Saturday, May 5, 2012

Rick Nolan wins DFL Endorsement

DULUTH - Today Rick Nolan won the DFL endorsement in Minnesota's Eighth Congressional District, and DFL Party Chair Ken Martin issued the following statement:

"Congratulations to Rick Nolan on winning the DFL endorsement today in his race to unseat Chip Cravaack in Minnesota's Eighth Congressional District.  Rick has built a strong campaign already and we look forward to working with him to make Chip Cravaack a one-term Congressman.  We are in a strong position to win with Rick Nolan, and this November, we will be able to send a proven leader to represent northern Minnesota families in Washington once again.

"Rick Nolan's record of leadership show he's ready to win this seat and represent Minnesotans in Washington.  When he last served Minnesotans in Congress, he earned a reputation for his strong judgment, priorities and willingness to stand up for what's right.  Rick knows how to win, and he knows how to lead.  He understands the importance of solving the real problems facing Minnesota families, and he will work to create jobs and strengthen the economic foundation in northern Minnesota and the rest of the state.

"I'm calling on all DFLers to get involved and help Rick succeed this fall, because Rick is an outstanding candidate and Minnesotans can't afford another two years of Chip Cravaack.  Northern Minnesotans deserves a Representative who lives in Minnesota, not in New Hampshire. They deserve someone who'll stand up for their interests, not someone who's willing to end Medicare as we know it, slash financial aid for students, and allow insurance companies to once again deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions.  Cravaack's goal in supporting these radical cuts is to give more tax breaks to his ultra-wealthy corporate friends. It's time to put a stop to Cravaack's reckless, Tea Party politics by electing Rick Nolan for Congress this fall."

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Friday, May 4, 2012

DNR Ramps and Piers Ready for Use

The DNR has been busy placing fishing piers and rolling out docks and fixing ramps at the public accesses.

Brainerd Area DNR Parks and Trails Supervisor Wade Miller says the lack of winter snow cover resulted in more damage than usual on area boat ramps.  He says the ice pushed the ramps toward shore.

Miller the opposite was true on Mille Lacs, where the boat ramps escaped damage.  He says the mild winter resulted in less ice and the less ramp damage.

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Cass Co Jail Birds to Pay Med Bills

(AP)  Cass County will begin charging its jail inmates for medical care.

The county has been paying about $100,000 per year for that care. Inmates who have insurance will be expected to use it. Those who don't will pay a portion of the cost of their medical care.

Sheriff's officials say they expect fewer inmates will ask to see a doctor or to go to a hospital merely as a way to get out of jail for a while.

Jail Lt. Joel Norenberg, in Walker, says the sheriff's department will use a collection agency to collect payments that run 60 days past-due.

Work release or temporary release inmates will not be charged the medical fees.

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Brainerd Komen Honorees

Participants of the Brainerd Lakes Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® who raise more than $500 for the annual event will now be recognized and added to the new Pink Honor Roll.

The inaugural class of honorees was announced for the 2011 Komen Brainerd Lakes Race for the Cure. Those who raised more than $500 for last year’s event are:

• Sara Ahlers, Brainerd
• Julie Blabolil, White Bear Lake
• Roger Lykins, Nisswa
• Lori Plum, Pequot Lakes
• Kim Rhett, Pillager
• Alicia Schlief, Otsego
• Olga Sewell, Fort Ripley
• Lisa Slepica, Deerwood

For the first time, those who raise more than $250 prior to this year’s Race, which is scheduled for June 30 at Forestview Middle School in Baxter, can choose an appreciation award from Komen’s online Summit Gift Program based on the amount they raise. 

 The 2012 Brainerd Lakes Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® includes a 5K run, 5K walk, 1 mile walk and Kids for the Cure dashes.

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AIS Decal Discontinued

A slate of new laws designed to curb the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species was approved in a recent bill passed by the Minnesota Legislature and signed by Gov. Mark Dayton.

A program requiring watercraft owners to place an AIS rules sticker on their boats is being discontinued and replaced with an online education program. Watercraft owners will no longer be required to place on their boats the rectangular, silver and black decals, which include a summary of the state's AIS laws.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) began distributing the decals earlier this year and will continue to give them to interested boat owners for informational purposes only.

A new law, which goes into effect 2015, will require anyone who transports watercraft or water-related equipment with a trailer to complete an online education course. After completing the course, the person will receive a decal that must be placed on their trailer, certifying they have taken the course. People taking the course can receive extra stickers if they own or use multiple trailers for watercraft or water-related equipment.

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Hunting and Fishing Licenses Going Up

The price of Minnesota hunting and fishing licenses will increase in March 2013 for the first time in 12 years.

Gov. Mark Dayton signed a House- and Senate-approved bill Thursday that raises the cost of an annual resident fishing license from $17 to $22 and a resident deer hunting license from $26 to $30. Most resident youth hunting and fishing licenses will be $5 or free. Youth under 16 do not need a fishing or small game hunting license.

License fee increases were widely supported by hunting, fishing and conservation organizations. The last general license fee increase was approved in 2000 and implemented in 2001.

Enacting the license fee bill maintains the solvency of the state's Game and Fish Fund for the remainder of this biennium, which ends June 30, 2013. New revenue will begin to come into the game and fish fund in March 2013. The DNR estimates the fees will generate about $5 million in fiscal 2013 and approximately $10 million per year in following years.

