Tuesday- July 31st, 2012
--A 32-year-old Roseville woman was injured in an ATV accident Sunday night in Morrison County. Deputies responded around 6:30 to 280th Avenue on Soo Line Trail when May Elyamani was on the trail and hit some trees causing her to be thrown from the ATV. Elyamani was airlifted to a hospital for her injuries. No condition update given.
--Congratulations of 15-year-old Briana Dukowitz of Little Falls. Dukowitz was chosen as a state finalist in the National American Miss Minnesota Pageant recently in Bloomington. The pageant is to celebrate America’s future leaders and equip them with lifelong skills.
--Todd County is investigating crops damaged in Eagle Bend from a motor vehicle that drove through corn and sunflower fields last Thursday night. Anyone who noticed suspicious activity along County Road 75 last Thursday should contact Todd County deputies.
--A 25-year-old from Little Falls has been charged with felony domestic assault and causing terror through threats in Morrison County District Court. On July 21st, Little Falls Police responded to a residence where a woman stated she was assaulted by her fiancée. She also told authorities he had threatened her and her unborn baby. Police arrested Justin Bateman and took him into custody. Bateman has continually denied the allegation against him but does have prior convictions of domestic assault in 2007 and 2008 both in Morrison County. If convicted of the recent crimes, he faces 5-years in prison and/or $10,000 in fines. A court date has yet to be set.
--A 32-year-old Pierz man has been charged with felony operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Leon Meyer was charged after a driving complaint of a vehicle leaving black marks on the pavement, striking a curb and getting a flat tire. The driver then left the vehicle and went into a nearby apartment on 6th Avenue Northeast in Little Falls. Meyer allegedly admitted to driving the vehicle and was found to have a blood alcohol level at .212 over twice the legal limit. Meyer has had multiple DWI convictions but none since 2008. He faces 7 years prison and/or $14,000 fines.
--The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District is hosting a centennial celebration for its Gull Lake Dam at the Gull Lake Recreation Area, near Brainerd Saturday at 1pm. Gull Lake Dam, located on the Gull River is about one-half mile below the outlet of Gull Lake, was the last of six headwater dams built by the St. Paul District as part of the nation's first reservoir system.
--St. Cloud Police are investigating an armed robbery Friday at the Hampton Inn. The robbery occurred around 2:30pm when a man entered the lobby, showed a handgun and told the desk clerk to hand over money. The man left with an undisclosed amount of cash. The suspect is described as a white male about 6 feet tall, around 30 years old, 250-275 pounds, wearing a black hooded zippered sweatshirt, black ski mask, blue jeans and wearing leather gloves. Anyone with information is asked to call 320-251-1200.
--Benton County is changing its telephone service provider and the conversation might prevent some after hour calls to the county offices for a couple of hours during the switch times. The county government center, courts and highway department buildings will have provider switch from 5-7pm tonight. The sheriff’s office and jail in Foley will be switched over August 8th again from 5-7pm that night. This will affect those calling the sheriff’s direct line during those times but it will not affect 911 service. Again the transition period should take less than 2 hours to complete on those nights.
--The National Night Out in Little Falls will be 4:30-7:30pm on Tuesday, August 14th at the Little Falls Fire Department. During the event there will be a K-9 Demo and Kitchen Fire Demo, Medical Helicopter, Fire Trucks, Dive Team, CIRT Team, face painting, free food and more. All are invited to attend.
--Authorities have identified the man killed in a one vehicle crash Sunday afternoon on Highway 114 near Alexandria. The State Patrol says an SUV driven by 40-year old Tracy Wendt of Starbuck left the roadway, vaulted and rolled. Wendt was airlifted to the St. Cloud Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The accident report shows Wendt was not wearing a seatbelt.
--Princess Kay of the Milky Way Mary Zahurones will be the guest Wednesday at 8:45am on the KLTF Community Events program. Princess Kay will update the listeners on her recent year as the ambassador of the Minnesota dairy industry and also about her big butter head meltdown event August 13th at Pierz Park.
