Girls BB coaches may be charged this week
The Lake Park-Audubon School Board accepted the resignation of girls basketball head coach Andrew Schwan and assistant coach Darrin Myhre on Thursday.
They both resigned from teaching, coaching and other positions at LP-A following allegations of impropriety with players during a tournament in St. Cloud.
Schwan taught social studies and Myhre taught business education. The district will advertise to fill those vacancies.
The St. Cloud Police Department is investigating the allegations. No charges have been filed, according to the Stearns County Court Administrator's Office.
A police spokesman said he expects the case to go to the Stearns County Attorney's Office late this week for review of probable cause and a decision on whether to file criminal charges.
"You as board members seem to get only bits and pieces of information," Superintendent Dale Hogie told the board. "But you get everything I can share."
Within a matter of hours after the allegations surfaced, the two coaches were placed on paid administrative leave, pending an investigation by the school district and the police, Hogie said.
Even though the two resigned, the district will continue its investigation, gathering information for the Minnesota Board of teaching and the district's insurance company.
After some debate, the board agreed to stop producing The Raider newsletter, which cost the district about $100 a month.
Instead, it will provide a $200-per-month stipend to a new free-distribution monthly newspaper, the Lakes Country Connection. It distributes 3,200 copies to residents of the Lake Park-Audubon School District.
Most school board members said they liked the look of the newspaper, but only wanted to kick in $200 a month as long as it remains free-distribution.
The Becker County Record lost a lot of its reach in the school district when it switched to paid distribution, said school board member Dale Hogie, and school board members were concerned the same would happen to the new newspaper if it switches to paid circulation.
The newspaper does sell subscriptions and seeks to publish twice-monthly and then weekly eventually, according to a note to readers from Editor Marc Ness.
The new paper is produced with the help of the Hawley Herald, and School Board Member Vicky Grondahl said staff members there were pressuring the district to drop Detroit Lakes Newspapers as the official school newspaper for legal notices.
"That's not going to happen," at this point, she said.
School Board Member Bryan Anderson said he didn't mind dropping the Raider newsletter, but wasn't wild about donating to the new newspaper.
"I have a problem with giving out $200 a month to a private business. If they keep putting out a good product, they'll get the advertising (they need to succeed) and they'll cover the school news anyway."
Hogie explained that the $200 figure was a compromise. The newspaper wanted official newspaper status, or in lieu of that, a $650 monthly donation.
"We thought that was excessive," he said.
But the district wants to support the new newspaper.
"We're getting color photos and more notoriety than with the Raider," he said.
"I see this as an opportunity to really support the school district with additional coverage."
School Board Member Jeff Swetland said he believes that, with the monthly donation, the new newspaper should distribute school district election inserts and similar informative pieces for free.
The district is free to quit making the monthly donation at any time, pointed out School Board Member Rick Ellsworth.
"As long as we have the ability to opt out if we see anything really detrimental, I see no problem with it," he said.