News January, 2014

Friday- January 31st, 2014

--Minnesotans in danger of running out of heating fuel can call a new hotline set up by the State Emergency Operations Center the Minnesota Department of Public Safety announced Thursday. The number: 800-657-3504 or 651-297-1304. Minnesota Department of Commerce staff will answer the phones 9-4:30 weekdays. They can supply information about energy assistance and county resources. Governor Mark Dayton declared a state of peacetime emergency on Monday because of the cold weather and increased risk that households might run out of heating fuel. The state fire marshal warns against using unvented heating appliances with an open flame. Everything should be at least 3 feet from heating equipment and portable space heaters should have an automatic shut-off.

--The City of Cold Spring has named Eric Johnson to become its new police chief this week. The Cold Spring City Council accepted the recommendation made by the hiring committee. Johnson is 41 and currently is the police chief in Minneota, a city of 1,400 near Marshall in southwestern Minnesota. The council approved the hiring of Johnson on a unanimous 4-0 vote.

--Minnesota State Troopers will be out in force this weekend for a DWI enforcement campaign coinciding with the Super Bowl on Sunday. Several Minnesota traffic safety officials are concerned about the safety of motorists during this weekend as in the last five years 995 motorists have been arrested on Super Bowl weekend in Minnesota. Due to the amount of traffic from Super Bowl parties and the added element of alcohol, the State Patrol is treating the Super Bowl like other big events and holidays when it comes to educating the public about planning ahead for a sober ride. All motorists are urged to slow down, buckle up, drive sober, pay attention, drive to the existing conditions and report impaired drivers.

--The next regular Little Falls City Council meeting will be held on Monday at 7:30pm at city hall council chambers.

--Royalton Elementary School is holding kindergarten registration Monday at 6:30pm. There will be a meeting to follow at 7pm in the elementary school media center. For more information call 584-4160.

--Stearns County has received a $1-million dollar Legacy grant toward the extension of the Lake Wobegon Regional Trail from St. Joseph to Waite Park. It is the largest grant ever received by the county and the money will go to purchasing the trail corridor, complete engineering plans and building a portion of the trail in River’s Edge Park in Waite Park.

--Two central Minnesota locations were among 65 enforcement cases the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency concluded in the fourth quarter of 2013. The MPCA fined American Manufacturing Co. of St. Joseph $1,275 for stormwater violations and Little Rock Boat Works of Rice $1,500 for water quality violations. Penalties from all cases totaled over $630,000 with the largest fine of over $248,000 to St. Mary’s Duluth Clinic Heath Systems for hazardous waste violations.

--No one was injured and all 13 students on board were transported to school on another bus after one St. Cloud school district bus slid into the ditch off Stearns County Road 136 just south of Oak Hill Community School Thursday morning. That was one of many cars sliding off the road in Stearns County. There were more accidents reported in Sherburne and Isanti County Thursday morning from the snow that fell causing slippery roadways.

--An “A” student at Little Falls Community High School (LFCHS), a volunteer at St. Gabriel’s Hospital and an advocate of Sensory Processing Disorder, Averi Hutton of Randall was named Miss Teen Morrison County. Next up is the state competition March 8th in St. Cloud. If Hutton wins the Miss Teen Minnesota title, she will receive $10,000 for college expenses, various gift certificates, have professional photos taken and be able to work with a personal trainer. She will also get sponsorship to the International Pageant to be held in Florida in July. Hutton is involved in the Target Club at LFCHS where she is a role model and mentor for younger students. She also volunteers at St. Gabriel’s Hospital, spending time with patients and restocking equipment for the nurses.

--A Monticello woman who was driving an SUV that collided head-on with an ambulance January 18th in Wright County has died. The crash occurred in the overnight hours on Wright County Road 35 East in Buffalo Township. The SUV was being driven by 51-year old Marilyn Paumen of Monticello. She died early Wednesday. The driver of the ambulance and a paramedic inside were hospitalized. A patient in the ambulance was not believed to have been injured from the crash.

--St. Cloud police are asking for the public’s help in finding a 17-year-old who ran away Monday night. Jordan Martindale wasn’t dressed for the weather conditions when he ran away, and he hasn’t been in contact with his family since. Martindale is described as being black, about 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighing 130 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information about Martindale’s whereabouts is asked to call St. Cloud Police at 320-251-1200.

--A Belgrade man has been ordered held in lieu of $100,000 bail after being charged in Stearns County District Court with sexually abusing two young girls. An investigation after reports surfaced of abuse led to the four charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct being filed against 45-year old David Walt Studanski. Two children who were younger than 11 when the abuse is alleged to have occurred, told investigators, that Studanski sexually abused them at a Belgrade residence. The criminal complaint charging Studanski accuses him of giving the children money so they wouldn’t tell anyone about the abuse and that he also threatened that someone would get hurt if the children told. Studanksi denied touching the children inappropriately but said he knew the children.

--Tony Tanner and Kelsey Ingalls of Royalton, girl born January 28th

TODAY= sunny and cold, high 4 above, wind chills -25 in morning.
TONIGHT= snow after midnight, low -10 early then rising temps
SATURDAY= snow in morning, around 1 inch, high 14, low -16
SUNDAY= sunny and colder, high 7 above, low -10
MONDAY= partly cloudy, high 12 above, low around -10.

HS BHK= Little Falls at St. Cloud Cathedral tonight 7:15 on Q92
HS WRE= Pierz at Holdingford tonight 7pm on FM94 KFML
COL BBB= Gophers vs. Northwestern Saturday 1pm on KLTF.
NFL= The Super Bowl is Sunday in New Jersey between Denver and Seattle kickoff is at 5:25pm. Full coverage Sunday is on KLTF.

Redneck Radio tonight and Saturday at West Side Bar in Little Falls

Thursday- January 30th, 2014

--The Chisago County Sherriff’s Office is seeking the public assistance in locating 16-year old Hope Kennedy Thomas. Hope has been missing since January 17th when she left her home in the Lent Township/Stacy area. Because of her age and lack of contact with family and friends, authorities are concerned for her welfare. Hope is described as 5’04” tall, 108 pounds with blue eyes and brown hair. If you have any information regarding Hope’s whereabouts, please call the Chisago County Sheriffs Office.

--Waite Park police found a large amount of U.S. mail taken from mailboxes around the three-county area during a January 21st traffic stop. They arrested the driver on suspicion of driving under the influence. The mail was found after a search of the vehicle. Most of the postmarks are from January 14th-20th, although some goes back to December. Cities with the most number of affected residents include St. Cloud, Sauk Rapids, Becker, Clear Lake and Clearwater, but there are addresses throughout Stearns, Benton and Sherburne counties. It included both incoming and outgoing mail. If you think some of your mail has been taken, call Waite Park police at 251-6300 from 7:30am-4:30pm weekdays. To avoid mail theft use blue postal boxes to send mail; Have packages shipped to work, have a neighbor pick them up or pick them up from the delivery company; Pick up your mail every day. If you will be away, stop your mail or have a neighbor pick it up for you; If you have not received mail you were expecting, check with the sender; If you have not received a check or credit card you were expecting, verify it was sent; Report any suspicious activity around mailboxes to law enforcement right away.

--Steve L. Notch defeated Dave Gamdradt Tuesday to win the open District 5 seat on the Stearns County Board of Commissioners. The votes were 1,117 for Notch and 1,010 for Gamdradt. The two were vying for the seat of Don Otte who was on the county board until his death in August. District 5 consists of western Stearns County including Paynesville, Sauk Centre, Albany, Freeport and Melrose.

--Students in New York Mills were sent home Tuesday after a natural gas leak occurred outside. The leak was found around 7:45am and students that were already there were sent to the gym. Though no gas leak was found in the school the strong smell made the superintendent dismiss students at 9:30am. The school was reopened on Wednesday morning.

--Staples firefighters reported a vehicle fire at the Freshwater Education Building on Fifth Street Northeast on January 21st with no injuries. In another fire note- Crosby firefighters were called to a structure fire last Sunday on County Road 28. No other information on either fire was released.

--Two Brainerd residents were injured Monday when their vehicles collided on North Fifth Street. 28-year-old Anthony Christensen and 54-year-old Irene Rangen were taken to the Brainerd Hospital and treated and released. A 46-year-old Bloomington woman was injured Saturday when the snowmobile she was on flipped on a trail off Highway 6 near Emily. Lana Skindelien was taken to the hospital in Crosby and treated for a shoulder injury. A 51-year-old Hanover man was hurt Saturday when his ATV was on Gull Lake when the vehicle turned too quickly and tipped over. Robert Braden was a passenger on the ATV and was treated at the Brainerd hospital. The operator of the ATV was charged with a misdemeanor for driving recklessly.

--Rice and Foley firefighters battled a barn fire Wednesday morning in Graham Township. The fire reported around 6:30 after the resident said he was reporting a power outage at his residence and noticed the flames from the barn. Some tools were destroyed but there were no animals or tractors in the barn at the time of the fire. The cause is still under investigation.

--National Guard athletes from the central region, which includes Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, North and South Dakota, and Wisconsin will compete in the Regional National Guard Bureau Biathlon competition at Camp Ripley on February 7th and 8th. This is to gain placement in the Chief-National Guard Bureau National Championships to determine the All-Guard Biathlon Team that will represent the National Guard at International events. The two days of competition include a sprint race, with individual skiing and marksmanship on Friday, February 7th and a pursuit race with individual skiing and marksmanship on Saturday, February 8th. Parking for the event will be at the Camp Ripley Range Control at the North end of the 47th Infantry Division Road on Camp Ripley. A shuttle bus will take guests to the Biathlon Range within the training area. A valid driver’s license is required for access to Camp Ripley. For information call Camp Ripley Public Affairs Office at 616-3122.

--A St. Cloud man was named as a district court judge by Governor Mark Dayton Wednesday. Daniel A. Benson was appointed to the Seventh Judicial District. He is replacing Peter Irvine. He will be chambered in Long Prairie in Todd County. Benson is a member of the criminal defense firm of Benson Law Office. Previously, he was a member of the Minnesota State Forensic Trial Team, a managing attorney with the Office of the Seventh Judicial District Public Defender and an assistant Stearns County Attorney. Michael Fritz was also appointed. He will replace Lisa Borgen and will be chambered in Moorhead. Minnesota’s Seventh Judicial District consists of Morrison, Becker, Benton, Clay, Douglas, Mille Lacs, Otter Tail, Stearns, Todd and Wadena counties.

--The Ruby’s Pantry Distribution that was postponed on Monday has been rescheduled for next Monday February 3rd from 4:30-6pm at Bethel Lutheran Church in Little Falls. Questions call 632-9140.

--Adam Browder and Jadie Saliaris, boy born January 28th

TODAY= snow likely in morning, 1-3 inches, then falling temps
TONIGHT= clear and very cold, low -20 wind chills of -35.
FRIDAY= partly cloudy, with high of 5 above, low around -10.

HS GBB= Little Falls at St. Cloud Cathedral tonight 7:30 on Q92
HS GBB= Kimball at Pierz tonight 7:30pm on FM94 KFML.

IN 1790= first lifeboats are tested at sea.
IN 1862= U.S. Navy’s Monitor first ironclad ship is launched.
IN 1933= The Lone Ranger debuted on ABC Radio.
IN 1946= the Franklin Roosevelt dime is distributed by U.S. Mint

Redneck Radio Friday and Saturday, lunch daily at West Side Bar

Wednesday- January 29th, 2014

--Local unemployment rose in December when compared to November in Morrison County. The December unemployment rate for Morrison County was up to 7.6% compared to 5.8% in November but down from 8.5% in December of 2012. Here is how our other area counties fared with unemployment rates in December: Benton 5.6%, Mille Lacs 8.6%, Sherburne 5.5%, Stearns 4.6%, Todd 5.9%, and Wright County 5.2%. The national unemployment rate for December was 6.5 percent, seasonally adjusted to 6.7 percent. That’s the lowest it’s been since Novermber of 2008. The state unemployment rate for December was 4.7 percent, seasonally adjusted to 4.6 percent. That was higher than it had been in the previous three months, but lower than at any time during a period from November of 2007 through last August. Local unemployment statistics are not seasonally adjusted.

--A 24-year-old Brainerd woman has pleaded guilty to striking with her car and killing a bicyclist this past October on a county road in East Gull Lake. Kerri Marie Zelinske entered a guilty plea to felony criminal vehicular homicide Monday in Cass County District Court. Zelinske admitted in court that on October 10th she was driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol southbound on Cass County Road 70 in East Gull Lake when she struck and killed a bicyclist traveling in the northbound lane of Cass County Road 70. The bicyclist, 57-year old Leonard Grabowski of Brainerd was pronounced dead at the scene. Zelinske’s sentencing is scheduled for 1:30pm on February 27th. Minnesota sentencing guidelines call for a presumptive prison sentence of 48 months, with the district court judge having the option to sentence anywhere within a range of 41-57 months without the sentence being considered a departure. The plea agreement calls for the state to recommend a 41 month prison sentence in exchange for Zelinske’s acceptance of responsibility in the crash. However, Zelinske may request that the court sentence her to less time. The Minnesota Department of Corrections was ordered to complete a pre-sentence investigation in this matter. Zelinske has been held in the Crow Wing County Jail since her arrest. Her sentence will include credit for time already served.

--A new report says at least 37 people were killed last year as a result of domestic violence. The Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women released its 2013 Femicide Report on Tuesday. The report tracks homicides in which the known or suspected perpetrator was a current or former intimate partner, or the homicide was caused by domestic violence. It includes family members, friends and others who intervened and were killed. Of the 37 deaths last year, 24 women and seven men were killed by current or former intimate partners. Six friends or family members were killed. Two pieces of legislation are designed to help combat domestic violence. One gives victims a right to be notified of an offender’s location after release. The other helps police arrest suspects who have fled.

--Little Falls firefighters responded to a chimney fire Tuesday around 8:00am on Betty Lane in Little Falls Township. Seventeen firefighters were on the scene for about 45 minutes. The fire was contained to the chimney and caused only minor smoke damage. The Little Falls fire department has responded to several chimney fires this winter. Little Falls Fire Chief Mike Nieman said wood stoves are a good heating source but you have to be safe about it and clean the chimney. Nieman recommends cleaning the chimney once a month.

--The Pierz City Council learned Monday that the city is one of 13 in Morrison County proclaimed as a Yellow Ribbon City by Governor Mark Dayton. The Yellow Ribbon Network offers networking and help to families of deployed veterans and their families while they are deployed. Dayton’s proclamation reads, in part, “Through the efforts of the people of Pierz, military members and their families enjoy peace of mind knowing they have the appreciation, love and support of people in this community.” A Yellow Ribbon community offers a support network for deployed veterans and their families to help with such things as lawn care, snow shoveling, child care and much more.

