Friday, July 11, 2008

Severe Weather Around Brainerd

Nasty summer storms upset the dinner hour around the Brainerd Lakes Friday. In addition to a wide Thunderstorm Watch area, portions of the of the lakes area were under a Tornado Warning.
Several funnel clouds were spotted six miles east of Leader in Cass County. A trained spotter reported 10 large trees down from winds estimated at 70 miles per hour shortly after 6 pm. Many trees were down along State Highway 232, two miles east of Palisade in Aitkin County. Half-inch size hail fell in Baxter around 6:30 PM. At about that same time, strong winds downed trees on Ojibwa Road in Nisswa, and electricity was lost. Hail three quarter inch or larger was reported in East Gull Lake, Nisswa, Motley and Pillager around 6 PM.
Last night, thousands of Crow Wing Power members lost power from passing storms. Those storms produced wind gusts up to 70 mph. The majority of the Thursday night damage ranged from Motley northeast to Emily and heavily hit portions of Crosslake and Breezy Point.

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A New Library Comes to The Leech Lake Tribal College

The Leech Lake Tribal College has been awarded a federal grant to make a number of improvements to its campus. 8th District Congressman Jim Oberstar says the U.S. Department of Education will award the Leech Lake Tribal College $2,758,000 from its Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities Program.

"In the past five years, enrollment at Leech Lake Tribal College has nearly doubled",said Oberstar.

The grant will help pay for an expansion of the library, expand the college's office and administrative space and build additional space for special events and community meetings.

Leech Lake Tribal College President, Dr. Leah Carpenter, says the campus expansion is a good investment. "I am so excited the College will have this opportunity to provide our students with additional space to study, socialize and gather as a collegial community."

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CLC Promises EZ Enrollment

Central Lakes College of Brainerd and Staples has scheduled EZ Enrollment Days to accommodate anyone interested in attending either campus.
EZ Enrollment Day will begin at 3 p.m., Tuesday, July 15 on the Staples campus and 9 a.m., Wednesday, July 23 on the Brainerd campus.
The school promises that the event will provide new students with everything needed to complete the admissions process and be enrolled for the start of the fall semester Aug. 25.
The application fee is $20 and is needed to complete the admission process. For information call the Admissions Office at 218-855-8037 in Brainerd or 218-894-5100 in Staples.

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The Burlington Northern Superfund Site Gets a Review

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is beginning a five-year review of the Brainerd-Baxter Burlington Northern Railroad Tie Plant Superfund cleanup site. The MPCA is asking for community input. They are seeking observations of the site over time and ways the cleanup may have helped the area.

Superfund law requires a review at least every five years to determine if allowable levels of contamination have been exceeded. This is the fourth such review of the B.N. site.

The 70-acre site lies between Baxter and Brainerd at State Highways 210 and 48.

Burlington Northern operated a railroad-tie-treating plant on the site from 1907 to 1985. Ties were pressure-treated at the plant with heated creosote-coal tar or creosote-fuel oil mixtures.

The primary groundwater contaminant sources were shallow lagoons, which were used to hold process wastewater from the time the plant opened until October 1982.

In the cleanup, contaminated soil and sludges were consolidated into a permanent, on-site underground storage containment vault.

The MPCA says groundwater and soil contamination is still an issue that the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad is working to clean up, with government oversight.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mille Lacs Band Chief Executive Sworn into Office

On Tuesday, Melanie Benjamin was sworn into office as the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe's Cheif Executive. That same day, Distrit I Representative Sandra Blake was sworn into office. They were elected during the Band's June 10th general election, and will serve four-year terms. The swearing in ceremony was held at the Mille Lacs Band Government Center.

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"The Exchange" Fire Still Under Investigation

Early last Saturday morning The Exchange in Crosslake burned. According to Keith Anderson of the Crosslake Fire Department, the building is presumed to be a total loss. As of today, Deputy State Fire Marshall Mark Germain said that the fire is still under investigation. He hopes to have results of the investigation later this week. The cause of the fire did not seem suspicious.

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Bean Hole Days a Success!