--Today those wishing to run for their city, township or school board can file starting today and lasting through August 14th. This includes seats for city council, mayor, township supervisor or clerk and also school board in many respected areas of central Minnesota. For more information contact your city hall, township clerk or school district.
--The Crow Wing County Fair begins today and last through the week at the fairgrounds east of Brainerd. The Benton County Fair begins today also and runs through the weekend in Sauk Rapids. The Morrison County Fair is August 9th through the 12th get details on the Morrison County Fair by going to www.fallsradio.com.
--The DNR says the state’s turkey population has rebounded so efficiently that hunting applications for the first time will not have to be done by a special application and lottery process. Turkey hunters will now be able to buy licenses over the counter. In the last few years there has been more fall licenses available than the number of hunters who applied for them. There are an estimated 60,000 turkeys in the state and 7 million nationwide.
--Karl and Judy Smith of Little Falls, girl born July 27th
--Karla F. Martin, age 62 of Little Falls formerly of Tigard, Oregon.
TODAY= sunny, high of 85
TONIGHT= clear becoming partly cloudy, low of 70
WEDNESDAY= partly cloudy, chance of showers and storms, high 90
WEDNESDAY NIGHT= still 30% chance of rain, low 68
THURSDAY= sunny with a high of 85 and clear at night low of 65
FRIDAY= 50% chance of showers and T-storms, high of 83
TWINS= The Twins defeated the Chicago White Sox last night with a walk off RBI sacrifice fly in the 9th inning by Jaime Carroll to win the game 7-6. Tonight the Twins host the White Sox in game 2 of their series. Last week the Twins traded Francisco Liriano to the White Sox and he is expected to start against the Twins tonight. Nick Blackburn will be the starter for Minnesota. 6:40pm pregame on Q92 WYRQ.
Lunch, happy hour, entertainment and more at the West Side Bar
Monday- July 30th, 2012
--A Foley man died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident Thursday. Around 11:10am a motorcycle driven by 23-year old Matthew Theisen of Foley struck a deer on Highway 25 North of Silver Corners in Benton County. Theisen suffered serious injuries in the accident and was airlifted to the St. Cloud Hospital where he later died from his injuries.
--Major John Donovan of Camp Ripley and Major Mitchell Johnson of Badger Company, 407th Civil Affairs Battalion of Arden Hills appeared on KLTF’s Party Line Friday and discussed the battalion has been in Little Falls over the past week meeting with county administrators, city councils, mayors and other officials in 15 cities. The visits are part of training to work with government officials here in Morrison County and use those skills to work with high ranking officials in other countries such as cities in Africa, Iraq or Afghanistan where soldiers have been recently deployed to. During the course of the visits, Johnson said the soldiers were able to see differences as well as similarities in small towns. A solution used in one town, may be useful in another. Major Donovan also reiterated that a number of items will be going on at Camp Ripley through August, and don’t’ be alarmed if you see white streams from rockets in the air and loud audible noises from training going on. If you have questions, contact the Major at 616-2726.
--Despite some rain last week in portions of the state, Minnesota is getting drier by the day. The latest U.S drought monitor shows more counties entering severe drought including much of southwestern Minnesota along with Houston County in the southeast. Several northwestern Minnesota counties have been in a severe drought much of the summer and more counties including portions of west-central Minnesota are in a moderate drought. Central and eastern Minnesota has been ruled to have had adequate moisture so far but even some of those spots have become quite dry in recent weeks.
--The Morrison County Sheriff’s Office released information of someone being pulled out of the water at Fishtrap Lake in Cushing. Back on July 20th, authorities were called to Cushing about a missing person and noticed two parties pulling a man to shore. Deputies assisted life-saving measures until first responders arrived. The man was identified as Todd Plohasz, who had reportedly had a medical condition while swimming after a pontoon had floated away. Todd’s wife and neighbors were able to bring him to shore before deputies arrived. Plohasz was airlifted to St. Cloud Hospital.