--The Morrison County Farm Service Agency has announced the FSA committee election results for Local Area 2. Elected to a three year term beginning in February was Ron Borash of Two Rivers Township. Margaret “Peg” Wimmer of Buckman Township was elected as 1st alternate and Ralph Rinkel of Lakin Township was elected as 2nd alternate. In addition to Ron Borash, incumbent member of the committee serving for 2014 are Don Will of Granite Township, Ed Marsolek of Swan River Township, and Pat Altrichter of Swan River Township. For more information call FSA office at (320) 632-5477.

--Sauk Rapids police are looking for a man who was involved in a robbery Monday night in which two gunshots were fired. Nobody was injured in the robbery, which happened at 7:26pm at 1305-15th St. NE in Sauk Rapids. A man who was returning home from work was approached by the robber outside an apartment building who demanded money. The robber took an undisclosed amount of money from the victim and ran to a vehicle in the parking lot that had its engine idling. The suspect fired a handgun twice during the robbery. No injuries were reported. The suspect was described as being a black man in his 20s, about 6 feet tall with a bandana covering his face. He was wearing a hooded sweatshirt.

--An administrative law judge has dismissed a complaint against Brainerd City Council member Gary Scheeler. The complaint, alleging Scheeler used bribery while campaigning for his position last year, has no evidence, ruled Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings.

--Congressional negotiators agreed Monday night on a massive farm bill that would keep agriculture subsidies, crop insurance, and the food stamp program funded for another five years while ushering in reforms that promise to lower the deficit. The measure would cost almost $100 billion a year over five years with a cut of about $2.3 billion a year from current spending.

--John and Kim Lindemann of Swanville, girl born on January 26th

TODAY= increasing clouds, high near 20, strong south winds
TONIGHT= snow showers late, 1 inch, low 10 above.
THURSDAY= snow early, then clearing, windy, temps falling by PM
FRIDAY= sunny and cold, high 4 above.

NHL= Wild win out west over Anaheim last night 4-2.
NFL= The Super Bowl is Sunday in New Jersey- Denver is favored over Seattle- hear all the pregame festivities and the game itself Sunday full coverage through the afternoon on AM960 KLTF.

Redneck Radio at West Side Bar this Friday and Saturday

Tuesday- January 28th, 2014

--The Little Falls Exchange Club is seeking nominees for its annual Book of Golden Deeds Award. This year’s banquet and presentation will be held on Thursday, March 20th at the Falls Ballroom in Little Falls, at 7:00pm. The Book of Golden Deeds is a national award recognizing local individuals in communities that have Exchange Clubs. This program honors the good deeds of local communities’ unsung heroes; recognizing those uncommon men and women, who, if not for this program, might never receive the acclaim they deserve. Names of nominees from the Little Falls area and a narrative of their accomplishments for consideration should be sent to this year’s chairman, Tom Stoy, 11583 Bay View Road, Little Falls, MN 56345. Those with questions as to the eligibility of their nominations may contact Stoy at (320) 632-3378. Names and accomplishments should be submitted no later than Wednesday, February 26th. Last year’s Golden Deeds recipient in Little Falls was Delores Hoffman.

--A St. Cloud man faces a lengthy prison sentence after being convicted of sexually abusing a young girl. A Stearns County jury late Friday convicted 31-year old Ockman Andrew Brown III of two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. He was accused of sexually abusing the girl at a Belgrade residence. A court complaint charging Brown accused him of threatening to kill her family if the girl told anyone about the abuse. Jurors convicted Brown after a trial last week. He remains in custody, and has been transferred to prison until he’s sentenced on March 27th.

--The Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce invites all Chamber and community members to a legislative dialog with Representative Ron Kresha and Senator Paul Gazelka on Friday, February 7th from 9:30-11:00am at Little Falls City Hall in the Council Chamber. Attendees will have the opportunity to direct questions and comments regarding issues that will impact the 2014 legislative session to Senator Gazelka and Representative Kresha. Please direct question about the update to the Little Falls Chamber of Commerce by calling (320) 632-5155.

--The Ruby’s Pantry Food Distribution that had to be cancelled yesterday was rescheduled for next Monday, February 3rd at Bethel Lutheran Church in Little Falls. For information call (320) 632-9140.

--Minnesota Energy Resources continues to ask all its customers to conserve their use of natural gas. A rupture in the natural-gas pipeline coming through Winnipeg, Canada, early Saturday morning severely disrupted gas supply throughout the region served by Minnesota Energy Resources. Conservation efforts requested immediately following the incident are showing positive results, for which the company is grateful. All Minnesota Energy Resources service areas statewide are affected. The greatest effect is in the area from Thief River Falls through Detroit Lakes, Park Rapids, Wadena and over to Aitkin and Brainerd. All utilities in the region are sharing information and resources to reduce use on their systems as much as possible. Many industrial and large customers have taken action to reduce their usage of natural gas. Utilities are also asking residential and business customers to consider these specific actions until further notice: Avoid use of natural gas appliances. Turn down thermostats to 60 degrees, if personal health and safety allow it. Use electric space heaters, being careful not to overload circuits.

--The Morrison County Planning Commission Meeting that was scheduled for Monday, January 27th has been rescheduled for February 4th at 5:00pm in the Morrison County Government Center.

--Nisswa resident Art Karsky won the top prize Saturday during the Brainerd Jaycees’ annual $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza off Gull Lake’s Hole-in-the-Day Bay, north of Brainerd, off Highway 371. Karsky won a truck by catching a 4.73 pound walleye with a Gemini lure in 55-feet of water on the southeastern part of the ice fishing contest area. Karsky caught the fish about six inches from the bottom of the lake. Karsky caught the fish about seven minutes before the contest ended at 3:00pm.

--Governor Mark Dayton Monday issued Emergency Executive Order 14-02, declaring a Peacetime State of Emergency in Minnesota in response to a severe shortage of propane and other home heating fuel supplies statewide. Already, Governor Dayton and his administration have taken the following actions to relieve the shortage: 1) persuading the federal government and the State of Texas to waive shipping restrictions and increase the transport of propane supplies into Minnesota; 2) helping eligible Minnesotans and families with the rising cost of propane; and 3) joining members of Minnesota’s Congressional Delegation in petitioning President Obama for additional emergency assistance and a halt to US propane exports. Tuesday morning, the Governor will meet with propane industry suppliers to discuss the shortage and how to improve the supply of propane to Minnesota consumers.

--The Morrison County Republicans will hold their Precinct Caucuses on Tuesday, February 4th at 7:00pm. Caucus is an opportunity to discuss issues, choose delegates and party leadership, and vote in the Republican Gubernatorial and U.S. Senatorial Preference Ballots. To find your caucus location log onto the website “”. Locations include the Little Falls High School Commons, Scandia Valley Town Hall, Upsala High School Cafeteria, and Pierz Senior (Nutrition) Center. Previously it was announced the Morrison County DFL'ers will meet for Precinct Caucuses at 7:00pm on Tuesday, February 4th at the Little Falls Community Middle School.

--The St. Cloud diocese and St. John’s Abbey have made public all of the names of priests and monks who have credible allegations of sexual misconduct with minors against them, according to the leaders of both institutions. Abbot John Klassen and Bishop Donald Kettler said Monday that they are confident they know of all allegations made against members of their orders to date and that the names of those credibly accused have been released. They both urged if anyone has information at this time about any unknown incidents to come forward. According to the two leaders there haven’t been any substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor by an abbey priest or monk for conduct that happened here after 1986.

--Viola M. Zylka, age 80 of Long Prairie
--Nellie E. Schlichting, age 75 of Little Falls

TODAY= Sunny and cold, high of -1
TONIGHT= Mostly clearlow of -15, wind chills of -34
WEDNESDAY= Cloudy, high of 22, low of 2
THURSDAY= Partly sunny high of 7, low of -16
FRIDAY= Sunny with a high of 6

Redneck Radio at West Side Bar this Friday and Saturday

Monday- January 27th, 2014

--Blowing snow over the weekend and cold temperatures with even colder wind chills have caused numerous closings today. Closings include schools, activities and more. For information on the latest weather related announcements listen to one of the Little Falls Radio stations. Tonight into tomorrow morning is expected to be even colder than last night.

--Just one day after Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel announced he would not seek reelection this November, St. Cloud police Lt. Tom Justin announced that he will run for Morrison County sheriff. Justin is a Royalton school board member who was born and raised in Royalton. Justin has been on the school board for seven years. Justin began his law enforcement career in 1984 as a combat military police officer in the Army. His civilian law enforcement career began in St. Stephen, and he was hired by St. Cloud Police Department in 1989. He worked his way up to sergeant and then lieutenant and had a prominent role in helping Central Minnesota law enforcement agencies incorporate the 800 mhz radio system that links those agencies. He said the collaboration that was required to make that project happen has helped him appreciate the collaboration that is needed to be a sheriff.

--Sauk Rapids police are investigating a break in at the Central Minnesota Animal Care and Control. The break-in occurred Tuesday or Wednesday during off hours at the site. Several windows were smashed during the burglary though an inventory of items taken hasn’t yet been released. Police continue to investigate.

--Jury selection will begin February 4th in the case against Marcus Barshaw. Barshaw is accused of killing a Rockville man in October, 2012 before being shot by a Stearns County deputy. Bashaw is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Jeffrey Schutz. A mental health evaluation done on Barshaw after the shooting determined he was not suffering from mental illness that he was knowing the nature of the act and will be tried for murder.

--Officials in south-central Montana say they have a warrant for the arrest of a truck driver suspected of hitting and killing a man on Interstate Highway 90 near Big Timber in September. Law enforcement is searching for 45-year-old David Welk of St. Cloud as result of the September 30th death of 81-year-old Elgie Bedford of Wasilla, Ala. Court records indicate Welk’s driving partner called the Montana Highway Patrol in October and said he was in the sleeping area of the truck when the truck collided with something. Michael Karls of Phoenix said Welk began yelling that he’d hit someone. Karls said they returned to the spot and that Welk told him there was just some clothing and a duffel bag in the road.

--The Morrison County Board approved a resolution supporting Move MN’s campaign for a statewide comprehensive transportation funding package at its meeting Tuesday. Move MN is a new campaign that gathers various organizations and coalitions together to form a diverse group recognizing the state’s transportation funding problem and help secure more funding. The county appointed Dave Solinger and Leah Schilling to three-year-terms on the Extension Committee; and Tyler Athman and Elizabeth Theis to two-year terms as student representatives on the Public Health Advisory Committee. The next County Board meeting will be a planning session Tuesday at 9:00am in the board room of the Morrison County Government Center.

--Due to the extreme cold today- Ruby’s Pantry scheduled for later today at Bethel Lutheran Church has been cancelled to a later date.

--Little Falls Police was notified by Little Falls Chamber members that there were several instances Thursday and Friday of counterfeit $20 bills being used at local businesses. Businesses are asked to be a little more cautious when accepting larger bills and alert the local police if you have received bad bills. Contact police at 616-5570.

--Stearns County has an election on Tuesday for county commissioner in District 5. The election will decide who will replace Don Otte. The two candidates who won the primary election are Steve Notch and Dave Gamradt. District 5 covers the western half of Stearns County including the cities of Freeport, Albany, Sauk Centre, Melrose and Paynesville. The polls are open from 7:00am-8:00pm.

--Todd County is reminding parents and children about 911 calls which are placed from disconnected/no active service cell phones. Recently the dispatch center in Todd County received over sixty 911 hang up calls in a two day period from these type of phones. Many people may not realize that someone can dial 911 from a disconnected cell phone, provided the phone still can be powered on. Many times children under 18 are to blame. Some of these instances are by accident but if on purpose it can become a major issue where prosecution could evolve. Also the fact that the distraction of such a false call could stop authorities from getting an emergency call where time could be a necessity to get to the scene. Todd County is urging those with disconnected cell phones to be aware of this.

--The number of flu cases in Minnesota decreased last week. The state department of health as of January 23rd stated there were 125 influenza related hospitalizations and 186 for the week before that. No children from Minnesota died from the flu yet this season but the flu is considered widespread across the state at this time.

--MnSure announced Thursday that the ads with Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox are getting the ax. Though the two will remain the symbols for the state’s health plan the organization needs to save money and therefore will be cutting the pair from the advertising.

--Corey Rudolph and Samantha Gosse of Fort Ripley, boy on 1/23/14
--Ethan Oleson and Aiyana Swenson of Swanville, a girl on 1/22/14

--Gabriel Lattimer, age 44 of Pierz.
--Marvin “Mike” G. James, age 77 of Brainerd
--Joan Kronenberg, age 77 of Little Falls
--Agnes “Tootie” M. LeBlanc, age 88 of Pierz

TODAY= Sunny and cold, high of -13, wind chills as low as -47
TONIGHT= Partly cloudy, low of -28, wind chills of -48
TUESDAY= Sunny, high of -2, low of -14, wind chills of -50
WEDNESDAY= Increasing clouds, high of 22

NBA= Kevin Love was named Thursday to the starting lineup for the Western Conference All-Stars in the NBA All Star Game in February. This the 3rd year that Love has been on the team.

Redneck Radio at West Side Bar this Friday and Saturday

Friday- January 24th, 2014

--Byron Smith, the Little Falls man accused of two counts of first degree murder for fatally shooting two teenagers who broke into his home on Thanksgiving Day 2012 had a plea hearing this morning. Smith’s defense attorney entered a plea of not guilty. The defense noted that they are planning to appeal the appeals court denial of the discretionary review to the Minnesota Supreme Court. The preliminary trial date has been set for the week of April 21st with jury selection beginning the week of April 14th. Next in the trial process is a pretrial hearing at 1:00pm on March 25th in Morrison County.

--On Thursday, Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel announced that he will not seek reelection to the office of Sheriff this coming November. According the Wetzel, “The time has come to pass the torch to a new sheriff who can bring new ideas and new energy to this very critical position.” With initial filings for office four months away, Wetzel stated he wanted to give potential candidates ample time to consider whether they were ready for this new challenge and to prepare their campaigns. Wetzel also stated, “It has been a true privilege to lead a team filled with so many talented and hard working men and women. I look forward to continuing to lead you until the people of our county choose my successor this fall. Until that time I will continue to provide the highest level of public safety possible to the citizens of our great county.”

--Five Minnesota National Guard members were injured in an attack in Afghanistan on Monday. Minnesota Guard officials say the injured five are members of the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company based in Litchfield. They were hurt during an attack on Forward Operating Base Pasab in Kandahar Province Monday. All are recovering with one being treated in Germany and the others in Afghanistan. Some family members of the soldiers have been able to talk to their loved ones overseas to find that that they are recovering and some of them will then return to their duty with the Company.

