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

By Dan Reed
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Carlton County declares State of Emergency


October 10, 2019

Byron Kuster

The Moose Lake City Park flooded during the most recent bout of heavy rain.

At an Emergency Meeting on October 1, the Carlton County Commissioners declared a State of Emergency after heavy rains in the previous two days flooded southern Carlton County with 6+ inches. Heaviest hit was southeast Carlton County in the Nemadji watershed with parts of Hwy 23 damaged.

Carlton County received $115,000 in County road damages from the flooding. Preliminary reports are that some townships lost roadbed gravel from culvert washouts, closing roads temporarily, and water was running over sections of road in several areas.

Even with the smaller damage totals compared to the 2012 and 2016 floods, State funding will cover part of the loss now that an Emergency Declaration has been issued. Brenner, Bodie, and Thell voted in favor of the declaration with Peterson gone to a Lakes & Pines Board meeting and Proulx out for family plans.

Any local governmental losses due to the flooding should be reported to the Emergency Preparedness in the Sheriff's Office.

At the Committee of the Whole meeting that followed a presentation was given by Donna Lekander and Stephanie Upton on the Family Friendly Jail Initiative (FFJI) results after its first year of implementation at the Carlton County Jail. Lekander explained that the program had been started by available staff using any spare time they could arrange.

FFJI has been used to build bonds between incarcerated parents and their children through the use of Parent Education Sessions and Family Friendly visits. Results are sketchy at this time as the program builds. Family Friendly visits numbered 25 with 49 parents in Parent Education classes.

Child-friendly visiting hours at special times eliminated the potential for children to be exposed to inappropriate input from other visitors. Multiple children can visit which keeps the family intact during the visiting period. Children's furniture, artwork, and books were added to the waiting area to enhance a positive visit.

Sheriff Lake commented, "This program shows promise to help the incarcerated with children bond so that a parent does not want to be a repeater in the jail system. We hope to make this program stronger in the new jail facility. Schools have reported better child behavior after participation in the FFJI."

County Coordinator Dennis Genereau reported that progress is being made to file time sheets and pay employees electronically through the PayCom service. The goal is to have everything in place by Jan. 3, 2020 when the first checks will go out using the new electronic filing system.


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