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Devils Lake Journal - Devils Lake, ND
  • County searching for facility for minors in short-term custody

  • The Ramsey County Commission met for their regular meeting Tuesday morning and began discussing what options were available for a short-term, low-risk juvenile care facility.
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  • The Ramsey County Commission met for their regular meeting Tuesday morning and began discussing what options were available for a short-term, low-risk juvenile care facility.
    The commission raised questions about a potential space for housing the ‘attendant care services’ meant for low-level juvenile offenders. According to district judge Donovan Foughty, Ramsey County has an obligation to keep juveniles safe while in custody. As the ongoing search for the facility suffices, law enforcement officers will continue transporting juveniles to Grand Forks.  “If we had a space for attendant care … I think that would work because you could go to different areas. For instance, if Spirit Lake needed it or Ramsey County needed it. I think there’s a real need,” said judge Foughty.
    Next, Veterans service officer, Stacy Twete requested funding for a new scanner, as digital files are becoming more popular to view and share files. State medical files and records in hospitals and clinics recently made this change, which continues to improve the efficacy of patient/employee care and services.  “I can use the system from both Ramsey and Nelson Counties,” said Twete. “That’s the simplification of going electronic.” He said the annual operating fee is  $400. The commission carried a motion to pay 50 per cent of the annual fee, plus 50 per cent for the scanner itself, which Twete estimated to cost around $864.
    After months of confusion and scrutiny about the use of misconstrued grant funds, a motion was carried to pay a radio programming bill of more than $22,000 to Hy-Z Wireless. Kristen Nelson, Ramsey County Emergency Manager said although she attempted to negotiate final costs with Hy-Z, the programming was complete and the price was “set and done.”
    “I think ... we’re one hundred per cent sure there’s no scam going on here,” said Kevin Fieldsend, who also attended the Hy-Z meeting with Nelsen. “We did find out that it was Stone’s (Mobile) that lost the invoice, it wasn’t Hy-Z that lost the invoice,” he clarified. Nelsen added that no other agencies were able to help relieve costs for the tabled bill.
    In other business, commission members discussed the ongoing debate of the law enforcement center’s staff and personnel issues. As well as inmate fees for local and federal prisoners.  “If jailers aren’t trained well in defensive tactics, that’s a major liability concern,” said Lonnie Olson, Rasmey County States Attorney.  
    The hiring and retention of jail attendant guards and the costs involved in transporting juveniles remains an issue of concern for the commission.
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