Key emergency personnel told county commissioners Monday that this weekend’s Fake Patty’s Day was comparable to 2012.
Riley County Police Department authorities said 115 persons were taken into custody Saturday for a wide variety of violations, among them bribery, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, DUI and minor in possession. Additionally, they reported 225 citations for open container, 86 for minor in possession, and an overall 15.8 percent increase in the number of citations written from last year.
Instances of battery of law enforcement officials particularly disturbed RCPD Director Brad Schoen. In 2012, Schoen said no such charges were filed; this year there were four.
Commissioner Dave Lewis said that increase in the charges was the “biggest concern” he had about the event. Schoen said injuries caused by the batteries were minor and usually were caused by those resisting arrest.
Emergency services director Larry Couchman said that his department’s call volume remained the same. That included 64 calls during the 24-hour period with 40 calls being outside the core area of Aggieville and 24 inside the core. Of those 64, 46 were identified as being directly related to Fake Patty’s Day.
He said EMS provided transports to 21 persons in 12 incidents, 11 of those transports involving alcohol-related medical issues. Couchman said the demographic for the alcoholic incidents were around 18 to 25 years of age and the highest alcohol content that was reported was .45, five times the legal limit.
Riley County Clerk Rich Vargo issued a reminder about the upcoming April 2 city commission and school board elections. Vargo said Tuesday marks the end of voter registration, with advance voting by mail beginning Friday. He said anyone can sign up for advance voting by mail on the Riley County Website. Advance voting in person will begin on March 25. Those who wish to advance vote can go to the Riley County Office Building from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Advance voting will close at noon on April 1.
McDowell Creek Road Project
The Riley County Commission approved Olson and Associates as the company to help design the first project of the newly passed sales tax. The project will help widen McDowell Creek road south from K-177. The decision was made after a board made up of Riley County employees and others looked over the qualifications of five applicants. Hobson said left over monies from the original 2002 sales tax will pay for the design created by Olson and Associates.
New Health Officer
Dr. Cary Herl will be the interim Riley County Health Officer effective April 2. The Riley County Commission was forced to appoint a health officer for the county after current Riley County Health Department director Susie Kufahl resigned her position. The commission signed the agreement to appoint Dr. Herl and also to pay the bond for him to take over the officer position. Dr. Herl will stay as the health officer until a new director is put in place.