Projectors missing

Published 9:20 am Friday, July 6, 2012

Overhead projectors were reported missing from Riverland Community College, 2200 Riverland Drive, at 7:42 a.m. Thursday, according to Albert Lea police.


Fire reported

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A vehicle fire was reported at 1:52 p.m. Thursday near the intersection of Freeborn County roads 34 and 35, according to reports. No other information was available as of press time.


Woman arrested for shoplifting

Police arrested Maria Montelogo, 33, for shoplifting from Shopko, 2610 Bridge Ave., at 8:52 p.m. Thursday, according to reports.


Law enforcement to crack down on speeding

Officers will conduct enhanced speed enforcement patrols in July as part of a statewide campaign coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety.

According to a news release, unsafe and illegal speed is the most commonly reported contributing factor in fatal crashes. During 2009-11, speed was a contributing factor in four fatalities in Freeborn County and 254 traffic deaths statewide.

In Freeborn County, an average speeding citation for 10 mph over the limit totals $120. Motorists stopped at 20 mph over the speed limit face double the fine, and people ticketed traveling more than 100 mph  can lose their license for six months.

“As drivers, we can’t put our schedules ahead of other motorists’ safety,” said Albert Lea Police Department Lt. J.D. Carlson. “Running late and being in a hurry are not excuses to speed and put other drivers at risk.”

Law enforcement agencies cite the following dangers of speeding:

• Greater potential for loss of vehicle control.

• Increased stopping distance.

• Less time available for driver response for crash avoidance.

• Increased crash severity leading to more numerous and severe injuries.

Local law enforcement reports that a motorist traveling at 65 mph compared to 55 mph will save only 1 minute and 41 seconds on a 10-mile trip.

Aggressive driving traits — such as tailgating, unsafe passing, running lights and weaving in and out of traffic — are another safety concern of Freeborn County during the campaign.

Carlson said motorists confronted by aggressive drivers should: Get out of their way, stay calm, do not challenge them and avoid eye contact. Motorists may also report aggressive driving and should be prepared to provide vehicle description, license number and location.

He said motorists should keep a three-second following distance to allow for safe stopping and reaction to other vehicles. It takes more than the length of a football field to stop when traveling at 60 mph.

Another safety concern in July is the record-high number of motorcyclists on the road. Carlson said a major factor in rider deaths are unsafe speeds — more than half of all motorcycle crashes are single-vehicle events in which the rider loses control of the bike and runs off the road or crashes.

He stressed for motorists to look twice for riders — especially at intersections — because motorcycles are smaller, their speeds and distance can be harder to gauge.

The speed enforcement and education effort is coordinated by the Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety. The campaign is a component of the state’s Toward Zero Death program.