--Investigators have found 16 pounds of cocaine that would be worth up to $700,000 in a suspicious pallet in Cold Spring. Police were called Thursday morning about the pallet and members of the Central Minnesota Violent Offenders Task Force were then called to the business where the pallet was found. Twenty bags were found hidden in the pallet which was accidentally damaged during handing and employees noticed the contents inside. Investigators don’t know how long the pallet was at the business in Cold Spring, but they feel that this was an isolated incident and that there are no other pallets containing cocaine there. The Violent Offender Task Force and Cold Spring-Richmond Police are continuing the investigation.
--Todd County is investigating the theft of a stop sign in Stowe Prairie Township on 141st Avenue. Anyone with information on the missing stop sign is asked to contact authorities.
--Morrison County Fair, August 9th-12th, get details at fallsradio.com.
--Little Falls firefighters responded to 2 fires last week. The first on June 22nd at 1pm was a grass fire near the split of Highways 10 and 371. The fire was extinguished. Then a report Wednesday around 5:30pm of a fire at Pine Grove Manor apartments, firefighters said one tenant was removed from a smoke-filled apartment. Firefighters say the smoke was from a pot left unattended. The apartment had some minor smoke damage. There were no injuries.
--The new Little Falls School Superintendent, Stephen Jones, will be the guest on KLTF’s Community Events program Tuesday at 8:45am, listen in to hear what Superintendent Jones plans for the upcoming school year in 2012-2013.
--Cass County Sheriff Tom Bursch in a statement Friday said that the woman taken into custody involving the death of 27-year-old Mark Huesman of Pine River has been released but remains a person of interest in the case. Bursch then stated that authorities have identified a male suspect who is currently in custody in another facility on unrelated charges. Bursch would not go into any other details on the case, only that the investigation continues. Huesman’s body was found in a shallow grave Tuesday night in Pine River.
--Justin and Amber Mielke of Little Falls, boy born July 26th
--Christopher and Erin Litzinger of Royalton, boy born July 26th
--Laura L. Linnerud, age 54 of Little Falls.
--Donald ‘Don’ Schmidtz, age 79 of Lastrup.
--Evelyn G. Lovine, age 103 of Upsala.
--Wallace Mattock, age 87 of Little Falls.
--Alex J. Klemaseski, age 94 of Little Falls.
TODAY= chance of storms early, then sunny, high 85.
TONIGHT= clear skies, low around 62.
TUESDAY= mostly sunny, high of 85, clear and 65 at night.
WEDNESDAY= chance of thunderstorms, high 85 to 90.
TWINS= Twins rout Indians 11-0 Friday as Scott Diamond pitches a complete game shutout. Twins win 12-5 Saturday with big games from Alexi Casilla and Josh Willingham. Twins got the sweep thanks to a 3 hit game by Justin Morneau to win 5-1. Twins start a series tonight against Chicago at home. The White Sox swept the Twins last week in Chicago. Pregame is tonight at 6:40pm on Q92 WYRQ.
MLB= Twins traded Francisco Liriano to the Chicago White Sox Saturday night for two young prospects.
OLY= 2 central Minnesotans are competing at the London Olympics. Amanda Smock of Melrose is in the women’s triple jump preliminaries Friday and the finals are this Sunday. Alise Post of St. Cloud is competing in BMX racing, that event is August 8th and 10th.
REGION 8C= Saturday winners were Avon, Sobieski, Lastrup and Buckman. Sunday- Nisswa eliminated Freeport, St. Stephen eliminated St. Mathias, Avon beat Lastrup and Sobieski defeated Buckman, tournament continues Saturday in Avon. Get full details on all the games at www.fallsradio.com click on Victory League.
Need LUNCH today then stop in to West Side Bar in Little Falls.
Friday- July 27th, 2012
--A long list of criminal charges has been filed against two one-time athletes at Browerville High School in connection with the alleged sexual assaults of more than a half dozen teammates. 18-year-old Seth Kellen is accused of carrying out a number of criminal sexual acts. Prosecutors have charged him with 20 separate criminal counts. 18-year-old Connor Burns is charged with six separate criminal counts involving helping Kellen sexually assault a teammate and taking part in the assault himself. Investigators say an alleged sexual assault took place at Horseshoe Lake in Todd County following a football captain’s practice. A parent called authorities and told them a number of football players began dunking a teammate while he was swimming and then sexually assaulted him. Detectives began interviewing Browerville athletes and say they uncovered a pattern of criminal sexual behavior by Kellen that took place in the school locker room, the locker room showers, in the gym and inside a hotel room at the State High School Basketball Tournament this March. Both defendants are scheduled to appear in Todd County August 20th.
