Friday, September 10, 2010

Walleye Tournament on Leech

The FLW Walleye Tour will visit Leech Lake in Walker Sept. 22-25 for the 2010 championship event. Hosted by the Northern Lights Casino top-20 anglers from each of the Eastern and Western Divisions will be sporting their talents for a prize worth as much as $40,000 in the Pro Division and $12,000 in the Co-angler Division.

“This tournament is going to be wide open,” said Paul Meleen of Isle, Minn., 2010 FLW Walleye Tour Angler of the Year. “I am really excited about this championship because it will give the classic walleye angler an opportunity to really showcase his talents. There will be a lot of strategy to winning this event."

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Brainerd Area DWI Project Ends

There were nearly 400 traffic stops in the Brainerd Lakes during the Labor Day Weekend DWI Mobilization Project the last two weeks of August and through Labor Day.

There were 15 DWI arrests, 89 speeding warnings, eight seat belt citations, and four contacts involving drugs. There were at least 57 other citations including two warrant arrests, two zero tolerance charges, and officers reported at least one DWI related vehicle forfeiture.

Last year in Minnesota, there were 141 alcohol-related traffic deaths and 279 severe injuries.

Law enforcement agencies in the Crow Wing County area were Minnesota State Patrol troopers, Crow Wing County Deputies, and officers from the police departments of Brainerd, Baxter, Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Deerwood, Emily, Crosby, Cuyuna, Crosslake and Breezy Point.

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Thursday High School Scores

Girls Volleyball:
3-0  Bertha-Hewitt def Verndale
3-0  Blackduck def Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig
3-0  Crosby-Ironton def Pequot Lakes
3-0  LaPorte def Northhome/Kelliher
3-0  Little Falls def Sauk Rapids-Rice
3-0  New London-Spicer def Milaca
3-0  Park Rapids def Staples-Motley
3-0  Pillager def Aitkin
3-0  Royalton def Browerville
3-0  Sebeka def Menahga
3-0  Walker-Hackensack-Akeley def Cass Lake-Bena
3-1  Alexandria def Brainerd
3-1  Nevis def Pine River-Backus
3-1  Onamia def Ogilvie
3-1  Pierz def Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted
3-2  McGregor def Moose Lake/Willow River
3-2  Northland def Littlefork-Big Falls

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tornado Alley Comes to MN

A group called Environment Minnesota says Tornado Alley has moved 500 miles to the north, and into Minnesota.

KLKS Meteorologist Tony Schumacher says the first part of the storm season was quiet, but the second half was anything but quiet as a storm track parked itself over the northern U.S. 

As a result, Minnesota had more tornadoes this year than did Oklahoma. 

Schumacher says the models predicted extreme weather.  He says it's too early to tell if the trend will continue into future years.

Schumacher says the southern U.S. became too hot this summer, capping the atmosphere and preventing severe weather.

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DNR Blocked in Land Purchase

The Beltrami County Board of Commissioners is saying no to the DNR.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wants to buy 6,600 feet of lake shore along Balm Lake in Alaska Township. 

The county board is concerned about losing taxable property to the state while the state is cutting payments-in-lieu-of property taxes.  So, last month they passed a resolution saying there would be no net gain of public lands in the county.

On Tuesday the board denied the DNR's request to buy 153 acres from a private landowner.

Beltrami County Administrator says the DNR could seemingly go ahead, but the board's action might influence decision makers in St. Paul. 

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Thrane Drive Closed on Thursday

Thrane Drive on the south end of Breezy Point has been seeing a lot of traffic in recent months as an alternate because of the reconstruction of County Road 4.  Today, motorists will have to find yet another route.

Thrane Drive will be closed  from Sunset Valley Road to Ranchette Drive for road repairs.  Breezy Point Police Chief Kevin Merschman expects repairs to be completed by the end of the day.  No travel will be allowed through the construction area during this time.

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Absentee Ballots Available September 20

According to Crow Wing County Auditor, Deborah Erickson, Absentee Ballots will be available from the Auditor's Office for Crow Wing County residents beginning Monday, September 20.  If you're unable to vote on November 2, 2010, General Election Day, because of absence from the precinct, illness, physical disability or other reasons, you're eligible to vote by Absentee Ballot. 

In addition to regular hours, the County Auditor's Office will be open, Saturday, October 30 from 10:00am - 3:00pm.  The office is located at 328 Laurel Street, 2nd Floor, Historic Courthouse in Downtown Brainerd. 

For more information, call 218-824-1045. 

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Patriot Fundraiser Saturday

The Pequot Lakes School Patriot Foundation is hosting a fundraising event Saturday.  It's Called Rock-n-Reel.

Organizer Jim Oraskovich tells KLKS News, they have teamed up with the "Fish It Live It" tournament.  The multi species fish tournament will be staged during the day.  The fundraiser will be held during the evening. Both events will be staged out of Moonlight Bay Restaurant in Crosslake.

Oraskovich says the Skatyrs band will be playing beginning at 8 p.m.  There will be three cash raffle prizes.  One for $2,000, one for $1,000 and two for $500.  The raffle tickets are $10 each.

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Hunt Family Here this Weekend

The award-winning Hunt Family Troupe of Irish step dancers, fiddlers, and singers will perform at 7:30 p.m., Friday, September 10 and Saturday, September 11 at the Gull Lake Center, Grand View Lodge, Nisswa.

The event is a fund-raiser for the Central Lakes College Foundation, a non-profit scholarship agency for student scholarships.

Foundation Executive Director Pam Thompson tells KLKS News, it is an upbeat and dynamic show.

