Only if the OLPR took all complaints so seriously. Sadly, they do not.

Published March 12, 2014, 03:01 PM

Carlson’s attorney suspended for 30 days by Minnesota Supreme Court

The attorney for Last Place on Earth owner Jim Carlson must serve a 30-day suspension due to mismanagement of financial records, the Minnesota Supreme Court ordered Wednesday. 

By: Tom Olsen, Duluth News Tribune

The attorney for Last Place on Earth owner Jim Carlson must serve a 30-day suspension due to mismanagement of financial records, the Minnesota Supreme Court ordered Wednesday.

Randall Tigue, who has his law office in Golden Valley, Minn., will begin serving the suspension on March 24.

“It’s going to disrupt things, but not too much,” Tigue told the News Tribune about an hour after the order was issued. “It’ll be an annoyance, but not something I can’t overcome.”

The Supreme Court opinion states that Tigue “failed to maintain trust account books and records, failed to retain trust account bank records for the required period of time, and negligently misappropriated client funds.”

The suspension could interfere with the sentencing for Carlson, who was convicted in October on 51 federal crimes related to the sale of synthetic drugs at his downtown Duluth shop. Tigue said a probation officer recently notified him that Carlson’s presentence investigation should be complete by March 31, so a sentencing date probably will be set soon thereafter.

But Tigue, 65, said he has another attorney in his office who can handle his caseload for a month, and there are four other defense attorneys representing Carlson’s girlfriend and son in the case.

This is the second time Tigue, who has been licensed to practice law in Minnesota since 1973, has been disciplined for financial mismanagement. In October 2007, he was publicly reprimanded and placed on two years of probation for failing to properly maintain his trust books and records.

In the new incident, the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility claimed Tigue’s trust fund balance was “continuously short of (the) amount necessary to cover aggregate client balances” from May 2010 to June 2012. The shortages ranged from 30 cents to $481.

OLPR said the shortages were caused by Tigue issuing checks to himself in amounts exceeding the funds available for disbursement. In February 2012, he began making deposits into the account to cover shortages, but it took him until June 2012 to rebalance the account.

“Tigue admitted that in October 2009 he let maintenance of his trust account books and records ‘slide’ because he was no longer on probation and no longer had an obligation to submit his trust account records to the Director (of OLPR),” the opinion states.

Tigue said Wednesday that he does not dispute the facts in the case.

A referee hired to review the case recommended that Tigue be publicly reprimanded and placed on supervised probation for three years. But OLPR Director Martin Cole challenged the recommendation, asking the Supreme Court to suspend Tigue for 90 days and require him to petition for reinstatement.

The Supreme Court, issuing a group opinion, ruled that Tigue’s misconduct was unintentional, but admonished him for having a second violation and taking five months to eliminate the shortage.

“Although there is no indication in the record that Tigue’s misconduct resulted from any intention to deceive his clients, his misconduct is nonetheless serious,” the court wrote. “This court considers ‘unintentional misappropriation’ of client funds and the failure to maintain the required trust account books and records a serious violation of the rules.”

The court ruled that Tigue must pay a $900 fine and notify clients and opposing counsel of the 30-day suspension. To be eligible for reinstatement, he must file an affidavit establishing that he is current with legal requirements. He is not required to petition the Supreme Court for reinstatement.

Tigue said reinstatement should be a smooth process.

“I’ve already given them records showing 18 consecutive months of compliance,” he said.

Once the suspension is over, Tigue will subject two years of supervised probation.

Hijab day in Minnecrapolis. Nice.

Minneapolis City Hall Declares ‘Hijab Day’

Imposing Islam in Minneapolis. This is a violation of the establishment clause. The PoliceChief ought to be fired. This is dhimmitude on steroids.

The dhimmi Police Chief  and city council members all wore the hijab.

When are they having FGM Day?

Minneapolis City Hall Declares ‘Hijab Day’

Posted on March 10, 2014 by creeping

According to a Facebook post, Somali staffers that work at Minneapolis City Halldeclared February 28 “Hijab Day” at City Hall and convinced the police chief and femalecity council reps to wear hijabs on the job.

