A 21-year old Winnebago man has been charged for hosting a rural party that drew underage drinkers from southern Minnesota.
Cole Klinkner was charged with gross misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor this week in Faribault County District Court.
He faces a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $3,000 fine and is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Sept. 14.
County authorities are still investigating the party that drew underage drinkers from Faribault County and neighboring counties.
Authorities estimate more than 200 were at the party and are trying to determine if Walz’s “executive order” of no more than 250 people at an outdoor event, which requires social distancing of six feet and wearing a mask, was violated.
“When the investigation is complete, that is a possibility,” says Chief Deputy Scott Adams.
If the party was considered a social gathering, a maximum of 25 people are allowed under an “executive order” issued by the governor.
One of the two teens found passed out on the yard, says Adams, was treated by Winnebago Area Ambulance crew members before being released to a parent.
According to authorities, 25 alcohol-related citations were issued and five people were charged with possessing illegal narcotics.
Meanwhile, a Winnebago bar owner charged with violating an “executive order” may be wondering what the heck is going on.
Some local residents are ignoring a mandate requiring masks be worn when entering public indoor spaces or businesses.
Police say violators likely will not be given a citation that carries a $100 fine. Rather, they will try and explain why a mask should be worn.
“Why is one order more important than another? An order is an order and should be followed,” says David Schuster, owner of Schooter’s Bar.
In March, Schuster was charged with violating Gov. Tim Walz’s “executive order” that bars remain closed during the coronavirus pandemic.
During a July hearing, county prosecutors added a misdemeanor charge of selling intoxicating liquor for consumption on a licensed premise after 1:00 a.m. on Sundays.
“I never got a warning like those who don’t wear a mask,” he says. “I did nothing wrong. Why am I being held more accountable?”
Schuster has pleaded not guilty, maintaining the doors to the bar were locked on Sunday, March 22, when he and three other friends were playing cards, drinking pop and water and talking business.
In fact, Schuster does not have a liquor license to operate on Sunday and it hasn’t been open on that day to the public for the past 14 years.