Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday Night Sports Scores

Minnesota 105, Oklahoma City 103

High School Football Championships:

Class 5A
Wayzata 27, Blaine 7

Class 2A
Caledonia 47, Luverne 7

Girls Hockey:

Buffalo Tournament
Buffalo 4, Brainerd/Little Falls 2
Grand Rapids Tournament
Grand Rapids/Greenway 6, Alexandria 2

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Isle Manufacturing Plant Damaged By Fire

A fire at a manufacturing plant in Isle prompted the evacuation of nearby residents Friday morning. There was some conflicting information about whether residents were being allowed back into their homes. The Isle fire chief was on the scene but could not be contacted. The extent of the damage to the building is unclear and no injuries have been reported. A dispatcher at the Mille Lacs County Sheriff's Office says the report of the fire at Merit Enterprises Inc., came in shortly after 5:00am Friday morning and officials ordered the evacuation because they feared toxic chemicals could be released by the fire. However, she says she didn't think that happened. Merit Enterprises says on its website that it is a metal finishing company that has been plating parts with precious metals for more than 50 years.

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Community Corrections Director Resigns

The Central Minnesota Community Corrections Executive Board voted to accept the resignation of Director Michael Kafka at a special meeting on November 26. CMCC provides probation services and is a joint venture of Crow Wing, Morrison and Aitkin Counties. The three boards operate as a Joint Powers Board, with a smaller group of Commissioners serving as the Executive Board. The departure was mutually agreed upon according to Exectutive Board Chair and Crow Wing County Commissioner, Paul Thiede. An interim management team has been appointed to oversee continuing operations. The Board will meet in January to address the vacancy caused by Kafka's departure.

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MLEC Customers To Experience Power Outage

Mille Lacs Energy Cooperative members in the west half of Bay Lake Township, Nokay Lake Township and the nortwest quarter of Garrison Township will experience a power outage on Monday morning, December 1. This outage impacts everyone along Highway 18 west of the substation and north on Highway 6. The outage will begin a approximately 9:30am and is estimated to last until 11:30am. The outage is needed to switch power over to the new overhead line that was built along highway 18 west of the cooperative's Wilson Lake substation.

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Nisswa City of Lights

Nisswa is celebrating it's 27th annual City of Lights Festival today. The event begins (began) at 2:30 this afternoon downtown. Chamber Executive Director Susan Mezzenga tells KLKS News, it continues tonight at 5:30 with the count down to the lighting of the town.
Mezzenga says fireworks will be at 7:30 pm. She says they are better when the air is colder, because they linger longer.

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Klobuchar Pushes Renewable Energy

Senator Amy Klobuchar will be coming through town next week to promote her plan of stimulating the economy through renewable energy and infrastructure related projects,
The Senator says the economy is in deep trouble and the best response is to create jobs on Main Street and provide the middle class with significant relief while also building a solid foundation for long-term prosperity.
Her Main Street Jobs Tour will be in Pine River Wednesday afternoon at the Hunt Utilities Group Campus promoting residential solar water heaters.
Thursday afternoon she will be in Baxter meeting with Silent Power who deals with backup power.

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A Good Start to Brainerd Area Christmas Shopping

Christmas shopping around Brainerd is off to a good start, according to Lisa Paxton, CEO of the Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce. She tells KLKS News, the parking lots are full and not just at the big box retailers, but also at the smaller shops and restaurants.
Paxton says it is important folks shop locally. She says one dollar spent in the greater Brainerd area turns over six times to energize the local economy.

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Nisswa Cabin Fire Extinguished Quickly

The Nisswa Fire Department was busy this morning putting out a cabin fire in the Grand View area. Sheriff Todd Dahl tells KLKS news, the fire was put out quickly. It was first reported around 8 a.m. It was not known if the cabin was occupied at the time. There were no injuries. The Nisswa Fire Department was aided by fire fighters from neighboring communities.

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A Brainerd Man Cannot Stay Out of Jail

Apparently, a Brainerd man needed a lift after being released from the Crow Wing County Jail on Wednesday. So, he lifted a car used by the Sheriff's office for under cover work. Deputies, recognizing it was not his car, arrested the 20-year-old man and had him back in jail about an hour after he had been released. The young man, who had been jailed for a probation violation, is back in lock-up for fleeing a peace officer and vehicle theft. Meanwhile, Sheriff Todd Dahl is wondering why the keys were left in the vehicle.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Lakes Area Food Shelf Seeing Higher Demand

In a typical month, the Lakes Area Food Shelf in Pequot Lakes would serve 64 families. Now, they can serve 55 families in one day, according to Volunteer Manager Don Messick. He tells KLKS News, families who had become self sufficient, are returning once again.
He says their food stocks are holding out, although they could use more variety. He says they have plenty of canned corn, peas and green beans. Messick says Schaefer's Foods, Nisswa, has been very helpful providing meat, although he says more variety in that category would be welcome too. The Lakes Area Food Shelf is located on the Grace United Methodist Church property on Highway 371 south of the stop lights. They are open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to noon.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Safe And Sober Campaign Up And Running

Brainerd - Officers from the Crow Wing County area will join over 400 other law enforcement agencies in Minnesota during the December Safe & Sober Mobilization enforcement project. Troopers, deputies, and officers will be working extra patrols during the whole month of December in an effort to prevent impaired driving and try to keep the holidays safer. Deputy Chief Corky McQuiston, of the Brainerd Police Department says that, "Extra enforcement is one of the key elements in helping to stop impaired driving, but we all need to do our own part to help make drinking and driving a socially unacceptable behavior. It all boils down to making a good choice". The Crow Wing County Passenger Safety Coalition fully supports this enforcement project.

