News December, 2012

Monday- December 31st, 2012 “New Year’s Eve”

--Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel announced that his office, along with the police departments in Little Falls, Royalton, Pierz, Randall, and Motley have recently completed the Predatory Offender Registry verifications for Morrison County. Each year the sheriff’s office and local police departments personally visit and check on each person listed on the Predatory Offender Registry. The purpose of these visits is to ensure that all people listed on the registry are compliant and that they are aware that law enforcement still has them on the radar screen. A total of 98 Morrison County residents are listed on the Predatory Offender Registry. Of those 98, 30 are level I, 7 are level II, and 2 are level III. 59 people on the registry do not have a risk level assigned. Risk levels are determined by the Department of Corrections prior to the person being released from prison. Of the 98 total verification checks completed, officers found no offenders to be out of compliance. Level I offenders, along with those without a level assigned are checked once annually. Level II offenders are checked twice per year, while level III offenders are checked four times per year. Wetzel stated, “While our compliance checks are extremely important, they do not provide absolute assurance that a person will not be the victim of a sex crime. Each of us needs to take the steps necessary to remain aware of our surroundings and protect ourselves at all times.”

--The Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce has named Timothy Hanson the January 2013 Employee of the Month. He is both the rental manager and part of the sales team at the Little Falls Hardware Hank. Hanson has worked at Hardware Hank for eight years, starting when he was 21 years old.

--As in years past the Morrison County Commissioners will meet today on the final day of the year at 9am at the government center. Agenda items include reports from social services, public health, a budget report, a report from the Morrison County Fair Board and reports from the auditor and public works before ending 2012. The County Board will also hold a planning meeting on January 7th at the government center at 8:30am. Two items on that agenda are a report from Sheriff Michel Wetzel including a new position, and the administrator’s report including expense reimbursement process.

--A 10-year-old girl died after a sledding accident Thursday in central Minnesota. Meeker County officials say she was on a hill with other children in Dassel Township when her sled hit a stump and she was thrown off. The girl was taken to a local hospital and later died from her injuries. The sheriff says the children were under adult supervision and it appears to be a tragic accident.

--Sherburne County authorities are investigating a three-vehicle accident Thursday near Big Lake that killed a Fridley man. The sheriff’s office says 48-year-old Ronald Talbot died after his car collided head-on with a vehicle driven by Blaine Travis of Elk River and then made contact with an SUV driven by 54-year-old Donna Travis of Elk River. The husband and wife were treated and released at area hospitals. Talbot was pronounced dead at the scene.

--A 50-year-old man is dead after getting caught in a piece of machinery at a waste facility in Alexandria. According to a news release from the local police department, it happened at about 9 p.m. Thursday at Pope/Douglas Solid Waste, which handles waste for Pope and Douglas counties. Police say the man is Tim Allen Anderson from Evansville and he’s an employee there. He died on the scene.

--As the year of 2012 comes to a close Little Falls Radio remembers these 5 stories as the top news stories of 2012. It was an election year that had many close races including city council, county commissioners, two state amendments and of course nationally the presidential race. Early in the year the city of Little Falls got in some trouble after an area resident was asked to remove signs from her yard and she sued the city, Little Falls Police Chief, and members of the city council for violation of her citizen right to freedom of speech. That lawsuit continues in the court system and is currently in the litigation process. The council this summer did pass a new sign ordinance they felt was fair and enforceable. An unusually high number of murder cases is presently being tried in Morrison County with the most controversial of these cases involving 64-year old Byron Smith of Little Falls fatally shooting two area teens who broke into his home on Thanksgiving. Not all news stories were controversial. Amongst the most notable feel good stories of the year was a 1973 Little Falls High School graduate Brian Kobilka winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Kobilka is also a University of Minnesota Duluth Graduate and currently works as a professor at Stanford University of Medicine. Mary Zahrones of Pierz was crowned Princess Kay of the Milky Way last year in August but continued her reign until the night before the state fair. Mary was the first Princess Kay from Morrison County. She was replaced by Christine Reitsma of Sauk Centre who is the first Princess Kay to hail from Stearns County.

--Congratulations to Lisa Heinz of Pierz who won $20,000 from a scratch off lottery ticket. She purchased the ticket in Albertvile.

--Corey Jensen and Cassandra Myrum of Little Falls, a boy on 12-27
--Greg Heap & Krista Sorenson (Hubbard) of Brainerd, girl Dec. 27th

--Joyce Kronbeck, age 85 of Little Falls.
--James ‘Jim’ Poser, age 69 of Pierz.
--Harold Villnow, age 60 of rural Pierz.

TODAY= mostly sunny, high 7 above, wind chills -5 to -20.
TONIGHT= clear, very cold, low -15, wind chills -20 to -30.
TUESDAY= mostly sunny, high 13, clouds increase late, low 0.
WEDNESDAY= snow showers likely, high near 20.

NFL= Blair Walsh kicked the game winning field goal as time expired for the Vikings to win 37-34 over Green Bay and head to the playoffs for the first time since 2009. Adrian Peterson ran for 199 yards in the game but missed the NFL rushing record by 9 yards. The Vikings will now travel to Green Bay and face the Packers again on their home field this Saturday night at 7pm, hear it live on AM960 KLTF.

COL FB= Texas Tech scored 10 points in final 3 minutes including a game ending field goal to comeback and beat the Gophers 34-31 in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Houston Friday night.


Enjoy New Years Eve tonight with Redneck Radio at West Side Bar

Friday- December 28th, 2012

--State Senator Paul Gazelka announced that due to prudent fiscal management of the state’s budget, school districts across the state will receive amounts in school aid paybacks which started this month and continue into January. Gazelka stated that this will help school districts across the state by speeding up payments which they were anticipating receiving over a longer time horizon. The following net increases in payments for 2013 include Little Falls at $3,454,919, Staples Motley $1,995,046, Pierz $1,652,397, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle $1,551,733, Pillager $1,193,305, Royalton $1,155,151, Browerville $744,899, Upsala $591,251 and Swanville at $464,024.

--Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel is asking all county residents to call his office prior to burning brush piles this winter.  “Minnesota law allows people to burn brush piles without a permit when an unbroken blanket of snow 3” thick covers the area around the fire. Without the permit however, the Sheriff’s Office has no idea when and where people might be burning. Passing motorists or neighbors frequently call to report the fires as structure fires. Without knowing in advance that a brush fire was going to be lit, we have no choice but to dispatch deputies and/or fire trucks. This not only costs the taxpayers extra money, but also puts lives at unnecessary risk during the emergency response. A simple phone call to my office prior to burning a brush pile can avoid all of that” states Sheriff Wetzel.

--A 7-year-old boy who was struck by a vehicle at his rural Kanabec County home has died. The child was taken to a local hospital after being hit Christmas night around 6:30 in Whited Township near Mora. He was first taken to a Mora Hospital then later flown to a Twin Cities hospital where he died. The Kanabec county sheriff’s department is investigating. The child was not immediately identified.

--A 28-year-old man was arrested in Crosby Tuesday night for burglarizing a home and stealing Christmas presents. Police responded just after 7pm to 2nd Street Northwest in Crosby where a burglary was in progress. When police arrived they saw a man running out the front door of the house, fled on foot with Christmas presents in hand. Crow Wing County was called in to assist in the search of the suspect who was later found hiding near another home a block away and arrested. The suspect has a previous record and a warrant for his arrest in Crow Wing County. He now also faces charges of burglary, probation violations and fleeing a peace officer. The name of the suspect was not released in the report as criminal charges were forwarded to the Crow Wing County Attorney’s Office.

--A man was hospitalized following a two-vehicle collision Wednesday afternoon in Baxter. The accident happened at the intersection of Highway 210 and Knollwood Drive. Baxter police say one of the drivers was taken to Brainerd hospital and treated for injuries. No other information or names involved in the accident were released.

--It was December 27th, 2011 that the Swany White Flour Mill in Melrose burned to the ground leaving only debris and the smokestack. A year later a new mill sits where the former facility once was. The cause of the fire was never determined when Freeport firefighters got the call early that morning. The structure was over 100 years old and the fire did $850,000 in damages. Luckily with the fire starting so early no one was working the mill at the time. The mill that was rebuilt this year is smaller in density to the original facility. Owners of the mill stated that workloads have decreased in production over the years but at one time the Swany White Flour Mill was producing well over 750,000 pounds of flour a year.

--Todd County investigated a disturbance complaint in Browerville on Wednesday night just after 9pm. A deputy arrived to find that a GMC suburban had slid off the roadway and struck a house on 7th Street West. Deputies say the driver Ben Hodge rural Browerville had suffered two lacerations to the head during an altercation with the homeowner David Gilpin after Ben had drove into David’s house. Ben was taken to Long Prairie Hospital treated and released to authorities where he was arrested on charges of DWI. The house was severely damaged from the accident.

--8th District U.S. Representative elect Rick Nolan has landed one of the committee assignments he wanted most, a seat on the House of Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Nolan's office said Thursday he got the word from Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and the House Democratic Caucus. In a statement, Nolan says the seat is vital to economic development in the Eighth District, which includes northeastern Minnesota. His three predecessors all served on the committee. He says he'll use the seat to try to secure money for the Northern Lights Express high speed rail project, maintain subsidized airline service at regional airports, upgrade the Port of Duluth, modernize the electrical grid and make high speed broadband communications available to all.

--David Kuschel and Meghann Boser of Royalton, a girl on 12-4-12

--Curtis Hauge Sr., age 71 of Little Falls formerly of Blaine.
--Charles “Chuck” Millner, age 59 of Pierz

TODAY= light snow until noon, then cloudy, high near 22.
TONIGHT= cloudy, low around 5 above.
SATURDAY= becoming mostly sunny, high 15, clear night, low -6.
SUNDAY= partly sunny, high near 20, low around 0.
MONDAY= mostly sunny, colder, high near 10 above.

COL FB= Gophers vs. Texas Tech in the Meineke Car Care Bowl from Houston, Texas tonight 8pm, 7pm pregame on KLTF.
COL HK= Gophers vs. Air Force 6:30pm Saturday on KLTF
NFL= Green Bay at Vikings Sunday 3:25pm on KLTF, the Vikings win they are in the playoffs and would likely travel to Green Bay or San Francisco the following weekend. If Vikings lose they could still get in the playoffs but need help from 3 different NFL teams.
HS SPORTS= Holiday tournaments start up or continue today for many area teams which will conclude on Saturday.

IN 1732= Benjamin Franklin began publication of Poor Richard’s Almanac under the penname Richard Saunders.
IN 1895= the first reported movie theater in the world opens in Paris, the United States reports the first in the U.S. opened in 1896.
IN 1983= Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys drowned after diving from a pier at Marina Del Ray, California. He was 39.

“Loss 4 Words” tonight, Redneck Radio Sat and Mon at WS Bar.

Thursday- December 27th, 2012

--About 30 firefighters spent much of Christmas evening battling a house fire in Langola Township near Rice. The house was a total loss, and is believed to have been started by an unattended candle. Rice firefighters responded to the call Tuesday at 1528 125th St. NW just after 6pm after finding the house engulfed in flames. Royalton firefighters were called in to assist. Firefighters were on the scene until 10pm. Firefighters said the owners Karol and Donald Weyer were not home at the time of the fire but two dogs died in the blaze.

--Department of Natural Resources officials are still reminding outdoor enthusiasts to check ice thickness before heading onto the state’s lakes and ponds. If the ice measures two inches or less, you’re urged to stay off. Ice must measure four inches or more to be considered safe for fishing. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources suggests using a chisel or auger along with a tape measure to correctly measure ice thickness. You can also check with local bait shops or resorts to ask about current ice conditions.

--The State Fire Marshal is investigating a Christmas Eve blaze at a motel in Carlton that displaced eight people. The Carlton County Sheriff’s Office says no one was injured in the fire Monday night at the Royal Pines Motel. Temporary housing was made available at another motel in a nearby town.

--More than 4,300 Minnesota residents were diagnosed with whooping cough this year. A quarter of the cases were among children ages 9 to 12. The number is far more than in any year since World War II. Before the first pertussis vaccine became available in the USA in 1943, Minnesota had as many as 5,000 cases some years.\

--Unemployment insurance benefits will expire Saturday for thousands of out-of-work Minnesotans if Congress doesn't renew a program that gives extra aid to those who have used up their six months of state unemployment checks. Hopes that the benefits would be renewed dimmed after lawmakers left Washington last week without striking a deal on the so-called fiscal cliff. Unemployment benefits have become a bargaining chip in the stalled negotiations between the White House and congressional Republicans. Allowing the benefits to expire could save the federal government $30 billion, but the cost to 12,200 Minnesotans would be steep. Federal funding for jobless aid nearly tripled during the recession, rising from $33 billion in 2007 to $94 billion in 2012. In 2008, Congress created the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. It offered up to 53 extra weeks of benefits to the long-term unemployed, with aid varying by state depending on unemployment rates. In Minnesota, the unemployment rate is two points lower than the national average. The program here offers 14 extra weeks of unemployment checks those who have exhausted their first 26 weeks. Last month, state officials began notifying the 12,200 people who will see their benefits expire.

--Minnesota is on pace to have fewer fire deaths in 2012 than last year. State Fire Marshal Jerry Rosendahl says his office won’t have the final total until late February, but right now the state is at 47 fatalities for this year compared to 54 last year at this time. As a whole Minnesota had 56 fire related deaths in 2011 which is considered a very high number. Rosendahl. The state record for fewest fire fatalities was 35 in 2009.

--Check out News, weather and sports along with upcoming community events at

--A 16-year old New Brighton boy missing since last Friday has been found safe at a friend’s home. The Star Tribune reported Will Ricci’s stepfather told the Star Tribune he doesn’t know all the details but got a call from police that the youth had been found unharmed. Ricci has mental health issues requiring daily medication that he left behind which increased his family’s concern.

