There is still one open case of racist notes found at St. Olaf College, but the one that sparked a nearly 3 day protest and introduced “The Collective for Change on the Hill” was a hoax. In 2 separate emails to students yesterday, President David Anderson addressed the note found on a specific black female student’s vehicle on April 29th. He said We confronted a person of interest who confessed to writing the note. We’ve confirmed that this was not a genuine threat. Vice President and General Counsel Carl Lehmann filed the reports to police and the College contacted the FBI. Their services were never used,
simply offered to Northfield Police. Chief Monte Nelson said the college gave them enough information for 2 reports. In regard to the threatening note that sparked the protest, the victim requested the case be dropped, which it was. Nelson said he never saw the note only a screenshot sent by the college. As to the identity of the person who wrote it, Anderson’s 2nd email said, Unfortunately, Federal student privacy laws prohibit the College from disclosing the identity of the author of that note and from disclosing the actions taken by the College now that we know the author’s identity. He continued... The note was fabricated. It was apparently a strategy to draw attention to concerns about the campus climate. Samantha Wells is the woman whose car the note was on. The public case file stated that she “took the note outside and had a ‘ceremonial’ burning to destroy it.” According to the Star Tribune, Wells said on twitter “So, it looks like something made its way back to me in the investigation,” and “I will be saying it was a hoax. I don’t care. There is nothing more that I can do.” Wells is graduating this year and leaving for Europe in June. There’s been no comment from the College on The Collective for Change on the Hill and their demands.
Task Force takes down dealer
A drug bust turned into a car chase then foot pursuit in Faribault. Agents of the Cannon River Drug and Violent Offender Task Force had been working a case with an undercover agent set up for a buy in the Walmart parking lot. On Monday afternoon he met with 21 year old Devonte Bernard Phillips of Owatonna. The exchange took place and agents moved in. They blocked Phillips vehicle from the front and rear. That’s when Phillips put his vehicle in reverse and hit the gas ramming the other agents car with them still in it. He then took off in the parking lot, got himself into a corner and jumped a fence to I-35 on foot. It eventually took 4 officers to handcuff him. Phillips sold the agent 191 ecstasy pills and almost 2.4 grams of Molly, a powdered synthetic hallucinogen . He’s charged with 1st degree drug sale, fleeing an officer and 2nd assault with a dangerous weapon, all felonies. The most serious charge carries up to 30 years in prison. His first court appearance is May 24th. Up until this point he’d only been convicted of petty misdemeanors.
Motorcyclist charged in injury crash
Last night, Rice County deputies, Faribault Fire and Rescue along with Northfield Ambulance were dispatched to a personal injury crash in Wells Township. A motorcycle was traveling on 150th street west into a curve onto Elmore Avenue when the driver, 44 year old Samuel D. Huston of Farmington lost control. 48 year old Tracey L. Culbert of Burnsville was taken to Allina Hospital Faribault and later airlifted to HCMC with head, back and possible internal injuries. Sheriff Troy Dunn said neither occupant was wearing a helmet. He said the 2015 Harley Davidson was traveling at about 55 mph when Huston “laid it down”. The vehicle ended up in the ditch. Huston was arrested for DWI and Criminal Vehicular Operation. Formal charges were filed this morning. The preliminary breath test showed .124 alcohol content. Huston’s story changed through the evening as to how much alcohol he’d consumed. Huston complaint
Hotel site decades in the development
The redevelopment of the Crossings site took a big step yesterday afternoon with the Official Groundbreaking for the Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites. Rebound Enterprises CEO and Northfield native Brett Reese thinks this site is ideal for the project at the Gateway to Northfield along the busiest stretch of Hwy 3 in Rice County. While excavation of the site began last week, Northfield Community Development Director Chris Heineman says the planning goes back more than 3 decades to 1984. Mayor Pownell called it an economic driver. The project is expected to be completed by Spring 2018 at a cost of over $13 million.