Friday, May 28, 2010

Olson Says It's Time to Promote PB Trail

Now that the major portion of the Paul Bunyan Trail has been completed, State Senator Mary Olson of Bemidji says it is time to promote it. She hopes communities along the Paul Bunyan, Heartland and other trails can select one day every year to market this region as the place to go for trails.

Olson says the trail would never have happened with out the work of volunteers such as "Mr. Paul Bunyan Trail" Terry McGaughey.

The 13th annual "Ride with Congressman Jimn Oberstar" will be held Sunday, June 6th. It will start and end at the Northland Arboretum parking lot in Baxter.

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P.B. Trail Link Completed

Construction of the Guthrie to Walker segment of the Paul Bunyan State Trail is complete and will open on Saturday, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

This 16.5 mile segment links the two communities with 28 miles of pavement and provides a rest area in Guthrie. The 11.5 mile segment from Bemidji to Guthrie was completed last year. Construction was primarily on the old Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad grade.

future trail and bridge construction is in the works for the southern part of Bemidji and Brainerd. This will complete the state trail for approximately 116 miles from Lake Bemidji State Park to Crow Wing State Park.

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Click It Or Ticket in Brainerd

Law enforcement in the Brainerd Lakes Area is expecting heavy traffic over the Memorial Day weekend.

Sergeant Curt Mowers of the Brainerd office of the Minnesota State Patrol tells KLKS News, they want to avoid the 13 fatalities that occured last year.

Mowers says lawmen will engaged in a "Click it or ticket" campaign, where they will be looking for fastened seat belts and proper use of child car seats. He says most fatalities happen at night, and more motorists are unbuckled at night than during daylight hours. 30 percent of the safety campaign will be staged at night.

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Long Lake Drowning

An 81-year-old South Long Lake man has died as the result of an apparent drowning.

The Crow Wing County Sheriff says Raymond Levno was found in the water by his wife around 6 p.m. Wednesday. Attempts to revive him at the scene were unsuccessful.

Foul play is not suspected.

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Interior Will Fund Red Lake Detention facility

The Red Lake Band of Chippewa has won a four year lawsuit with the U.S. Department of Interior.

The legal victory requires Interior to provide funding for a juvenile detention program in a new facitlity constructed by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Tribal Chairman Floyde Joirdain says the settlement is consistent with a 12-year-old federal policy that if Justice builds a tribal jail, Interior will fund its operation.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Business is Better Around Brainerd

The sense of optimism is up this year among Brainerd area businesses. Miranda Anderson of the Brainerd Lakes Chamber says that positive view is up 45 percent over last year. She tells KLKS News, no one is suggesting profits will double. Rather, businesses have restructured to deal with a slimmer economy.

Anderson says their membership survey suggests 700 full time hires this year as opposed to 75 layoffs. She says some of those who have lost their jobs have ventured out on their own. As a result, five new businesses have opened in the last two weeks.

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Stop Invasives This Weekend

The Brainerd lakes will come alive with boaters for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. Crosslake DNR Conservation Officer Nikki Shoutz says it’s important for boaters do their part to stop the spread of invasive species. She says weeds, and mud must be removed from boats and trailers before entering another lake. And, live wells must be emptied to prevent the spread of zebra muscles.

Bass season opens on Saturday. Until then, they must be released back into the water.

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Loon Counters Needed

The Minnesota Loon Monitoring Program is seeking volunteers to count loons on area lakes. Volunteers must be willing to visit the lake between July 2 and July 12 and count all the loons observed, both adults and chicks.

In Aitkin County, volunteers are needed for Laurel, Camp, Shadow (Black), Carlson, Long, Pickerel, East Round and Little Ripple lakes.

In Crow Wing County, volunteers are needed
for Loon and Long lakes.

People interested in counting loons on any of these lakes should contact Pam Grossbach in Brainerd at 218-828-2228.

For more information about the Minnesota Loon Monitoring Program visit

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Damaged Hwy 10 Bridge Replaced

Construction of the new eastbound Highway 10 bridge over the Mississippi River north of Little Falls begins this week.

Traffic remains restricted to a single lane in each direction on the westbound lanes over the bridge while the eastbound lanes are being constructed. When work is completed, traffic will be switched to the new eastbound lanes of the bridge. Crews will then begin demolition and construction of the westbound lanes of the bridge.

