Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ojibwe Tribal Authorities Want Their Share

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe has taken legal action against the city of Brainerd over a firefighter who pleaded guilty to embezzling $600,000 from the tribe.

Tribal officials say their losses actually exceeded $1.4-million.  They're seeking an injunction against the city if the city decides to settle a separate claim with Erick Makowski-Budrow.

According to reports Makowsi-Budrow remains a paid on-call Brainerd firefighter.  After he pleaded guilty to the embezzlement, he offered to release the city from legal claims he had filed against it in return for $50,000.

In court documents filed Friday, tribal officials say any money the city might plan to pay him should go to them instead.

The City Council has not voted on taking any action in the case.

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Friday, August 13, 2010

Monday, the 16th, is the Annual Wine Tasting for Scholars

Linda Ulland, of the White Fish Area Lions Club, tells K-Lakes' News that they're looking forward to another remarkable fund-raising event this Monday, the 16th at Moonlite Bay in Crosslake.  It's their Annual Wine Tasting Event for Scholarships, with all money raised going to help fund the continuing education for graduates of the Pequot Lakes, and Pine River-Backus school districts.  According to Ulland, the Lions raised over $5k last year, and are hoping the students will benefit even more from this year's fund-raiser.  The event begins at 5pm.  Admission is $20, with tickets available at the door.  The evening includes wine tasting, silent auction raffles and appetizers.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pitch Fork Fondue Saturday

The 3rd annual Lion's Choke Cherry Festival is in Pequot Lakes Saturday at the Trailside Park. 

The family fun day ends with the Pitch Fork Stead Fondue hosted by St. Alice Church.  Spokesman Ron Johnson says it is a western fun event.
He says they put several steaks on pitch forks and cook them in oil.

The event begins at 5 p.m.

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Heavy Hwy 371 Traffic for B.I.R.

It's the big NHRA Drags weekend at B.I.R. 

State Patrol Sergent Curt Mowers says that means some of the heaviest traffic of the year on Highway 371 between Nisswa and Baxter.  He tells KLKS News, if you are thinking about an alternate route, be mindful of road construction on county highways.

Sergent Mowers says the heaviest traffic times are mid to late afternoon, as race fans leave the track for the day.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cass County Sheriff Race Set

Chief Deputy Tom Burch was the top vote-getter in the Cass County primary for Sheriff Tuesday. He will face Walker Police Chief Wayne Tennis in the November general election.

Burch grabbed 44 percent of the vote, or 2,630; Tennis 31 percent of the vote, or 1,875.

Deputy Sheriff Chris Thompson and Leech Lake Tribal Chief Garr Pemberton finished third and fourth.

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Oberstar Wins His Primary

Minnesota Congressman Jim Oberstar has easily advanced to the general election following Tuesday's primary election. 

The 8th District DFL-er outdistanced frequent candidate W.D. "Bill" Hamm, who heads a grouip called The Freedom Coalition of Minnesota.

Oberstar will face Republican Chip Craavaack, IP Timothy Olson and Constitution party candidate Richard Burton.

Oberstar is one of the most senior members of congress and chairs the powerful House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

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Stevenson Fires First Shot

DFL State Senate District 12 candidate Taylor Stevenson offered his congratulations to  Paul Gazelka on his nomination by the Republican Party.   He also said he wanted to thank two term Senator Paul Koering for his service to the area.

Following the results, Stevenson released a statement that said for the past two months, his opponents have been discussing the issues important to the Republican Party. In doing so, the Republicans have aligned themselves with corporate money, crowding the moderates out of that party.

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Koering Loses to Gazelka

District 12 will have a new State Senator when the legislature convenes in January. 

Incumbent Republican Paul Koering has lost to former State Representative Paul Gazelka by nearly 900 votes in the primary election Tuesday, 3,752 to 2857, or 56 to 43 percent.  All precincts have reported to the Secretary of State's office. 

Koering had decided to bypass the endorsing convention and take his chances in the primary.  His chances may have been harmed by a general anti-incumbent sentiment by the voters, and a recent diner he had with a gay porn star.

Gazelka will now face Taylor Stevenson, the DFL-er who ran without party opposition in the primary.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Big Crowds for B.I.R Drag Weekend

Some 100 thousand race fans are expected to take in the NHRA drag races at BIR this weekend. 

