Daily Archives: April 21, 2010

Save Elm street – dont allow juggalos to invade

what a dumb idea .. a juggalo store to help fight the juggalo problem which has invaded their town.

Elm Street ideas range from installing more lights to work training

By Jordan Guinn
News-Sentinel Staff Writer

Monday, April 19, 2010 11:31 PM PDT

Elm Street merchants and city officials met Monday to consider a striking range of ideas to combat loitering and rowdyism Downtown, including:

  • New lights.
  • Tearing out benches.
  • Putting up surveillance cameras.
  • Reaching out and mentoring idle youths who sometimes congregate downtown.
  • Turning some of the teen vagrants into security monitors or giving them work experience.Store owners said they are tired of vagrants drinking in public and sitting on the benches in front of their stores all day. One store owner even suggested the teens could help provide security in Downtown.

    “You can help so the bad kids stop giving you a bad name,” said June Atwood Aaker, co-owner of Abrahamson Printing.

    Besides mentorship, shopkeepers said they would consider a variety of precautionary measures intended to reduce vandalism and loitering, such as putting up surveillance cameras and additional lighting, and having more security patrols.

    “We need to make the environment not conducive to them hanging out,” said Ronald Houck, co-owner of Studio 20 Art Gallery, about vagrants and troublesome teens.

    While personally opposed to the proposal, Public Works director Wally Sandelin said the City Council will be asked to consider moving benches from Elm Street to deter vagrants and teens from congregating in Downtown and making visitors feel uncomfortable.

    The benches match the decor and theme of School Street and he said that Downtown areas need a place for people to sit and relax, he said. Sandelin said the city doesn’t have much money to work with and that the Downtown Lodi Business Partnership could be instrumental in the solution.

    Sam Rhemke, co-owner of Lodi Beer Company and DLBP board member, said she believes the DLBP would be in favor of moving three or four of the seven benches off Elm Street and relocating them to other places within Downtown.

    A manager of a party supply store on Elm Street said the money that would be spent relocating the benches and installing security precautions could be better spent on community outreach for the teens.

    “Why can’t we take the same money and put it into the rec center?” said Dori Mousaw, manager at The Party Guys. “The issue is being missed; these kids need a place to go.”

    Mousaw said she knows some of the teens on a first-name basis and will solicit their help with moving items into her store occasionally. She was one of several merchants who offered mentorship to the teens. Houck offered to give free art classes to teens who were interested, and Aaker said she would help teens who were interested in learning about the printing business.

    While merchants agreed there are liability issues that would need to be addressed if they were going to provide mentorship, they generally agreed that getting involved with the teens would be beneficial for all parties.

    “Some of you may not realize you have the talent or ability,” Houck said to the youths.

    The meeting lasted more than two hours and featured merchants discussing difficulties they were having with vandalism and vagrants, police informing them what could be done and local teens telling their side of the story.

    Anthony Hancock was one of the youths who addressed the crowd. He said the teens hang out Downtown because they feel safer there than in other parts of the city. He said he’s been shot at on the Eastside of Lodi and most of his friends have nowhere else to go.

    Hancock said part of the problem comes from the state of the economy and teens having trouble finding work.

    “We’re asking the city to help us,” he said. “We want to possibly rent a place or a store where we can get job experience.”

    The store could sell merchandise such as Faygo, a soda popular in Michigan that is only available in specialty stores in California, he said outside the meeting. It’s endorsed by the music group Insane Clown Posse, who many of the youths at Monday’s meeting listen to.

    Sgt. Fernando Martinez of the Lodi Police Department said one of the biggest deterrents in preventing vandalism from teens could be identifying those who want to change their ways and reaching out to them personally.

    Bicycle Officer K.C. Schlader echoed Martinez.

    “You’ve got to get to know them,” he said. “You have to build a rapport with the kids. Some of them want to do odd jobs.”

  • Turning some of the teen vagrants into security monitors or giving them work experience; is like asking Juggalo Gang Members to work as security to be watchful for Juggalo Gang Activity.

    Juggalos Kill man with brain injury after stealing drugs

    Insane clown posse? Juggaloz? LOL Sound like pretty scary groups to me. It takes a pretty tough person to kill a disabled man with a brain injury..

    Posted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 2:00 am | Updated: 7:15 am, Wed Apr 21, 2010.

    By JIM MANN/The Daily Inter Lake | 46 comments

    The Kalispell man who was murdered last week was using medical marijuana to wean himself off prescription drugs, and the suspects in the killing allegedly had been stealing his pills for the last couple of months, a friend of the victim said Monday.

    Wesley Collins, 49, was beaten to death sometime last week; his body was discovered by Kalispell Police in a remote wooded area southwest of Kalispell on Saturday.

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    “I met Wesley about eight to 10 months ago and I’m his medical marijuana provider,” Robert Cates said. “When I first met Wesley he was taking a lot of pills.”

    Cates said the suspects who were arrested — Robert Lake, 21, and Jeffrey Nixon, 19 — had been visiting Collins frequently. A third man was initially detained by Kalispell Police, but later was released.

    “It had nothing to do with medical marijuana,” Cates said. “They had been ripping him off every day pretty much for two months … the main reasons these kids were there was for his pain medicine.”

    Cates said he was helping wean Collins from prescription-drug use for pain associated from injuries he sustained in a car crash.

    “He was very vulnerable and he was a very gentle man,” Cates said. “He had a severe brain injury and he had his hip replaced and knee surgeries.”

    Cates said he was one of the first people to realize that Collins was missing last week when he didn’t show up for a planned visit at Cates’ house on Tuesday. Police conducted a welfare check for Collins on Wednesday, but he wasn’t at his apartment in northwest Kalispell.

    Cates was outside Collins’ apartment on Thursday with investigating officers when neighboring tenants shouted out, warning them that someone was jumping out the apartment’s back window. Cates said he ran one way around the building and officers ran the other way.

    Two men were apprehended, and Cates said he believes Lake was one of them.

    Kalispell Police Chief Roger Nasset elaborated on the department’s investigation of the alleged crimes Monday.

    “It involved marijuana, money and other belongings,” he said, adding that the precise motives for the robbery and murder are still being investigated.

    “We have several stories for what the robbery was about,” Nasset said.

    The crime has stirred up a defensive reaction from medical-marijuana advocates who don’t believe that marijuana was involved.

    Nasset said it is part of the equation.

    “In this matter there is no disputing that marijuana was being used at the time of the homicide and that the marijuana being used was medical marijuana,” he said, later adding, “I think it’s unfortunate that this is being turned into a medical-marijuana issue. A human being lost his life, and that’s the important thing here.”

    Nasset said the two suspects are believed to be associated with a well-known gang that revolves around the rap metal duo called Insane Clown Posse.

    “That is one of the things that has been revealed by our investigation,” he said.

    Lake was arrested early last November for allegedly stealing a cell phone from a nurse at Kalispell Regional Medical Center, and he was subsequently charged with robbing an Evergreen casino using a can of pepper spray that he used on an employee and four patrons.

    The Flathead County Attorney’s Office said Lake eventually was released on “informal house arrest” and is scheduled to go on trial June 7 for the casino robbery.

    Cates said he is deeply troubled by Collins’ murder. “He was a very good friend of mine and a very vulnerable person.”

    Cates said he believes prescription drugs are the main drug problem in the Flathead Valley and they are causing other types of crimes.

    Neither Lake nor Nixon have yet made their initial court appearances.

    Reporter Jim Mann may be reached at 758-4407 or by e-mail at jmann@dailyinterlake.com