Saturday, July 25, 2009

82-Year Old Rural Staples Man Missing

Cass County authorities report an 82-year old rural Staples man, Peter Achermann, is
missing and authorities are seeking the public's help in locating the man or the vehicle he was last known to be driving. Authorities report Achermann was last seen Friday afternoon in Staples. He is believed to be driving a blue or grey colored 1995 Chevrolet station wagon with license plate XYZ862, Achermann is a white male, about 5'9", 175 pounds and has a grey beard and generally walks with a cane. Anyone with information, should contact the Cass County Sheriff's Department.

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FEMA To Split Recovery Monies To Five Counties

Five Counties in northeastern Minnesota will split more than 1-million dollars in federal relief funds following storm damage and flooding earlier in the year. The counties were hit by storms and floods between March 16th and May 22 that caused millions of dollars in damages.

Amoung the counties included as recepients of funds is Wadena County which will receive about 45-thousand dollars from FEMA.

The state of Minnesota will also receive more the 530-thousand dollars to help cover costs it incurred because of the storms.

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Motorcycle Crash In Brainerd

(AP) - Crow Wing County Authorities say two people have died after a motorcycle crash in Brainerd. Sheriff's deputies say they arrived at the crash site on Woodrow Road in Nokay Lake Township about 7:00pm Friday evening and found a 22-year old man and 21-year old woman. Both were pronounced dead at the scene. No names have been released pending the notification of the nearest of kin.

Investigators say it appears the driver lost control and the motorcyle left the road.

Authorities continue to investigate.

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Hecker's Attorney says It Was the Texting--

(AP) Denny Hecker's Attorney says that it was not prescription drugs, but texting, that caused Hecker to crash his SUV into a utility pole in Plymouth last December, causing Hecker to spend two days in a hospital. The former Twin Cities auto magnate pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor careless driving charge yesterday.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Crosslake Log Tour Next Week

The Crosslake Historical Society is getting ready for its 19th Annual Log Home and Cabin Tour next week. Barb Lowe says the event is Thursday and Friday, July 30th and 31st. She tells KLKS News, they pick unique homes for the show. The owners will answer questions about their north woods homes for those who are looking for tips.

Lowe says the cost of the tour is $45, and the proceeds go to maintain the historic log village, south of the Chamber building in Crosslake. For more information call: (218) 692-3584.

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Dogs Rabies Vaccinations Saturday in Jenkins

The Jenkin's City Hall will be the site of a dog clinic Saturday. Carl Borleigh of the Pequot Lakes Police Reserve tells KLKS News, they want to help dog owners get their pets licensed and vaccinated. He says The Pequot Lakes Pet Hospital will be offering rabies shots for $20. At the same time, pets can get Pequot Lakes or Jenkins licenses that will be good through 2010.

Borleigh says there will be other vendors in attendance, including Grooming by Laree. There will also be an agility course for the dogs. And, the first 100 pet owners will be offered free tickets for the Brainerd Lunkers baseball game Saturday night at Mills Field, which coincidentally is "Dog Night."

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No All Star Performance For the Lunkers After the Break

Even though the Lunkers outhit the St. Cloud River Bats at Mills Field last night, they fell in Game One of the home-and-home series, 9-2.

The River Bats jumped all over the Lunkers in the top of the first. Eight men came to the plate, four recorded hits, and another reached on an error as three runs scored to put St. Cloud up early. In the bottom of the first though, the Lunkers went down in order.

The Lunkers fall back to .500 with the loss. They are 25-25 overall and 9-8 in the second half. They meet the River Bats tonight at Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud for Game Two. First pitch is 7:05 PM.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Leech Lake Reservation Grassroots Group wants Tribe to Reconsider Pipeline

(AP) A petition campaign is mounting by a grassroots group on the Leech Lake Reservation against a proposed oil pipeline across northern Minnesota. The Leech Lake Tribal Council approved a deal to let Enbridge run the line. Spokesperson Marty Cobenais for the Indigenous Environmental Network says people are worried about possible leaks from the pipeline. The line would parallel an existing pipeline, which brings crude oil from Canada to a refinery in Superior. A spokesperson for Enbridge says the company expects to start construction in a couple of weeks.

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Brainerd Fish Populations Good Despite Invasives

Despite the introduction of invasive species to Brainerd Area Lakes, the fishery does not appear to have suffered. Brainerd Area Fishery Supervisor Tim Brastrup tells KLKS News, as far as he can tell, there has been no change in population numbers. He says the Eurasian Water Milfoil and Curly Leaf Pond Weed may have actually harbors bass, that fishermen seek out.

Brastrup says pressure on fish in infested lakes may have decreased, as anglers look to avoid the spread of invasive species.

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A New Look for Downtown Brainerd

The work that began over seven years ago with the group Brainerd Restoration, the City of Brainerd, and other community groups in creating the Downtown Revitalization Plan made good progress this summer.

The Historic Downtown Street-Utility Reconstruction Project, that started April 20th, is substantially complete before the July 31 deadline.

The community is invited to celebrate with a ribbon cutting ceremony in Historic Downtown Brainerd on Tuesday, July 28th, at 9 a.m. at the intersection of South 6th and Laurel Streets. Coffee and cookies will be provided.

