An Effort to Stop Invasives
State Senator Mary Olson of Bemidji is offering legislation requiring dock and boat installers to inspect their equipment, before installation, to prevent invasive species from entering area lakes. The Bemidji DFL-er tells KLKS News, she got the request from Brainerd area lake associations. She says there have been too many close calls.
Olson says the legislation requires the installers to take a one hour educational course, if there is one available within 50 miles, and costs no more than $10.
Big Sing Saturday in Staples
Spirits will soar in the Staples Motley High School Gymnasium Saturday as the Big Sing comes to town. Stan Carlson of the Staples Area Men's Chorus says 11 choruses and 300 male voices will participate in the event. He says the event has been five years in the making, and tells KLKS News, the gym is the perfect place for it.
Carlson says there will be spirituals, show tunes and they will finish with the Battle Hymn of the Republic.
The Big Sing begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. At last report, there were less than 100 tickets available.
Red Flag Warnings Today
Red Flag Warnings have been posted for the Brainerd Lakes Area from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. today. K-Lakes Meteorologist Tony Schumacher says gusty winds, humidity in the 20-25 percent range, and lots of sunshine will create an extremely high fire danger. He says folks need to be careful with matches and other combustibles.
Schumacher expects the dry weather to continue through early next week.
CLC Commencement Speakers Set
A state Supreme Court associate justice and department commissioner are the scheduled commencement speakers for Central Lakes College graduation ceremonies Wednesday, May 12 in Brainerd and Thursday, May 13 in Staples.
Associate Justice Paul H. Anderson will deliver the address for Brainerd campus graduates at the 7 p.m. event, May 12 in the Brainerd High School gymnasium.
Giving the Student Welcome will be Student Senate presidents Adam Bybee of Pillager for the Brainerd ceremony and Jordan Zwart of Breezy Point for the Staples ceremony. Bybee is a criminal justice student at the Brainerd campus. Zwart is in the communication art and design program at the Staples campus.
Browerville Woman Arrested in Drug Death
A 56-year-old Browerville woman has been arrested in connection with the February 12th death of 27-year-old Jason Ramsdell of Ripley Township.
Following an investigation by several area law enforcement agencies, Patricia Ann Taylor of Browerville was arrested. She is alleged to have sold her prescription Fentanyl patches to Ramsdell in Todd County, Monday. Later that day, Ramsdell was found dead at his Ripley Township home. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner determined that Ramsdell died of a lethal dose of Fentanyl.
Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel says the illegal sale, exchange or barter of prescription drugs is one of, if not the, biggest problems facing drug enforcement. The county’s top cop says prescription pain medications like Fentanyl, Morphine, Vicodin, Percocet, and Oxycontin are easy to acquire by simply lying about pain to a doctor. The drugs are then resold on the street for up to $100.00 per dose. The Sheriff says easy access, low price for acquisition, and extremely high profit margin, make it a difficult problem for law enforcement to fix.
Taylor is currently in custody in the Morrison County Jail and will be formally charged today with 3rd Degree Murder.
Spring Load Limits Coming Off
Spring truck weight restrictions on state highways will end April 19 for Minnesota's Central frost zone. Load restrictions remain in place for the state's north-central and north frost zones.
Mn/DOT limits truck weights to prevent damage to roads weakened by the spring thaw.
Spring Load Restriction dates and the six frost zones in Minnesota are listed on the Mn/DOT Web site at www.mrr.dot.state.mn.us. Click on "Seasonal Load Limits," then click on "Spring Load Restrictions" for the most up-to-date information.
The information is also available toll-free by calling 1-800-723-6543 in the United States and Canada or by calling 651-366-5400 in the Twin Cities metro area.
Bridges of Hope Seeks Gardens for its Summer Garden Tour
Bridges of Hope is looking for gardens for its fourth-annual Summer Garden Tour, which showcases some of the finest gardens in the Lakes Area. The date is set for Thursday, July 8, 2010. If you are interested in featuring your garden this summer, please send us a short description of your garden, including unique/special features, history, layout/size, types of plantings, etc.
Bridges of Hope is a nonprofit organization that serves children and families in the Brainerd Lakes Area, working closely with families in crisis, linking them to community resources and providing support to ensure they are connected with the services they need. In 2009, Bridges of Hope served approximately 2,300 households. Proceeds from the event benefit Bridges of Hope’s work with families in the Lakes Area.
Send letter and pictures to Jana Shogren either by mail (PO Box 742, Brainerd, MN 56401) or email (email@example.com) by April 30, 2010.
Tea Party Protests Today
Brainerd and Aitkin will be among the Minnesota cities hosting tax protests today, by the Tea Party on tax deadline day. Activitists say they are upset with big government spending.
Attitudes are welcome, according to a news release, at the Brainerd event 5 to 8 p.m this evening at the Historic Crow Wing County Court House.
The Aitkin Tea Party event will be held across from the County Court House at 3rd Avenue, 3 to 6 p.m. There will be flags, banners and patriotic decorations.
Three Busted on Meth Charges
The Central Minnesota Drug and Gang Task Force arrested three for the sale of methamphetamine Monday in the Long Prairie and Little Falls areas.
23-year-old Shannon Michelle Heinz and 28-year-old Bulmaro Perez-Martinez were charged with first degree sales of a controlled sustance. 23-year-old Omar Perez-Martinez was charged with 5th degree posession of a controlled substance.
Agents executed five serach warrants in the two cities.
Fire Danger High
The fire threat around the Brainerd Lakes Area remains high, despite the recent rain. Brainerd DNR Program Forester Mark Mortenson tells KLKS News, the moisture was not heavy enough, or widespread enough, to lessen the danger.