--A reminder to motorists traveling through Baxter Saturday the Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza is Saturday beginning at noon. Highway 371 will have delays and closures at times Saturday at the entrance of Hole in the Day Bay on Gull Lake. Expect congestions and delays especially 11:00am-4:00pm Saturday. If you are not going to the event it might be best to find an alternate route.

--The Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office has released the name of the man who died Monday afternoon when he was hit by a Northstar train near Elk River. 51-year-old Robert Borowick of Blaine was walking on the tracks in Big Lake Township when he was struck and killed by a northbound Northstar train. Authorities say the gate arms were down and a lights flashing before the man was hit.

--An investigation got underway Wednesday after a bomb threat was called in to the Sartell Wal-Mart. Police say an employee received a call to the store around 7:20pm Wednesday from an unknown male who claimed there was a bomb in the restroom. The store was evacuated for about an hour as emergency crews scanned the building. No explosive devices were discovered.

--A number of events going on this weekend, Candlelight Hike tonight from 6:00-9:00pm at Lindbergh Site to Historical Society, call Ty 616-2525, Pierz KC Buffalo Feed Saturday in Pierz, MCCL Dinner Sunday in Little Falls, Morrison County Historical Society also has an open house on Saturday afternoon, Upsala Upstage Players performances also going on this weekend- full details at

--The Pierz City Council meets Monday at 7:00pm at Pierz City Hall. Agenda items include an amendment on Lot Splits approval, a gambling permit for Harding Sportsmen Club, proclamation for Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month and designation of council members and the fee schedule for 2014.

--The Central Minnesota Violent Offender Task Force arrested 19 people during a six-month investigation into the possession and sales of methamphetamine in Central Minnesota. The task force bought or seized approximately 818 grams of methamphetamine with an approximate street value of $50,000 and 19 people will be charged. Of those arrested included 30-year-old James Benson and 25-year-old Andrea Leabch of Little Falls. The others involved were mostly from the St. Cloud area or surrounding towns. Additionally, Melanie Quick, 19, of Sauk Rapids, Christopher Schuman, 26, of Little Falls, and Samantha Barrett, 21, of St. Cloud, were each arrested on outstanding warrants during their investigation last week when a search warrant was issued in Benton County. The task force is comprised of officers from Little Falls, Sartell and St. Cloud, deputies from Stearns, Benton, Todd, Morrison and Sherburne Counties.

--A 64-year-old man was injured early Wednesday when the vehicle he was driving slid off the road and rolled in Princeton. The crash happened at 8:00am on U.S. Highway 169 at Minnesota Highway 95. Michael L. Thompson of Princeton, was driving a pickup north on Highway 169 when he hit an icy spot in the road and rolled into the right ditch, with the truck landing on its roof. Thompson was taken to North Memorial Medical Center for injuries that the Patrol said was not life-threatening.

TODAY= light snow, turning breezy, high 31.
TONIGHT= snow early, blowing overnight, low near 0.
SATURDAY= blowing snow, increasing clouds, high +3 and windy
SAT NITE= cloudy, snow likely 2-4 inches, temps rising to 10 above.
SUNDAY= snow early, windy and colder, high 10 early then falling
SUN NITE/MON= clear and very cold, low -25, high Monday -12.

HALL= Little Falls Community High School will induct their 2014 Hall of Fame class on Saturday. This years inductees are Jeff Bigalke who has been helping flyer athletics teams for 48 years, Carrie Sandman who earned six varsity letters during her high school career, Jason Dobis who ended up playing minor league baseball with Oakland and Minnesota, Tony Kerick, a 1957 graduate who played football, baseball and basketball, Vern Zehren, who was in coaching and leadership roles for 30 years, Dwight Ballou who held the all time win record in wrestling at the school for many years at 132-1-1 and David Sorensen a 1987 graduate who earned ten athletic letters in many sports. Members of the Hall of Fame Class will be announced during the boy’s basketball Saturday against Detroit Lakes and the boy’s hockey game at 7:15 Saturday against Fergus Falls. The hockey game can be heard live Saturday night on Q92 WYRQ.
COL HK= Gophers vs. St. Cloud State tonight 6:30pm on KLTF. This is part of a 2 day tournament with Mankato and Duluth also participating- winners and loser play each other on Saturday.
NFL= The Pro Bowl Sunday 6pm from Hawaii on AM960 KLTF.

Northstar Entertainment tonight and Saturday at West Side Bar

Thursday- January 23rd, 2014

--A Menahga man was killed Tuesday after his pickup crashed with a semitrailer near St. Joseph. 29-year-old Shane Keranen died in the crash. The collision happened just before 6:00pm at Interstate Highway 94 and Minnesota Highway 23. Keranen was attempting to cross Highway 23 from the westbound I-94 off-ramp and was struck by 67-year-old Dennis Dahlin of Coon Rapids. Dahlin was not hurt.

--The Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Site, Charles A. Lindbergh State Park and the Morrison County Historical Society are hosting a mile long candlelight hike on trails that connect Lindbergh Historic Site and the Morrison County Historical Society along the Mississippi River. The trails will be lit between 6:00-9:00pm Friday and both the Visitor Center at Lindbergh Historic Site and the Morrison County Historical Society will be open for free self guided tours of the museum exhibits and refreshments. Questions contact Ty at 616-2525, Melissa at 616-5421 or Mary at 632-4007.

--21-year-old Keith Kern of Swanville was convicted and sentenced last week to third degree criminal sexual conduct in Morrison County District Court. Kern admitted to having sexual contact with a 15 year old girl and knew the girl was 15. Kern was given a stay of imposition which means the felony charge may be lowered to a misdemeanor if he abides by all the stipulations placed on him. He was sentenced to 344 days in jail, fined $135 and given 15 years supervised probation.

--The St. Cloud Police Department has released photographs of last week’s bank robbery at Liberty Savings Bank on Ridgewood Road. The photographs are from a surveillance camera showing the suspect in the bank Friday, shortly after 9:00am when he entered, demanded money and left with an undisclosed amount. The suspect is described as 5’8, husky build, light complexion, wearing a ski mask and light colored winter jacket. He fled the bank on foot southwest of the parking lot. Anyone with information should contact police at 320-251-1200 or crime tips can be texted Tri-County Crime Stoppers entering 274637 (Crimes) in the description box. The photos are on the St. Cloud Police Department media site.

--Former State Senator Win Borden died Monday at age 70. Borden, when 26, defeated Senator Gordon Rosenmeier of Little Falls in 1970. Borden won reelection in 1972 and 1976 before resigning from the senate to take a job with a commerce and industry association. Former politicians Don Samuelson and Roger Moe called Borden a true colleague and a friend. Borden in his later years continued to live, farm and write from his farm house in Merrifield.

--Two vehicles collided Tuesday around 4pm on Highways 210 and 371 in Baxter. Authorities only stated that the two drivers were transported to the hospital with minor injuries. No other details.

--The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota will host its Youth of the Year competition at 9am Saturday at the Eastside Boys & Girls Club in St. Cloud. The event is open to the public. Five youth will speak about how the club influenced them. A panel of five judges will interview each nominee, evaluate their contest packets and listen to their speeches. The youth selected as Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota’s Youth of the Year will compete at the state level April 9 in the Twin Cities. Each finalist will receive a $1,000 scholarship. The winner will receive a $2,000 scholarship.

--The 128th Annual St. Paul Winter Carnival kicks off later today with the candlelit parade at 5pm. The carnival runs with music and events through February 2nd, most at Rice Park in St. Paul.

--A missing Cass Lake man was found dead Tuesday in Turtle Lake Township, in rural Walker. According to Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch, officials received a report of a dead body found at about 11:20am. Deputies and investigators went to the scene and determined the deceased person was 22-year old Leondre Adams. Adams was previously reported as a missing person on January 18th. An autopsy is scheduled with the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office. The investigation continues.

--A 64-year-old man was injured early Wednesday when the vehicle he was driving slid off the road and rolled in Princeton. The crash happened at 8:00am on U.S. Highway 169 at Minnesota Highway 95. 64-year old Michael L. Thompson of Princeton, was driving a pickup north on Highway 169 when he hit an icy spot in the road and rolled into the right ditch, with the truck landing on its roof. Thompson was taken to North Memorial Medical Center for injuries that the Patrol said were not life-threatening. He was wearing his seat belt.

--The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources are working on a blue ribbon panel of natural fisheries experts to review past and current management practices to work on increasing walleye population on Mille Lacs Lake. Other items the panel will work on is increasing water clarity, working on eliminating aquatic invasive species, changing zooplankton community and making long term changes in key forage species. The walleye population has declined considerably since 2008 and the panel is going to be an instant solution but the hope is to increase population over the next years.

--The Boys & Girls Club is in need of volunteers to help sheet rock the inside of their new store. Help is needed this Saturday, January 24th from 8:00am-12:00pm. Volunteers will be installing sheet rock and doing miscellaneous light work. Volunteers must be at least 18.  For more information, please call Bernie at (320) 249-5632.

TODAY= sunny and cold, high -4, wind chills near -30 in morning
TONIGHT= snow after midnight, rising temps into the teens.
FRIDAY= snow likely 1-2 inches, cloudy, high 30, low 18.
SATURDAY= partly cloudy, windy with falling temps through day.
SUNDAY= mostly cloudy, light snow in PM, high 8 above.

COL BB= Gophers beat their 2nd ranked team at home first it was Ohio State and last night they beat #8 Wisconsin at Williams Arena. Gophers win 81-68 and are at Nebraska on Sunday.
HS BBB= Little Falls at Mora tonight 7:30pm on Q92 WYRQ
COL HK= Gophers vs. St. Cloud State Friday 6:30pm AM960 KLTF

IN 1265= first convening of Parliament in England occurs.
IN 1789= Georgetown University is founded- 1st U.S. Catholic College
IN 1916= weather records show that Browning, Montana had 44 degrees at 12pm on 23rd dropping to -56 by 4am on the 24th the fastest 100 degree temperature difference in history occurred.
IN 1973= President Nixon reported that an accord had been reached in the Vietnam War- and American soldiers should be coming home.
IN 1983= The A Team with Mr. T premiered on NBC TV.

Northstar Entertainment Friday and Saturday at West Side Bar

Wednesday- January 22nd, 2014

--If everything falls into place, Little Falls may be getting a big facelift. Little Falls is one of the finalists from across the country for “Town 180,” a reality TV series that will award the winner $100,000 for a community makeover. Little Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Kris VonBerge sent the town’s application along with videos about the community to the production last June, and was notified in September that the city was a top 10 finalist. There are reportedly now only three to four cities being considered. If Little Falls wins the competition, two teams of residents will be formed to come up with ideas to improve the city over a 6-8 week stretch.

--Todd County is investigating a phone scam from Birchdale Township. Deputies say the male resident received a call from individuals stating that his son was in custody in Maryland. The caller advised that he was a deputy with the Columbus Sheriff’s Office in Maryland and that they needed $2,000 for ball to get the man’s son out of jail. The citizen was told to send the money through Western Union or through a MoneyPak card. Todd County wishes to warn citizens in order to avoid falling victim to phone call scams you should attempt to contact a family member, friend, or local law enforcement agency so they can confirm the information before sending money.

--The Brainerd Dispatch is asking subscribers to be aware of a scam going around after they received calls from residents saying someone from the paper had been calling saying they owe money on their subscriptions. The Brainerd Dispatch stated that they usually leave a subscription notice with your paper and would not ask for credit card or personal information over the phone.

--Al Wessel of Long Prairie was inducted into the Minnesota State Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame on January 11th. Inductees are selected by current Hall of Fame members based on honesty, high ethical standards, a willingness to share with others, a high standing in his or her community and the State Auctioneers Association and have made significant contributions to the auction profession. Wessel, an auctioneer for 43 years with Mid-American Auction Co. Inc. has won several Auctioneer Championships throughout the United States and Canada as well as conducting thousands of farm machinery, personal property, real estate and livestock auctions throughout the upper Midwest.

--A house in Long Prairie sustained extensive damage from a fire around 4:00pm Monday that killed the family pet dog. The owner of the house located at 416 Sixth St. NE was not home at the time. The fire appears to have started in the chimney and spread to the house.

--A 26-year-old man shot himself in the hand Sunday night while trying to clear a firearm. The incident happened at 11:54pm in the 4300 block of Clearwater Road. Mark Garrett Blankenship was injured and went to St. Cloud Hospital for treatment. No other injuries were reported during the incident. The Stearns County Attorney’s Office will review the incident to decide whether any charges should be filed against Blankenship.

--A 13-year-old Jenkins boy called 911 after the mobile home he was home alone in started on fire Saturday. Authorities were called to 12th Avenue Southwest in Jenkins around 10:30am and found the front of the mobile home on fire. The boy was able to get out of the home unhurt. The home owned by Thomas Jungle sustained heavy smoke and front end damage to where the fire department has ruled it a total loss. The family is being assisted by the American Red Cross. It is believed the cause of the fire was electrical.

--A Crosby police officer who was placed on paid leave for allegations of misconduct will be getting his job back. Sgt. Jesse Smith will be reinstated after a ruling from the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services. Smith’s Union had filed a lawsuit against the city and the police department after he said he was demoted wrongfully by Crosby Police Chief Kim Coughlin from sergeant to police officer and then whether the city had the right to confirm termination which occurred in January of last year. The mediation service said that Coughlin did have the right and just cause for the demotion but there was insufficient evidence for his termination from the City Council.

--The Cass County Sheriff’s Office with a number of police departments and task forces in the area executed a search warrant after a lengthy investigation in the northern part of the county on a residence where methamphetamine and $8,000 in cash was seized. 41-year-old Gary Keezer and Randolph Headbird were arrested along with a third man who charges are still pending against. The other two were arraigned in Cass County on control substance charges.

--During 2014, the Valspar Corporation will again offer nonprofits and communities a chance to apply for free paint and coatings through its “Minnesota Beautiful” partnership with the Initiative Foundation. Applications are due March 3. Representatives from the Initiative Foundation and Valspar will select eight projects to receive the gallons of paint. For details call the foundation at 632-9255 or applications online at

--A man was hit and killed by a Northstar train Monday afternoon near Elk River. The man was walking on the tracks in Big Lake Township when he was struck and killed around 5pm according to Sherburne County. The intersection’s gate arms were in the lowered position, and the train came to a stop a short distance beyond the intersection after hitting the man whose name has not been released pending notification to family.

--Tonight Show host Jay Leno announced that Billy Crystal will be his final guest on the Tonight Show February 6th before Leno retires. Crystal was the first guest for Leno when he took over for Johnny Carson in 1992. Jimmy Fallon will replace Leno as the host of the Tonight Show- Fallon took over for Conan O’Brien on Late Night in 2009 and Fallon will be replaced by Seth Myers.

--Joseph and Kayla Ritter of Little Falls, a girl born January 20th

TODAY= light snow early, partial sun, windy, temps steady near 0
TONIGHT= partly cloudy, cold, low -20, wind chills to near -40.
THURSDAY= sunny and cold, high 0, temps rise at night with snow.
FRIDAY= snow likely, 1-2 inches, high near 30.