Still to come: benches to give shoppers and visitors a space to rest and meet, trash receptacles to reduce litter, bike racks to encourage cycling and to give an alternative to locking bikes to street signs and kiosks near public parking lots with maps so that people who drive to the area can easily understand what is nearby, easy to walk to, and how to get there.

A 2007 survey of nearly 600 people in the Brainerd area found that 47% would patronize Downtown Brainerd more frequently if there was more catering to pedestrians with benches, bike trails and racks, better sidewalks, green space, etc. What respondents enjoyed most about Downtown Brainerd is the feeling of a traditional downtown.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Arson Suspected at the Bois Forte Tribal Headquarters

(AP) According to Officials, Monday's fire that destroyed the Bois Forte Tribal Headquarters in northern Minnesota was arson--that due to the fact that the fire was apparently started in two places. A $14k Reward Fund has been set up for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whomever set the fire.

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Walker Gets Closer to an Emergency Room

Legislation that would bring Cass County residents miles closer to a hospital emergency room has been introduced in Congress. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and Congressman Jim Oberstar introduced legislation to secure critical access hospital designation for the Cass County hospital project in Walker.

Cass is one of only three Minnesota counties without an emergency-access hospital. Residents of north-central Cass County have to travel up to an hour or more to hospitals in Bemidji, Park Rapids, Deer River, Crosby, Staples or Brainerd to seek urgent care in emergency rooms.

"When people need urgent care every second counts, it is a proven fact that survival rates after heart attacks and car accidents rise dramatically when an emergency room is nearby," said Oberstar. "The current law does not take the difficulty of driving in Northeast Minnesota's winter weather into account, a distance of 35 miles as the crow flies can take over an hour to reach on Cass County roads. We are going to make certain that life saving treatment is close to Cass County residents."

In 2006, the Cass County Health Task Force worked with state, county, and local officials to transform the Ah-Gwah-Ching long-term care facility into an integrated medical campus that would include a 25-bed critical access hospital. However, a federal rule required emergency hospitals to be spaced at least 35 miles apart. Because the Ah-Gwah-Ching facility is 31.9 miles from Park Rapids, it was not eligible. Hospitals with critical access status are eligible for full Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, an important source of revenue.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wal-Mart Re-Hires Muslim

(AP) A Wal-Mart Muslim employee from the Twin Cities has been re-hired, after having been fired for praying in the workplace. Abdi Abdi was fired in February from a Wal-Mart in Woodbury. He had worked there as a stocker and loader. A new supervisor fired him after instituting a ban on prayers during work breaks, though a previous supervisor had permitted him to do so. Abdi was re-hired at a St. Paul store closer to his home. He will be allowed to pray during breaks.

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Keeping E Signs Visible

Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel reminds residents that they are responsible for keeping grass and brush trimmed around their blue county emergency address sign. Doing so allows emergency response vehicles to quickly locate addresses in the event of an emergency.

Sheriff Wetzel says, when the ordinance was updated several years ago, residents were reminded that it was their responsibility to ensure that the blue signs were visible from the road. Violation of the ordinance not only puts the resident at risk of harm, it also subjects them to a ticket and fine.

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Two Golf Club Houses Robbed

The Todd County Sheriff's Office is investigating two golf course burglaries. The Grey Stone Golf Club House was robbed of cash and checks Monday. Sometime Sunday night the Meadow Lark Country Club in Melrose was hit with the same result.

The Melrose Police Department and Todd County Sheriff's Office are coordinating efforts.

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MPCA Fines for Baxter and an Area Business

The city of Baxter and Tom's Backhoe Service of Brainerd have paid the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency a combined civil penalty of 20 thousand dollars for alleged stormwater violations.

The violations occurred in 2007 at the Cedar Scenic Road water and sewer project in Baxter. Violations included failing to maintain proper silt fencing, failing to stabilize ditches and ditch banks, and failing to properly dissipate dewatering outlets. These violations resulted in excess erosion and allowed sediment-laden stormwater to discharge into local wetlands

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Lunkers Send 5 to the All-Star Game

The Brainerd Lunkers of the Northwoods League are now sending five players to the All-Star Game. Mike Kvasnicka is joining four other Lunkers for the midsummer classic.

Kvasnicka joins pitchers Michael Gedman, Dennis O'Grady, and Drew Smith, and infielder David Valesente as this year's Lunker All-Star representatives. They join the North Division All-Stars and will meet the best from the South Division at Port Arthur Stadium in Thunder Bay, ON, Canada on July 21st.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Crash Kills Two South of Long Prairie

(AP) A car driven by a Litchfield teenager drifted across the center line and struck another Sunday morning killing both drivers, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

Killed in the accident on U.S. Highway 71 south of Long Prairie were 16-year-old Jacob Hughes of Litchfield and 46-Year-old Todd Walther of Long Prairie.

The accident happened before 7 a.m. Sunday.

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Lunkers Split with MoonDogs

The Brainerd Lunkers of the Northwoods League used a Mike Gedman RBI single in the eighth to defeat the Mankato MoonDogs, 4-2 at Franklin Rogers Park in Mankato Sunday.

The Lunkers improve to 25-24 overall and 9-7 in the second half. They return to Mills Field on Thursday to meet the St. Cloud River Bats. First pitch is 7:05 PM.

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