Friday, May 7, 2010

FDIC Shutters Another Minnesota Bank

The FDIC has seized another Minnesota bank. This one, The Access Bank of Champlin, Minnesota. The bank had 32-million dollars in assets and 32-million dollars in deposits as of March 31. The Prinsbank of Prinsburg, Minnesota will assume Access' deposits, according to a spokesperson at the FDIC.

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Thiede to Seek Reelection

2nd District Crow Wing County Commissioner Paul Thiede says he will run for reelection this fall. It would be his third non-consecutive term in the office.

Thiede says the most obvious improvement during his most recent term is the reorganization of five departments into a Land Services Department. During the past three and a half years, the county has 50 fewer employees. Thiede believes, "The culture of the work has helped make employees feel better about their jobs."

In his new release,Thiede also claims, "The rate of taxation has been reduced in each of the last three years."

Thiede lives in rural Jenkins with his wife Dee.

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Barbecue Protest in Bemidji

(AP) First, it was going to be illegal fishing. Now, some members of the Leech Lake and White Earth Chippewa Bands are planning a barbecue and treaty rights presentation in Bemidji a week from today.

The protest, the day before the walleye-fishing opener, is designed to press their rights under an 1855 treaty.

The bands believe they hold off-reservation hunting, fishing, gathering and other rights across a large section of northern Minnesota under the treaty.

Tribal leaders oppose the protest. They are urging diplomacy.

The forum will be at Diamond Point Park Pavilion on Lake Bemidji from 1 to 3 p.m.

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Sheriff Raids Marijuana Farm

Two rural Brainerd residents have been arrested for growing marijuana with the intent to sell. They have been identified as 45-year-old Jeffrey Duane Arntz and, 45-year-old Melvina Fay Arntz, residents at 5761 Erin Road.

The pair were taken to the Crow Wing County Jail pending formal charges from the Crow Wing County Attorney’s Office.

Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl says The Lakes Area Drug Enforcement Division conducted a search warrant and raid at the indoor marijuana growing operation.

Lawmen seized 45 mature marijuana plants, approximately 1.5 pounds of processed marijuana, firearms and marijuana growing equipment.

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Interact Sponsors Relay for Life in Pequot

Pequot Lakes High School Students will have their own relay for life at the school track Friday May 14th during the school day.

Harland Johnson of the Pequot Lakes Rotary says the student group Interact, a subset of the rotary will have 47 teams on the track. He says the students will be out taking pledges today.

Johnson says Interact has set a goal of $18 thousand.

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Koering Supports Emmer

State Senator Paul Koering says he will be voting for Republican Tom Emmer for Governor. The Fort Ripley Republican says he supported Marty Seifert for the party's endorsement. And, he attended Tom Horner's news conference announcing his candidacy for the Independence Party endorsement for Governor. But, he will remain loyal to the party.

Koering calls Horner a "Nice Fella, with some good ideas," but he's not going to vote for him because he is not pro-life.

Koering faces a primary challenge from within the Republican party from former State Representative Paul Gazelka.

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fobbe Supports Supreme Court Ruling

State Senator Lisa Fobbe supports the Minnesota Supreme Court’s ruling against Governor, in the unallotment to balance the state budget a year ago. She says, when the Governor acted with out legislative consent, her vote was taken away.

The legislature has 10 days to solve the budget crisis before the session is to end.
Fobbe is a DFL-er from Princeton whose district reaches as far north as Mille Lacs Lake.

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Koering Knocks Supreme Court

State Senator Paul Koering says the Minnesota Supreme Court over-stepped its boundaries when it ruled against Governor Tim Pawlenty’s budget unallotment last year.

The fellow Republican described the high court as "Activist" and said, "If the justices wanted to set budgets, then they should run for the legislature." He said the ruling puts the legislature in a terrible position of having to solve a $3.2 billion dollar revenue shortfall, instead of a $500 million gap.

Koering says it is understandable if the Governor has heartburn over this. The swing vote on the Supreme Court came from a former law partner the Governor appointed to the court.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Fire Restrictions Remain in Place

Despite the recent rain, burning restrictions remain in effect for the Brainerd Lakes Area.