IN 1972= Emergency debuted on NBC TV.
IN 1973= Roe vs. Wade decision has U.S. Supreme Court legalizing some abortions in United States- pro-life activists today will be marching on Capitol in St. Paul and also in Washington D.C.
IN 1998= Minnesota was given a new NHL franchise called The Wild.

Northstar Entertainment Friday and Saturday at West Side Bar

Tuesday- January 21st, 2014

--Todd County on Saturday received a report of a missing person identified as 22-year-old Jared Wallenfelsz of Maple Grove. Wallenfelsz was reported missing after driving his snowmobile early Saturday morning on Long Lake near Burtrum. Todd County around 12:45pm found that the snowmobile had crashed on a wooded lake lot on the northwest side of the lake and Wallenfelsz had died as a result of the crash. Poor visibility due to the weather, alcohol and speed are believed to be contributing factors in the crash.

--Childcare provider of the Year nominations are now being accepted.  If you are using or observing a licensed childcare home in Morrison County and feel that provider is deserving of such a nomination, please fill out the form found in this past weekend’s Morrison County Record or send a letter explaining what special qualities he/she has and why you feel that provider should be considered as the Provider of the year for Morrison County.  Please send your nominations in by January 31st.  Please return the form or letter to the Morrison County Record or email

--The Minnesota Historical Society (MHS), the organization responsible for administering Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants, announced the newest recipients of 111 grants. The grants provide an opportunity for non-profit and educational organizations, government units and tribal organizations to preserve and share the state’s history and cultural heritage. The MHS received a legislative appropriation of $11.2 million for the 2014-2015 biennium for the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants. Locally, the Minnesota Military Museum was awarded $40,061 to complete collections inventory and automation of collections data. The city of Royalton received $4,695 for its museum to purchase a microfilm reader and microfilm copies of the Royalton Banner, a newspaper that once served the city.

--On Thursday, Todd County responded to a motor vehicle accident around noon involving a propane tanker and a gasoline tanker on County Road 21 and 370th Street. The propane tanker was turning left when the other tanker attempted to pass it causing the crash. The driver of the propane truck had minor injuries while the other driver was not hurt. The tanks of the trucks remained intact and no contents were spilled onto the roadways.

--Stearns County reported a snowmobile accident Saturday around 2:30pm in Millwood Township near Freeport. The report stated that two snowmobiles collided near Cedar Lake Road. Both riders were transported to the Melrose Hospital via ambulance. The crash is currently under investigation.

--The Relay for Life steering committee will meet tonight at 6:30pm. The meeting will focus on the beginning stages of plans for the 2014 Relay for Life event set for Friday, July 18th in Morrison County. The group will gather in the Ripley Room at St. Gabriel’s Hospital in Little Falls. Anyone interested in being a part of the process is welcome to come to the meeting.

--A former Becker County Sheriff who resigned abruptly two years ago has been charged with swindling the public out of money by passing off his old boat as an expensive new one purchased by the sheriff’s department. 58-year-old Timothy Gordon was charged with theft by swindle and presentation of a false claim by a public officer which are both felonies. The charges stem from a yearlong investigation into Gordon by the Becker County Sheriff’s Office.

--A teen was arrested Saturday after police investigated a report that one victim was assaulted and robbed, and another threatened at knifepoint on St. Cloud’s southeast side on University Drive. A 17-year-old male victim told police he was assaulted and had cash stolen. That victim went to St. Cloud Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. A second victim, also a 17-year-old male, said he was threatened with a knife during the incident. The 17-year-old suspect could face charges of aggravated robbery, third-degree assault and theft. Police say the incident remains under investigation.

--The Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant has been shut down for repairs. Operators began the shutdown on Friday night to repair a heat exchanger in the reactor’s coolant system. All safety systems will remain functioning as workers make the repairs. There was no release of radioactivity and the shutdown poses no hazard to public.

--Fire destroyed a house early Saturday in Wright County, but a family of seven was able to escape uninjured. The fire was around 4:15am at 10221 Peyton Ave. SW in Stockholm Township. The fire started in an attached garage and spread into the home. The owners of the home, Brent and Jenna Kantola, and their five children were able to get out of the house without injury. Poor weather and road conditions hampered fire suppression efforts. The house and garage were a total loss. The Red Cross is assisting the family.

--Three people were hospitalized early Saturday after an ambulance with a patient inside collided head-on with an SUV in Wright County. The crash occurred shortly before 1:30am on Wright County Road 35 East, near Eaken Avenue Northeast in Buffalo Township. An ambulance driven by 43-year old Timothy Daly of Albertville collided head-on with an SUV heading east. That SUV was being driven by 51-year old Marilyn Paumen of Monticello. Daly and paramedic 30-year old Brian Nagel of Greenwood, were transported to a hospital in Buffalo. Nagel was later transferred to North Memorial Medical Center. Paumen was taken directly to North Memorial. A patient who was in the ambulance at the time of crash was not believed to have been injured in the crash. That patient continued on to the hospital in Buffalo on a different ambulance. The accident remains under investigation by the Wright County Sheriff's Office.

TODAY= clouds increase, snow in PM hours, high near 0.
TONIGHT= snow likely, 1-3 inches, low -7, wind chills -20.
WEDNESDAY= partly sunny, breezy and cold, high 3 above.
THURSDAY= sunny, still cold, high 0, low around -25.

BBB= Mora at Pierz tonight 7:30pm on FM94 KFML

IN 1813= pineapple is introduced to the Hawaiian Islands.
IN 1880= first sewage disposal system from storm drains begins.
IN 1954= first gas turbine automobile goes on exhibit.
IN 1957= Patsy Cline made her TV debut on Arthur Godfrey
IN 1970= the Boeing 747 makes first commercial flight.
IN 1977= President Jimmy Carter pardons Vietnam draft evaders.
IN 1981= Eddie Rabbitt hit #1 with I Love a Rainy Night.

Northstar Entertainment Friday and Saturday at West Side Bar

Monday- January 20th, 2014

--Today is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day a federal holiday meaning that most federal, state, county and city offices are closed today. U.S. Post Offices are closed and there is no regular mail delivery. Bank, financial institutions and some offices are closed today while others are open it is best to call ahead. Many civil rights leaders have asked that today be a day of service for many to help in their community to remember the cause and dream of Dr. King.

--The Randall City Council voted unanimously to hire Clarke Environmental Mosquito Management Inc. to spray the city during the upcoming summer months. Residents of Randall will see a $1.50 per month increase on their utility bills. The city will try this out for one year and make a decision to continue or not during a future meeting. The areas planned for treatment include County Road 115, East and West Sixth Street, Minnesota Avenue, East Fourth Street, Parkview Drive, Superior and Pacific Avenues and their adjoining streets, West Park Avenue and Maplewood Drive. Billing to local residents will begin with the January utility bill which will be sent out in February. The mosquito control will begin when Clarke Environmental feels it’s the best time.

--St. Cloud police are investigating a bank robbery that happened Friday morning at Liberty Savings Bank in west St. Cloud. The robbery was reported at about 9:10am at 5803 Ridgewood Road. The robber wore a mask and fled before police arrived. Officers set up a perimeter around the bank and were searching for the suspect. Nearby Westwood Elementary School was put into containment as a precaution. The school was checked and the suspect was not in the school. Students are safe, and officers remained at the school while the investigation unfolded. By 10:20am the containment was lifted at the area school.

--A St. Cloud man was arrested Thursday night after fleeing police. When St. Cloud police officers responded just after 10:00pm to a shoplifting complaint at a local store Wal-Mart they found 33-year old Antoine Vaughn of St. Cloud sitting in a vehicle with three passengers. When officers approached, Vaughn fled in the vehicle and police pursued. During the chase, the vehicle struck a light pole near the intersection of St. Germain Street and Second Street South and Vaughn attempted to flee on foot. Vaughn was captured by police a short distance from the crash. He was taken to Stearns County Jail to await court. Vaughn could face charges of theft, criminal vehicular operation and fleeing police in a motor vehicle. The three passengers – a 32-year-old St. Cloud woman, a 10-year-old St. Cloud girl and an 8-year-old St. Cloud girl – all suffered injuries in the incident, though none were deemed life-threatening. They were each taken to St. Cloud Hospital for treatment of injuries.

--A 27-year-old Brainerd man was injured when his vehicle collided with a Dial-A-Ride city bus Wednesday at E Street and Third Avenue Northeast. Joshua Fields was taken to Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd where he was treated and released. The driver of the city bus, 57-year old Douglas Stenberg of Baxter was not injured. The crash was reported at 11:51am Wednesday.

--With schools in Little Falls off today for Dr. King’s holiday, the Little Falls School Board will meet Tuesday at 5pm at the government center. Agenda items are board member committee and assignments for 2014 and mid year budget adjustments.

--Also with city offices closed on Monday, the Little Falls City Council will meet for their regular meeting Tuesday at 7:30pm at City Hall.

--The Minnesota Court of Appeals denied a request by Byron Smith’s defense for a discretionary review of a November decision by Morrison County Judge Douglas Anderson who denied dismissal of the first-degree murder charges against Smith. In December, Steven Meshbesher, defense counsel for Smith, filed a petition for the discretionary review by the Minnesota Court of Appeals. A week later, a hearing was set in Morrison County to determine whether the proceedings should be stayed, pending a decision by the Court of Appeals. Anderson denied that request from the defense. Anderson noted at the hearing that it would be 75 days before a pretrial settlement hearing would take place and if the need arose, a continuance would be granted at that time. The decision further said that the appellate court would grant discretionary review of an order denying a motion to dismiss an indictment only in “extraordinary circumstances.” The justices determined that the petition did not show that there were extraordinary circumstances that would warrant a pretrial discretionary review. A plea hearing in Smith’s case is set for Thursday, January 23rd at 11:00am in Morrison County.

--Spectators filled the Upsala Area Schools auditorium Thursday for the 14th annual Geography Bee.  After completing a written test at each grade level Four through Eight, the top two students from each grade moved up to this school-wide level of competition.  Enduring rounds of oral questions, three students emerged to take the top three spots. Third place was Brandon Young (Grade 7), in Second Place Eric Staricka (Grade 8) and, in First Place, Jessica Lange (Grade 4). Jessica will continue representing Upsala Area Schools taking a comprehensive written exam as a portal to the state competition.

--The Morrison County Commissioners meet Tuesday at 9:00am at the government center with county agency reports on agenda.

--Merle W. Ballou Jr., age 86 of Randall.
--Reuben D. Hasselberg, age 90 of Staples
--Natividad ‘Naty’ Zamora Hegge, age 67 of Staples.
--Shirley A. Bjerga, age 69 of Motley.
--Lance Pierce, age 15 of Deer Creek.
--Terri L. Bjornoos, age 64 of Sauk Rapids formerly Little Falls.

TODAY= morning snow showers, falling temps near 0 by 5pm.
TONIGHT= very cold, partly cloudy, low -25, wind chills -35.
TUESDAY= clouds increase, afternoon snow, high near 0.
WEDNESDAY= sunny, cold and windy, high 3 above, low -20.

HS GBB= Belgrade Brooten Elrosa at Pierz tonight 7:30 on FM94.
NFL= The Super Bowl is set for February 2nd. Peyton Manning tossed for over 400 yards as Denver beat New England 26-16 in AFC Championship. Seattle scored 20 second half points to hold off San Francisco 23-17 to win the NFC Championship. It will be Denver and Seattle in the Super Bowl in New Jersey in 2 weeks.
VIKINGS= Vikings announced that Norv Turner has agreed to become the new Offensive Coordinator under Coach Mike Zimmer.
COL HK= Gopher men and women win outside Friday in the Hockey City Classic- Women beat Mankato 4-0, men beat Ohio State 1-0.

Lunch daily and great entertainment on weekends at West Side Bar

Friday- January 17th, 2014

--The pre-trial hearing scheduled Wednesday for Brandon Bedford was cancelled that morning. Bedford has been charged with first degree murder in the heroin overdose death of Miranda Gosiak in February 2012. Bedford informed the judge that his defense attorney would not be in attendance due to another case in a different county and asked for a jury trial. Judge Conrad Freeberg has scheduled the jury trial for Bedford on March 24th at 9:00am at the courthouse.

--Sgt. Curt Mowers of the Minnesota State Patrol informed the radio station that there have been lots of vehicles off the road in the Little Falls area and also east and west of Brainerd Highway 210. Sgt. Mowers stated the largest contributing factor of Thursday morning’s crashes was people driving way too fast for the conditions. If it is necessary to drive during extreme weather conditions, give yourself extra time to reach your destination safely and do not drive faster than the current road conditions can support.

--An 87-year-old Brainerd man was injured Wednesday shortly before 6:00pm when he lost control of his vehicle, ran into the ditch and collided with a sign at the intersection of Wise and Beaver Dam Roads. Brainerd firefighters were called to extricate the man, Leo Tautges, out of the vehicle, which was partially overturned. There were no other passengers in the vehicle. Tautges was taken to a hospital for treatment of his injuries.

--Morrison County continues to prepare for the effects of natural hazards by updating its Hazard Mitigation Plan. A multi-hazard mitigation plan is a plan, prepared at the county level that seeks to reduce or eliminate risks to people and property from natural hazards. Last year a local planning team was developed and they have reviewed the existing County Hazard Mitigation Plan and the States Hazard Mitigation Plan. The Local Planning Team has identified 30 hazards that could potentially impact the county and has begun the process of analyzing past occurrences of the identified hazards in an effort to rank and prioritize them. The next Local Planning Team meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 23rd for 6:00pm at the Morrison County Government Center in Meeting Room 1. For more information you can contact Tad Erickson with any questions at or (218) 894-3233 Ext. 5.

--Governor Mark Dayton on Wednesday unveiled nearly 1-billion dollars in state borrowing for construction projects. One item on the list is the Little Falls Truck Station; completion of this project will cost $3.58 million dollars. Additional funding is needed to address construction costs and redefined Minnesota Department of Transportation district and regional operational needs. The governor also recommended over 4.5 million dollars to renovate the Staples Campus of Central Lakes College and another 1.3-million dollars of renovations to community and technical colleges in Fergus Falls and Wadena. The largest project on the list is $126 million dollars to complete the restoration of the state capitol in St. Paul.

