Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Safety audit of school proves to be positive

Recent training on an active shooter situation will be passed along to educators


Theft of a large amount of copper wire, gas stolen from a school bus, and a stolen driver’s license were some of the thefts that Moose Lake Police Chief reported at a meeting of the Carlton County TRIAD at the Moose Lake Police Department on Wednesday, June 6.

The copper wire was stolen from Moose Lake Power but the evidence pointed to Tanner Johnson of Duluth. He was arrested and placed in jail for couple of days and then released, said Bogenholm. He has a record of other copper wire thefts, he added.

(See story on page 3.)

Bogenholm also reported someone had drilled a hole into the gas tank of one of the gas-powered school buses that was sitting outside of the bus garage.

“All of the big buses are powered by propane,” he told the group. “But the short bus is still gas powered. The driver was going to drive the short bus and then noticed that there was no gas in it.

“Last weekend, someone swiped a utility trailer from Oak Lake RV. And, at the Wellness Center, someone stole someone’s driver’s license. ... We found the owner of the license and returned it.”

Bogenholm also reported the cars that had been stored in the impound lot had been sold by Lots for Bid at Carlton. However, more cars have been confiscated and the lot is being filled again.

Safety and security in churches and schools has been a concern.

“I met with the ministerial group,” said Bogenholm. "They are very concerned about church safety in an active shooter situation.”

Bogenholm said a safety audit had been completed at the new school in Moose Lake.

“The auditors were very happy with the school,” he reported. “It seemed very safe. They had some recommendations about changing some of the door locks.”

Bogenholm also reported a couple of Moose Lake police officers attended training and will share what they learned with school staff about an active shooter situation.

“They will go to the school and train the teachers and staff before school starts,” he said.

Bogenholm also reported that, since the reconstruction of the main streets in Moose Lake last year, traffic seems to flow better.

“There has not been one accident at the roundabout,” he said.

He also shared the city has decided to make changes in the way that animals are handled.

“The city decided not to renew the contract with Friends of Animals,” he reported. “We put photos of the animals on Facebook and the owners come and claim the animals within a couple of hours in most cases. Last year, we had the most animals that we took to a shelter. It was five but it is usually two or three. The city is trying to find a better solution.”

Bogenholm said that there is still a big problem with meth in the area.

“It is plentiful and cheap,” he said. “It comes in shards that look like a big chunk of glass. That means that it is coming from a big place. The intelligence thinks that it is Mexico. Minnesota is one of hub distribution states.”

Sheriff Lake said law enforcement officials think the meth is coming out of Minneapolis. They are trying to keep it under control.

“We have a new investigator,” she added. “The investigator focuses on drug investigations. There is a big network and they know each other. We do a pretty good job of keeping it under control.”

Scams continue to plague citizens.

“The IRS scam is going around again,” said Lake. “We received a warning from the IRS yesterday. The IRS will not tell you how to pay them. If they do, that’s the sign of a scam. They will not send a law enforcement officer to arrest you. And the IRS does not demand payment right away.”

“We have had several calls about IRS scams,” added Bogenholm. “People were very upset about it. They bought into it. It is scary stuff, especially when you don’t realize that it is a scam.”

There have been door-to-door salesmen making the rounds recently.

Bogenholm said door-to-door salesmen are not allowed in town without a permit.

Sheriff Lake said a permit is not needed in the county.

“If you are wondering about a door-to-door salesman, call 911,” she said. “We want to check them out anyway.”

Bogenholm warned people to be aware of the salesmen’s sales pitches.

“They have ways to get you,” he warned.

An insurance agent present at the meeting explained that people can ask to see an insurance agent’s license, if there is a question about its legitimacy.

“They have to have a license from the state,” she said. “They have to keep the license active with continuing education. You can go online to the Department of Commerce website to check it out if you have the license number.”

There was a question about situations where children are removed from the home.

“It’s a child protection thing,” Lake said. “We can’t just go and take someone’s kids away unless they are in danger. There has to be a court hearing, and we can take them away if there are unsanitary conditions, neglect, abuse and at drug houses. The county is responsible for out-of-home placement. Social Services gets involved.

“In cases of mental illness, we can commit someone for 72 hours. There still is a tremendous need for beds for mental health patients. And there is a desperate need for foster parents.”

Sheriff Lake also asked that people keep an eye on neighbors that are alone.

“If you haven’t seen them for a few days and the mail is piling up, go and check on them,” she advised. “When we are called out for a welfare check, it is usually for mental illness. But a lot of the time it is because someone is suicidal. There is a specific set of questions that we ask that person. The matrix of questions determine if the person needs more help.”

There will be no TRIAD meeting in July. The next meeting of the Carlton County TRIAD was set for Wednesday, August 1, at 10 a.m. at the Carlton County Transportation Building.


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