Gunther, Rosen endorse Seifert

FAIRMONT – One of the Republican candidates for governor is touring southern Minnesota on the heels of receiving several endorsements from state legislators in the area.

Marty Seifert is being backed by state Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont; Rep. Bob Gunther, R-Fairmont; and Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Good Thunder, among others in the region. The group is encouraging voters to look at Seifert’s leadership record and background, and support him in the Aug. 12 primary.

“Minnesotans from all backgrounds can find something they like in Marty Seifert’s candidacy, whether its his time teaching in the classroom, growing up on the farm, fighting for limited government in the state legislature, or his successful career in real estate and small business – Seifert will be a leader for some of the most important sectors of our state’s economy,” Rosen said.

“Marty is a man of his word, a man of honesty and integrity, who always strives to do the right thing and sees the best in people,” Gunther said. “Serving with Marty in the Minnesota House allowed me to see firsthand how he brings people together for a cause and to get things done.”

Seifert faces three other Republican hopefuls in the primary: Jeff Johnson, a Hennepin County commissioner; Kurt Zellers, a former Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives; and businessman Scott Honour.

Man charged with fleeing police

FAIRMONT – A 36-year-old Fairmont man is charged with a felony count of fleeing police, after allegedly speeding through residential areas of Fairmont on a motorcycle last week.

According to information from the Fairmont Police Department:

Around 2:15 p.m. July 16, a Fairmont police officer witnessed a motorcycle pass a vehicle on the right as the vehicle was stopped and waiting to make a left-hand turn off South Prairie Avenue. The motorcycle then accelerated away northbound and the officer detected a speed increased from 26 mph to 34 mph, and then the motorcycle’s speed jumped to 54 mph.

The officer activated the squad’s emergency lights and pursued the motorcycle, which had sped up to 61 mph. The officer saw the motorcyclist look over his shoulder and see the squad car, but did not slow down or stop. The motorcycle made a hard left turn onto Fourth Street, then down an alley southbound, eventually stopping at a residence on Willow Street.

The motorcyclist – later identified as Luis Javier Collazo Diaz – initially would not comply with the officer’s orders to turn off the motorcycle and get on the ground, but eventually did so. When told he was under arrest for fleeing police, Diaz said he wanted an attorney.

A background check showed Diaz had his license revoked and there was also no proof of insurance on the motorcycle.

The charge of fleeing police carries a maximum penalty of three years and one day in prison and a $5,000 fine. Diaz also faces misdemeanor charges of reckless driving, no driver’s license and no proof of insurance.

Man charged with drug crime

FAIRMONT – A 45-year-old Bloomington man is charged with a fifth-degree drug crime after methamphetamine was allegedly found in his possession during a traffic stop.

According to information from the Fairmont Police Department:

Shortly before 9:30 a.m. July 17, a Fairmont police officer was in the area of a residence believed to be involved with methamphetamine. The officer saw a vehicle seen at the house in the past drive by. The officer noted the vehicle had a cracked windshield, and made a traffic stop.

The driver was identified as Daniel Joseph Friendshuh. He was unable to provide proof of registration or insurance of the vehicle, and said he bought the car from someone in the Twin Cities. The officer noted Friendshuh was shaky, and there were burn calluses on his fingertips, a sign of meth use.

The officer had Friendshuh exit the vehicle and noticed Friendshuh had a bulge in one of his pockets. A patdown search showed the bulge was a glass pipe that contained a residue that appeared to be meth. The officer also found a baggie on Friendshuh that held a substance that later tested positive as meth. The total weight of the meth found was about 3 grams.

Upon his arrest, Friendshuh declined to give any statements to police. A background check showed he had a previous controlled substance conviction in Hennepin County in 2010.

Fifth-degree controlled substance crime carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.