Friday, April 20, 2012

Howes Backs Capitol Restoration Bill

The Minnesota House of Representatives fell one vote shy of passing a Bonding Bill to restore and repair the State Capitol building Thursday. 

11 Democrats joined 69 Republicans in support of the renovations.  The bill needed 81 to pass because borrowing is required.

The 221 million dollar bill calls for significant restoration work over four years. Chunks of cement - some as heavy as 20 pounds- have fallen from the exterior, while plaster and trim have eroded and broken off on the inside.

Representative Larry Howes (R-Walker) chairs the House Capital Investment Committee, and says doing the project all at once - rather than on a piece-meal approach - will save money and cause fewer disruptions. He added that the bill is a high priority for Governor Mark Dayton.

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Gazelka Supports Fishing License Increase

It was 10 years ago Minnesota set the cost of a fishing license at $17.  The Department of Natural Resources says it's to raise the fee to pay for hunting and fishing programs such as the stocking of lakes.

Earlier this week the bill to raise the fee to $22 failed in a committee at the state legislature.  State Senator Paul Gazelka of Baxter tells KLKS News, he doesn't know why.

Gazelka supports the fee increase to maintain one of the best fisheries in the country.

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A Good Day to Pay Attention While Driving

Today is distracted driver awareness day.

If you are driving today, you might want to be aware that driving distracted today could get you a ticket.

State Patrol Sergent Curt Mowers tells KLKS News, cops and deputies in the Brainerd Lakes Area will be looking for people texting while driving.

Mowers says 20 percent of the accidents in Minnesota are caused by drivers who are doing more than just driving.  He also says the number of traffic fatalities is up this year, following a record low number of fatal accidents last year.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

MN Spring Turkey Season Begins

Turkey madness begins today.

The first of several hunting segments for the elusive toms is underway for those successful in the lottery. 

DNR Mentoring Coordinator Mike Kurre tells KLKS News, bagging one of the big birds is no easy task.  He says calling them in for a shot within 40 yards can be difficult.

Kurre says this past winter has been easy on the birds.  However, last spring and the previous winter was not. 

Youth 17 and under can purchase a license over the counter, but need an adult to accompany them on the hunt.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ward Cautious Over Vikings Stadium

The Minnesota Vikings stadium proposal may be dead for this session of the state legislature. 

The House Government Operations Committee voted down a funding proposal Monday.

State Representative John Ward of Brainerd tells KLKS News, he could support a stadium plan, but only with certain conditions.  He says any proposal should not involve general fund or legacy dollars.

Representative Ward says it is unlikely a special session will be called following legislative adjournment in two weeks.

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Midnight Deadline for Tax Returns

Some 140 thousand Minnesotans are expected to file for an extension before tonight's income tax filing deadline.

IRS Spokes person Carrie Resch tells KLKS News, midnight tonight is the deadline.  She says electronic filing must be completed before midnight.  If using the postal service, the envelope must be post marked before midnight.

Resch says the IRS is available to answer questions at 1800-Tax 1040.  However a high volume of callers is expected, so anticipate delays.  There is also self help information available at 

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Road Work on Hwy 371 Pine River

Motorists traveling on Highway 371 from Roy Lake Road in Nisswa to Cass County Road 2/42 in Pine River will encounter lane closures with flaggers and a pilot car operation in rural areas when a road resurfacing project begins April 30. This work will require a one-month detour in Pine River from mid-May through mid-June.

During the detour, southbound traffic will use a detour on Cass County Road 2, to Park Avenue, Mill Street and Ridge Avenue. Northbound traffic will be routed onto Ridge Avenue, First Street and Jefferson Avenue through mid-June while crews replace several culverts.

All work is scheduled to be complete by mid-June, weather permitting. The project was originally scheduled to begin in mid-May, but favorable weather conditions will allow the contractor to start the project early.

Knife River Materials of Bemidji is the prime contractor for this $3.8 million project.

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