There have been 78 wildfires in the area so far this spring. That is more than usual for this time of the year. Mortenson says the early spring has moved fire season up by a couple of weeks.
Mortenson says open burning permits are required from area forestry offices. He suggests refraining from striking a match, if the conditions are not right.
Campfires have been further restricted, and are only allowed in designated fire rings in campgrounds, or on residential or resort property.
Mortenson also suggests a good watering for trees and shrubs with shallow root systems.
Heath Care Session In Bemidji
State Senator Mary Olson, will host an informational session on Friday on health care reform and the state of Minnesota. The Bemidji DFL-er says with the recent passage of federal health care reform Minnesota will be deciding on a varied menu of options that will determine the direction of health care in Minnesota for years to come. To help hospitals and other health care providers, understand the legislation and the options that are now available, the meeting will be held April 16th, at Education Center A and B at the North Country Regional Hospital in Bemidji from 3pm to 5pm.
The session will feature a video replay of a presentation that was given last week in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee by University of Minnesota and state commerce and human services department experts. Following the presentation, North Country Hospital representatives and other health care providers will provide feedback and advice specifically related to the local impact of the federal law with direction about how the state might best take advantage of the options available.
The public is also invited to view the presentation.
New Signal Lights in Motley
On Monday, April 19, Minnesota Department of Transportation crews will begin installing new signals at the intersection of Highway 10 and 210 in Motley. This work is expected to be completed by mid-May.
Lighting installations are scheduled concurrently for various locations on Highway 371 in Crow Wing County.
The work is expected to be completed by early June. Lighting intersections at night in rural areas improves safety by helping motorists see they are approaching an intersection, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
White Earth Eyes Treatment Center
State Representative John Ward says there may be reason for hope that the Brainerd Regional Treatment Center will have a new Mission. He says the White Earth Indian Tribe is considering buying the 15 buildings on campus for health and human services for both Indians and non-Indians.
The Brainerd DFL-er says 300 permanent jobs could result if the project is successful.
Ward says legislation has passed allowing Native American practitioners to gain necessary licenses for federal reimbursement. And , he says he will offer an amendment on the house floor allowing the sale and transfer of the property to the band.
Tax Deadline is Near
The deadline to file tax returns is midnight Thursday. IRS Spokesperson Carrie Resch recommends filing electronically, because the error rate is only 1 percent. She tells KLLKS News, taxpayers needing an extension can do so by using form 4868.
Resch says it is important the return is filed even if there is an inability to pay the actual tax. She says the penalty is much higher for those who do not file.
Resch recommends taxpayers pay as much as they can. The IRS will then set up a payment schedule for the rest.
Time Now to Stop the Weeds
K-Lakes Meteorologist and gardener Tony Schumacher says now is the time to apply a pre-emergent to you lawn. He says it keeps weed seeds from sprouting. A good rule of thumb is to get to it when the forsythia and daffodils are blooming.
Schumacher says if your not sure, just have a look see. Any small weeds sprouting, means there are many more on the way.
Stan Carlson retiring from Staples Area Men’s Chorus
Excerpt from Dawn Timbs
Staples World reporter
Conductor Stan Carlson will direct the Staples Area Men’s Chorus for the last time Saturday, April 17, at the highly anticipated ‘Big Sing’ concert extravaganza in Staples. Beginning at 7:30 p.m., at the Staples Motley High School gymnasium, the Big Sing concert will feature 300 voices from male choruses representing Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota.
The concert is the grand finale of the two-day Big Sing Convention, which consists of singing, choral workshops and special performances. It’s been nearly four decades that “Carlson” (as he’s fondly referred to by many of his former students as well as current choir members) has led the award-winning men’s chorus ensemble. The SAMC last hosted the Big Sing Convention in 1985. It was a huge success and Stan believes this year will prove to be the same. There are bound to be a few moist eyes in the audience when the Staples Area Men’s Chorus sings their rendition of the Scottish folk tune, “Loch Lomond,” a song of farewell. When one thinks of music in the Staples area, they can’t help but think of the name Stan Carlson, Sally Gorton of Staples said.Sally, current President of the Staples Area Arts Council, has known Stan for many years. “He is an extraordinary man,” she said recently. “He has this incredible desire to not only educate students, but to offer communities the availabilities of the arts.”
Sally recalled that Stan was a tireless advocate for building the Centennial Auditorium in Staples.
Further Fire Restrictions in Place
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is tightening restrictions on campfires in 41 Minnesota counties beginning today. Included are Cass, Crow Wing, Itasca, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties.
Campfires will not be allowed at non-designated campsites and other remote locations. This includes shore lunches, dispersed campsites, day hikes, and backpacking trips.
Campfires are still permitted in designated fire receptacles at residences, dwellings, campgrounds, and resorts if they are no larger than 3 feet in diameter and 3 feet in height.
Similar restrictions will be in place on national forest lands in both the Chippewa and Superior National forests including the entire Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
Lack of rain after the rapid spring snowmelt has heightened fire danger across much of Minnesota. The restrictions will remain in place until sufficient precipitation is received to moderate the fire danger. If normal precipitation is not received in the near future, additional restrictions may be imposed.
Woman Survives Train Collision Near Wadena
A woman has survived being rear-ended by a freight train as she drove on the railroad tracks near Wadena. The Ottertail County Sheriff's Office say the 28-year old New York Mills woman was driving alone on the tracks at about 4:30am on Saturday when she was struck from behind by a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train. The train crew hit the brakes and sounded the horn but could not avoid the collision.
Firefighters had to extricate the woman from her damaged car, but she apparently was not seriously hurt. She was taken to a hospital for an evaluation but has been released.
It was not reported what she was doing driving on the tracks.