Fans will be flocking to see big name drivers like: John Force, Tony Schumacher and Larry Dixon and Minnesotans Greg Anderson, Jason Line, and Warren and Kurt Johnson.

Track spokesman Geoff Gorvin tells KLKS News, the top dragsters can do 300 miles per hour.

"Fan Fest" is planned at Westgate Mall in Brainerd Wednesday from 4-7 p.m.  There will be 30 cars on display with the drivers. 

Gorvin says patience is required all weekend, as traffic will be quite heavy on Highway 371 entering BIR.

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Park Rapids Dr. Killed by Taliban

(AP)  A doctor with ties to the Park Rapids area was among the 10 medical aid workers killed in Afghanistan last week. 

Dr. Thomas Grams was a native of the northern Minnesota town.  He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota - Duluth and his graduate degree form U of M Twin Cities campus.  His parents still reside in Park Rapids.

Members of the Taliban executed the care-givers claiming they were trying to escape after having been captured. 

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Monday, August 9, 2010

Heavy Traffic Expected This Weekend

Motorists should plan for heavy traffic volumes this weekend on Brainerd Lakes Area highways, especially Highway 371, due to visitors attending the 29th Annual NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals at the Brainerd International Raceway on Aug. 12-15. More than 100,000 visitors attend the event each year. Please be patient, expect delays and be prepared for sudden stops on Highway 371. Motorists are urged to take alternative routes around the area, if possible. For updated statewide traffic, construction, weather and travel information visit


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Cass County Drownng Victim Indentified

The Cass County Sheriff's Office say the 18-year old Laporte man who drowned on Ten Mile Lake after two boats collided has been identified as Darrin Michael Karnitz.  Authorities say the accident happened just before midnight Saturday and that Karnitz was ejected from the boat he was operating when it struck the other.  His body was later recovered in about 20 feet of wather by divers.  Chief Deputy Tom Burch says the cause of the collision is still under investigation. 

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C.W. Co. Primary Expected to be Low

Primary election voters will be going to the polls Tuesday to narrow the field of candidates for the November general election.

The primary was moved from the second Tuesday in September to the second Tuesday in August to allow members of the military, serving over seas, 45 days to return their absentee ballots. 

Crow Wing County Auditor Deborah Erickson tells KLKS News, voter turn-out for the primary elections is typically very small.  She says she would be very happy if the turn-out reached 20 percent. 

Erickson says In 2008 only 12.5 percent cast a vote.  She says there may be a little more interest because of the DFL primary for governor and locally the GOP primary for State Senate District 12.

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Olson Heads DNR Streamline Committee

State Senator Mary Olson, DFL-Bemidji, has been appointed chair of a newly-formed Senate task force that will study a possible reorganization of the state's environment and natural resource agencies and programs.

The Natural Resources Reform and Realignment Task Force will begin meeting next month to take input from stakeholder groups and the public on how the state can realign the state's current environmental protection programs-which are currently spread throughout several agencies, departments, and boards-into a new organizational structure designed to be more cost-effective and consumer-friendly.

Senator Olson says constituents have told her they are forced to get multiple permits from multiple agencies with overlapping jurisdictions, and are finding it difficult to know which agency or department they should turn to with questions or requests.

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Mille Lacs Powwow

American Indian dancers, in brightly colored regalia, will take part in traditional dancing and drum ceremonies during the 44th annual Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe powwow on August 20-22. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at the Band’s powwow grounds located two miles north of Grand Casino Mille Lacs.

Each dance session will begin with a Grand Entry. This procession into the circle begins with the presentation of colors – the eagle staff, American flag, Minnesota state flag, and Mille Lacs tribal government flag – followed by the powwow royalty (princesses and braves) from tribes and schools. The procession ends with a colorful dramatization of the various styles of regalia and dance.

Powwows are American Indian celebrations of ceremonial and social dance traditions. They take place on reservations and in other locations throughout the country and include singing, dancing, drumming and more. There are contest powwows, where dancers compete against each other in style and appearance, and there are traditional powwows, where participants take part for social enjoyment. The upcoming Mille Lacs Band powwow is a traditional powwow.

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