Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pawlenty Makes Speech to Conservatives Out East

(AP) Governor Tim Pawlenty laid out his vision of smaller government and a strong defense for a conservative constituency that will be crucial in his apparent Presidential run during a visit to Washington this week. Pawlenty spoke to thousands of activists and leaders at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Eel Pout Festival this Weekend

This weekend marks the 31st annual Eelpout Festival on Leech Lake at Walker. Event coordinator Jim Gerchy tells KLKS News, it has evolved from something that attracted a few hundred, to one that has drawn 15 thousand revelers. He says if the weather is right, they could see 20 thousand this weekend.

Gerchy says events will include the Polar Pout Plunge, Rugby on the Ice and Pout Curling. A pout button is required for the fishing contest. They can be purchased at Walker area businesses.

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Crosslake Dog Derby this Weekend

Up to 700 dogs will be running in the 2nd annual Crosslake Dog Derby this weekend. Event organizer Roger Roy tells KLKS News, there will be several distances for the teams covering up to 15 miles. Roy says its fun to see how excited the dogs get just before they leave.

Roy says the dogs travel up to 23 miles per hour accross the course. The event will begin 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at Crosswoods Golf Course in Crosslake.

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Thursday Night High School Scores

Boys Hockey:
Brainerd/Pierz/Pillager 6, River Lakes 1
Red lake Falls 5, Wadena-Deer Creek 1

Boys Basketball:
Aitkin 35, Onamia 25
Bertha-Hewitt 75, Eagle Valley 63
Menahga 89, New York Mills 49
Mora 66, Milaca 56
Pillager 48, Verndale 44
Rocori 53, Little Falls 46
St. Cloud Apollo 55, Brainerd 47

Girls Basketball:
Bemidji 74, Little Falls 47
Carlton 57, McGregor 37
Isle 65, Lake Region Christian 27
New York Mills 68, Menahga 63
Park Rapids 46, Frazee 33
Pine River-Backus 64, Bagley 40
Staples-Motley 73, Wahpeton N.D. 53
Upsala 61, Browerville 42
Verndale 47, Nevis 46
Wadena-Deer Creek 55, Pelican Rapids 40

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Vonn Misses Second Gold

(AP) A second Olympic Gold Medal was missed by Lindsey Vonn today. Vonn crashed after missing a gate at the games in British Columbia. The crash happened during the slalom leg of the Super-Combined. Maria Riesch won the event, and Julia Mancuso of the U.S. won her second Silver.

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Olson Worries about The Governor's Budget Fix

State Senator Mary Olson of Bemidji sees major problems with the Governor's budget fix. The state is facing a $1.2 billion dollar revenue shortfall for the current biennium.

Senator Olson tells KLKS News, the Governor's fix is based on $400-million dollars of federal money that has yet to be approved.

The Bemidji DFL-er says if the federal funds are not approved by the congress, the state would run out of money.

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The Official Name for Car Ice Chunks

These warm, sunny days of February are nice. But, they do have their hazards. One, is those chunks of ice and snow that fall from cars, and can land in your path as you drive down the highway.

Some people call them ice chunks, others call them bumper boogers. So, what is their official name? State Patrol Sergent Curt Mowers says they call them "Untimely, Discharge, Frozen Vehicle Collective Debris. Or, ice chunks.

Sergent Mowers tells KLKS news, he is not aware of any causing serious accidents. But they can be responsible for damage under the car.

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Another Legal Setback for Denny

(AP) Denny Hecker continues to strip gears in the courts. Federal Judge Robert Kressel said the former auto mogul "Just lied," and so he won't forgive the $80 million owed to Chrysler Financial. The Judge said Hecker provided incomplete evidence during the hearing.

The defense attorney said his client complied with all discovery orders.

The result is, Chrysler will be able to claim Hecker's future earnings until the debt is paid.

Hecker stood up in court after the judgement and cursed.

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State Health Rankings Released

Brainerd area counties are mid-packers when comes to state health rankings. Crow wing County ranked 53rd out of 85; Morrison County, 80th; Cass, 81st, Mille Lacs, 57th. Aitkin county was the highest in the area at 25th. Jackson County finished number one, Beltrami County last.

The report prepared by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, is the first report to rank the overall health of counties by using a standard formula to measure how healthy people are and how long they live.

Counties were ranked in two categories: health outcomes and health factors. Health outcomes include the rate of people dying before age 75, the percentage of people who report being in fair or poor health, and the rate of low-birth weight infants. Health factors include health behavior, clinical care, social and economic factors and physical environment. The rankings are designed to compare the health of counties within each state; they will not compare counties in one state with counties in another state.

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Area Lawmakers Author Lyme Bill

There is some controversy over the most effective treatment of Lyme disease and that controversy has found its way into a piece of legislation at the state capitol. State Senator Paul Koering of Fort Ripley is an author of a bill which protects physicians from disciplinary action by the state Board of Medical Practice for treating people diagnosed with Lyme disease with long term antibiotics.

State Representative John Ward of Brainerd is authoring a similar bill on the house side. He tells KLKS News, the Brainerd Lakes Area is ground zero for Lyme Disease, and doctors need the ability to treat patients as they see fit.

People who had Lyme disease symptoms testified during the committee process that long term antibiotic treatment was the only thing which cured their ailments and argued that they should have the right to seek this form of treatment in Minnesota .

Proponents of long term antibiotic treatment advocate for treatment lengths of as many as 15 months or more.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Vonn Wins Downhill!

