Saturday, April 9, 2011

Cass Lake Man Killed in Carjacking

(AP)  A Cass Lake man was shot and killed following a high speed chase in the Twin Cities Thursday morning. 

Police say Jason Peter Barsness stole a taxi at gunpoint about 5 a.m. Thursday.  Officers brought the cab to a halt on 35 E with the help of spike strips. 

Police say when Barsness emerged from the vehicle he point a gun at them.  Five of the officers fired their guns at him.  He died of multiple gunshot wounds.

The officers who discharged their guns, and another who witnessed the event have been placed on administrative leave.

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Cravaack Wants to Protect Millitary from Shut Down

Congressman Chip Cravaack supports a temporary Republican budget extension because it will fund the Department of Defense through the end of the fiscal year.  The freshman 8th District Congressman says, "That means our war fighters – especially those in conflict zones – will not see their pay interrupted. A government shutdown should never negatively affect them.”
The bill also makes a further $12 billion in cuts to discretionary spending, bringing the total for the last six weeks to $22 billion.

The Republican controlled House and Democratic controlled Senate and White House agree on spending, but disagree on policy riders attached to the compromise to defund Planned Parenthood and limit the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency to control pollution, which conservative believe is a job killer.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Area Summer Road Construction

Brainerd Lakes Area road projects will be part of the $900 million Minnesota Department of Transportation summer construction season. 

MnDot District spokesperson Judy Jacobs says local projects include Resurfacing Highway 10 from east of Little Falls to Randall, and resurfacing Highway 371 from Baxter to Nisswa.
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton says the projects will support thousands of jobs in Minnesota, from the construction workers directly working on the projects to others who work in the support industries for construction.

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DNR Wants Comment on Area ATV

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is asking for comments for funding of a 53-mile Grant-in-Aid all-terrain vehicle recreational trail within existing county and state road rights-of-way.

The DNR will accept written comments until 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 5.

ATV use of the entire corridor is already allowed by law. Bringing the trail into the GIA system would allow GIA funds to be used for maintenance, repair, safety improvements, monitoring and enforcement.

Crow Wing County would sponsor, operate, maintain and manage the trail in conjunction with three supporting ATV clubs: the Central Minnesota Wheelers ATV Association, the Pine Center Sportsman’s OHV Club, and the Central Lakes Riders OHV Club. The trail would link the Fort Ripley and Ripley Connection ATV trails with the Pine Center ATV Trail.

The majority of the trail would be routed in ditches along state and county roads, either in the ditch bottom or on a bench constructed into the side slope. The trail will use the road in-slope or shoulder as allowed by state law wherever necessary to avoid obstacles.

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A Baxter Man in Back in Lock-Up

(AP)  A Baxter man, who is no stranger to big trouble, is back in trouble.

46-year-old Kenneth Richey is currently being held in the Crow Wing County Jail.  Police hauled an intoxicated Richey into detox Saturday night.  While there, he threatened staff. 

Last year Richey was charged with threatening and assaulting his 25-year-old son at their Baxter home.  The charges were dismissed, but could be refiled.

Richey spent 20 years on death row in Ohio for setting a fire that killed a 12-year-old girls.  A federal appeals court ruled in 2007 that his lawyers bungled the case.  Ohio was going to retry him, but instead released him after pleading no contest to leaving the girl in harm's way.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

State Patrol Focuses on Distracted Driving

The Minnesota State Patrol is targeting distracted drivers during this month.

State Patrol Sgt. Curt Mowers says the campaign will have a focus on all distractions behind the wheel, beyond cell phone use and texting.

Driver distraction accounts for at least 25 percent of all crashes annually, resulting in 70 deaths and 350 injuries. Mowers feels these numbers are vastly underreported due to the challenges of determining “distraction” as a contributing crash factor.
Inattentive driving includes a range of distractions, from daydreaming to reaching for items to changing music.

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Sviggum to Resign from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs

(AP)  Last week, the Board of Regents committee of the University of Minnesota told former Minnesota House Speaker, Steve Sviggum, that holding a seat on the Board of Regents and teaching at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs represented a conflict of interest, as the Board decides budgeting for that school and others.  Sviggum, though saddened that he won't be able to teach, has decided to resign from Humphrey and keep his unpaid Regent's seat.  Sviggum was also a paid Legislative Fellow at the Humphrey School.

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