Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Season of Storms Continues

The fourth of July finished with a big areal display, both natural and man-made.

The fireworks in Baxter were augmented with the wale of tornado sirens and frequent lightening strikes. The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning after rotation was detected in an approaching storm.

A trained spotter two miles northeast of Brainerd reported 58 mile per hour winds and pea sized hail. Hail measuring 1.5 inch in diameter was reported in Wealthwood in Aitkin County. Rain measuring 1.38 inches was reported in a backyard rain gauge in Malmo. Trees measuring two feet in diameter were reported down on the north side of Mille Lacs.

A deluge of rain in the Palasade area of Aitkin County continues headaches for lake shore owners there. Big Sandy lake shore owners have been battling damaging water for weeks.

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Tick Seminars Upcoming

The Minnesota Department of Health warns tiny ticks are a big problem in Minnesota.

A growing number of people across the band of northern counties of Aitkin, Beltrami, Carlton, Cass, Crow Wing, and Hubbard are becoming ill from diseases carried by the black-legged tick, commonly known as a deer tick.

The Crow Wing County Health Division  and Essentia Health are sponsoring a Tick Mitigation Campaign. The Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Foundation will offer two community health panels on July 16-17. Experts will discuss the diagnosis and treatment of tick-borne diseases and what can be done to reduce risk.

Community Health Panels are July 16, 5:30-7 p.m., and July 17, 8:30-10 a.m. at the Northland Arboretum,.

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Monday, July 2, 2012

Higher Fines for AIS Violations

Civil fines for people caught violating the state's aquatic invasive species (AIS) laws will double on July 1, when new, tougher laws take effect, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced.

Minnesota law prohibits the possession or transport of any AIS in the state. AIS include zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil and spiny waterfleas.
Earlier this month, DNR officials announced that the AIS violation rate among Minnesota boaters and anglers is at an unacceptable rate of 20 percent.

"The larger fines should help people realize that this is a serious problem, and we need everyone to do their part to prevent the spread of AIS," explained Maj. Phil Meier, DNR Enforcement operations manager.

For example, failure to remove a drain plug while transporting a watercraft will mean a $100 fine, instead of a $50 penalty. The fine for unlawfully possessing and transporting prohibited AIS will increase from $250 to $500.

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DWI Enforcement

BRAINERD The Minnesota State Patrol will have extra DWI patrols at several local events including Moondance Jam, Friday July 20 and Saturday July 21, near Walker, and for Emily Day, June 21, in and around Emily. Additional troopers and other area officers will be on the roads during these times to combat impaired driving during the busy weekend. 

The enforcement efforts are part of the Towards Zero Deaths (TZD) initiative. TZD aims to create a culture for which traffic fatalities and serious injuries are no longer acceptable through the integrated application of education, engineering, enforcement, and emergency medical and trauma services. The TZD partnership is led by the Minnesota departments of Public Safety, Transportation, and Health, in cooperation with the Minnesota State Patrol, the Federal Highway Administration, Minnesota county engineers, and the Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota.   

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