Saturday, August 8, 2009

Knife-Wielding Teen Shot by Bemidji Police

(AP) According to a preliminary investigation, a Bemidji Police Officer struggled with 18-year-old Robert John Erle before shooting the teen twice in the chest--killing him. Witnesses said that Erle yelled "Shoot me" at the officers during the confrontation on Thursday.

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Guard To Search For Missing Man

Governor Tim Pawlenty is calling out the National Guard to help in the search for a missing man in northern Minnesota.

Pawlenty on Friday signed an emergency executive order directing the National Guard to help Cass County authorities search for 82-year old Peter Achmermann of rural Staples.

Achermann has been missing for two weeks and was supposed to attend a family wedding on July 25 but never showed up. His car was found that evening stuck in a mudhole on a dead end road about six miles northeast of Staples.

Sheriff Randy Fisher asked for the guard's help along with two state legislators who had written to request help from Governor Pawlenty.

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Crosslake In Bloom Garden Contest Winners Announced

Judging in the "2009 Crosslake In Bloom Garden Contest" took place on July 28. There were 18 entries, of which 10 were Crosslake businesses. Categories consisted of floral, shade, container and water gardens for both residential and business.

Winners are:
Business Floral GardenLake Country Craft & Cones
Business Container Garden Golden Horizons
Business Water Garden C&C Boatworks
Residential Floral Garden Donna Bickford
Residential Container Garden Donna Bickford
Residential Shade Garden Sharon Mulder
Residential Water Garden Donna Bickford

Judges for the event were Sande O'Connell, Carol Veeninga, and Sue Ross from the Crosslake Garden Club.

The 2010 competition will be announced in April of next year with all Crosslake residents and businesses encouraged to enter.

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State Travelers Get Help From The State

Saint Paul - Travelers in Minnesota now have an improved view of all construction, maintenance and traffic incidents that affect their trips in the state. Mn/DOT's statewide travel information website,, has been upgraded and now includes an easier way to learn about future construction and maintenance projects.
The new Google-based site map is scrollable and will allow users to see map, satellite and hybrid views of the information.
"Better and clearer information will help motorists make plans to avoid delays and spend less time in traffic," said Todd Kramascz, 511 Project manager. "This new site is the next generation of real-time traveler information."
The site also allows users to choose between route-specific reports or a general map view. A scrolling banner highlights traffic incidents at a glance and a zoom tool allows viewers to enlarge or reduce map size.
The current low-bandwidth 511 site will remain accessible and available for motorists who seek real-time information but use a dial-up internet connection. There is also a mobile device option.
The new site is available by logging on to

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Heart Center Coming to Brainerd

Ground was broken today on a new heart and vascular center for Brainerd. Currently, patients in need of heart operations are sent to St. Cloud Hospital from St. Joseph's Medical Center. Thomas Prusack, President of Brainerd Lakes Health, which owns St. Joe's and seven area clinics, says there is a "Golden Hour" following the onset of symptoms. He says that hour can be spent transporting patients, or treating them locally.

Prusak tells KLKS News they need to raise $4 million to build the facility. So far, they have raised $3.3 million with donations from local health care professionals and one generous, anonymous donor. Prusak hopes the community will come forward to fund the balance.

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Benefit for Carter Trana Family

A benefit spaghetti diner will be held Sunday for the family a six year old Breezy Point boy who died accidentally last spring. A freak accident took the life of six year old Carter Trana, May 24, at his home. Friend of the family, Betty Griffin, says the community is pulling together to help the family deal with the expense.

Griffin tells KLKS News, in addition to the spaghetti diner, there will be an auction and raffle of several items, including a 32 inch flat screen TV and 26 inch men's and women's bicycles.

The event will be held at the Crosslake American Legion Sunday, from 3 to 8 p.m.

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Camp Knutson Quilt Auction Saturday

Camp Knutson will hold its 23rd annual quilt auction 10 a.m. Saturday, to raise funds for special needs kids to attend camp. Camp Director Rob Larson says they have 150 quilts up for bids. He says he particularly likes the quilts with an up-north theme.

Larson says they raised $40 thousand from the 2008 auction. He says they need all the funding they can get, because of the expense required to have doctors and nurses on duty for kids with special medical needs.

