Senator Olson Says Curly Pond Weed is Becoming a Threat
Invasive species continue to be a growing problem for Minnesota Lakes, according to State Senator Mary Olson of Bemidji. She attended a recent four day conference on the topic in Duluth this week. She tells KLKS News, a new threat comes from something called "Curly Leaf Pond Weed." She says while it is not new to Minnesota, it has become a major problem in some lakes. Senator Olson says when these species are introduced without the balance of nature, they can have major impact on the health and quality of the lake.
The Battle Continues for the Outdoor Amendment
Conservative and sportsmen groups have often been aligned during the political season. However, they've split over the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment appearing on the Minnesota ballot Tuesday. Conservatives are wary of increasing the sales tax to pay for habitat acquisition, clean-up of lakes and rivers and the arts during an economic downturn. Garry Leaf of Sportsmen for change tells KLKS News, almost 20 percent of the sales tax revenue would be financed from non residents through tourism. Leaf also makes the argument, they do not get that much from the lottery. He says, out of 80 dollars spent on lottery tickets, only about five dollars goes for habitat acquisition. The amendment is favored by Pheasants forever, Ducks Unlimited, Minnesota Deer Hunters Association and others.
Oberstar Critical of Delta-Northwest Merger
Minnesota Congressman Jim Oberstar says Wednesday's decision by the Justice Department to approve the merger between Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines is unfortunate and will trigger additional mergers among the remaining major carriers into a handful of global mega-carriers. The Chairman of the Transportation Committee says that was not what Congress intended when it voted for airline deregulation in 1978.
He says creeping consolidation in the airline industry will likely mean fewer choices, higher fares, and diminished levels of service for the traveling public.
The 8th District Congressman claims the merger underscores the need to enhance the Essential Air Service program, that protects small communities which are likely to be most adversely affected by the merger. The Brainerd Regional Airport services the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport through Mesaba Airlines.
Remer Man's Body Found
The body of a missing Remer man was found this morning, shortly after nine o'clock, in a remote area about six miles east of Remer in the Chippewa National Forest. The body of Wilferd Ronald Kolden was found by Cass County authorities in the same vicinity of his truck, which was found yesterday. Authorities say it appears that Kolden was hunting for deer when he died. No details have been released, but authorities say there is no sign of foul play. Kolden had been missing since last week.
Name of Youth with Gunshot Wound Released
The Brainerd Police Department has identified the youth who was injured in a shooting as Nathaniel Lawrence Fitch, age 13, of Brainerd. Fitch was critically injured when he was shot in the head as he and two friends were playing with a handgun in the home of the two friends. The accident happend at 9 o'clock last night at a home on Oak Street. Investigators believe Fitch may have accidentally shot himself in the presence of the two friends, believing that the gun was safe. Police are trying to figure out how the boys acquired the gun. The accident remains under investigation, and Fitch remains hospitalized in critical condition in St. Cloud.
Secretary Of State Ritchie Warns Voters
St. Paul, Minn.-Oct. 29, 2008-Secretary of State Mark Ritchie Wednesday held a news conference to alert citizens to voter intimidation tactics occurring in Minnesota. Ritchie warned voters of telephone calls from individuals falsely claiming to be associated with the Office of the Secretary of State raising questions about the voting practices of the person being called.
"We have a proud tradition of free and fair elections in Minnesota," Ritchie said. "Mis-representation and voter intimidation will not be tolerated."
Ritchie's office has alerted the Ramsey County Attorney and the Office of the U.S. Attorney to a complaint filed with the Office of the Secretary of State by a St. Paul resident. The complainant stated that he received a telephone call last night from an individual claiming to be calling on behalf of the Office of the Secretary of State and challenging his voter record. Upon further questioning, the caller also claimed to be associated with Jeff Davis, president of the organization Minnesota Majority.
"We want to let all Minnesotans know that if you or anyone in your family receives a phone call from any individual claiming to be working with or associated with the Office of the Secretary of State, politely get their name and phone number and then hang-up and immediately contact our office at 1-877-600-8683," Ritchie said.
Allegations of voter intimidation and deceptive practices are investigated and prosecuted by county attorneys. To report voter intimidation, citizens may contact their county attorney directly or the Office of the Secretary of State at 1-877-600-8683. The Office of the Secretary of State forwards all allegations to county attorneys for further investigation and prosecution.