--Governor Mark Dayton has surgery on his lower spine scheduled this morning at the Mayo Clinic in Rocheter. The purpose is to relieve a condition called Stenosis which is a constriction in that part of the spine and to fuse a vertebra there which is shifting out of alignment. It’s expected Dayton will be released from the hospital next Monday and then work out of the Governor’s residence for the next couple weeks. The legislature goes back into session January 8th.

--Two Television and Movie icons died Christmas Eve. Actor Jack Klugman died in Los Angeles Monday at age 90. Klugman appeared with Tony Randall in the Odd Couple on TV then later as Quincy M.E. Actor Charles Durning died Monday at age 89. Durning appeared in a number in movies for over 30 years, appearing with likes of Burt Reynolds, Dolly Parton, Dustin Hoffman and George Clooney.

--“Rollie” Ronald D. Kollodge, age 74 of East Gull Lake & Elmdale

TODAY= cloudy skies, high around 20.
TONIGHT= snow likely, up to 1 inch by morning, low 10 above.
FRIDAY= snow in morning, another inch in areas, high 18.
SATURDAY= partly sunny, high 18, low 0.
SUNDAY= mostly sunny, high 15, low around 5 above.

HS SPORTS= a number of holiday tournaments begin today with more beginning Friday and concluding on Saturday. Little Falls hosts a boys hockey classic with games today, Friday and Saturday at Exchange Arena, Little Falls plays at 7pm each night. Little Falls Boys and Girls Basketball tournament begins Friday at the High School. Pierz girls host a tournament today and tomorrow, Upsala hosts a girls tournament today and tomorrow, Pillager hosts a boys tournament today and Friday. Pierz boys are at the St. Cloud Cathedral tournament today through Saturday. Upsala boys are in Little Falls, Royalton boys at Pillager. Holdingford, Bertha Hewitt and Foley girls basketball teams are in Upsala. Get scores and highlights from all the tournaments Saturday morning on Coaches Corner from the radio station studios at 9am live on AM960 KLTF.
MLB= former Twins catcher A.J. Pierzynski has signed a one-year contract with the Texas Rangers. Pierzynski has played 15 years in the majors with Minnesota, San Francisco and the Chicago White Sox, winning the World Series with Chicago in 2005.
NFL= The NFL Pro Bowl Selection was held last night. The Vikings will have four players there. Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen, Jerome Felton and Blair Walsh were selected to the 2013 Pro Bowl. Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers and Denver QB Peyton Manning were named game starters. The Pro Bowl will be January 27th in Hawaii.

“Redneck Radio tonight, “Loss for Words” Friday at West Side Bar.

Wednesday- December 26th, 2012

--Authorities believe they may have nabbed the thieves responsible for a rash of burglaries in north-central Minnesota. Cass County Sheriff’s deputies received a report of a suspicious vehicle early Friday morning and upon arrival, located the car in the ditch. After investigating further officials determined the two suspects may have been involved in several recent burglaries nearby. The suspects were taken to the Cass County Jail awaiting formal charges.

--Two men were injured Monday afternoon in a two vehicle accident on Highway 10 between Verndale and Wadena. The State Patrol says just after 5pm, 21-year-old Michael Kohler of Pelican Rapids was eastbound on Highway 10 when a vehicle driven by 53-year-old Carl Dahlvang of Staples crossed the center-line and struck the Kohler vehicle in the driver’s door. Then Dahlvang fled the scene. Kohler was taken to the Wadena hospital and treated for minor injuries. Dahlvang was found early Monday night walking along the side of the road in Verndale and taken into custody after being checked out at a local hospital for minor lacerations. Dahlvang was booked in Wadena County with Criminal Vehicle Operation, DWI, leaving the scene of an accident and driving after cancellation of his license.

--A Minneapolis man suffered minor burns in a helicopter crash in Corcoran Sunday morning. 68-year-old Nils Svard had landed on a helipad outside a home along County Circle E. About 10:30am an aircraft spun and collided with an unoccupied trailer before catching fire. Emergency crews removed the victim from the helicopter. He was the only occupant. He was treated for minor burns and abrasions then later released. The FAA is investigating the crash.

--An investigation into drug dealing has led to the arrest of a Big Lake man for possessing a firearm after previously being convicted of a felony. The Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office Drug Task Force last week arrested Marcellus Sowell, 26, after a search warrant was executed in the 300 block of Monroe Street. During the search, investigators found marijuana, drug paraphernalia and a handgun. Investigators also seized $871 in cash during Sowell’s arrest. Sowell was arrested without incident and was booked into the Sherburne County Jail for investigation of being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and fifth-degree sale of a controlled substance.

--The Central Minnesota Community Foundation awarded more than $4.2 million in grants and started 33 new funds this year, according to its 2012 annual report. The community foundation raised more than $12 million in new gifts. The foundation’s total assets are $72 million and about 550 funds. Last year, it awarded $5.3 million in grants. The grant money was awarded in 1,328 grants to hundreds of charities. More than 26 percent — $1.1 million — of the $4.2 million in grant money was given to religious organizations.

--A lack of snow in November allowed construction projects in Minnesota to continue and some to be completed. The month saw an increase of 1,300 construction jobs. State Labor Analyst Steve Hine says an improving housing market is a key ingredient for a robust recovery in the construction industry. Hine says Hurricane Sandy impacted the industry nationally in November but the rebuilding in the coming months will be a boon for construction.

--It’s a Nashville Country Christmas tonight to help Holy Trinity School in Pierz. Kenny and Diana Janson of Nashville along with many guests will perform.  $25 for dinner and show with doors at the Pierz Ballroom opening at 5pm, dinner 5:30pm, show 6:45pm.

--One person was treated for injuries in a two vehicle accident Monday afternoon in Todd County. Deputies say the accident happened near Staples when Nicole Burton of Duluth turned in front of a vehicle driven by Shane Hamburg Staples and the vehicles collided. Neither driver was hurt. A passenger in the Burton vehicle- Raymond Trimbach of Duluth was taken to the Staples Hospital treated and released. There was one more passenger in Burton’s vehicle and one in Hamburg’s vehicle who were not hurt.\

--The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has issued a missing person alert for a New Brighton teenager who his family says has mental health issues and is without his medication. 16-year-old Will Ricci was last seen Friday morning when his mother said he was in his bedroom. The teen had apparently taken a pair of boots, a brown Columbia jacket and little else but his mother was unsure when he left the house. Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call New Brighton police at 651-767-0640.

--Mark St. Martin and Jeanne Hultquist of Little Falls, a girl 12-21
--Josiah and Renee Loeffler of Little Falls, a boy born Dec. 21st

--Glenn W. Sundeen age 59 of Buckman
--John B. O’Brien, age 81 of Little Falls.
--Helen Kapus, age 88 of Little Falls formerly of Freedhem.

TODAY= light snow showers, cloudy, high near 15.
TONIGHT= mostly cloudy, low around 0.
THURSDAY= mostly cloudy, high 17, snow at night low 10.
FRIDAY= snow showers, cloudy, high near 20.

--The Minnesota Vikings are warning fans to be wary of counterfeit tickets to Sunday’s regular-season finale against the rival Green Bay Packers. The Vikings say because of the team’s ticket-scanning process, a fan who buys a counterfeit ticket might not be able to enter the Metrodome and could be subject to investigation. Fans caught in the stadium with a counterfeit ticket will be ejected and could be arrested. The Vikings say counterfeit tickets are sold over the Internet and by ticket-sellers near the stadium on game day. Minnesota would clinch a postseason berth with a win over the NFC North champion Packers. Catch the Vikings/Packers game live this Sunday afternoon at 3:25pm on AM960 KLTF.
--It was announced Monday that Adrian Peterson was battling an abdominal injury Sunday against Houston and that was one reason that he was not used in the 4th quarter against the Texans. Peterson told reporters Monday he will be ready for Sunday’s Packers game.
--Gophers vs. Texas Tech Friday in Meineke Car Care Bowl from Houston, Texas. Pregame 7pm on AM960 KLTF.


Redneck Radio tonight and Thurs, sober cab weekends at WS Bar

Monday- December 24th, 2012 “Christmas Eve”

--Area schools Friday upgraded some security measures after a rash of rumors spread quickly across the area. Little Falls Community Schools put this on their website- This morning, in conjunction with Little Falls Police Department and the Morrison County Sheriff's Department, Little Falls Community Schools investigated a rumor of a threat in our district.  Multiple interviews and in-depth investigations found this report to be unsubstantiated.  The district's schools did go into lockdown and are now back on normal schedule. Pierz and Royalton schools also went into security mode after receiving similar information. Royalton schools stayed in lockdown mode until school was let out that afternoon. Authorities stated they heightened their efforts but in all cases the rumors or items that were investigated did not lead to anything. St. Cloud Schools due to rumors stopped hallway activity and limited activities for the day. Sauk Rapids-Rice Schools Superintendent stated Friday there was no risk at the school. He stated that some social media sites reported differently but wanted students and parents to know that all was fine. Many feel the rumors were from the 1 week anniversary of the tragic events in Connecticut and also end of the world jargon due to Mayan Calendar.

--Angelina O’Mara will spend the rest of her life in a Minnesota prison after being sentenced to life in prison without parole Friday in Benton County District Court in Foley. Angelina O’Mara sat emotionless Friday and said nothing during the hearing where family members of James O’Mara, including James and Angelina’s daughter spoke to her before the sentence was read. O’Mara changed her plea to guilty earlier this year just days after her trial began. She was also facing murder charges in Wisconsin for the killing of her boyfriend just a day after her ex-husband was found dead in a Sauk Rapids apartment. Angelina O’Mara’s attorney stated that even up to sentencing O’Mara claims that other party killed her ex-husband and that the boyfriend’s death was self-defense in Wisconsin but changed her plea shortly after Angelina’s mother died and confusing testimony from videotaped interviews taken after she was arrested.

--The next court date has been set for 64-year old Byron Smith of Little Falls who is accused of killing Nick Brady and Haile Kifer during an alleged burglary on Thanksgiving. Smith posted bail last week after bail with conditions was reduced to $50,000 cash. Smith’s next court date will be Tuesday, January 22nd at 1:00pm in the Morrison County Courthouse. Evidence continues to come in. As of mid week last week, there was over 300 pages of evidence and several audio recordings according to prosecuting attorney Todd Kosovich.

--In three unanimous votes Tuesday, the Morrison County Commissioners approved salaries for County Attorney Brian Middendorf, County Auditor/Treasurer Russ Nygren and incoming County Recorder Eileen Holtberg. Middendorf did not receive any increase in 2012. Nygren never received a raise for assuming the treasurer duties three years ago. Holtberg will be assuming the county recorder position effective January 1st, to fill the remainder of Bunny Johnston’s term. The vote for County Sheriff Michel Wetzel’s salary passed three votes to two. The commissioners also approved the final county levy for 2013 at $17.536 million, a 1.95% increase. The commissioners also approved the final 2013 county budget at $37.795 million. The next County Board meeting will be Monday, December 31st at 9am in the Morrison County Government Center.

--Nashville Country Christmas Wednesday 5pm at Pierz Ballroom.

--Listen to area Christmas Eve masses later today and tonight on Q92 WYRQ- The Mass at St. Mary’s in Little Falls at 4pm, Music followed by the Mass at St. Francis Convent at 7pm, and Midnight Mass from Our Lady of Lourdes beginning with music at 11:30pm.

--No longer will the Morrison County Commissioners be accepting per diem payments for attending meetings. At Tuesday’s meeting, the Board approved a change from a salary plus per diem method of compensation to straight salary. Instead of a salary of $21,328 and an average annual per diem total of $8,800, which add to $30,128, the commissioners will now receive a straight salary of $30,014.40 per year, regardless of the number of meetings they attend.

--A 24-year-old Isanti man died following a crash near Elk River. Sherburne County stated that Andrew Englund drove his vehicle into a tree early Friday morning. A passerby called 911 to report the man trapped in the pickup. Englund was dead when authorities arrived.

--Flu activity is now widespread across the state. Dr. Kath Kulus, a pediatrician at Centracare in St. Cloud. Says at their clinic this week they ran out of influenza testing kits. She says the majority of those tested came back positive for influenza A. The most common symptoms of influenza A are a fever between 101 and 104 degrees and upper respiratory problems.

--Michael Scheibel, age 70 of Hillman
--Anna Czech, age 91 of Swanville

TODAY= light snow showers then mostly cloudy, high near 15.
TONIGHT= mostly cloudy, very cold, low -12, wind chills near -22.
CHRISTMAS DAY= sunny and cold, high 5 above, wind chills -20.
WEDNESDAY= partly sunny, high 14, low around 0.

NFL= Though Adrian Peterson only picked up 86 yards, the Vikings defeated Houston 23-6 yesterday to go to 9-6 on the year. The Vikings wrap up the regular season and their possibility of a playoff spot Sunday against Green Bay at the Metrodome. The game has been moved to a 3:25pm start time on Sunday.
NFL= The AFC playoff picture is pretty set as Houston, Denver, New England and Baltimore have clinched divisions while Indianapolis and Cincinnati claimed the wildcard spots. In the NFC, Atlanta has home field through NFC playoffs, San Francisco, Green Bay and Seattle have clinched playoff spots. The Vikings currently hold the 6th playoff spot but will have to win Sunday to get it secured with still Washington, Dallas, New York Giants and Chicago playing for spots. Catch triple header of action Sunday, December 30th on KLTF.
NBA= New York beat Timberwolves Sunday in the Big Apple.
COL BAB= Gopher men beat Lafayette Saturday to got 12-1 on year
HS SPORTS= there are number of holiday tournaments Wednesday through Saturday of this weeks- details at


Merry Christmas from everyone at the West Side Bar

Friday- December 21st, 2012

--The Little Falls Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 3:36pm on Tuesday, December 18th at 1103 Kahl Place of Little Falls owned by Stephanie Oakland. 26-firefighters were on hand for around an hour. According to Little Falls Fire Chief Mike Nieman damage was estimated to be light to moderate and the official cause remains under investigation.

