Friday, August 26, 2011

Brainerd Woman Who Share Songs Appeals Rulings

A Brainerd woman is appealing the rulings that went against her in a music downloading case.

Attorneys for Jammie Thomas-Rasset of Brainerd filed a notice of appeal Friday with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Last month U.S. District Judge Michael Davis reduced the amount of money Thomas-Rasset must pay for willfully violating the copyrights orf 24 songs.  Davis ruled that the $1.5 million dollar penalty was unreasonable, and that Thomas-Rasset should instead pay $54,000.

Thomas-Rasset is appealing that judgement and any rulings that went against her in the long-running case.

Earlier this week attorneys for the recording industry filed documents indicating they'll also appeal Davis' ruling. 

The recording industry sued Thomas-Rasset in 2006 for illegally sharing music on the file-sharing site Kazza.

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Big Speed at BIR Labor Day Weekend

With 1,000-horsepower cars thundering down the drag strip and high-performance sports cars flying around the road course with pro drivers strapped behind the wheel, race fans will be treated to an incredible display of motorsports Labor Day weekend at Brainerd International Raceway.

On the drag strip is the 23rd Annual Muscle Car Shootout. On the Competition Road Course is the SCCA Trans-Am Series. Between the two is a classic car show, live music Saturday night, on-site camping and activities for BIR’s half-pint fans, all of which have made the event a perennial favorite among race fans for nearly a quarter century. Racing runs Sept. 2-4, rain or shine.

The Muscle Car Shootout has special importance again this year because it’s the grand finale of the three-race Muscle Car Series that highlights the “fast five” classes and 14 other drag racing classes. When the dust settles Sunday, series champions will be crowned in 10 different classes.

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Brainerd P.D. Nab Copper Theft Suspect

Copper thefts are on the increase in the Brainerd Lakes Area. 

Brainerd Police grabbed a sleeping bandit Wednesday morning.  He is accused of breaking into a house on the 1100 block of Brook Street.  Police suspect 29 year-old Kristopher Paul Piognee was taking a nap while in the process of stealing copper pipes from the unoccupied house which was under renovation.  He is also suspected of breaking into a garage and another unoccupied house.

Piognee is in the Crow Wing County Jail awaiting formal charges.

Brainerd Police Chief Corky McQuiston says the theft of recyclable metals is on the increase in the area.  He says thieves are hunting for copper pipes, copper wires and water meters.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fergus Falls Man Dies Near Upsala

A 2 vehicle crash west of Upsala in Morrison County yesterday has taken the life of one of the drivers.

The Sheriff's office says around 3:30 Wednesday afternoon, a car driven by 20 year old Thomas Krivanek of Fergus Falls was traveling west on Abaca Road west of Upsala. Krivanek’s vehicle made a U-turn on Abaca Road and was struck broadside by an eastbound semi tractor trailer driven by 48 year old Robert LeFavor of Long Prairie.

Krivanek, who was the only occupant in the vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene. Lefavor was not injured.

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Cravaack Holds a Duluth Town Hall

(AP)  Eighth District Congressman Chip Cravaak held a hastily called town-hall meeting at the Duluth Airport last evening. 

More than 200 crammed into a small room to hear the Freshman Republican talk for about 25 minutes on his view of the U.S. budget and debt crisis.

The gathering was called following complaints that Cravaack was avoiding DFL leading Duluth for more Republican-friendly areas of the 8th District.  He drew both praise and shouts of anger.

Cravaack says the country will be bankrupt in the next 30 years if government spending isn't curbed.

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Pierz Woman Named Princess Kay

(AP)  A beautiful 18-year-old college student from Pierz is the new Princess Kay of the Milky Way.

Mary Zahurones received her crown at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds last night. 

Representing Morrison County, she will be the goodwill ambassador for 45 hundred Minnesota dairy farmers. 

As one of her first official duties, Zahurones will have her likeness carved in a 90 pound block of butter on the opening day of the state fair today.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

P.L. Legion Member Honored

 A memorial service will be held this weekend for Julian Halvorson at Post 49, the Pequot Lakes American Legion.

The 87-year-old Halvorson recently passed away.  He was a highly decorated veteran of World War II, and a member of both the Pequot Legion and VFW Post 3839 in Jenkins. 

The service will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday.

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Cravaack Accused of "Ducking" Duluth

(AP)  Freshman 8th District Republican Congressman Chip Cravaack had been catching flack for failing to hold public appearances in Duluth during the current recess.  Critics claim he had been avoiding the major population and media center of his district, and holding his town hall meetings in remote areas.

About 50 protesters had gathered outside a Duluth restaurant Tuesday where he was meeting with the conservative leaning National Federation of Independent Businesses.  Cravaack spotted the group, walked over to them and said his schedule had "opened up" allowing him to hold a public appearance at the Duluth Airport at 4 P.M. today. 

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cass Lake Woman No War Hero

(AP)  A Cass Lake woman is in trouble for impersonating an army officer. 

Twenty-year-old Elizabeth McKenzie pleaded guilty Monday in Walker.
She claimed she had been wounded while serving in Afghanistan. 

McKenzie was honored earlier this year at a special ceremony in which she led a march into the high school gym carrying an American Flag. 

News accounts indicated McKenzie had never been injured, never been to Afghanistan and had never been in the Army.

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Record Companies will Appeal Music Sharing Case

(AP)  The legal problems for a Brainerd woman in an Internet music sharing case continues to drag on. 

Jammie Thomas-Rasset had a $1.5 million fine against her reduced to $54 thousand by an incredulous judge.   However, the recording industry wants to exact more punishment, and plans to appeal the reduction.

The recording industry sued Thomas-Rasset in 2006 for illegally sharing music on the Kazaa file-sharing site.  The case has seen multiple appeals, and apparently will see at least one more.

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State Patrol Urges a Safe Labor Day

The Minnesota State Patrol is asking all motorists to “drive intentionally safe” during travels on or near the Labor Day holiday time period.

Sgt. Curt Mowers of the Brainerd office of the State Patrol says, “Looking at the time period from 2004 through 2009, Labor Day weekend travel period is about the fifth deadliest of the six major holidays.”

During that time period in Minnesota, traffic crashes killed at least 26 people and injured at least 1,682. Some of the more serious issues troopers are concerned about include impaired driving, failing to buckle up appropriately, speeding and inattentive driving. Other traffic violations of concern are following too close and passing on the right.

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Scholarship for Law Enforcement Students

Morrison County is offering a $600 scholarship for those who want to get into the law Biz. 

The MN Sheriff’s Association has established a scholarship fund for the awarding of up to fifteen $600.00 scholarships for this coming year. These scholarships are due to the coordinated efforts of the 87 sheriffs of the State of Minnesota.

Interested students should contact the Morrison County Sheriff’s Office or on-line at

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Monticello Nuke Reaction Test Today

There are a lot of flashing lights and sirens around the Monticello Nucelar Power Plant today,  but it's all for practices.

The exercise involves the state of Minnesota, Xcel Energy, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Federal Department of Homeland Security and Wright and Sherburne counties.

The event tests the capabilities of all responsible agencies to take action and protect the health and safety of area residents in the unlikely event of a nuclear incident. It consists of a scenario-based exercise chosen at random. Participants must demonstrate versatility and accuracy in selecting the proper response to protect area residents.

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