#036;17,000 raised in DARE Bike-A-Thon

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 8, 2000

Monday, May 08, 2000

More than $17,000 was raised in Saturday’s Austin Rotary Club Drug Abuse Resistance Education Bike-A-Thon .

According to Mower County Sheriff Barry J. Simonson, the amount is more than raised a year ago.

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The Sheriff’s Department DARE program as well as the Austin Police Department’s benefit from funds raised by the Austin Rotary Club volunteers.

Simonson said the $17,000 total was a "preliminary" estimate.

More than 280 envelopes of pledge monies were collected.

Simonson estimated the number of participants at between 450 and 500 children, teen-agers, adults and senior citizens.

No charges filed

Insufficient evidence resulted in an Austin man escaping indecent-exposure charges.

According to an Austin Police Department report, fourth-grade students from an unidentified Austin elementary school were returning to Austin May 1 on a school bus.

The vehicle was southbound on U.S. Highway 218 north of Austin when a blue Ford Escort passed.

Students on the bus told their driver and teachers that a man exposed himself in the vehicle as it went by the school bus.

When the bus arrived in Austin at the elementary school, police were contacted.

Because the children’s description of the vehicle, including correct license plate number, and the occupant inside were so detailed, police were able to trace the registered owner of the car.

With the man’s wife’s cooperation, the man was located and brought to the Law Enforcement Center in downtown Austin for questioning.

The police report noted the man was "noticeably shaking and distressed" but after questioning, police decided they did not have enough proof to charge the individual and the man was let go.

The man was not identified.

Driver missed ‘cautions’

An elderly woman was charged with driving through a column of children after she violated a crossing guard’s instructions to stop.

According to an Austin Police Department report, school crossing guard Benny Thompson was leading a group of children across heavily traveled Fourth Street NW at the Seventh Avenue intersection, when the violation occurred 11:15 a.m. Friday.

Another vehicle had stopped for Thompson’s flag and waited while he led the children across the street, but the woman in a dark blue vehicle merely slowed and drove around the stopped car and proceeded northbound on Fourth Street NW.

Thompson took down the license-plate number, plus at least two other eyewitnesses to the infraction.

Austin Police Department officers traced the license plate number to an unidentified woman and cited her for the school-crossing violation.

The woman told officers she didn’t see the crossing guard, his flag or the children when she approached the vehicle stopped in traffic.

Tavern burglarized

Smitty’s Tavern, 105 11th St. SE, was entered and an undetermined about of cash stolen.

The burglary occurred in the early morning hours of Friday, according to an Austin Police Department report.

A window on the west side was broken to help thieves gain entrance. A cash box was taken and a safe entered, according to the report.