Governor Pawlenty Stumps in D.C.
(AP) Governor Tim Pawlenty topped off a busy week with a stop in Washington, D.C. Earlier in the week he'd announced that he would not be seeking a third term as Governor. During his trip to D.C., Pawlenty squeezed in at least three speeches to Republican groups, and a couple of interviews. His trip to D.C. further stoked suspicion that he'll be pursuing the Presidency.
Camp Ripley Wins Environmental Award
Camp Ripley, south of Brainerd, has received an environmental leadership award from The Department of Defense.
Minnesota National Guard members were honored for the military reservations commitment to protecting the 19 miles of the Mississippi River, which runs through the Camp's Maneuver and Training Center.
Senator Amy Klobuchar congratulated members of the Minnesota Army National Guard who were in Washington, D.C. to accept the award.
Camp Ripley has taken several actions to help protect and restore the environment, including a reforestation program and the protection of 22,000 acres. The Camp has also developed partnerships for conservation management, including a coordination project with Central Minnesota's Nature Conservancy to protect the ecosystem surrounding the Mississippi River.
Vice President Joe Biden and Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III presented the Guard members from Camp Ripley with a 2009 Secretary of Defense Environmental Award. The awards recognize those within the Defense Department taking a lead in environmental stewardship.
Merrifield Man Found Dead of Self-Inflicted Gun Shot Wound
Authorities have indentified a 50-year old Merrifield man who died of an apparent self-inflicted gun shot wound.The Crow Wing County Sheriff's office has identified the man as 50-year old Kurt W. Ulm of Merrifield. Deputies responded to the call on the 12000 block of Young Lake Road and discovered the body inside a residence. Foul play is not suspected, but an autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death.
Ride With Jim Oberstar Sunday
The bicycle will rule this weekend in Brainerd. In addition to the 20th annual Tour of Lakes Bicycle Ride Saturday, the 12th annual "Ride With Jim" Congressman Jim Oberstar will be staged on the on the Paul Bunyan State Trail Sunday.
Cyclers will meet in Nisswa at 8 a.m., and they will take to the trail at 9 a.m. Stops are planned in Pequot Lakes, Jenkins and Pine River. There will be refreshments along the way. There is no sag wagon, and there is no fee for the ride.
The event is hosted by the Paul Bunyan Trail Association and Brainerd Community Action.
In other trail news, Association Executive Director Terry McGaughey says the last 600 acres have been purchased between the Mississippi River Bridge and the Crow Wing State Park. He says it will be a spectacular ride along the river bluffs. When completed, cyclers will be able to ride black top from the Crow Wing State Park to Bemidji.
Tour of the Lakes Bicycle Ride
Some 1200 bicycles will cruising the Brainerd Lakes Area Saturday for the 20th annual "Tour of Lakes Bicycle Ride." The event will begin and end at Forestview Middle School, on Knollwood Drive in Baxter.
Tour Director, Sharon Bodie tells KLKS News, this is a recreational ride for cyclists of all abilities and is not a race. Cyclers will be peddling one of two routes of 35 and 65 miles. The shorter ride will be staged mostly in Baxter. The longer ride will cruise up County Road 77 on the west side of Gull Lake. The riders will be crossing Highway 210 in two locations.
The riders will start at 6:00 a.m. and finish by 4 p.m.
The tour is entirely on public roads. Motorists are asked to be on the look-out.
Cherry Car Show Saturday
The Trailside Park in Pequot Lakes will come alive with classic cars Saturday.
The Pequot Lakes/Breezy Point Lions are hosting the 2nd annual Cherry Car Show.
Event Coordinator Cathy Maleca says over 100 vintage vehicles will be on display.
The event runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Lakers Car Club is raffling off a 350 cubic inch engine which has been balanced and blue printed. Raffle tickets will be available at the show.
Koering May Run for Governor
Two-term State Senator Paul Koering is forming an exploratory committee for a possible run for governor. The Republican from Fort Ripley says he will be talking to state party leaders, delegates, and community leaders to gage his chances.
