A Rice County Jury yesterday convicted 61 year old Wayne Emil Pexa of 1st Degree Sale of Methamphetamine, and 2nd Degree Possession. Pexa, of Faribault, was at his home on 6th Street NW when officers executed a search warrant, based on information and the traffic coming and going from the house. Officers found scales used to weigh drugs, pipes with suspected meth residue and a total of 45 grams of methamphetamine. Pexa’s girlfriend told the officers he keeps his meth in his wallet, officers found several baggies of methamphetamine in his wallet, four amphetamine and a large amount of cash. Pexa is well known to Rice County law enforcement with over 30 years of contact with them on both minor offenses and felonies. Minnesota
Sentencing Guidelines would likely require a sentence of 64-90 months for Pexa who represented himself at trial. Although he has many felony convictions, most are too old to count on his current sentence. Rice County Attorney John Fossum said, “The evidence clearly established Pexa was dealing methamphetamine in Faribault. This case was the result of good work by the Cannon River Drug and Violent Offender Task Force.”
Mayor wants to form Hosp. governance committee
Northfield Hospital and Clinics have had strong leadership and expanded since becoming City-owned in 1934 when it was a 12 bed on 8th and Water st. In 2001 they broke ground on a $34 million hospital and clinic on North Avenue becoming a regional medical destination with continued expansion. They’ve been governed by a 9 member Hospital Board for decades. The Board was heavily involved in the negotiations for a Senior Housing project presented to Council and now approved. Mayor Pownell was displeased that the City wasn’t involved early on and have input. She appointed herself to the Board in January. This week, the Council discussed forming a “temporary city/hospital governance committee” beyond the Hospital Board. The Mayor, Administrator Martig, the Hospital Board Chair, CEO Steve Underdahl and a council liason have already been meeting but she wants to expand it to include 2 Hosp. Board members and another councilor for “more communication”. Administrator Martig explained that there’s a lot of crossover between Council and the Hospital when it comes to their capital projects. The concern is that the City’s goals are also taken into account. He added that their goal for the committee is broad, they “deliberately didn’t want to get too specific” with it. He said the Chair of the Hosp. Board and the CEO approved the governance committee and their full Board will take it up at their next meeting. Mayor Pownell says they have a timeline of 6 months but they could go longer. She said the idea is to keep the hospital around for the longterm. Members of the governance committee will be appointed by the mayor next month.
Burning ban lifted but winds are a concern
Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn lifted the burning ban but noted that last weekend there were 7 fires in the county that either rekindled from Saturday, when there was no restriction, to people burning when they shouldn’t have been. He said there was one unfortunate owner who lost 2 tractors and 2 vehicles to a fire. While the restrictions lifted he still says to be cognizant of the weather, especially the wind. He added that you need a burning permit for everything except grilling and a 3ft x 3ft recreational fire. Call your local fire department or township. Locally you can go to nafrs.org to apply for your permit.