Local GOP select nominees
Local republicans selected their nominees to run for House District 20b and Senate District 20, which covers Northfield and points west. Rich Draheim was elected to run against incumbent Senator Kevin Dahle. He said he’s ready to take a time out to make a difference and try to have someone in St. Paul that will stand up and say “time out”. He said we need to go back to the basics of what government’s supposed to be involved in. He said we need to reevaluate our priorities and focus on core values which he believes are, “education, transportation, public safety and mental health”. Draheim currently owns and manages Weichert Realtors, Community Group of Mankato and the New Ulm Event Center. He lives in Cleveland, MN, about 45 minutes west of Northfield. Aramis Wells is a machinist at Bilken Industrial and has been a NAFRS firefighter and is now Captain of the Rescue Squad. He’ll be running against incumbent David Bly for the House 20b seat. We spoke with Wells in February. He said he and his wife had been talking about doing for quite a few years. He will bring fiscal responsibility and believes people know best how to run their lives and doesn’t think St. Paul should tell them how. District 20 includes most of Le Sueur County, northern Rice County, and southern Scott County, including the cities of Le Sueur, New Prague, Belle Plaine, Elko, New Market, Montgomery, Lonsdale, Northfield, and surrounding townships.
Body cams, privacy and tainted testimony
Some law enforcement personnel are thinking that Body cameras will become required pieces of equipment. Rice County attorney John Fossum said he thinks, in most situations, they’re a good idea. Concern lingers over privacy issues. Fossum said, “I think it’s important to remember that police respond to a lot of things that are not criminal and so when they’re the first responder to a medical emergency or to someone who’s found dead at home, I think there’s a real concern that video becoming public”. He believes it’s appropriate for videos to be available for criminal cases and thinks it will help resolve questions but wants to make sure that the videos themselves are protected so that the privacy of the people in them is protected. He said some of the medical calls could become very embarrassing if left available to the public. That’s part of the argument in that some think all videos should be public. However, Fossum said, “I wouldn’t want them to taint the investigation or to taint the testimony of eyewitnesses who say they saw what they saw in the videos as opposed to what they say they saw”. It’s about the credibility of the investigation and the privacy of the people involved. Another issue will be the cost of data storage and how long to keep video.
Why 246 and Jefferson study gets go-ahead
The Northfield City Council met last night for a work session and a special meeting to discuss the Hwy 246 and Jefferson Pkwy intersection study. It went up to 9 o’clock but they approved an $85,000 study 5 to 1 with Ludescher voting no. The Library gave an update. They’ll be asking for more funds as their contingency will run out due to several change orders they didn’t anticipate. Mayor Graham will be in studio at 7:20 with a recap.
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