Koering says, there is a need for a chief executive who can work with both parties. Senator Koering in his seven years in the Minnesota State Senate has demonstrated an ability to work with both Democrats and Republicans. He says his focus has been on healthcare reform, veterans and agriculture issues.
Koering says if the support is not there,he will be seeking a third term in the Minnesota Senate.
Hecker Files for Personal Bankruptcy
(AP) Denny Hecky filed paperwork today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Minneapolis. The filing of Chapter 7 means that Hecker's personal assets will be turned over to a court-appointed trustee to prevent further losses. Hecker lists assets of between $50 million and $100 million in the filing, with liabilities of between $500 million and $1 billion. A statement was released by Hecker thanking his employees and customers for their support. Hecker, age 56, was one of Minnesota's largest car dealers, but with the down-turn in the economy, he's shuttered or sold 25 of his 26 dealerships.
Seifert Steps Down as Caucus Leader
(AP) Marty Seifert, House Minority Leader, is stepping down, as he's considering a run for Governor in 2010. Seifert, from Marshall, says his caucus will elect a new leader on June 24th. Seifert is one of several who are expected to explore their chances of succeeding Republican Governor, Tim Pawlenty, who announced yesterday that he will not seek a third term. Speculation is whirring on whether or not Pawlenty may seek a Presidential bid in 2012.
Differing Views on the Governor's Announcement
State Representative Larry Howes of Walker is surprised by the Governor's timing in announcing that he will not run for reelection. The fellow republican felt Governor Pawlenty would wait until after he had completed the unallotment process before announcing that we would not seek a third term.
Howes tells KLKS News, the legislative dynamic has now changed. He thinks DFL-ers who would have attacked the Governor next session, will now attack one another as they vie for the party standard.
Howes says the race for governor among Republicans is wide-open.
State Senator Mary Olson, a DFL-er from Bemidji, is not surprised the governor is not running for reelection. She told KLKS News, the Governor would not want to live with the results of his budget.
Senator Olson said historically, Minnesota Governors do not run for a third term
A Kids Fishing Program at Lum Park Saturday
This is "Take-a-Kid Fishing Weekend." Adults need not have a fishing license this weekend if they take a kid aged 15 or under out to the lake. In conjunction with that event, Nadine Meyer of the DNR Minn-Aqua program says they have a special event for the kids at Lum Park in Brainerd on Saturday. She says there will be different stations for the kids to learn about fish,how to tie a knott, boat safety and how to filet a fish.
Meyer says there's a free luch and kids spend the afternoon fishing.
Keeping Your Plants Moist During a Dry Spell
K-Lakes Meteorologist and gardener Tony Schumacher has a tip for saving moisture for drying shrubs and trees. He says, try mixing your grass clippings with a little mulch and spreading that around the roots.
Schumacher says, while the rest of the yard might be drying out, it'll be nice and moist under the mix. And, the mix will release some much needed nutrients into the soil.
Pequot Woman Appointed to State Fire Board
The Governor has appointed Natasha Carlson of Pequot Lakes to the Board of Firefighter Training and Education.
Carlson is the owner of Platinum Results Salon and Spa, and a volunteer firefighter with the Pequot Lakes Fire Department. She is a member of the Rapid Intervention Team, and has completed training programs in a variety of firefighter courses. Carlson has degrees from Aveda Institute in Minneapolis and Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Wadena.
The Board of Firefighter Training and Education reviews fire service training needs, establishes standards for educational programs, and establishes qualifications for fire service training instructors. The Board consists of 15 members, including 14 appointed by the Governor.
CLC and St. Scholastica Continue the Partnership
Central Lakes College and the College of St. Scholastica have updated an agreement regarding the transfer of credits from the two-year institution to satisfy bachelor’s degree requirements at the Duluth-based private college.
The agreement identifies the CLC classes that CSS will accept to fulfill the lower-division requirements of the majors St. Scholastica offers at CLC.
