HJ/EDJuly 31, 2006

Some Wright County businesses fail tobacco compliance check

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

Three out of four Cokato businesses failed tobacco compliance checks in June administered by Wright County.

Kirk’s Travel Plaza, Lake Region Co-op and the Marketplace all failed the yearly mandated tobacco compliance checks, while Casey’s General Store passed, according to information from Wright County Public Health.

Efforts have been “stepped up” to effectively protect the youth from obtaining tobacco and alcohol products, according to a press release from Wright County Department of Public Health.

Wright County Public Health along with the Wright County Sheriff’s Department and its volunteers completed the tobacco checks around Cokato and other towns in the county.

Members of Law Enforcement Explorers, a Sheriff’s office mentorship program for youth, volunteered their time and went unannounced into tobacco-licensed businesses and attempted to purchase tobacco products.

This year, 103 retailers were checked in Wright County with 17 failures. This is a 16.5 percent violation rate, which is down from last year’s 18 percent.

Wright County also cited five businesses selling tobacco products without a license which is a “direct violation of the Wright County tobacco ordinance,” according to Joel Torkelson, Wright County public health educator.

Two businesses in Wright County will have their tobacco licenses suspended because they failed the past three compliance checks within the last two years, according to the report.

Under county ordinance and state law, after three violations in a two-year period, businesses will be fined $250 and will lose its privilege to sell tobacco for at least seven days.

More than 80 percent of tobacco retailers in Wright County did pass compliance checks.

Wright County is doing its part by offering free educational materials to tobacco-selling businesses, according to the release.

“We would much rather educate these businesses to properly check everyone’s IDs than have to financially hit them in the pocketbooks,” Torkelson said.

Two Waverly businesses and one Montrose business failed tobacco compliance checks administered by Wright County in June.

Three businesses were checked in Montrose, Sandy and Sally’s (formerly Circle C), Squire Inn-Off Sale and Casey’s General Store.

Casey’s General Store failed the tobacco compliance check, according to Wright County Public Health.

Since this is Casey’s third violation in two years, the business will have its tobacco license suspended for one week and be given a $200 fine. Also, a $75 fine will be assessed to the clerk.

Four Waverly businesses were checked, including Mark’s Service, Uptown Bar and Grill, Waverly Municipal Liquor Store, and Pete’s Grocery.

Two businesses failed the compliance checks, the Waverly Municipal Liquor Store and Pete’s Grocery, according to Wright County Public Health. These businesses and the clerks will receive a $75 fine.

In fact, efforts have been “stepped up” to effectively protect the youth from obtaining tobacco and alcohol products, according to a press release from the Wright County Department of Public Health.

Wright County Public Health along with the Wright County Sheriff’s Department and its volunteers completed the tobacco checks in the county.

Members of Law Enforcement Explorers, a Sheriff’s office mentorship program for youth, volunteered their time and went unannounced into tobacco-licensed businesses and attempted to purchase tobacco products.

This year, 103 retailers were checked in Wright County with 17 failures. This is a 16.5 percent violation rate which is down from last year’s 18 percent.

Wright County also cited five businesses selling tobacco products without a license which is a “direct violation of the Wright County tobacco ordinance,” according to Joel Torkelson, Wright County public health educator.

Two businesses in Wright County will have their tobacco licenses suspended due to failing the past three compliance checks within the last two years, according to the report.

Under county ordinance and state law, after three violations in a two-year period, businesses will be fined $250 and lose its privilege to sell tobacco for at least seven days.

More than 80 percent of tobacco retailers in Wright County did pass compliance checks.

Wright County is doing its part by offering free educational materials to tobacco-selling businesses, according to the release.

“We would much rather educate these businesses to properly check everyone’s IDs than have to financially hit them in the pocketbooks,” Torkelson said.


Back to Current Stories Menu | Back to Archives List
Herald Journal / Enterprise Dispatch
Stories | Columns | Obituaries | Classifieds
Guides | Sitemap | Search | DC Home | HJ Home