A Bloomington woman is in custody after crashing into 2 vehicles and fleeing a police officer in Northfield on Sunday. Officers were called to Riverview Manor just after 4pm on report of a suspicious woman asking for methamphetamine. She rear-ended the reporting party’s vehicle and left. Shortly after, an officer came upon a crash on Hwy 3 involving the same vehicle. As he approached on foot, she took off. Turning onto Jefferson she fled onto Bollenbacher Drive passing another officer at speeds over 65 mph. 25 year old Lauren Elizabeth Schulze
came to a stop behind the James Gang coffeehouse. Officers found a mostly empty bottle of brandy on the front passenger seat. She blew a .26 at the scene, over 3 times the legal limit. Schulze is charged with fleeing a peace officer, 2 counts of 2nd degree DWI, failure to stop at a crash and reckless driving. She has a previous DWI conviction in 2014. Her court appearance is March 21st. Schulze complaint
Public comment stifled or streamlined
The Northfield City Council held their first meeting with the new 6pm start time. Most of last night’s attention focused on changes to Public Comment in their Rules of Business. They would accept registration cards to speak at the meeting up to the point the gavel sounded. But questions came from Councilor Nakasian including, “what was our rationale for not allowing people to also… if I’m sitting in the audience and I’m paying attention and I’m moved to speak, why would we restrict that”? Administrator Martig said the idea is to have an orderly process and the public to be respectful and intentional. For years, citizen watchdogs Don McGee and Victor Summa have commented at nearly every meeting and on a variety of issues. McGee commented that there are times during a meeting when people think of a comment or question. He said, ” I think you have to rethink this that you’re not going to allow people to respond once they’ve heard the questioning”. Todd Bornhauser said at the meeting that there have been times listening to council, listening to others speak, that he’s been compelled to comment. He said, “it looks like now what I’ll have to do is fill out a comment card for every regular agenda item whether I want to speak on it or not so I at least have the protection that if something should come up in conversation that I can get up and speak on it”. With tongue in cheek, he also apologized to council for “wasting their time”. Mayor Pownell said on KYMN this morning, “that’s not the way the majority communicates with the Council. We’re getting emails, we’re getting phone calls, we’re meeting with people personally”. I asked later if there was a public record of that. There is not. Another issue are those who want to speak on an item listed later in the agenda without having to submit a comment card in person by 6 o’clock and sit through items they’re not interested in. There will be an opportunity to register online and/or submit comments online once they vote on it. That will cost the City $125 a month more and they must sign a year-long contract. In the end, they postponed the item till their next meeting, March 21st. I’ll have more on this issue tomorrow with comments from other councilors. Pownell and Martig’s interview is online at kymnradio.net. The mayor and council is accessible through the city’s website. Let them know your opinions. Here’s a link
NH&C plans multiple scenarios for their Strategic Plan as the fate of healthcare evolves
Just after the Presidential election, Nfld Hosp, & clinics CEO, STeve Underdahl said most of the “healthcare intelligencia” were thinking that there wouldn’t be a radical departure from the status quo. Now, he says, “frankly most of those same voices say it beats the heck out of us”. What seems to be gaining traction is Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan called “A Better Way”. He suspects it will take up to 150 days for them to get a better sense of how this is going to happen. There’s plenty of anxiety out there. He said NH&C is in year one of their new 3 year Strategic Plan and they are planning on a few different scenarios just to be prepared. This is an evolving process.