Today’s news update | Northfield woman killed in car accident; Northfield DECA Coordinator ensures her students have adult supervision; Beaumaster talks about gun control

Northfield woman killed in car accident

A young Northfield woman was killed in a car accident near Two Harbors on Friday afternoon.  19 year old Caitlin Kelly was driving north on Hwy 61 north of Two Harbors when she lost control of her vehicle on icy roads and spun out.  A vehicle driven by 62 year old Paul Drindak was traveling southbound when he struck her broadside on the passenger side.  Drindak was not injured, his wife was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  All 3 were wearing seatbelts.

Northfield DECA Coordinator ensures her students have adult supervision

Following an investigation into alleged underage drinking at a DECA Fall Leadership conference in Bloomington last October,  Apple Valley High School Principal Stephen Degenaar ordered the club be disbanded.  It’s not the first time this particular club has displayed illegal and inappropriate  behavior.   We talked with Julie Wolner, who reinstalled Northfield’s DECA program in 2010.   Wolner says that Northfield students were there but were unaware of the goings-on while at the conference. They later talked about the incident after it became public.  Wolner says that HER modus operandi is to be present at these overnight events.  She walks the hall, knocks on doors and keeps the kids together.  She says for the state tournaments coming up she will add a program that the athletes already have called “Life of an athlete”, which is basically peer pressure.  Wolner says procedures are in place for to prevent issues and also consequences should there be a need.  Right now, Northfield DECA is focusing on state competition.  19 Northfield students will compete during the convention that will be held March 3 through the 5th in Minneapolis.  Currently there are 58 students in DECA.

Beaumaster talks about gun control

We talked gun control with Rice County attorney Paul Beaumaster.  He said that weapons used in crimes have generally been stolen.  He added that, nationally, statistics show that those types of crimes have actually gone down, however, the common denominator are mental health issues.  Beaumaster was at the Capital last week speaking with individuals who belong to the National Alliance for Mental Health.  They told him that families of these people are concerned that their loved ones will harm themselves or others.  They ask “does our loved one have to kill someone before they’re committed”.  Beaumaster says that they have to prove to be a danger to themselves or others with medical testimony.  He says that’s hard to prove.  Judges have to follow the statute and don’t want to infringe on their rights.  Beamaster says, if anything, they need to consider indeterminate committment.  Right now, they must be reviewed after 6 months and then are likely released.  If they quit the medication that they are required to take while incarcerated, law enforcement then sees these individuals return and the cycle starts again.  This starts a revolving door and creates a higher cost in time, resources and possible harm to others.

Free cell phones to eligible households
       
The Community Action Center is working again with Free Phone Minnesota to help eligible households receive a free cell phone with 250 free minutes each month.  There are no contracts, activation charges, or monthly fees. Staff of Free Phone Minnesota will be at the Community Resource Center, Room 104, from 11 a.m. to 4 tomorrow to enroll interested individuals. Phones will be distributed that day and are limited to one per household.  Appointments are required and can be scheduled by calling the Community Action Center at 507-664-3550.

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