Pictures include: Minneapolis police chief Janee Harteau (who recently married her favorite female sergeant – not very hijab like), city council members Elizabeth Glidden and Lisa Bender as well as other staffers.

The Facebook page is that of one Ilhan Omar, whom reader’s might recall reportedly instigated the violent outbreak at a recent Democratic caucus meeting in Minneapolis. Somali Muslims brawl abruptly ending Democratic caucus.

hijab-day-minn

Meanwhile, the sons of hijabis in Minneapolis were busy striking terror at an LA Fitness where police responded to 147 incidents in 2013 and 24 incidents this year.

Pamela Geller is the Editor of PamelaGeller.com

Funny how politicians scream when they are the target.

In a moment of blatant and astounding hypocrisy, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Senate Intelligence Committee Chair and a staunch supporter of the government spying on, well, pretty much everyone, had a hissy fit this morning because she believes the CIA may have spied on a congressional computer network.

Feinstein rambled on for over 40 minutes and had the nerve to say the CIA may have broken the law and violated the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution by searching the network.

“What keeps me up at night, candidly, is another attack against the United States. And I see enough of the threat stream to know that is possible. But the way we prevent another attack – and this is tricky – is intelligence. You have to know what’s going to happen, because it’s too late otherwise.”

There are all kinds of things that are going on. And for some reason, the fear of our government for a bonafide reason, which is to prevent a terrorist attack, raising this kind of concern, when there are only 22 people in our country who have access to this database and every one of them is vetted.”

During her speech this morning, Feinstein expressed disbelief over the CIA’s alleged spying on Congress:

“The CIA just went and searched the committee’s computers,” Feinstein said, breathlessly.

Yeah, we know the feeling, lady. It’s sort of shocking and disconcerting to find out your privacy is being unlawfully invaded, isn’t it? Makes you feel uneasy and a bit violated, doesn’t it?

Feinstein’s hypocrisy did not go unnoticed by Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who exposed the NSA’s mass surveillance program last year. In a statement to NBC News, he shared his thoughts on Feinstein’s outrage:

“It’s clear the CIA was trying to play ‘keep away’ with documents relevant to an investigation by their overseers in Congress, and that’s a serious constitutional concern. But it’s equally if not more concerning that we’re seeing another ‘Merkel Effect,’ where an elected official does not care at all that the rights of millions of ordinary citizens are violated by our spies, but suddenly it’s a scandal when a politician finds out the same thing happens to them.”

The search came as the committee was investigating the CIA’s use of secret detention and enhanced interrogation during the Bush administration, including waterboarding, which President Obama has referred to as torture.

At issue is an internal review of the detention and interrogation program ordered by Leon Panetta, who was director of the agency from 2009 to 2011. Feinstein says the committee obtained the review from the CIA because it was provided as part of a searchable database of documents. The CIA has alleged that the committee may have obtained that document illegally.

CIA director John Brennan denies that the agency spied on the committee or the Senate.

Feinstein denies that the committee hacked into CIA computers to obtain documents.

CNN reports that an investigation into the allegations from both sides may be launched:

The Justice Department is looking at whether to launch an investigation of the matter involving the committee’s review of millions of documents at a Virginia facility and counterclaims by the CIA about Intelligence Committee staffers gaining access to things they shouldn’t have seen.

Karma is a bitch, isn’t it, Dianne?

 

Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2014/03/goes-around-comes-around-dianne-feinstein-complains-rights-violated/#HiQB8AHw6dol4Tcq.99

In the end, the Obama machine will cover all its tracks and give her immunity.

New Oversight report claims Lois Lerner misled Congress on IRS targeting

BY SUSAN FERRECHIO | MARCH 11, 2014 AT 12:23 PM

A GOP-led House panel Tuesday released an extensive report that attempts to show former top Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner lied to Congress about her involvement in the targeting of conservative groups seeking tax exempt status.

Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said the 141-page report “offers detailed evidence about steps she took to crack down on organizations that exercised their Constitutional rights to free political speech.”

