Saturday, November 28, 2009

Backus Forest Will Need To Be Cut Down

(AP) The entire forest near Backus into which 6" nails were driven will be cut down. Investigators think vandals, who had driven the nails, thought they would be saving the trees from logging. . .but now the entire forest will be cut down because of the danger the nails present to loggers whose saws might strike the nails.

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Brainerd Christmas Shopping Off to a Good Start

The Executive Director of the Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce refers to the day after Thanksgiving as "Green Friday." Lisa Paxton says parking lots were nearly full for the morning rush.

Paxton tells KLKS News, the Christmas shopping surge is extremely important for local merchants. She says we are fortunate to have two holiday shopping seasons; Christmas and summer for vacationers.

Paxton says the Brainerd area had a fair summer, doing better than many other parts of the state.

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Nisswa City of Lights Today

Nisswa Celebrates it's 28th annual City of Lights today. It all begins at 2:30 p.m. with wagon rides. Highlights include the bonfire at 4:30, lighting the Christmas lights at 5:30, and the fireworks at 7:30.

Lots of folks will be in town for the festivities. Chamber Executive Director Molly Gerber says there will be parking available at St. Christopher's Church and The Journey Church and Nisswa Elementary School.

Gerber says the only place where parking is banned is on main street, because that is where the food vendors will be.

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Aitkin Fish House Parade Today

This is a big day in Aitkin. It's the 18th annual Fish House Parade. It all started with a pancake breakfast at West Side Church which continues until 11 a.m. Chamber of Commerce President Amanda says there will lots of good eats all day around town. She tells KLKS News, the parade, which kicks-off at 1 p.m. will be a good one. She says the turkey mascott is the grand marshal.

Fish houses and floats are decorated in various themes ranging from Grumpy Old Women to the movie "Jaws", complete with a shark swimming around a wobbling fish house, or anything else the creative parade entrants can dream up.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Minnesota's DNR selling Gift Cards!

(AP) First-ever Gift Cards are being offered by the Minnesota DNR. The cards can be used for campsite reservations, State Park entrance fees, and rental of equipment like kayaks, snowshoes, and canoes. Leaders of the agency say the cards should encourage people to invest in the park system.

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Arson Fire Near Browerville.

The State Fire Marshal's Office has confirmed that a suspicious weekend fire near Browerville was a case of arson. Fire crews from Browerville and Clarissa battled the fire at a vacant home at 27302 County Road 16 Saturday night, just before midnight.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Todd County Sheriff's Office at (320) 732-2157.

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Thanksgiving Flu Concerns

Health officials say the first peak of swine flu has passed. However, there is concern the holidays could promote a second round of H1N1 outbreak as students travel and mix with family.

Crow Wing Health Advisor Dr. Peter Henry tells KLKS News, common sense prevails. He says washing hands frequently is a very good idea. And, when soap and water are not available, a hand sanitizer is recommended.

Dr. Henry, says the next H1N1 clinic will be held Thursday, December 3rd at the Brainerd High School Cafeteria from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. He says the criteria will be expanded to include anyone up to the age of 24 and to people 25 to 64 with a chronic medical condition.

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Crow Wing Drops Off Notorious List

Crow Wing County is no longer on the list of the top 13 deadliest counties for alcohol-involved fatalities. Local lawmen promise to continue to work to keep us off the list.

Being in the top 13 deadliest counties list in the past has meant that law enforcement agencies in Crow Wing County had received extra funding for Impaired Driver apprehension saturation events. Crow Wing County officers have done so well working together with enforcement during the funded Safe and Sober events, that officials will still be making funding available for more impaired driver enforcement in the Lakes Area.

Saturation dates for the on-duty projects are not announced in advance, but motorists should be aware of the fact that many informal mini-saturations will be conducted to curb the violations of speeding, passing on the right, the move over law and others.

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Turkey Still Second for National Symbol

It seems every Thanksgiving discussion of the national symbol surfaces. Founding father Benjamin Franklyn stated the intelligent and wily turkey should have been the symbol, not the scavaging bald eagle.

To put some perspective on the topic, KLKS News asked the DNR Outreach Chief of Fish and Wildlife, C.B. Bylander. He said, with all due respect to Ben, he's going with the eagle. The way they soar and the Majesty speaks to our country.

This from a turkey hunter who has had some success, and frustration over the years.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hecker's Ordered to pay Support

(AP) A Hennepin County Judge has ordered former auto mogul, Denny Hecker, to pay his estranged wife $7500 per month in child support. That ruling--despite Hecker's bankruptcy filing and substantial debt. The payments are to be made to Tamitha Hecker, the mother of Hecker's two children. The couple's divorce is still pending.

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Deer Hunting Success Down around Brainerd

Deer hunting success around the Brainerd Lakes Area was down this year, as it was state-wide.

DNR Outreach Chief of Wildlife and Fish, C.B. Bylander tells KLKS News, hunting success was down 20 percent in the Brainerd area, down 17 percent in the Aitkin area and off 40 percent around International Falls. He says management efforts to reduce the herd have had an impact.

Bylander says fewer antlerless permits were issued this year. He also says, the deer may not have been moving around as much due to mild weather conditions during the season.

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Few Travel Worries Around Brainerd Today

Thanksgiving travelers should have few travel worries today. K-Lakes Meteorologist Tony Schumacher says there are no major storms for our area. He says there has been some light snow today that has been melting on road surfaces. Any precipitation late in the day may freeze and temperatures fall to the low 20's tonight.

