Friday, June 22, 2012

Brainerd Road Closure

The City of Brainerd has closed East River Road between Kiwanis Park parking lot and Jenny street until further notice due to the rising river elevation.

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Sheriff Dahl Urges Caution on the Water

The Crow Wing County Sheriff is urging caution on the lakes this weekend..

Todd Dahl says the county has received historic rainfall since early June and the lakes are near all time high water levels. He says his office has received numerous complaints of docks and boats floating free from shore.

Lake homeowners have reported portions of their front yards underwater and any wave action can cause damage.

The Wausau Paper Mill Dam reports that the hazard buoys and safety cable have been destroyed by debris in the water. All boat travel is prohibited from the Mill Avenue Bridge to the Dam.

Dahl says caution is needed when boating and protecting the shoreline.

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Rodriquez Requests New Trial

(AP)  Alfonzo Rodriguez Junior wants a new trial or a new sentencing hearing.

The Crookston man is on death row for the 2003 stabbing death of Dru Sjodine of Pequot Lakes.  Sjodine was a student at the University of North Dakota at the time of the crime.

Rodriguez claims his lawyer should have raised an insanity defense, and recoginized that he is "metally retarded."

Federal prosecutors says they want their own experts to evaluate Rodriguez who is being held in an Indiana prison.

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Duluth Receives a Tour from MN Delegation

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and U.S. Representative Chip Cravaack will be in Duluth today to assess the damage caused by severe flooding.

The two DFL-ers and Republican will be reviewing the widespread damage to public infrastructure and local homes and businesses, and discuss recovery efforts with Duluth Mayor Don Ness.

The delegation members will also meet with local officials at City Hall before touring the flood damage.

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Boaters Asked to Keep it Slow

A plea for weekend boaters to back-off the throttle. 

Darril Wegscheid, Lake Management Plan Coordinator for the Lake Roosevelt Lakes says boat wakes are particularly dangerous to all shorelines right now, due to extremely high water levels.  He is asking boaters to keep speeds to a minimum, and hold minimum wakes, until the water goes down.

Docks and boats can be damaged with wave action and the high water.

There are dock sections floating loose in some lakes.  Boaters are asked to be alert to avoid injury.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Rain Closes C.W. Co. Roads

The heavy rain Tuesday night and Wednesday morning has resulted in numerous road closures in northeast Crow Wing County.  Assistant Maintenance Supervisor Jory Danielson says motorists will have to take detours.

As of 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, County Road 1 at Swanburg is closed, alternate routes are C.R. 15 and 66.  County Road 36 east of Olson-Mercantile to the Aitkin County line is closed.  And, C. R. 105 is closed from C. R. 1 to C.R. 36.

Danielson says crews will try to fill gaps to allow for the reopening of the county road, but they will have to allow the water to recede naturally for a long term solution.

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Heavy Rain in the Lakes Area

The last day of spring delivered a huge amount of rain. 

KLKS meteorologist Tony Schumacher says June typically produces about 3.5 inches of rain.  That amount fell in a few hours in Breezy Point and Malmo. The morning rain in Breezy Point has brought that total to 4.3 inches.

Rain gauges were swelling to over-flowing through all of the lakes area.  Serpent Lake in Crosby saw 4.5 inches of rain by 7 a.m.  Just south of Deerwood, 4.38 inches of rain was reported in a backyard rain guage.  Ideal Township reports 2.6 inches of rain through early Wednesday morning, Brainerd 2.7 inches.  A listener reports 5.8 inches near Palasade.

A portion of Washington Street in Brainerd was reported under water Tuesday night.

All the rain has resulted in a Flood Warning for area rivers, Flood Watch through 1 p.m. today for the rest of the Brainerd Lakes Area,

Hopefully, it will begin to dry out with the start of summer, which officially arrives at 6:09 p.m. today.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

DNR Says Boaters Not Cleaning Boats

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says violation of the aquatic invasive species law among boaters is 20 percent. Maj. Phil Meier, Enforcement Division operations manager says this is unacceptable.  He says the majority of violations could have been avoided if people had taken the time to change their routine when leaving lakes and rivers, and comply with AIS laws.

The extra patrols began May 12 and will continue through the summer.

Through June 6th,  conservation officers had made more than 20,000 combined law and education contacts. During this time, 193 criminal citations, 463 civil citations, 975 written warnings and 267 verbal warnings were issued.

Under Minnesota law, it is illegal to transport invasive aquatic plants and animals, as well as water, from water bodies infested with zebra mussels and spiny waterfleas. Violators could face fines up to $500. Some penalty amounts will double beginning July 1.

Boaters are being asked to drain bait buckets, bilges and live wells before leaving any water access; remove aquatic plants from boats and trailers to prevent the spread of invasive species, pull the plug on their boat and drain all water when leaving all waters of the state and keep the drain plug out while transporting water-related equipment on roadways.

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Flags Will Fly in Aitkin July 1st

The unveiling of an All-Veterans Memorial will be held Sun., July 1 at 1:30 p.m. on the Aitkin County Courthouse lawn.

The boulder and granite memorial measuring over 16-ft. in length was commissioned by the Persian Gulf Support Group of Aitkin and was created by a local company. Wreaths will be presented for military conflicts, patriotic live music and guest speakers will honor vets of past and present.

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MPL Looks to Reduce Coal use

Minnesota Power filed additional comments with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on its Baseload Diversification Study that was conducted as part of its long range planning process.

The Duluth based company has already decided that wind, water and wood renewables and natural gas will play a greater role in our energy mix and already have reduced some coal resources, but needs more insight than what was provided by this Study.

Minnesota Power serves portions of the Brainerd Lakes Area.

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