Saturday, April 26, 2008

2008 Run for the Lakes Race Results

Inclement weather didn't stop area runners from competing in the inaugural Run for the Lakes marathon and half-marathon in Nisswa.

Sixty die-hard competitors finished the marathon, which was won by George Bienusa of Sartell with a time of 3:12:04. For the women, Amber Bowman of Minneapolis crossed the line first in 3:32:07.

Two-hundred and twenty runners finished the half-marathon. Casey Miller of Baxter won the men's division in 1:19:00, while Sara White of Eden Prairie took top honors in the women's division by posting a time of 1:25:43. The average half-marathon time was 2:07:56.

Run for the Lakes photo gallery.

Get all the results at Online Race Results.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Brainerd Teachers Approve Workshop Money Gift

A majority of the Brainerd teachers who voted last week said the $800,000 professional development fund should be spent to re-hire laid off teachers instead of for workshops and teacher conventions. Assistant Superintendent Steve Rizidlo said he was not surprised. 78% of the teachers who voted supported the move. Education Minnesota Brainerd President Kathy Hegstrom said its up to the administration and school board how the money will be spent. Hegstrom said if the school is in the same finanancial condition next year, teachers may consider repeating their gesture. Hegstrom said "its possible" but teachers hope that funding would not be in the same condition and that giving up professional development money "year after year would enable the state to not to their share". Hegstrom said there's also a possibility to "give a portion of our money back" to help schools and that could be considered in future years.

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Geritol Frolics Auditions May 1st and 3rd

The singing and dancing troupe of senior citizens known as the Geritol Frolics is getting ready for its 2008 show and it needs your help. Producer/director Ed Yunker is looking for new cast members and he said first-timers are more than welcome. Yunker said auditions will be held at Franklin Art Center on Thursday, May 1st from 6-9pm and on Saturday, May 3rd from 10a until Noon. No need to call for an appointment. Yunker said you can prepare a monologue or song if you like, but its not necessary. The 2008 Geritol Frolics will be held later this fall.

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Two Minnesotans Die in Crash Near Camp Ripley

25-year old Jessica L. Foged of Little Falls and 25-year old Tracy M. Jarva of Detroit Lakes died early this morning when the Chevy Trailblazer they were in ran off the road. 34-year old Michael J. Matthews of Devils Lake, North Dakota was critically injured. So far, investigators have not determined who was driving.

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Car Contest Goes On; Must Be Present To Win

Nearly two hundred lucky contestants will line up at the Baxter Denny Hecker Hyundai car dealership tomorrow and one of them will go home with a new car. But Spring in Minnesota has thrown a slight curve ball; there may be 6" of snow on the ground by then. Dealership General Manager Randy Miltmore said contestants should dress for the possibility of inclement weather, wear warm clothing and prepare for the elements. Rules of the contest require the winner to be present in order to win the car. Miltmore said registration for the already pre-qualified contestants begins at 9:30am. Drawing for keys to the 2008 Hyundai Sonata will start about an hour later and Miltmore said how long the contest lasts will depend. If the first key starts the car, it'll be a short day. If the 175th key does the trick, it could last up to two hours.

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Grey Eagle Drug Bust

Todd County Sheriff's Deputies arrested two 23-year old Grey Eagle men Tuesday and impounded $2,400 worth of marijuana and a stolen firearm. Justin Mayhar and Bo Westland were charged with sale and possession of a controlled substance and are waiting their next court appearance. A County Sheriff's spokesman said their investigation indicated the men may have intended to sell the drugs in a school zone. The investigation continues.

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Pequot Lions Communty Clean-Up Day

The Pequot Lakes-Breezy Point Lions are holding their annual recycle day tomorrow, weather permitting. Spokeswoman Molly Ring said the items you can bring make a pretty long list, including batteries, office equipment and computers, and demolition. Ring said the Salvation Army will be at the Pequot Lakes High School parking lot as well to accept your gently-used items. Lions Recycle Day runs from 9am-3pm on Saturday, April 26th.

