Death at Fifty North; NAFRS begins search for full-time chief; Seniors are looking for more fitness opportunities

The Northfield Police Department has identified the man who died in Fifty North on Friday as Larry Selander, 70, of Northfield.

Fifty North was closed over the weekend after Celander was found unresponsive in the senior center’s swimming pool.

According to a statement released by the Northfield Police Department, Northfield Police were called to Fifty North shortly before 6:00 pm for a report of an unresponsive male in the pool. Upon arrival, officers found Selander, who was pulled from the water by staff and visitors. Life-saving measures were taken by emergency crews, but these attempts were unsuccessful and Selander was pronounced dead at the scene.

The statement said the Rice County Sheriff’s Department is assisting the Northfield Police Department with this investigation as they are responsible for investigating drownings under Minnesota state statute. The Rice County Coroner will also assist with this investigation.

Fifty North reopened today.

The initial candidates for fire chief will be internal

When the Northfield Borough Fire and Rescue Board voted to create a full-time fire chief position at their most recent meeting, they did so for several reasons.

In the nearly eight years since the Northfield, Dundas and Rural Fire District Joint Powers Agreement created the Northfield Area Fire and Rescue Department, three organizational reports have recommended the department make the chief’s position full-time. Board Chairman Paul Liebenstein said it wasn’t an easy decision to make, but it was the right time to do it.

Liebenstein said enough has changed in eight years that having a full-time superintendent makes sense now. More information is required from both the supervisor and the organization itself. Fire prevention and the chief’s role as the chief officer of the municipal fire department are likely the biggest reasons the board chose to make the change, but Liebenstein said there are many other factors at play.

Better records needed. Some of these records are requirements and others are for internal decision making. Liebenstein said it’s important for the department to start looking at how many firefighters to send to a call and which trucks to send as well. The cost of operating any of the NAFRS fire trucks is escalating, he said, and it has become very important to start paying more attention to savings.

Another idea that factored into the decision was how to publish it. Liebenstein said the work will be published internally first, for some specific reasons.

“Lots of things to look at. Not just with the budget, but how the department and firefighters will respond over time. This is the main reason at this stage that we will be using internal publishing. And we have some very skilled people available.”

Domestic posting increased last week. Liebenstein said the job title will be fire chief and chief fire officer. interviews will take place at the end of November and the department hopes to make an offer by the end of the year.

Interim Superintendent Tom Nelson said his interim term expires Jan. 18, so the full-time position will need to be filled by then. Nelson has indicated interest in the newly created position, but has not made an official announcement about his future.

Jeff Johnson’s full conversation with NAFRS Interim Chief Tom Nelson and Board Chair Paul Liebenstein can be heard here

Age-friendly Northfield, which advocates for more ways for seniors to stay

Tomorrow is the first day of November, which means that despite the weather forecast for the next few days, the months are cold arrived

Age-Friendly Northfield is currently looking for more opportunities over the next five months for older people to be more active, specifically walking or pickleball opportunities.

Pickleball, in particular, has become a very popular activity with the over-sixty crowd and CC Linstroth of Age-Friendly Northfield’s steering committee said the availability of courts to play on in Northfield during the winter amounts to two hours each week at Bridgewater Elementary School that just isn’t enough.

Linstroth said the work the city has done on the Riverside Park pickleball courts is very well done. But when these courts are not available, there is no other good option.

“If we can’t play on these beautiful courts,” she said, “we have nowhere to play.”

And while the Faribault Community Center has a large pickle facility, Linstroth pointed out that many older people are reluctant to drive very far in the winter due to weather and icy conditions.

“We’re hoping someone in Northfield has another idea,” she said. “Maybe it’s earlier in the morning or using more than one school.”

Linstroth also mentioned the opportunity to walk around the high school in the afternoon, something the district has been offering for the past few years. She said she recently met with Northfield High School Principal Shane Baire and Community Education Director Erin Bailey, hoping to formalize that agreement.

Linstroth said it’s time for the community to start offering more for seniors because of what they mean to the community.

“We have to look at things differently because seniors are so valuable in our community. They are such an asset. Every adult that walks through the door of your business or whatever is an asset. And the seniors vote like crazy, they volunteer and provide a lot of financial support throughout the community. They are very valuable.”

Linstroth also mentioned that Age Friendly Northfield is currently looking for more volunteers and new board members. For more information visit agefriendlynorthfield.comfit

Jeff Johnson’s full conversation with CC Linstroth can be heard here

Rich Larson is KYMN’s news director. Contact him at [email protected]

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