Friday, December 24, 2010

DNR Looking for Underaged Drinkers

The DNR wants to make sure young people are catching fish, and not a snoot-full during the ice fishing season.

A grant from the Minnesota Institute of Public Health will enable conservation officers with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources  to focus on illegal underage alcohol consumption that occurs in the outdoor recreation arena.

Conservation officers have routinely encountered underage consumption violations when conducting routine angling license checks on the ice. During the approaching holiday season, local conservation officers will be working throughout the Brainerd lakes area and focusing on those areas that have had issues of illegal underage consumption violations in the past.

The Minnesota Institute of Public Health provided the alternative alcohol enforcement funding through the “Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Program” of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

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Lumberjack Dies in Area Accident

(AP)  A logging accident Thursday morning has claimed the life of a Sebeka man.  Authorities say he was struck by a tree he was cutting down in the Pillsbury State Forest north of Pillager around 9:30 a.m. 

The man was taken to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy.  His name has not been released pending notification of relatives.

The accident remains under investigation.

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

30 Hour Bell Ringing a Success

A Brainerd woman whose goal was to raise $30 thousand dollars during 30 hours of bell ringing in Baxter, fell short of the goal earlier this week. 

The effort of Shonna Baldwin and her daughters Caylea and Carlea was hampered by the snow that fell during Monday night and Tuesday morning.   The trio raised $2,318.54 in their kettle outside Walmart. 

When all the kettles in the Brainerd area added together, $10,236.72 was collected during the 30 hour ring.

Major Jeff Strickland of the Brainerd Salvation Army says while this figure was not near the $30,000 goal, it has helped keep pace with the $110,000 Christmas Kettle Goal. 

On the Monday before Christmas last year, $4,607.24 was raised. This year, on the Monday before Christmas, $6,527.30 was raised, representing a 42% increase in giving. 

Major Strickland says the 30 Hour Ring made a substantial impact at a crucial time for Christmas fund-raising.

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Area High School Rankings

The undefeated Pequot Lakes Patriots girls basketball team has moved up to number 9 in the state rankings this week in Class 2A. 

In boys basketball, Sebeka is ranked 3rd in class 1A

The Little Falls Flyers are ranked number 12 in Class 1A boys hockey.

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Wednesday Night High School Score

Girls Basketball:
Pierz 72, Zimmerman 29

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Big Kitties in the Neighborhood

There have been more reports of cougar sightings in the Brainerd Lakes Area.  Recently one of the big cats was spotted near the Pillsbury State Forest. 

DNR Conservation Officer Nikki Shoutz tells KLKS News, she has received a half dozen accounts of cougar sightings in her district during the past year.  She says outdoors enthusiasts shouldn't have to worry.

Shoutz says whitetail deer are on the cougar menu.  She says she would like to hear about the sightings, and says photos are the best.

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Outdoor Winter Fun

With so much snow on the ground already, this promises to be an exceptionally good winter for outdoor recreation.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says, among the family-friendly fresh air fun is candlelight events at Minnesota state parks and trails.

Candlelight events provide an opportunity to walk, hike, ski, or snowshoe on trails illuminated by the warm glow of candles. Park and trail visitors can then warm up around a cozy fire and roast marshmallows or enjoy a hot drink.

Candlelight Ski/Snowshoe/Hike Charles A. Lindbergh State Park at Little Falls will host a Candlelight event for skiing, snowshoeing and hiking Saturday, January 22nd from 6-9 p.m.

Most candle-lit trails are relatively flat and easy, so that kids and beginners can feel comfortable participating.

The candlelight events at Minnesota state parks and trails are free, but a vehicle permit is required to enter Minnesota state parks. Vehicle permits ($5 for a one-day permit or $25 for a year-round permit) can be purchased from the parks.

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School Bus-Car Accident near Staples

A Staples-Motley school bus was involved in an accident Monday evening. 

The Todd County Sheriff's office says the bus driven by Norma Knosalla-Elvine was traveling west bound on County Road 7 when it slid through the intersection on County Road 28.  The sheriff's office says snowy conditions played a roll in the mishap.

A Chevy Cavalier driven by James Triepke of rural Staples struck the bus near the read axle.  His car was considered a total loss. 

The bus was transporting two students and a faculty member when the accident happened.  Triepke and two on the bus were taken to the Staples hospital where they were treated and released. 

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Tuesday Night Scores

Boys Basketball:
Barnum 69, Pillager 38
Big Lake 81, Little Falls 70
Cass Lake-Bena 81, Menahga 55
East Central 67, Onamia 59
McGregor 66, Wrenshall 46
Moorhead 69, Brainerd 47
Nevis 58, Pine River-Backus 49
Northhome/Kelliher 82, Hill city 67
Osakis 74, Staples-Motley 55
Pequot Lakes 70,  Park Rapids 37
Perham 61, Crosby-Ironton 20
Rush City 66, Aitkin 48
St. Cloud Cathedral 63, Milaca 51
Browerville 74, Verndale 56