The skies were blue, the sun was bright, and it was a beautiful day on Wednesday for the culmination of Bean Hole Days in Pequot Lakes! There were a number of food and craft vendors in the park, even ranging to the northern half of Trailside. There were thousands who turned out for the un-burying of the beans, and a free bowl of the secret recipe. Folks waiting on line for the late-morning serving were treated to a fun presentation of "Donna Mae" with the By the Way Players. After reigning Bean Hole Queen Ione Miller passed the scepter on to this year's roylaty, Everett and JoAnne Johnson (who, too, were selected due in no small part to their remarkable public service to the community of the Pequot Lakes area), 2450 people enjoyed the fruits of the ground, according to Sue Galligan of the Chamber. Folks were treated to another performance in the afternoon with the "By the Way Players" and shopped all afternoon-long. A wonderful time was had by all, and we--here at K-Lakes--are already looking forward to next year!

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Let's Go Fishing!

Nadine Meyer, Aquatic Education Specialist with Manaqua through the DNR mentioned that she has several interns working with fishing programs for families this summer. There's one coming up at Father Hennepin State Park on July 12th, with another coming up later on in August. Besides one forth-coming at Itasca State Park, there's also one scheduled for July 12th at Bear Head State Park near Ely. Additionally, she mentioned that they're encouraging adults to take a kid fishing. She mentioned that its an excellent way to spend quality time, get some fresh air and exercise, and teach a kid how to fish. For more information, visit the Minnesota DNR website.

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Buckle Up!

State Patrol Information Officer Curt Mowers says that our over-all stats for fatalities in the state are running lower than last year. This time last year we had 223 accident related fatalities. . .so far this year, we've had 197. He admonished us, though, that just because someone doesn't die, doesn't mean it's not a tragedy. He said that many accidents are not so severe, but a number occur where someone involved ends up debilitated for years--perhaps even for life. He also mentioned that if only one person in a car is not buckled up, that one person can cause serious injury to other people in a vehicle that are wearing their seat belts. He said we should slow down, back off, pay attention, and NEVER drink and drive.

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House District Filings Continue

It’s an election year for the State House—a quick check of filings for the surrounding districts through the end of the business day yesterday include:

District 3B Carolyn McElfatrick Republican
Loren A. Solberg Democratic

District 4B Larry Howes Republican

District 11B Dave Kircher Republican
Mary Ellen Otremba Democratic

District 12A David Allan Pundt Republican
John Ward Democratic

District 12B Al Doty Democratic
Mike LeMieur Republican

District 16A Sondra Erickson Republican
Gail Kulick Jackson Democratic

Filing opened on July 1st, and closes on the 15th of the month for state primary and general elections.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Paul Bunyan's Paddle Has Been Found!

The paddle that Paul Bunyan had lost, and needed to stir the beans for tomorrow's Bean Hole Festival in Pequot Lakes was found today by Erik Olson, Trenton Beyer, Sam Olmsheid, and Kelsey Hart. The paddle was hidden behind the Lumberjack's bunkhouse at the Scheer's Lumberjack Show in Pequot Lakes. The winners received gift certificates from Lakes Gas, Salon Couture, AmericInn Lodge & Suites, Wildwedge, Merritt Jewelers, Silver Creek Traders, Weise Clothing & Variety, and the Market Place, all in a beach bag from Wild Blue. Congratulations!

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Metal Detectors in Crow Wing County Courthouse

Sheriff Todd Dahl said that they do have metal detectors in the Crow Wing County Courthouse--that during a conversation about the recent tragedy in Morrison County. Sheriff Dahl said its always a question of balancing comfort and security. He also mentioned that, on the whole, Crow Wing County had a good Fourth of July weekend--although there are always tragedies. He also mentioned that we should be safe on the water, and make sure and wear our PFD's.

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Hackensack Sweetheart Days!

Sweetheart Days are happening in Hackensack! Jean Dawson, with the Chamber, mentions that they have all kinds of activites happening, particularly today, with carnival games, a flea market, a parade tonight, and a street dance! Stop on up in Hackensack and have yourself a wonderful time! For more information, call 218-675-6135, or go on-line at

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Another Pequot Lakes Bean Hole Days Clue!

Here's another clue for you to help find Paul Bunyan's Paddle! We look forward to seeing you at the Burying of the Beans at 6:30 tonight in Trailside Park, and also tomorrow for the Eating of the Beans about 11:45 a.m.

Paddle Hunt Clue #2-
Have you had any luck yet finding my paddle for Bean Hole Days? We only have 2 more days to look. I have to find it or else Bernice will have my hide!

I found out that Babe is a right handed batter, so that means that he would have thrown the bat north east from the Bobber water tower which was home base.