The westbound ramp from Morrison County Road 76 to westbound Highway 10 will remain closed. Motorists should watch for signed exits.

Boating traffic on the Mississippi River will be maintained.

Redstone Construction Company of Mora is the prime contractor for this $1.7 million project, which should be completed by mid-September, weather permitting.

The bridge was originally closed to traffic March 17, due to damage from an ice jam in the main channel and erosion to the overflow bridge. Crews built temporary traffic crossovers on each end of the bridge and stabilized the westbound lanes to allow motorists on the bridge.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pine Center Boy Stable After Shooting

A three-year-old Pine Center boy has been hospitalized as the result of an apparent accidental shooting Monday afternoon.

37 year-old Wendy Krueger called the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s office to report her son Nathan Nash had been shot in the neck with a .22 caliber rifle.

The woman reports said Nathan and his 8-year-old brother Nicholas were in their parent’s bedroom, when the older boy picked up a loaded rifle leaning against the wall. The weapon discharged striking the younger boy in the neck.

He was airlifted to North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale where he is listed in stable condition.

The Sheriff’s office is investigating the incident.

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Ward Backs Kelliher

State Representative John Ward is pleased the legislature solved the state's budget problem without a long special session. He says the resolution was a compromise, although Governor Pawlenty got most of what he was seeking.

Ward says the DFL has been criticized for working to raise taxes to solve the revenue shortfall. Ward says his party cut over $3 Billion dollars and shrunk government in the process.

The Brainerd lawmaker says he worries about what will happen if his colleague, Tom Emmer, becomes the next Governor. He says Emmer pledges to cut state government by another 20 percent, when cities and schools are already cut to the bone.

Ward says he supports House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher for Governor.

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Hwy 10 Construction South of St. Cloud

Motorists traveling on Highway 10 between Clear Lake and St. Cloud will encounter numerous traffic lane switches beginning Tuesday, June 1st. The Minnesota Department of Transportiaton says crews will be improving highway safety, access and mobility.

Beginning shortly after the 4th of July holiday, motorists will encounter two-way traffic on the eastbound lanes of Highway 10. This switch will allow crews to construct new concrete pavement on the westbound lanes, which are know to be among the most choppy in the state.

A month-long detour of Highway 24 in Clear Lake will also begin shortly after July 4th. Northbound Highway 24 traffic will be routed to Church Street, Market Street and 1st Avenue. Southbound Highway 24 motorists will be routed via 1st Avenue and State Street.

Construction will include roadway reconstruction with a new concrete surface and shoulders. The intersections at 15th Avenue SE in St. Cloud and Highway 24 in Clear Lake will also under reconstruction.

The project cost is put at $16.9 million, and is scheduled to be completed by mid-November.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Threatre Degree at CLC

Central Lakes College in Brainerd has established a Theatre
Performance Associate of Fine Arts degree, which transfers to Southwest
Minnesota State University, Marshall, as part of a Theatre Arts
bachelor’s degree at the university.

The 60-credit transfer meets half the requirement for SMSU’s
120-credit BA, according to an articulation agreement approved by the
Minnesota State College and Universities board of trustees.

The Associate of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Performance is
designed for the student who has selected theatre performance as a
career option and intends to transfer to a fine arts baccalaureate
program (BFA or BA) at a four-year institution.

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Brainerd Area Business Optomism Improves

Business prospects are improving around the Brainerd Lakes Area, according to a recent chamber of commerce poll.

Of the chamber membership asked, 41 percent thought business would be better this year over 2009. Last year at this time, 45 percent of the respondents thought business would be worse than the year before.

There appears to be good news on the employment front, too. Respondents indicated they will hire over 700 full-time employees in 2010 and anticipate only 75 layoffs.
Increased optimism, expectations of maximized resources, and high Chamber rating were key findings of the 2010 annual member survey of the Brainerd Lakes Chamber according to Executive Director, Lisa Paxton.

Businesses were uncertain about how recent state and federal legislation will affect their operations. A wide range of responses were listed from increasing OSHA inspections to MPCA requirements, taxes, outdoor events, new lead based paint legislation and banking industry rules.

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