Republicans claim she waived her Fifth Amendment rights by reading a statement proclaiming her innocence at a hearing last year.

The report does not include any of the Lerner emails the IRS recently promised to turn over to the House Ways and Means Committee, but Oversight apparently had enough material to determine, according to Issa, that Lerner “misled Congress about targeting and her own conduct.”

The top Democrat on the panel, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., has accused Issa of turning Lerner into a political target. He is expected to release a statement shortly in response to the report.

Among the findings in the report:

— Lerner, in emails to other IRS officials, wrote about ways to highlight the agency’s scrutiny ofTea Party applicants, despite secrecy laws, by provoking groups to challenge IRS rulings in a court case.

— She called for a Washington, D.C.-based, “multi-tier review” for Tea Party groups applying for tax exempt status. “A D.C. IRS employee said this level of scrutiny had no precedent,” the report notes.

— Lerner references “the fabulously rich and hugely influential” Koch brothers, who are GOP donors, in asserting that the agency needed to cautiously conduct a “project” scrutinizing groups seeking 501(c)(4) tax exempt status. The code references the tax exempt category conservative and Tea Party groups were requesting from the IRS.

— Lerner broke IRS rules by using her personal email account to handle protected taxpayer information.

— Lerner expressed concern that the Supreme Court ruling leading to the increase of 501(c)(4) tax-exempt groups would hurt Democratic senators seeking re-election in 2012. The IRS was expected to fix the problem, Lerner wrote.

“The Supreme Court dealt a huge blow, overturning a 100-year old precedent that basically corporations couldn’t give directly to political campaigns,” Lerner wrote. “And everyone is up in arms because they don’t like it. The Federal Election Commission can’t do anything about it. They want the IRS to fix the problem.”

At least in the end, he did the right thing.

Published March 11, 2014, 10:02 AM

Embattled Minnesota police chief retires

At a special meeting Monday, Sebeka City Council members unanimously accepted the retirement of the town’s police chief, who was recently cited for driving while intoxicated, and appointed a part-time officer as interim chief. 

By: Bryce Haugen, Forum News Service

SEBEKA, Minn. — At a special meeting Monday, Sebeka City Council members unanimously accepted the retirement of the town’s police chief, who was recently cited for driving while intoxicated, and appointed a part-time officer as interim chief.

Eric Swenson, 48, had been a Sebeka police officer for 28 years and the chief since 2007. In a one-sentence letter to the council dated March 9, he ended that tenure. “I hereby retire from the Sebeka Police Department,” wrote Swenson, who did not attend Monday’s meeting.

After accepting the notice without discussion council members ordered new locks for city buildings Swenson had access to and discussed the future of the police department.

An application period will run through March 31.

Minnesota law requires a part-time officers to report to a “chief law enforcement officer.” Sebeka’s three active part-time officers attended the Monday meeting and said they would put in extra hours to provide law enforcement in the city if they were allowed to.

The most experienced part-time officer, Tighe Lane, was appointed as interim chief. Lane’s been with the department since September 2010.

“We need someone who can supervise those two and he’s the one who can do it,” council member Lowell Stewart said.

Outside of the meeting, Lane said he’s ready for his new role, which he will be balancing with his full-time job as a manager at Henry’s Foods in Alexandria.

“I’m comfortable with accepting the position and stepping up,” he said.

Lane said Swenson “was a good cop. The other stuff – that was his personal life.”

But the negative attention Swenson’s personal life brought to the department, Lane said, made it difficult for Sebeka’s other officers to command respect among their law enforcement peers and the general public.

“No one thinks we’re real cops because of who are supervisor was,” Lane said. “… We’ve had to prove ourselves that we are upstanding individuals and officers.”

A New York Mills police officer cited Swenson for DWI on Feb. 26. His arraignment is scheduled for March 18 at the Otter Tail County Courthouse. Swenson’s fifth degree domestic assault case from last summer is ongoing, with a jury trial scheduled for 9 a.m. May 20 at the same courthouse.

