Friday, April 23, 2010

Run For the Lakez This Weekend

The Brainerd Jaycees Run for the Lakez Marathon will be held Saturday in Nisswa. Spokesman Sean Kaneski tells KLKS News, there could up to 900 runners participating in three races; the 5 K, marathon and half marathon.

The 26 miler begins at 8 a.m. Saturday at the community center in Nisswa. It winds through the Paul Bunyan Trail twice, and around 10 lakes before the finish on Church Street back in Nisswa. The half marathon starts half way through the course and begins at 7:30 a.m.

A 5 K family race will be held at 6:30 tonight in Nisswa.

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Celebration of Nations at CLC Today

Central Lakes College in Brainerd is the site of the "Celebration of Nations" today. Ndumie Ndumo is a foreign exchange student from South Africa. She tells KLKS News, there will be a lot of culture on display. There will be booths and the opportunity to visit one-on-one with the students.

The event will be catered by Prairie Bay, and there will be music from an African band, a Latin band, and the Skal Klubb, a local Scandinavian band will perform.

The event runs from 4:30 to 8:30 this evening. The cost is $5 for adults and $3 for students.

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PL-BP Clean-Up Saturday

The 10th annual Pequot Lakes-Breezy Point Community Clean-up will be held Saturday. Molly Ring of the area Lion’s Club tells KLKS News, it will be held in the middle school parking lot in Pequot. She says not only does the event keep the towns clean, but also is a fundraiser for the Lion’s club.

Ring says they can accept just about every thing, except hazardous waste.

The event runs from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. There will be Lion’s members on hand to help off-load.

A fee will be charged for the service.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Koering Will Not Attend GOP Convention

The Republican State Convention opens a week from today. However, State Senator Paul Koering tells KLKS News, he will not be there. He indicates the local party has not been very warm to him. The Fort Ripley Republican says his local caucus in St. Mathias Township wouldn't even elect him as a delegate. So, he says he will be spending his time knocking on doors telling voters of his accomplishments, as he runs for reelection.

Koering says he supports Marty Seifert for governor, but does not think Seifert should be making political hay out of opponent Tom Emmer's DWI arrests in 1981 and 1991.

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MNDOT Says No to Unauthorized Signs

The Minnesota Department of Transportation says placing unauthorized signs and other objects on the state highway right of way, can distract drivers, obstruct their vision and is illegal.

Placing signs or objects in highway right of way is a misdemeanor violation punishable by a maximum $1,000 fine and/or 90 days in jail.

State law also says that signs and other items may not be placed on private property outside of the right of way limits but in proximity to a roadway without consent of the landowner.

Ken Larson, Mn/DOT's roadway regulations supervisor in the Baxter says Illegally placed signs and objects can restrict the visibility of drivers, especially at intersections and divert the driver’s attention away from operating a motor vehicle. They are also a hazard to legal users of the right of way, including people using ATVs and crews working on utilities.

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Sebeka Man Receives Kudos from Patrol

A Sebeka man was one of 8 citizens recognized by the Minnesota State Patrol at an annual awards presentation Tuesday.

The Patrol says Craig McGraw witnessed a serious injury crash near Sebeka, in which a pickup truck ran through a stop sign, struck two semi trailers and caught on fire. McGraw used a fire extinguisher to put the fire out.

The Chief of the State Patrol, Col. Mark Dunaski says those honored demonstrate not only heroics, but a good spirit of Minnesotans helping one another out when in need.

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Earth Day at CLC

Today is Earth Day. To celebrate, Central Lakes College in Brainerd hosting the Earth Day Fair and Living Green Expo from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Natural Resources Professor, Gary Carson, tells KLKS News, the event was coordinated by environmental studies students and CLC's Green Team. He says they will explore the state of the planet, but also local industry that provides some of the answers.

The event will be held in the commons area at CLC and is free and open to the public.

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Folding MN Flag Properly

State Senator Paul Koering says it is important there be a proper way to fold the Minnesota state flag. He has attached such a bill which to the Senate omnibus government policy bill.

The Fort Ripley Republican says the State Army National Guard came to him with this concern. Minnesota soldiers have been taking the state flag to Iraq and Afghanistan and returning the flags as mementos.

The bill outlines a unique way of folding the flag so that the state's motto, "L'Etoile du Nord" and the three stars of the state crest are displayed on the face of a folded state flag.

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Increased Fire Restrictions

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is increasing restrictions on open burning beginning at midnight tonight, and the Brainerd Lakes Area is included. The increased caution is due to hazardous fire conditions created by very dry weather over much of northern Minnesota.

The restrictions affect all burning, including campfires, fireworks, outdoor welding, and prescribed burning.

Among the 37 counties included are: Aitkin, Beltrami, Cass, Crow Wing, Itasca, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Todd, and Wadena.

Burning permits will not be issued, with very limited exceptions, and only by state and federal forestry offices.

Under the new restrictions, fireworks will not be allowed outside municipalities and devices with open flame, such as welders and acetylene torches, will be prohibited in forest and grass areas, except under special permit. Railroads may conduct normal maintenance operations, provided the welding sites are shielded and adequate fire suppression equipment is readily available.

Campfires are still allowed, however, the burning period has been restricted to 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. The fire must be in a fire receptacle designed for such use and associated with a residence, resort, or developed public and private campgrounds. In all situations, there must be an adequate source of water immediately available for extinguishing the campfire.