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Sick Birds In Ironton

18 loons and grebes from the Serpent Lake Sanitary District near Ironton have been taken to the Garrison Animal Hospital and investigators are trying to figure out why. The birds were found near the wastewater treatment ponds in Ironton. Some can't fly. Others are having a hard time swimming. Two of the grebes have died. DNR and Minnesota Pollution Control officials are investigating. Samples have been taken from the treatment ponds but officials say it will take five to seven days to get test results back.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

I-35W Bridge Construction On Schedule

MnDot Project Manager John Chiglo said workers made good progress on rebuilding the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis over the winter. Chiglo said workers continue to maintain a good safety record and a barge from Lousiana has arrived and is in place to construct a crane to put bridge segments into position. Chiglo said bridge workers have poured more than half of the bridge platforms and will continue to pour segments through the month of May. Chiglo said interested citizens could get weekly updates on the bridge progress by going to the MnDot web site and sign up for the service.

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MN Senate Approves Pool Safety Bill

The Minnesota Senate gave preliminary approval to the Abigal Taylor Pool Safety Bill. The bill was sponsored by Edina Senator Geoff Michel and named after the little girl who died recently from injuries sustained from a kiddie pool drain. Michel said the bill calls for daily inspections of pool drains and goes beyond federal legislation.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Burning restrictions for central minnesota

Burning restrictions for Crow Wing, Aitkin, Becker, Wadena and Todd Counties go into effect on Thursday. Backus DNR Forester Dan Wilhm said it may seem like vegetation can't possible ignite but that would be wrong. Restrictions buring permits on a strict need-to-burn only start tomorrow, cattle operation that needs to burn off a large area of grass, construction project that needs to burn because of a building deadline. Burning restrictions for the Northern and Northwestern part of the state went into effect earlier this week.

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21st Century Tax Reform

Governor Pawlenty announced his appointments to the 21st Century Tax Reform Commission Wednesday morning. The commission is to study and recommend tax reforms that will improve Minnesota's ability to successfully compete with other states and nations for jobs and business investments and that promote long-term economic benefits. Plans to create the commission were included in the Governor's State of the State Address.

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Judge Orders Lake Superior Ballast Water Checks

Ramsey County District Court Judge Kathleen Gearin ordered the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to begin regulating ballast water discharged by ships in Lake Superior to stop the entry of invasive species. Gearin's ruled Tuesday that the MPCA has known for years that ballast discharge introduces invasive species. Judge Gearin said she does not believe the agency has handled the issue with the urgency that the danger demands. Gearin ruled that the agency must treat discharge as water pollution and by October 1st, all ships carrying ballast water must have Clean Water Act permits before discharging the water.

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Ah-Gwah-Ching Purchase Set For June 3rd

Cass County Board Members decided on Tuesday to set the Ah-Gwah-Ching site purchase date for Tuesday, June 3rd and begin demolition work soon after. Just over 30 acres of the site is to be used for a critical access hospital and health care campus. This year's Minnesota bonding bill included money for utility connections to the city of Walker as well as money for demolition. The state of Minnesota will keep nearly 56 acres of the site for later sale to a private party. The southern portion of the property will go to the Minnesota DNR.

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Iron Range Lawmaker Seeks Higher Mininum Wage

Virginia Lawmaker Tom Rukavina has introduced a bill that would increase Minnesota's minimum wage to $6.75 an hour and a dollar more for employees of larger companies. Rukavina said 80% of the people he's polled support the move and think the wage should be increased every year by the rate of inflation. Rukavina said his bill includes the inflation factor increase and he knows the Governor opposes it, but he's willing to negotiate. A similar bill has been introduced in the Minnesota Senate.

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38 Pound Marijuana Bust In Verndale

Verndale and Wadena County law enforcement seized nearly 39 pounds of marijuna, a large amount of cash and 21 grams of a suspicous brown powder from a California car last Saturday. Wadena County Sheriff Michael D. Carr said the car was stopped for speeding but when the driver didn't produce a license and the driver and passenger's stories didn't match, the deputy called for the county's K-9 officer, Danny.
Sheriff Carr said the dog leaped through the open back window of the car, a strong indication that drugs are present. Officers said the marijuana was packaged and labeled for sale. 41-year old Tiffany Dyanne Wilharber and 45-year old Michael Jay Egan are in the Wadena County Jail waiting their next court appearance.