Majors are accounting, management, organizational behavior, natural sciences, registered nursing to Bachelor of Science in nursing, and social work. Minors in marketing, psychology and management are also available.
St. Scholastica has been offering classes at Central Lakes College in Brainerd for over 25 years.
Todd County Sheriff Reports a Break-In in Hewitt
According to the Todd Sheriff's Office, sometime between last evening and 6 this morning individuals forced entry into Grandma's Kountry Kitchen in Hewitt. A small amount of cash and merchandise were taken, and several items were damaged. Anyone with information is asked to call the Todd County Sheriff's Office at 320-732-2157.
Business As Usual At Pine Motors
Pine Motors General Manager Tom McMullen says they received a lot of calls Monday following the bankruptcy filling of General Motors. He says it is business as usual for his dealership, in business since 1934. Warranties and recalls will be honored.
Pine Motors is becoming a used car and truck superstore. It is owned by the Dondelinger auto family.
WAPOA Annual Meeting Saturday
Members of the Whitefish Area Property Owners Association will have lots to consider at the annual meeting Saturday. President Judy Wallschlaeger says they will hear a presentation on invasive species. She says the Whitefish Chain has massive amounts of curly leaf pond weed in Dagget, Little Pine and parts of Rush lakes. Otherwise, so far so good. She says they have inspections twice a year looking for eurasian water milfoil around the boat accesses.
Wallschlaeger says they will also receive a report from County Commissioner Paul Thiede on the pilot sanitary management program for the lake.
The WOPOA annual meeting will be held at Ideal Town Hall beginning at 8 a.m. with breakfast.
Drivers Learn about the "Move Over Law"
In one four hour period last week, lawmen from Crow Wing County stopped 169 vehicles to educate the drivers about the "Move-Over Law." Three citations were written, along with 109 warnings. Also, three speeding tickets were issued and one seat belt violation.
State Patrol Sergent Curt Mowers says during the operation,at least one officer had to jump out of the way of a vehicle that would not move over. He says the law requires motorists slow down and move to the lane the farthest away from an on-coming emergency vehicle.
Police Hero Dies in Aitkin
(AP) A former Minneapolis police officer, who made his home in Aitkin, has died 12 years after his heroism saved a life. 36-year-old David Loeffler died Friday at home. He was injured in 1997 when he pushed a man out of the way of a drunken driver in Minneapolis. Family members says Loeffler died from long-term complications of his injury.
Genmar Files for Bankruptcy
(AP) 600 boat building jobs were lost in Little Falls as Genmar Holding tried to deal with falling sales. Despite the cuts, company founder Irwin Jacobs says his company was forced into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Jacobs expects revenues will be off by more than 50% for the year ending June 30th, or about $460 million.
The boating industry has suffered from high gasoline prices and the recession.
Law Enforcement Enforce Move Over Law
Efforts to educate the motoring public about the Move-Over law continued in the form of an enforcement saturation on Tuesday, May 26th. At least 12 officers from different agencies in Crow Wing County got together from 10:00am - 2:00pm. Officers stopped 169 vehicles. Activity included three actual Move Over law citations were written, but over 109 motorists received warnings. Others received speed warnings, 3speed citations, one seat belt citation, two seat belt warnings, 38 other warnings and three other citations. Currently, on multiple-lane highways it is against the law for a motorist to pass by an emergency vehicle of any kind, that has its emergency lights activated, in the lane next to that emergency vehicle. Two lane highways are not addressed in the law, but motorists are urged to slow down and be prepared to stop when approaching an emergency vehicle in that situation, if necessary.
A Tip Leads to Arrest of Forcier
A 22 year old Little Falls man has been arraigned after leading law enforcement on a chase through Crow Wing County and Morrison counties late last week. The pursuit,
Brian John Forcier, was charged with Fleeing a Peace Officer, DWI, and Order For Protection Violation.
Sheriff Todd Dahl tells KLKS News, they got him on a suspicious call to headquarters.
Sheriff Dahl is asking residents to call if something doesn't look right. He says those calls often produce results.