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Sheriff discusses on-going investigations and fire preparedness

Sheriff Mark Falk
Sheriff Mark Falk

MarkFalk033010Mixdown (2).mp34.3 MB
In an interview Tuesday, Cook County Sheriff Mark Falk said an attempted break-in at the West End went badly for at least one of the perpetrators.
“The information we have is they may have been trying to steal some copper,” said Falk. “Unfortunately one of the gentlemen had some sort of accident, and as all criminals are very good friends and help each other out, the others left him there and then called somebody in Duluth who then called St. Louis County 911 who relayed it to Lake County who relayed it to us,” he said with his tongue in cheek.
 “They were obviously very caring about their friend, but he was actually seriously injured. I think he took quite a fall. I’m not sure if he’s still in the hospital.” Falk continued, “There was a rumor he had died, but that is not true. He also had a warrant on him out of Carlton County, so we’re still investigating. I assume some charges will be filed up here.”
In another on-going investigation, the Sheriff said recently his department responded to a call from Great Expectations School after a teacher overheard two boys talking about bringing a gun to school.
“The way society treats those now, especially after Columbine, it’s zero tolerance.” Falk said two boys were taken into custody and both have been charged with terroristic threats. “Hopefully these young boys will get the help that they need and their families with support and they can get on the right track.”
Falk said that too often schools are afraid of the image they are marked with after such an incident. He said it should not reflect negatively.
“I don’t think it should. In fact just the opposite. They followed protocol, they reported, they took it serious.” Falk said his department also followed protocol and took the incident seriously. That’s what zero tolerance in these cases means.
With the Arrowhead listed as a high fire danger area by the Department of Natural Resources, Falk said he’s planning for possible spring fires through inter-departmental meetings and readiness sessions.
“Fire is a four letter word,” he said. “You get concerned about certain areas of the county.” He said the Tom Lake and the mid-Gunflint Trail areas concern him the most. “Even though there’s no fire restrictions, you really need to think about whether you need that campfire or you need to burn that little brush pile – things can get out of control.”
Falk added that the eventual move toward a new inter-connected communications system, called ARMER, will help public safety agencies to better coordinate efforts during a major fire.