Denny Hecker Charged with Driving while Intoxicated
(AP) Denny Hecker, embattled auto dealer, has been charged with driving while intoxicated, and careless driving. A blood test found a stimulant, narcotic painkillers, insomnia medication, and an anti-anxiety drug in Hecker's system after a wreck in Plymouth last December--but no alcohol. According to Hecker's attorney, the wreck was an accident, and not related to the prescription drugs Hecker was taking.
A Fabulous Season Ends for BSU Hockey
The Cinderella season for the Bemidji Beavers hockey team has come to an end. Miami of Ohio was too much for the northern Minnesota team at the frozen four in Washington D.C.
Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl, a former defenseman for the Beavers, says all of northern Minnesota adopted this team. He says team has earned the honor of becoming part of the W.C.H.A.
The final score was 4-1.
Double Fines in Construction Zones
Minnesota's second season is about to begin: road construction. State Patrol Sergent Curt Mowers says expect double fines for those caught speeding in construction zones. He says those fines are typically $117. Of that, $40 is the state fine, the rest is court costs. He says only the state fine is doubled.
Mowers says the fines are levied, whether or not work is going on in the zone.
A $2.9 million safety and pavement improvement project will begin on Monday, April 13, 2009, in the Deerwood area. The work will take place on Highway 6 from Highway 18 to Highway 210 in Deerwood and Highway 210 west of Crow Wing County Road 135 in Crosby to Highway 6 in Deerwood.
Crews will resurface the roadway, including shoulders and turn-lanes, repair/replace culverts and construct new turn-lanes. All work will be done during daylight hours.
Motorists will encounter single-lane closures controlled by a pilot car and flaggers. The pilot car will be used in rural areas only.
A short-term detour will be in effect for approximately five days prior to the state Fishing Opener on May 8, to allow crews to replace the centerline culverts on Highway 210 between Crosby and Deerwood. The detour will be via Crow Wing County Roads 28 and 12.
Motorists should plan for lane closures and traffic shifts on Highway 210 through the city of Ironton as crews repair sanitary sewer manholes.
Anderson Brothers Construction of Brainerd is the prime contractor.
Bemidji State Falls in the Frozen Four
Miami of Ohio defeated the Bemidji Beavers earlier today in Washington. Final score was 4-1. Miami will face the winner of the Boston U vs. Vermont game slated for later on tonight. The championship game will be held on Saturday.
President Obama Approves Disaster Declaration
(AP) A major disaster declaration was approved by President Obama for areas of northwestern Minnesota that were hit by flooding. The action will start the flow of federal funds to state and local governments. Some non-profit groups will also receive funds. The monies are for the repair and replacement of damaged facilities.
The Days of Ice Are Numbered
It won't be long before the ice leaves Brainerd area lakes, according to Mike Kurre, DNR Hunting, Angling Mentoring Program Coordinator. He says warmer temperatures, sunshine and coming rains will finish off the ice, which remains quite thick.
Kurre says the ice is off most metro lakes already. He says the Governor's Fishing Opener is May 9th on White Bear Lake, the first time it's been held in the metro area.
Saberi Charged with Spying
(AP) Roxana Saberi, an American Journalist, jailed for more than two months in Iran, has been charged with spying for the U.S. That move has crushed the hopes of a quick release for Saberi--just days after her parents arrived in Iran from Fargo to seek her freedom. Saberi graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead.
CLC Has a New V.P.
Central Lakes College in Brainerd has a new interim Vice President of Academic and Student Services. He is Dr. Suresh Tiwari, a dean at the largest technical college in South Carolina and former dean at Hawkeye Community College in Iowa.
Tiwari replaces Dr. Rex Veeder, who has resigned to return to St. Cloud State University.
CLC President Dr. Larry Lundblad is "Pleased that Dr. Tiwari was impressed with the college after his initial visit and that he is eager to be a part of the work here,"
Tiwari, who is expected to begin his duties in May, has several years of administrative experience in two-year colleges. He most recently was the Dean of Arts and Sciences at Greenville Technical College, the largest technical college in South Carolina.
Tiwari received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Master of Science degree in Botany from Indore University, Indore, M.P., India and Ph.D. in Developmental Biology from the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.
Pequot School Board Cuts $400 K
The Pequot Lakes School Board is making $400 thousand in cuts for the coming school year. Board Chair Kim Bolz-Andolshek says the cuts will affect some non-tenured teacher and paraprofessional positions. The other reductions will come through attrition and retirements.
The German program will be reduced by 80 percent, allowing the program to continue for German two students next year.
The Dean of Students position will be eliminated. Sue Sergent who holds that post now will return to the science classroom replacing the non-tenured instructor there.
Bolz-Andolshek told KLKS News, it is unlikely those positions will be restored. She says it appears the financial situation won't get any better during the next two years.
DNR Issues Burning Restrictions
Six northern metro counties are under the effects of fire restrictions following the wild fire at the Carlos Avery Wildlife Area.
