Weatherization Dollars To Make Impact On Local Economy.
Sizeable stimulus dollars for weatherization of homes will soon energize the local economy. The federal economic stimulus plan is channeling $4-million dollars to Crow Wing, Morrison and Todd Counties. Locally, these dollars will put contractors and skilled laborers to work, increase sales of products such as insulation, windows, furnaces and reduce the energy consumption and cost for homeowners. For more information, contact Tri-County Community Action at 218-829-2410.
Koering Battles the School Board
State Senator Paul Koering of Fort Ripley is continuing his fracas with the Brainerd School Board. They want to shift the health insurance costs of retired teachers on to the property tax, as a means of balancing their budget. Koering says we can't afford to levy another $23 million on to the property tax. He threatens to forward the calls and letters he gets from constituents who have lost their jobs and homes.
Koering says the property tax cannot sustain another hike.
Pequot Lakes Community Clean-up Saturday
The annual Pequot Lakes-Breezy Point Lions Club clean-up will be held Saturday at the High School Parking lot in Pequot. Spokesperson Molly Ring says it's a time to throw away all that junk that has been collecting for the last year, and help fund Lions projects. She says they can accept just about anything including: tires, mattresses, appliances, furniture, scrap metal, demolition debris, electronics, just about anything except hazardous waste.
Ring says a fee will be collected for the service. And, lions will unload at the site.
Now is the Time to Start Your Outdoor Garden, Indoors
While it may be too soon to be planting the garden now, a lot of folks like to get a jump start, according to meteorologist at gardener Tony Schumacher. He says you can start your tomatoes indoors, along with peppers, cauliflower, onion sets and broccoli.
Tony says if you do start them inside, they need 10 to 12 hours of direct sunlight.
Pine River Trucker Dies in North Dakota
A Pine River man has died near Bismark, North Dakota after suffering an apparent heart attack while behind the wheel of a tractor-truck. State Troopers say 59-year-old Clinton Christensen was pronounced dead at the scene early Wednesday morning.
The Patrol says his rig carrying Honeybees, ran off Highway 281 near Cando, North Dakota, coming to a rest in an open field.
Merchant of Venice at the Pequot Theater
The Pequot Lakes High School Theater Department is celebrating William Shakespear's 445 birthday with the play, "The Merchant of Venice" this weekend.
Zack place Antonio, Jordan plays Lorenzo and Kala plays Solaria. They said it was quite a culture shift to play the characters.
The performances will be staged at the Pequot Lakes High School Theater Tonight and Saturday night at 7 p.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Tickets at $5 for adults, $3 for students, and can be purchased at the door.
Run for the Lakes Marathon Saturday in Nisswa
The second annual Run For the Lakes Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K will be held this weekend around Nisswa. The event gets going tonight with a family 5K. Sarah Selnow tells KLKS News, 500 have registered for all three races, which last year were run in the snow.
Selnow says motorists should be on the look-out for runners in the Nisswa area Saturday morning from 8 a.m until 2 p.m. The race will be run along Ojibwa Road and County Roads 127, 13 and 18.
Senator Koering says Cut the Personal Attendant Care Program
State Senator Paul Koering says the $4.6 billion hole in the state budget should be closed through cuts, and not raising taxes of any kind. He tells KLKS News, the Personal Attendant Care Program should be cut. He says it is filled with fraud, and cutting it would save up to $300-million.
Koering says Minnesotans cannot bear the burden of any additional taxes of any kind. He asks the question, if the Democrats raise $2-billion this year, what are they going to raise next year.
The Fort Ripley Republican predicts Governor Tim Pawlenty will hold the line.
Tonado Awareness Around Brainerd
Sirens are scheduled to sound at 1:45 and 6:55 p.m. today as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week.
Meteorologist Tony Schumacher says the peak period for storms here is June through early August. The biggest caution he gives to those in the Brainerd Lakes area is to get off the lakes if a thunderstorm approaches.
Minnesota averages 25 tornadoes a year. However, more people are killed by lightening than by tornadoes.
Errant Shell out of Camp Ripley
(AP) Artillery firing at Camp Ripley has temporarily been suspended after a 102-pound shell landed on the property of Rich and Kathy Nelson in rural Pillager. The Nelsons were not home at the time, but a construction crew installing cabinets was taking a break when the shell flew over the garage. A defense company, BAE Systems, was testing inert rounds that day. One of the eight rounds flew about 800 meters off Camp Ripley property onto the Nelson's property. The Camp has added a larger buffer to companies testing weapons, and is changing the direction that weapons are shot.