Camp Knutson is located north of Crosslake. Follow the signs on County Road 66 in Manhattan Beach.

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Avoiding Lawn Mushrooms

These warm moist days are perfect for growing mushrooms. Often times they pop up as unwanted lawn ornaments.

K-Lakes Meteorologist Tony Schumacher says they are a fungus, and the only way to totally avoid them is to dig up and replace the soil. While few, if anyone, is going to do that, he says it is important to keep the grass healthy and thick. Also, raking up old vegetation helps, and water only once a week during morning hours.

Schumaker says over fertilizing can promote mushroom growth.

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Hecker's Wife Asks for Divorce

(AP) The wife of auto mogul Denny Hecker wants out of the marriage. Tamitha Hecker claims Hecker lied to her about their finances and the collapse of his auto empire.

She is asking for divorce, sole custody of the couples two children and $15 million.

Hecker filed for bankruptcy claiming $18 million in assets and more than $700 million in unpaid bills.

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Bemidji Teen Shot to Death

(AP) What looked like a medical run in Bemidji, turned into a police action that resulted in the death of an 18-year-old male.

When Bemidji Ambulance Service arrived at the scene shortly after noon Thursday, they discovered a young man with blood on him and a knife in his hand. Two police officers arrived, a shooting ensued and the young man was killed.

Details of the incident, and the names of those involved have not been released.

The State Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will lead the investigation

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Another Rate Increase from Minnesota Power

(AP) Customers of Minnesota Power may be looking at another rate increase. The company says it will ask for a hike to pay for more environmentally friendly generators and renewable energy.

Minnesota power had a rate hike just last year. Final rates from that increase will take effect the end of this year.

The Public Utilities commission must approve the new request.

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Duck Season and Bag Limits

With continental populations of many species of ducks again near record highs, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) hasestablished a 60-day duck season that opens Oct. 3 with a daily bag limit of six ducks.

Bag limits for most species will be the same as last season, except hunters will be able to harvest one canvasback and the scaup limit will be two for the entire 60-day season. This good news for diver duck hunters is based on increased numbers of Canvasbacks and scaup in the continental breeding duck survey.

The regular waterfowl season will open Saturday, Oct. 3, at 9 a.m. and continue through Tuesday, Dec. 1. The six-duck bag may include no more than four mallards, with only one hen mallard, and one black duck, one pintail, one canvasback, two wood ducks, two redheads and two scaup. Possession limits remain at twice the daily bag limits.

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Lunkers Send the Bats Back to the Cave

A 2-RBI double blasted to centerfield off the bat of Hunter Nolen dropped the St. Cloud River Bats for good, and gave the Brainerd Lunkers of the Northwoods League the 6-2 win in front of 593 fans at Mills Field. The victory is the Lunkers fifth in a row, which is a franchise best.

The Lunkers improve to 33-31 overall, 17-14 in the second half, and finish the season 5-3 against St. Cloud. They home stand continues tonight as the Alexandria Beetles head to Mills Field. The first 300 kids 14 and under will receive a Lunkers backpack as part of Back to School Backpack Night. First pitch is 7:05 PM.

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

A 40 Year Anniversary of Area Tornadoes

Today is the 40th anniversary of a deadly outbreak of tornadoes around the lakes area.

K-Lakes Meteorologist Tony Schumacher says a dozen twisters were reported on this date in 1969. One touched down near Pine River, injuring 150 as it plowed its way through Backus.

An even stronger tornado touched down in northwestern Crow Wing County near Stewart Lake. It was rated as an F-4, generating winds in excess of 200 miles per hour. On the ground for 30 miles, it killed 11 people on the shores of Roosevelt Lake. Another died on Reservoir Lake between Outing and Hill City.

There were 70 injuries from the storm, including 40 children who were camping on Roosevelt Lake. In all, there was $2 million worth of damage.

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"Married Alive" Coming to CLC

The Central Lakes College Foundation and Chanhassen Dinner Theaters will present "Married Alive!" in the new Gull Lake Center at Grand View Lodge, Nisswa, Friday, Sept. 11 and Saturday, Sept. 12.

The performance is a fundraiser for the Foundation, which directs scholarships to CLC students.

