Marijuana wax has become more prevalent in Rice County, according to Attorney John Fossum, who explains what it is, “it’s not really a wax, the statute calls it a resinous form of marijuana so you take some kind of fluid, often it’s butane, and run it through the marijuana and that’s what they then smoke. It’s a very concentrated form of THC, it’s a very concentrated high, apparently”. It’s not a safe way to smoke it. Fossum said they’re seeing a lot more of it, including at the colleges. He added that, in 2016, there was a significant change in how drug laws were
categorized, felonies and gross misdemeanors. Some of the felony cases, pipes with drug residue, were made gross misdemeanors. Fossum said they went from 178 felony drug cases in 2016 to 111 in 2017. A noticeable drop. They also had 50 more gross misdemeanors. First time offenders can plead guilty and avoid prosecution. More than that, they could be charged with a felony. The legislature and the guidelines commission have a preference of treatment over incarceration. Fossum said, “when we have the people who are not the big time dealers, we focus on getting them treatment, and, again, part of that is a function of our drug court”. Rice County’s drug court has done very well. Nine have graduated, that’s nine less in prison. Two more are set to graduate this week. However, there are still more people in prison than there are beds.
Reconstruction means reroutes coming
Reconstruction of County Road 1 between Hwys 246 and 3 will begin this season. It’s been a long, thought-out process involving multiple entities and varied responsibilities. It’s also a major artery with a housing development, Bridgewater Heights, that will need to be detoured. There will also be work on Spring Creek Rd and the Division St. work on the south end of downtown Northfield. Administrator Martig said, “there’s going to be some traffic issues that we’re going to be dealing with including the detour route through 246 and onto Woodley St. and probably we’ll see some added congestion on Jefferson Pkwy so I think we’ll try and get the word out, just people be patient”. City officials will be monitoring traffic levels and speeds. 4 – CSAH 1 – Detour
Phone scam has Nfld grandparent contacting police to check on grandson
A Northfield grandparent called police after receiving a call from someone claiming their grandson was locked up and needed money to get out. They even had someone impersonating the grandson on the phone. The boy attends Northfield high school. Police Chief Monte Nelson happened to be at the school when a call came to verify the boys location. Nelson said these scams play out in multiple ways with someone claiming to have your grandchild, control over your computer or claiming to be the FBI. Nelson said, they’ll say, “if you don’t send us money or gift cards or whatever, we’re going to take your computer or we’re going to turn over the information to the FBI or, now it’s tax season…”. So they’ll claim to be from the IRS. They just want a number, be it your credit card, your bank account, your social security number or even gift card numbers. Bottom line, if someone is asking you for money, or threatening you, just hang up. Don’t answer calls unless they’re from someone you know. Local police can’t do anything about those calls except warn the public and, as in the grandson’s case, assure the grandparent.
Nfld makes another Top Ten list
Northfield made another top ten list. This one from the National Council for Home Safety and Security. They announced their ranking of the Safest Cities in Minnesota for 2018. Northfield squeaked in at number 10 but we’re surrounded by safe cities with Lakeville in at number 9, Farmington at number 4 and nearby Rosemount was rated 3rd. The Home Safety and Security Council ranks cities based on the number of reported violent crimes and property crimes per 1,000 people. Orono came in at Number 1. The full list: 1. Orono 2. Big Lake 3. Rosemount 4. Farmington 5. Hibbing 6. South Lake 7. Minnetonka 8. Lino Lakes 9. Lakeville 10. Northfield