DNR Area Regional Information Officer Jean Goad tells KLKS News; the rain hasn’t been heavy enough to lift the restrictions. She says the burning of brush is prohibited. However, campfires are OK in fire rings that are three feet wide by three feet tall.

Goad says the lack of rain has meant lower lake levels, which means it has been difficult to put boats in the water at the DNR accesses. She says boaters should be prepared to get in the water to pull their boats off trailers.

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Morrison Co Gets Grant

Morrison County has received a $847 thousand federal grant. The funds will help to off-set the cost of installation a new emergency communications sytem in the county. The total cost of moving to the new radio system could cost up to $4 million.

The change to the new system was mandated by the federal government by 2013.

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Howes Could Support Vikes Stadium

The State House Local Government Division Committee has approved the new Vikings stadium bill. The $790 million plan faces stiffer challenges as it moves through the legislative process.

State Representative Larry Howes of Walker tells KLKS News; he can support the plan if no state taxes are used to pay for it.

Howes says it is unlikely the plan will pass during an election year. However, he says it would political suicide for any Governor to allow the Vikings leave Minnesota over the stadium issue.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Joyce Mikesh Winner of Schroeder's Appliances!

Congratulations to Joyce Mikesh of Merrifield--winner of the Whirlpool Energy-Star Rated clothes washer and dryer, compliments of Schroeder's Appliance Center, 371 North! When asked if she would be keeping the appliances herself, she answered, "Absolutely!". Also, thanks to all of the wonderful K-Lakes' Listeners who participated in our "Friendly Planet Fun Facts" Contest here on KLKS!

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Howes to Seek Reelection

State Representative Larry Howes of Walker says he will run for reelection. He tells KLKS News; he will seek the Republican endorsement at the district convention in Walker this weekend.

Last weekend, Howes saw the man he was backing for Governor lose. State Representative Marty Seifert lost in the second round of balloting to State Representative Tom Emmer of Delano.

Long time Republican operative Tom Horner also backed Seifert. Since the loss, he has left the Republicans to seek the Independence Party Nomination.

Howes tells KLKS News, he does not think Horner's defection will harm the party's chances of holding on to the governor's office this fall.

Howes says the eventual winner of the three-way DFL primary will have a big impact on the contest.

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Pink Ribbon Cupbord Gets Grant

St. Joseph's Foundation and the Pink Ribbon Cupboard Project recently received a $25,000 grant from the Minnesota Affiliate of Susan G.Komen for the Cure.

The Pink Ribbon Cupboard is a source for emergency financial assistance for women
undergoing breast cancer treatment. The financial assistance will be for non-medical needs such as gas vouchers for travel expenses to treatment, mortgage assistance, utility bills, and other expenses as a result of the medical condition. The Cupboard will serve women in Aitkin, Crow Wing, and Cass Counties.

A three-person board will review the needs, and determine the amount of assistance.

The Project Director for the Pink Ribbon Cupboard is long time breast cancer advocate, Kathy Buxton of East Gull Lake.

For more information or to make a donation to the Pink Ribbon Cupboard, call 218-829-8109.

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Crosby Named Fit City

Governor Tim Pawlenty has designated Crosby as 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 Govrnor says the leaders of Crosby have made a strong commitment to provide physical activity opportunities for people in their city, and that commitment will help keep Crosby citizens healthy for years to come.

Crosby achieved its designation by Developing a system of parks, trails, and accessible neighborhood parks; requiring that neighborhood streets be designed with pedestrians and bicyclists in mind and locating schools in walkable neighborhoods or creating walkable routes to existing schools.

Crosby will receive a plaque from Governor Pawlenty and may.

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Akeley Boy Improving

(AP) A 12 year old Akeley boy is described as "Improving" following an accident in the family driveway over the weekend.

The Hubbard County Sheriff's office says the boy's sister accidentally backed over him. Apparently, the boy dashed out from behind a tree when he was struck.

Sheriff Frank Homer says the boy was caught between the muffler and catalytic converter. He says they were so hot, the boy suffered severe burns to his arm and leg, and possible internal injuries.

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Wetzel Will Run Again

Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel is seeking re-election to a third term of office.