--The front half of a pole shed was damaged by fire Wednesday morning in Albany Township. The fire was called in around 11:30am on Stearns County Road 41. Firefighters encountered heavy smoke when they arrived at the address, but no injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

--The Great River Arts Association will hold a reception for their art exhibits at the center in Little Falls this Saturday. The exhibits are Out of the Ordinary and Minnesota on Canvass. The reception will be from 12-2pm at GRAA. More info 632-0960 or

--The Central Minnesota Violent Offender Task Force conducted a search warrant in Sauk Rapids Wednesday. Prior to the warrant a vehicle was seen leaving the residence and was stopped in the parking lot of the Sauk Rapids Post Office. The driver 26-year-old Christopher Schuman of Little Falls was found to have an outstanding warrant in Morrison County and was arrested. Authorities then issued the warrant at the residence. 33-year old Lazaro Diaz was arrested for outstanding warrants in Benton and Todd County and 19-year-old Melanie Quick of Willmar was arrested on probable cause charges related to a stabbing which occurred recently in St. Cloud. Numerous items associated with the use and sale of methamphetamine were discovered. Additional charges are pending in the case.

--The number of deaths on Minnesota roads decreased in 2013 and, since 2004, traffic fatalities are down 34 percent. According to preliminary reports from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety, there were 375 traffic fatalities in 2013, down from 395 in 2012. In the past decade, Minnesota traffic fatalities have decreased sharply, from 567 in 2004 to 375 last year.

--A 63-year-old Bowstring woman was injured Monday in an accident Monday night on Highway 169 in Mille Lacs County. Kathleen Ott was southbound on 169 when she drifted off the roadway and rolled into the center median. Ott was treated at the Onamia hospital for what the state patrol stated were non-life threatening injuries.

--America's largest mall will become Minnesota's 35th Yellow Ribbon Company Friday at a proclamation ceremony. The Yellow Ribbon Proclamation Ceremony will be held today at the Mall of America rotunda in Bloomington at 11:30am.

--American Hustle, Gravity and 12 Years a Slave lead the nominations for the Academy Awards on March 2nd. Gravity received 10 nominations for the awards while the other 2 received 9 each.

--Allen ‘Al’ Kuebelbeck, age 72 of rural Little Falls

TODAY= sunny, high 11, wind chills near -25 in morning.
TONIGHT= snow after midnight, 2-4 inches, low 5 above.
SATURDAY= snow ending, windy, blowing snow, high 21.
SUNDAY= sunny, high 28, low around 0.
MONDAY= light snow, temps falling below zero by afternoon.

HS BBB= Little Falls at St. Cloud Cathedral tonight 7:30 on Q92.
HS GBB= Pierz at Foley tonight 7:30pm on FM94 KFML
HS BBB= Pierz vs. Rockford from SCSU Saturday 3pm on FM94.
COL BB= Gopher men win a big home game over 11th ranked Ohio State Thursday 63-53. Gophers are at #14 Iowa on Sunday.
COL HK= Gophers vs. Ohio State Saturday 4:30pm on KLTF.
NFL= Championship Sunday in the NFL as Denver hosts New England at 2pm for AFC and in NFC it is San Francisco at Seattle at 5:45pm catch the action live starting Sunday at 1pm on KLTF.

Loss for Words tonight and Saturday at West Side Bar, Little Falls

Thursday- January 16th, 2014

--An autopsy has determined that Clara Pundsack of Melrose died of hypothermia after being found a day after she went missing last week. Pundsack, who suffered from Dementia, was on her way home Thursday from Sauk Centre when she likely got lost and drove to a farm site in Melrose Township which was a few miles from her home.  Pundsack’s footprints were found on the property and indicated she walked up to the house at one point but the homeowner said he never heard anyone knock or call for help. Pundsack was found the next afternoon near an outbuilding at that residence.

--A local toy store from Little Falls won a holiday contest and as a result will donate $500 worth of games to a local elementary school. The contest was thru Blue Orange Games. To enter stores had to enter a picture of their holiday games. To qualify stores had to have 100 different people vote thru their personal facebook accounts for their store. Nationwide about 18-20 stores qualified and the Gumdrop Tree in Little Falls won. Lincoln Elementary School in Little Falls will receive the different games elected by a local employee. The games will be presented at the assembly at Lincoln elementary on Friday afternoon. Also as part of the prize, a store party open to the public will be held from 10:00am-2:00pm this Saturday at the Gumdrop Tree. Blue Orange games will provide all decorations and also have Pete and Joys cater snacks.

--Another dose of January weather today and Friday as a winter weather advisory is in effect through tomorrow morning. Freezing rain and snow this morning then strong winds by midday and falling temps from near 30 early on down to 0 by late afternoon and -10 by late evening with wind chills values around -30 by tonight. Friday calls for dry conditions but highs in the single digits above zero and wind chill values in the morning near -30. Blowing and drifting is likely from the strong winds causing some whiteout conditions on many area highways into tonight and Friday morning, Stearns County and counties west and northwest of there are in a Blizzard Watch Thursday into Friday due to the strong winds and blowing snow. Mn DOT is reminding motorists to give extra time when traveling today.

--The annual Morrison County Dairy Princess Banquet and Coronation will be on Saturday, March 29th at the Falls Ballroom in Little Falls. They are still seeking candidates for this years contest. Candidates must be at least a Senior in High School and up to 24 years old. Candidates must also work and or live on a Dairy Farm. The deadline to sign up is March 1st. Sign up by contacting any Morrison County ADA member. Contact Laura Fellbaum for information at 630-4039.

--The Pierz Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 6:45am Tuesday on Morrison County Road 45 and Sleepy Hollow Road. The fire apparently started by a wood stove in the home on 4926 County Road 45. The fire spread into the walls and into the attic. The home sustained around two-thousand dollars in damage and according to the Pierz Fire Chief is still livable.

--Sartell Mayor Joe Perske, a DFLer and Sartell Middle School teacher announced Tuesday that his is seeking the DFL endorsement for the 6th District Congressional Seat. He now officially joins the other DFL candidates, Circle Pines activist Judy Adams and Avon college professor Jim Read. The incumbent, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, isn’t seeking a fifth term.

--Upsala area schools will have early dismissal on Friday. School will be released at 12:05pm. Students will have lunch before dismissed.

--56-year old George VanZee of Newport, Minnesota, was sentenced to 39 months in prison following his guilty plea and conviction for Burglary in the 2nd Degree Wednesday in Morrison County District Court in Little Falls. Red’s Irish Pub in Swanville was burglarized in October 2012. A number of items were stolen. Several items were left in a pile with a pair of gloves. The suspect could be seen in a surveillance video wearing the gloves during the burglary. A DNA sample was taken from inside of the gloves. DNA testing by the BCA Forensic Science Laboratory revealed a match to VanZee  VanZee’s DNA was in a database due to his criminal record. VanZee plead guilty on December 2nd, 2013. Judge Douglas Anderson sentenced VanZee to prison and ordered him to pay $7,698 in restitution.

--The Minnesota Orchestra and union musicians have ratified a new contract, ending a bitter, 15-month lockout. The two sides announced the agreement Tuesday. The deal takes effect February 1st. The orchestra’s first concert performances back on the Orchestra Hall stage are expected in early February. The musicians were locked out on October 1, 2012.

--Sentencing has been rescheduled for a Crosslake man who pleaded guilty to shooting another Crosslake man in the leg in June of last year. Larry Bolton was scheduled to be sentenced this week but it has now been scheduled for February 27th. Bolton faces up to 36 months in prison on charges of second degree assault with a dangerous weapon charge that he pled guilty to though the official sentencing will up to the judge to decide.

--A fire on the grounds of St. John’s University kept firefighters busy for several hours Tuesday evening. According to St. John’s Director of Media Relations Michael Hemmesch, crews were called to the paint shop, a maintenance building on the southwest part of campus. It was reported Wednesday that the paint shop was a total loss and the investigation into the cause of the fire continues.

--Wilbur J. Hines, age 96 of Little Falls formerly of Randall.

TODAY= light snow, blowing snow, strong winds with falling temps.
TONIGHT= blowing snow, clearing late, low -10, wind chills -30.
FRIDAY= sunny, high 10 above, morning wind chills near -25.
FRI NITE/SAT= snow likely 2-4 inches, temps rising into Saturday.
SUNDAY= sunny and mild, high 32, low around 15.

HS BBB= Little Falls at St. Cloud Cathedral tonight 7:30 on Q92.
VIKINGS= The Vikings Wednesday hired Mike Zimmer, who was defensive coordinator of Cincinnati, to become the 9th Head Coach in Vikings History replacing Leslie Frazier. Zimmer has been in football at all levels for 35 years but this is his first NFL head coaching job.
PRO= Adrian Peterson will not play in the Pro Bowl in Hawaii on January 26th- Eddie Lacy of Green Bay has replaced him for game.
COL HK= the Gopher men’s and women’s hockey teams will play outside on Friday at TCF Bank Stadium against Ohio State, women at 4:30 and the men at 8pm. Saturday Gophers host Ohio State that game at Mariucci Arena with pregame at 4:30pm on AM960 KLTF.  

Loss for Words Friday and Saturday at the West Side Bar

Wednesday- January 15th, 2014

--Little Falls Police is seeking information of vandalism this past Saturday night at the Jaycee Park softball fields. Black spray paint was used to paint obscenities on the south exterior wall and door of the shed between the two fields. Anyone with information should please call 616-5570.

--The Pierz City Council met on Monday night. The council presented a plaque to Wanda Lundblad and thanked her for her years of service. Lundblad worked as the Utility billing clerk for 8 years and also was interim city administrator several times. The utility billing position was eliminated and replaced with the deputy clerk position.

--At 1:00pm today a program will be held at Holy Trinity School in Pierz entitled Fuel up to Play 60 with Viktor. The official mascot of the Minnesota Vikings will instruct students on the importance of healthy eating and staying physically active. During the program Viktor along with Paul Allen (Vikings Radio Network), Carolyn Hudson (Midwest Dairy Council), Chad Greenway (Vikings Linebacker), Mike Morris (Vikings Trainer) and several Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders all take time to speak with the kids.

--Little Falls School Superintendent Steven Jones spoke on KLTF this week and stated that the school is working on bringing back vocational education opportunities which was a big success in the 1990s. Little Falls Schools recently announced a fulltime agriculture position will be added next year. The school has partnered with NJPA at $30,000 a year for the next three years to continue working with the school garden project that began last year. Superintendent Jones also stated that officials will begin a health-science curriculum in the district. The goal is to give the students opportunities to see if a medical field is something they want to pursue. This program is being worked on by the district along with health care providers in the area. If you have questions for Superintendent Steven Jones of Little Falls Schools contact him directly at 632-2001.

--Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon says she won't join Governor Mark Dayton in his bid for a second term. Prettner Solon announced her decision Tuesday. She says she'll finish her term. Prettner Solon has kept a low profile since being elected with Dayton in 2010. Several past Minnesota governors have seen a changeover in their lieutenant governors though the last was under Rudy Perpich in 1976. The former state senator from Duluth brought northern Minnesota appeal to Dayton's first run in 2010.

--A telephone scam was reported to Todd County last week. The call attempted to gain credit card information from the resident. Todd County again reminds everyone not to provide any personal information including bank accounts and credit card accounts from a caller asking for this- especially if you didn’t initiate the call.

--Stearns County responded to a snowmobile accident north of Kimball on Monday just before 5:00pm. The snowmobile driver, 19-year-old Ryan Berdan of St. Cloud was northbound in the ditch along Highway 15 when he struck a field approach and was thrown from the machine. Berdan was taken to St. Cloud Hospital for treatment of his non-life threatening injuries.

--The Brainerd Fire Department responded to a semi trailer on fire Sunday night around 10:30pm on Liberty Lane in Brainerd. Authorities state the fire was minimal and quickly extinguished.

--The Morrison County Commissioners at their first meeting of 2014 named Jeff Jelinski chair and Kevin Maurer vice-chair for the year.

--Traffic officials in the Brainerd lakes area are asking motorists to slow down, pay attention and be alert to traffic slow-downs and lane closures on Highway 371 at Gull Lake’s Hole-In-The-Day bay and surrounding areas on Saturday, January 25th. Heavy traffic is anticipated that day during the Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza. Highway 371 traffic will be single lane at Gull Lake to allow for a shuttle bus/vehicle drop off site. Contest participants and spectators are encouraged to use the shuttle service that will be provided. Those motorists not involved with the contest are encouraged to use an alternate route during the event if possible. All motorists are urged to drive with caution, watch for signs and be prepared for sudden stops. Extra DWI patrols will be working in conjunction with this year’s event.  Planning ahead is encouraged, along with reporting drivers believed to be impaired. The State Patrol reports that there are usually no major incidents on Highway 371 during the contest on January 25th.

--St. Cloud Cathedral High School’s Emmett Keenan has been named Minnesota’s athletic director of the year. The award, the Minnesota Interscholastic Athletic Administrators’ Association (MNIAAA) Paul Krueger Class A Athletic Director of the Year, is given to one person each year. Keenan has spent the last 15 years as athletics and activities director at Cathedral High School in St. Cloud. There will be a formal presentation of the award March 26th at River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud.

--A Benton County Sheriff’s Office detective and the county’s chief deputy were honored with statewide awards at this year’s Minnesota Sheriff’s Association year-end awards reception. Chief Deputy Troy Heck, who has worked for the sheriff’s office for 19 years, was selected as the sheriff’s supervisor of the year by the MSA. Detective Leslie Patterson was named deputy sheriff of the year by the MSA. She has worked for the sheriff’s office for 13 years, starting as a dispatcher and working as a patrol deputy and drug task force investigator before becoming a detective.

--A 55-year-old Lino Lakes man was injured Saturday when he was thrown from a snowmobile when he hit a snow bank from a plowed road on Pelican Lake in Merrifield. Steven K. Yotter was taken to an area hospital and treated for his injuries.

TODAY= afternoon snow, windy, high 18, snow up to 1 inch.
TONIGHT= snow likely, blowing overnight, temps rise to near 30
THURSDAY= snow- blowing, some ice, temps drop to near 0 by 5pm
FRIDAY= partly sunny, colder, high 8 above, some light snow.

NFL= another coach hired as the Detroit Lions announced Tuesday that they have hired former Colts coach Jim Caldwell as their head coach for 2014. The Vikings continue to interview candidates for the head coaching position- many feel Mike Zimmer is the front runner.

IN 1797= first top hats are sold in London.
IN 1943= The Pentagon is completed in Washington D.C.
IN 1974= Happy Days debuted on ABC TV- lasted 11 years.

Loss for Words Friday/Saturday, lunches daily at West Side Bar

Tuesday- January 14th, 2014

--Stearns County reported a house fire in Holdingford Sunday morning just after 6:00am. The home owners Tylor and Courtney Lange and their 4 children were able to get out without injuries. The fire appeared to start in a vehicle in the attached garage then spread into the attic of the home. The fire remains under investigation.

--A Buffalo man died when he was thrown from the snowmobile he was driving in Wright County on Saturday. The crash happened at 3:05pm in the 9800 block of Endicott Ave. Northwest in Silver Creek Township. 51-year old Craig Peitz of Buffalo was southbound on the trail that is parallel to Endicott in the west ditch when he came over a hill, hit a snow crest and was thrown from the machine. Peitz was taken to the hospital by air ambulance and later pronounced dead.

