Derek Chambers was sentenced this week to 75 months in St. Cloud prison for 2nd degree drugs. The 35 year old Faribault man had been watched by the Cannon River Drug and Violent Offender Task Force. Last April,agents obtained a search warrant and the vehicle Chambers was in was pulled over. The search yielded 83 grams of methamphetamine as well as a number of weapons and ammunition. Chambers has a lengthy criminal history. With credit for 237 days, he has about 5 years to go.
The City of Dundas presented the NAFRS Joint Powers Board with 3 resolutions at their November meeting regarding clarification of some policy and procedure issues. Administrator John McCarthy explained that, “one of the main items was a Coordinator was hired and the City of Dundas had a different understanding of what the Coordinators responsibilities were for than what it turned out the coordinators responsibilities may be”. The public description, says McCarthy, was to help the Board develop policies and procedures but he added that that position, filled by Sean Simonson a Fire Captain and City of Nfld employee, has been more administrative in nature. McCarthy said the response at the December meeting was, “that the Coordinator reports to the Fire Chief and the Fire Chief determines what the Coordinators duties are, so these administrative duties were assigned to the coordinator”. Dundas also questioned if the NAFRS Board is following the rules for payment of bills without Board action. NAFRS had their attorney, Maren Swanson, answer those concerns, basically saying they were doing everything proper. While that doesn’t answer Dundas’s concerns, they will not push the matter further. There has been a divide since the formation of the JPA with Dundas understanding that the Joint Powers Board should be acting as a Policy Board rather than a Working Board, which is how they have been operating. Former Mayor and Board member Dana Graham also took issue with the operations of the Board. There’s also been an ongoing debate regarding the hiring of a full-time Fire Chief for the all volunteer Fire department. A study done in 2016 by McGrath and Associates McGrathFinal Report NAFRS 12-26 recommended the change. Dundas and some Northfield members have agreed with the report as the full time Chief would handle administrative duties while Rural members have argued that it would cost more and harm morale. At their organizational meeting this week, Bron Scherer was elected Chair and new member, Elizabeth Haase was elected Vice Chair. Swanson ltr to Board re Dundas Resolutions and 5 attached letters
Lockdown a “tool” to provide dignity to student
Northfield Middle School Principal Greg Gelineau put the school on lockdown for about 9 minutes yesterday morning as an “unruly student” was escorted out. Superintendent Dr. Matt Hillmann explained that often people fear the worst when they hear “lockdown”, saying that “a lockdown can be used in a number of different circumstances. It’s a tool that we use to assure that a circumstance can be contained”. He added, “and to be clear there was no weapon involved, no other students were in danger there was just a circumstance where we needed to provide this young person with some dignity as their individual issue was addressed”. With a lockdown, students are moved away from the windows and doors so they don’t see out and put under the tables so no one can see them from the outside. The school was then in “stay put” mode for another 10 minutes, wherein classes resumed but students were not allowed to leave the classroom. KYMN received reports of some other children in the classrooms were frightened. Gelineau said he had just a handful of calls and emails from parents upset and that 2 children needed consoling. Hillmann noted that the privacy of the unruly student was of the utmost importance and it’s always a judgement call as to how much information to give out. He believes that staff handled the situation well and they can always learn from incidents. Teachers were debriefed later in the afternoon. Hillmann noted that Gelineau would be addressing the school community today. It is a delicate balance to be respectful of the troubled student and take care of the rest of the students.