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Area Fire Departments Receive Grants

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded over 1-million dollars from the Assistance to Firefighters Grants program to local fire departments and organizations in Minnesota. Among those grants awarded is $49,258 to Garrison Fire and Rescue for Operations and Safety, $60,319 to the Menahga Fire Department for Fire and Safety and $154,185 to the Pillager Area Fire Protection Association for the purchase of fire vehicles. Nationally, the fiscal year 2008 awards will provide approximately $500-million dollars to fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical service organizations throughout the country.

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The Ice Remains Unsafe

Area lakes are taking on the "mirror effect" as they freeze, according to Mike Kurrie, Hunting and Angling Mentoring Program Coordinator with the DNR. He tells KLKS News, it can be compelling, but the ice is not safe. It takes four inches of good clear ice for people, five inches for snowmobiles, 8-12 inches for small vehicles and 12-15 inches for medium to large vehicles.
Kurrie says a lot of folks wear life jackets when the ice is around four inches.

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Brainerd Lakes Thanksgiving Travel Good Today

K-Lakes Meteorologist Tony Schumacher says the weather will cooperate today, one of the busiest travel days of the year. He says the weather will be good not only in Minnesota, but across most of the country. Schumacher says snow is in the forecast for Thanksgiving day. He says there could be 2 to 3 inches of snow across the far north, and a dusting to an inch around the Brainerd Lakes Area.

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The Pequot-Breezy Lions Pitch in for the Hearts for Baghdad Program

The Pequot Lakes-Breezy Point Lions Club is looking for donations to the Hearts for Baghdad program. Gifts from our area will go to men, women, and children of Iraq.
The club will be making a drop box available during the "Santa's Bobbin' into Town" celebration on November 29, 2008 at Silver Creek Traders. Items needed are school supplies and first aid kits, toiletries and soccer balls.

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Tire Sales are Down as the Travel Season Begins

Tire sales are down, according to Kim Weber, spokesperson for the Rubber Manufacturers Association. She tells KLKS News, that's because of slack sales at car dealerships and tire stores. She says worn tires can become a safety hazard. Ms. Weber says tires represent four patches of rubber about the size of your hand, that separate you from the road.

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Tuesday Night High School Scores

Girls Hockey

  • International Falls 6, Park Rapids/Menahga/Nevis/Walker-Hackensack-Akeley 0.
  • Morris/Benson Area Storm 7, Pequot Lakes 4.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Employment Holds Steady

Despite the creaky economy, the number of employed around the Brainerd Lakes Area is holding steady. The Minnesota Department of Economic Development says the jobless rate in Crow Wing County actually dropped a little in October from September levels, but was up from a year ago levels. Unemployment dropped three tenths of a percent from September to October, but was up nearly two percent from October of 2007. Neighboring counties showed similar trends.

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Former Mayor Kristofferson Dies

Baxter is mourning the loss of a former mayor. Ron Kristofferson succumbed to cancer Monday. He had served on the Baxter City Council 1989 to 1996 and Mayor from 1997 to 1998. It was during that period that cancer was discovered. He is survived by his wife Susan and five daughters. Services are scheduled for Monday at 11 a.m. at Lakewood Evangelical Free Church in Baxter. Visitation will be an hour before the services. He will buried at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery near Camp Ripley.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Crow Wing County Subject to Scam Artists

Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl says, it is the season for scams. He tells KLKS News, scammers are preying particularly on the elderly during this traditional time of giving. He says the scams range from free prize offers, getting relatives out of jail in another state to vacation packages.
Sheriff Dahl says when dealing with a charitable offer, make sure it is a name you recognize, such as the local Lions, Kiwanis or Sertoma club.

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Be Safe this Holiday Driving Weekend

The Thanksgiving travel period proves to be one of the deadliest of the year, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. Sergent Curt Mowers, Public Information Officer for the Minnesota State Patrol says, “It can be bad enough that we sometimes have the weather and road conditions to contend with, but all the extra traffic can add another strike against our traveling safety. We need to stick to the basics of good defensive driving and courtesy driving.”
Minnesota crash figures for Thanksgiving show that at least 50 persons have been killed over the past five years. Impaired driving, and the non-use of seat belts remain top concerns. Sgt. Mowers says, “Our current state fatality rate is at such a low number, we want to keep this downward trend. To be safe, motorists need to slow down, maintain three seconds or more following distances, stay focused on their driving, and make sure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained every trip, every time, and drive sober.

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