--Firefighters battled a house fire Thursday afternoon in St. Augusta. Shortly after 3:00pm firefighters were called to 1684 Forest Glen Circle in St. Augusta. The homeowner’s son came home and opened the front door to find smoke coming out of the house. St. Augusta and St. Cloud firefighters responded. 33-year old Travis Lee Cox owns the home and said he left about two hours before his son discovered the fire. No one was home when the fire was reported, and no one was injured. Heavy smoke from the split-level house filled the neighborhood.

--Fire departments from Mission, Nisswa and Crosslake battled a garage fire in Merrifield on Thursday. The fire was reported around 11:30am on Ossipee Road. No one was injured. The fire was contained to the entryway between the garage and the house. The fire appeared to have started from a battery charger in the garage. There was smoke damage to the garage, but it can be fixed.

--Former state representative King Banaian has ruled out a repeat bid for the Minnesota House in 2014. Banaian, a St. Cloud State University professor, said Sunday that his 2014 decision was influenced by his new role leading a new School of Public Affairs Research Institute at St. Cloud State. Meanwhile, Republican Paul Brandmire says he’s running in House District 14B — the seat for which DFL Rep. Zachary Dorholt defeated the Republican Banaian in 2012. The district covers east, central and part of north St. Cloud and Haven and Minden townships.

--The Initiative Foundation is seeking nonprofit and government agencies to host full-time, yearlong AmeriCorps VISTA members engaged in projects to fight poverty. In partnership with the AmeriCorps VISTA program, the Initiative Foundation will place 18 full-time VISTA members in organizations serving Morrison, Benton, Cass, Crow Wing, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Pine, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Wadena or Wright counties. Eligible host sites include 501(c) nonprofit organizations involved in anti-poverty work and schools and government agencies. Host site applications are due Wednesday, Jan. 29. Sites will be selected based on their ability to support and direct a VISTA member, the expected impact of the project and alignment with these 2014-2015 priority focus areas: economic opportunity; education; food security and military veterans and their families. Visit, contact Amanda Whittemore, VISTA program associate, at 1 (877) 632-9255 or, to learn more.

--The Twins Caravan is coming to Little Falls on Thursday January 23rd, listen to your home for Twins Baseball Q92 WYRQ for full details on the event or get info at

--Many accidents occurred Sunday due to icy roads. The Brainerd State Patrol reported 24 vehicles off the road. They reported 13 property damage crashes and 6 injury crashes. Statewide, the state patrol reported 111 vehicles off the road.

--Minnesota law enforcement agencies arrested 2,453 impaired drivers as part of an enhanced DWI enforcement campaign during November 27th-December 31st, 2013. Based on preliminary data, there were 24,551 arrested for DWI in Minnesota in 2013. It is anticipated that number will approach 26,000 as data continues coming in and court cases are settled.

--A Stearns County deputy had made a traffic stop on Sunday for a traffic violation near St. Augusta. The deputy asked the driver to get out for a field sobriety test when the driver put the car in gear and fled the scene. The pursuit went south on 43rd Avenue, westbound on Co. Rd 141 to MN State Highway 15 and then north of what was formerly Luxemburg. At one point the driver caused a southbound truck to take evasive action and drive into the west ditch. The vehicle continued north on Hwy 15 into St. Cloud. Near the Interstate 94 overpass on Hwy 15  where the driver of the car jumped out of the still moving vehicle. The car continued on for several hundred more feet. The driver sustained injuries when he exited the car. He was treated on the scene and taken to the St. Cloud Hospital for treatment. The driver was found to be only 17-years old and the deputy stated he noticed signs of intoxication. The case has been sent to the Stearns County Attorney’s Office for formal charges. The drivers name was not released by authorities.

--Dale E. Nelson, age 79 of rural Little Falls

TODAY= snow in morning, strong wind in afternoon, temps falling
TONIGHT= mostly cloudy, low -10, wind chills near -20.
WEDNESDAY= snow likely in afternoon, high 15- temps rise at night
THURSDAY= snow showers, windy, high 30 early then temps fall

HS BHK= Little Falls at Wadena tonight 7:15pm on Q92 WYRQ.
HS GBB= Pierz at Maple Lake tonight 7:30pm on FM94 KFML.
NFL= Ken Whisenhunt was announced Monday as the new head coach of the Tennessee Titans in the NFL.

IN 1690= the clarinet is invented in Nurnberg, Germany.
IN 1783= Congress ratified a peace treaty between the United States and Britain officially ending the American Revolutionary War.
IN 1914= Henry Ford introduced an assembly line for making Fords
IN 1952= The Today Show debuted on NBC TV- the show has remained a staple for morning television to this day.
IN 1956= Little Richard released “Tutti Frutti”
IN 1976= The Bionic Woman debuted on ABC after 5 episodes it was dropped by the network- then picked up in fall of 1976 on NBC.
IN 1980= The Blues Brothers opened in theaters starring Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi reprising their Saturday Night Live roles.

Loss For Words Friday and Saturday at the West Side Bar

Monday- January 13th, 2014

--The Morrison County Sheriff’s Office reported a fatal one vehicle crash Saturday night in Pierz. Around 7:40pm authorities stated that 25-year-old Levi Hillyer was driving northbound on Park Avenue when he approached the bridge left the roadway and impacted the river bank. Hillyer was pronounced dead at the scene.

--Both Little Falls and Pierz high schools recently announced their “Triple A” (Academics, Arts, and Athletics) award winners. The Little Falls winners were Seniors Sebastian Sowada and Rachelle LeBlanc. The Pierz Triple A winners were Seniors Bridget Bednar and Chris Ortman. The Triple A Award is sponsored by the Minnesota State High School League. The award goes to high school seniors who have a “B” or better grade point average and who participate in League sponsored athletic and fine arts activities.

--The Morrison County Sheriff’s Office in the past week reported a burglary on the 15000 block of Iris Road and a break-in on the 16000 block of Highway 27 in Little Falls. It appeared the suspects walked to the garage and the back of the house to gain entry by kicking at the door. The homeowner said nothing appeared to be stolen. Deputies responded to a tractor fire on Monday on 95th Avenue in Little Falls. The fire was taken care of before they arrived. Deputies also responded to a number of theft reports in the past week.

--The Long Prairie Police Department in cooperation with the Todd County Health and Human Services and Citizens Against Drugs Coalition are proud to announce that Long Prairie has the first prescription drug drop-off box in Todd County. The drop-off box is located at the Long Prairie City Hall. Todd County and Long Prairie residents can bring their solid prescription medicines to the front lobby of Long Prairie City Hall weekdays from 8:00am-4:30pm. The police department cannot accept needles or liquids, but all other forms of prescription medications can be accepted. If you have any questions call the Long Prairie Police Department at (320) 732-2156. A reminder, there are prescription drug-drop off sites in Morrison County at the Little Falls Police Department and at both the Randall and Pierz city halls.

--Morrison County residents and people throughout central Minnesota have the opportunity to learn how lifestyle, food and exercise choices can lead to better health, at a free introductory session being offered from 12:00-1:00pm on Tuesday in the Franciscan and Lindbergh Rooms of St. Gabriel’s Hospital. Dr. David Kroska is coming to the hospital to provide an overview of his highly successful L.I.F.E. (Lifestyle, Food, Exercise) program. L.I.F.E. features evidence-based principles that can benefit a wide range of individuals, from people wanting to lose weight, to those who want a better understanding of nutrition and how dietary changes may be able to prevent disease, to those who make to make lifestyle changes in order to prevent disease and extend their lifetimes. The free introductory session will provide an overview of the full L.I.F.E. program, which typically runs eight weeks. St. Gabriel’s Hospital may offer the program this spring depending on community interest. A box lunch will be provided to those who RSVP to Linda Johnson by calling 632-5432. Attendees must choose either a vegetarian or turkey sandwich meal choice when signing up. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.

--Representative John Ward of Brainerd announced Thursday that he will seek a fifth term in the Minnesota House of Representatives this November. Ward represents District 10A.

--A missing persons alert was canceled for a Melrose woman after she was found dead Friday on a Melrose-area farm. 83-year-old, Clara Pundsack was last seen at about 4:00pm Thursday when leaving her home. Pundsack was found dead around 5:30pm by a building on the farm site. There is no indication that her death is suspicious, but the investigation is ongoing. The sheriff’s department says she had a history of dementia.

--Four people were arrested after the Central Minnesota Violent Offender’s Task Force executed a search warrant Thursday in St. Joseph. The search at 515 Schneider Drive was the result of an ongoing investigation by the task force and St. Joseph police into controlled substance use and sales occurring at the address. 33-year old Ryan Swartley of Sartell was seen leaving the home owned by 28-year old Emilly Ulik before the search. He had outstanding warrants for his arrest and was apprehended and taken to Stearns County Jail. The task force says it found about 8 grams of methamphetamine and “items associated with meth sales” in Swartley’s vehicle and belongings. Inside the home, the task force found more controlled substances and associated items, including drug paraphernalia. The task force also found 33-year old Joshua Hanson of St. Cloud, 29-year old Jesse McKenna of Marshall, and 19-year old Shauna Clement of St. Cloud inside the home. They all had outstanding warrants and were taken to jail.

--An arrest warrant has been issued for a man who is accused of raping a woman September 26th near the Stearns County government campus downtown. St. Cloud police are seeking 24-year old Xavier Phillips-Freeman. He has been charged in Stearns County District Court with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. The suspect was described as being black, 22-28 years of age, about 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing 150-160 pounds. He had a stocky, muscular build and had cornrows going down to the bottom of his neck. Police have been unable to locate Phillips-Freeman. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call St. Cloud police at (320) 251-1200.

--The Pierz City Council meets tonight 7pm at Pierz City Hall.

--E.A. ‘Stub’ Strelow, age 87 of Onamia.
--Bishop Alphonse Sowada OSC, age 80 of Onamia.
--Sister Lydia Langer OSF, age 83 of St Francis Convent LF.
--Sister Elizabeth Ohmann OSF, age 80 of St. Francis Convent LF.
--Gilbert Zilka, age 58 of Little Falls.

TODAY= partly sunny, breezy, high near 25.
TONIGHT= snow 1-3 inches possible, low 18.
TUESDAY= snow in morning, windy with falling temps through day
WEDNESDAY= afternoon snow showers, partial sun, high 17.

NFL= Seattle held off New Orleans 23-15 and New England routed Indianapolis 43-22 on Saturday. Sunday San Francisco defeated Carolina 23-10 and Denver held off San Diego 24-17 to advance on. AFC and NFC Championship are played this Sunday with coverage beginning at 1pm on AM960 KLTF.

For the best in food, drink and fun check out the West Side Bar.

Friday- January 10th, 2013

--The Morrison County Historical Society invites the public to its “Warm in Winter” open house on Saturday, January 25th, at the Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum in Little Falls. The open house will feature a “Warm in Winter” exhibit of items from the museum’s collection. The open house is scheduled from 1:00-4:00pm. This event is free. Refreshments will be served. For more information, call 320-632-4007.

--A fundraising effort for Matt Athman and his family of Pierz will be held on Saturday including a bake sale during the basketball game in Pierz starting at 1pm then a spaghetti dinner, music, silent auction and more at the Pierz Ballroom that night which is a free will offering. Athman and his sister were involved in a serious car accident back in November and Matt continues to undergo rehabilitation.

--Authorities and office staff for Representative Michele Bachmann say there’s no truth to a website posting claiming she was arrested in Fort Collins, Colorado on Tuesday.  Neither Fort Collins police nor the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office have any record of Bachmann being arrested. Bachmann’s office said the story about an arrest for driving under the influence of a controlled substance is fake. The story appeared on Newslo, a site that says it merges satire with news to create a “unique brand of entertainment and information.” Office staff for the Representative stated they are discussing with their attorneys on a possible lawsuit for the false story.

--An event for former employees of the Sartell paper mill is scheduled for February 15th. A committee of former employees associated with an event last Memorial Day to mark the anniversary of the explosion and fire that killed one man and led to the closure of the mill has a balance of funds available. The leftover money was from a union donation, proceeds from a silent auction and a donation from AIM Development USA, which bought the mill property and is dismantling the buildings. The committee decided to use the money for an all-mill event February 15th at Blackberry Ridge Golf Club. Cost is $5 per person or $10 per couple and will include a social hour starting at 4:00pm followed by a chicken buffet dinner at 5:00pm and door prizes. Reservations must be made by January 28th will be capped at 300. To register or information call Dennis Molitor at 252-7055.

--Brainerd firefighters battled the intense frosty air Monday shortly after 7:00pm when they responded to a fire in the wall of a home. The home was located on the 1000 block of 12th Avenue Northeast in Brainerd. The family was cooking when they could hear crackling in the wall. The fire in the wall made its way up to one of the bedrooms. Firefighters were able to contain the fire in about 20 minutes. The cause of the fire appeared to be from an electrical issue. The fire caused about $25,000 in damages and the family of two adults and a child will not be able to live there until the home is fixed. Firefighters were on the scene for about 3 hours. No injuries.

--A Monticello man faces animal cruelty and torture charges for allegedly skinning and baking his pet cat. The charges allege 28-year-old Cody Alexander Mann killed his cat because “he wanted to try cooking it with onions.” According to the complaint filed in Wright County, Mann’s father contacted police after his son started making “strange comments.” Additionally, the apartment manager called law enforcement to report a burning smell in Mann’s apartment. A deputy entered the apartment Monday and found the cat’s body inside the oven, and the cat’s skin and entrails inside the freezer.

--Due to a broken water pipe the Little Falls Carnegie Library will be closed today to make repairs. The hope is to be open by tomorrow.

--Royalton High School announced that Seniors Jacqueline Nichols and Tony Gadacz are their Triple A (The Academics, Arts, Athletics) winners. Triple “A” award recipients are selected through a multi-level process involving member schools of the Minnesota State High School League and a special committee of educators, business leaders and members from the fine arts and athletics communities.

--The city of Foley stated that they will look further into potential costs and benefits of a regional wastewater facility that includes Clear Lake and Clearwater. The city will send a letter expressing its interest in considering the regional facility option. Officials are interested in a more thorough review of the costs and benefits of the option for the city, the authority and the region. Officials also asked to be involved in the planning process.

--The Brainerd Fire Department responded to a call shortly after noon on Wednesday to check the carbon monoxide level at a residence on the 11800 block of River Vista Drive in Baxter. Firefighters determined that carbon monoxide was found in the garage from a vehicle that had been running. Captain Kurt Doree reminds people to always back their vehicle out of the garage when they leave it running, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Doree said carbon monoxide from the vehicle can quickly build up and be deadly for people to breath. If the garage is attached to the home, the fumes can spread into the house.