--The Randall City Council met on Wednesday night. Before the regular council meeting the Truth in Taxation meeting was held and the 2013 Tax Levy was approved with no increase from 2012 at an amount of $135,000. An update from the fire chief included the notice that applications are being accepted for 4 or 5 new firefighters. The council approved the annual $4,000 donation to Community Services. A revised wage step program was approved. The Greater MN Gas Company will be installing a new line out towards the Swanville area. They want to tap into the Town Border Station owned by the city and right now the council is weighing their options. They could lease it out to the company or have them purchase it outright. Council members are leaning toward the leasing option, but no decision has been made. Randall also decided to raise the garbage and recycling rates by $1 per month to assist with the rising administrative fees.

--Minnesota’s unemployment rate has dropped another notch to 5.7 percent. The Department of Employment and Economic Development officials released statistics yesterday while describing job gains and losses in various sectors for November. The state made a net gain of 10,800 jobs that month. In the past 12 months, the state has picked up 55,200 jobs. Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has remained well below the national average. Federal statistics released a couple of weeks ago showed the national jobless rate for November was 7.7 percent. For October, the state’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 5.9 percent. Trade, transportation and utilities industries led all sectors in new jobs along with education and health services, leisure and hospitality and construction. Professional and business services as well as government lost jobs.

--OSHA announced this week they have levied a fine of just over $39,000 to the closed Verso Paper Mill in Sartell from the explosion that killed 50-year-old John Maus of Albany back on Memorial Day and injured four other workers. OSHA stated the fine was after finding an overheated compressor caused the blast and fire at the plant. Verso Mill executives announced in August that the Mill would not reopen from the fire damage. Verso did not contest the fine.

--The recent winter storm struck southeast Minnesota along with Iowa and Wisconsin. Central Minnesota didn’t see any snow from the recent system but did get the cold as winds exceeded 25 miles per hour causing below zero wind chills. Southeastern Minnesota areas of Mankato, Faribault and Rochester had 50 mile per hour winds, and over 6 inches of snow in many areas. Iowa had to deal with the blizzard conditions which made treacherous driving conditions with reports already of Thursday afternoon of four fatalities in Iowa. Travelers heading into southeastern Minnesota, Wisconsin or Iowa are asked to use extreme caution and call family members ahead of time to get recent conditions as cold and wind is forecasted again in many of those areas today, drying out over the weekend.

--Listen to Little Falls Radio this weekend for Christmas programs, specials and music favorites continuing through Christmas Day.

--Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel reports that his deputies, along with the Little Falls Police, Royalton Police, agents of the Central MN Violent Offender Task Force and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) have recently concluded several investigations into methamphetamine sales. The investigations which span a 5 month period focused on several individuals in the Little Falls area suspected of selling meth. On December 16th officer’s arrested 22-year old Tamra Jo Schmolke, currently homeless and 22-year old Mason Frederick Larson, last known address of Little Falls, in the city of Little Falls. Schmolke was charged with 1st degree drug sales and Larson was charged with 3rd degree drug sales. Both are currently in custody in the Morrison County Jail and have been formally charged. On December 19th 31-year old Ezekiel David McDermott was arrested in the city of Royalton for 2nd degree possession of methamphetamine. McDermott is currently in custody at the Morrison County Jail waiting formal charges. Over 30 grams of methamphetamine were seized during their investigation.

--The Fergus Falls High School Marching Band will be in the spotlight again at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration. The students marched four years ago in Washington D.C. and they’ll be there again on January 21st. The Fergus Falls Marching Band’s director says in 2008 they were chosen from about 1,300 applicants. This time there were 2,800 groups that wanted to march.

--Dean J. Tessmer, age 76 of Pierz Villa formerly Big Lake & Walker

TODAY= daytime flurries, windy, high 17 wind chills near 0.
TONIGHT= mostly clear, low around 0 winds will calm.
SATURDAY= mostly sunny, high 23, clear at night low around 0.
SUNDAY= partly sunny, breezy, high 19, snow Sunday night low 8.
MONDAY= snow showers, high 17, cloudy and 9 above Xmas Day.

HS BBB= Little Falls at Pierz tonight 7:30pm on Q92 WYRQ.
NFL= Vikings at Houston Sunday at noon. Vikings need to win Sunday and beat Green Bay on December 30th and also get some help from other teams to make the NFC playoffs. Get updates of their game with Westwood One NFL Coverage Sunday at noon on KLTF.
CC= Al Windsperger caught up with a number of coaches, athletic directors and others for a recorded Coaches Corner program Saturday just after 9am on AM960 KLTF and at


IN 1620= The Mayflower with the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock
IN 1937= Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs premiered at a theatre in Hollywood, California, first feature length film by Walt Disney.
IN 1991= The Soviet Union officially disbanded and became Russia and 14 independent countries.  The U.S. supported the change.

“Smokin’ Guns” tonight, Redneck Radio Saturday at West Side Bar

Thursday- December 20th, 2012

--Jason Davis of televisions On the Road recently talked with Little Falls Artist Charles Kapsner who is currently in the midst of painting the second of five murals honoring the five branches of the U.S. Military. The first painting depicting the U.S. Army is currently displayed in the Committal Hall of the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery north of Little Falls. Kapsner is currently working on the second painting depicting the U.S. Navy at his studio where he met with Jason Davis. They also toured the Veterans Cemetery grounds and Kapsner explained the Arts Project and other art projects including the Lindbergh and Little Falls frescos located within Lindbergh Elementary School. The current On the Road visit with Charles Kapsner to give an update on the Veterans Art Project will be televised Sunday at 10:35pm on KSTP-TV then again on December 24th at 11am. Kapsner and the Vets Art Committee is hoping the Navy mural will also be ready for dedication during the 2013 Memorial Day services at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls. Kapsner will stop in to AM960 KLTF for Community Events tomorrow morning after 8:30am and talk about the items with Davis and also an update on the mural project.

--The Stearns County Attorney’s Office Tuesday released the transcripts of the two 911 calls made in the aftermath of the shooting of Cold Spring/Richmond police officer Tom Decker. One call said they saw a noisy black van driving away as the caller was coming up to a car and saw Officer Decker lying in the parking lot. A second 911 call tells the dispatcher, “Officer Down”. The transcripts were released one day after the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension announced a $100,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case. Police stated that they have received more than 200 leads in the case and are looking into each one and also continue to search for a .20 gauge shotgun believed to be the murder weapon that killed Officer Decker.

--Officials are still trying to determine what made more than two dozen students sick at Paynesville Area Middle School. Centerpoint Energy tagged a stove and water heater Tuesday night that were malfunctioning. The Paynesville Police Chief says the custodial staff is cleaning the building head to toe and classes were cancelled on Wednesday but will resume today. School officials say that carbon monoxide tests found levels to be in a normal range. A number of students were taken to an area hospital Tuesday after suffering from nausea and other flu like symptoms. Reports say that all 32 patients from the middle school on Tuesday have been released.

--Benton County Commissioners voted Tuesday to freeze their own salaries for 2013 but did approve increases for the four other elected officials, County Attorney Robert Raupp, Sheriff Brad Bennett, Auditor-Treasurer Karri Thorsten and Recorder Marilyn Novak. The county’s union and non-union employees will also receive a 1.5% cost of living increase starting in January and then certain eligible employees will receive step increase of about 3.2%. Last week Stearns County also voted to freeze salaries for their county commissioners in 2013.

--U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann wants to rename the Cold Spring Post Office for slain police officer Tom Decker. Bachmann has introduced a bill to formally change the post office to “Officer Tommy Decker Memorial Post Office”. The measure is co-sponsored by all seven other Minnesota members of the U.S. House of Representatives. A vote on the measure has not been scheduled.

--23-year-old Gerardo Botello-Garcia of Melrose was charged Tuesday with 2nd-degree attempted murder (with intent not premeditated) and 1st degree assault resulting in great bodily harm, related to a shooting early Saturday morning near Upsala. 27-year-old Samuel Bennett of Sauk Centre was found with a gunshot wound to the abdomen area. Information on his condition was not released in court. According to court documents, Bennett had asked Botello-Garcia for a ride and at some point they got stuck in the snow. Botello-Garcia said that at one point it was Bennett who was outside the vehicle pointing a gun through the open door at him, Botello-Garcia put his car in reverse knocking Bennett to the ground. Then Bennett approached the car again and Botello-Garcia aimed his gun and shot several times at Bennett. The defendant said he didn’t know if he hit Bennett and drove off. Botello-Garcia was arrested in Melrose later that morning. Bennett in a statement to police said that the defendants’ story is totally false and that Bennett tried to roll out of the vehicle after they got stuck in the snow and then was shot immediately by Botello-Garcia. Bennett also stated he did buy methamphetamine from the defendant. Botello-Garcia was ordered held in lieu of $400,000 bond or $40,000 cash without conditions or $200,000 bond or $20,000 cash with several conditions.

--Tyler Millner and Kyra Engen are Pierz Healy High School’s ExCel representatives. The Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership is a program for school juniors who are active in school activities, show leadership qualities and volunteer in the community. Kyra and Tyler are involved in a slough of activities and organizations at Pierz High School. The awards for the ExCel Program will be given by the Minnesota State High School League during the March winter sports state tournaments.

--The wife of the latest Minnesota soldier killed in the Middle East has received her husband’s Purple Heart. Lance Corporal Dale Means of New Prague died a month ago when his vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Andrea Means was given the military award Tuesday night. Dale Means was 23 years old.

TODAY= clouds early then clearing skies, blustery, high in the 20s.
TONIGHT= clear and cold, low 0, wind chills down to -15.
FRIDAY= sunny and windy, cold, high 16, wind chills below zero.
SATURDAY= mostly sunny, high 24, low around 5 above.
SUNDAY= partly sunny, high 18, some light snow late Sunday.
MON/TUES= chances of snow for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

HS BHK= Rogers at Little Falls tonight 7:15pm on Q92 WYRQ
HS BBB= Pierz at Albany tonight 7:30pm on FM94 KFML.

IN 1606= Three small ships left London, in 1607 the ships reached what was later called Jamestown, Virginia which was considered the first English settlement in later called The United States of America.
IN 1803= the United States officially ratified The Louisiana Purchase from France for over 827,000 square miles of land at 3-cents an acre.
IN 1920= Bob Hope became a U.S. citizen, he was born in England.
IN 1952= Jimmy Boyd hit #1 with I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus

“Smokin’ Guns” Friday, Redneck Radio Saturday at West Side Bar

Wednesday- December 19th, 2012

--Byron D. Smith of Little Falls posted bail and was released from the Morrison County Jail Tuesday morning. A Morrison County judge on Monday reduced Smith’s bail with conditions from $1 million bond to $500,000 bond or the cash option down to $50,000 cash which was posted Tuesday. Smith also waived his right for a speedy trial and his next court date has yet to be set. Smith is charged with 2nd-degree murder in the deaths of Haile Kifer and Nick Brady on Thanksgiving after the two cousins had broken into Smith’s home.

--A contested omnibus hearing was set for February 20th, 2013 for 44-year-old Warren John Okerman who is charged with third-degree murder in connection with the death of Leslie Peterson who died June 2nd from a methamphetamine overdose. Morrison County deputies arrested Okerman July 9th and he informed authorities that he provided the methamphetamines to Peterson on night she died.

--The Benton County Sheriff’s Office along with police and fire departments from Sauk Rapids responded to a two vehicle fatal accident Monday at 3:25pm near Sauk Rapids-Rice High School. A pickup driven by 39-year-old Scott Radzak of Sauk Rapids and a passenger car driven by 41-year-old Rukia Hussein of Hopkins collided at the intersection of Benton County Road 1 and Osauka Road. Hussein died from injuries sustained in the accident. Hussein had two passengers in the vehicle 50-year-old Asma Noor of St. Cloud and a 15-year-old Yasin Hussein from Hopkins. Yasin sustained life threatening injuries and late Tuesday died at St. Cloud Hospital. Yasin was a sophomore at Sauk Rapids Rice High School. Noor and the other driver, Radzak had non-life threatening in the accident which, according to Benton County, remains under investigation.

--The State Supreme Court has suspended the Attorney’s License of former St. Cloud Mayor John Ellenbecker for 90 days and put him on a two-year probation period, records show Ellenbecker was accused of committing professional misconduct- namely engaging in a pattern of neglect and inadequate communication with clients, misusing his trust account, failing to maintain required trust account books and records and failing to cooperate during an investigation. If and when Ellenbecker is reinstated to practice law, he must be supervised by a licensed Minnesota attorney to ensure compliance. Ellenbecker was St. Cloud’s mayor from 2001 through 2005.

--The DNR is reminding snowmobilers that the thickness of the ice is NOT safe in many areas. The warning comes as reports of vehicles and snowmobiles have attempted and failed to handle lake ice so far this December. Open spots are still appearing on many Minnesota waterways and aerated lakes vary a lot with width of ice. There is good news for wildlife that the aerated lakes help fish and birds survive the cold weather but cause problems for ice enthusiasts who try to venture out on the ice. Thin ice warning signs have been placed on many lakes and rivers recently in Minnesota.

--A Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway locomotive became partially derailed from the tracks Monday on First Avenue Northeast in Brainerd. Authorities stated that railroad crews worked into the evening hours moving the engine back on the tracks. Traffic was rerouted around the train tracks during that time, no one was hurt.

--A 24-year-old Massachusetts man was injured Saturday when his semi-truck rolled over along Highway 371 and Glory Road in Baxter. It happened around 2:45pm during the slushy, icy weather. Konstantin Okhrimenko sustained minor injuries in the accident.

