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City wins case in stop arm offense

The city of Pine River went to court Jan. 31 in a jury trial regarding an individual who ran the flashing red lights of a school bus.

City attorney Ted Lundrigan told the city council Tuesday night, Feb. 12, that the city won the case. The woman who ran the lights was fined a total of $300 for the offense.

Lundrigan said in a phone interview that when it comes to school bus transgressions, the city asks for a guilty plea.

“We said plead guilty or we will try the case and that’s what we did. And that’s what we will do again,” Lundrigan said.

Wanda Mongan, city clerk, said by phone that the city has a no-tolerance policy for school bus-related violations.

Public safety

Police Chief Paul Sand reported 93 calls in January, including 23 traffic violations, two DWIs, five assaults, 20 medical calls and seven thefts.

Sand said the year-end report showed a total of 1,335 calls in 2012. Of those, 313 were traffic related, 29 were assaults, 268 were medicals, 15 were burglaries and 26 were drug charges.

Sand also reported that officer Nathan Gainey has completed his probation period as a new officer.

Fire Chief Kevin Kleiner reported one vehicle accident, one chimney fire, one structure fire and numerous medical calls in January.

The city paid its portion of the fire department contract, totaling $21,208.40. Mongan said the department lays out a budget, then uses a fair share formula to divide the cost among the 10 cities and townships that use the service.

In other business Feb. 12, the council:

• Amended the city code regarding the airport zoning district, making it more specific. Mongan said the changes keep the airport eligible for state and FAA grants.

• Heard from public works director Mike Hansen that OSHA visited. The department had one violation, which Mongan said was due to the height of a handrail. Other improvements are required, Hansen said, that will incur some cost to the city.

• Heard an update from Val Kuschel on the Ride With Us Bus. Kuschel reported that in January the bus had 603 passengers, which is down from last year, though the average number of riders in a day has gone up. The service was recently cut from five days a week to three.

• Accepted the city’s financial report.