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Two Harbors man jailed on threat charges

A Two Harbors man who for several years has lobbied the Lake Superior School Board to sell him the former Two Harbors High School remains in the Lake County Jail on charges he threatened to harm someone during a Lake Superior School Board meeting.

A Two Harbors man who for several years has lobbied the Lake Superior School Board to sell him the former Two Harbors High School remains in the Lake County Jail on charges he threatened to harm someone during a Lake Superior School Board meeting.

Jay Cole of Two Harbors has been charged with two felony counts of making terroristic threats and one count of obstructing the legal process, a misdemeanor. The two felony counts carry a maximum fine of five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

Cole was arrested by Two Harbors police April 18 in Two Harbors.

Early that morning, Cole allegedly told a local resident "someone was going to get shot at the School Board meeting later that night," according to the criminal complaint. The resident contacted law enforcement officials and the school district. Later that morning, Cole saw Lake Superior School District Superintendent Phil Minkkinen at another meeting.

According to the complaint, Cole passed Minkkinen a note that read in part: "Shooter is another name for cameraman."

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Cole "is self-employed as a cameraman, but had previously been employed by the local media as a cameraman," according to the criminal complaint. Cole has floated multiple ideas for using the old school, including using it as a combination fitness center/entertainment facility and a video production school.

When Minkkinen learned of Cole's comments, he decided not to take any chances. He, too, contacted local law enforcement.

Two Harbors Police met Cole in the parking lot of the Two Harbors Liquor Store that evening. According to the complaint, Cole refused to leave his vehicle or roll down his window so officers could talk to him, and the officers broke his car window, removed Cole from his car and took him into custody.

Cole was arraigned in St. Louis County Court in Duluth Monday. He has not yet entered a plea, and doesn't have another court appearance scheduled, according to the Lake County Court Clerk's office. A Rule 20 mental health exam has been ordered, according to the clerk's office.

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