Eagan man killed in Rosemount crash

Landing her pitch

   An Eagan motorcyclist was killed Wednesday in a collision at routes 55 and 42 in Rosemount, according to state police.
   Clive Jorgensen, 57, was killed as his 2009 Yamaha RS apparently struck a car head on while trying to avoid a box truck, according to Minnesota State Patrol. Jorgensen had 11 prior offenses on his driving record, according to court records, including convictions for speeding.
   Two other vehicles were involved in the events before the crash, according to police.
   According to a police report, Jorgensen was heading east on Highway 55 when he swerved to avoid a box truck turning from the westbound lane to the southbound lane of County Highway 42. The motorcycle then struck a Chevy Malibu in the westbound passing lane of Highway 55, according to police.
   The motorcycle landed in the westbound lane of traffic while the Malibu came to rest in the right-side ditch.
   Jorgensen was not wearing a helmet, according to police. It is not known whether alcohol was a factor in the crash.
Democratic congressional candidate Angie Craig threw a pitch for charity Aug. 31 at the Dakota County Chamber of Commerce's 60th anniversary celebration in Eagan. She sucessfully landed fellow Democrat State Sen. Matt Klein in the dunk tank on her first pitch. 

City receives federal drug trafficking grant

  The Eagan City Council Tuesday accepted on behalf of the Dakota County Drug Task Force, a federal grant given to communities determined to be among the worst in the country for drug trafficking.
   The $150,000 grant is administered by the White House Office of National Office of Drug Control Policy, commonly known as the drug czar’s office. The grants are given to what the office calls High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA). As the White House describes the grant program “the HIDTA program assists Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement operating in areas determined to be critical drug trafficking regions of the United States.”
   Only four counties in Minnesota qualify as High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas, according to a federal map of such communities, and all are clustered in the local area. Other cities that have received such grants include the city of Baltimore, whose notorious open-air drug markets and violent narcotics trade inspired an HBO series.
   Under the terms of the grant, the city of Eagan is slated to receive more than half the money, $80,000 for supplies and services. The Dakota County sheriff’s department is slated to receive $70,000, most of which is budgeted for personnel. 
   Little mention has been made of drug trafficking in the city during official meetings. However, a review of criminal complaints and court records show a number of arrests for possession of methamphetamine, a fatal heroin overdose at a hotel, and the discovery of about 100 pounds of methamphetamine.
   The arrests have largely not been the result of focused drug investigations, according to court records. Rather, the drugs have typically been found during routine traffic stops and medical calls.
   Under the current emergency response system in Eagan, police, rather than the volunteer fire department are typically the first responders to medical calls.
   Acceptance of the federal grant was included on the city council’s consent agenda at its Sept. 5 meeting. Items on the consent agenda are typically not discussed during the meeting and are approved as group. Other items on the Sept. 5 consent agenda include approving minutes from the last council meeting, approving city contracts, vacating easements at the Vikings development site, and accepting the donation of a bench for Thomas Lake Park.

School District 196 phones fail first day of class

   School District 196 began the school year with a crash of its telephone system.
   Superintendent Jane Berenz made a district-wide robo-call to homes in the school district Tuesday morning alerting them the phone system was not working. She told parents to send email to their school’s principal if they needed to reach the school.
   Telephone service was restored later in the day, according to the district.

School District 196 unveils corporate "brand"

     Undeterred by a looming budget deficit, School District 196 is starting the school year with a new website and new “branding” logo.
   The school district spent more than $50,000 for brand design and construction of the new website, according to the district’s communications director. The district selected a Minneapolis advertising agency, Peter Hill Design from among 15 applicants who responded to a request for proposals (RFP) issued last fall. The design firm’s previous work includes developing packaging for “As Seen On TV” products including Windobully adjustable window locks and the K9 Copper Collar, a dog collar alleged to be therapeutic.
   The district paid the design firm more than $42,000 for “brand identity work that was not limited to logo design,” according to the school district’s spokesman. That work included creation of a logo that consists of three infinity symbols linked together in a circle, similar in appearance to Celtic embroidery designs.
   Another $9,200 was spent on an outside firm to help construct the website, which was also built through the use of district staff time.
   Unlike the district’s previous website, the new website does not include e-mail links for school board members. The only option to reach school board members through the website is voicemail. The website does offer an email link for District Superintendent Jane Berenz. However, on the several occasions we tried to send an email to the superintendent’s office through the website, the link failed.
   Another notable change on the new website was the removal of an easily accessible link to the district’s budget documents. Absent a link, a click on the magnifying glass icon at the top of the screen to search for the budget produces a jarring red search screen.
   The new website features commercial-sounding language atypical of a public school district where students are assigned according to geographic residence. Although parents have some choice through magnet schools and the state’s open enrollment policies, the website language sounds more like advertising for private schools and universities or a company up for sale.
   A headline on the new website advertises “New Brand Infinite Possibilities.”
   On one page, for example, the website boasts “District 196 is a district of choice. We offer boundless educational options for your child. From our early childhood program, [sic] to one of our elementary, middle or high schools, we have a variety of options to meet your learner’s passions and needs.”

 Lakeville woman faces drug possession charge
   A Lakeville woman is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 6 on a gross misdemeanor methamphetamine possession charge.
   Cassandra Tougas, 28, of 6899 161st St. W., Lakeville, was charged with possession of a controlled substance in the 5th degree as a result of a May 30 traffic stop by Eagan police, according to court records.
   An Eagan police officer saw Tougas get into a car shortly after 4 a.m. May 30. After a license check reported her license was not valid, according to police, Eagan police approached her car when it stopped at a nearby gas station. Police saw a glass pipe in the car and found another containing a substance testing positive for methamphetamine when they searched the car, according to court records.