(AP) Minnesota native Lindsey Vonn overcame an injury to win the Olympic Gold in Downhill competition today. She defeated Elisabeth Goergl of Austria, who won the Bronze, and Vonn's teammate and rival Julia Mancuso, who captured the Silver. Vonn had not skiied much in the last two weeks due to bruising her right shin in pre-Olymic practice.

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Morris to Emerge from Bankruptcy

(AP) The company that owns the Brainerd Dispatch and Lake Country Echo has been cleared to emerge from bankruptcy.

Federal Judge John S. Dalis has approved a plan to slash the debt of Morris Publishing Group by $285.5 million.

The company, based in Augusta Georgia, filed for Chapter 11 less than a month ago. Company attorney Mark Berkoff says they hope to emerge from bankruptcy protection by March 1st.

Most of Morris' creditors had already agreed to the restructuring plan, that will erase $178 million. Morris will keep control of the company.

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Handicapped Sebeka Man Dies in the Cold

(AP) A Sebeka man has died, apparently from exposure to the elements. 39-year-old paraplegic Michael Lee Johnson was found out in the cold 8 a.m. Tuesday morning, after falling out of his wheel chair, according to the Wadena County Sheriff.

The man was taken to Tri County Hospital suffering extreme hypothermia. His body temperature was in the 70's. The overnight low Tuesday morning was 5 above.

An autopsy is planned.

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Deer Harvest Down

DNR officials hoped to reduce the deer harvest last year. It appears they were successful.

The total harvest last year was 194,178 down 12 percent from 2008.

Wildlife officials wanted to reduce the size of the herd statewide to something more manageable.

The biggest downturn in the harvest came during the muzzleloader season, down 15 percent from the year before.

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Tuesday Night High School Scores

Little Falls 45, Annandale/Maple Lake 25
Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale 36, Wadena-Deer Creek 33
Aitkin 49, Ogilvie 22
Mille lacs 75, Minneapolis Edison 6
Peirz 61, Crosby-Ironton 18
Royalton/Upsala 60, St. Paul Humboldt 13.

Boys Hockey:
Brainerd/Pierz/Pillager 2, Sartell 1
Morris Benson 4, Wadena-Deer Creek 3

Boys Basketball:
Braham 88, Aitkin 60
Hill City 74, Pillager 60
Northome/Kelliher 73, Bigfork 59
Pequot Lakes 67, Duluth Marshall 35
Pierz 88, Rockford 80
Pine River-Backus 67, LaPorte 32
Red Lake 97, Walker-Hackensack-Akeley 63
Upsala 67, Royalton 48

Girls Basketball:
Braham 90, Isle 41
Crosby-Ironton 57, Park Rapids 24
East Central 52, Aitkin 51
Little Falls 63, Sauk Rapids-Rice 52
Nevis 51, Clearbrook-Gonvick 32
Pequot Lakes 76, Walker-Hackensack-Akeley 58
Pillager 54, Verndale 35
Pine River-Backus 63, LaPorte 36
Sartell 51, Brainerd 46
Wadena-Deer Creek 60, Staples-Motley 55

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Families May Get to Visit American Detainees in Iran

(AP) Iran is considering a request by the Swiss Ambassador that was made within the past couple of weeks that the families of three detained American hikers be able to receive visits from their families. According to the the families of Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal, and Sarah Shourd, the three were hiking in Iraq's Kurdistan Region last July, when they accidentally crossed into Iran. Bauer is a native of Minnesota.

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Ward Skeptical of Governor's Budget Balancing Plan

State Representative John Ward of Brainerd says he is concerned about what the Governor's proposed budget balancing cuts will mean to local cities and counties. He tells KLKS News, this is the first time it has been suggested that cuts be made to cities under 10 thousand. He says that could mean property tax increases or cuts in services, like police and snow plowing, to balance their budgets.

Representative Ward says the Governor's plan to balance the budget only with cuts and no tax increases, translates to a $2.1 billion deficit to start the next biennium.

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A New Deer Stand Proposal

(AP) Deer hunters may be doing a lot less lugging next season. State Senator Gary Kubly of Granite Falls is introducing legislation allowing hunters to keep their portable stands in place during the season on public land. Current law requires the stands be removed at dusk.

DFL-er Kubly says the prohibition discourages hunters from coming to Minnesota to hunt. He says his legislation could promote increased tourism during the late fall.

Deer hunting season opens September 18 for archers and November 6th for firearms.

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Monday Night High School Scores

Boys Basketball:
Barnum 64, McGregor 48
Sebeka 77, Eagle Valley 52

Girls Basketball:
Barnum 71, McGregor 29

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Monday, February 15, 2010

REC Weekend at the Jail

This was "REC Weekend" at the Crow Wing County Jail. Sheriff Todd Dahl says it stands for Residents Encounter Christ. He tells KLKS news, it is a teaching weekend with the help of lots of volunteers who say a little faith can be the difference between leading a legal lifestyle or illegal.

Sheriff Dahl says they have been holding this weekend for a number of years now, and have had a great response.

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A Successful Jubilee

Another Nisswa Winter Jubilee is in the books. Jim Dullum of Martin Sports tells KLKS News, it all pulled together for the weekend event. He says the weather cooperated, there were good crowds and a good parade.

Dullum says despite the wind, the ice fishing contest Sunday on Nisswa Lake attracted a good crowd. He says the Brainerd Lions staged that event, and did a great job.

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Filing Without a W2

What to do, if you still haven't gotten your W2?

St. Paul IRS Spokesperson Carrie Resch tells KLKS News, taxpayers need all of their income information before filing a tax return. She says the first step is to contact the employer. If that doesn't work, the IRS can issue a substitute W2. Earnings can be estimated by using the final pay stub from 2009.

In any event, returns are due on April 15th.

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