An Austin man is in jail for putting a Faribault man in the hospital. 41 year old Todd Allen Wenner is charged with multiple counts of Assault, including First Degree with great bodily harm. A Faribault police officer responded to District One Hospital to take a report of a man who’d been beaten. The victim told officers that Wenner, among other things, hit him in the head at least 6 times with a flashlight, then kicked him repeatedly in the stomach after he’d collapsed. The victim was transferred to HCMC with an inch and a half laceration behind his ear, multiple broken bones and an intracranial hemorrhage. All 4 charges are
felonies, Wenner faces up to 20 years for the most serious. Bail has been set at $250,000 with conditions. His court appearance is February 15th. He remains in the Rice County jail. Wenner complaint
Who’s role is it?
Last week the Charter Commission met with Mayor Pownell. Chair David Ludescher said it was an effort to open up communications. They invited her to talk about what she thought her roles and responsibilities were according to the Charter and they (the Commission) took a look at it themselves. Their ideas, Ludescher said, “weren’t very similar”. One item, Section 3.8 was brought up wherein the Mayor is supposed to oversee the inner workings of City departments and report any “issues”. It’s under “Executive Functions”. The Charter was adopted in about 1910 when the City was much smaller with far fewer employees and a small budget. The question then is, how is the Mayor to keep an eye on a multi-million dollar budget? Ludescher said, “that is a solid argument against changing the Charter but it’s not a solid argument to say you can’t obey it”. Ludescher added that the Mayor could ask for help from the City Administrator. His interpretation of that portion is that there should be a Chief Executive Officer who investigates and reports back to someone who has the power to do something about a problem, should there be one. The Charter is allowed to have stricter rules than State statute, they cannot be more lenient. Ludescher added that the role of the City Attorney should be better defined. He’s consistently clashed with Chris Hood, who at one point as a Councilor, he fired. With more life being breathed back into the Commission, there will be further discussion and possible action.
Language Line “a great tool” for law enforcement
Language can be a major issue for law enforcement and emergency personnel. Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn explains the “Language Line” saying that if someone calls 911 who is not speaking English they can transfer the call to Language Line and they can put a live person on to determine what language they’re speaking and then translate for officers “so they can get the appropriate response to the people in need”. They are also able to use it in the jail. He said it’s a great program. Adding that, for the Patrol deputies, they can use it in the field or they have a laptop with a program in which they can get a live person on the laptop to translate. He said with the larger Hispanic community, it’s easy to cover Spanish but there are has been an influx of Russians who are working on dairy farms and people from Sudan. That’s when the Language Line makes a huge difference.
Three local residents to be honored at NHS Annual meeting
Three local residents will be honored Saturday,night as the Northfield Historical Society’s 2016 Volunteers of the Year. NHS will present the awards to Bill Malnar as Collections Volunteer, Alyssa Ness for her work in the Store, and Phil Peterson as Posse Member volunteer. They’ll be celebrated at the organization’s annual meeting and dinner at the Grand Event Center. Tickets are still available go to northfieldhistory.org.