A Randall Man pleads guilty to Second Degree Murder
On Tuesday, Robert O'Jala of Randall pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for the March 12th death of his girlfriend's 2-year-old son, Dylan Martin, according to the Brainerd Dispatch. He is expected to be sentenced to 15 years in prison. In a statement given to officals, O'Jala initially claimed that on March 10th the boy was choking on cereal when he went limp and became unconscious. O'Jala later confessed to becoming frustrated with Dylan, and taking him to the child's bedroom, where he lifted the boy by the arms and threw him down.
Minnesota Truckers being hit hard by Pump Prices
Minnesota Truckers are being hit hard by the high pump prices. Due to the crunch, truckers are having to alter their routes. John Hausladen, President of the Minnesota Trucking Association, explained in a pre-recorded interview that truckers are having to slow down, consolidate trips, accept jobs based on their proximity to existing routes--and even re-learn to shift up when accelerating--a trick that helps them save on mpg's.
Proposed ATV Trail put on "Hold" by CWC Board
Consideration for support of an ATV trail system was put on hold Tuesday night, as the Crow Wing County Board learned that a public petition was filed with the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board seeking an assessment worksheet for the proposed ATV trail between Brainerd and Emily--passing through Trommald. Brainerd Attorney Patti Aaness, who represents residents concerned about the trail, explained in a phone-con that the opposition included, but was not limited to, the question of whether or not there's an ancient Native American burial ground located on the site of the proposed trail between the Mississippi River and Black Bear Lake. ATV enthusiast Roger Bently of Crosy, in a phone-con, wondered if this latest development isn't just another ploy to stall the progress of the potential trail.
The Soil is too Dry for Trees
In an interview with Len Nelson of Deblen Service of Pequot Lakes, he told our morning announcer Bob Bundgaard that the soil is very dry, and the trees could use some rain. He mentioned that the soil moisture is way down, and that an excavating acquaintance of his said that the soil down just a few inches is like powder. He told of the services that Deblen offers. Fortunately, we all agree, there's rain in the forecast.
Spring is the Season of Graduation. . .and Retirement
Many wonderful things happen at this time of year--weddings--babies--graduation--and retirement time for teachers! Our congratulations goes out to Steve Heslop and his wife Judy--both long-time teachers at Pequot Lakes High School. Steve has been a pillar of the English Department at PLHS, and his wife is retiring from Physical Education. In a phone-con with Steve, he said he's looking forward to the usual retirement expectations--including relaxing, catching up on tasks around the house, travelling, and visiting with family. Good Luck with all your plans Steve and Judy--and to all of the retiring teachers!--and Happy Commencement to the class of 2008!
ATV Trail Issue gets put on "Hold" by Crow Wing County Board
Consideration for support of an ATV trail system was removed almost as soon as it appeared on the agenda last night as the Crow Wing Country Board learned that a public petition was filed with the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board seeking an assessment worksheet for the proposed ATV trail between Brainerd and Emily--passing through Trommald, according to the Brainerd Dispatch. Long-time ATV enthusiast Roger Bently of Crosby was at the meeting. In an interview with K-Lakes, he explained his passion for riding, and the fact that the trails under consideration have actually been there a long time. Brainerd Attorney Patti Aanes, who represents some clients opposed to the trail, explained via a phonecon that her clients aren't "anti-ATV"--they're just interested in exactly where the trail would go. One of the arguments against the trail actually surfaced last night when it came to light that there may be historic burial grounds on the proposed trail between the Mississippi River and Black Bear Lake. Commissioner Doug Houge, who represents the area, said that there are no concept routes that are etched in stone.
Bird's Nest in Garrison cited for Theatre Nights
The Bird's Nest and owner Roberta Johnson are being taken to court by the State, saying that the bar and restaurant have been in violation of the Freedom to Breathe Act by allowing customers to smoke inside while saying they are actors in a play with a script that calls for smoking. According to the Brainderd Dispatch, Minnesota Department of Health Spokesman, Doug Schultz, is quoted as saying ". . .our overriding concern is protecting the health of Minnesota's workers and citizens from hazardous secondhand smoke. We believe this is the right step to take." The civil action is to be filed in Crow Wing County District court. Roberta Johnson did not return a phone call left by K-Lakes "Blenda".
Gas Prices may be Helping MN Tourism
Higher gas prices may actually be good for Minnesota tourism, according to Paul Roth, Crow Wing State Park Manager. He said that many Minnesotans are planning on taking trips closer to home, in light of the high gas prices. In particular, he knew one Minnesotan who'd been meaning to take a trip to Yellowstone, but vacationed over the Memorial Day weekend within the state, instead. Keepin' those bucks closer to home!
MN Taxes, as a Percentage of Income, Declining
We've been experienceing tough economic times, but according to Dane Smith, President of Minnesota-based Growth and Justice, Minnesota--as a state--has fallen on the list of states with the highest income taxes. We used to be 5th on the list, but have dropped to 19th.
A Busy Season for Tornados
In light of the recent tragedy in Hugo, we wanted to get some advice from a professional regarding what to do in the event of a tornado. Breezy Point Patrolman Brian Sandell says that in the event of a tornado, you should get to the safest place you can. At home, move into the basement, and stay away from windows. He said if you're in a school or office building, go to the designated shelter. If there isn't one, move to the lowest floor of the building into the innter-most room. Again, stay away from windows. If you're in a vehicle, abondon it--and move to a safe place of shelter.
A Crosslake Woman dies as a result of being burned
Clara Hunter, age 87, of Crosslake died on Monday as a result of burns she sustained while cooking at her home on Saturday. Authorities say the Crosslake Police Department responded to a call around 5 p.m. on Saturday, and found that Hunter had received burns to about 60% of her body. Sergeant Erick Lee says it appeared that Hunter caught fire while cooking. Her husband was mowing the lawn at the time. Lee called it a tragic accident.
David Allan Pundt Announces Canidacy
David Allan Pundt, on Monday, announced his canidacy for the House District 12A seat, currently held by Democrat John Ward. Pundt, a Republican, is looking for the Republican endorsement when they convene on June 10th. David said change is in order--and that education, freedom, and taxation are issues he would like to address. Incumbent John Ward embraces Pundt's decision to challenge him--saying he applaudes anyone who is willing to put themselves into the political arena for the good of the people.
Sheriff Todd Dahl says we're doing a good job--
Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl says we're doing a pretty good job of behaving ourselves. Over the Memorial Day weekend, Dahl was pleased to see that law enforcement, on the whole, was not having any remarkable problems in the Brainerd Lakes Area--especially in light of all of the additional traffic for the Holiday Weekend. Keep up the good work!
Purses for Partners
Kinship Partners is hosting an event called Kinship Partners this Saturday, May 31st at the Lakeside Ballroom at Breezy Point Restort. Jean Kraft, Lakes Country Program Coordinator for Kinship Partners is really looking forward to the event, including a luncheon, and a raffle of many remarkable purses. Purses include a cocout purse, an Hershey's wrapper purse, and even one of Jennifer Lopez's handbags that she used in a movie--complete with a certificate of authenticity. Additionally, each purse will contain either an additional item from a local vendor, or a certifacte redeemable for a good or service at a local vendor. For more information, or to make a reservation, call 218-829-4606, or toll-free 877-730-5437
Water spout over Leech Lake