The Legislature Forwards Bill to Pawlenty
(AP) Governor Pawlenty is in receipt of a bill from the Legislature that links $1 billion in tax hikes to spending on schools, hospitals, and nursing homes. That bill is likely to get a swift veto from the Governor. The bill contains a mix of new taxes for top-paid Minnesotans, alcohol, and credit card companies that charge high interest rates to their customers.
Expect a Good Walleye Opener
Over a million anglers are expected to take to the water this weekend for the start of the walleye/northern fishing season. Many of those fishermen and women will be heading to the Brainerd Lakes Area. John Thielen (Thee-Lin), area guide and host of the TV show "Midwest Outdoors," is predicting a great Minnesota opener. He says the health of the fish populations is as good as he has ever seen. Thielen tells KLKS the color of the jigs he will be using will depend on the color of the water. He says he will use a brighter the jig in stained water. If the water is clear, the jig will have a more natural color.
Thielen says two inch fathead minnows would be a good choice.
Schumacher Suggests Square Foot Gardening
For gardeners looking for more efficiency in their vegetable garden, there is "Square Foot Gardening." K-Lakes Meteorologist and gardener Tony Schumacher says the gardens are made of four by four or eight by eight foot boxes. They are filled with weed-free dirt and compost. The box is divided into grids, and vegetables are planted in clumps.
Schumacher says they require a lot of water, but otherwise, less work.
Koering Open to More School Consolodation
State Senator Paul Koering of Fort Ripley says they should look at consolodating more school districts.
The McLeod West school district could not dig out of its financial problems, and so voted to consolidate with other area schools.
Koering tells KLKS News, more school districts should look at doing the same thing. He says districts could save $130 thousand by having one superintendent administering up to three districts.
On another note, Koering says a special legislative session looks almost certain. He says the Governor will veto a number of DFL bills. He says there is not enough time for the house and senate to come up with compromise bills to submit to the Governor before the scheduled adjournment. Koering says they had enough time to get their work done in time.
Work on Front Street Continues
Downtown Brainerd continues to work its way through the reconstruction on Front street. Tom's Backhoe Service is the contractor on the project.
The first lift of asphalt should begin today.
Installation of electrical, irrigation and planters will continue through mid week, next week.
The remainder of concrete sidewalk on Front Street should be installed by mid to late week, next week.
Work continues in the alleys on the east side of the project installing new sewer lines.
Mainline sewer will be completed on Laurel Street by Friday May 8th and will continue down 7th between Laurel Street and Maple Street through next week.
New storm sewer will begin on 7th Street and Laurel Street on Monday and continue through out the week.
Access on Front Street and 8th Street intersection will be left open for access to the north side Businesses.
Access to Laurel Street Businesses will have to be from 8th Street and from the city parking lot on Laurel Street. Alleys in the south blocks of this project will not be disturbed.
Telephone, gas and Brainerd Public Utilities will continue to work on upgrades of their lines through out the project.
The contractor holds weekly meetings updating business owners, property owners, and the public about what to expect in the coming week. Meetings are held at 9 a.m. Wednesdays, at Brainerd City Hall, 501 Laurel Street.
No H1N1 in Mille Lacs School
A suspected case of swine flu on the Mille Lacs Indian reservation has come back negative. The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe closed the Nay Ah Shing schools in Onamia Thursday and today as a precautionary measure.
The case had been sent to the Minnesota Department of Health for testing. Word came back today that it was not the H1N1 virus.
The State Health Department is recommending schools only close if it is a confirmed case of swine flu.
Conference Committee Deadline: Tonight
(AP) The deadline for bills to pass out of Conference Committees is today for the Minnesota Legislature. The session is scheduled to end in less than two weeks, but the Democratic-controlled Legislature has not reached a break-through agreement with Republican Governor, Tim Pawlenty, yet.
Mille Lacs Reports Suspected Swine Flu
The first suspected case of swine flu has been reported in the Lakes Area. The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe is closing the Nay Ah Shing schools in Onamia today and Friday as a precautionary move.
The case has been sent to the Minnesota Department of Health for testing. The Health Department is recommending school not be closed, unless the H1N1 virus has been confirmed.
Leech Lake Reservation Opposition to Pipeline
(AP) A planned oil pipeline crossing the Leech Lake Reservation is drawing opposition from some band members. Sandy Nichols says she has gathered 1,000 signatures to opposed the project dubbed the Alberta Clipper.
The pipeline is being built by Enbridge Energy Inc., and will connect Alberta with Superior Wisconsin.
Saberi Stops Hunger Strike
(AP) Roxana Saberi--American journalist jailed in Iran for allegedly spying for the U.S.--has ended her hunger strike. According to Saberi's father, Roxana stopped her hunger strike to prevent further deterioration of her health. Saberi grew up in Fargo.
Good Fishing Expected For Brainerd Lakes
The walleye and northern fishing opener is a minute after midnight Saturday morning. Area DNR Fisheries Supervisor, Tim Brastrup, is predicting good success on Brainerd area lakes. He says are so many northern pike, they don't have to stock them. Walleye do need to be stocked, and the big area lakes are abundant.
