Saturday, June 19, 2010

Pequot Pet Parade

Dogs, bunnies, horses, a fish and even a rock were all part of the first annual Pet Parade and Pageant in Pequot Lakes Saturday. 

There were over forty entries for the event held on the west side of town. 

Mayor Nancy Adams walked through town hoisting a fish in a bowl.  It really wasn't a pet, but a minnow from a local bait shop that escaped a worse fate on the end of some fisherman's hook.

A couple hundred spectators took it all in in front of the Cole Building.

At the same time the parade was coursing through town, the Pequot Lakes Police reserves were licensing local dogs, and the Pequot Animal Hospital was administering rabies shots.

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Baxter; St. Cloud – State Patrol officials are warning motorists to play it cool over the Fourth of July weekend. According to Regional Public Information Officer, Sgt. Curt Mowers of the Minnesota State Patrol, “The weekend of the Fourth can be one of the deadliest times of the year for Minnesota motorists.” Sgt. Mowers says, “Just from 2003 through 2008 alone on Fourth of July weekends in Minnesota, at least 32 people were killed and over 1,700 persons were injured. Those statistics show that we desperately need to improve what is happening on our roadways.”

Many law enforcement agencies including the Minnesota State Patrol will be out working special enforcement projects in an effort to keep the fatal and serious injury crash counts as low as possible.

Sgt. Mowers offers the following advice and information for motorists to be safe while traveling during the Fourth of July weekend: “No matter what type of vehicle you are operating, (or even if you are a pedestrian or riding a bicycle) you need to concentrate on what you are doing and obey all the laws. If you are in a motor vehicle, make sure you and everyone else is buckled up correctly. Speeding, failing to yield at intersections, failing to stop at red lights and stop signs as well as following too close, are just some of the big driving mistakes that people make.

Other big mistakes made by motorists include impaired driving, failing to signal, failing to recognize hazards or failing to take the appropriate action when a hazard is observed. Passing on the right and failing to move over for emergency vehicles and road maintenance vehicles are also common mistakes. Everyone needs to remember that law violations are the primary reason crashes occur, and most of them can be prevented, so plan ahead not to crash. We all need to take personal responsibility for our own actions as users of the roadways. Law enforcement is going to be out patrolling and doing our part, and we are asking you to do your part as well.”

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Litte Storm Damage in Crow Wing County

Anxiety was high after the storm cell that devastated Wadena moved into Crow Wing County.  There was hail reported in parts of the county, some uprooted trees and power outages.  A funnel cloud was spotted over Pelican Lake.  However, Sheriff Todd Dahl tells KLKS News, we dodged a bullet.  He says the funnel cloud in Mission Township never touched down, and, "Did not amount to much."

Sheriff Dahl says he has assistance to Wadena in dealing with the storm damage there.

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Storm Makes Travel Difficult in Wadena

Minnesota Department of Transportation and State Patrol officials are advising no unnecessary travel in and around Wadena. Highway 29, sections of Highway 71 and several local streets are closed in the Wadena area. Highway 10 through Wadena is open, but traffic is moving slowly due to recovery efforts.

Mn/DOT and MSP asks motorists to be courteous as crews are working to clean up debris in the community today.

If travel in the Wadena area is absolutely necessary, motorists should use extreme caution and beware of closed roads, debris on the roadway, damaged power lines and slow moving vehicles carrying debris. Traffic signals are not working due to power outages.

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Pequot Pet Parade Saturday

Pequot Lakes hosts the Pet Parade and Pageant Saturday. 

Carl Borleis of the Police Department Reserves, says it is a fun opportunity for dog owners to meet city regulations.

The pet parade begins at 1 p.m.  Registration begins at noon at the Pequot Lakes High School.  Any kind of pet can be in the parade, as long as it gets along well with other animals.

There will be other veterinarians and other vendors on site to answer questions.

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Two Brainerd Men Injured on Race Track

Two Brainerd area men are listed in critical condition after an accident at the North Central Speedway south of Brainerd late Wednesday. 

Air-lifted to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale were 48-year-old Keith Nelson, a flag man, and 43-year-old Timothy Boeder a track promoter.   Nelson is described as badly injured, but should survive, Boeder suffered head injuries and has been placed in an induced coma. 

Track officials say 40-year-old James Eblen of St. Cloud lost control of his race car just before 11 p.m. Wednesday night.  He was listed in good condition.l

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Storms in the Area

Late spring storms swept through the state Thursday.  Tornadoes killed three people.  A man was killed after a twister destroyed a Cenex gas station in Mentor,a woman was killed in Almore and a man was killed on a farm near Albert Lea.

Wadena sustained extensive damage from the storms.   Highways in the area were closed for a time because of downed power lines and trees.  Highway 10 in both directions has be reopened.  However, other roads remain closed.  Judy Jacobs of the Baxter office of MN DOT did not know how long it would take to clean up the debris and open the other roads.  City officials area asking sight-seers to stay away.

