town to make improvements to the creation of places, and there could be other types of things as well. With the community, it can potentially help communicate things to townspeople about who we are.
While the brand would seek to find the essence of the city, the essence of the branding process will be in economic development. Michelle Mahowald, director of communications and human resources at Northfield, said the goal is to create a tool that will improve the recruitment of young families, professionals, entrepreneurs, businesses, retirees and tourism.
“A fresh, inviting and modern brand,” said Mahowald, “will support climate action, economic vitality, equity and inclusion in diversity, housing availability, quality facilities and the excellence in service, all of which are priorities of the strategic plan”.
The advisory committee will enable stakeholder participation in working with city staff to prioritize brand strategy and will interview qualified candidates for the position of brand consultant.
The members of the committee will be appointed by the mayor, and could obviously be accepted by the municipal council at the next regular meeting on May 17.and. The committee will then start working to find the right consultant, with a view to having someone in place by the end of 2022, to be ready for the 2023-24 budget process.
The resolution establishing the committee was considered with minimal discussion and passed unanimously.
Jeff Johnson’s full conversation with Mayor Rhonda Pownell and City Administrator Ben Martig can be heard here
The next two Saturdays are ‘cleaning days’
Annual Northfield Cleanup Days are scheduled for the next two Saturdays, tomorrow and May 14and. From 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Northfielders may bring trash and unwanted itemss at the City Streets Department Maintenance Building at 1710 Riverview Drive.
Items accepted free of charge include household garbage, loose items, and some construction waste, including doors, lumber, shingles, drywall, and scrap metal.
Appliances will be accepted for a $25 fee. Air conditioners, freezers, and mattresses and box springs will be accepted for $35 each. Computers, monitors and other electronic devices will be accepted at $40 each. Tires will be $5, rim tires $10, and tractor tires $40 each.
Items that cannot be accepted include batteries, fertilizers, liquids, paint, pesticides, sludge, tar, thinner, yard waste and brush.
The city will only accept cash and will request exact amounts as no change will be available. Anyone dropping off will need to prove their address, so the city asks you to bring your ID. All items must be unloaded by residents.
The Town of Dundas has scheduled its Cleanup Day for a week starting tomorrow May 14and.
Rich Larson is KYMN’s News Director. Contact him at [email protected]
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