Brastrup says 250 feet down from the Gull Lake Dam will be closed to protect spawning fish. And, he says a small bay on the southwest corner of Horseshoe Lake will also be closed to protect spawning crappies.
There are lots of regulations for Mille Lacs Lake this year. Officials are encouraging a visit to the DNR website for more information.
Schumacher Predicts an Average Summer
Late spring and early summer ought to be more inviting than last year, according to K-Lakes Meteorologist Tony Schumacher. He says the weather patterns that plagued us last year with cool temperatures, are not in play this year. He says the La Nina that affected the weather in '08 is not a factor this year, so he is expecting an average summer of rain and temperature.
Schumacher says May may produce a little more precipitation that usual. He says there is a fairly active storm track in the northern U.S.
Frozen Fore Makes Big Donation
The 4th Annual Gull Lake Frozen Fore is donating $13 thousand to three area charities.
Confidence Learning Center, Ski Gull, and the Blue Line Club will benefit from the world's largest golf and snowmobile event
The Gull Lake Frozen Fore takes place around Gull Lake, where participants are challenged to a golf activity or game at each of the nine participating locations: Bar Harbor, Cragun’s Legacy Courses, Ernie’s on Gull, Grand View Lodge, Kelly’s, Matty’s, Quarterdeck Resort, Zorbaz on Gull and Hole in the Day Bay.
The 5th Annual Gull Lake Frozen Fore is scheduled for Friday, March 5 through Sunday, March 7, 2010.
Dondelinger Moves to Remove Franchise Dealerships
Anticipating closures by General Motors, Dondelinger auto says it will removed the GM dealerships from Pine River GM and franchises in Little Falls and Wadena. The Brainerd Dispatch quoting the family, says the moves are being made with the understanding that GM is about to announce a number of closings, and those stores could be targeted.
Pine River GM will remain in business as a used car super center, but will no longer service vehicles. Wadena will continue on with used cars and service.
More Probable Cases of Swine Flu in Minnesota Schools
(AP) Two more Minnesota schools have been linked to likely cases of Swine Flu. A pre-school in Hugo was cancelled today--but Lake Harriet Community School in Minneapolis remained open. Three new likely cases were announced today, including the ones in Hugo and Minneapolis. Now, the State's total probables are at nine, plus one confirmed case in Cold Spring.
Howes Predicts a Special Session
The show-down looms between the DFL controlled legislature and Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty, over the budget. State Representative Larry Howes of Walker tells KLKS News, the two sides will likely agree on funding for transportation, public safety and Higher Education. He says the Governor will veto DFL bills on K-12 funding, government finance, human services and increasing taxes to pay for it all.
Howes says it is unlikely the session will end on time. He predicts they will have only six days to come up with a compromise bill after the Governor casts his vetoes next week.
Gardeners Cautioned about Planting Too Early
Meteorologist and gardener Tony Schumacher says the frost season isn't over yet around the lakes, so gardeners should be cautious. He says the frost season can run into June, but typically passes by mid May. The next chance of frost is this weekend.
Schumacher says a good choice for early season plantings are potatoes, peas, broccoli and spinach. Gardeners may wish to wait on flowers, tomatoes and peppers.
Sheriff Dahl Urges a Safe Fishing Opener
The walleye season opens this weekend. Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl says there will be lots of folks on the water trying for a fish dinner. He is urging caution and telling anglers to wear their life jackets. He says if the boat does go over, stay with the boat. He says it is more likely that someone will come to the rescue than the chances of swimming to shore.
Sheriff Dahl says the water patrol will also be checking for fishing licenses.
A New Safety Barrier at BIR
The racing season is underway at Brainerd International Raceway. This past weekend it was motorcyle racing by the Central Roadracing Association.
Track President and Owner Jed Copham tells KLKS News, spectator safety is their biggest concern. He says they are pouring a concrete barrier today.
Copham says they work to keep the fans safe, while still offering a good view.
CLC Readies for Graduation
Nearly 900 Central Lakes College will be getting their diplomas in Staples and Brainerd next week.
The Staples campus will hold its graduation at 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 13 in the gymnasium at Staples-Motley High School.
The Brainerd campus ceremony is scheduled for 7 p.m., Thursday, May 14 in the Brainerd High School gymnasium.
At Brainerd, the address will be presented by former Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson. Carlson served as governor from 1991-99. Carlson was noted, as governor, for being a big fan of University of Minnesota sports; his official portrait at the Minnesota State Capitol shows him wearing a letter jacket for the school.
Giving the commencement address at Staples will be Mark Schmitz, superintendent of the Staples-Motley School District.
The Student Senate presidents will give remarks on behalf of their respective campuses, with Stephanie Midgarden of Grafton, N.D., doing the honors at Staples and Garrett Wedan of Nisswa speaking at the Brainerd ceremony.
CLC President Dr. Larry Lundblad will be the master of ceremony at both graduations.