--Judy Buckingham of the Holiday Gift Giving Program is asking residents who took a tag to get them in by Thursday any questions call 630-8497. Distribution is this Saturday.

--An estimated 1,300 people have been arrested for DWI to-date in December, according to preliminary DWI arrest information from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety. In December, county sheriff’s offices, municipal agencies and the Minnesota State Patrol are working overtime hours during a statewide Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign in an effort to prevent drunk driving tragedies. In the last five years, 651 people were killed in drunk driving crashes, 111 in 2011 alone. Each year, nearly 30,000 people are arrested for DWI. In the last three Decembers (2009-2011), 28 people were killed in drunk driving crashes and 7,497 were arrested for DWI.

--A Cass County judge has sentenced 26-year-old William Kassulker of Pillager to three years supervised probation from an assault in March in the parking lot of Lake Shore establishment. Kassulker also sentenced to 30 days in the Cass County jail, 13 conditions to his supervised probation which includes having an anger assessment, not having alcohol or controlled substances and unable to enter liquor store or bar establishments. Kassulker was convicted of assaulting 22-year-old Adam C. Stonacek of Pine River which Stonacek sustained serious injuries that were treated for in St. Cloud.

--Todd County is investigating the theft of fish houses in the Osakis areas over the past days. Anyone with information on the thefts or notice suspicious activity is asked to contact Todd County deputies.

--A 24-year-old Massachusetts man was injured Saturday when his semi-truck rolled over along Highway 371 and Glory Road in Baxter. It happened around 2:45pm during the slushy, icy weather. Konstantin Okhrimenko sustained minor injuries in the accident.

--Andrew and Angela Petersen of Little Falls, a boy born 12-17
--Stephen and Amanda Roerick of Upsala, a girl born on 12-17

TODAY= mostly cloudy, fog and mist, high 26.
TONIGHT= mostly cloudy, turning breezy, low 15.
THURSDAY= becoming sunny, cold and blustery, high near 20.
FRIDAY= sunny, less windy, high 17, low 5-10 below zero.

COL FB= Gophers vs. Texas Tech from Houston in the Meineke Car Care Bowl is Friday, December 28th 7pm pregame on AM960 KLTF

IN 1918= Robert Ripley began his Believe it or Not column in NY.
IN 1973= in a (joke) Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show stated there was a toilet paper scare when a Wisconsin Congressman said it was disappearing in stores. Toilet Paper the next day was being pulled off shelves as fast as Supermarkets could stock it. Carson had to apologize the next night for gag. The Power of Johnny Carson
IN 1985= ABC Sports fired Howard Cossell from all telecasts.
IN 1997= Titanic opened in theaters, the movie became the largest grossing movie topping over $600-million dollars during its run.


Grab lunch today and stick around for happy hour at West Side Bar

Tuesday- December 18th, 2012

--At Monday’s court hearing, 64-year old Byron Smith of Little Falls, who is accused of killing two area teens on Thanksgiving had his bail with conditions reduced but not his bail without conditions. The defense argued that the defendant has the constitutional right for bail to be set at a reasonable and not excessive amount. The only way bail should not be set at a reasonable price is if the release of the defendant could lead to a threat to the public or if there is reasonable concern that he would flee and not show up for his court date. The prosecution stated several believed to be facts in the case that are supported by gathered information from authorities (although at this time that information is not officially evidence because evidence can only be admitted later during the court case) to try and sway the judge of the violence of these crimes and that he could be a potential danger. After reviewing all the facts the judge decided to have bail without conditions remain at 2-million dollars bond or $200,000 cash. However, the judge did cut his bail with conditions in half to now $500,000 bond or $50,000 cash. Conditions include he had to surrender his passport, sign a waiver of extradition, not leave the state without the courts permission, he can have no contact with the victim’s family, not have any firearms, and remain otherwise law abiding. Smith did waive his right to a speedy trial.

--Spotlight on Crime Monday announced a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual or individuals responsible for the shooting death of Cold Spring Police Officer Tom Decker. Officer Decker was shot and killed just before 11:00pm on November 29th. Investigators have not identified Decker’s killer and have not found the gun believed to be the murder weapon. Investigators hope the reward encourages someone to come forward with information. Investigators are also urging Minnesotans, particularly residents who live in the Cold Spring area, to walk their properties in search of a 20 gauge shotgun.

--Camp Ripley's Family Assistance Center will hold a Toy Giveaway open to current and former service members and their families December 19th-20th from 12:00-6:00pm at the Camp Ripley Post Headquarters TACC Drill Floor in building 11-1. Operation Homefront and Dollar Tree Stores have again implemented a Holiday Toy Giveaway. Dollar Tree stores have been accepting donations of small toys throughout the state of Minnesota and these toys will be arriving at Camp Ripley next week. Service members and their families are welcome to attend the Holiday Toy Giveaway to pick out small toys for their children.  Family Assistance Center staff will be on hand to assist with the process and answer questions. For information contact the Camp Ripley Family Assistance Center at (320) 616-3117.

--The Morrison County Commissioners meet this morning at 9am at the Government Center. They will hear from a number of county agencies with their reports at today’s meeting.

--Operation Homefront, Family Assistance at Camp Ripley and other stores and organizations are putting on a Holiday Toy Drive Wednesday and Thursday at Camp Ripley in the Post Command headquarters from noon to 6pm. Service members and their families are welcome to attend the Holiday Toy Open House to pick out small toys for their children. Family Assistance Center staff will be on hand also to answer any questions that service members and their family may have. Questions call Tami at 320-616-3119.

--Monday marked the return of school for teachers and students in Minnesota following the horrific events in Newtown, Connecticut. School Superintendents, teachers and other faculty stated that grief counselors and others were on hand to listen to students who had questions or concerns and also schools took calls from concerned parents. Minnesota has a number of safety issues in place long before the recent events in Connecticut but understands that each person takes situations like this differently from an emotional standpoint and wants to meet any needs of those that they can.

--The Minnesota State Patrol reported a two vehicle accident Saturday morning on Highway 371 and Barbeau Road in Brainerd. Just before 11:30am, 52-year-old Doreen Chadwick of Pequot Lakes crossed over the northbound lane and struck 35-year-old Nikki Day of Brainerd. Chadwick and Day were both taken to the Brainerd Hospital and treated for injuries. The 3 young children in Day’s vehicle were also treated for injuries at the Brainerd hospital.

--The son of the business owner killed in September’s workplace shootings in Minneapolis was in New York yesterday standing with Mayor Michael Bloomberg as he demands a plan to end gun violence. 17-year-old Sami Rahamim says there’s no background check on 40% of legal guns sales meaning anyone with mental issues or a history of violence can acquire a weapon. Rahamim says “we can’t allow that, anymore, as we’re seeing more and more people die each day”. Rahamim and 33 others- all victims of gun violence joined Mayor Bloomberg as the nation reels from the Connecticut school shootings last Friday at an elementary school in Newtown.

--A 115-year-old Iowa woman's granddaughter says the woman has died less than two weeks after inheriting the title of world's oldest person.  Dina Manfredini's granddaughter Lori Logli says Manfredini died Monday morning. Manfredini lived at the Bishop Drumm Retirement Center in Johnston. Guinness World Records confirmed she inherited the title of world's oldest living person less than two weeks ago. Bessie Cooper of Georgia previously held the title at age 116. Guinness spokesman Robert Young says a Japanese man is believed to now hold the title. Jiroemon Kimura was born on April 19, 1897, which makes him just 15 days younger than Manfredini.

TODAY= 40% chance of snow in afternoon, up to 1 inch, high 25.
TONIGHT= snow showers early then clearing overnight, low 14.
WEDNESDAY= partly sunny, high 25, cloudy at night colder low +5
THURSDAY= partly sunny, windy and colder, high 15, low -5.

HS GBB= Little Falls at Foley, tonight 7:30pm on Q92 WYRQ
HS BBB= Pierz at Holdingford tonight 7:30pm on FM94 KFML
HS BBB= the Little Falls at Pierz boys game postponed Saturday due the weather will be made up on Friday night, hear it live on Q92.

IN 1796= The Monitor in Baltimore published, 1st Sunday newspaper
IN 1956= To Tell the Truth aired for the 1st time on CBS TV
IN 1961= The Tokens hit #1 with “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”.
IN 1985= Beverly Hills Cop, Back to the Future and Rambo-First Blood Part 2 helped the Box Office of America get in the red that year

“Smokin’ Guns” Friday, “Redneck Radio” Saturday at West Side Bar

Monday- December 17th, 2012

--Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel reported that early Saturday morning his office received two 911 calls from a home owner south of Upsala on Highway 238 and that a male victim had been shot. Deputies and the State Patrol responded and made contact with 27-year-old Samuel Bennett of Sauk Centre who had a gunshot wound to the abdomen area. He was taken to St. Cloud Hospital for treatment. A suspect in the shooting 23-year-old Gerardo Botello-Garcia of Melrose was located in Melrose by police and turned over to the Morrison County Sheriff’s Deputies. Investigators interviewed Botello-Garcia who admitted his involvement in the shooting. Botello-Garcia was taken to Morrison County Jail pending formal charges.

--The Minnesota attorney general's office has rejected a request to help prosecute a rural Little Falls man accused of killing two teenagers.  Morrison County Attorney Brian Middendorf had asked for help prosecuting 64-year-old Byron David Smith. Middendorf cited the high volume of serious criminal cases his office has been handling. Although the state attorney general's office helped in the days after Smith's arrest, the office turned down the county attorney's request to prosecute Smith. Smith is accused of fatally shooting 18-year-old Haile Kifer and 17-year-old Nick Brady after the two cousins broke into his home on Thanksgiving. A hearing is scheduled today at 1pm on whether to reduce Smith's $2 million bail.

--42-year old Kevin Stuckmayer of Pierz pleaded guilty to one count of attempted first degree murder at his pretrial hearing Thursday. One count of first degree assault was dismissed. A plea agreement had been reached and a cap of 90 months in prison. Stuckmayer admitted to his wife Natalie that in September when he struck her with a large board he was trying to kill her after Natalie confronted Kevin on it in October. In court, Stuckmayer said he had been planning to kill his wife for about a week to 10 days and that he had considered hiring the job to be done. He also admitted keeping the incident a secret until he was confronted by his wife. The date of sentencing has been set for Friday, February 1st at 1:00pm.

--A document released Friday by Stearns County shows shocking information on the night that Cold Spring/Richmond Police Officer Tom Decker was killed. The court document states that the other police officer at the scene did not get out of his squad car after the shooting and instead backed his squad car away without helping Officer Decker. It also indicates that part-time officer Greg Reiter was first on the scene but did not make contact with Ryan Larson who officers were checking on as a possible suicide behind a Cold Spring bar. The document continues to say that Reiter waited for Decker’s vehicle to arrive, Decker exited his squad car and shortly after Reiter heard the sound of gun shots. Officer Reiter then observed a white male with a handgun in a shooting position and put his squad in reverse and left the parking lot. The report also states that Reiter could see Decker lying on the ground and he watched the suspect walk to the east. The document according to attorneys puts a whole new light on the investigation and also because Reiter states he saw the man with a handgun while authorities have been searching for a .20 gauge shotgun believed to be the murder weapon. Larson was later arrested after the shooting but released five days later when prosecutors said they didn't have enough evidence to charge him but he does still remain a person of interest in the case.

--Little Falls City Council meets tonight 7:30pm at City Hall.

--Morrison County Deputies James Paschelke, Rick Mattison and Scott Mackissock were recognized by Sheriff Michel Wetzel at the Morrison County Commissioners meeting, December 6th. Deputy Paschelke was first on the scene to a missing person report at Fishtrap Lake. In his report it stated that Todd Plohasz and his wife, Mary, were swimming when their pontoon started floating away. Plohasz tried swimming after it when his wife believed he may have had a heart attack. His wife kept his head above water while calling to shore for help. Deputies were on the scene within a few minutes and started CPR and were able to bring back a pulse on the man. Sheriff Michel Wetzel said, “I couldn’t be prouder of the efforts of my deputies, the three civilians involved and all the members of Emergency Medical System whose combined efforts were directly responsible for saving a man’s life. Training, commitment and determination were all on display that day, allowing this man a second chance at life.”

--A Sartell man who claimed to have a gun, but didn’t, when he robbed a Sartell gas station in February was sentenced Thursday to 30 days in jail. Douglas Wayne Gravelle, 33, previously pleaded guilty to second-degree aggravated robbery. The robbery was reported late February 17th at a BP gas station. A court complaint charging Gravelle accuses him of indicating he had a gun during the robbery. He kept his hand inside a jacket pocket, but no gun was seen.

--Connecticut State Police say a gunman who massacred 20 children and 6 adults at an elementary school before committing suicide forced his way into the building. Lt. Paul Vance said Saturday morning that the suspect was not voluntarily let into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton. Authorities say 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot his mother on Friday, drove her car to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, and shot 20 children, six adults and himself. Town officials say the principal who died in the rampage at an elementary school was killed while lunging at the gunman as she tried to overtake him. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton released the following statement regarding the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting in Connecticut: "This dastardly, cold-blooded murder of innocent children and their educators by a deranged individual shocks Minnesotans. All of our children, their parents, and all of their teachers should feel certain every day that their safety is the paramount concern. The deepest condolences of Minnesotans go to the parents and families of the victims of this horrific act."

--Darrell Wiseth, age 74 of Royalton

TODAY= freeze fog early, then mostly cloudy, high 23.
TONIGHT= mostly cloudy, low around 12.
TUESDAY= light snow showers, cloudy, high 28, low 15.
WEDNESDAY= partly sunny, high near 30.

NFL= Adrian Peterson had 212 yards rushing and a touchdown and Blair Walsh hit fields goals of 50 yards+ as Vikings beat Rams 36-22. The Vikings go to 8-6 and travel to Houston on Sunday.

