Second person dies from Forrest Township crash; Committee p…


The Rice County Sheriff’s Office announced late last night that another victim in last week’s crash in Forrest Township has died.    

Last Friday, 43-year-old Jennifer Miles of Northfield was driving East on 130th Street. Her car collided into another vehicle traveling North on Baseline Road.    

This vehicle was driven by 53-year-old Mark Sterling of Faribault.    

Sterling’s occupants were 44-year-old Adrienne Lee of Faribault and 61-year-old Shelley Velishek of Faribault.   

Adrienne Lee was pronounced dead at the scene. Jennifer Miles succumbed to her injuries and passed away on Wednesday.   

A statement issued by the sheriff’s department said the crash is considered open and active and no further details on the crash will be released.

Clydesdales, Special Horseshoe, other “enhancements’ for DJJD this year 

Labor Day might still be four weeks away, but the Defeat of Jesse James Days is well prepared for the weekend following, when Northfield will celebrate the 75th anniversary of its beloved late summer celebration.  

The Diamond Anniversary will bring with it many special events, and DJJD Committee General Chair Galen Malecha said many of the standard events will have a special, upgraded feel as well.  

“It’s busy just in general in a regular year, but then you add some 75th anniversary stuff on top of it. There will be a lot of fun things, a lot of enhanced parts of the celebration. There’s an enhanced horseshoe hunt, the Clydesdales are coming. And there will be some other various enhanced things throughout the weekend.” 

Among the special appearances this year will be the return of the Budweiser Clydesdales, who have made occasional appearances at the celebration in years past. Organizer Sandy Vesledahl said a pair of the horses will be at the Friday night Rodeo for a “Meet & Greet” event, and the full eight horse contingent will pull the famous beer wagon during the DJJD parade.  

Tim Freeland, who has managed the Horseshoe Hunt for many years, said the winning purse for this year’s hunt, in honor of the anniversary, will be $2075. And not only has the prize money been upgraded, but the horseshoe itself has been upgraded. Freeland said he has had a special horseshoe created this year that will go home with the person who finds it.   

Other special facets of the celebration this year will be packs of collectable Raider trading cards that have been printed and will be available for sale at the Northfield Historical Society, and a special edition 3” button has been created as well.  

As always, the Defeat of Jesse James Days is a mammoth undertaking that has grown from a one-day theme during Northfield’s original Fall Festival in 1948 to a five-day event. Malecha said none of it would be possible without the efforts of a lot of people putting in a lot of time.  

“This takes thousands upon thousands of volunteer hours that people give of themselves to put this celebration on. And then they go out and recruit other volunteers to help them put on their event. Without the volunteers, you know, it wouldn’t be.” 

Some of the pre-celebration events are already underway. The DJJD Golf Tournament was held earlier this week, and next Wednesday, August 16th, the Northfield Ballroom will host the annual dinner introducing the 2023 DJJD Ambassador candidates to the community.  

For a full schedule of all the Defeat of Jesse James Days events and activities, visit  

Jeff Johnson’s full conversation with Galen Malecha, Sandi Vesledahl and Tim Freeland of the Defeat of Jesse James Days Committee can be heard here 

Branding consultant will work with ‘Cows, Colleges and Contentment’ 

On Tuesday night the Chair of the Northfield Branding Commission, Jennifer Sawyer, introduced Jeff Johnson the head of the design firm Replace, as the consultant that has been selected to do the design work as the City of Northfield works to refresh its brand.   

Johnson addressed the Council with a presentation of the work he and the people in his firm have done. They have, he said, worked with several other Minnesota Cities, including Delano and Columbia Heights, and worked to not just create a good-looking logo and marketing campaign, but also identify the areas where Northfield is in competition for new business and new residents.   

Having done work for Traveller’s Insurance in St. Paul and Best Buy’s “Geek Squad” tech repair department, Johnson said his group has learned they work best taking a three phased approach. There is a Discovery process where they take time to learn about the client, the Refinement Phase where ideas are created in collaboration with the client, and the Execution phase, where the new materials are presented and put in place.  

One of the issues identified in the survey done by the Branding Commission is the surprising amount of affection Northfielders have for the phrase “Cows, Colleges, and Contentment,” and the level of anxiety in the community that it could be retired by the city. Johnsons said he has heard the concerns and has taken them as a mandate to keep the phrase in play but said his group will find new ways to use it.   

City Administrator Ben Martig said he has faith they will be able to do that.  

“We talked about the tagline issue of ‘Cows, Colleges and Contentment.’ He’s done work for the Minnesota State Fair, upgrading their logo and design. So, they took a historic, beloved and iconic brand and made it seem fresh, modern and fun with a new generation. If you can take something as beloved and cherished to Minnesota [as the State Fair is] and help get that updated and fresh, and people embrace it, I think that speaks to [Johnson’s abilities.]” 

Councilor Jami Reister asked Sawyer about the role of the Branding Commission moving forward. Sawyer responded that the Commission has accomplished most of what the city asked them to do when the commission was organized. Johnson stepped in and asked that the Commission stay on as what he called a “Critique Group,” to offer more guidance as they work through the project.  

Mayor Rhonda Pownell said the Council will vote to approve the contract with the Replace group at their next regular meeting on August 22nd.  

Jeff Johnson’s full conversation with Northfield Mayor Rhonda Pownell and City Administrator Ben Martig can be heard here 

 Annual CAC fashion show returns to Carleton College Great Hall 

And tickets are now available for Runway Revival: Reduce. Reuse. Refashion, a highly creative fashion show that serves as a fundraiser for the Community Action Center.      

The event highlights the creative talents of local artists who have designed wearable pieces of art, using 90% recycled, upcycled, and reused materials.  

Since the call went out for submissions last spring, participants have been encouraged to create something that is fun and whimsical to showcase the creativity within the community as well as focus on the more serious topics of waste reduction and environmental stability.  

A statement issued by CAC said, in fact, the event will educate and celebrate their many environmentally sustainable efforts.   

Runway Revival, which is open to the community, will take place on Thursday, August 24 from 6-9pm at Carleton College’s Great Hall. All proceeds support CAC’s mission of providing basic needs including clothing, food, housing, employment, and recovery.   

For more information, visit the Community Action center website at 

Rich Larson is the KYMN News Director. Contact him at

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