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Bemidji Lawmaker Frank Moe Calls It Quits

Two-term Bemidji State Representative Frank Moe decided last Friday not to run for a third term, the day before Saturday's endorsing convention in Walker. Moe said he'd been thinking about it for some time, and understood that to announce his intentions before the end of the session could have some consequences. Moe said his primary reason for not running again was the time he had to spend away from home, his wife, his flower shop business, and his sled dogs. Representative Moe also intends to finish his Ph.D at the University of Minnesota.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Emily Charter School Celebrates Arbor Month

The students at Emily Charter School will celebrate Arbor Month again this year and use the nearby Emily Charter Forest to learn natural science lessons. Instructor Robin Ward said students will learn about tree planting, identification, and bud-capping among other topics. Ward said the forest serves as a learning tool for students and community members alike. She said the next step for the Emily Charter School Forest is to find ways to get other community groups to become involved in the school forest program. Join us for the next program in the series, Go Green With K-Lakes, on Wednesday, April 23rd at 6:40am and 5:40pm on KLKS, 104.3.

Visit our KLKS Go Green web page.

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Severe Weather Awareness Week

Just because winter is behind us doesn't mean severe weather is over. Minnesota State Patrol Sergeant Curt Mower said this is Severe Weather Awareness Week and the point is to encourage drivers to plan ahead and know how to respond to inclement weather. Mower said this week is also the 34th Annual Minnesota Alcohol Traffic Safety conference at the Holiday Inn in West St. Cloud at Highways 15 and 23. Mower said the conference starts on Wednesday, April 23 for three days. To register, go online to or call 800-362-3667, extension 7307.

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MN Lawmakers and Governor and the Budget Balance Battle

The give and take has begun between the Governor's suggestions on how to cut the current Minnesota state budge by $935-Million and the House and Senate's counter-offers. Walker Lawmaker Larry Howes said those concerned with education, nursing homes or money for cities and counties should not be. Howes said there's plenty of money within state coffers, rainy day funds, excess pass-through accounts, that those parts of the budget can be left alone. Howes said the first challenge between the parties is the Health Care Access Fund. Governor Pawlenty has agreed to use less of it to balance the budget than first proposed. Lawmakers want to use the fund for their version of health care reform.

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Brainerd Teachers Approve Development Money Transfer

78% of Brainerd teachers voted last Friday to let the school board use next year's staff development money to hire instructors. Education Minnesota-Brainerd Union President Kathy Hegstrom told the Brainerd Dispatch that 2% of basic state education funding is set aside every year for staff development like teacher conferences and workshops. Hegstrom said $300,000 will be used to hire back five or six of the 60 teachers laid off for next fall. The balance, just over $500,000 will be used to hire a curriculum coordinator and a Reading Recovery teacher.

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Rodriguez Death Sentence Appealed

US Attorney Drew Wrigley said he's received a copy of the death sentence appeal from Alphonso Rodriguez Jr.'s attorneys and it contains no surprises. Rodriguez was sentenced to death two years ago for the 2003 kidnapping and killing of Pequot Lakes woman Dru Sjodin. The deadline for the appeal was Monday. Wrigley said he would respond to the appeal as soon as possible. Rodriguez is waiting execution at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.

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Brainerd Fourth of July Parking Changes

You'll still be able to park your RV on East River Road to watch Brainerd's Fourth of July parade but you'll have to get there before 8am on the morning of July 4th. Traffic will be closed to everyone at 8am that morning. The Brainerd City Council also decided to restrict parking to the north side of the Laurel Street Bridge, partly to free up the congestion after the Fourth of July fireworks. Assistant Police Chief Corky McQuiston told the Brainerd Dispatch that parking restrictions will allow better access for emergency vehicles.

