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Racine County Sheriff’s K9 Nitro and his human partner, Deputy Troy Ruffalo, will get a high-paw Tuesday for their role in apprehending alleged bank robber Darnell Collins. Collins, 49, and James Ward, 33, both of Racine, were charged June 19 with one felony count each of robbery of a financial institution after police say they robbed the BMO Harris bank at 4100 Durand Avenue. Collins was also charged with obstructing a police officer (repeater). Both defendants fled the scene in a red car that was later spotted on Ohio Street. Officers initiated a traffic stop, but Collins fled through the neighborhood and was apprehended by Nitro and Ruffalo a short time later. The K9 partners will be recognized Tuesday during the noon meeting of the Kiwanis Foundation of Racine Inc. Last year, Kiwanis donated $20,000 to the RCSD so the department could add another K9 officer to its ranks. “As a result of this generous donation the RASO was able to move forward with the purchase and training of Nitro, providing a K-9 to the RASO second shift patrol unit,” Sheriff Chris Schmaling wrote in a written release. The meeting begins at noon at the Sealed Air YMCA, 8501 Campus Drive, in Mount Pleasant. If convicted, Collins faces up to 48 years in prison and up to $110,000 in fines because both charges had repeater modifiers attached to them. If convicted, Ward faces up 40 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines.

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In addition to our education features, we’ll be kicking off a series of stories highlighting how parents, students, and educators are adapting to the impact of COVID-19 on education. If this is important to you, please consider donating to our education reporting fund. https://business.facebook.com/donate/1846323118855149/3262802717172659/