Ad Spot

Pill drop box opens in LEC

A new service for Mower County residents looking to dispose of old, unused prescription pills officially opened Tuesday.

A secure pill drop box, located in the lobby of the Law Enforcement Center in downtown Austin, will allow people to safely and easily dispose of the unwanted drugs. When the box fills up, a contracted company will come and pickup the pills to take them to an out-of-state incinerator.

The program, which will cost roughly $5,000 annually, is an initiative of the Austin Area Drug Taskforce.

“This is a very exciting time,” said Bonnie Rietz, a former Austin mayor and current taskforce member. “We’ve been looking for this service for three years.”

Rietz has said on several occasions that disposal has always been the hardest part of a “move, watch and dispose” initiative regarding extra prescription pills.

That difficulty largely stemmed from a lack of places that could take the drugs.

Det. David McKichan, who is assigned to local drug investigations, said previously that the box and removal service will fill a big need because before his department had virtually no way to take old prescription pills off people’s hands.

Now, with the box in place, law enforcement officials are asking citizens to bring in any and all old, unused prescriptions, as well as non-prescription medications, like Tylenol. Older medicines that are in glass containers are welcome too — padded envelopes are available right next to the box’s door.

And for people concerned with privacy, Sharpie pens are also on hand for crossing out names on bottles.

The dropped off medications go into a locked closet in the office of Sheriff Terese Amazi. Amazi, who is also a taskforce member, said the box had already filled up about a third of the way before Tuesday’s kickoff event. Of the pills dropped off, the most common one she’s seen has been OxyContin, which the sheriff said is a good sign because it is a targeted drug of abuse in the area.

“That’s really a testament that people want to do the right thing,” she said of the one-third full box.

To make the box easy to find, signage will be posted outside of the LEC lobby, as well as on the wall near the box’s door. Rietz also said a public awareness campaign will be launched at this summer’s Mower County Fair.

News

Fully-vaccinated people can gather without masks, CDC says

Health

More than 10% of Minnesotans have had a virus vaccination

News

Jury selection is 1st battleground at trial in Floyd’s death

Crime, Courts & Emergencies

Floyd’s cause of death, ex-cop’s force will be keys at trial

Crime, Courts & Emergencies

Dozens rally before ex-officer put on trial in Floyd’s death

News

Highlights of the $1.9T COVID bill nearing final passage

News

Biden, Dems prevail as Senate OKs $1.9T virus relief bill

Mower County

$3/gal national average could be on the horizon

Business

The perfect time

News

Dem split on jobless benefits slows relief bill in Senate

Education

Scholarships offered by Freeborn-Mower Cooperative including new opportunity

Austin Living

Austin Living: Slice of Heaven

Education

Greibrock Austin Noon Kiwanis Student of the Month

Mower County

AFD completes training to be ‘MnFIRE Aware’ of cardiac risks firefighters faces

News

State data shows disparities in race, ethnicity of who’s getting vaccinated

Business

Community food shelves to receive needed support from Furniture Mart USA’s campaign

Mower County

Cumulative county COVID cases reaches 4,100 as active cases double

News

Pope urges Iraq to embrace its Christians on historic visit

News

Appeals court says judge in Chauvins case ‘erred,’ must reconsider additional murder charge

Crime, Courts & Emergencies

Convictions: Feb. 21-27

Education

Education Briefs

Hayfield

Minnesota FFA Hall of Fame announces class of 2021 inductees

News

Mississippi River cities join project to map plastic litter

News

US adds a strong 379,000 jobs in hopeful sign for economy