The Governor is expected to tour the storm damaged area today.

KLKS Meteorologist Tony Schumacher says there was a report of a funnel cloud in the Breezy Point area.
Some large hail was reported Backus and Swatara and funnel clouds in Mille Lacs County.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Dinner Causes Koering Heartburn

State Senator Paul Koering has become a hot topic in the blogosphere.  The openly gay lawmaker from Fort Ripley had dinner with a gay porn star at a Brainerd area restaurant Wednesday. 

The dinner with Brandon Wilde became public when he sent a message to his 1900 Twitter fans that he was having dinner with "The Senator."

Koering told KLKS news, the dinner was not a news event, "When you consider the unemployment numbers and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. "

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

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pequot Pet Parade Saturday

Pequot Lakes will be hosting the first annual Pet Parade and Pageant Saturday. 

Don Merritt says pet owners can register their animals at the High School at noon.  The Parade gets underway at 1 p.m.

Also, the Pequot Lakes Police Reserves will be hosting a pet information event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in an effort to get dogs licensed and rabies vaccinations. 

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Snails Not a Problem At Crow Wing State Park

Long stretches of the Crow Wing River, through the Brainerd Lakes Area, have been described as infested, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 

The problem is with faucet snails, which carry a parasite that has killed thousands of diving ducks in Minnesota. 

The Crow Wing River in Wadena, Cass, Morrison, Hubbard and Todd County has picked up the warning. 

Crow Wing State Park Manager Paul Roth says he has not yet spotted the pest in the water that flows through the park.

On a more pleasant note, the Crow Wing State Park will host a voyageur canoe tour Saturday.  He says the one hour tour in a 10 person canoe is free.  Although, a state sticker is needed to enter the park. 

For more information call: (218) 825-3075.

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Oberstar Approves of President's Address

Minnesota Congressman James Oberstar says President Obama made a strong statement demonstrating that he is firmly in charge of the response to the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

The 8th District DFL-er says the President laid made it clear that this is BP’s problem.   Oberstar calls  BP's attitude was contemptuous throughout the permitting process. He says he was encouraged by President Obama's commitment to rein BP in with greater oversight, higher safety standards and a promise to make the company put up the cash it will take to cover the cost of the clean up, as well as compensating the businesses, and families who have lost their livelihoods because of this disaster.

Oberstar liked the President's appeal for alternative energy legislation to reduce our dependence on hydrocarbons and move to renewable energy sources like wind and solar that he says will create millions of new jobs. This legislation has already passed in the House and we now have the perfect opportunity to make another appeal for action on this issue by the Senate.

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Good Neighbor Lives Up to Its Name

The Minnesota Department of Health recently surveyed Good Neighbor Home Health Care and found it in full compliance with federal certifications regulations.

The state Department of Health periodically surveys home health care agencies like Good Neighbor if they want to be federally certified as a Medicaid and Medicare provider. Good Neighbor was one of the few agencies found to be in full compliance by the state during the past several years.

The survey involves a state Department of Health team that visits and interviews a sampling of patients to determine if the level of care is sufficient and the caregiver is qualified and follows proper procedures in caring for the patient. The survey also includes a review of the agency’s personnel files, training requirements and clinical records.

Based in Baxter, Good Neighbor has been serving central Minnesota for over 25 years. It provides a wide range of home health care, including medical care such as skilled and private-duty nursing, and physical and occupational therapy.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nasty Snail in Crow Wing River

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will designate the Crow Wing River in Hubbard, Wadena, Todd, Cass and Morrison counties as "infested waters" later this month because the faucet snail has been found there. The snail is linked to waterfowl deaths at Lake Winnibigoshish and the Mississippi River in southeastern Minnesota.

The faucet snail was first noticed in nearby Upper and Lower Twin lakes and the Shell River in Wadena County last fall. The Twin lakes and the Shell River are connected to the Crow Wing River, so the recent detection of the faucet snails is not a surprise.

New regulations will take effect along the river to help stop movement of the faucet snail to other waters. Once designated “infested water,” state law prohibits the transport of water from the Crow Wing River without a permit. It also prohibits anglers or commercial bait harvesters from harvesting bait from these waters without a permit.

The Crow Wing River is a particularly popular river for canoeing and tubing. Before leaving a water access on the Crow Wing River and traveling on a public road, people boating, canoeing, tubing or angling must also:
· Remove all aquatic plants and sediment from boats, trailers and other equipment.
· Drain all water from bilges, livewells and bait containers.

Faucet snails are hosts to parasitic trematodes, a small intestinal parasite believed to have contributed to the deaths of tens of thousands of diving duck species such as scaup and coots in the past three years on Lake Winnibigoshish, and the last six years on the Mississippi River near Winona.

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Missing Pine River Man Found

The body of a 55-year-old Pine River man has been located.  Duane Paul Prokott was last seen May 24th leaving the Amarillo House in Pine River.  His body was found Monday in a storage building near Pine River. 

