A Second Fatality for Minnesota due to Icy Roads During Most Recent Storm
(AP) 34-year-old Robert Krensing of Fergus Falls is the second person who's died due to icy road conditions during this most recent Holiday Storm. Minnesota authorities in Becker County say a minivan crossed the center line and collided with the vehicle in which Krensing was a passenger.
A Christmas Storm to Remember
K-Lakes Meteorologist Tony Schumacher is predicting more snow before Christmas is over. He expects another 2 to 3 inches of snow by evening. He says storm totals should reach the foot level in most areas. Travel may be difficult in the Brainerd Lakes Area, but passable. Travel is being described as impossible in both the northeastern and southwestern part of the state.
Schumacher expects the storm warning to lapse at 6 a.m. Saturday morning if not before.
Salvation Army Falls Just Short of Goal
The Brainerd Lakes Area Salvation Army fell just short of the Christmas Kettle fund raising goal of $103,000. Major Jeff Strickler, Corps Officer for the Brainerd Lakes Salvation Army says they have collected $91,591 or 89% of their goal.
The Brainerd Lakes Salvation Army had nine kettle locations in the area. Financial donations can still be made by mailing a check to The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 385, Brainerd, MN 56401, or online at www.thesalarmy.org. Online gifts can be designated to a specific community.
Difficult Christmas Traveling
The Minnesota Department of Transportation says driving is nearly impossible in the northeastern and southwestern part of the state. However, around the Brainerd Lakes Area the conditions have been described as difficult but passable on state highways. Unplowed residential roads remain difficult with the waves of snow that have passed through the area.
MN-DOT Maintenance Supervisor Tom Wryk tells KLKS News, you don't have to go too far to the west and northeast to encounter treacherous conditions.
Total snowfall of up to nine inches has fallen in the Lakes Area. Another 6 to 8 inches is possible by Christmas night.
Brainerd Snow Emergency
Brainerd has declared a Snow Emergency beginning 2 a.m. Saturday. The central business district will be cleared beginning at 3 a.m.
Parking will be banned on the following streets:
Front Street from South 6th Street to South 8th Street,
Laurel Street from South 6th Street to South 8th Street and
South 7th Street from Maple Street to Front Street.
Plowing will commence at 6 a.m. Saturday on:
All Snow Emergency Routes,
All North-South Streets,
All Streets west of the Mississippi River and
All Streets south of Willow Street
Plowing will begin 6 a.m. Sunday on:
All East-West Streets and
Parking is banned on streets scheduled to be plowed, until they are cleared full width. Tickets are $25. Vehicles not moved within 48 hours of being plowed around will be towed at the owner's expense.
Franken Happy with Health Reform Bill
Minnesota's newest Senator is happy with the passage of the health reform bill this morning. Al Franken says it will provide access to affordable health care, so American families can avoid going bankrupt when they get sick. He says it will provide for home visits for new mothers, loan forgiveness for doctors who practice in rural areas and stronger anti fraud laws.
The Senate bill must still be reconciled with the House version, which should be done next month.
Survival Gear for Motorists
The winter storm is hitting in waves, according to K-Lakes Meteorologist Tony Schumaker. He says the worst of the storms looks to be tonight and tomorrow.
Motorists who get stranded in the storm could be stuck in their vehicles for a long time waiting for conditions to improve. Schumacher says survival gear is a good idea including; extra clothes, boots, blankets, shovel, jumper cables, cell phone, snacks, water and kitty litter for traction.
The winter storm warning is in effect until 6 a.m. Saturday.
Roads in Poor Condition
The first round of the winter storm has dropped 4 to 5 inches of snow in the Brainerd Lakes Area. More snow is on the way. District 3 MN-DOT Maintenance Supervisor Tom Wryk says despite the constant attention they are giving the roads, he describes them as in poor condition.
Wryk says the biggest mistake motorists make is driving too fast for the conditions.
He says blowing and drifting looks to be a problem, especially in open areas, Christmas Even and Christmas day.
