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Northfield's Top Stories of 2011

We take a look back at some of the biggest stories of 2011.

Here's a look at the top stories of 2011 on Northfield Patch, both in terms of the number of people who read them and also for the effect they had on the community.


Person of the year

Nearly 3,000 voted for Northfield Patch's 2011 Person of the Year. Zach Pruitt, director of the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative, received the most votes. Craig Swenson, who helps out at the and , came in a very close second.

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School levy

Northfielders paid attention when wanted to increase its per-pupil operating levy to the state maximum. In the end, the voters overwhelmingly supported the schools.

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Haslett-Marroquin house fire

The community responded in immeasurable ways when the Haslett-Marroquin home was lost to a fire on Thanksgiving Eve. What quickly followed was a grassroots effort from the community to help the family work back toward normalcy.

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Downtown post office

For most of 2011, conversations revolved around the potential closing of the downtown , how to save and repurpose the location, and the eventual decision to shutter the location in favor of consolidating it with the United States Postal Service annex on the south end of the city.

A recent announcement that the USPS is delaying closures and consolidations until May has given folks some hope, but it's unknown how the announcement will effect the long-term plans for the building.

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Shea Stremcha's death

The 2004 graduate was shot and killed this summer in his south Minneapolis home after an attempted break-in.

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Creative marriage proposals

Patch was able to put the spotlight on two creative marriage proposals that took place in downtown Northfield at the and .

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The Ole Restaurant

Many Northfielders were saddened by the shuttering of the . The longtime establishment didn't go long without operating before Chuck Pryor announced he was buying the store and reopening it as the .

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Gymnastics gets two in a row

The team continued its strong run by winning its second straight state championship. They go for their third straight title this season.

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Pizza Hut and Tokyo Grill

Two of the other popular restaurant openings this year were Pizza Hut, which returned to Northfield after being gone for many years, and Tokyo Grill, which opened this summer and offers another option for Asian fare.

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Yarn returns to Northfield

Knitting enthusiasts were ecstatic when word of a new yarn store was opening in downtown Northfield. After the store opened, the traffic was brisk.

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Drug busts

Local and county law enforcement executed a few big busts this fall, bringing on charges for several people for allegedly peddling drugs in Northfield.

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Thanksgiving Day shooting

In an unusual scene for Northfield, police responded Thanksgiving night to the area near for an apparent shooting. Three people have been charged for their allegedly involvement in the incident.

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Royalty visits St. Olaf College

hosted Norway's royal couple in October. The visit didn't disappoint.

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