The DNR is no longer allowing prescribed burning and running fires until conditions improve, except in areas outside the aforementioned counties where the DNR regional director may authorize prescribed burning as necessary.

Restrictions will remain in place until sufficient precipitation is received to moderate fire danger. If normal precipitation is not received in the near future, additional restrictions may be imposed.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Grouse Numbers Look Strong

Most of the birds that will migrate back to the Brainerd area have already done so, according to DNR Area Wildlife Supervisor Gary Drotts. He tells KLKS News, these are excellent nesting conditions. The problem is the nesting has not begun yet, and wet weather at the time of the hatch, the end of May, can pose problems. Drotts says he is most concerned about the ruffed grouse populations.

Drotts says the spring drumming counts appear to be up over last year. But, he says bird counts always vary from region to region.

Drotts also says the spring turkey hunt in the area has been good.

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Ojibwe Protest of Fishing Rights

(AP) The day before the walleye fishing opener, members of two bands of Ojibwe say they will be fishing illegally. They claim rights under a 19th century treaty, and so will be casting lines into Lake Bemidji.

It was more than a decade ago in which the Mille Lacs Band won a similar claim before the U.S. Supreme Court.

There could be several hundred members of the Leech Lake and White Earth bands lining up along the shores of Lake Bemidji for the demonstration, according to attorney Frank Bibeau. He says they are alerting the public now, to avoid the confrontations that occurred in the 1990’s. Bibeau expects some of the demonstrators will be ticketed, but he says the demonstration will be peaceful.

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Denny's Girl Friend Pleads Guilty

(AP) Another Denny Hecker Aquaintence is facing the music. Live-in girl friend Christi Rowan is pleading guilty to two federal charges; making a false statement in Hecker's bankruptcy case, and defrauding a credit union.

In her plea agreement, the 36-year-old woman from Wayzata admitted falsely testifying she made more that $150,000, and providing false information to a credit union to get a loan for a Land Rover.

She could get up to 35 years in prison.

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Crow Wing Co Begins to Tweet

The Crow Wing County Board of Commissioners has decided it's important to "Tweet" information to citizens. The board has approved the use of social media Facebook and Twitter.

Board Chairman Phil Trusty says the social media is becoming a primary sources of news, messaging and dialogue for many people. He says it won't cost any more to use the outlets, and should augment the county's web page.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Howes Says There is Too Much Anger

Representative Larry Howes says there is too much anger among elected officials and those running for office in the lakes area. Howes points to a recent DFL convention in which he said legislators, and his opponent talked about how much anger there is at the State Capitol.

Howes says he does not experience the anger. He says he gets along just fine DFL Representatives Ward and Dotty. The Republican from Walker says he is disappointed in the anger he sees in the area.

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Severe Storms Week

This is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Minnesota. K-Lakes Meteorologist Tony Schumacher says it is too soon to determine what kind of a season it might be. However, he says there is speculation that the El Nino effect may bring the nasty weather further to the north into Minnesota, than is typical.

Schumacher says there have not been enough moisture-laden fronts to produce many storms.

Minnesota typically sees 25 to 40 tornadoes in a year.

Weather authorities say now is the time to plan precautions, before the storm season begins.

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Hecker Holds an Open House

(AP) Denny Hecker's girl friend has now allowed a bankruptcy trustee to have access to the couple's $1.9 million house in Medina. Christi Rowan had told the trustee to go away when he showed up at the door to tag the former auto mogul’s personal possessions for auction.

A U.S. bankruptcy judge issued an order allowing the U.S. Marshal’s office to help in the search. But, just before the order was issued, access was granted.

Hecker and Rowan have been barred from removing any items from the house.

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Leech Band Win Federal Grant

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is awarding a $300,000 grant to The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe near Walker to improve outreach and enrollment of American Indian the state's Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Programs.

These grants are part of a broader effort to find and enroll uninsured children who are eligible for Medicaid, but not enrolled. The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act set aside $100 million between 2009 and 2013 expressly to help enroll these children, many of whom live in some of the most remote and economically depressed areas of the country.

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HWY 84 Project Will Start Early

A resurfacing project begins early this year, on Highway 84 in Pine River between Highway 371 and Cass County Highway 2. The Minnesota Department of Transportation says motorists will encounter intermittent lane closures beginning Monday, April 26.

The road and accessibility improvements project will cost #310,000. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of May, weather permitting.

The contractor is able to start the project ahead of schedule because of favorable weather conditions.

MNDOT is asking motorists to stay alert and be patient when driving through work zones.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Immersion School Gets Federal Look

Recently confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Commissioner of the Administration of Native Americans Lillian Sparks will be joined by state Sen. Mary Olson, DFL-Bemidji, on a tour of the Wicoie Nandagikendan Preschool Immersion Program from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Today.
Senator Olson says Minnesota demonstrated the value it places on indigenous languages and culture.
A total of $1.9 million was obtained from the cultural portion of the Legacy Amendment funds for a language immersion educational program at Leech Lake and a competitive grant program for tribal projects approved by the working group

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pine River Crowns Their Queen!

The Annual "Miss Pine River Pageant" was held yesterday. Congratulations to Miss Congeniality--Amanda Swanson. ". . .and the winners are. . .", 2nd Princess--Taylor Campbell; 1st Princess--Kaitlyn Doubt; "Miss Pine River"--Hannah Vaske. "Well Done!" to all participants!

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