Crow Wing County Announces the Release of an Offender
According to Todd Dahl, Crow Wing County Sheriff, a Level 3 Predatory Offender is scheduled to be released into Crow Wing County. Christopher Wheeler, age 36, is slated for release on Thursday, December 31st, to a residence located in rural Roosevelt Township. There is a community notification meeting scheduled for Wednesday, December 30th at 6:30 pm at the Roosevelt Town Hall, located on County Road 2 in Brainerd. The public is invited to attend.
Be Nice to Feathered Friends
Woods creatures will have to hunker down during the expected winter storm. DNR Non game specialist Pam Perry tells KLKS News, that while they are adapted to the enviroment, the cold and wind is hard on our feathered and furry friends. She says this would be a good time to leave a little extra food in the bird feeder during the storm.
Perry says they are getting ready for the annual Christmas bird count. She says there are a few areas in the Brainerd area where they are done. For more information call 218 833-8728.
Drivers Urged to Use Care In Storm
"Travel with care" are operative words as a major snow storm bears down on the Brainerd Lakes Area for the Christmas weekend. District 3 MN-DOT Maintenance Supervisor Tom Wyrk tells KLKS News, the biggest mistake motorists make is driving too fast for existing conditions. He says holiday travelers may have to move their travel plans up to today, or after Christmas to avoid travel hazards.
Wryk says motorists who travel in the storm may pass plows on double lane highways, but should do so with care.
Dangerous Christmas Storm Approaches
On a danger scale of 1 to 10, K-Lakes Meteorologist Tony Schumacher says the approaching storm would be a nine. He says it is comparable to the Halloween blizzard of 1991. It is expected to be a wet, heavy blanket of new snow. And,despite its weight, strong winds could create drifts up to six feet deep.
Schumacher says because the storm will stick around for parts of three days, it will take a long time for road conditions to improve. He suggests a survival kit for motorists who might get stuck, and says holiday travel should be avoided during the height of the storm.
Tuesday Night High School Scores
Frazee 54, Wadena-Deer Creek 15
Grand Rapids 8, Little Falls 1
Northern Lakes 7, Silver Bay/Cook County 1
Park Rapids/Menahga/Nevis 3, Crookston 2
Crosby-Ironton/Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus 3, LPGE/WDC 1
Fergus Falls 3, Brainerd/Little Falls 2
Park Rapids Area 6, Lake of the Woods/Indus 1
Cass Lake-Bena 76, Menahga 67
Hill City 67, LaPorte 30
Little Falls 53, St. Cloud Apollo 47
McGregor 66, Wrenshall 33
Pine River-Backus 63, Park Rapids 50
Staples-Motley 73, Osakis 40
Wadena-Deer Creek 65, Pierz 61
Northland 82, Lakeview Christian Academy 71
Brainerd 58, Sauk Rapids-Rice 29
Crosby-Ironton 46, Pine River-Backus 35
Isle 66, Carlton 58
Little Falls 59, St. Cloud Apollo 54
Nashwauk-Keewatin 77, Northland 71
Pine City 56, Pierz 51
Sebeka 75, Park Raids 41
Staples-Motley 69, Holdingford 35
. . .Or Not. . .
(AP) John "Jack" Graham, former Crow Wing County Prosecutor, now says he's not necessarily out of the race for Minnesota Attorney General. Earlier today, Graham had announced that he was pulling out of the race--but later in the day, said was having second thoughts about ending his campaign. The 69-year-old Graham had unsuccessfully sought the GOP endorsement back in 1998. He had served as Crow Wing County Attorney in the Early 1990's as part of a 42-year legal career.
"Jack" Graham Pulling Out of Race for Attorney General for the State
(AP) John "Jack" Graham, former Crow Wing County Prosecutor, who was running as a Republican for Minnesota Attorney General, has withdrawn from that race. Graham said he decided to get out of the race and disband that campaign account. He'd unsuccessfully sought the GOP endorsement for the Attorney General's job back in 1998.