Several attempts to reach Swenson in the past week were unsuccessful.

In an interview last year after the domestic assault arrest and another for disorderly conduct, Swenson told the Wadena Pioneer Journal he intended to retire on April 1, 2015, because of work-related injuries, difficulty keeping up with younger officers and the politics that go with the job.

“(I) think 30 years is enough,” he said. “I want to do something else.”

Don’t believe me, do your own research. Why would the TSA need 1980 sticks of dynamite?

Why is the TSA Ordering Dynamite?

TSA-dynamiteThe TSA is soliciting companies to supply dynamite according to the FedBizOpps.Gov website.

13–Unimax dynamite

Solicitation Number: HSTS02-14-Q-NCP056

Agency: Department of Homeland Security
Office: Transportation Security Administration
Location: Headquarters TSA

The DHS Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires the following items, Exact Match Only, to the following:

LI 001: UNIMAX extra gelatin NG- SIZE 1 1/2″ X 8″ tube shell DN231415008E, 1980, EA;

According to the company:

• UNIMAX is an excellent primer for Dynomix (ANFO), Dynomix-WR (WR ANFO) or other detonator sensitive packaged product and can be used as a secondary primer in hard seams or at the top of the explosive column.

• Minimum diameter is 25 mm (1 in).

• Minimum detonator is No. 8 strength.

• Storage at elevated temperatures and/or high humidity for 1 to 6 months can reduce the performance of Unimax depending on the diameter. Consult your Dyno Nobel representative for specific recommendations.

• Dynamites are susceptible to sympathetic detonation when applied in very wet conditions where boreholes are closely spaced and/or where geological conditions promote this effect. Consult your Dyno Nobel representative for recommendations where these conditions exist.

Now maybe I am just tired and not thinking straight but I can think of no good reason for the TSA to need dynamite.

What about you?

Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!

 

I guess it depends on your definition of “average

Published March 11, 2014, 12:00 AM

Record of accused Superior officer portrays ‘average’ career, trainer says

In his 15-year career there have been 46 documented incidents where Superior Police Officer George Gothner has used force on an individual. The stack of use of force reports averaging five pages each — more than 200 total — is nearly an inch thick and helps give a more detailed history of the officer now facing allegations of police brutality after the Jan. 5 arrest of Natasha Lancour, 28, of Superior outside Keyport Liquor and Lounge.

By: Shelley Nelson , Superior Telegram

image
This image from a Superior police squad dashboard camera shows officer George Gothner struggling while trying to arrest Natasha Lancour outside the Keyport Liquor and Lounge on Jan. 5. (Superior Police Department photo)

In his 15-year career there have been 46 documented incidents where Superior Police Officer George Gothner has used force on an individual. The stack of use of force reports averaging five pages each — more than 200 total — is nearly an inch thick and helps give a more detailed history of the officer now facing allegations of police brutality after the Jan. 5 arrest of Natasha Lancour, 28, of Superior outside Keyport Liquor and Lounge.

Gothner has received letters of commendation, meritorious and distinguished service ribbons, including a citation for protecting a fellow officer. But he also was reprimanded once.

However, Superior Police Chief Charles LaGesse said there is nothing unusual about that number of incidents over that length of time.

“That many use of force reports over 15 years, in my mind, doesn’t raise a red flag at all,” said Eric Anderson, law enforcement director and associate dean at Chippewa Valley Technical College, a longtime trainer in police defense and arrest tactics, and former Madison

police officer. “That’s a pretty average career.”

Force comes into play anytime an officer handcuffs someone or escorts a person using hands on the upper arm and wrist — a very low level of force, Anderson said. He said when he worked in Madison, anytime force rose above an escort hold, reporting was required.

In Superior, officers are required to report use of force if a suspect is injured, any weapon is used or if a striking technique is used, LaGesse said. Then, the incident is reviewed to determine if force was appropriate and followed department policy.