Sheriff Wetzel started as a Part-time Dispatcher/Jailer and then became a Patrol Sergeant, prior to being elected Sheriff in 2002.

The 27 year veteran of the department says aggressive drug enforcement has been a priority of his administration. He also points to several large initiatives underway to improve crime fighting, including a county-wide records management system that enables all county law enforcement officers to instantly access vital information through in-squad computers.

Sheriff Wetzel resides in rural Little Falls with his wife, Jodi, and children, Mic & Paige.

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Red Lake Drug Ring Leader Gets 20 Years

The leader of a drug ring that sold cocaine and crack cocaine on the Red Lake Indian Reservation ha been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison. 28-year old Marcus James Neadeau was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in St. Paul.
Prosecutors say Neadeau was the leader of a group that sold drugs on the reservation from January of 2007 through March of 2009, and that he used his family and friends to deal the drugs. A jury convicted Neadeau in October on one count. He had been indicted in May with five co-defendants, all of who have pleaded guilty.
His attorney, Kevin O'Brien, plans to appeal, saying the case highlights the disparity between mandatory minimum sentences for crack cocaine and power cocaine charges. Crack cocaine charges carry a much higher mandatory minimum sentence.

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April Finishes Warm and Dry

May is not starting out as warm as April. K-Lakes Meteorologist Tony Schumacher says the Brainerd area saw 22 days in April with temperatures 60 degrees or above. That ties April of 1987.

Schumacher says both temperature and precipitation look to be about normal for May.

April was both a warm and dry month. Less that 9/10ths of an inch of rain was recorded. A little over 2 inches is average.

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Greater Minnesotans Push for Vikes Stadium

Two Greater Minnesota legislators are barking out the signals for a new Vikings stadium in the Twin Cities. State Senator Tom Bakk of Cook and State Representative Loren Solberg of Grand Rapids think they have the game plan to make a new home for the Vikings a reality.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a bill to build a new multi-purpose stadium today. The group says no state money for schools, roads, healthcare, or any other state programs can be used to build the new stadium.

Solberg says only those who benefit from a Vikings stadium would pay for it.

Solberg says until the budget is balanced, they will not send this bill to the governor’s desk. He insists they will not pass a bill that adds a nickel to the deficit, or takes a dime from nursing homes, schools, roads, or hospitals.

Under the proposal rolled out today, the Vikings would pay $264 million up-front for construction costs. The remaining $527 million price tag would be financed over 40 years through a tax on metro area hotels, jersey purchases, rental cars and a sports-themed scratch off game.

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Oberstar Wins Party Endorsement

The 8th Congressional District DFL endorsed Congressman Jim Oberstar to seek a 19th term in the U.S. House of Representatives over the weekend.

DFLers gathered at the Grand Casino in Hinckley for their biannual convention. While the convention conducts various important party business, their primary task is the nomination of a U.S. House candidate in the 8th Congressional District.

Oberstar pointed to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed last year as one success. The long time Congressman said the stimulus bill invested in infrastructure projects, created or saved three million jobs, and provided tax relief for working families all across Minnesota. Oberstar is Chairman of the Powerful Transportation Committee.

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Commencement At CLC

Central Lakes College, Brainerd and Staples, will hold spring commencement exercises next week. More than 950 students have applied for graduation.

Students completing programs at the Brainerd campus will be recognized on Wed., May 12 at 7 p.m. in a ceremony to be held in the gymnasium at Brainerd High School.

Students finishing programs offered at the Staples campus will graduate on Thursday, May 13, at 7 p.m. in a ceremony scheduled in the gymnasium at Staples-Motley High School.

Receptions follow both events at their respective campuses.

Paul H. Anderson, a Minnesota Supreme Court associate justice, will deliver the commencement address for Brainerd campus graduates. Anderson has been on the Court since 1994. Prior to that, he served as chief judge with the Minnesota Court of Appeals from 1992-1994.

Dan McElroy, commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development, is the graduation speaker for the Staples ceremonies. McElroy is also a member of the board of trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

Giving the Student Welcome will be Student Senate presidents Adam Bybee of Pillager for the Brainerd ceremony and Jordan Zwart of Brainerd for the Staples ceremony.

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