Spring fire restrictions in eleven central Minnesota counties is set to go in place April 16 including Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison and Todd.
The DNR is restricting open burning permits in six counties surrounding the
northern Twin Cities metro area as a result of an aggressive fire that
burned about 1,500 acres in and near the Carlos Avery State Wildlife
Management Area in Forest Lake on Monday.
Normal spring burning restrictions will go into effect in 11
central Minnesota counties at 8 a.m. on Thursday, April 16.
The purpose of the fire restrictions is to reduce personal property
damage resulting from wildfires fueled by dry vegetation. When
restrictions are in place, residents are encouraged to choose
alternatives to burning such as recycling, composting or chipping.
Local Kinship Partners Event Orgainizer, Jean Kraft, tells KLKS' News that their 2nd Annual "Purses for Partners" Event is slated for Saturday, April 25th at Breezy Point Resort. She mentioned that last year's inaugural event raised over $5000.--and more folks have purchased tickets for this year's event than the total of attendees from last year. The festivities start at noon, including a silent auction, lunch, raffles, and the "live auction". KLKS' own Blenda is looking forward to mc'ing this event again this year. Pre-registration is required. For more information, call 218-829-4606 or 1-877-730-5437--or go to kinshippartners.org
Howes Fears a Special Session
State Representative Larry Howes of Walker says talk of a special session is increasing. He tells KLKS News, an assistant majority leader from Rochester has said the budget balancing process is too important to be rushed. While Howes says the work may result in a special session, they shouldn't give up the fight to end the on time next month.
Howes says the large budget bills need to be passed out of committee by midnight tonight. He expects floor action in the house by a week from Saturday. A House-Senate conference committee will then settle differences between house the two, before they confront the Governor, who has said he will not support a tax increase.
Allan Gray Remembers Steve Cannon
KLKS founder Allan Gray remembered Steve Cannon as an outstanding talent. Cannon died Monday night at the age of 81. Gray, who worked along side Cannon during their days together at WCCO AM, said his use of the voices, Ma Linger, Morgan Mundane and Backlash Larue was incredible. He would never use those voices outside the "Basement Studios" of WCCO.
Cannon was at WCCO for 25 years, and did the morning show at KSTP AM before moving cross town. He passed away following a five month battle with cancer.
Wild Fire Season Delayed In Brainerd Lakes Area
Minnesota has had its first big wild fire this spring, at the Carlos Avery Wildlife area near Forest Lake. The wild fire season in the Brainerd Lakes Area has been set-back with last weeks snow storm. Mark Mortenson tells KLKS News, even when the snow melts, its effects will be beneficial. He says the wet heavy snow forces the old grass to lay flat, reducing the wild fire threat.
Mortenson says the wild fire season has been delayed by a week to 10 days, and possible eliminated if we get spring rain.
Little Falls Prepares to Go Green
The 3rd Annual Earth Day Expo will be held at the Great River Art Center in Little Falls, April 25, from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. The center is located at 122 SE 1st Street in downtown Little Falls. The event is free to the public and will include local artists, local "green" businesses, music and activities for children.
The coordinator of the event, Heidi Steadman, is looking for additional participants who have information to share, alternative energy solutions and products with a "green" nature. In 2008, the expo had approximately 150 spectators. She expects more this year due to heightened cultural awareness of green living and alternative energy.
Each vendor donates 1 item to give away in a drawing, and there’s a small vendor entrance fee to help cover costs.
For more information, contact Heidi Steadman at 320-632-6632 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Boating Season is Just Ahead
It may not seem like it, with two feet of ice on area lakes, but the boating season is less than a month away. Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl is asking boaters to start thinking about their safety now. He tells KLKS News, this is a good time to make sure personal floatation devices (PFD's) are in good shape and stored in a place on board easy to access.
Sheriff Dahl says boaters need to check regulations to determine if their craft needs a fire extinguisher. He says horns are a good idea on all boats. Finally, he says the DWI laws that apply on the highways, apply on the water.
Tax Break for New Passenger Vehicle Buyers
The Internal Revenue Service says taxpayers who buy a new passenger vehicle this year may be entitled to deduct state and local sales and excise taxes paid on the purchase on their 2009 tax returns next year.
IRS Spokesperson Carry Resch tells KLKS News, this deduction may make the decision to buy a new car a little easier. It lets buyers purchase now and get money back later on their tax return.
The deduction is limited to the state and local sales and excise taxes paid on up to $49,500 of the purchase price of a qualified new car, light truck, motor home or motorcycle.
The amount of the deduction is phased out for taxpayers whose modified adjusted gross income is between $125,000 and $135,000 for individual filers and between $250,000 and $260,000 for joint filers.
The vehicle must be purchased between Feb. 17 and Dec. 31, 2009 to qualify for the deduction.
The special deduction is available regardless of whether a taxpayer itemizes deductions on their return. The vehicle deduction may not be taken on 2008 tax returns.