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Governor Names New MNDOT Head

Governor Pawlenty named former federal highway official Tom Sorel to be the new Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Senate Minority Leader David Senjem said the Governor has made an excellent choice, the first MnDOT commissioner for decades with a college degree in engineering. Senjem said Sorel has more than 30 years of transportation experience including work on the light rail system in Salt Lake City before the Winter Olympics in 2002. Senjem said its time to put aside the rancor and bad feelings over what happened with Lieutenant Governor Carol Molnau and move forward.

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Fulltime enrollment at Central Lakes College in Brainerd and Staples is 13% higher than the year before. And if you count part-time students, the increase over last year is nearly 25%. College President Dr. Larry Lundblad said growth has occurred in small business and farm management programs, online courses, and high school students taking post-secondary classes. Central Lakes College had the second highest growth rate of the 30 two year colleges in Minnesota.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Pequot Lakes Concerned Citizens Meet Wednesday

A group of Pequot Lakes residents calling themselves the Coalition of Concerned Citizens will meet Wednesday night at the American Legion. Organizer Jack Schmitz said the meeting will start at 6pm in the back room. Schmitz said people know police officers have a job to do, to arrest drunk drivers and keep the area safe, but some people are concerned that sometimes, officers go a little too far. Schmitz expects a good turnout and said he and others are working on a joint meeting with the Pequot Lakes City Council for sometime in May.

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Bemidji Lawmaker Frank Moe Says No More For Now

Two-term Bemidji Democrat lawmaker Frank Moe has announced he won't seek a third term. The Bemidji Pioneer reported that Moe was nominated for re-election and a number of speakers seconded the motion, including his wife, Shrrie. Moe told delegates at the endorsing convention in Walker on Saturday that he'd made his decison the night before. Moe defeated Republican Doug Fuller in 2004 and was re-elected in 2006. He said he wants to spend more time with his wife in her business and has been awarded a Bush Fellowship to complete his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota.

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Crosslake Community Students Celebrate Earth Day

Crosslake Community School students will celebrate Earth Day Tuesday, April 22nd. Seventh and eighth grade teacher Angela Schultz said the day will be spent on how to conserve energy and plant trees. Listen for a special KLKS presentation on the Crosslake Community School event tonight at 5:40pm on 104.3. Arbor Day was established in Nebraska in 1872 and is celebrated on the last Friday in April.

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MN House Leaders Prepare To Confer On State Budget

Minnesota House Leaders will spend more time this week meeting with Governor Pawlenty about how to trim the state's budget by nearly $1-Billion. House Majority Leader Tony Sertich believes that talks have gone well so far and he and the Governor are on the same wavelength. The Governor lost a coin-toss last week so he has to make the first offer on how to balance the budget.

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MN House Leaders Concerned About Rural Air Service

Minnesota Speaker of the House Margaret Anderson Kelliher said the proposed merger of Northwest and Delta Airlines between will have lots of unexpected consequences. Among them may be the affect on connections from out-state airports. Congressman James Oberstar chairs the US House Transportation Committee and said he plans to hold hearings on the merger. He's also instructed the chair of the Aviation Sub-Committee to hold hearings of his own.

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Klobuchar in Brainerd Brings Digital TV Information

Many television broadcasters will stop sending over-the-air analog signals out next February when they switch to digital broadcast. Viewers who depend on antennas for TV reception may have to buy a converter box to get the new signal. US Senator Amy Klobuchar will be in Brainerd at 2pm on Monday, April 21st at the Lakes Area Senior Center to talk about the new technology. Klobuchar said more than 21% of Minnesotans depend on over-the-air TV reception. Not all television broadcasters have to switch to digital signals and converters with a pass-through feature will receive both types of signal. The Senator will also be in St. Cloud, Virginia, Bemidji, East Grand Forks and Alexandria this week for similar meetings.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Turena Johnson Lane Sixth at 2008 Olympic Marathon Trials

Turena Johnson Lane, a graduate of Brainerd High School, finished the 2008 Olympic Trials Marathon in a personal record time of 2:34:17, which was good for sixth place overall and less than two minutes away from an Olympic birth.

Watch Turena talk about her incredible race.

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