Friday, April 6, 2012

New Regs for Mille Lacs Walleyes

Anglers who fish Mille Lacs Lake during this season will be able to keep walleye less than 17 inches in length.  The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says this is a change from last year's regulation that allowed keeping of walleye less than 18 inches.

The 17- to 28-inch protected slot regulation is designed to keep the walleye harvest by state licensed anglers within the state's allocation of safe harvest. One walleye 28 inches or longer may be included in the four-fish limit. The walleye season is scheduled to open Saturday, May 12.  Although, there is an effort to move-up the opener by one week, so that it won't conflict with Mother's Day.

Mille Lacs Lake is being managed this year for a safe walleye harvest level of 500,000 pounds. The state angler allocation is 357,500 pounds. The tribal allocation is 142,500 pounds. The DNR met with the citizen-comprised Mille Lacs Fishery Input Group twice this past winter to discuss fishing issues.

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

C.W. Property Values Down

Property values continue to decline in Crow Wing County.

County Land Services says assessed property values decreased by $620 million from 2011 to 2012.  That's an improvement from previous year,  which showed a drop of $820 million. 

The county is the process of sending out valuation and classification notices to all landowners identifying the assessed value of the property as of January 2nd, 2012.

Gary Griffin, Land Services Supervisor for property valuation said that an overall decline in value does not mean all properties have declined in value.  If comparable properties in a neighborhood sold for more, valuation will be higher.  Conversely, if similar properties fell upon sale, then valuation will be lower.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Memorial Statue Stolen in Merrifield

MERRIFIELD, Minn. (AP) — The grandparents of a 3 ½-year-old who was struck and killed by a minivan three years ago are stunned that someone would steal a woodcarving that evoked his memory.

The 200- to 300-pound elephant resembled a favorite stuffed animal of Jack Larson of rural Brainerd. During the summer months it would stand at the entrance to his grandparents' property in Merrifield. It had been stored for the winter in their pole barn.

Jack's grandmother, Donna Larson, says the theft was discovered last weekend. She says it doesn't make sense.

The woodcarving depicts a blue elephant sitting on a stump that has the name "Jack" carved into it. It's about three feet tall.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Crow Wing County sheriff's office at 218-829-4749.

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Fire Season Off to a Hot Start

It has been an active wildfire season so far, according to the area DNR.

Program Forester Mark Mortensen tells KLKS News, sunshine and low humidity's are creating high fire conditions.  He says the biggest problems have been seen in low, swampy grassy areas.

Mortensen says the fires have been caused by ATV and equipment use, debris burning and arson.

Only camp fires are allowed now.  Mortensen says they must be completely out before abandoning.

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Lake Inspectors Work To Keep Invasives Out

A pair of area lake associations will have a little more money to wage the battle to keep invasive aquatic species out of their waters.

The MN DNR has awarded the The Crow Wing County Land Services Department with the Whitefish Area Property Owners Association and Pelican Lakes Association a $7,750 Watercraft Inspection Grant.

The money will be used to post inspectors at public landings to look for Eurasian Water Milfoil, Curly Leaf Pondweed, Spiny Water Fleas and Zebra Mussels. 

Last summer inspectors intercepted a boat carrying the unwanted milfoil before it got into Lower Hay Lake.

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Tuesday High School Scores

Browerville 4, Pillager 0

Mora 15, Pierz 5
McGregor 16, Northland 6

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Local Doc Hits a Jackpot

A local doctor won't have to worry over how to pay for his next stethoscope.

Dr. Brett Nienaber of Pequot Lakes cashed in as part of the pay-out on the recent Mega Millions prize.  The first line on the five-line quick-pick ticket matched the first five numbers on his ticket.  As a result, he won $250 thousand dollars in the March 30th drawing.

Dr. Neinaber purchased his winning ticket at a convenience store in Baxter.

Minnesota produced four other quarter million dollar winners.

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Ward Opposes Teacher Dismissal Proposal

It appears the State Legislature is about to pass a bill which would allow schools to cut teachers based on merit and not seniority.

Former teacher, State Representative John Ward of Brainerd tells KLKS News, educators are not afraid to be evaluated, but says this is not the way to do it.  He says area Superintendents have told him they want to dismiss teachers on a variety of factors.

Ward says last year there was bipartisan approval to develop a plan to judge teachers on merit and student achievement.  He says that process should be put in place before any further changes are made.

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Frosty Nights Ahead

Many of those early plants may get nipped over the next several nights as temperatures fall back below freezing.

KLKS Meteorologist Tony Schumacher says covering a flower patch is aways a good idea.  However, he says covering budding fruit trees could be another story.

Schumacher says perennials should be fine.  Some chose to spray water on their plants just before the freeze hits, leaving a layer of ice that can stave off frost damage.

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Sheriff Dahl Says Let Cops Investigate Suspicious Activity

Local law enforcement encourages people to report suspicious activity in their neighborhoods.  That's the purpose behind Neighborhood Watch.  However, Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl says reporting is all they want neighbors to do.  Do not take matters into your own hands.

Sheriff Dahl says, if cabin owners return to find someone may have gained entry into their place, call law enforcement  first to make sure the dwelling is safe before entering.

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Wall Street Shows Fantastic Climb

The first quarter on Wall Street was fantastic according to Stephen Hanson, Director of Financial Services at Pine River Investment Services.

All major indexes were up at least 8 percent, despite economic uncertainty in Europe.

Hanson says the markets are fairly priced right now, much more gains could result in an over-priced market.

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Say Good-Bye to a Record Breaking March

The warm March weather is being described as astonishing.

Meteorologist Tony Schumacher says March averaged about 43 degrees, which is 13 degrees above normal.  And, it was dry producing about 70 percent of normal precipitation amounts.

Tony Says it will be a long time before we see another month like that.

Schumacher says it is too early to tell what kind of summer it will be.  He says there is no correlation between a warm March and a hot summer.

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