Oberstar Says Highways are the Road to Economic Recovery
Minnesota Congressman Jim Oberstar is urging the passage of a jobs bill to put construction workers back on the job building roads and bridges. Oberstar is Chairman of the Transportation Committee. At a hearing in Washington today, he said Minnesota has $218-million in outstanding road and bridge project that need to get done. The 8th District Minnesota Congressman says investing in infrastructure is a good way restoring the nation's economic health. He says he will stand in the way of any efforts to outsource those construction jobs outside of the U.S.
Another Duck Die-Off on Big Winnie
Lake Winnibigoshish is experiencing another duck die-off this year, according to Steve Cordts, waterfowl biologist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. He tells KLKS News, six to seven thousand scaup and coots died last year from an intestinal parasite that comes from snails. He says the migratory ducks move through a little later, so the extent of this year's kill may not be known for a week or so. But, he says it could be another significant loss this fall.
Cordts says those losses may be part of the reason there aren't as many duck hunters, whose ranks have diminished by about 25 percent since 2000.
Archers Have Great Success at Camp Ripley
Archers took a record of 325 deer during the first of two two-day bow hunts held Oct. 19-20 at Camp Ripley Military Reservation near Little Falls."Weather conditions were superb, allowing hunters to maximize their time in the field, resulting in an excellent harvest," said Beau Liddell, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Little Falls area wildlife manager. For the fifth year in a row hunters at Camp Ripley were allowed to take up to two deer and to use bonus permits to increase harvest on antlerless deer. The harvest represents a 41 percent increase from last year and is 160percent above the long-term averages. If the weather cooperates for the second weekend, the total take for all four days could break the record 514 deer harvested at Camp Ripley in 2005.
Barkley Wants to Focus on the National Debt
The 11 trillion dollar debt is the number one issue for Independence Party Senate Candidate Dean Barkley. He told KLKS News, he doesn't want our children or grandchildren to be saddled with this debt, because the congress couldn't control spending.
Barkley, who served two months as U.S. Senator following the death of Paul Welstone, says his top priority for spending cuts would be the military, which he says spends more than all other nations combined. Barkley, and DFL-er Al Franken have both appeared on KLKS as part of our Meet the Candidates Series. Senator Norm Coleman has been offered equal time, but has yet to respond.
MDOT Warns of the Black Ice Threat
The Baxter office of the Minnesota Department of Transportation is urging drivers be alert for "black ice," which can rapidly develop during cold temperatures.
Black ice is almost invisible and can easily catch drivers off guard.
It quickly forms in cold weather when the air temperature is just slightly warmer than the pavement, which causes moisture to rapidly freeze, creating a very thin and almost transparent layer of ice on the roadway.
Black ice can form on heavily congested highways from auto exhaust emissions, tire friction and moisture vapors given off by industries located adjacent to the highway.
In addition, black ice often forms on roadways in shaded areas, near lakes and rivers, in tunnels and on overpasses.
A Safe Event For Trick or Treaters
The Brainerd Police, Brainerd Fire Department and several associations are once again teaming up to make Halloween activities safer for Brainerd area children. The Brainerd Police Department will host an event from 3:30pm - 6:30pm on Friday, October 31. The first 800 children can receive a glow in the dark necklace or bracelet, a trick or treat bag, and candy by stopping by the Police Station during those hours. The Halloween Safety Event is sponsored by: Brainerd Police Department, Brainerd Fire Department, Lakes Area Law Enforcement Association, the National Child Safety Council and the Brainerd Police Department Patrolman Association. All children are welcome.
A Level Three Preditory Offender Moves into Trommald
A level three predatory offender is moving into Trommald in Crow Wing County. Sheriff Todd Dahl says Michael James Norris, who also goes by the name Michael James Barfnecht will be relocating his residence to the 18 thousand block of Elk Street in Trommald. He was imprisoned for having sexual contact with a juvenile girl. Dahl says anyone with questions may attend an informational meeting at Crosby City Hall at 7 p.m., Thursday, October 30Th.
Oberstar Criticizes the NTSB
Minnesota Congressman Jim Oberstar does not believe the I-35 W bridge collapsed for the reasons given by the National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB says it went down because of an original design flaw. They said the gusset plates were under-sized for the structure. Oberstar, Chairman of the Transportation Committee, said it stretches both credibility and past experience to find causation through a single factor.
Sheriff Searching for a Missing Remer Man
The Cass County Sheriff is asking for help from the public in finding a white male from the Remer area. 64-year-old Wilferd Ronald Kolden was last seen by a friend in the Remer area October 16Th. He drives a 1996 light tan Dodge extended cab pickup truck with matching topper. He left without his wallet. Kolden suffers from bi-polar disorder. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Cass County Sheriff at (800) 450-2677.