The Superior Police Department has good policies in place in terms of use of force, said Chris Ahmuty, director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin. However, he said, the policies, which are kind of a “best practices” among law enforcement bodies, were put in place last fall, and now the question is whether officers were trained in the new policies. Ahmuty said it’s something the ACLU plans to explore next.

The revised policies aren’t very different from those the officers had been trained on, LaGesse said. He said when the policies were revised, they were sent out to officers with a quiz to determine whether officers understood the revised policies.

Gothner acted appropriately in 40 instances, according to available records. Reports reviewed did not include the Jan. 5 incident, which remains under investigation as Bayfield County District Attorney Fred Bourg reviews the case.

Of the 46 incidents in which Gothner used force, three 1999 reports were unavailable; records were not retained, said Deputy Chief Matthew Markon.

Five reports were redacted; however, two provided sufficient information to conclude Gothner’s use of force was reasonable and consistent with training. Only one redacted report in which reviewers’ comments were withheld involved Gothner alone.

The reports were redacted, not because the officer did anything wrong, but because they contained “coaching” from a supervisor, such as a critique of the way a report was written,” LaGesse said.

State law allows supervisory opinions and recommendations to be withheld “because supervisors might be less than candid if they know that the documents are subject to public disclosure,” City Attorney Frog Prell said.

Prell was consulted because documents requested by the Superior Telegram are subject to special consideration under Wisconsin open record law, which provides the subject of the request time to seek a court injunction to block release of personnel records. Gothner waived that right.

According to records in Gothner’s personnel file, he has been recognized for service with two letters of commendation, and meritorious and distinguished service ribbons issued by the Superior Police Department. He also was among Superior police officers recognized by Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Deborah Strebel Pierce for their roles in arresting Carlo Antonio Magliano, who was convicted of a 2002 robbery at Western National Bank in Duluth.

Gothner also was reprimanded once for using force to move a subject to a more private location using a wrist hold before arrest and using profanity directed at the subject. While reprimanded, it is among the 40 incidents in which the level of force used — a Taser used at the time of arrest — was determined reasonable and consistent with department training and policy.

According to the use of force reports:

 

  • In about three-fourths of incidents involving Gothner, suspects had used illicit drugs or alcohol prior to arrest. Three subjects were suicidal. 
  • Gothner gained control in 20 incidents using one technique, two tactics in 15 instances, and three in eight arrests. 
  • Gothner used striking techniques 25 times; pressure points, pinning or decentralizing suspects — getting a subject on the ground to minimize resistance — in 29 incidents; and weapons in 19 instances, most commonly OC spray (commonly known as pepper spray) used in 12 incidents. 
  • In 22 incidents, other officers also used force to gain compliance to make the arrest, employing up to three tactics.“Whatever the level of threat that the suspect is displaying, that’s the level of force that an officer is going to go to,” Anderson said. “And they’re trained on that; they’re well-trained on that.”

    For example, Anderson said, if he was being charged by a violent suspect, he would meet that aggression with a level of force that would allow him to maintain control.

    Only once in Gothner’s career did that level of force involve using a firearm. In 2004, Gothner shot Corey Isaacson in the arm and leg. Officers were trying to locate Isaacson after he destroyed his father’s home and threatened citizens. In the rampage, Isaacson charged toward officers wielding wooden clubs held in a striking position over his head.

    Gothner received a distinguished service ribbon for his actions in the nonfatal shooting, which prevented an attack on former Superior Police Officer Brian Caron. A firearms review panel, which included a Duluth police sergeant and several Superior police supervisors, determined Gothner had less than 10 seconds to act.

    “If we can talk a suspect into a pair of handcuffs or talk them into the back seat of a squad car without going hands on with them, that’s always the best option,” Anderson said. “It prevents us from having to use any level of physical force and it prevents injuries with the officer and it prevents injury with the suspect.”

    The reports show suspects were injured — self-inflicted in one case, and likely during a fight before arrest in another — in eight incidents in which Gothner used force. Seven incidents resulted in a Superior police officer injury.

    “We don’t go out with the intent of wanting to get into a fight with somebody,” Anderson said. “The liability is too high. The potential for injury to the officer or the suspect is too high.”

