Friday, June 3, 2011

Gull Lake Boat Ramp, Down for Repairs

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will temporarily close the Corps-owned Gull Lake boat ramp for routine repairs and general maintenance.

The boat ramp, located on the southeastern side of Gull Lake, about 10 miles north of Brainerd, will be closed June 6, 7 and 8.

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

2 Minnesota Students Eliminated From Spelling Bee

Two Minnesota students have been eliminated in the semifinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Maryland.

14-year old Anja Beth Swoap from Edina and 13-year old Connor Gunsbury of Nisswa were both eliminated in Thursday morning's 6th round. 

Thirteen spellers advanced to Thursday night's competition.  The week began with 275 spellers.  They were whittled down to 41 semifinalists. 

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Good Citizen - Porn Charges

A 53-year old man who once was named Brainerd's Citizen Of The Year has been sentenced to five years supervised probation on child pornography charges.

Steven "Gus" Augustinack of Baxter was given a five-year prison sentence Thursday, but the judge stayed the sentence and placed him on probation.

Conditions include Augustinack serving six months in the Crow Wing County Jail, registering as a predatory offender, completing a sex offender evaluation and having no unsupervised contact with any girl under 16.

In March, Augustinack pleaded guilty to 18 counts of felony possession of pornographic computer videos involving a minor.  The jail time and probation were part of the plea agreement.

Last October, Augustinack was named the 2010 Brainerd Citizen Of The Year but declined the awarded after charges were filed.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Area Youth Advances In National Spelling Bee

Two Minnesota students have advanced to the semifinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Maryland.  One of those students is 13-year old Connor Gunsbury of Nisswa.  Gunsbury advanced after spelling "ineradicable" and "sclerosis" on Wednesday.  The finals will be held Thursday night and televised  in prime time. The winner receives more than $40,000 in cash and prizes.

The other student who has advanced is  14- year old Anja Beth Swoap of Edina.

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B.P. Liquor Compliance Good

Only one Breezy Point liquor establishment was found not to be properly carding minors, during a recent compliance check by police.

Chief Kevin Merschman says results from alcohol compliance checks conducted in Breezy Point show that most alcohol retailers refused to sell to someone under the age of 21. Out of 12 checks completed on two separate occasions, there was only one failure. Checks were conducted with both on-sale and off-sale establishments.

Providing alcohol to someone under the age of 21 is a Gross Misdemeanor and can be a Felony in some circumstances. Officer Elisha Dwyer also recently provided alcohol compliance training to 90 individuals representing 13 liquor establishments from Breezy Point and the surrounding communities. The training was hosted by the Breezy Point Resort at no cost to the participants.

The business that failed the compliance check will face penalties including a $500 fine and additional mandatory training.

The department promises additional random checks in the future.

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PR-B Visioning Session Thursday

The Pine River-Backus School Board plans to ask for voter approval for a number of school projects this November. 

A so-called Visioning Session will be held Thursday at 6 p.m. in the School Commons area to discuss the plans and receive public comment.

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Take a Kid Fishing June 10-12

Minnesotans who have yet to net their fishing license catch a break June 10-12 when they can fish without a license while accompanying a child age 15 or younger.

Minnesota’s annual Take-A-Kid Fishing weekend aims to help keep the state’s fishing tradition strong by encouraging adults and kids to share an angling experience on or along the state’s thousands of lakes, rivers and streams.

“Many kids would love to go fishing – they just need to be asked,” said Mike Kurre, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) mentoring coordinator. “For adults, this is the one time of year when they can do just that without having to have a fishing license. If you’ve never hooked this opportunity before, go for it.”

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

19-Year Old Man Suffers Stab Wounds

Cass County Authorities report that a fight early Saturday morning resulted in a 19-year old man suffering stab wounds to his head and neck. 

Charkes Kingbird of Cass Lake was flown to a Fargo hospital for treatment.  The suspect, Ronnie Burnette, age 22, is in custody and charges are pending.  Incident is under investigation by the Cass County Sheriff's Department.

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Lost Fisherman Found on Pelican Lake

A missing boater on Pelican Lake has been found alive. 

The Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office received a report of a missing boater on the big lake just before 1 a.m. Tuesday.  The woman caller reported that her husband,  68-year-old Daniel Larson of Merrifield, went fishing at about 8:00 p.m. the previous evening and had not returned.

Law enforcement officers searched the shoreline and found the man at 5:15 a.m.standing in the water near the Halvorson Bay public access. He told officers that his boat capsized about 9:00 p.m. the previous evening and he had been in the water since that time. He was wearing a life jacket and was able to stay with the capsized boat most of the time. He had just reached the shoreline before the officers found him.

Larson was taken to St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd.

The Crosslake Police Department and the Breezy Point Police Department assisted with the search.

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Crocker Becomes a Lunker

The Brainerd Lunkers of the Northwoods League say local talent Kyle Crocker of the University of Minnesota will be returning home to play for the team this summer.

Crocker, a 6-foot-1 freshman from Baxter graduated from Brainerd High School in 2010. While at Brainerd, he played football, basketball and baseball. In football, he was named to the All-Area Team three times and was First-Team All State as a senior.

The Lunkers home opener is Wednesday, at Stewart C. Mills Field when the home team take on the Alexandria Beetles at 7:05 with Fireworks presented by Mills Fleet Farm to follow the game.

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Monday Night Storm Damage

The Brainerd Lakes Area got its first taste of the spring storm season last night.

Strong thunderstorms blew through the area shortly after 11:30 p.m. Downed trees, power outages and property damage were the result. Fortunately, there were no injuries reported by law enforcement.

Five miles southeast of Breezy Point significant wind damage was reported. The wind was strong enough to blow a boat lift across a highway.

Trees and power lines were down across most County roads between County road 11 and the Merrifield area. Many of the trees were healthy and about a foot in diameter. Trees fell on campers on Mission Lake. There was also damage to some docks on the east end of Pelican Lake.

Trees were blown down in Pequot Lakes. The Brainerd Airport reports sustained 40 mph winds, gusting to 60 mph. Trees and power lines down in the Nisswa area.

Crow Wing Power reports 22 hundred customers without power at the height of the storm.  As of 9 a.m., that number had been reduced to 300.  Spokeswoman Char Kinzer tells KLKS News, will take all day to restore all the service.

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Victim of Run-Away Pickup Identified

The young Crosslake woman who was killed last week while trying to stop a run-away pickup truck has been identified.

Police Chief Bob Hartman says she is 31-year-old Suzy Baratto.  She apparently died of head trauma. 

Baratto was tying to get inside a pickup truck her 2 year-old nephew was playing in when she was trapped between a tree and the truck.  Authorities say she jumped on the running boards while the vehicle was rolling backward down a hill. 

The little boy was uninjured.

Funeral services are planned for 11 a.m. Tuesday, visitation one hour prior to servies, at the Crosslake Evangelical Free Church, also known as the Log Church.

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Senator Klobuchar on Memorial Day

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar says Minnesota has always answered the call to defend democracy. During the Civil War, the soldiers of Minnesota’s 1st Brigade shed their blood in the Battle of Gettysburg. Those 250 Minnesotans stood their ground in the face of 1,600 Confederate troops, holding the line until the Union Army was able to bring in desperately-needed reinforcements.

Nearly a century and a half later, on this Memorial Day, Minnesotans continue to carry the torch of freedom. This month 2,400 of our state’s soldiers are taking part in the largest single deployment of Minnesotans since World War II. These brave men and women will be serving our country in Kuwait, as part of Operation New Dawn, the first phase of U.S. drawdown operations in Iraq. They are part of a long tradition of Minnesota heroes, and we salute them for their service and valor.

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Crevaack on Memorial Day

Minnesota Congressman Chip Cravaack says The Memorial Day weekend serves as the unofficial start of summer. It also marks a solemn remembrance of all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of America.

The 8th District Republican , a 24-year U.S. Navy veteran and graduate of the Naval Academy, says he is humbled by those lost throughout history. While enjoying friends and family, cookouts, and parades, he is urging a moment to reflect on those who gave everything in defense of the nation.

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