The man accused of driving drunk and killing a woman was formally charged this morning. 29 year old Brandon Dellwo of Shakopee was driving his SUV eastbound in the westbound lane of Hwy 19 early Sunday morning. Near the Flying J truck stop he struck a small vehicle. The driver, 29 year old Kacy Merseal of Des Moines was flown to HCMC where she later died. Her passenger was taken to Northfield Hospital with non life-threatening injuries. According to the criminal complaint, the Trooper attending to Dellwo observed that, while he was found in the passenger seat, all indications suggest he moved from the driver’s seat to the passenger
seat AFTER the crash. When asked why, he responded with variations of “no”. The trooper also observed many other indications that Dellwo was under the influence including the smell of alcohol. Witnesses in another vehicle had to avoid colliding with Dellwo twice and called 911. They observed the head on collision with Merseal and noted that she had tried to avoid Dellwo. The witnesses checked on the occupants and observed just one person inside Dellwo’s SUV. A blood draw was taken at Northfield Hospital. A preliminary breath test showed more than 3 times the legal limit at .26. Dellwo is charged with Criminal Vehicular Homicide and could face up to 10 years in prison. He remains in the Rice County jail. Complaint Brandon Dellwo as filed in court
Municipal ID – no rights, but community inclusion
Northfield Neighbors United, described as an “umbrella group” of organizations working for the betterment of Northfield, discussed plans last week, at the Northfield Library, to create a Northfield Municipal ID. Representative Mar Valdecantos called it a “glorified library card” in that it includes a photo identification. While it’s open to every resident of Northfield, the intent of the card is for people to use them to open bank accounts, buy prescription drugs and for any transaction that requires a photo id. The Human Rights Commission is working on the details to recommend to City Council. Member Angelique Dietz calls it a “tremendous tool for inclusion for all members of the community”, adding, “it is not going to be a magic wand in and of by itself. It does not give rights, it is not a driver’s license. It doesn’t give any rights at all”. She continued, “what it does do, I believe, is give confidence to people when they are being told, here, see, this is your card. You’re a Northfielder, you’re one of us and we want you to participate in our community”. To get the card, you must present photo id but it can be a passport or driver’s license issued by another country. You must prove who you are and that you live in Northfield. Valdecantos said they would mirror the program used by Roselle, NJ, a town of about 22,000 people. The Library would be the assumed issuer of the cards. Some expressed concern that undocumented people would then be on a list. The Library would not keep your information except for name and address. Others said it allows undocumented people to feel safer interacting with police in reporting crime and assisting law enforcement. The card doesn’t apply outside city limits. At this point, the 5 year renewable card would cost $15 for adults, $7 for students and seniors. As this is voluntary, any business, such as a pharmacy or bank, would individually approve the use of the card at their business. Valdecantos said their hope is to get other businesses to offer discounts. Northfield would be the first in the State to have such an ID should it pass. Throughout the US, by my count, there are 12 cities, 3 counties and Washington, DC as well as NYC that offer this type of ID. We’ll be hearing more about Municipal ID in the coming weeks.
Street assessments, Charter amendment, contracts and more
The Northfield City Council meets tonight, they have a busy agenda that includes a public hearing on the 2017 street assessments, several agreements regarding bond sales and a community solar contract. Council will adopt their Strategic Plan summary, 1 – Northfield Strategic Plan Summary 8_8_2017, and get a presentation from NAFRS on the facility, 1 – NAFRS Presentation revised 8-8-17. Mayor Pownell and Administrator Martig will be in studio tomorrow morning at 7:20 with a recap. CC 8-8 meeting agenda.