The national snocross event held at the ERX Motorsports Park in Elk River drew thousands of people last weekend but caused few problems for the police department, according to Elk River Police Chief Brad Rolfe.
Traffic issues were the biggest source of complaints.
“We received complaints from four irate motorists regarding the traffic delay Friday during the evening rush resulting from restricting Highway 169 traffic from two to one lane,” Rolfe said.
The purpose of the lane shift, which was approved by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, was to provide a safe lane for event vendors, participants, and spectators to leave the flow of traffic in preparation for turning into the venue, he said. The goal was to avoid having vehicles entering ERX coming to a stop out in the through traffic lanes.
Rolfe said vehicles entering the event included four-position snowmobile trailers and semis.
“It’s unfortunate some motorists were inconvenienced but since this was the first time an event of this size was held at ERX we didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “We will take lessons learned and implement them into next year’s event planning.”
Estimates of Friday traffic delays ranged from 5-30 minutes, he said.
There were two minor traffic accidents during post-event let out because people weren’t paying attention and drove contrary to traffic control directions, the chief added.
There also was a DWI arrest of an ATV rider on the ERX property Friday night. “The guy was very uncooperative and was causing problems with event staff,” he said.
The department also had a noise complaint about the post-race band from a person who lives in the Ridges of Rice Lake. The complaint came as the music was ending for the night, Rolfe said.
White tow truck stolen from driveway
A man reported the theft of a white tow truck from his driveway in the 10000 block of 172nd Lane, Elk River. The theft happened between 10 p.m. March 10 and 9:30 a.m. March 11.
Police are investigating.
Police rescue dog stranded in pond
Police rescued a golden retriever that ran onto a pond and became stranded in open water.
Two people were walking the dog in Lions Park in Elk River when it ran out onto the ice after some geese. The dog went into the water and could not get out, due to the ice all around the open water. Elk River police officers, along with a Sherburne County deputy, managed to get the dog out unharmed, according to Elk River Police Capt. Bob Kluntz.
Officers were called to the pond at 2:03 p.m. March 10.
Two knives were found in school locker
Police officers received information that a girl was in possession of a knife at Salk Middle School in Elk River. School administrators located two knives in a school locker, which were turned over to police on March 7. Police have forwarded the case to the county attorney to review for possible charges, Kluntz said.
Sleeping student cited for drug offense
A man, 18, attracted some unwanted attention after he was allegedly asleep in class. When Elk River High School officials confronted him, they suspected chemical use. A search turned up drug paraphernalia and the student was cited by officers, Kluntz said.
The incident was reported at 11 a.m. March 9.
After traffic stop, men cited for marijuana
Two men from Menahga, Minn., were stopped by police at 9:30 p.m. March 9 at Main Street and Gates Avenue in Elk River because their vehicle had loud exhaust and suspended objects from the mirror.
The officer detected the use of marijuana in the vehicle. The investigation led to the men being cited for possession of marijuana and paraphernalia, Kluntz said.
Police make several arrests fo DWI
Several people have been arrested for DWI in Elk River recently.
The incidents include:
•Police stopped a driver at 12:14 a.m. March 12 after observing the vehicle crossing the center lane divider lines four times while traveling east on Highway 10.
The driver, a 34-year-old woman, was stopped at Highway 10 and Jackson Avenue and arrested for fourth-degree DWI.
•An officer on patrol observed a vehicle with illegally tinted windows traveling west on Highway 10. The man, 35, was stopped at Highway 10 and Proctor Avenue at 3:58 a.m. March 11 and arrested for DWI.
•A vehicle that crossed over the left fog line twice while traveling south on Highway 169 from School Street was stopped by police at 12:35 a.m. March 11. The driver, a 44-year-old woman, was arrested for fourth-degree DWI.
•A driver who was stopped for making an improper turn at Jackson Avenue and School Street ended up being arrested for DWI. The 46-year-old woman was stopped at 2 a.m. March 10.
Two girls cited
Two female students at Elk River High School were cited on March 8: a 16-year-old for tobacco possession and 15-year-old for possession of tobacco, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia.
The incident was reported at 2:34 p.m. March 8.