Lunch and happy hour specials daily at West Side Bar in Little Falls

Friday- December 14th, 2012

--Morrison County Court Administration confirmed Wednesday that the bail reduction request will be brought up Monday in Morrison County District Court for Byron Smith. Smith is charged with 2nd-degree murder in the deaths of Haile Kifer and Nicholas Brady on Thanksgiving. Smith’s attorney on Monday asked the judge for a bail reduction from the $2-million dollars bail or $200,000 bond with conditions that was made on November 26th. Smith’s next court hearing and bail reduction request will be Monday at 1pm in Morrison County District Court.

--Crow Wing County Administrator Tim Houle announced this week that he has suggested ending two elected posts and making them appointed ones and is seeking legislation to do so. The posts are County Auditor-Treasurer and County Recorder making them appointed positions. A super majority of 80% by the county is needed to adopt a resolution of this nature. Houle stated that 10 counties are expressing interest in seeking the special legislation. Houle stated he is not looking at eliminating all elected positions such as County Board members and the sheriff just that elected officials should have significant policy discretion that is separate from the board such as the sheriff and also the county attorney. However, the County Recorder and Auditor/Treasurer are concerned that Administrator Houle is not simply proposing making elected officials appointed ones but also to eliminate the two positions all together. State legislators will be visiting Crow Wing County on December 31st and Houle said that if the County Board wants to ask for the special legislation on the elected positions that would be the time to do it.

--Little Falls Police Chief Greg Schirmers appeared on KLTF Community Events on Thursday and spoke that the city of Little Falls with the recent tragic developments takes time to focus on the positive effect that the holiday season can give, protect yourself this time of year from scams via e-mail, phone or mail, watch your homes, lock doors when not at home and don’t broadcast on social media that you are gone on vacation. Schirmers says if you see something suspicious do not hesitate to contact the police department and let them investigate it. If you have questions contact Schirmers at the police department at 616-5570 or the police department has a website to view and also they are on Facebook.

--New estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show poverty rates in central Minnesota have gone up in the past five years. On Wednesday, the Bureau released income and poverty estimates for counties and schools across the nation ranging from 2007-2011. In Morrison County the poverty level was at 11.1% after the survey which is up from 8.9% in 2007. In Stearns County the poverty rose from 11.7 to 13.5% in the 5 year period, Benton County was at 11.5% over the 5 years surveyed. Of those percentages nearly 14% of those in the poverty level have children under age 17.

--“The Early Resorts of Minnesota” will be the focus of a book signing event hosted by the Morrison County Historical Society on Sunday. Ren Holland will present a program related to the book and will sign copies for those in attendance. The event will be at The Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum from 1-4 p.m., with Holland’s program scheduled for 2 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Call 632-4007 for information.

--Check out events at community calendar at including holiday concerts Monday in Little Falls and Pierz.

--The Randall City Council met Thursday morning. At the special meeting employee wages and benefits were set for 2013. Wages range from $8.50 per hour for part-time seasonal work up to $21 per hour for the Police Chief. The salaries were set for Water/Wastewater Supervisor at $43,772 and $46,400 for the city manager annually. The 2013 budget will be updated reflecting the salary increases and brought to the next meeting December 19th.

--Less than a week after the largest snowfall in almost two years, another storm system is heading toward us starting late tonight through Saturday. A difference between the two is warmer air meaning a better chance of mixed precipitation. Temperatures will be the factor Friday night into the day Saturday. Many areas south of Brainerd should see freezing rain change to snow meaning slippery conditions Saturday morning before all snow by the afternoon. Snow accumulations of 3-6 inches are possible in sections of the state by Saturday night but again the weather can change quickly as we saw last Sunday when over a foot of snow fell in many areas of the state.

--Senator Al Franken is pushing lawmakers in Washington to pass a farm bill before year’s end. Included would be funding for food stamps, now called the SNAP program. Franken says the economy is getting better but there are still a lot of people who need the assistance. He says he doesn’t want to balance the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable people and wants kids to go to school with a full belly. The Senate has proposed $4-billion dollars in cuts to the SNAP program over ten years while the House is talking about four times that. Franken says the final number will probably be somewhere in between, but hopes it’s closer to the Senate number.

--The Little Falls School Board meets at 5:30pm on Monday, December 17th in the Morrison County Government Center.

--Elinor Stroschein, age 91 of Little Falls formerly Hillman.

TODAY= becoming cloudy, high 33.
TONIGHT= snow and freezing rain after midnight, low 28.
SATURDAY= rain, snow, freezing rain then all snow, high 33 early with falling temps, snow accumulating 2-4 inches by evening.
SUNDAY= partly sunny, breezy, high 25, low around 15.
MONDAY= partly sunny, high 24, low around 10.

HS BHK= Little Falls at Princeton tonight 7:15pm on Q92 WYRQ
HS GBB= Pierz at Howard Lake Waverly 7:30 tonight FM94 KFML
HS BBB= Little Falls at Pierz Saturday 7:30pm on Q92 WYRQ
NFL= Vikings at St. Louis Rams Sunday at noon.

IN 1903= the Wright Brothers made their first attempt to fly the Wright Flyer in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
IN 1960= just weeks after the Washington Senators announced they were moving to Minnesota to become the Twins, Major League Baseball announced that another Washington Senators team would be established in the Nation’s capital. The team stayed until 1971 before moving to Texas and became the Rangers.

“Whiskey Tango” tonight, “Switch” Saturday at West Side Bar.

Thursday- December 13th, 2012

--The Pierz City Council met Monday night. The city announced they have signed a settlement agreement with Minnesota Power in regards to the CT error causing a back billing issue. The original bill to make up for the incorrectly measured power was around $62,000. There was some debate of whether the city or company should be held financially responsible. After months of negotiation Pierz agreed to a $35,000 bill upon the recommendation of the cities attorneys. They advised the city to accept this deal to avoid any future court costs or the resources of city workers hours spent on this issue. Even if the case went to court there would be no guarantee a judge would side with the city and then Pierz could be on the hook for even more added costs. This seemed like the optimal solution for both parties. The $35,000 will come from the electric fund. There is enough money in the fund but it will take a considerable hit. Pierz is expecting about an 8% increase in electric rates because they were not charging proper amounts caused by the malfunctioning CT. A public hearing on this issue will be held at 6:00pm on Monday, January 28th.

--The Morrison County Farm Service Agency reports that ballots for this year’s FSA County Committee election in FSA Local Area 3 were counted last week. Don Will of Granite Township was reelected to a three year term on the committee. There were also five write in candidates who each received one vote. It was determined by lot that Ronald Miller of Little Falls Township would be the alternate for Area 3. Other members of the committee serving for 2013 are Chairman Calvin Beumer of Lakin Township, Ed Marsolek of Swan River Township and Patricia Altrichter of Parker Township as advisors to the committee. The committee also will oversee the programs administered by the county office and help make national farm programs fit the needs of local producers.

--A snowmobile accident Tuesday night sent a Richmond man to the hospital. Stearns County reported the accident around 9:30pm in Farming Township near Freeport when Chad Beurman was operating a snowmobile in an area near a gravel pit and went off an incline. The machine left the ground and dropped approximately 30 feet rolling upon impact. Beurman was taken to the Albany Hospital and treated for his injuries.

--Stearns County deputies were dispatched Tuesday around 5pm to a structure fire in Lynden Township near Clearwater. The building was used as a business for Response Delivery Service. The building was engulfed in flames upon arrival by local fire departments. The damage to the building was considered severe. There were no injuries. The State Fire Marshal was called in to investigate cause.

--One person was injured Saturday in a rollover accident in Villard Township near Motley. Todd County stated the accident happened around 8pm when Jesse Eisel of Staples was eastbound on County Road 28 and left the roadway striking a field approach. Eisel was taken to Staples Hospital and treated for injuries.

--Todd County is investigating a hit and run accident reported last Friday night in Browerville. Around 8pm, a vehicle driven by Shane Kern of Browerville struck a parked SUV. Deputies stated that Kern then left the scene failing to report the property damage to the vehicle. Kern was located by Eagle Bend Police a short time later and stopped on suspicion of drinking and driving and also arrested on failing to provide information at the scene of an accident. Formal charges are pending through the Todd County Attorney.

--Minnesota’s Agricultural exports hit a record 6.8-billion dollars in 2011. Chief economists for the Department of Agriculture say that’s up 13% over the year before. Mainly due to the top export commodities for Minnesota which are soybeans, corn, pork and wheat and Minnesota’s largest Ag export markets are China, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Other top exported commodities include sugar, dairy products and feeds. Those commodities accounted for more than 80-percent of the state’s total agricultural exports. Minnesota is the sixth largest agricultural exporter in U.S.

--An Elk River man suspected of sexually assaulting a minor was arrested Tuesday. 29-year-old Wayne Leistico was taken to Sherburne County Jail. He faces possible charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, use of minors in a sexual performance and possession of pornographic work involving minors. The arrest came after Sherburne County deputies investigated a sexual assault complaint. A preteen girl told deputies that she had been sexually assaulted by Leistico. Formal charges are still pending in case.

--Find community events, recipes, “Where R We game”, The Dark and more at and LF Radio is on Facebook.

--Abigail Jean Molitor, infant daughter of Barry and Amy Molitor LF
--Rita Skwira, age 68 of Little Falls.
--Catherine Eckblad, age 94 of Little Falls formerly Cushing.

TODAY= mostly cloudy, high near 30.
TONIGHT= mostly cloudy, freezing fog possible, low 9
FRIDAY= partly sunny, high 30, freezing rain after midnight, low 25
SATURDAY= freezing rain and snow, high 33 then falling temps.
SAT NIGHT= snow likely before midnight 1-3 inches, low 15.
SUNDAY= flurries early then partly sunny, windy, high 25.

HS BBB= Becker at Little Falls tonight 7:30pm on Q92 WYRQ
NBA= Timberwolves improve to 10-9 on the year with a 108-105 win over Denver last night. Before the game it was reported that Ricky Rubio will return to the lineup when the Wolves take on Dallas at Target Center Saturday night at 7pm.
CC= join Corey Fink Saturday for Coaches Corner live from the Coborn’s deli in Little Falls at 9am or hear it live on AM960 KLTF.

IN 1843= Charles Dickens published “A Christmas Carol”.
IN 1903= Italo Marcioni patented the ice cream cone.
IN 1928= George Gershwin composed “An American in Paris” the composition would be turned into a movie with Gene Kelly in 1951.
IN 1956= The Brooklyn Dodgers traded Jackie Robinson to the Giants for pitcher Dick Littlefield. Robinson protested the deal but the trade was completed, hours later Robinson announced his retirement.
IN 1969= Arlo Guthrie releases “Alice’s Restaurant”
IN 1969= after 1 season as manager of the team, The Minnesota Twins fired Billy Martin. Martin did take them to ALCS but lost.
IN 1978= U.S. Mint began production of Susan B. Anthony silver dollar, it was first U.S. coin to have a woman on it.

“Whiskey Tango” Friday night, free sober cab Fri/Sat at WS Bar

Wednesday- December 12th, 2012

--The man accused of shooting and killing two teenagers who broke into his Little Falls area home on Thanksgiving is asking a judge to reduce his bail. Byron David Smith, 64, has filed a motion to reduce the $2 million bail set by Morrison County District Court Judge Douglas Anderson. The bail was set when Smith made his first court appearance on charges that he murdered Haile Kifer 18, and Nick Brady, 17. A hearing has been scheduled for Monday to argue the motion filed by Smith’s attorney, Steven Meshbesher.

--Little Falls Community High School has nominated Laura Moe and Jake Loukinen for the Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership (ExCel) Award. The award is sponsored by the Minnesota State High School League and is a recognition program exclusively for Minnesota High School juniors. Students who are active in fine arts and/or athletic activities, who show leadership qualities and who are model citizens in their community are eligible for the award. ExCel Award recipients are selected through a multi-level process that involves league member schools and an independent panel of judges from schools throughout Minnesota. Award recipients will be recognized during the winter sports tournaments.

--A reminder from area law enforcement that even with the heavy snow and cold, the ice is not safe on area waterways. Many lakes are reporting still open areas and just recently Crow Wing County had to make a save on Gilbert Lake in Brainerd after a dog and his owner fell thru the ice. The man was out about 100 feet but able to get out. The dog had to be rescued by firefighters. In other parts of the state rescues have been made because of people going through the thin ice. Luckily, there have been no serious injuries. Four inches of ice is needed before it is safe to walk on the ice. Over 8 inches is needed for snowmobiles and a foot for cars and small sized pickup trucks.

--“Wreaths Across America” will be held this Saturday at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery north of Little Falls. The event is at 11am where wreaths will be placed on graves in the largest section of the cemetery. A number of organizations, local squadrons, volunteers and school students are helping with the laying of the wreaths. The purpose of “Wreaths Across America” is to honor and remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. For more information on the organization or the event Saturday, go to or call the Cemetery at 616-2527. If you wish to volunteer to help place the wreaths, you are asked to be at the cemetery by 10:00am. The program starts at 11:00 and they plan on placing the wreaths at 11:20am.

--The Morrison County Area Foundation recently awarded $1000 to the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery Association to show their support for the Memorial Association Veterans Educational Historic Project. The project is a series of five 8x10 foot oil paintings that depict the history of the United States Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard with the contributions of Merchant Mariners during WWII also incorporated. The paintings will hang in the Committal Hall of the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery located in Morrison County to honor those who served. The Memorial Association commissioned Charles Gilbert Kapsner of Little Falls to design and execute the project.

