By Teri Knight, News Director
Convicted sex offender, 38-year-old Ross Matthew Wenner, has been charged with eight counts of distributing child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. Rice County Attorney John Fossum reports that Wenner has previously been convicted of Kidnapping and Criminal Sexual Conduct. According to the BCA, he was set to be released on June 10, 2019, however, he’s scheduled to be sentenced in Rice County on June 7 for violations of the predatory registration requirements. Additionally, he’ll be arraigned on the new charges on June 7. Speaking on sentencing for the new charges, Fossum said, “There’s a statutory maximum of 15 years for the distribution count; given his criminal history, I think there’s a fair chance that we would get 15
years on that one and then there’s 10 years of conditional release on top of that.” Fossum is looking for a couple of convictions, saying he believes there’s a fair chance Wenner would be looked at as a “sexual psychopath at that time.” Wenner is currently in the custody of the Department of Corrections at Stillwater Prison. Wenner has a lengthy criminal history dating back to 1999 in Rice County.
Bridgewater supervisors “planning ahead” as they move toward incorporation
Bridgewater Township supervisors have been working toward incorporation for a little over a year. Supervisor Glen Castore wanted to inform the wider community of why they started the process. The township receives 25% of their budget by being the host of the Rice County landfill which earns the township about $150,000 a year. Castore said the landfill is projected to close within the next 20 to 30 years and the supervisors are trying to plan ahead for that loss of revenue. Additionally, he said, “There’s little nibblings of annexations, there’s some possibilities of diversifying our tax base which we’re constrained from right now because of Rice County zoning.” Castore said there’s also been interest in expanding businesses around the gravel pit and wash plant. He added, in parallel, they sent a resolution to the Northfield City Council in July of last year asking to update their annexation agreement which expires at the end of this year. He said, “And we heard nothing… and that hearing nothing for several months, we finally got a formal response in February of 2019, but hearing nothing and combining it with what was going on between Northfield and Waterford, we just said, relying on the annexation agreement to deal with some of these issues, is not wise.” At 36 square miles, Bridgewater is a large township with a lot of agricultural land. Incorporation would make them the largest city in Rice County. Castore said they’ve held four public meetings for their residents and they’ve just begun holding neighborhood meetings, saying, “The response we’re getting is encouraging us towards becoming a city, there’s still lots of questions out there.” These meetings are held in someone’s home and are not open to the public. He said this is about the township controlling where it goes and gaining power and revenue. They have not yet met with the large landowners. Castore said they want to speed up discussions with Northfield and Dundas. He said, “Part of what we’re talking about is, if we become a City, we would transfer land or guarantee to transfer land to the cities so this wouldn’t be a constraining factor for their growth.” Bridgewater would not just “give” the land away. There would be a financial transaction. The supervisors hired Northland Securities to study tax implications to residents. Castore said they spoke, “…with people in other townships that have become cities about controlling cost, so we’re pretty confident we can do this. We’ve been raising our levy about 3% a year for the past 10 years or so and continuing at that same rate is what we would do as a city.” Castore cited the City of Grant, which incorporated in 1996. As for services such as police protection, garbage service, etc., Castore said they’ll contract for those and have just one actual city employee, a clerk. Supervisors expect to pass a resolution in June to move ahead. The actual decision will be made in September, at which time they will give the cities a 30-day notice. The application would be filed in November to go before an administrative law judge. That process could then take well over a year. In the meantime, the City of Northfield will likely meet in closed session to discuss possible implications and the City of Dundas is preparing to argue against it due to their annexation agreement, which doesn’t expire until 2033. For more on Waterford Township vs Northfield click HERE.
Northfield 13AAA are Player Buddies for Miracle League
Last night Northfield’s 13AAA boys baseball team were Player Buddies for the South Metro Miracle League, based in Lakeville. They provide opportunities for children and adults with cognitive and/or physical disabilities to play Miracle League Baseball. Each player is paired with an able bodied friend to assist them on and off the field during a two inning game. Buddies can be anyone including Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts or any individual or group who wishes to volunteer their time. Northfield Travel Director Lance Reisetter encourages groups and organizations to get involved. You can find out more on the lakevillebaseballassociation website.
Northfield wants to hear from you on recycling
The City of Northfield is asking the public to participate in three short survey questions related to recycling awareness using POLCO. In April, the City, in partnership with Dick’s Sanitation (DSI), announced changes to solid waste services and they’d like your opinion. The full press release with all the links you need are on our Community News page at kymnradio.net.