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Nevis patrons told to 'be good or be gone'

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News Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Enterprise
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Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

Vulgarity in the Nevis liquor store may be coming to a halt.

Foul language in the muni led to liquor store commissioner Heidi Schmeichel posting a sign advising patrons, "Be good or be gone."

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But the sign disappeared and profanities proliferated.

"I'm asking for your help so this is not blown out of proportion," Schmeichel told liquor store manager Kathy Plumley at this week's council meeting.

Schmeichel asked Plumley to enforce a city ordinance addressing conduct in the liquor store.

"All persons in the dispensary will act in an adult and respectful manner," the ordinance states. "Any person using foul language will be suspended from the premises for 30 days."

Schmeichel asked for a meeting with employees to address the subject, which she asked to attend.

"This has gotten way out of hand," Schmeichel said.

But Plumley said she's heard no complaints. "I've told people to lighten up, to tone it down."

"We're aiming at the 'F bomb,'" acting mayor Paul Schroeder said. (Dave McCurnin was not present at the meeting.) "We need support on that. If they keep on saying it, give a warning. We will get into a sticky situation if it's not enforced... But we'd be naïve to think there will be no swearing in a bar."

Karl Dierkhising agreed. "That's unrealistic."

Schmeichel reiterated her earlier request for a meeting with employees - full- and part-time.

Meanwhile, liquor store profits are up from last year. The liquor store reported an income of $2,442 in February (compared with negative $813 last year). Year-to-date profits are $3,994, compared with $1,103 in 2008.

In other action, the council:

-Discussed detouring snowmobiling high school students who are traveling through yards on the way to school.

Kenneth and Ann Marks, who reside at 103 Pleasant Ave., arrived at the council meeting to ask for assistance in the matter. The snowmobilers are traveling within six feet of the house, Kenneth Marks said. "We're concerned with liability."

"The issue is speed," Ann Marks said. "I know they're kids but if they drive the equipment, they need to be responsible."

Deputy Jeff Stacey suggested ribbons or flags be posted to divert the snowmobilers.

But city maintenance supervisor Don Umthun said the city may be assuming liability if it posts the signage and suggested property owners erect them.

-Approved use of tax-forfeited land, the Nelson property on Main, for a storm water drainage basin.

Hubbard County Commissioners previously approved use of the property for this purpose.

-Approved part-time police officer Ed Franckowiak as police chief, at the recommendation of Hubbard County chief deputy Frank Homer.

To be recognized as a law enforcement agency by the state, the city must designate a chief law enforcement officer, Homer explained. This comes at no additional cost to the city.

-Learned fire chief Kerry Swenson is drafting a city emergency plan, defining roles of city officials and employees in the event of an emergency.

Swenson reported the city has received a $30,000 grant for radios, with a $3,200 match from the department. All department radios will be inner-operable once implemented, he explained.

-Approved $200 donations to the Lakes Area Dive Team and Headwaters Animal Shelter.

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