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After Hours

Schwirtz Appears in Court

Can a defendants prior acts be admitted in court? That’s up to a judge. Monday, Robert Schwirtz appeared in Itasca County District court. The state asked the judge to amend the complaint to add two additional counts of terroristic threats. The court denied the motion.
The state also asked to enter into evidence prior acts by the defendant. Judge Maturi ordered the state and defendant to present their arguments. The state’s evidence is due by October 13th- the defendant’s by October 23rd.
Schwirtz is charged with assault in the 2nd degree, terroristic threats, and possession of a small amount of marijuana.
Schwirtz next court appearance is scheduled for November 16th. He remains in the Itasca County Jail on $100,000 bail.

By |October 6th, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Schwirtz Appears in Court|

ISD 316 Sets Max Levy

The Greenway School Board last night voted to levy maximum dollars for their 2015 preliminary payable in 2016 levy, which will still result in a decrease to local residents. Randi Jurgenson, the district’s business manager briefed the board on school finances. The $2.8 Million dollar levy is still down slightly from last year’s $2.9 Million.
Board members Fred Tanner and Bob Schwartz were absent from Wednesday’s meeting.

By |October 1st, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on ISD 316 Sets Max Levy|

Jenkins Appeal Denied

Emery James Jenkins will stand trial, charged with First and Second Degree Murder, in the death of his son.
Jenkins lawyer had filed a motion to dismiss the charges and Itasca County District Judge Cory Wahwassuck denied the motion. The defense then filed a petition with the Minnesota Court of Appeals seeking review of the judge’s order.
The Court of Appeals determined that after a thorough review of the grand jury transcript it was determined that “substantial admissible evidence was presented to establish probable cause to believe that (Jenkins) committed these crimes”.
The court set a pre-trial hearing on November 17th and set a jury trial on January 25th. Jenkins is currently being held in the Itasca County Jail.

By |September 30th, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Jenkins Appeal Denied|

High Speed Chase Ends in Deer River

Two juveniles are in custody after a high speed chase last night that exceeded speeds of 125 miles an hour Sunday night. According to the Grand Rapids police department, the two suspects ran away from Northland Recovery Center, stole a vehicle from the River Road Market, and led police on a high speed chase between Grand Rapids and Deer River. Stop sticks were deployed in Deer River. The occupants pulled over by Fred’s Bait and fled on foot. They were arrested and charged with fleeing on foot and motor vehicle, motor vehicle theft. Both are in custody.

By |September 28th, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on High Speed Chase Ends in Deer River|

Sweepstakes Fraud

Another fraud complaint was reported from a Grand Rapids resident Tuesday. According to the complaint, a Grand Rapids resident received a letter from a financial institution claiming she was one of the second prize winners for a consumer sweepstakes. She received a check for almost four thousand dollars. She was instructed to call her claim agent at a 1-877 or 1-760 number. The resident brought both the check and the letter to her bank and found out the check was a scam.
Investigators believe the scam came from outside the country.

According to the National Fraud Information Center at fraud dot org,
A) If someone gives you a check or money order and asks you to send money somewhere in return, it’s a scam. Real sweepstakes don’t ask you to send money back. And, if you haven’t registered for a sweepstakes drawing- you can’t win.
B) A familiar name doesn’t guarantee that it’s legitimate. Crooks often pretend to be from well-known companies to gain people’s trust.
C) The check or money order may be fake even if your bank or credit union lets you have the cash. Verifying a real check may take weeks.
D) When the check or money order bounces, you will have to pay the money back to your bank or credit union.
E) The old story of a family member stuck in Canada/Mexico or the Bahamas who needs money and pleads with you not to call family members and check out the story- is a thief.

By |September 24th, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Sweepstakes Fraud|

Grand Rapids CC Invite

Grand Rapids hosting a Cross Country Invitational on Tuesday and coming out on top in the Girls team competition.

Place # 1      – 46    POINTS  –  Grand Rapids        

Place # 2      – 75    POINTS  –  Ely                 

Place # 3      – 91    POINTS  –  Greenway/NK      

Grand Rapids girls team captains Cari Janssen, Jay Lynn Lauer, and Shannon Hart talking about the race and the season.

Elyssa Peterson in 1st place for GNK and talked about the race.

On the boys side in was GNK in 1st place.

Place # 1      – 53    POINTS  –  Greenway/NK         

Place # 2      – 73    POINTS  –  Grand Rapids        

Place # 3      – 75    POINTS  –  Moose Lk/WR/Barnum  

Top individual finishers for GNK – Geno Uhrbom and Dylan Carlson in 2nd and 3rd.

Top finishers for Grand Rapids – Caleb Bissionette and Eddie Cease.

Full results can be found at Steve’s Timing.

By |September 23rd, 2015|Blog, Sports|Comments Off on Grand Rapids CC Invite|

Itasca County Preliminary Levy Set at Almost 8%

Tuesday, the Itasca County Board of Commissioners approved a preliminary 2016 levy increase of 7.99%. County Auditor/Treasurer Jeff Walker said the $2.7 Million dollar increase is due in part to rare occurrences.
“Every 12 years, there is a 26th payroll for the county. That’s $1.2 million dollars. That’s one payroll.”
Another $415,000 of the increase is because the county is not using reserves to pay down its debt. County employees are also assumed to receive a 2% raise next year. County employees, who haven’t seen an increase in the health care premiums in several years, will see an 8% increase next year.
Overall, according to Walker, because of the increased tax capacity of the county, a home valued at $100,000 will see an increase of $17.00.

By |September 23rd, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Itasca County Preliminary Levy Set at Almost 8%|

ISD 318 Sets Levy

Independent School District 318 has set the 2016-2017 school year tax levy at 0.98%. At last night’s ISD 318 School Board meeting, the tax levy max rate was set at less than one percent, even though the school board could have set it as high as 10.3% without a vote by the public. The levy rate of 0.98% cannot be exceeded by the district, but may still be lowered before it is fully voted on in December. Superintendent Dr. Bruce Thomas (audio).
Also at last night’s ISD 318 School Board meeting, a show of support was voted on for the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board’s collaborative STEM Educational Program. STEM partners ISD 318 with the Greenway School District and Itasca Community College to better prepare students for the workforce.
The board also approved contracts with the Teaching and Service staff within the district.
The next ISD 318 School Board meeting is October 6th at 7PM in Bigfork, with telepresence available in the administration board room.

By |September 22nd, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on ISD 318 Sets Levy|

Job Numbers Steady

Minnesota’s unemployment rate held steady in August at 4.0 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis. The labor force participation rate fell for the third consecutive month to 69.9 percent. The national unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point to 5.1 percent in August. Locally, Grand Rapids is at 7.1% unemployment, Itasca County is at 6.2% unemployment, and Hibbing is at 9.3% unemployment.

By |September 17th, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Job Numbers Steady|

Cocaine Delivered to SW Elementary School

An envelope with cocaine was mistakenly delivered to Southwest Elementary School Tuesday by the US Postal Service.
According to the Grand Rapids Police Department, employees opened school mail and found one envelope had four baggies containing a white powdery substance. School was not in session at the time. Staff did not touch the baggies, isolated the area, and contacted authorities.
The Grand Rapids Fire Department’s Hazardous Materials Unit responded. The unit determined it was cocaine.
Grand Rapids Assistant Police Chief Stve Schaar said the department is now conducting a criminal investigation. He also praised school authorities for taking appropriate action.

By |September 16th, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Cocaine Delivered to SW Elementary School|