"Married Alive!" is a funny and touching new musical that looks in on two married couples, one newlywed and one "oldywed." We watch as the couples navigate all the highs and lows of marriage, from financial concerns, far-away travel, in-laws and sex at various stages in the union. It is fast-paced and at times sharp, but always affectionate.

Diane Scearcy, executive director of the CLC Foundation, said seats are still available for either Friday or Saturday show. All 310 seats in the performance area are easily accessible and offer optimal sight lines to enjoy the production.

The evening starts with social and silent auction time at 5:30, followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. with choices of chicken, walleye, and vegetarian entrees plus dessert, and the 7:30 p.m. performance.

Tickets are $75, available only from Chanhassen Box Office at 1-866-246-4926.

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CLC Hosts Foreign Students

Central Lakes College will be hosting international students through a global education initiative backed by the Department of State.

Community Colleges for International Development approved CLC for placement of three students from Brazil and one from South Africa in one year of study.

The initiative, in its third year, gives under-served, non-elite young adults from 14 countries an expense-paid year of training in their choice of seven study areas. The four incoming CLC students will focus on applied engineering.

The students were scheduled to arrive the week of Aug. 9. The fall semester begins Aug. 24 at CLC.

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Lunkers Stop the Bats

Drew Smith induced a fly ball to end the three-run rally in the ninth inning, and keep the 9-8 Lunkers victory in tact over the St. Cloud River Bats at Joe Faber Field in the Granite City. The win is the Lunkers fourth consecutive, which ties a season high mark.

The Lunkers return to Mills Field tonight against the St. Cloud River Bats. First pitch is 7:05 PM.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Road Work Will Cause Delays

BAXTER, Minn. - Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and expect delays
as crews begin work Monday, August 10, to resurface Highway 169 from
Mille Lacs County Road 13 to County Road 11 near Milaca.

Motorists should watch for intermittent lane and shoulder closures and
slow down where crews are working. The project is scheduled for
completion by late September, weather permitting.

Hardrives, Inc. of Rogers, Minnesota, is the prime contractor for this
$3.9 million resurfacing project funded by the Stimulus Program.

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Deer Ticks Expanding their Range

Deer ticks are expanding their range. Entomologist Dave Neitzel, of the Minnesota Department of Health, says they are spreading from the Brainerd Lakes Area into Hubbard, Clearwater and Becker Counties. He tells KLKS News, warmer winters could allow the ticks to hitch a ride on deer or birds into the new territories.

Neitzel says peak activity for ticks is between mid May and mid July.

He says the best way to avoid tick born disease is to apply a good repellent while in wooded and brushy areas.

The first case of Rocky Mountain Spotted fever was reported in the Twin Cities area this year. A child from Dakota County died from the disease.

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Preventing the Spread of Ash Borer to Brainerd

So far, there have been no reported cases of emerald ash borer in the Brainerd Lakes Area. Minnesota Department of Agriculture spokesman Michael Schommer says 67 infested trees have been found in a St. Paul neighborhood on the west side. They have been removed. He tells KLKS News property owners in northern Minnesota need to be watchful. He says the insects can jump from one part of the country to another in a load of firewood.

Schommer says the best way to avoid the spread of the disease is to burn wood from the local area. He says infested ash trees that are not protected with an insecticide almost always die. There are 900 million ash trees in Minnesota.

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Lunkers Leash the Huskies

Not even a 15-minute power outage of three light poles around Mills Field could stop the Brainerd Lunkers offense, which exploded for fourteen hits, in their defeat of the Duluth Huskies, 9-5 in front of 621 home town fans.

The Lunkers improve to 31-31 overall, 15-14 overall, and finish 7-1 on the season against Duluth. They meet the St. Cloud River Bats tonight at Joe Faber Field in the Granite City for the first game of a home-and-home series. First pitch is 7:05 PM.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

KLKS 25th Birthday Winners

Two lucky area ladies' names were drawn in the KLKS 25th Birthday drawings held Tuesday at the station. Colleen Robinson from Breezy Point won a beautiful, diamond necklace from Merritt Jewelers, who also were celebrating their 25th year of serving the lakes area in Pequot Lakes. And the name of Sharon Mullaney of Pequot Lakes was drawn for a 22-cubic foot chest freezer from Schroeder's Appliance Center in Brainerd-Baxter, along with a half of beef from Shamp's Meat Market in Pine River. Congratulations to these two winners. KLKS-FM, Merritt Jewelers, A-Pine Family Restaurant and Iven's on the Bay say "thanks" for 25 years of patronage to local residents and visitors.