I went for a walk along my trail and headed north towards Jenkins. I had a chat with Fanny the Ox to see if maybe she picked up my paddle with her golf clubs. She’s the cute looking caddy at Wildwedge. I think that Babe has had his eye on her, but I think that Bessie does not know!

Fanny said that she missus watching the lumberjacks climb the pole at the Scheer Lumberjack Show. Ya know, I’m a lumberjack. I could cut down a hundred trees with just one swing of my axe. But now, all of the lumberjacks use chainsaws. I guess that is progress fer ya!

Keep looking for my paddle.

If you find my paddle bring it in to Sue Galligan at the Chamber office in Pequot Lakes. She has a nice gift basket of certificates from area businesses. Good luck everyone!

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Monday, July 7, 2008

Pequot Lakes' Bean Hole Days!

Still just STACKS of fun on-tap, including Pequot Lakes' "Bean Hole Days!". There'll be the burying of the beans on Tuesday night, the un-burying of the beans on Tuesday morning, and the eatin' of the beans shortly there-after. For a complete list of Bean Hole Days activities click on the "event" page at There's currently running the hunt for Paul Buynan's Paddle. Below is an explanation of the Paddle Hunt, and the first clue. Good Luck!

July 7th - 9th
Paddle Hunt: Babe the Ox and Bessie the Yeller Cow have lost Paul Bunyan's paddle while playing ball with his fishing bobber! Help Paul find his paddle, so he can stir the beans on Wednesday for Bean Hole Days. Clues will available daily at participating Pequot Lakes businesses, the Brainerd Lakes Chamber offices (Welcome Center, Brainerd, Pequot Lakes, and Crosslake), and on this page. The Paddle Hunt winner will receive a fabulous basket of gift certificates from Pequot Lakes businesses.

Paddle Hunt Clue #1: Hello everyone, fro your local lumberjack, Paul Bunyan! Did y'all enjoy the 4th of July? I really liked the Paul Bunyan Bowling and fireworks! They look like little sparks to me though because I'm so tall.

Thanks for helping me find my favorite fishing bobber for the Governor's Fishing Opener. Babe and Bessied did a fine job of losing it! Guess what else they lost of mine... my paddle that I use for stirring the beans for Bean Hole Days. Bernice Rohde is not happy with them. Can you help me find it by Wednesday, July 9th? That's when the beans will be served and I need to stir them for Bernice first.

A picture of my paddle is in the Echo newspaper that tells all about Bean Hole Days. Babe and his girlfriend, Bessie the Yeller Cow, were playing ball with my fishing bobber and used my paddle to hit it with. Bessie was holding one of the Bean Hole pots to catch the bobber. I'm sure that Babe threw the paddle when he hit the bobber and now we can't find it! The trick is if he's a left handed batter or a right. My bobber was found out by the DNR Forest Tower on Hwy 11, so my paddle has to be around Pequot Lakes somewhere.

Patty at Cycle Path & Paddle has canoe and kayak paddles. I wonder if mine got mixed up with her's? There are some old paddles at Lonesome Cottage too. Why do people want to hang old paddles in their homes?

If you find my paddle bring it in to Sue Galligan at the Chamber office in Pequot Lakes. She has a nice gift basket of certificates from area businesses. Good luck everyone!

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Philanthropy Still Alive and Well

Benedict and Dorothy Gorecki of Milaca recently donated $1 million to CentraCare Health Foundation Hospital. The St. Cloud Hospital Gorecki Guest House will be a non-profit service that provides affordable, temporary housing to families and patients receiving medical care in the St. Cloud community. Mr Gorecki explained the impetus behind their philanthropy, which included their long-standing commitment to education, and the desire to fill a need where others fell short. He frankly stated that its just tough to get money for Senior Citizens--and the Gorecki's have a "soft spot" in their hearts for that. Benedict and Dorothy's donation is the "lead gift" of a $2.5 million fund-raising campaign. For more information, call 320-229-5199.

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Coleman's Energy Ideas

Senator Norm Coleman is visitng Detroit Lakes and Alexandria today to talk about the cost of energy, and how its increasing. Meeting with local manufacturing businesses and their employees, he plans to discuss legislation he supports in congress. Republican incumbent Coleman stated that he's interested in off-shore exploration for oil. . .in nuclear energy. . .and in clean coal burning. He said that speculation is a force in the market, and that we need to increase production, and decrease consumption.

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