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Local Road Work

Motorists in central Minnesota should plan for minor traffic delays, weekday intermittent lane closures, traffic shifts and reduced speeds beginning Monday, May 7, as crews begin resurfacing work on several highways in Morrison and Crow Wing counties.

The $2.5 million road preservation project includes work on Highway 10 south of Little Falls to Morrison County Road 40 south of Royalton.

The project also includes nighttime work on Highway 210 from Golf Course Road in Baxter to just east of Third Street NW in Brainerd.

During paving operations on four-lane roadways, traffic will shift to one lane through the work zone and be directed by flaggers. Pilot cars will be utilized on two-lane roadways.

Work is scheduled to be completed by late June, weather permitting.

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Burning Restrictions to be Lifted

Restrictions on open burning will be lifted next week in the Brainerd Lakes Area.

The DNR says beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, May 7th, burning restrictions will be removed from from Aitkin, southern Cass (south of Highway 200), Crow Wing, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties.

The DNR is lifting restrictions in areas where green-up of the fine fuels is occurring and wildfire conditions are easing. Although lawns are green, outlying areas such as fields and swamps are still brown because of tall, dry, dead vegetation.
Because fire danger can change quickly, the DNR's electronic permit system may deny permit activations in selected counties when daily conditions warrant.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

IDs of Couple Found in Monday Fire

Authorities have now identified the bodies of two people found in a structure fire in Lake Edward Township Monday morning.

The Crow Wing County Sheriff's office say 56-year-old Kenneth Alan Ponsness and 57-year-old Kathleen Marie Ponsness were removed from the fire on Tranquil Road.

Autopsies are being performed to determine the cause of death.

Authorities are continuing their investigation into the circumstances regarding the fire and the cause of death.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ward Says Time is Running Out

State Representative John Ward says the major pieces of legislative work remain ahead for state lawmakers, and they have only six session days to get it done.

The Brainerd DFLer says left undone so far are the bonding bill, tax bill and Vikings stadium bill.

The Republican sponsored tax bill would give a significant property tax cut to business.  Ward says there is no mechanism to pay for that.

Representative Ward says it is important the Vikings stadium gets legislative approval this session to avoid the team moving to California.  He says he will support any bill that does not use general revenue or legacy dollars.

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Two Die in Lake Edwards Twnship Fire

Authorities have now identified the bodies of two people found in a structure fire in Lake Edward Township Monday morning.

The Crow Wing County Sheriff's office say 56-year-old Kenneth Alan Pnsness and 57-year-old Kathleen Marie Pnsness were removed from the fire on Tranquil Road.

Autopsies are being performed to determine the cause of death.

Authorities are continuing their investigation into the circumstances regarding the fire and the cause of death.

Agencies involved with the investigation include the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office, MN Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (MNBCA), and the MN State Fire Marshal’s Office. Other agencies assisting include Fire Departments from the City of Nisswa, City of Pequot Lakes, City of Brainerd, Ideal Township, Mission Township and North Memorial Ambulance.

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Monday, April 30, 2012

Cass Co Osprey Get a Lift from MN Power

A new nesting platform has been installed on a tall pole in Cass County to accommodate nesting ospreys, according the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The platform was installed by Minnesota Power.

“A company who is willing to leave the nest on their structure, or who is willing to provide a new place for the birds to nest is to be commended,” said Carrol Henderson, supervisor, DNR Nongame Wildlife Program. 

Ospreys nest on tall structures, such as cell-phone towers or power transmission lines. From time to time, these structures need to be replaced or in other cases, the nests may be causing a fire hazard. When this happens, a state permit to remove the unoccupied osprey nest is issued to the power company. While not required to do so, some power companies put up a new structures – just for the birds.

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Say Good-Bye to a Warm April

April was a warm month, although not quite as much above average at March, according to KLKS Meteorologist Tony Schumacher.  He says temperatures were about three degrees above average, while precipitation about around an inch to an inch and a half above normal. 

Schumacher expects May to begin just a bit warmer than normal.

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Right of Way for Emergency Vehicles

Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl is reminding drivers that the law requires motorists to safely pull over and come to a stop when emergency vehicles with lights and sirens approach.

Crow Wing County's top cop tells KLKS News, they must get to the scene of the call quickly because time is of the essence.  He says when constantly have to slow down to wait for other motorists to give them right of way, it can cost precious seconds.

Sheriff Dahl says it is important to constantly check the rear-view mirror.  Because emergency vehicles can move quickly, they can over take motorists before then know they are upon them.

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Lions Prepare for Ditch Pick-Up

The Nisswa Lions Club members will pick up the Litter from the roads and highways in the Nisswa area on May 14th from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM.   This “Pick up the Litter” event is one of many community service projects performed by the Nisswa Lions.

Nisswa Lions Club President Mike Rempe says the Lions are known for the commitment to the local area by performing and filling needed community services. Lions are also recognized worldwide for their work with the visually impaired and blind, a cause Lions have supported since Helen Keller’s call to Lions in 1925 to be ‘Knights of the Blind.’ Our support of eye banks and sight-saving surgeries is one example of how Lions make a difference in our community.

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