    Unfortunately, not every suspect is going to comply with verbal commands, Anderson said.

    “We prefer to have arrests where subjects are compliant with our commands on arrest, where force is not necessary, and that’s what happens in the vast majority of arrests,” LaGesse said. Superior police data show officers used force in less than 1 percent of all arrests between 2005 and 2013.

    “Any time an officer is forced to use force to any degree, it shows that they don’t have a compliant subject,” LaGesse said.

     

     

‘Work Accident’ Kills Hamas Field Commander During Bomb-Making Training Session

‘Work Accident’ Kills Hamas Field Commander During Bomb-Making Training Session

A field commander for Hamas’ military wing was killed Saturday and nine others were injured during a training session on building bombs, Israeli and Palestinian media reported.

Hamas' military wing posted this photo of its commander killed in an accidental explosion (Photo: Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades)

Hamas’ military wing posted this photo of its commander killed in an accidental explosion (Photo: Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades)

The military wing of Hamas, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, released a statement saying its operative was killed in an accidental “internal explosion” in Gaza.

On its English-language website, the militant group wrote that the man, identified as Ibrahim al-Ghoul, 30, “was martyred after a long bright path of jihad, hard work, struggle and sacrifice.”

Hamas’ military wing further noted that it “has its best men to be in the playground of death to defend their people from any attack by the enemy.”

The Times of Israel reported that the explosion occurred in a house in the southern town of Rafah near the Egyptian border.

A spokesman for the Gaza Strip Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qidra told the independent Palestinian news agency Ma’an that most of those wounded had sustained serious injuries.

This terrorist “work accident” comes just one month after 22 Iraqi militants were killed at a lesson on making car bombs and explosive belts. The Associated Press reported of the incident that “a glitch set off one of the devices.”

A nice tribute for a fallen hero.

North St. Paul: Bill would rename highway stretch for fallen officer

By Sarah Horner
shorner@pioneerpress.com

POSTED:   03/07/2014 12:01:00 AM CST
UPDATED:   03/08/2014 11:40:29 PM CST

 

North St. Paul police officer Richard "Rick" Crittenden

North St. Paul police officer Richard “Rick” Crittenden

 

It’s a stretch of road Richard Crittenden Sr. knew well.

The North St. Paul police officer made regular traffic stops along the portion of Minnesota 36 that runs through the heart of the small city.

Accidents also routinely summoned his squad car to its shoulder.

Soon, Crittenden could have a permanent presence along the highway.

A bill making the rounds through the Capitol this session seeks to rename the section of Minnesota 36 within North St. Paul the Officer Richard Crittenden Memorial Highway.

The nine-year veteran of the city’s police department died not far from the roadway on Sept. 7, 2009, when the 57-year-old was shot in the head while responding to a domestic violence call at an apartment building.

“Richard was a fixture on 36, so it seems appropriate to honor him there,” said Police Chief Tom Lauth. “We want people passing through to see that sign and recognize that we lost a hero. … We want to share that with everybody we can.”

State Sen. Charles Wiger, DFL-Maplewood, presented the legislation last week to the Senate Transportation and Public Safety Committee alongside Lauth and Crittenden’s widow, Christine Crittenden.

The committee passed it unanimously.

Crittenden was the first officer to be killed in the line of duty in the city’s history.

“I think my husband deserves it,” Christine Crittenden said of the proposed memorial highway. “He loved North St. Paul and worked hard for this city. He died for it.”

Known as “Critter,” Richard Crittenden had a soft spot for kids and senior citizens he encountered on the job, his wife said.

“If a child needed something, he would do anything and everything he could to make sure they got it,” Christine Crittenden said. “He was a huge man but not just in stature, in the way he lived his life and treated his family and his community. That’s really what made him such a big man.”

To honor his legacy, Christine Crittenden bought her husband’s old squad car and decorated its trunk with the names of all the peace officers who have died in Minnesota’s history.

She drives it to law enforcement funerals, parades and other events that draw big crowds.