--No students were injured Wednesday when a car rear-ended a school bus on Washington Street in Brainerd. The accident happened at 3:40pm to Bus number 43 just after it started to drop off students. Neither of the drivers were not hurt and all of the students were transferred to another school bus for the departure.

TODAY= mostly cloudy, fog, scattered flurries, high near 30.
TONIGHT= scattered flurries, cloudy, low 15.  
SATURDAY= sunny skies, high near 30, cloudy at night, low 15.
SUNDAY= freezing drizzle, sleet and snow at times, high 35.
MONDAY= partly sunny, windy, high near 20.

WRE= Pierz at Little Falls tonight 7pm on Q92 WYRQ
CC= join Corey Fink for Coaches Corner Saturday just after 9am live on AM960 KLTF from Coborn’s Superstore in Little Falls.
NFL= Catch all playoff games this weekend in the divisional round- Saturday New Orleans at Seattle at 3:30pm followed by Indianapolis at New England then Sunday at noon San Francisco at Carolina while Denver hosts San Diego at 3:30pm. All games live on AM960 KLTF.

IN 1911= Major Jimmy Erickson shot first photo of an airplane.
IN 1949= RCA records introduced the new 7-inch 45rpm record.
IN 1956= Elvis Presley recorded his first #1 hit ‘Heartbreak Hotel’
IN 1969= the final edition of the Saturday Evening Post was distributed after 147 years of existence.
IN 1976= C.W. McCall’s ‘Convoy’ hit #1 on the U.S. singles chart.
IN 1997= Evita starring Madonna debuted on theaters.

Smoking Guns tonight, open jukebox Saturday at West Side Bar

Thursday-January 9th, 2013

--A federal judge dismissed most of Robin Hensel’s complaints against the city of Little Falls on Wednesday. Judge Richard Kyle held the sign ordinance is constitutional and dismissed that portion of the suit. However, in regard to her complaint against the city regarding its “old” bench ordinance (which no longer exists and was replaced with a new bench ordinance), the judge granted her the right to a jury trial to determine any damages with respect to that claim. The court determined that the new sign ordinance is a valid time, place and manner restriction and that it serves the city’s interests without unreasonably limiting alternative forms of communication and granted the city’s motion to dismiss this count in the complaint. In addition, the court rejected Hensel’s claim the sign ordinance was selectively enforced against her. In Kyle’s decision, he notes, “Hensel also argues that the new sign ordinance was ‘enacted and selectively…enforced against [her] because of hostility towards her liberal viewpoints.’  Suffice it to say, the record does not support these claims.” The city’s new bench ordinance was also found to be constitutional. The decision states, “The Court concludes the new bench ordinance – like the new sign ordinance – is a content-neutral time, place, and manner regulation, and Hensel’s moving-target allegations have not provided any clear basis to undermine that conclusion. Accordingly, her challenge to the new bench ordinance fails.” The court found the old bench ordinance unconstitutional as it allowed the city to control not only whether a bench could be erected and where, but also the wording used in the advertising on the bench. A date and time for a jury trial, will be set to determine any damages for Hensel. Hensel may consider whether or not to appeal the decision. There is no right to any appeal until the entire case is over, meaning after the trial. At that point, the parties would have the right to appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

--Minneapolis Special Agent in Charge, J. Christopher Warrener, announced the posthumous awarding of the Director’s Community Leadership Award to the former U.S. Senator from Minnesota, Rod Grams. Senator Grams was being recognized Wednesday morning for his work with several community organizations and for his work in bringing the AMBER Alert system to Minnesota in 2002. During 2001 and 2002, Senator Grams was instrumental in bringing both law enforcement and members of the media together to make certain that Minnesota became the 7th state to implement the statewide missing child alert system. The Minnesota AMBER Alert program was established to dramatically increase the visibility of certain child abduction cases. 28 AMBER Alerts have been issued in Minnesota since the program’s inception, and all 28 children have been located. Grams also volunteered with several community organizations during his life.  He served on the Board of Directors for the Center for Victims of Torture, worked with Catholic Charities, and was involved with Mission 500, an organization which worked to end child hunger.  In 2004, Grams and his wife, Chris Grams, purchased 3 radio stations in Little Falls. He developed programming which gave free air time daily to local non-profit groups and community service coalitions.

--St. Cloud Firefighters extinguished a mattress fire on 33rd Avenue North Tuesday night. After a report of a trash fire against a building at 401-33rd Ave. N, firefighters found a smoldering mattress leaning against a brick building. One fire engine handled the call that was reported at 11:20pm.

--St. Cloud Hospital released on Tuesday its annual list of top baby names among last year’s deliveries at the hospital’s Family Birthing Center. Among babies born in 2013 at the CentraCare facility there were 17 girls named Ava and 17 more named Olivia tied for the most among girls. 19 boys each that were born last year at St. Cloud Hospital were named Landon, Liam, Mason, and Wyatt. The total number of births at the hospital in 2013 was 2,888, compared to 2,724 in 2012, 2,662 in 2011, and 2,682 births in 2010.

--Bishop Donald Kettler, the new Bishop of St. Cloud for approximately two months, released a list of the names of priests who have been accused of sexual abuse of minors in the St. Cloud Diocese. When releasing the names, Kettler wrote, “When I became Bishop of the Diocese of Saint Cloud, in November 2013, I immediately began connecting with people, familiarizing myself with policies, and reviewing important documents that I am responsible for as Bishop. Part of that process has involved reviewing files regarding claims of sexual abuse of minors by clergy who served in parishes within the Diocese of Saint Cloud.” Also disclosed were the parishes in which each of those members of the clergy served within the Diocese of St. Cloud. The list includes Diocesan priests, as well as clergy who are members of religious communities who served in parishes in the Diocese, as well as several men of religious communities from outside the Diocese who served within the Diocese. The list can be viewed at the St. Cloud Diocese website.

--Tony and Sherry (Kastner) Johnson of Little Falls, a boy on 1-7

--June A. Etzler, age 83 of Motley.

TODAY= cloudy, high 16, wind strong from the south.
TONIGHT= mostly cloudy, temps rise overnight into the 20s.
FRIDAY= flurries, light drizzle at times, high 31, low 15.
SATURDAY= sunny, high near 30, low 15 then rising with clouds
SUNDAY= rain/ice/snow at times, high 35 then falling in PM hours.

MLB= The Baseball Hall Fame will have a number of new inductees in 2014 as Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas all received enough votes to get into the Hall in Cooperstown, New York they will join managers Bobby Cox, Tony LaRussa and Joe Torre who were named last year to the Class of 2014. Former Twins pitcher and St. Paul Native Jack Morris missed the cut again for the 15th year. Others not making to the Hall include sluggers Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Pitcher Roger Clemens who have been scrutinized for year for possible use of steroids in baseball.
COL FB= Johnny Manziel announced Wednesday that he is forgoing his final 2 years at Texas A&M and entering the NFL Draft.
BHK= Little Falls vs. Prairie Centre tonight 7:15pm on Q92 WYRQ.

IN 1903= Baseball’s American and National League officially make peace and announced that first World Series will be played in 1903.

Smoking Guns Friday, Open Jukebox Saturday at West Side Bar

Wednesday- January 8th, 2014

--A rural Cushing man is dead after a two vehicle accident Monday afternoon in Todd County. Around 2:00pm, deputies were called to 400th Street and Norris Road after a report that 53-year-old David Shoquist had driven through a yield sign at the intersection and broadsided an SUV driven by Sara Trantina. Trantina and her passenger Catherine Trantina were both taken to Staples Hospital for treatment of injuries. Shoquist was pronounced dead at the scene.

--The Brainerd Jaycees 24th Annual $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza will be held on January 25th on Gull Lake’s Hole in the Day Bay, north of Brainerd. More than 10,000 anglers are expected to compete for one of 150 prizes valued at more than $200,000. As of last week, 12-16 inches of ice was reported throughout the contest area at Hole in the Day Bay. The Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza is completely volunteer-run and all event proceeds are donated to area charities. The primary beneficiary is Confidence Learning Center, an outdoor recreational facility and camp for individuals with developmental disabilities. However, more than 50 organizations in the Brainerd lakes area have received donations in the history of the event, which is likely to exceed $3 million in charitable donations this year. More information and official updates may be found at

--The Brainerd School District will be looking for a new superintendent after it was reported Monday at the school board meeting that Superintendent Steve Razidlo will leave the district at the end of the school year to take a job as superintendent at the American International School in Vienna, Austria. School Board officials will decide what kind of a search will take place then take the proper steps to begin a superintendent search for next year. Razidlo has been with the school district for 17 years, 6 as superintendent.

--Garrison and Brainerd firefighters battled the temperatures to fight a structure fire Monday morning on Round Lake Road in Garrison. The flames were coming through the roof of the house when they arrived around 6:40am. No one was in the one-story house which was a complete loss. The cause of the fire is undetermined. Some firefighters were treated for the dangerous cold and wind chills and firefighters stated the fire was more difficult to put out because truck valves froze shut and had to be treated to get water flowing again.

--A 49-year-old Brainerd woman was injured Saturday when the vehicle she was driving rolled over on Business Highway 371 around 11:30am. Joann Witt was taken to the Brainerd hospital and treated for injuries. There were no other occupants in the vehicle.

--Todd County reported the theft of four custom chrome mag 5 spoke rims with all terrain tires stolen from a truck at a farm implement sales lot south of Eagle Bend on January 3rd. The incident is still under investigation- anyone with information call 800-794-5733.

--A Maywood Township man was taken to St. Cloud Hospital for smoke inhalation after fighting a basement fire for an hour Tuesday morning. Foley Fire Department responded shortly after at 7:00am Tuesday to the home of Clifford Carlson at 19420 85th St. NE, Maywood Township. Carlson was trying to thaw frozen water lines with a small blow torch in the home’s basement when the fire started. Carlson tried to put out the fire for an hour and sought help from a neighbor. The fire department was then called. Damage was confined to the corner wall.

--Search and like Little Falls Radio on Facebook today.

--The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency met the 2013 goal for the Wild Rice Standards Study and has released experiment and monitoring summary reports and data. The goal of the study is to enhance understanding of the effects sulfate has on wild rice and to help decide whether a revision of the wild rice sulfate standard is warranted. The study consists of parallel research efforts conducted by scientists at the University of Minnesota campuses in Duluth and the Twin Cities under contract with the M-P-C-A. Data collection was completed in December and is documented in individual reports from the contractors. During January and February 2014, M-P-C-A staff will integrate the reports, analyze the data as a whole, and review existing monitoring data, other relevant scientific studies and information, and the original basis for the sulfate standard to determine whether a change to the standard is warranted. The M-P-C-A will release preliminary recommendations about the wild rice sulfate standard by the end of February.

--A teacher at Bemidji Charter School was charged Friday with having sex with one of his students. 48-year-old Paul Johnson of Backus was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct. A 16-year-old student informed law enforcement last week that she and Johnson had engaged in a romantic relationship and that the two had sexual intercourse in a Twin Cities hotel room on at least 3 occasions. Johnson faces 15 year prison and/or $30,000 in fines if convicted.

TODAY= sunny and cold, high around 0 morning wind chills near -20
TONIGHT= partly cloudy, cold, low around -20.
THURSDAY= mostly cloudy, high 15, steady temps through night.
FRIDAY= mostly cloudy, few flurries, high near 30.

VONN= Minnesota Native Lindsey Vonn will miss the Winter Olympics next month in Sochi, Russia. She was determined to overcome MCL and ACL tears but may have come back early and she re-tore her ACL in November and now a knee injury she aggravated last month will keep her from the Olympics. She hopes to be back in good health and ready to compete at next year’s World Championships in Vail, Colorado.
VIKINGS= The Vikings continue to interview possible head coaching candidates this week with meetings in Phoenix. Recently the Vikings talked to Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Cleveland defensive coordinator Ray Horton and Seattle coordinators Darrell Bevel and Dan Quinn this past weekend. More interviews are expected throughout this week. GM Rick Spielman stated earlier this month he hopes a new coach is selected before the end of January.

IN 1790= George Washington gives first State of the Union Address
IN 1889= first computer is reported patented- though only design.
IN 1954= Elvis Presley had first recording session- cost him $4.


Daily lunches and happy hour special are found at West Side Bar.

Tuesday- January 7th, 2014

--A Wind Chill advisory is in effect until noon as temps remain well below zero this morning. It will remain cold through Thursday but wind chills will be less dangerous than Monday. Still with the cold as of this morning, Little Falls and Pierz Schools are 2 hours late as is Staples-Motley, Browerville and Long Prairie-Grey Eagle. Royalton, Upsala, Swanville, Pillager, Foley, St. Cloud, Brainerd, Sauk Rapids-Rice and Holdingford Schools have decided to remain closed today. Continue to listen to Little Falls Radio today for cancellations.

--The Little Falls Fire Department responded to a chimney fire around 11:00pm on Sunday at the address of 1109 Riverview Drive in Little Falls. 15-firefighters were on the scene for 20-25 minutes. There was no damage as the fire was contained to the chimney. No injuries. Little Falls Fire Chief Mike Nieman has asked residents to please keep fire hydrants cleared from snowfall. That would be of great help when firefighters have to respond to emergencies.

--The Bowlus First Response Team will host a free CPR awareness class Tuesday, January 14th from 6-8pm at the Bowlus Community Center. The class is designed to prepare students so they know what to do in case of an emergency and when to call 911. Topics include recognizing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, stroke and shock, as well as emergencies dealing with diabetics and external bleeding and the treatment for each of these topics. There will be a question and answer segment at the end of the class, along with a demonstration of CPR for adults, children and infants when choking. This is a non-card issued course only. Area residents served by the Bowlus First Response team are encouraged to attend, as well as those residents living outside of the Bowlus area.

--A series of explosions Sunday forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents of an apartment complex in Rogers. The explosions happened around 8:45am at The Preserve at Commerce, a 192-unit complex. There were no injured but 10 units were heavily damaged. According to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, the first explosion happened in a large propane backup generator pavilion on the northeast corner of the property. Police and firefighters arrived to find flames and smoke coming from the generator. Gas continued to leak from the generator, causing several smaller explosions after the initial blast. Around 400 to 500 residents were evacuated to a nearby motel and a nearby movie theater. The Red Cross and Salvation Army were assisting them. The State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Office of Pipeline Safety are investigating.

--The State Patrol and area law enforcement reported a number of accidents this weekend from the freezing precipitation Saturday and the cold and windy conditions Sunday. Brainerd firefighters and deputies were called Saturday morning around 8:00am to an accident with injuries on County Road 3 and Legionville Road; another accident Saturday with injuries reported 30 minutes later on Highway 25 and Thompson Road; and around 11:40am for a rollover on Business Highway 371, that accident reportedly had no injuries. Firefighters also responded to a crash on Highway 210 east of the Brainerd airport where the driver had to be extricated from the vehicle but was not seriously hurt. Firefighters also responded to two reports of broken water pipes on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning and one fire all on Sunday afternoon on South 8th Street that started from embers from a fireplace. The garage and a vehicle sustained some damage from it.

