Emily Considers Manganese Mine
Officials in Emily are mulling whether to allow a propowsed Manganese mine in the community. Crow Wing Power made an informational pitch to the city council this past week and as the project progresses there are expected to be several public hearings. Emily doesn't allow mining and its ordinance would need to be amended. A spokesman for the Cooperative Mineral Resources, a subsidary of Crow Wing Power, created for the Manganese project, told the council the Manganese deposit is the largest in North America. Manganese is used in alloys such as stainless steels and in batteries, among other uses.
Minnesota Budget Discussions Resume
(AP) Governor Tim Pawlenty proposed 1-billion dollars in fresh spending cuts Saturday in an effort to close a budget gap. Pawlenty is turning again to local governments, health and welfare programs, colleges and universities to help make up some of the difference. Minnesota's budget is 4.6 billion dollarfs short of the next two years. Democrats who run the legislature are weighing the Republican Governor's offer under pressure of a Monday deadline.
Their options are limited after Pawlenty vowed to balance the budget without their consent using line-item vetoes and his authority to delay payments and cancel spending in a deficit.
Olson Urges the Governor To Negotiate
DFL State Senator Mary Olson of Bemidji is critical of Governor Pawlenty's Plan to avoid a special legislative session and veto his way to a balanced budget. She tells KLKS News, the Governor has yet to propose a balanced budget. Olson fears cuts would jeopardize nursing homes and hospitals. She says cuts to Local Government Aid would put pressure on property taxes and local services. She is doubtful the legislature has the votes to override his vetoes.
Brainerd Area Gardeners Need to Cover Plants
Gardeners need to be award of a frost or freeze potential this weekend. Temperatures Saturday morning are expected to drop to the lower 30's. Sunday morning is expected to be even colder with forecast lows in the upper 20's.
Meteorologist and gardener Tony Schumacher says tender plants will need to be covered. He suggests not using plastic, but cloth or mulch to hold the heat. Another option would be to leave the sprinkler on.
Schumacher says this would be a good weekend to prune evergreens, and mulch flowers, trees and bushes to retain moisture and squeeze out the weeds.
Downtown Brainerd Reconstruction Update
The reconstruction project in Downtown Brainerd is making good progress according to Tom's Backhoe Service, the primary contractor
The mainline sanitary sewer has been completed in all but the northwest alleys of the project which will continue through next week.
Paver installation will begin on Monday on Front Street and installation of storm sewer will continue on 7th Street and Laurel Streets. Laurel Street and south half of 7th Street is expected to have Class 5 material installed late next week and the beginning of the next week after that.
Closures of streets and intersections will change daily, but an effort is being made to keep them open as much as possible.
The remainder of removals on 7th Street is expected mid to late next week.
Tom's Backhoe Service, holds weekly meetings updating business owners, property owners, and the public at 9 a.m. Wednesdays, at Brainerd City Hall, 501 Laurel Street.
Lake Monitors Needed
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is seeking volunteers throughout the state to help to monitor Minnesota's 12,200 lakes. If you live near a lake or have a summer cabin at a lake, consider getting involved in the Citizen Lake Monitoring Program.
The M-P-C-A provides you with the equipment and training. For more information, check out the agency's Web site at www.pca.state.mn.us or call toll-free at 800-657-3864.
Koep Appointed to Board on Aging
Governor Tim Pawlenty has appointed Mary Koep to the Minnesota Board on Aging. Koep serves on the Brainerd City Council and previously served 16 years on the Crow Wing County Board of Commissioner. She is a former chair of her local Area Agency on Aging and served as co-chair to the Minnesota White House Conference on Aging.
The Minnesota Board on Aging develops, coordinates, evaluates and administers federal and state funds for programs for the aging; makes grants to 14 area agencies on aging and non-profit agencies; and serves as an advocate for older persons. The board consists of 25 members appointed by the Governor.
Fire Restrictions to Be Lifted Around Brainerd
The DNR will lift burning restrictions next Friday for Aitkin, Crow Wing, Wadena, and the southern half of Cass County.
Fire Prevention Forester Larry Himanga says they want to be cautious, but feels
adequate green-up will take place by Memorial Day weekend. This will allow cabin and homeowners to complete yard work that may require vegetation disposal over the
Himanga added that although restrictions will be removed, anyone starting a fire is responsible for tending and extinguishing it. If a fire gets away, the landowner is liable for the costs of putting the fire out.
An alternative to burning is composting vegetative waste and recycling other products.
Any burning, other than a campfire or items burned in a burn barrel, requires a burning permit, which is available from local forestry offices, fire wardens, or online. A fee may be charged to obtain a permit.
More Legal Woes for Hecker
(AP) GELCO and GE Fleet Services filed suit against Twin Cities auto magnate Denny Hecker and four of his businesses in Federal Court. The suit alleges that Hecker defaulted on $7.2 million in car leases that it says he personally guaranteed.
A Paul Bunyan's Bobber Winner
Karen Peterson of Nisswa found Paul Bunyan's bobber just in time for the Fishing Opener on last Friday. She was about to give up when she noticed a large red and white bobber hanging in a pine tree off of the Paul Bunyan Trail in Pequot Lakes.
Karen won prizes from Lakes State Bank, Wildwood Gifts, Curves, The Fun Sisters Boutique, Pine Peaks Lodge, What's the Big Deal Consignment, Salon Couture, Leslies, Merritt Jewelers, and Wildwedge Golf.
