Graham sounds off on NAFRS politics
The NAFRS joint powers board met this morning. The facility was on the agenda which did not sit well with Mayor Graham yesterday. At the last Board meeting, a motion passed to get questions about the current building answered before voting on it , “we need to know structurally is this building sound. If we’re going to put millions of dollars into it, is it a sound plan that’s going to last for years to come or if it isn’t, let’s start looking at alternatives”. Various studies with various cost estimates offer differing views of the current facility. Building official Jim Kessler said he would not issue a building permit right now. Chair Glen Castore opened the discussion on facility location with information highlighting response time to fires from the current location and shows it to be optimal. Mayor Graham said it made no sense to vote on the location without the information they requested on the facility itself. Mayors Graham and Switzer have been vocal about getting clearer dollar amounts to rehab the facility, others argue they have it with the Medin Study at $3 million. Northfield and Dundas want an engineer to look at it, not the architect, “that’s what we proposed. Let’s get this information from experts, but again, they want to go back to the architect and I think that’s a waste of money”. Castore and member Bernie Street said there are several experts they need to have answer the questions about the building and that Medin can get those experts. They are awaiting an estimate from him. Switzer didn’t understand why these questions weren’t answered when Medin originally designed the rehab. Graham reiterated yesterday that he’s not against staying in the current building but wants assurance that, if they spend the money, the building will remain structurally sound for decades. Graham called the move to vote on location, “this is boardroom politics for the facility. It is not for making sure that we have good equipment, safe equipment so that they can safely do their job, which they do well”. Castore dropped the idea to vote on the fire location. Graham had more to say and you can listen to it on our website kymnradio.net.
Fugitive wanted in fraud case involving Northfield
A Faribault woman is a “wanted fugitive”. According to the Waseca County News, 39 year old Heather Leigh Oldeen is wanted for skipping out on probation and charged with illegally obtaining food stamps. In a complaint filed last week in Waseca County court she admitted to using the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. The card owner reported the March 2015 thefts shortly after being released from Nicollet County jail, telling investigators he couldn’t have used the card while he was incarcerated. An investigator found 10 purchases for about $830 were made on the card — including in Northfield. Oldeen, who’s on supervised release following a 2012 conviction in Rice County for intent to sell meth, drug possession and check forgery, has been missing since mid February. She’s charged with financial card fraud, a felony, and wrongfully obtaining assistance. If convicted on both counts, she could serve up to six years in prison and be fined up to $13,000. Her criminal history dates back to 1995 with multiple convictions for theft and drugs.
Symposium to feature discussion on contemptuous politics
With political discord and contempt at a fever pitch in this election cycle, St. Olaf College will host a two-day symposium featuring three prominent speakers presenting on coarse rhetoric and contemptuous politics. Presented by The Institute for Freedom and Community, this event aims to foster civil discourse and create civility in public debate. Professor of Philosophy Mark Kingwell of the University of Toronto will speak this evening at 7 o’clock in Tomson Hall. His talk is entitled “Jerks, Asshats and the Unstable Politics of Civility”. Tomorrow there will be 2 other speakers. Information on the when and where is posted HERE.
Click below to listen to the 3-31-16 NEWS podcast:
Listen for news updates on-air at 6, 7, 8, Noon, 3 and 5