Aitkin Named Governor's "Fit" City
Governor Tim Pawlenty and the Governor's Health Cabinet announced today that Aitkin has been designated a Governor's Fit City. The city earned the recognition by making a commitment to support and encourage its residents to be more physically active and to improve the overall health of the community.
The leaders of Aitkin have made a strong commitment to provide physical activity opportunities for people in their city, Governor Pawlenty said. This commitment will help keep Aitkin citizens healthy for years to come.
Aitkin achieved its designation by completing an application with the Minnesota Department of Health. The application asks cities to indicate their commitment to promoting physical activity, according to several criteria. Those criteria include whether a city has created inviting places to walk; whether a city has adopted a value statement affirming the importance of fitness; whether a city has sponsored at least one fitness activity; and whether a city has developed recreation areas that encourage fitness.
Staples to Host "The Big Sing"
Staples is preparing for the arrival of 300 male voices for "The Big Sing" in a few months. The Staples-Motley gymnasium will be the site of the gathering of 13 choruses from the upper Midwest Saturday, April 17th at 7:30 p.m.
Chorus spokesman Pat Leunaman says the last time there was such a gathering in Staples was 1985.
Leunaman tells KLKS News, they will have a marvelous sound with songs such as "Down in the Valley." He says when you have that many men singing to you, it will touch your soul.
Leunaman wants to let concert goers know now, because all seats are reserved. For more information and tickets call: 1-800-213-6877.
A Vigil for Onamia Man
(AP) A vigil for a young man who grew up in Onamia will be held in Shakopee tonight.
Shane Bauer and two friends accidentally strayed into Iran while hiking in northern Iraq last summer. The Iranian military grabbed the trio, who are now expected to be charged with espionage.
The vigil will be held at St. Mark's Catholic Church in Shakopee from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Similar events will be held in Pennsylvania and California where family members of the other two Americans live.
Bauer's mother currently lives in Pine City, Minnesota.
Christmas Storm to Blanket Brainerd
A major snowstorm is heading our way just in time from Christmas. Meteorologist Tony Schumacher says it will cause major travel hassles.
He says he's 70-80 percent certain that at least 8 inches of snow will blanket the Brainerd area Christmas eve and Christmas day.
Schumacher says some areas are likely to get a foot. He says it's too early to tell if the Brainerd Lakes Area will be in the deep zone.
Monday Night High School Scores
McGregor 61, Wrenshall 23
Parkers Prairie 79, Browerville 29
Sebeka 71, Wadena-Deer Creek 53
Christmas Snow Storm is Lurking
Winter officially arrived at 11:47 this morning. K-Lakes Meteorologist Tony Schumacher says it will look and feel like winter, just as heavy Christmas travel begins. He says several inches of snow is possible Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It's hard to tell how much, but 4 inches is possible along with strong winds.
Schumacher expects moderate weather from the El Nino effect to return in the next two weeks or so.
Brainerd Kettle Drive on Target
Despite a weak economy, the Brainerd Salvation Army kettle drive is on target. Major Jeff Strickler tells KLKS news he is please people in the area are willing to help those less fortunate this Christmas season.
Major strickler says they get half their donations from the kettle drive, the other half comes from mail donations. He says there are still opportunities for bell ringers through Christmas eve. Anyone interested should call the Brainerd Salvation Army.
H1N1 Clinic Tuesday
An H1N1 swine flu clinic will be held Tuesday at Central Lakes College in Brainerd.
Unlike previous clinics that had been restricted to people at high risk, this one is for everyone over the age of 6 months.
Crow Wing County Medical Advisor Dr. Peter Henry tells KLKS News it is important that everyone gets the vaccine. Even though the disease has seen a peak, he says there could be another peak late this winter.
The Tuesday clinic will be held in the gymnasium of CLC from 10:00 a.m. to noon and 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
No appointments are needed and there is no charge. For more information, call the 24-hour Flu Hotline at 218-822-7022.