Salmonella Victim's Family Sues Kanan Enterprises
(AP) A lawsuit has been filed by the family of 78-year old Clifford Tousignant of Brainerd against Kanan Enterprises--owner of King Nut Peanut Butter Brand. Tousignant consumed peanut butter while in a nursing home, according to the complaint. It says he tested positive for Salmonella. Tousignant died on the 12th of January, 2009.
A Petition to Stop the Closing of the Lindbergh Home
Little Falls is campaigning to keep the boyhood home of Charles Lindbergh open. The Minnesota Historical Society is proposing to close it to the public as a budget cutting measure.
City officials are looking to gain five thousand signatures to stop the closure. They want to deliver the petition to State Senator Paul Koering of Fort Ripley, Representative Al Doty of Royalton and Governor Tim Pawlenty by Friday.
The home of the legendary aviator is said to be one of the top attractions of Little Falls.
Brainerd Grouse Populations on the Up-Swing
There is reason for grouse hunters to be optimistic about the fall hunting season, according to DNR Area Wildlife Supervisor Gary Drotts. He tells KLKS News, spring drumming counts are up.
Drotts says he counted 24 birds at a listening post north of Pillager, more than he heard last year. He says if the birds can have dry nesting conditions this spring, the hatch ought to be good.
Rain Gardens For Earth Day
Rain gardens are a great way to keep storm water that comes off roofs and driveways from getting into lakes and ponds. Meteorologist and gardener Tony Schumacher says the added benefit is a beautiful garden that requires less water. He suggests the gardens be established four to eight inches below surrounding areas to collect the water.
Schumacher says it is an excellent way to deal effectively with fertilizers and other pollutants. And, he says they can be planted with perennials that require little work.
Franken's Lawyers are asking the Minnesota Supreme Court to move quickly
(AP) Democrat Al Franken's lawyers are asking the Minnesota Supreme Court to move quickly on the appeal by Norm Coleman regarding his election lawsuit loss. The lawyers have asked the the high court to order all briefs to be filed by May 4th, and that oral arguments are held shortly after that. Norm Coleman is appealing the decision by a special three-judge panel that gave Fraken a 312-vote lead.
Tax Hike in DFL Proposal
The DFL leadership in the state House and Senate have both offered plans for fixing a $4.6 billion hole in the budget for the next two years. The proposals are different, however, both would raise the so-called sin tax, and raise taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans. Republican State Representative Larry Howes of Walker tells KLKS News, they would not allow for deductions of real estate and personal property taxes, or mortgage interest rates on income taxes.
Representative Howes says it is better to make more cuts, or allowed video pull tabs in bars and VFWs that could raise $1.2 billion.
Brainerd Lakes Tourism Summit
The Second Annual Brainerd Lakes Tourism Summit will be held Wednesday in Cross Lake. Tom Kavanaugh, Chairman of the Tourism Advisory Committee tells KLKS News, the recession has had a negative impact on the industry and the length of the prime season. But, he says their bookings are where they would expect them to be, and things are looking pretty good.
Kavanaugh says they have had to make a lot of marketing changes to deal with the challenging year.
The Tourism summit is open to the public, however there is a fee to attend.
Time to Think About Controlling Yard Weeds
If you are thinking about putting down a preemergence herbicide, to keep the weeds out of your lawn, you want to wait until the soil temperature is 50 degrees or warmer, according to Meteorologist and gardener Tony Schumacher. Then, he says, you want to lay down the application seven to 10 days before the weeds start to sprout, and you want to wait until after any rain in the forecast.
Schumacher says we could get an inch of rain or so this weekend, so you will want to wait until after that.
This Coming Weekend, a Good Time to Plant Grass Seed
Those during yard work this past weekend, may have discovered some bare patches that need some grass seed. Meteorologist and gardener Tony Schumacher says this coming weekend through May is a good time to replant. He says if you wait until June or July, the conditions can become too sunny, hot and dry.
Schumacher says ideal conditions are highs in the 50's and 60's, and lows in the 30's and 40's.
For Those Who Missed Paying Their Taxes on Time...
Taxpayers who have a federal refund coming, have three years to file a return to get it. For taxpayers who owe taxes, and failed to get their return in on time last week, they need to file a return as soon as possible, according to St. Paul IRS Spokesperson Carrie Resch. She says there is a five percent penalty per month on taxes owed.
Resch says it is important to pay as much of what is owed as soon as possible to reduce the size of the penalty.
Brainerd Area Fire Threat Still High
Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl says it will take more than the light drizzle we had this morning to reduce the wild fire threat. He says a bonfire this weekend may have lead to house fire in Garrison. The Sheriff says one of his high school classmates woke the family living there.
Sheriff Dahl is warning folks to be careful not only with bonfires, but also with backyard grilling.
He says 98 percent of the wild fires are caused by human activity. The green-up is still a few weeks away.