Girls Basketball:
Bismarck Century, N.D. 63, Staples-Motley 27
Crosby-Ironton 54, Aitkin 49
Menahga 81, Cass Lake-Bena 62
Northland 81, Nashwauk-Keewatin 43
Pequot Lakes 77, Pierz 44
Sebeka 71, Park Rapids 30
St. Cloud Tech 64, Little Falls 61
Wadena-Deer Creek 49, Pelican Rapids 48

Foley 42, Milaca/Faith Christian 16
Frazee 53, Wadena-Deer Creek 15
Mille Lacs 63, Hinckley-Finlayson/Pine City/East Central 10
Pierz 56, Albany 7

Boys Hockey:
Crookston 7, Park Rapids/Menahga/Nevis 2
Grand Rapids 9, Brainerd/Pierz/Pillager 2
Little Falls 5, Morris/Benson 1
Northern Lakes 6, Wadena-Deer Creek 1

Girls Hockey:
Brainerd/Little Falls 2, Willmar 1
Crosby-Ironton/Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus 7, LPGE/WDC 0
Park Rapids 4, Lakes of the Woods/Indus 3

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

30 Hours of Salvation Army Bell Ringing

The winter snow appears to have hampered an effort to collect $30 thousand for the Brainerd Area Salvation Army in 30 hours.  Major Jeff Strickler says $6,200 had been raised through early Tuesday.

Shonna Baldwin of Brainerd and her daughters Caylea and Carlea have been ringing a bell in Baxter since 5 a.m. Monday.  They plan to continue until Noon today.

All cash and checks deposited in Salvation Army kettles in the Brainerd/Baxter area during the 30 hour ring will be counted toward this effort. Mailed checks sent to The Salvation Army can also be counted toward this effort if they are identified as “30 hour ring.”

Major Strickler says there are many hurting people in the Brainerd Lakes Area who depend on The Salvation Army for help.

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Jobless Rate Increase in Lakes Area

Following an improvement in the employment picture for October in Crow Wing County, the jobless rate shot up in November.

The jobless picture spiked nearly two percentage points from 7.5 to 9.4 percent.  That was up from last November when the rate was pegged at 9.1 percent.  The number is still well below March of 2009, when 12.5 percent of the workforce was without a job in the Brainerd area. 

The news wasn't any better for neighboring counties.  Cass County saw it's unemployment numbers jump from 8.6 to 11.5 percent.  Aitkin County was up to 9.5 percent, and Morrison County was up to 8.9 percent.

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The First Day of Winter Brings More Snow

The heaviest snow fell in southern Minnesota again.  However, the Brainerd Lakes Area got a fair share too.

Snow amounts of 4 inches in Breezy Point and Nisswa were reported, 4 and a half in Ideal Township.  The greatest amount of snow in the lakes fell in Walker and Grand Rapids, where 6 inches were reported.

Motorists were faced with difficult driving conditions.  In addition to the snow, freezing drizzle mixed in to further complicate travel.  Roads ranged from snow covered to plowed.  However, there were plenty of slippery stretches on the plowed roads. 

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School Delays

Browerville 2 Hours Late
Bug O Nay Ge Shig 2 Hours Late
Northland Community Schools 2 Hours Late

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High School Sports Postponed

Boys Basketball:
Pierz vs Foley PPD to Jan 24
Warren-Alvarado-Oslo vs Sebeka PPD Feb 12

Girls Basketball:
Nevis vs Browerville PPD
Upsala vs Kimball PPD
Pierz vs Zimmerman PPD
Eagle Valley vs Pillager PPD to Dec 21

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Arnold Johnson Donates Land To Help Trust

Land along Nisswa Lake has been protected for a new Nisswa regional park, according to the Trust for Public Land and the City of Nisswa.  The property purchased last week will become the A & J Johnson Nisswa Park and is now owned by the City of Nisswa.  Johnson donated $300,000 if the land's value to help complete the conservation sale of the park. 

The newly purchased parkland is envisioned to serve the greater Brainerd Lakes region with opportunities for swimming, fishing and picknicking with a pier for visitors to dock boats and access surrounding areas for shopping and other activities. 

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Wadena Man Victim of Car-Ped Accident

A Wadena man was hospitalized following a car pedestrian accident Sunday morning. 

The Todd County Sheriff's office says Shawn Peters was struck about 1:30 a.m.on North Front Street in Hewitt.   He was transported to Tri-County Hospital for treatment.  The sheriff's office says Peters was awake and alert following the accident.

Lawmen say Peters was struck by a car driven by Kristi Kohlhase of rural Bertha.  She was traveling south bound on North Front Street when Peters was struck while crossing the street.  The sheriff's office believes alcohol was a contributing factor.  The case has been sent to the Todd County Attorney's office for review.

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A Snowy 24 Hours

It looks to be a white Christmas, and then some. 

A Winter Weather Warning is in effect from noon today through noon Tuesday for the Brainerd Lakes Area.

KLKS Meteorologist Tony Schumacher is predicting 4-6 inches of snow between 2 p.m. Monday through about 4 a.m. Tuesday.

Up to seven inches of snow has been forecast for the Vikings-Bears game at the University of Minnesota stadium tonight.

Snow is also a possibility for Thursday.

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