--CenterPoint Energy is warning residents of a multi-utility email scam. CenterPoint Energy reports it aims to provide solutions to protect the public from this scam. Customers are stating they received an email that their natural gas bill was ready to view. When customers open the bill it appears to be from Atmos Energy with an account number, amount due, due date and a link to click to make the payment. There is a warning message on Atmos Energy’s website and utility providers believe this may be a widespread scam.  To avoid falling victim to any scam, CenterPoint Energy reminds customers of the following: Never give out your personal information to an unverified source. To verify a payment or amount due, call your utilities customer service number that is printed on your utility bill. Credit card numbers and any personal information should not be provided when suspicious and report suspicious incidents to the police and then the local utility provider and Better Business Bureau.

--One less person is now running for 6th District Representative in Minnesota as Republican State Senator John Pederson told supporters on Friday he was dropping out of the race. Pederson, of St. Cloud, faced a crowded field in the heavily Republican district. Former gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, former state lawmaker Phil Krinkie and Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah are all running for the GOP nod after current Representative Michelle Bachmann announced she was not running for reelection.

--Police, fire and emergency medical services crews responded to a home in St. Cloud Friday night on a reported stabbing. Few details have been released, though one person was taken to St. Cloud Hospital for treatment of unknown injuries. Police continue to investigate the incident.

--Alan and Michele Pietrowski of Little Falls, a girl born January 5th

--Alvina F. Vandenheuvel, age 88 of Pierz.
--Raymond Lucas, age 64 of Motley.

TODAY= partly sunny, high -3, winds will calm.
TONIGHT= clear and very cold, low -25 with calm winds.
WEDNESDAY= partly sunny, high 1 above, low around -15.
THURSDAY= mostly cloudy, high 15 above, low around 5 above.

HS BBB= Pierz at Little Falls tonight 7:30pm on FM94 KFML.
COL FB= Florida State wins national title game 34-31 over Auburn.

IN 1830= first U.S. Railroad Station opens in Baltimore.
IN 1896= Fanny Farmer publishes first cookbook.
IN 1927= The Harlem Globetrotters play their first game- it was against a college team in Hinckley, Illinois- Globetrotters won.
IN 1929= Tarzan appeared for first time in comics.
IN 1934= Flash Gordon appeared for first time in comics.
IN 1967= The Newlywed Game debuted on ABC TV.

Smoking Guns Friday, Open Jukebox Saturday at West Side Bar

Monday- January 6th, 2014

--To protect Minnesota schoolchildren from forecasted dangerously cold weather, Governor Mark Dayton announced Friday that all of the state’s K-12 public schools will be closed today, January 6th. The National Weather Service predicts that most of the state will experience the coldest temperatures in a decade with lows reaching 30 degrees below zero and wind chills predicted to reach as low as 50 degrees below zero. High temperatures from International Falls to Rochester are forecasted to be only -15 degrees. The decision to close schools across the state was announced Friday in order to give school administrators, teachers, and parents sufficient time to plan for these closures. State law provides the Governor of Minnesota authority to “authorize the commissioner of education to alter school schedules, curtail school activities, or order schools closed. Many other items are closed or cancelled today due to the drastic cold and wind chills including St. Cloud State University. Listen to Little Falls Radio throughout the day for other cancellations or closures.

--A Wind Chill Warning is in effect through tomorrow afternoon as the coldest temperatures since 1996 are hitting Minnesota. Temperatures will also rise to near -15 to -20 today with wind chills values of -25 to -50 in areas this morning. Temps tonight drop to near -30 then rebound to -5 on Tuesday with the strong north winds dying down. The National Weather Service said that Sunday and Monday cold could reach record lows that were made back in the mid 90s when areas reached 40 to 60 below zero in portions of Northern Minnesota.

--Todd County received a call of a two-vehicle accident with injuries on County Road 4 in rural Osakis. Dustin Gilson of Westport was northbound when he slid through the intersection and struck a vehicle driven by Darwin Maus from Osakis. The impact caused Darwin’s vehicle to roll over onto its roof. Maus had to be extricated from the vehicle from Sauk Centre Ambulance and taken to St. Cloud Hospital for treatment of injuries. Gilson was taken by private vehicle to get checked out for possible injuries.

--Flu activity is now widespread across Minnesota but the numbers are a lot smaller than a year ago. The State Department of Health says by end of the year there were 71 flu related hospitalizations up from 51 a week before. To date 189 Minnesotans have been hospitalized this season with the flu compared to over three-thousand by this time a year ago.

--The Little Falls School Board was scheduled to meet tonight but the meeting has been postponed until 5pm Tuesday at the government center in Little Falls. Agenda items include election of officers and other reestablishing and designating items for 2014. The Board will take action on the EMLF Seniority List, discuss enrollment projections and budget assumptions for the next school year and also make a resolution vote on how acceptance of gifts will be handled.

--The Morrison County Sheriff’s Office reported that Tuesday they responded to a house filling with smoke in Bowlus, no other information was released. Deputies also received a report of items taken from a fish house on Green Prairie Fish Lake.

--Wildlife artist Scot Storm of Freeport is the Ducks Unlimited 2014 Artist of the Year, the second time he has earned the title which he also won in 2005. His painting “Tranquil Waters” earned the honor.

--The Little Falls City Council is scheduled to meet tonight at 7:30pm at City Hall while the Morrison County Commissioners are scheduled to meet Tuesday at 9am at the government center.

--Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Gale of Big Lake this past weekend served as a soldier-mentor to football players and marching band members who participated in the U.S. Army All American Bowl Saturday in San Antonio, Texas. The bowl game featured 90 of the best high school football players in an East vs. West matchup. As a mentor, Gale has an opportunity to share his Army story with youth. During the weekend students and Gale got to participate in scrimmages, punt pass and kick competitions and community service engagements.

--A man was arrested Sunday after authorities say he led St. Cloud police on a pursuit through parts of St. Cloud. Just after 11:00pm Saturday, police were in pursuit of a stolen vehicle. The vehicle was driven by 26-year-old Andrew Spoden of St. Cloud. The pursuit lasted a few miles and went through north St. Cloud until eventually police, with the aid of a canine unit, found Spoden in a garage and arrested him. Spoden is awaiting formal charges in Stearns County Jail.

--A standoff at a St. Cloud residence lasted more than 11 hours but ended peacefully Sunday. The standoff took place on 14th Avenue South after the St. Cloud Police Department received a complaint of a suicidal person around 2:00am. Officers were dispatched to the location and were on the scene until a man gave himself up just after 1:00pm. There were no hostages taken during the standoff, and neither police nor the man was injured.

--A blood drive will be held from 1:00-7:00pm on Wednesday and Thursday and 8:00-2:00pm Friday at St. Francis Convent.

--Mitchell and Samantha Thelen of Little Falls, girl on January 2nd

--Ronald Fyten, age 71 of Pierz.
--Rita A. (Schneider) Albrecht, age 87 of Coon Rapids.

TODAY= party sunny, windy and cold, high -15, wind chills near -50.
TONIGHT= clear, very cold, low -30, wind chills near -50.
TUESDAY= partly cloudy, high -3, wind chills in morning near -40.
WEDNESDAY= sunny but still cold, less windy, high 1 above.

NFL= Two close games Saturday in NFL as Indianapolis battled back from 28 down to beat the Kansas City Chiefs 45-44 to advance while New Orleans kicked a last second field goal to win at Philadelphia Saturday night 26-24. San Diego advanced 27-10 over Cincinnati Sunday and San Francisco got a last second field goal to beat Green Bay in the frozen tundra 23-20 Sunday. The playoffs continue this weekend with New Orleans at Seattle and Indianapolis at New England on Saturday while Carolina hosts San Francisco and Denver is home against San Diego on Sunday. All games live on KLTF.
NFL= Leslie Frazier was fired Monday as the Vikings head coach and was hired Friday by new Tampa Bay head coach Lovie Smith to become the Buccaneers Defensive Coordinator. The Vikings continue to interview for a new head coach. The latest interview Saturday was with current Seattle Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn.
HS= check out scores over the weekend at

Warm up today with a hot lunch at the West Side Bar, Little Falls.

Friday- January 3rd, 2014

--An update on a Little Falls man injured in a farm accident on November 12th. Jamie Houdek got his right hand stuck in the husking bed of a corn picker and was badly injured. More than six weeks and several surgeries later he was fitted for his first prosthetic for his right arm on Thursday. The local community has had several examples of helping Houdek out in this difficult time including co-workers at Camp Ripley donating vacation days to him. Another effort is a benefit being planned. The benefit titled “Lend a Hand to Jamie Houdek” will be held at 4:00pm on Saturday, February 15th at the Falls Ballroom in Little Falls. The benefit will have a meal with a free will offering, music, live auction, raffle and more. To donate items or for information you can call Trisha at (320) 980-0840. Financial contributions can go to the Jamie Houdek Benefit Fund at US Bank.

--According to preliminary numbers from the Minnesota State Patrol, there were 106 DWI arrests statewide for the New Years Holiday and 660 since Christmas Eve. Historically Thanksgiving is the top day for DWI’s issued followed by New Year’s Day at second.

--Crow Wing County Attorney Don Ryan will not convene a grand jury in the shooting death of 50-year old Donald Johnson of Brainerd. Johnson was fatally shot on August 15th at his tree stand in St. Mathias Township. That day Johnson called authorities requesting emergency services, but was unclear why. When authorities responded no one was at his home but they heard a gunshot in the woods and eventually found Johnson armed in his tree stand. Johnson threatened officers on the scene. Officers used non violent tactics to try and persuade him to give himself up. At one point it appeared Johnson was ready to surrender and was coming down from his tree stand until he retreated back up the stand and fired at officers shooting one in the arm. Two deputies fired their weapons and were placed on administrative leave which is protocol in similar situations. Again, we learned a grand jury will not be convened in this case because it was ruled the deputies acted in self defense.

--While two Minnesotans are holding raffle tickets worth $1 million in the Minnesota Millionaire New Year’s drawing, one Morrison County resident is holding a ticket worth $100,000. A total of 150 gamblers tickets won prizes in the Minnesota Millionaire New Year’s drawing. Lottery officials said the $1 million winning tickets were sold in Beltrami and Stearns counties. Five other tickets, worth $100,000 each, were sold in Morrison, Dakota, Hennepin, and Wright counties. Players have one year to claim their prizes.

--A 40-year-old Sauk Rapids man was injured Wednesday night just after 10:30pm when his SUV he was driving rolled over and crashed on Highway 371 and Morrison County Road 46, north of Little Falls. Juan Martin was taken to St. Gabriel’s Hospital in Little Falls where he was treated and then released. The Little Falls Police Department assisted the state patrol at the scene.

--A wood boiler shed fire on December 30th occurred at the address of 7094 320th Street. No other buildings were damaged. The property and building was owned by Tom Kosec. Five Scandia Valley Fire Department trucks and 15 firefighters responded to the scene for 1 ½ hours. Crow Wing Power was contacted to reroute the electric line above the shed. The building, used to heat the home, was a total loss. There were no injuries.

--Get news, weather, sports, and community calendar information online at and check out the Facebook pages.

--Habitat for Humanity of Morrison County and the Tabitha Chandler Family invite the public to a Dedication Ceremony for the Habitat Home on Saturday, January 11th at 10:30am at the address of 1202 3rd Avenue SW in Little Falls.

--A New Years Baby was born to the couple of Kelsey and Jacob Zeis of Burtrum. Sophie Lucille was the couple’s first child and she was born at 10:02pm on New Years Day. The Zeis family was showered with gifts in honor of Sophie being the first child born in 2014 in Morrison County. St. Gabriel’s Hospital and the Family Medical Center offered a package of gifts, St. Gabriel’s Hospital Auxiliary offered a bag full of gifts; a gift basket and $100 in cash was offered by the Little Falls Business Association and a hand-tied fleece blanket was given by Kinship.

--State Senator Carrie Ruud of Breezy Point was elected a 2014 state director with Women in Government by her fellow state legislative colleagues this past year. The state directors help ascertain important issues in their states so that Women in Government can tailor programming to these needs.

--The Charles Lindbergh State Park Candlelight hike is a free event from 6:00-9:00pm on Friday, January 24th. This year it will run along trails from the Charles Lindbergh Historic Site and Weyerhauser Museum along the Mississippi River. For more information on the event contact Ty at Lindbergh Park at 616-2525.

--Jacob and Kelsey Zeis of Burtrum, girl born January 1st

--Timothy J. Ficek, age 61 of Rogers formerly of Pierz

TODAY= freezing rain, sleet and blowing snow, windy, high 19.
TONIGHT= freezing rain, snow, low 3 wind chills -15.
SATURDAY= temps dropping, windy with blowing snow, -25 at night
SUNDAY= sunny, windy and cold, high -15, wind chills near -40.
MONDAY= partly sunny, cold, high -20, low around -35.

HS BBB= Pierz at Long Prairie/Grey Eagle tonight 7:30pm FM94.
HS GBB= Little Falls at Princeton Saturday 2:30pm on Q92WYRQ
NFL= NFL Playoffs start Saturday with Kansas City at Indianapolis followed by New Orleans at Philadelphia. Sunday it is Cincinnati hosting San Diego followed by San Francisco at Green Bay. All games can be heard live starting Saturday at 3pm and Sunday at 11:30am on AM960 KLTF- carrying all NFL games through the Super Bowl.
CC= Coaches Corner returns to Coborn’s Saturday at 9am on KLTF.


Kings Ransom Friday, Redneck Radio Saturday at West Side Bar

Thursday- January 2nd, 2014

--The Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce has announced that Jen Lasar is the January Employee of the Month. Jen has been an Administrative Assistant at the Convention and Visitors Bureau for the past 8 months. Congratulations Jen Lasar!

--Many residents evacuated a southeastern North Dakota town overnight Monday into Tuesday after a train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded. Officials warned that acrid smoke could blow into the area. No one was hurt in Monday’s derailment of the mile-long train that sent a great fireball and plumes of black smoke skyward about a mile from the small town of Casselton. The fire was so intense, as darkness fell that investigators couldn’t even get close enough to count the number of burning cars. Some burned through the night. The National Transportation Safety Board was preparing to investigate. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office called on the 2,400 people living in Casselton, about 25 miles west of Fargo, to leave their homes, citing a shift in winds blowing smoke toward the town. Health experts were testing the quality of the air but did not yet have results early Tuesday. Much of Casselton’s water tower was covered in soot and many predict to see a lot of the black powder.