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Local Law Catches July Speeders

The Safe & Sober campaign in Crow Wing County resulted in 37 speeding tickets for the month of July. Of the 152 stops, 14 were for seat belt citations, one was arrested for driving after cancellation.

Minnesota State Patrol troopers joined deputies from the Crow Wing County Sheriff Department and officers from the police departments of Brainerd, Baxter, Nisswa, Deerwood, Crosby, Crosslake, Pequot Lakes, Emily, Breezy Point and Cuyuna to work this latest specially funded speeding crackdown.

State Patrol Sergent Curt Mowers says speeding fines are doubled if a motorist is caught speeding 20 mph or more over the limit, and drivers traveling at speeds of 100 mph or more are subject to a six-month license revocation.

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CLC Fills Coaching Vacancies

Central Lakes College in Brainerd has gone with experience to fill head coaching vacancies in the Raiders' athletic department.

Pat Held, former volunteer assistant in the CLC baseball program, has been hired as head baseball coach.

Raiders head football coach Greg Medeck has been hired as the head softball coach.
Held was head coach at Motley and Staples-Motley high schools for 22 years and head coach of the St. Augusta Legion and Motley Mets amateur teams.

Medeck has been CLC's head football coach for two seasons, guiding the Raiders to a 14-7 record and back-to-back state playoff appearances.

Since 2004 CLC softball teams have won two state and four region titles and finished fifth, second, sixth and seventh in national tournaments.

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Ojibwe Signs in Bemidji

(AP) Business in Bemidji will be a little more friendly to the Ojibwe. Dozens of shops will be posting various messages in the native American language. It is the idea of Shared Vision Group.

There will be Ojibwe signs identifying restrooms, a blessing at a funeral home, even a sign for computer repair.

Also participating will be Bemidji State university and North Country Hospital.

The word Bemidji is a shortened version of the Ojibwe word meaning, "Lake with cross waters."

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Lunkers Fleece the Huskies

The Brainerd Lunkers of the Northwoods League brought eleven men to the plate and used a big RBI infield single by Will Piwnica-Worms to break their offensive funk, and put down the Duluth Huskies, 9-5 in front of 640 fans at Mills Field.

The Lunkers improve to 30-31 overall, 14-14 in the second half, and 6-1 against the Huskies this season. They return to Mills Field tonight to meet Duluth for the final time this year. The first 300 fans receive a set of Lunkers trading cards as part of Trading Card Night. First pitch is 7:05 PM.

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Crow Wing County Fair This Week

Today is set-up and judging day at the Crow Wing County Fair. The gates open at 10 a.m. Tuesday morning for the general public.

Fair General Manager Steve Hesse tells KLKS News there are plenty of new things at the fair this year, including the chance to drive in the demo derby. He says $10 buys a lottery ticket. The winner gets to drive, and a chance to take home $800 in prize money.

Hesse says a gun twirler is also new this year. Seven time champion Bob Hamm will be putting on a show five times a day on the south side of the Administration Building.

Hesse says there will be lots to eat at the fair. His favorite is the firemen's brats.

Fee parking will be available both on the south side of the fair ground and, for a little bit more, inside the gates.

Once again, KLKS will be there in the cute little log building just north of the red bingo barn.

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Carlton Quiet Following Hells Angels

(AP) The Hells Angels are rumbling toward Sturgis, South Dakota following the week long take-over of Carlton, Minnesota. The motorcycle club traditionally plans a stop before the big rally outside the Black Hills.

While in town, law enforcement reported more trouble from the general public than from the group known for rowdy behavior. During the week, 33 were ticketed as opposed to 322 from the general public.

Deputies say three bikers were arrested for DWI, including one who was on a stolen motorcycle.

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Lunkers Pluck a Win from the Honkers

Two wild pitches in the ninth inning allowed Mike Gedman and David Valesente to score the go-ahead runs and give the the Brainerd Lunkers of the Northwoods League a 5-3 win over the Rochester Honkers Saturday.

The Lunkers return to Mills Field tonight against the Duluth Huskies. First pitch is 7:05 PM.

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