Schumacher says the southeastern part of the state could see an inch or two of snow accumulate late this afternoon through tonight.

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H1N1 Clinic Today in Crosby

Crow Wing County Community Services Health Division is holding a Walk-In H1N1 Flu Clinic on from 12:30 PM - 3:00 PM today at the Cuyuna Range Elementary School in Crosby.

The clinic will be for all children ages 6 months old through 9 years, adolescents ages 10 through 18 with high risk medical conditions, pregnant women, household contacts or caregivers of infants under 6 months.

There is no charge for this vaccine. This is a walk in clinic.

Crow Wing County Medical Advisor Dr. Peter Henry, says the criteria will be expanded next month to include anyone up to the age of 24 and to people 25 to 64 with a chronic medical condition. The next clinic will be held Thursday, December 3rd at the Brainerd High School Cafeteria from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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MPCA Fines Area Firms

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency completed 63 enforcement cases in the third quarter of 2009, totaling nearly 380 thousand dollars. These cases occurred at facilities in 38 counties throughout Minnesota.

Local enforcement actions included: $10,000, John Teune Feedlot, Wilson Township (Cass County), for feedlot violations; $3,500, Tri City Paving Inc., Little Falls, for air-quality violations; $880, R & J Septic, Long Prairie, for individual septic treatment system violations.

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Deer Harvest Down

Minnesota's firearms deer harvest is down 11.6 percent from 2008 but
on track with expectations, according to the Department of Natural

Since the season opened Nov. 7, preliminary results show that hunters
have harvested 151,000 animals, 20,000 fewer than last year following
the third weekend of hunting. The decrease reflects fewer opportunities
for hunters to harvest antlerless deer in about half of the state's
deer management areas.

"The strategy for 2009 is to allow deer populations to build and
stabilize by reducing opportunities to take antlerless deer," said Lou
Cornicelli, DNR big game coordinator. "We expect hunters to harvest
about 200,000 deer, or one-fifth of the state’s wild deer population.
We’re on track to do just that once the final numbers are in and
counted for all deer seasons."

Hunters have harvested about 19,000 fewer antlerless deer than last
year, accounting for the majority of the decline. Harvest of bucks is
only about 1,200 animals behind last year. Hunter numbers are nearly
identical to last year.

"The harvest of bucks is the most stable indicator of deer
population," Cornicelli said. "Nearly the same number of bucks has
been harvested, which suggests that deer are still there to be taken.
Since fewer hunters have the option of harvesting an antlerless deer,
the overall numbers have decreased."

Cornicelli said hunters also have been especially cooperative in the
DNR’s efforts to sample deer for Chronic Wasting Disease in southeastern Minnesota and Bovine Tuberculosis in northwestern Minnesota.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Deliberations for Petters' Jury Will Have to Wait

(AP) The jury for the fraud trial of Minnesota businessman, Tom Petters, has gone home for the Thanksgiving Holiday without reaching a verdict. The jurors spent over seven hours deliberating today--following two hours of discussions after closing arguments yesterday. The jury will resume deliberations at 9 o'clock on Monday morning at the Federal Courthouse in St. Paul.

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Unemployment Higher in Brainerd Area

The October unemployment rate around the Brainerd Lakes Area was up from September.

The Jobless rate in Crow Wing County jumped from 7.4 to 8 percent, or 2,652 drawing unemployment compensation.

Cass County saw it's unemployment rate jump two tenths percent to 8.2 percent. Aitkin County was also up by two tenths to 8.1 percent. Morrison county held steady at 9 percent. Mille Lacs County had the highest level of joblessness at 10.8 percent last month.

The national unemployment rate is at 10 percent.

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Rodriguez Asks for A New Hearing

(AP) The man convicted of killing a Pequot Lakes woman is asking for a new hearing before a Federal Appeals Courts.

Alfonso Rodriguez Jr, of Crookston, was found guilty in 2006 of killing 22-year-old Dru Sjodin, a University of North Dakota Student.

A three judge panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the death sentence in September. His lawyers are now asking for a hearing in front of the entire Circuit Court. They claim the ruling conflicts with other Circuit Court and Supreme Court rulings.

Dru was kidnapped from a Grand Forks Shopping mall on November 22nd, 2003. Her body wasn't found until the following April.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Dru Sjodin's Mother Still Fighting the Struggle

Dru Sjodin's mother says sex offender laws have been strengthened in the six years since the University Of North Dakota student was abducted and killed. But, Linda Walker says getting money for programs to protect children remains an uphill struggle. Walker still travels the country, speaking to groups as a member of the Surviving Parents Coalition.

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Dahl Asks Drivers to Share the Road

Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl is expecting a "Boat Load" of people in the area for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. He is asking motorist to drive with care, because they share the road with walkers, runners and bikers.

Sheriff Dahl says the car traffic could be especially busy this weekend, because of the recent mild weather. Although, he does say there could be some winter weather on Wednesday, the travel day to start the holiday.

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Suspicious Fire Near Browerville

The Todd County Sheriff is looking for an arsonist. A fire at a vacant home at 27302 County Road 16 is being described as suspicious.

The blaze was reported about 11:15 Saturday night. It was extinguished by the Browerville and Clarissa Fire Departments.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Todd County Sheriff's Office at (320) 732-2157.

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