The Bobber Hunt is coordinated by the Pequot Lakes Business Connect committee and the Brainerd Lakes Chamber. Thank you to all of the area businesses that sponsored this fun event.
Funding For the Lindbergh Home
A bill which would provide funding to keep the Charles Lindbergh Home open in Little Falls has been sent to the Governor for his signature. The funding provision was removed from a bill the Governor vetoed earlier. He had objected to forgiving St. Paul $33 million of their debt incurred from building XCel Energy Center.
State Senator Paul Koering, said "Since the Economic Development bill that had the Historical Society's funding in it was fixed I believe that in all likelihood the Governor will sign it this week and the Lindbergh House will stay open."
Koering said a grassroots effort to keep the historic site open was felt at the capitol.
Down-Loading Trial Headed for a Do-Over
(AP) Attorneys for defendant Jammie Thomas-Rasset and the recording industry failed to reach a settlement yesterday in Duluth. The recording company claims that Thomas down-loaded copyrighted tracks using the KaZaa file-sharing network. They had won their case in 2007, but then--in 2008--the judge said he'd made a mistake in jury instructions. The re-trial is set for June.
Wadena Man Charged with 15th DWI
(AP) A Wadena man who has 14 drunken driving convictions, has been charged with another one. 56-year-old Daniel Allen Bettcher is accused of driving a motorcycle while intoxicated in New York Mills Friday.
Bettcher was sentenced to 4 and a half years in 2004. He was paroled in 2006, but went back to prison in 2007 for parole violation.
Ottertail County Prosecutor Curt Mortenson, says Bettercher may have more than 14 convictions, claiming he used aliases in other states.
Frederick Charged with Vehicular Homicide
A 66-year-old Crosslake man has been released on $30-thousand bail in connection with the death of a three year old Buffalo boy. Sherman Bernard Frederick is charged with Criminal Vehicular Homicide in the death of Jack Larson.
The boy was crossing County Road 3 in Merrifield Saturday afternoon with other children when he was struck. He was in town visiting grandparents for the Mother's Day weekend.
Frederick is alleged to have gone onto the shoulder to pass other vehicles which had stopped to let the children cross.
Real Estate Taxes Due
A reminder from Laureen Borden, Crow Wing County Treasurer, that Real Estate Taxes are due May 15. They must be postmarked or in the office by that day to avoid late penalty charges. For more information, call 218-824-1300.
Ward Hopes They Can Adjourn On Time
There are a lot of negotiations happening in St. Paul, as the Legislature and Governor attempt to hammer out a budget agreement. State Representative John Ward of Brainerd tells KLKS News, they are trying to compromise with the Governor and adjourn on time.
Ward says the legislature is working on three big bills funding state government, higher education, K through 12 and Public Safety.
Lime Disease on the Rise
Tick born disease is on the rise, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Epidemiologist Melissa Kemperman says the incidence has more than doubled since the 1990's. The Brainerd Lakes Area is one of the hot spots, although it is spreading to other areas of the state.
She tells KLKS News, one third of the ticks they checked carry disease, including lime disease. Kemperman says it is unrealistic that people will lock themselves indoors to avoid them. She suggests walking in the center of a path to avoid contact, and wearing a good repellent like deet.
Once inside, Kemperman suggests you check yourself thoroughly.
Gardeners in Brainerd Get to Planting
K-Lakes Meteorologist and gardener Tony Schumacher says there is still a threat of frost in the Brainerd Lakes area, but he says this is still a good time to get the garden planted. He says if you wait too long, you will miss the good late May sunshine for getting things growing.
Schumacher says it may already be time to start harvesting rhubarb and asparagus.
Now would be a good time to start planting corn, melons, cucumbers, tomatoes and beans.
This would also be a good time to think about fertilizing strawberries and rasberries, particularly if they were weak last year.
It's Time Again To "Ride with Jim!"
The Paul Bunyan Trail Association and Brainerd Community Action urge you to "Ride with Jim," Congressman Jim Oberstar, that is, for the 12th Annual event on June 7th on the Paul Bunyan State Trail. This year's ride co-sponsors include the Cities of Nisswa, Pine River, Pequot Lakes and Jenkins. The event celebrates the commitment of the Congressman's efforts to provide quality bike trails throughout the nation.
For more information, contact Terry McGaughey at 218-829-5278.
3 Year Old Killed When Hit By Car In Merrifield
A three-year old boy was killed Saturday afternoon when struck by a vehicle on County Road 3 in Merrifield. The boy, identified as Jack Larson of Buffalo, Minneosta, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was struck by a vehicle being driven by 66-year old Sherman Frederick of Crosslake, who was arrested and jailed on charges of criminal vehicular homocide. The Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office said the Larson boy was one of several children crossing the road. Vehicle traffic had come to a stop in both directions when Frederick allegedly began to pass the stopped traffic on the right by traveling on the shoulder of the road when he struck the Larson boy. Frederick is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.
Todd County Mailboxes Destroyed
The Todd County Sheriff is looking for the vandals who destroyed numerous mailboxes in Grey Eagle Township. The damage was done along 116th street early Sunday morning. Anyone with information is asked to call the Todd County Sheriff's office at 1-800-794-5733.
Car Accident Kills Boy in Merrifield
A 4 year old boy was killed in a car pedestrian accident in Merrifield Saturday afternoon. The Crow Wing County Sheriff's department says the accident happened about 2:50 Saturday afternoon on County Road 3 in Merrifield. The boy was declared dead at the scene. The driver was arrested and charged with Criminal Vehicular Operation. The names have not been released.