The Cass County Sheriff's office says Prokott's death appears to be from natural causes.  However, the Ramsey County Medical Examiner is conducting an Autopsy.

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CLC's Faber Heads Moose Conference

Dr. William Faber, a natural resources instructor at Central Lakes College, Brainerd, is on the organizing committee of the 45th North American Moose Conference June 23-26 in International Falls, and Central Lakes College is one of 14 co-sponsors of the event.

Faber is the chairman of a two-hour conference session June 24 entitled "Thermal Management and Moose Ecology."  Presenters will discuss research about moose in southern New England coping with high  temperatures.

The conference also will address climate change and forests in Minnesota, moose populations in Ontario, Wyoming, and Minnesota, moose parasites and research in Voyageurs and Isle Royale national parks.

Over 100 participants from across the globe are expected to attend, Faber said. Several will come from Scandinavian nations.

Information is available at

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MPCA Steps Up Monitoring

As part of the Clean Water Legacy Act passed by the Legislature in 2006, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency launched a 10-year stream monitoring strategy throughout the state. The goal of the monitoring strategy is to assess the condition of rivers, streams and lakes in Minnesota’s major watersheds.

This summer, monitoring teams will be working in the watersheds of the Big Fork, Crow Wing, Bois de Sioux, Mustinka, Minnesota River near Granite Falls, and the Mississippi River near Winona and the Twin Cities. More information on this monitoring program can be found on the MPCA’s Web site at

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Klobuchar Calls for BP Damage Fund

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar has joined other senators in a letter sent to BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward asking that the company establish a special $20 billion account to be used for payment of economic damages and clean-up costs in response to the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The account would ensure that there will be no delay in payments or attempts to evade responsibility for damages.

In the letter, the senators cite the lessons of history from past spills and the need to ensure financial security for those persons and industries whose lives have been harmed.  The senators requested a response to this letter no later than Friday,in light of the urgency of the matter. 
The Obama Administration has indicated support for the measure, and President Obama is expected to formally announce his push for the account during his Oval Office address Tuesday night.
As a member of the Environment and Public Works, Judiciary, and Commerce committees, Klobuchar has participated in hearings and called for BP to be held accountable, increased safety measures to prevent future oil spills, greater scrutiny of the relationships between the oil companies and the federal agencies that regulate them, and fair compensation for the families of the 11 workers killed in the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig. On May 7, Klobuchar visited the Gulf Coast as part of a bipartisan delegation to assess the oil spill and met with federal officials and local leaders about ongoing recovery efforts.   

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Brainerd Woman Wins Community Service Award

Dee Severson of Brainerd was honored by the North Central Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross at their Annual Meeting last week at the Mall of America in Bloomington.

Severson was recognized with a Blood Sponsor Star Award for her outstanding work as a volunteer community blood drive coordinator. Severson has organized successful blood drives in the Brainerd Lakes area for approximately 20 years. Last year alone, she coordinated 22 blood drives and nearly 2,500 blood donations. Through her many years of service, Severson has helped recruit more than 27,000 blood donations.

Severson said. “I couldn’t do it without the donors.”
The North Central Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross supports 111 hospitals in Minnesota, western Wisconsin and southeastern South Dakota. Nationally, the Red Cross serves more than 3,000 hospitals and is responsible for collecting and distributing about half of the nation’s blood supply.

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Turtle Crossings

Each year at this time, female turtles move from lakes, ponds, wetlands, rivers and streams to nesting areas, where they deposit their eggs in self-excavated nests. Unfortunately, many nesting areas are separated from the turtles’ wintering areas by roads. Turtles are often observed crossing roads as they make their way to nesting areas.

“Many turtles and other species are killed on Minnesota roads each year, especially during the nesting season,” said Carol Hall, herpetologist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

You can help reduce road mortality for turtles in these ways:
Allow unassisted road crossings. When turtles can safely cross roads unaided due to a lack of oncoming traffic, allow them to do so. Observe from a distance and avoid rapid movements as doing otherwise will often cause turtles to change direction, stop, or seek shelter within their shells.

Maintain direction of travel if road crossing assistance is necessary. Turtles should be moved across roadways in as direct a line as possible, unless doing so would definitely put them in peril.

If people see a turtle or other animal on the road, they should slow down and drive around it. Many people want to help turtles cross the road which is understandable. The best approach is to let the turtle cross unassisted. Minnesota has nine turtle species, some of which are protected.

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Moving Wall Coming to Crosby

The Moving Wall is coming to Crosby next month.  It is a half size replica of the Viet Nam War Memorial in Washington D.C. 

The wall will be on display at Memorial Park on Serpent Lake in Crosby July 22nd through the 26th.   The appearance is sponsored by the American Legions of Deerwood and Ironton.

The moving wall was completed in 1984 and has visited over 2000 communities since then.

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