--Minnesota law enforcement officers this weekend are uncorking December-long increased statewide DWI patrols. The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over effort will also take place nationwide. December is a potentially deadly month due to holiday celebrations, according to officials from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety. In the last three Decembers (2009-2011), 28 people were killed in drunk driving crashes and 7,497 were arrested for DWI. County sheriff’s offices, municipal agencies and the Minnesota State Patrol will work overtime hours in December to focus on drunk driving. A few tips to avoid drinking and driving include planning for a safe ride by designating a sober driver. Use a cab or other form of public transportation. Stay at the location of the celebration. Let family and/or friends know you are available to offer a safe ride home. Also you can report drunk driving. Call 911 when witnessing impaired driving behavior. Be prepared to provide location, license plate number and observed dangerous behavior. Traffic deaths are up this year compared to last year’s record low. To date there have been 345 deaths, up from 325 at this time in 2011.

--Duluth is doing better than other regional centers in Minnesota and St. Cloud is doing slightly worse in the latest employment outlook survey by manpower. The recent numbers showed that 17-percent of Duluth employers say they plan to increase staff levels in the first quarter of next year and many feel that is a result of the necessary construction repair work being done from this past spring’s flooding to the area. Other regional centers show around 15% increase in jobs next year, though St. Cloud reported about 12% which is down from 15% in the first quarter of 2012.

--The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wants to add moose to the state’s endangered species list. The moose population is declining in Minnesota, so the DNR wants to list the animal as a “species of concern”. The status wouldn’t limit hunting. That would happen only if the moose moves to threatened or endangered status. A revised endangered species list has been in the works for five years and could be finalized next year. The DNR wants to add 67 animals to the list. The DNR’s protection of an animal or plant begins with the “species of concern” designation.

--Viola Gruber, age 88 of Sartell formerly of Pierz

TODAY= mostly cloudy, high near 30.
TONIGHT= mostly cloudy, not as cold, low 17.
THURSDAY= partly sunny, high 25-30, low around 10.
FRIDAY= cloudy, high 25, freezing rain and snow after midnight.

COL BSK= Gopher men win over NDSU Tuesday 70-57 to go to 11-1 on the year. Gophers also rose to #13 in the recent AP poll.
TWINS= The Minnesota Twins have agreed to sign free agent pitcher Kevin Correia to a two-year 10-million dollar contract. Correia went 12-11 with the Pittsburgh Pirates last season.
COL FB= Gopher Football team plays Texas Tech in the Meineke Car Care Bowl Game on Friday, December 28th, 7pm pregame on KLTF.
NFL= Vikings at St. Louis Rams Sunday at noon.

Enjoy a hot lunch and hot entertainment at the West Side Bar

Tuesday- December 11th, 2012

--Search warrants issued by the Morrison County Sheriff’s Office into the shooting deaths of Haile Kifer and Nicholas Brady back on Thanksgiving at the residence of Byron Smith found that Smith had surveillance video and a digital audio recorder running during the incident. Smith is awaiting his next court hearing on December 17th and was charged with two counts of 2nd-degree murder following the shootings of the two teenagers. Law enforcement executed six search warrants in all from the incident, one was for the vehicle that Brady and Kifer drove to Smith’s residence where inside property reported stolen from another Morrison County residence was found. Warrants at Smith’s residence found the video and audio equipment, also computer memory cards and various pieces of computer equipment, a large amount of ammunition from the house along with firearms and items that contained blood. The Morrison County Sheriff’s Office did state that the investigation remains ongoing.

--Little Falls native Dr. Brian Kobilka and his colleague Robert Lefkowtiz received Monday the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. The banquet for the Nobel Prize was held yesterday in Stockholm, Sweden on the anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel. Kobilka is a graduate of Little Falls High School and college graduate of University of Minnesota Duluth and currently works at the Stanford University of Medicine where he has been since 1989. The two received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry on their work of G-coupled receptors.

--Three people were injured on Todd County Road 21 Sunday afternoon due to the wintery road conditions. The Sheriff’s Office said that Erika Gilb of Wadena crossed the center-line on the county road north of Browerville and struck a vehicle driven by Clifton Cline of Browerville head on. Cline and his passenger Ellen Cline were taken to the Greater Staples Hospital with unknown injuries. Gilb was treated and released at the Long Prairie Hospital.

--Todd County is investigating a burglary at a farm site reported last Friday morning. Ann Luloff stated that within the past several weeks someone entered her cabin in Sauk Centre and stole around $300 in property, though items taken were not listed in the report. Then back on the 3rd of December Tri County Livestock on Highway 10 near Motley reported their auction barn was broken into with pad locks broken off of a fuel tank. It did not appear that anything was taken from the barn. Both incidents are currently under investigation.

--The snowstorm on Sunday is reportedly the third highest totaled single day snowstorm in state history. Forecasters reported 10-20 inches of snow in many areas of central and western Minnesota from the Twin Cities Metro up through St. Cloud and Little Falls. Some areas received 21 inches of snow in only 8-9 hours of time. Little Falls Radio received 11 inches, areas just south and west reported 12-16 inches of the heavy snow. The Minnesota State Patrol and Department of Transportation reported over 600 accidents on Minnesota roadways and over 1,100 spinouts due to the icy and snowy conditions. There was one fatality reported near Red Wing where that area received freezing rain before the snow arrived.

--The movie "Joyeux Noel" which is a 2005 French film that captures a rare moment of grace during World War I. On Christmas Eve, 1914, as German, French and Scottish regiments face each other from their respective trenches, a musical call-and-response turned into an impromptu cease-fire will be shown tonight at 7pm at the Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Site in Little Falls. The movie is free.

--Around 10:00pm on Sunday the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a missing hunter. After an extensive search near the Pine River in Mission township, Crow Wing County searchers located the hunter who was deceased from an apparent gunshot wound. The male was identified as 49-year old Timothy Young of Breezy Point. An autopsy will be performed at the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office. Assisting Sheriff’s deputies in their search were police departments from Crosslake, Breezy Point and Pequot Lakes along with the Mission, Crosslake, Nisswa and Pequot Lakes Fire Departments.

--Though travel was tricky Sunday and Monday due to the snow, there are many smiles coming from winter type businesses who took a major hit last year with one of the lowest year long snow totals. The snow last weekend almost matched snow totals for the entire winter last year in parts of the state and snowmobile, skis, snow throwers, even winter apparel and shovels have been quickly being taken up at area facilities. The hope for many storeowners and snow enthusiasts is that this is only the beginning of a snowy winter. On record central Minnesota should see around 45-50 inches of snow for a normal winter. Last year was less than 30 and the year before that around 40 though the Twin Cities saw over 65 inches in 2010 mainly from the big December snowstorm that year.

--It was two years ago today that the Metrodome in Minneapolis collapsed from the heavy snow from the 2010 December snowstorm. Since then the Dome has been repaired and made stronger in areas of the ceiling of the facility. Last Sunday when the snow was falling, Metrodome officials decided to raise the heat up to 76 degrees during the game and even cranked it higher after the game was over to keep the melting process going from the 15+ inches of snow.

--Eric and Tina Boser of Pierz, a baby born on December 6th.

--Horst Stamm, age 77 originally from Pierz.

TODAY= flurries, mostly cloudy, high around 15.
TONIGHT= flurries early then clearing skies, low near 0.
WEDNESDAY= mostly cloudy, high near 30, low 15.
THURSDAY= partly sunny, high 25, low around 10.

BHK= Alexandria at Little Falls tonight 7:15pm on Q92 WYRQ
GBB= Rockford at Pierz tonight 7:30pm on FM94 KFML.
NHL= more bad news for NHL hockey fans, the league announced Monday that all games have been cancelled through December 30th.

IN 1719= first display of the Northern Lights recorded in America.
IN 1951= Joe DiMaggio retired from professional baseball.
IN 1981= Muhammad Ali lost to Trevor Berbick, days later Ali would announced his retirement from the sport of boxing after 61 fights.
IN 1985= The Chicago Bears released their single “Super Bowl Shuffle”. The Bears went on that season to win the Super Bowl.

“Whiskey Tango” Friday, “Switch” Saturday at West Side Bar

Monday, December 10th, 2012

--A robbery led to a high speed pursuit, vehicle crash, and injuries in Morrison County. On Thursday at 1:45am the Morrison County Sheriff’s Office received a report of 2 females that had just stolen a couple TV’s from Wal-Mart in Little Falls. A Morrison County deputy minutes later spotted a vehicle that matched the description just west of Pierz on Highway 27. The deputy made a traffic stop and as he approached the vehicle they fled at a high rate of speed. Eventually after a pursuit ensued the suspects ran off the road and hit an embankment at the junction of County Road 41 and Highway 27 east of Lastrup. The driver and all three passengers in the suspect vehicle were injured and taken to hospitals by ambulance and/or helicopter. The stolen TV’s were in the vehicle. The driver 24-year old Cassandra Rae Beaulieu of Isle was released from the hospital and is currently in custody in the Morrison County Jail awaiting formal charges. Other charges are also pending against the other three occupants including 25-year old Breanna J. Day of Onamia, 31-year old Marlow James Day of Onamia, and 26-year old Christina Marie Boyd of Minneapolis.

--A court-appointed examiner has ruled that 17-year-old Jesse Smithers meets all six criteria to be certified to stand trial as an adult in the death of Colton Gleason in a St. Cloud alley in September. Smithers is charged with second degree-manslaughter and assault from an incident on September 20th where Smithers is accused getting out of a vehicle and punching Gleason causing him to fall backwards hitting his head on the ground and was knocked unconscious. Gleason died the next day from injuries sustained. The Stearns County District Court Judge has received the information from the examiner and also from a probation agent and will make a ruling on if Smithers will be tried as an adult sometime in January.

--Agents of the Central Minnesota Violent Offender Task Force executed a search warrant at 310 2nd Avenue South in Long Prairie on Tuesday afternoon. Agents seized suspected methamphetamine and other items associated with the sale of a controlled substance. Authorities arrested 54-year-old Barbary Herding of Long Prairie on controlled substance charges. The incident is under investigation.

--A man who prosecutors say hit four churches in Buffalo with rocks and left behind offensive posters has been ruled mentally incompetent to stand trial. 30-year-old Wade Murray has been moved from the Wright County Jail to a state-run mental health treatment facility. Authorities say Murray told them God and Jesus instructed him to leave the messages against homosexuality and to vandalize the churches and that God wants him to “hurt people”. Damage was estimated at more than $7,500.

--The group “Wives behind the Badge” is sponsoring a holiday toy drive for the four children of fallen Cold Spring Police Officer Tom Decker, in hopes of making Christmas a little brighter for them. Melanie Snyder says they’re looking for toys for Decker’s two girls and two boys under the age of eight. Along with toys, they are requesting money and gift cards. For more information you can go to the Facebook page of Minnesota Auxiliary: Wives behind the Badge.

--The Buckman Trailblazers Snowmobile Club will be holding its annual snowmobile safety class beginning tonight at 7:00pm at Pierz Healy High. For information call Eric Hanneken (320) 630-1510. Cost is $5 you must be at least 11 years old to attend.

--Congratulations to Sandra Rivetts of Motley who recently won $7,000 by playing the Minnesota State Lottery.

--The first major snowstorm blasted the area starting around 9pm Saturday with some sleet then all snow that lasted into Sunday night. Snow totals varied from near a foot in Little Falls to 14-18 inches in areas from Royalton down to St. Cloud and over into western Stearns County and even more snow south and west of there. Many roads in western and southwestern Minnesota remain closed this morning due to blizzard conditions. Roads are in poor condition due to the cold and windy conditions last night with many compacted areas with the heavy snow and icy conditions under that. The Minnesota Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to be watchful for snowplows that will continue to work on the roadways throughout the day today. For travel information on state highways go to County and City roads are also being plowed but at a slower rate and expect many side roads to be compacted with snow and ice. Many schools are delayed 2 hours this morning a list of local ones can be found on

--The search for Cold Spring Officer Tom Decker’s killer led to Minneapolis last week where police served a narcotics warrant, but reports state that two sources say although it was related to the officer’s slaying, it did not do anything to help solve the case. Authorities had to release a suspect last Tuesday because of insufficient evidence. They still haven’t found the 20-gauge shotgun that they believe was used to kill Officer Decker.

--A Prior Lake driver died Friday afternoon in a head-on collision on a Wright County Road that the Minnesota State Patrol reported was icy. The patrol on Saturday stated the driver who died was Nathan Lindmeyer. The accident happened on Highway 12 near Delano when the victim lost control and struck another vehicle in the oncoming lane. The 2nd driver Johana Baughn and her 10-year-old daughter both sustained injuries and were treated at the area hospital.

--Jeremy and Jacqueline Jager of Pierz, girl born December 6th

--Mildred “Millie” Rausch, age 93 of Little Falls
--Edmund Janish, age 88 of Royalton
--Doris Remer, age 83 of Isle.
--Agnes Pindegayosh, age 81 of Onamia.

TODAY= mostly sunny and cold, high 10 above, wind chills below 0
TONIGHT= mostly cloudy, flurries after midnight, low 5 above.
TUESDAY= flurries, cloudy, high near 20, wind chills near 0.
WEDNESDAY= mostly cloudy, windy, high near 30.

NFL= Adrian Peterson and defense lifted the Vikings to a big 21-14 win over Chicago Sunday at the Dome. Peterson ran for 154 yards and 2 touchdowns and an interception return by Harrison Smith posted the final score to move the Vikings to 7-6 on the year.
COL FB= Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manzeil won the 78th Heisman Trophy becoming the first freshmen to win the trophy.
COL BAB= Tubby Smith recorded his 500th career win in college basketball as a coach Saturday as Gophers topped USC 71-57.

Great lunches and happy hour specials daily at West Side Bar

Friday- December 7th, 2012

--The Randall Police Department conducted a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 10 back on December 3rd.  Two subjects from Clarissa MN, Pamela Ann Gester and Jeffrey Michael Hauer were arrested. Police had reason to believe that controlled substances were inside the vehicle. They gained access to the inside of the vehicle and with the use of trained narcotics dogs, the Canines alerted to the exterior of the Chevrolet Blazer they were driving. Upon searching the vehicle officers located approximately 28 grams (1 ounce) of a substance that appeared to be methamphetamine. Both subjects were transported to the Morrison County Jail where they were charged with controlled substance crimes. The Randall Police Department was assisted by deputies from the Morrison County Sheriff’s Department.