It’s a way to keep her husband’s spirit alive, she said, and remind people of the risks shouldered by law enforcement.

The memorial highway would do the same, she said.

“There is still a sharp pain I will never get over … but I am trying to move on and make him proud,” Christine Crittenden said.

A statue of Crittenden placed in front of North St. Paul City Hall is another homage to the fallen officer.

The bill will next make its way to the full Senate floor before being taken up by the House, Wiger said.

“There has been a very respectful response,” Wiger said. “This has been done for officers in other places, so there is precedent. … It’s one way we can pay tribute.”

Sarah Horner can be reached at 651-228-5539. Follow her at twitter.com/hornsarah.

Would you call this justice if you were the one hit?

Two sentenced in criminal vehicular operation cases

By Wendy Johnson Today at 3:57 p.m.

An Esko woman who left the scene of an accident after striking and injuring a bicyclist while driving home from church last year received a sentence of 18 months in prison, to be stayed for five years, in Carlton County Court on Wednesday.

Carol Emily Nygren, 70, appeared before Judge Dale Wolf  after pleading guilty to one felony charge of criminal vehicular operation (leaving the scene of an accident). Wolf ordered that Nygren undergo five years of supervised probation, serve 90 days local confinement (with credit for three days already served), undergo a mental health screening, write a letter of apology, pay restitution (yet to be determined), abstain from use of alcohol or controlled substances, undergo random testing, and pay court fees of $660.

According to the criminal complaint filed in the incident, Nygren was driving near Esko on her way home from church the morning of June 16, 2013, when she struck a bicyclist at the corner of Highway 61 and Rolling Acres Road, which threw him onto the hood of her car and into the windshield on the passenger side. Nygren then drove away from the scene of the accident.

Nygren was not located until the day following the accident, at which time she denied responsibility for the incident, though her car appeared to have sustained significant damage. The complaint stated Nygren told authorities she’d been following a truck hauling gravel and that falling rocks had been responsible for the damage. She later pleaded guilty to the incident in Carlton County Court.

The victim, Michael Howard Norton, 44, of Duluth sustained multiple skull fractures from the incident as well as broken bones and internal injuries. He said the internal injuries qualify as “grave bodily harm,” which enhances the degree of severity of the crime. Norton has had to have multiple brain surgeries since the incident and continues to suffer from traumatic brain injury-like symptoms and seizures.

In another felony vehicular operation case heard in Carlton County Court last Monday, Lisa Jo Westendorf, 37, of Cloquet was granted a stay of adjudication and three years of supervised probation after pleading guilty to felony criminal vehicular operation and misdemeanor driving while impaired in the fourth degree. Assistant County Attorney Jesse Berglund explained that since Westendorf has no previous criminal offenses, she will have three years to maintain a clean record. If that happens, said Berglund, the felony offense will be taken off her record and only the DWI offense will remain.

In the criminal complaint filed in the incident, on Aug. 24, 2013, at approximately 5:45 p.m., a Carlton County Sheriff’s deputy responded to a report of an ATV accident on South Finn Road in Automba Township. When the deputy arrived on the scene, he learned from witnesses that the driver of one of the ATVs, identified as Westendorf, began to lose traction and went off the road, causing the ATV to roll over on top of her and her passenger.

The two women were transported to Mercy Hospital in Moose Lake for treatment of their injuries. The deputy spoke with Westendorf at the hospital and she allegedly admitted that she had consumed approximately a six-pack of beer that afternoon. The deputy obtained a search warrant in order to be able to obtain a blood sample, which indicated a blood alcohol content of .14.

The complaint stated that as a result of the accident, Westendorf suffered a right ankle fracture. Her passenger suffered a fracture of the cervical spine and pelvis, which constitutes “substantial bodily harm” in the eyes of the court and heightens the severity of the charges.

Judge Robert Macaulay ordered that Westendorf abstain from use or possession of alcohol or controlled substances, attend DWI clinic, undergo random testing, follow all conditions of her probation agreement, pay $500 in court costs and spend 45 days in the Sentence to Serve program.