Half of each ticket is tax-deductible and can be purchased at

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Peanut Mogul Back in Business as Investigation Continues

(AP)  The man at the head of the peanut company whose filthy processing plants were blamed in a salmonella outbreak that killed three Brainerd nursing home residents, is back in the business.

Stewart Parnell, the former President of the now-bankrupt Peanut Corp. of America, is working as a consultant to peanut companies, as an 18 month federal criminal investigation against him continues. 

Congressional investigators uncovered emails in which parnell is quoted as directing employees to "Turn them loose" after samples of peanuts had tested positive for salmonella, but cleared in a second test.

87-year-old Doris Flatgard, 78-year-old Clifford Tousignant and 72-year-old Shirley Mae Almer died after they ate contaminated peanut butter at their nursing homes last year.

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Deadline for Deer Hunting Lottery

Tomorrow is the deadline to apply for the lottery for an antlerless permit during the upcoming muzzle loader and rifle deer hunting season.  DNR Fish and Wildlife Outreach Chief C.B. Bylander says about half the state is in a lottery situation.

Bylander tells KLKS News,  hunters in the Brainerd area need to know that zones 246, 247 and 172 are lottery areas this year. 

Bylander says lottery applications can be made at any location where licenses are sold, and on the DNR website.

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Oberstar Applauds Pres Jobs Plan

Congressman Jim Oberstar approves of President Obama's plan to develop new jobs by fixing the nation's roads and bridges.

The chairman of the powerful House Transportation committee says he is pleased that the President shares the Committee’s objectives of restoring our surface and air transportation systems to a state of good repair, increasing energy efficiency, and relieving the road and rail congestion that is crippling our economy.

Oberstar says the principles outlined by the President are consistent with those put forward by the Committee in the Blueprint for Investment and Reform and the Surface Transportation Authorization Act.

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hecker Pleads Guilty

(AP)  Former auto mogul Denny Hecker apparently got the deal he has been looking for, and has pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud in connection with the collapse of his business empire.  He could get up to 10 years in jail. 

Attorney Brian Toder says his 59-year-old client pleaded guilty this afternoon to two counts before Federal Judge Joan Erickson.  The judge, Joan Ericksen,  will  determine how much of potential sentence he will serve. 

Hecker was once one of Minnesota's biggest car dealers with 26 dealerships across the state, including two in Baxter.   Hecker also owned a lake home in Crosslake.

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New Digs for Wadena Students

(AP)  Wadena public school students are getting used to their new surroundings today, the first day of the new school year.  The high school was destroyed by a June 17th tornado. 

For the next two years, high school students have their classes at the technical college.  Grades seven and eight travel 10 miles to Deer Creek.

The teachers and administrators spent the summer moving desks and supplies to the temporary locations.

Some 260 structures were destroyed by the twister that heavily damaged the western portion of Wadena.

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Sen. Olson to Host Environmental Meetings

On September 24, environmental policy leaders from around the state will gather at the Northern Lights Casino Hotel and Event Center in Walker to participate in two public meetings.

At 9 a.m. , Sen. Mary Olson, DFL-Bemidji, will convene the first hearing of the newly-formed Natural Resources Reform and Realignment Task Force, which will study and provide recommendations on a possible reorganization of the state's environment and natural resource agencies and programs.

In the afternoon, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. , Minnesota Waters and the Pine River Watershed Alliance are hosting the third annual Healthy Lakes Legislative Forum, which brings together lawmakers, policy experts and regional lake and watershed associations to discuss water resource protection issues.

"Our region's economy and quality of life are closely tied to the health of our natural resources," said Sen. Olson. "These meetings are focused on how we can improve the state's environment and get the best return on our investment while protecting our natural resources."

Both events are free and open to the public.

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DNR To Discuss Leech Lake Regulations

Those interested in walleye regulations on Leech Lake can learn more about the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ proposals to maintain or modify existing regulations at an upcoming public meeting. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 13, from 6-9 p.m. at the Walker/Hackensack/Akeley school commons in Walker.

DNR fisheries staff will explain why the department is considering maintaining regulations adopted in 2005, which require Leech Lake anglers to immediately release all walleye 18-to 26-inches in length. Anglers are allowed to keep up to four walleye, only one of which can be longer than 26 inches.

A second proposal would require anglers to immediately release all walleye 20-to 26-inches in length. The bag limit would remain at four fish, with one of those walleye allowed to be longer than 26 inches. If DNR population surveys determine that female walleye density was negatively impacted by the reduced slot limit, DNR could revert back to the 18-to 26-inch slot limit.

“The ability to revert back to a more protective slot limit gives us flexibility,” said Harlan Fierstine, the DNR’s Walker area fisheries supervisor. “It allows anglers to keep larger fish while providing a useful management tool that allows us to protect younger year classes of walleye. if necessary, to meet population objectives established by Leech Lake’s citizen input committee.”

Those unable to attend the meeting in Walker can discuss the proposals with DNR staff from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 29, at DNR headquarters, 500 Lafayette Road, in St. Paul.

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Pulbic Access Upgrades for Brainerd Area Lakes

The public water accesses at North Long Lake in Merrifield and Round Lake north of Brainerd will be closed temporarily for reconstruction projects during several weeks between Sept. 9 and Nov. 1, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The projects at both sites include bituminous paving of the parking lots, improving stormwater management, and putting in new ramps.

Contracts for these projects are expected to be awarded this week.

For more information about these temporary closures, call the DNR Parks and Trails office in Brainerd, 218-833-8710; or the DNR Information Center, 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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