--The Minnesota State Patrol responded to a three vehicle crash on Tuesday afternoon on Highway 210 and Crow Wing County Road 59. Around 12:30, A vehicle had stopped at the intersection to turn left when it was struck from the rear by a 2nd vehicle causing the first one to push into the westbound lane and strike a semi truck. The driver of the first vehicle, 26-year-old Jackie Wood was taken to the Crosby Hospital for treatment of injuries. Her infant passenger was checked out at the scene but had no apparent injuries. The other two drivers involved in the accident were not injured.

--The Pierz City Council will meet Monday at 7pm at Pierz City Hall. Agenda items include TNT and Final Levy Public Hearing, EDA Meeting Recap, MN Power Settlement Agreement, set public hearing for Electric Rates Ordinance Amendment, set tree reimbursements for Robert/Park Ave/SRTS and receive city reports from Public Works, Pierz Police, Pierz Fire Department and the parks department.

--Two days now after the funeral of Police Officer Tom Decker authorities continue their investigation into his death. On Tuesday, Stearns County had to release a suspect in the case who had been held since the shooting on November 29th. Investigators stated Wednesday afternoon that he remains a suspect, and they continue to follow leads. Investigators are still asking for help finding the 20-gauge shotgun they believed was used to kill Decker and also they are asking for the public to call in any tips they might have, whether submitters think the information is valuable or not.

--The Wadena Deer Creek School District in a statement earlier this week stated that one of their teachers has been suspended 10 days without pay for not complying with the district’s acceptable use policy for technology. Superintendent Virginia Dahlstrom wrote the disciplinary action against health and physical education teacher Tom Van Erp after he allegedly showed personal photos on his school device to a student that was ruled inappropriate for a school setting.

--Two National Guardsmen are dead and a third is recovering from serious injuries after their vehicle hit an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Afghanistan.  The National Guard says Sergeant 1st Class Darren Linde and Specialist Tyler Orgaard died when their vehicle exploded Monday in southern Afghanistan. Linde is a 41-year-old from Devils Lake, North Dakota, who has been in the military for more than 20 years. Orgaard is a 20-year-old from Bismark and was serving his first deployment. The men were part of the 818th Engineer Company and have been in Afghanistan since June.  Specialist Ian Placek, 23, of Bismarck was wounded in the IED incident. He is listed in stable condition at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, according to the Guard.

--Authorities have released the names of the alleged perpetrator and the victim in Wednesday nights shooting and suicide in rural Pine County. The sheriff’s office received a 9-1-1 call saying 55-year old Dawn Christen texted that she had been shot by her ex-husband and he was still in the house. Deputies surrounded the home and attempted to talk 55-year old Daniel Shilts away from the house but he refused. A SWAT team then went in to rescue Christen who was found in a bathroom with a gunshot wound to the upper chest. The SWAT team then found Shilts on the living room couch holding a pistol to his head. Investigators say after about two hours of talks, Shilts shot himself and died at the scene. Christen was taken to a Duluth hospital where she is listed in serious condition. Authorities continue their investigation.

--The St. Nick Night celebration in Pierz was held Wednesday night. There were numerous winners and among the top winners were: Olivia Theilen winning the coloring contest age 4 and under, In the Kindergarten thru 2nd grade category the top prize went to Chase Becker, and for 3rd grade thru 6th grade 1st prize went to Lance Otremba. Joy Schlicting for Partners Senior Living Options got the top prize for the Great Holiday Adventure Scavenger Hunt. For the stamp card the grand prize of $300 in Pierz Buck went to Karrie Cropper of Pierz. There were numerous other winners, congratulations to each.

--A passerby reported a very large structure fire on Wednesday afternoon. Firefighters responded to a fully engulfed turkey barn fire at 37403 355th Avenue in Grove Township of Stearns County. By the time the fire was extinguished the turkey barn was a total loss. Damage was estimated at a half million dollars. The exact cause and origin is unknown and under investigation.

--Robert Burggraff, age 55 of Little Falls.
--Marilyn J. Adams, age 56 of Little Falls.
--Marlene M. Bromeling, age 72 of Long Prairie
--Warren H. Jones, age 85 of Brainerd formerly of Little Falls

TODAY= afternoon snow, mostly cloudy, high 31.
TONIGHT= light snow early then cloudy, low around 20.
SATURDAY= PM snow showers develop, heavier at night, high 31.
SUNDAY= snow likely, blustery and colder, high 24, low 0.
MONDAY= sunny and cold, high 15.

BHK= Fergus Falls at Little Falls tonight 7pm on Q92 WYRQ.
BAS= Boys and Girls double-header of basketball tonight at Paynesville takes on Pierz. Girls 6pm, boys 7:30pm on FM94 KFML
COL BB= The 14th ranked Gopher men’s basketball at 9-1 travel to southern California to take on USC Saturday at 9pm on KLTF.
TWINS= The Twins have traded center fielder Ben Revere to the Philadelphia Phillies for a pair of pitchers. In exchange for the speedy Revere the Twins acquired right-handed pitchers Vance Worley and Trevor May. Worley should be in rotation while May in Triple A.
NFL= Percy Harvin has been placed on injured reserve by the Minnesota Vikings and will miss the rest of the 2012 season. The Vikings host the Bears Sunday at noon; live on AM960 KLTF.

“Redneck Radio” tonight, “BLT” Saturday at West Side Bar.

Thursday- December 6th, 2012

--On Wednesday the Little Falls Police Department, Morrison County Sheriff’s Office and State Patrol made a welfare check on an individual who displayed a firearm while authorities were on site. The incident occurred at Lot 14 of the Mobile Home Park right across from the Little Falls High School. While this incident was ongoing the area school was informed and the Little Falls Schools made the decision to go into a lockdown mode until the situation was resolved. Officers were able to get the firearm away from the suspect 33-year old James Stanley and get him medical attention. According to Little Falls Police Chief Greg Schirmers, any injuries suffered by Stanley were self inflicted. The incident is currently under investigation.

--The missing plane that was carrying former Little Falls resident Trista Meyer, her daughter 9-year old Syann Lenz and her companion Matt Ahrens was found Sunday in a rugged area of Utah. There were no survivors. The plane was flying from Bakersfield, California to Gillette, Wyoming after a trip to visit Ahrens’ family over the Thanksgiving weekend. The search for the missing plane ended Sunday around 8:00am when a Utah Highway Patrol helicopter spotted the plane about 14 miles east of the Filmore Airport. The crash is currently under investigation.

--The Minnesota State Patrol has announced they will participate in the annual drunken driving enforcement wave along with officers and deputies from 400 law enforcement agencies throughout the state. The enforcement is to identify and arrest impaired drivers and encourage motorists to make safe decisions. Sgt. Curt Mowers of the Minnesota State Patrol along with a number of people to speak on the hazards of drinking and driving and the repercussions with it will be on hand today for the Annual Drive Safe/Drive Sober Program takes place at Coborn’s. Join Q92 WYRQ live from 1-3pm today.

--The state has another budget deficit. This time it is a 1.1 billion dollar deficit according to the latest economic forecast just released. Officials say the economy is a little weaker than expected but add there is no reason to have a recession.

--A 32-year-old Royalton man has been given a sentencing day of December 19th in Morrison County District Court. Joshua Zoccoli was apprehended after fleeing police in a motor vehicle and admitted he had a gun inside his vehicle during the pursuit where speeds reached 80 miles per hour. Zoccoli recently appeared for a plea hearing and accepted the charge of felony fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle for other charges being dismissed.

--Benton County will hold their truth-in-taxation meeting tonight at 7pm at the Benton County Courthouse in Foley. Benton County residents are encouraged to attend and give their input to the county board on the 2013 budget and levy. County Commissioners in September approved a preliminary levy of $20.2 million dollars which is a 2-percent increase from the previous year. The increase was due to rising salary and health care costs and the loss of state aid.

--November held some higher-than-normal temperatures for much of the state. State Climatologist Greg Spoden says one of the big stories for 2012 weather was the drought, which in most areas worsened during November. He says over 83-percent of the state is now rated in severe or extreme drought. Spoden says with low amounts of winter precipitation, combined with the ground freezing will likely cause little change in the winter months ahead.

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--A new court date was set for 28-year-old Dane Riley of Pine River Tuesday in Cass County District Court. Riley is accused of shooting and killing Mark Huesmann on July 14th outside Huesmann’s girlfriend’s residence then allegedly took his remains and placed them in a shallow grave near a welding company in Pine River where they were found on July 24th. Riley has been charged with second-degree intentional murder and interference with a dead body and the judge this week stated Riley’s next court hearing would be February 8th.

--Fire did $90,000 in damage to a home in St. Cloud Tuesday. Firefighters from St. Cloud, St. Augusta and Waite Park were called out shortly after 6pm to the Steve Wunderlich residence on Seventh Avenue South. A cigarette caused the fire to start on the first floor where part of the structure’s interior and its contents were damaged. No injuries were reported in the fire.

--A Minnesota businessman and pilot died when his plane crashed Tuesday in Illinois. 74-year-old Larry Diffley, president of Bemidji Aviation Services, Inc. was the only person aboard the twin engine Beech Baron at the time of the crash. The crash happened around 2:45 p.m. near Manhattan which is about 50 miles south of Chicago.

--Todd County is investigating a boat that was taken from near Sauk Lake. The boat was reported stolen last week on Wednesday from Alcott Drive on Sauk Lake. It is a 15-foot, burgundy, Maxum Bass Boat, with a 50-horsepower motor. Anyone with information is asked to call the Todd County Sheriff’s office 320-732-2157.

--Fr. David E. Gallus OSC, age 73 of Onamia.

TODAY= Partly sunny, high of 37
TONIGHT= Partly cloudy, low of 22
FRIDAY= Mostly cloudy, 30% chance of snow after noon, high 30
SATURDAY= Snow likely, high 30 and a low of 21
SUNDAY= Snow likely, cloudy and a high of 27

NFL= Denver at Oakland tonight.
COL FB= catch the Army/Navy game Saturday 1pm on KLTF

IN 346AD= Nicholas of Myra died. He would later become St. Nicholas for the miracles attributed to his intercession and also his use of secret gift giving which was the evolution of St. Nicholas Day mainly originated in Europe, and continues to be big in Germany, The Netherlands and other northern European nations where children place shoes outside or near a chimney the night before and receive candy, coins and other gifts in them. St. Nicholas is also behind the origin of “Sinterklaas in Dutch and Santa Claus in English.
IN 1865= the 13th amendment was ratified abolishing slavery in U.S.
IN 1877= Thomas Edison made his recording of “Mary had a Little Lamb” on his newest invention the phonograph.
IN 1902= an 8-cent stamp was issued with the likeness of Martha Washington on it, it was the first stamp to have a woman on it.
IN 1923= President Calvin Coolidge gave the first Presidential address to be heard live on radio when he addressed Congress.

“Northstar Entertainment” tonight, lunch daily at West Side Bar

Wednesday- December 5th, 2012

--The suspect arrested in the shooting death of Cold Spring Richmond Police Officer Tom Decker was released from jail today without being charged. 34-year old Ryan Michael Larson left the Stearns County Jail with family members just before noon. The decision to release Larson came one day after the Stearns County Attorney’s Office got a 24-hour extension to decide whether to charge Larson. Investigators initially said Larson was suspected of killing Decker late Thursday in what is being called an ambush behind Winner’s Bar on Main Street in Cold Spring. A statement Tuesday from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said that the agency, along with the Stearns County sheriff's and county attorney's offices, determined they don't have sufficient evidence now to continue to hold Larson. Investigators will not rest until they fully determine what happened the night of Officer Decker’s death and bring to account those responsible. Anyone with information regarding the crime or the location of the 20-gauge shotgun believed to be the murder weapon is asked not to touch it but to call 911.

--Risky Business in Brainerd has filed a federal lawsuit over the county guidelines against the business. Ronald Beattie Jr. owner of the sexually oriented business on Washington Street filed the suit on November 26th calling a recent Crow Wing County Ordinance unconstitutional. The ordinance states that Beattie had to blacken his windows, pay license fees and reduce store hours and the attorney for Beattie says that the only reason Beattie’s business falls under it is because they don’t allow children in the business because of the adult nature. In the federal lawsuit filed against Crow Wing County, it states that the business had not been considered either an “adult establishment” or an “adult bookstore” within the Brainerd ordinance and the city of Brainerd and the business had an agreement to the terms that the adult material and explicit inventory be segregated in a separate room. The county stated that the ordinance includes any business that operates a sexual oriented performance or the selling of adult or sexual oriented novelties. A federal judge is looking over the lawsuit to see if a case in warranted.

--Monday’s announcement of the closing of an $11-million deal to conserve nearly 2,000 acres of land along the Mississippi River was billed as Celebration No. 1. Conservation advocates said the Celebration No. 2 is tentatively planned for next summer in an area northeast of Brainerd and will now be preserved for future generations for a variety of outdoor recreational uses. Proponents of the land deal stated this is going to be a great partnership with hunters, anglers and any outdoor enthusiasts. The land is located between the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport and the county landfill.

--The Little Falls Police Department is continuing to investigate a robbery last month at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Little Falls. A suspect was caught on video camera of stealing an undisclosed amount of money from the church around 4:30pm on November 10th. Anyone with information should call (320) 616-5570.

--A garage sustained minor damage due to fire Monday morning in Brainerd. Firefighters were called to Lawson Road around 4:30am south of Brainerd where the unattached garage was to have a fire inside of it, but it was actually a heat lamp inside a dog kennel that had caught fire outside of the garage. The fire was quickly put out.

