Lakes Area Police ticketed an 89-year-old driver after he drove his Ford Escape through an active accident scene Aug. 21 at County Road 23 and Hwy. 8, and continued east in the westbound lane to get around about 20 cars delayed for the accident.
State Patrol reportedly booked a driver for being under the influence after a minor injury crash at Hwy 8 and Green Lake Trail, August 21 about noon. The 29-year-old suspect hit a car stopped on a red, at the lighted intersection eastbound.
Lakes Area Police had a few ATV related complaints last week, mostly illegal use on roadways in neighborhoods in town.
Theft of wallet and cash from a vehicle on Lakeside Lane Aug. 21
Sheriff’s deputies were responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle at an abandoned house on Tern Ave. August 20 and arrested a male and female on the site. There was a pickup truck with metal materials in the back and a controlled substance and paraphernalia were also confiscated. Property caretaker told authorities nobody had permission to be scrapping anything from the home, contrary to what the suspects told deputies.
August 21 a report of copper pipe stolen from a site in Sunrise Township.
Theft of a black colored Mercury motor from a boat in Chisago Lake Twsp. South.
August 25 Theft from a seasonal property in Rushseba Twsp. reported. Gas cans and a camper bus “radiator” were missing.
Ronald Johnson, 55, Lindstrom. Booked by county. Held.
Jamie Donald Leos, 39, Shafer. Booked by county, held under sentence.
Scott Francis Clifford, 48, Harris. Booked by county. Held.
Mahrio Dante Chavez, 21, Rush City. Booked by county for alleged probation violation. Held
Dylan Lee Anderson, 19, Center City. Booked by county. Held.
Michelle Lee Hamre, 39, Hibbing. Booked by county. Held.
Ticket diversion program continues; Wabasha lawsuit unrelated
The new Chisago County Driver Awareness Program is turning out to be a positive program that nearly 200 people have already taken advantage of in the few weeks it’s been offered. It shouldn’t be affected by a lawsuit recently filed against Wabasha County, MN, but local officials are monitoring the situation. Chisago County Attorney Janet Reiter said she’ll watch the Wabasha lawsuit, but the legal questions appear to be based on concerns with no connection to to how Chisago County Sheriff Rick Duncan has structured the DAP here.
North Branch and Wyoming officers, and sheriff’s deputies, initiated a program for diverting a ticketed offender into night classes, in lieu of court. According to sheriff’s staff 183 people have attended a DAP session in the short time it’s been offered and 13 more have been referred into the DAP by Wyoming Police. North Branch was only just approved to use the program by its city council Aug. 12. The offender pays $75; and $50 goes to the sheriff’s office for providing the traffic education sessions and the ticketing agency gets $25. The ticket does not get filed with the court so the offense stays off the record. (Lakes Area P.D. is not a participating agency at this time.)
DAP sessions are provided by the sheriff’s department and are held at the Government Center in Center City. The Wabasha and Chisago County programs “are very similar,” Reiter explained. However, in doing research on the enabling state statute, that provides for fines to go into a diversion program, Reiter is confident that in Chisago County there is no expansion of discretion being created for law enforcement officers. The effort here is also being spearheaded and administered by police and the sheriff, not by the office of the county attorney. Law enforcement is responsible for filing a ticket with the courts if the offender should fail to successfully complete the Driver Awareness Program.
County Attorney Reiter said questions appear to have arisen from observations by the MN State Auditor, so it doesn’t seem to be as much a matter of legality as one of interpreting the statute from a financial standpoint. Reiter said the DAP here is operating as allowed under state law, as she reads it. If the lawsuit results in re-writing the state law, then Chisago County will re-evaluate when or if that happens.