--Pierz High School will hold parent-teacher conferences today from 3:30pm to 7:30pm at the Performing Arts Center (PAC) in Pierz.

--The Little Falls City Council met on Monday night. The 2013 levy went up 2.83%. The total levy will be $3,348,000. The council passed a 2013 budget for general fund, special revenue, and enterprise of $9,209,800. That is roughly a 2.12% increase from the 2012 budget of $9,018,650. The Housing and Redevelopment Authority Levy was also passed for an additional $59,000. Some rates were also set at Monday night’s meeting. The water rates have a minimal increase. The sewer rate is up around 5%. Garbage and recycling rates are up about 3.19% based on the consumer price index. The garbage rate will also increase slightly more to cover an increase of $2 per ton tipping fee at the county.

--On Tuesday morning the Baxter Police Department responded to a suspicious vehicle in the area of Forestview Middle School around 8:00am. Two juveniles reported that they were approached by a white van. The driver of the van yelled something at the two juveniles, followed them from one parking area to another and then left the area when approached by a teacher. While investigating this incident Baxter Police learned of a similar incident earlier this same morning in Brainerd. This incident happened around 7:30am but was not reported to law enforcement. In this incident several children waiting for a bus near the intersection of College Drive and Southwest 4th Street reported that a white van approached them asking if they needed a ride. In both incidents the vehicle was described as an early 2000’s white minivan, with dark colored trim and luggage racks. The driver was described a white male in both incidents. If you observe a vehicle matching this description please obtain a license number and contact law enforcement. Anyone with any other information is urged to call Baxter or Brainerd Police.

--A resident of the Crossings apartment building was taken to St. Cloud Hospital Monday evening with burns after an oven fire. St. Cloud firefighters were called to the third floor of 3-14th Ave. NE around 8:50pm and remained at the scene for almost an hour. Minor smoke damage and damage to the oven estimated at $1,000. No residents were displaced. The injured woman’s name was not immediately available.

--Adam and Jacqueline Yorek of Little Falls, a boy born Dec. 3rd.

--Glen D. Swanson, age 86 of Upsala.

TODAY= partly sunny, breezy, high 35.
TONIGHT= rain and sleet, some freezing overnight, low 30.
THURSDAY= freezing mix early then partly sunny, high 40, low 22.
FRIDAY= mostly cloudy, colder, high near 30, low around 15.

COL BB= Gophers men beat South Dakota State 88-64 last night. Central Minnesota’s Nate Wolters did not play with an ankle injury last night for the Jackrabbits. The Gophers have moved up to #14 on the AP poll for men’s basketball and travel to southern California on Saturday night to take on USC, game time is 9pm on AM960 KLTF.
HS= get high school scores from last night at

“Northstar Entertainment” Thurs. “Redneck Radio” Fri. at WS Bar

Tuesday- December 4th, 2012

--The Little Falls Police Department in the past week continued to receive a number of reports of suspicious activity from area residents. Reports included theft of property and two reports of phone scams. One phone scam stated they were from Medicare and wanting personal information on an account. The other scam stated they were from a bank and reported a lottery winning to a resident and asked for bank account information. This is another reminder to never give out personal information if you did not initiate the contact. Police Chief Greg Schirmers also wants to remind residents that their office has a drop off site for unwanted or unused prescription drugs. This is a safe way to make sure that the drugs do not end up in the wrong hands by disposing of them at the police station during their regular business hours. For more information contact Little Falls Police Department at 616-5570.

--Funeral services will be tomorrow for the slain police officer from Cold Spring. 31-year-old Tom Decker was ambushed Thursday and shot twice while responding to a report of a suicidal man. The funeral will be Wednesday 11am at St. John’s Abbey and University Church in Collegeville. The Stearns County Attorney's Office has gotten a 24-hour extension to decide whether to file charges against the man arrested for the shooting death of Cold Spring-Richmond Officer Tom Decker. The county now has until noon today to charge or release Ryan Larson who has been jailed since Friday as a suspect in the shooting death late Thursday of Decker in Cold Spring.

--The Morrison County Commissioners will meet on Thursday this week at the government center. Reports from the sheriff, public health and the auditor are on the agenda. Meeting starts at 9am.

--Stearns County authorities responded to a structure fire Sunday evening just after 6 at the Richard Imdieke residence in Grove Township near Melrose. A shop was found engulfed in flames and was later ruled a total loss. The building contained a farm office, heated shop, tractors, skid loaders and other tools and equipment. The cause of the fire is under investigation, there were no injures.

--An Anoka man was hurt after he ran a red light and collided with two other vehicles Saturday at the stoplights on Highway 10 and Benton County Road 2 in Rice. The accident happened around 1pm when 74-year-old Rodger Loberg went through the intersection and struck two vehicles turning onto Highway 10. Loberg was taken to St. Cloud Hospital with reported non-life threatening injuries. The drivers of the other two vehicles were not hurt.

--Members of a Minnesota National Guard unit returned home from Afghanistan Sunday. The last wave of 24 soldiers from the 147th Human Resource Company returned Sunday night. The company was in charge of military postal operations in three areas in Afghanistan and was spread across 19 bases. The unit was a joint operation involving multiple branches as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

--The staff and Friends of Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge invite you to build a birdfeeder during the fourth annual Backyard Bird Feeder Day on Saturday from 9:00 am to noon at the Refuge maintenance building southeast of Little Falls on County Road 35. Due to a limited number of kits, there may be a restriction of one bird feeder per family. The event is free and open to the public. For more information call the Refuge at 320-632-1575.

--The West Side Improvement Association has their ninth annual “Cookies with Santa” event at the west side skating rink warming house from 9am to 1pm in Little Falls Saturday. All free of charge.

--A man has died from injuries suffered when he was struck by a taxi cab while crossing a busy street in St. Cloud early Sunday. Police say 33-year-old Timothy Arthur Martin of St. Cloud was crossing the street on the 10th block of 5th Avenue South just before 2am when he was struck by the cab.  The accident caused Martin to fall backwards, striking his head on the roadway and causing significant head trauma. Martin was treated on the scene and then rushed to St. Cloud hospital, where he died from his injuries Sunday afternoon. The cab driver was not hurt. The Minnesota State Patrol is helping St. Cloud Police with the reconstruction and investigation.

--The Randall city council met this past Friday. The meeting was convened for the purpose of discussing employee health care benefits, 2013 budget, updating of the Employee salary step program schedule for 2013 and update of the City of Randall Personnel Manual. A lengthy discussion took place concerning the employee benefits package. It was agreed to have Mayor Ritters check with the auditing firm about the possibility of using a Section 125 Flexible medical Plan. If adopted, this plan would become effective in 2013. It was determined that all council members review the Employee Personnel Manual prior to the next scheduled meeting. Any changes will be discussed at that meeting. A discussion ensued concerning the Salary Step System and its merits. Two councilmen are going to update and bring to a future meeting for finalization and implementation.

--Foley, Foreston, and Milaca firefighters were called out Monday morning when embers from burning brush set fire to a vacant barn in Granite Ledge Township leaving it in a pile of rubble. No injuries occurred at the vacant barn owned by Nichole Bueckers. Foley Fire Department received the call at 10:15 a.m. Monday and took three hours to extinguish the fire and leave the scene.

TODAY= sunny, colder, high near 30.
TONIGHT= mostly clear, low 15.
WEDNESDAY= increasing clouds, rain/sleet/snow late, high 35.
THURSDAY= rain/snow mix early then partial sun, high near 40.

HS GHK= River Lakes at Little Falls tonight 7pm on AM960 KLTF
HS BBB= Fergus Falls at Little Falls tonight 7:30pm on Q92 WYRQ
HS WRE= Pierz, Royalton and Kimball in a triangular, matches begin at 5:30pm tonight on FM94 KFML.
NFL= four teams have clinched playoff spots in the NFL from the past weekend; they are Houston, Atlanta, New England and Denver. The Vikings host Chicago Sunday at noon on AM960 KLTF.

IN 1619= reports state that colonists in Virginia, around Jamestown held a day of thanks for that they have received, some historians feel this was considered the first Thanksgiving, two years prior to the Pilgrims events on Plymouth Rock with the Native Americans.
IN 1836= The Whig Party formed as a new political party.
IN 1945= Senate approves U.S. participation in United Nations.
IN 1981= Falcon Crest debuted on CBS starring Jane Wyman.
IN 1982= Georgia’s Herschel Walker wins the Heisman Trophy.

“Northstar Entertainment” Thurs. “Redneck Radio” Fri. at WS Bar.

Monday- December 3rd, 2012

--A Cold Spring police officer was shot and killed Thursday night making a welfare check at a residence above a bar in Cold Spring. At a Press Conference Friday morning; it was announced that 34-year-old Ryan Michael Larson of Cold Spring has been arrested in connection with the shooting and killing of Cold Spring Police Officer Tom Decker.  Larson is in Stearns County Jail and is awaiting formal charges of 2nd-degree murder. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has been called in to help in the investigation of the case. The 31-year-old Decker has been a police officer for Cold Spring and Richmond since 2006. Police stated that Decker was responding to a possible suicide attempt around 11pm when he was ambushed and shot twice by the suspect who fled the scene. Larson was arrested a short time later and taken into custody. During this time the city of Cold Spring was put into a lockdown phase while the search was being conducted. On Saturday, it was announced that the BCA is still looking for the weapon that killed Officer Decker. It is believed to be a 20 gauge shotgun. Cold Spring residents are asked to check their yards and areas around their homes for this weapon. If it is located, do not touch it and call 911. Decker was a ROCORI High School graduate and leaves behind a wife and four small children.

--The Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce has announced their December Employee of the Month is Tina Scherping, who has been the Assistant Branch Manager at Pine Country Bank for nine and a half years. Scherping is married to husband Allen and has two children Alita and Brady.

--The Minnesota Department of Revenue has revoked the sales tax permit of Keith Boser of KB Tree Care in Pierz, for failing to file and pay sales tax returns. According to the Department of Revenue, the business owes the state more than $55,000. The department claims the landscaping business failed to file sales tax returns between January 2009 and August 2012. The business failed to pay between June and December in 2008. If a person or company makes retail sales in Minnesota after their sales tax permit is revoked, it is a felony under Minnesota law.

--Crow Wing County authorities are investigating three vehicles that were on fire early Thursday morning and the Brainerd Fire Department suspects it was arson in all cases. Two of the vehicles were engulfed in flames in a driveway on the 1300 block of Pine Street in Brainerd around 12:45am, both vehicles were ruled total losses, then just 20 minutes later anther vehicle was reported on fire about a block away on Southeast 14th Street. The third vehicle fire was minor. The State Fire Marshal has been called in to assist with the investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Arson Hotline at 800-723-2020.

--The State Patrol says a 25-year-old man was struck and killed by a vehicle in Becker County late Thursday night. The accident happened near the intersection of Highway 10 and 2nd Street just after 10:30pm. A vehicle traveling east on Highway 10 struck a pedestrian who was walking south across the highway in the right lane. The victim was identified as 25-year-old Shelby Somerville from Lake Park, Minnesota. Somerville was transported to St. Mary's Hospital in Detroit Lakes where he later died. A 57-year-old woman from Ottertail was the driver of the vehicle and not injured.

--Randall has Randall Holly Day on Wednesday while Pierz has St. Nick Night on Wednesday. Many events will take place in both cities.

--The following was a collaborative press release from the Little Falls Community Schools and Morrison County. The Little Falls community, Morrison County, and its’ schools care deeply about the health and safety of our young people.  Like other communities throughout Minnesota and our nation, substance use among youth and the harm associated with use are a concern to many community members.  We worry about the negative and the far too often devastating outcomes that can result from these high-risk behaviors. While the majority of young people in our community are avoiding substance use, we know there are some youth who use alcohol and drugs, including the use of medications without a doctor’s prescription. Throughout Morrison County and within its’ schools, there has been a proactive approach to implementing comprehensive substance use prevention efforts over the past several years. Local law enforcement, the schools, youth, parents, and community members have rallied together to work on many efforts to reduce the access and use of all substances by youth in the community. These efforts include enhancements to prescription drug monitoring and prescribing practices, the development of a drug tip line, prescription drug take-back initiatives, educational forums for students about substance use dangers, and the implementation of substance use prevention instruction at multiple grade levels.  The community is also in the beginning stages of developing a campaign to correct dangerous misperceptions students have about the normalcy of substance use among their peers. In addition, a community coalition, the Stand Up 4 U coalition, made up of parents, youth, school, law enforcement, government, faith community, business, and healthcare, is working to understand root causes of youth substance use issues to find and implement strategies that will make long-term impacts. Addressing substance use issues in any community is a challenge, and we are united in our commitment to the health and safety of youth in our community. A recent survey showed most adults feel the community has a responsibility for the health and well-being of the youth in the community. We will continue to work together to help everyone in our community, including our youth, feel empowered to make healthy choices and avoid all substance use.

--Stephen ‘Steve’ Emblom, age 57 of Little Falls.
--Bryce D. Strickland, age 35 of Little Falls.
--Clarence Kowalczyk, age 91 of Royalton.
--Heidi Gunter, age 67 of Browerville.

TODAY= light rain showers, then clearing in PM hours, high 48.
TONIGHT= mostly clear, slick spots form, low 27.
TUESDAY= mostly sunny, much cooler, high 30 and breezy.
WEDNESDAY= partly sunny, high 33, snow and sleet late, low 28.

NFL= Adrian Peterson rushed for over 200 yards and a touchdown but the Vikings lost to Green Bay 23-14 Sunday in Lambeau Field. The Vikings host the Bears Sunday at noon, live on AM960 KLTF.
COL FB= Gopher football team will play Texas Tech on December 28th in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Houston, game time 8pm.

The West Side Bar has great lunches and happy hour specials daily