--July 24th marked the 3-year anniversary of the disappearance of Peter Achermann. Investigators in Cass County are putting the case of a missing man back in the spotlight in the hopes a new lead arises. Peter Achermann of rural Staples left his residence on July 24, 2009 to run errands and was last seen on Warner Road by the Crow Wing River that afternoon. Achermann's vehicle was located off County Rd. 32 at the end of a minimum maintenance road one day later. Despite extensive searches of the area, no trace of the 82-year-old man was ever found. While several leads have been followed up on, there is nothing substantial to help determine the circumstances surrounding Peter's disappearance. Anyone with information, tips or leads on Peter Achermann's whereabouts is asked to contact the Cass County Sheriff's Office at (800) 450-2677.
--The body of a missing Pine River man was found in a shallow grave late Tuesday night and a 20-year-old woman is in custody. Cass County Sheriff Tom Bursch said the body of Mark Huesmann was located on property of JB’s Welding and Repair in rural Pine River. The body was taken to Ramsey County for an autopsy to determine cause of death. An acquaintance of Huesmann was taken into custody, the name being withheld pending formal charges. Sheriff Bursch stated that there may be more suspects sought in this case.
--The survivor of a deadly plane crash last Sunday in Crosslake is reliving his experience. Frederick Hammer Jr. said he and his friend Dan Steffen had flown many times before and were flying lower than usual and traveling at 50 miles per hour in an experimental plane so Hammer could shoot some pictures of the area. Hammer said that Steffen had taken all safety measures with the plane before takeoff but when they reached Upper Whitefish Lake did a slight climb then all of a sudden it pitched hard left and went into a hard spiral, nose down and struck the water and shoreline. Steffen died at the scene. Hammer was treated at the Crosby Hospital and later released.
--The public is invited to a hearing and open house Monday, August 13th, to comment on the environmental assessment worksheet for the proposed Highway 10/Benton County Road 2 interchange project in Rice. The meeting will occur from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Rice City Hall.
--A busy weekend of events, including Our Lady of Lourdes Bazaar in Little Falls, a hoe-down for Randall Presbyterian Church at the Randall Bingo Park Sunday, and Halfway Jam south of Royalton.
--A fundraiser is planned for Saturday at Pine Grove Zoo in Little Falls on working to get a zebra at the zoo. The idea came from 11-year-old Gage VanRisseghem who asked about getting a zebra and putting a fundraising effort together for it. The Sponsor a Stripe Committee has been assembled of youth working with Gage, community members and others to get this accomplished. The kickoff of this is tomorrow with a fundraiser garage sale from 8am to 6pm at the Pine Grove Zoo playground shelter. There will also be face painting and other activities at the event will all proceeds going toward bringing a zebra to the Pine Grove Zoo. When making donations for the garage sale, people are asked to first call 632-6847 or 630-2148. Clothing items will not be accepted. Those wishing to contribute a monetary donation send it to the Pine Grove Zoo, 1200 W. Broadway, Little Falls, MN 56345, Attention; “Sponsor a Stripe.” Donations for Sponsor a Stripe are tax-deductable.
--Filings for city, township and school board officials open Tuesday and will last until August 14th. This includes city council seats, mayor, township officials whose seats are up in the November general election and members of the school board in area districts that have seats up for reelection. Filings are accepted for a $2 charge at respected city halls, schools and township clerks.
--A 16-year-old Sauk Rapids boy was stabbed Tuesday after a fight with another teenager. Sauk Rapids police said the incident happened around 3:30pm where a 17-year-old pulled the knife and the cut the other boy in the chest. The 16-year-old is hospitalized in St. Cloud and is expected to recover. Charges are pending at this time.
--Randy Rossum, age 47 of Cushing.
TODAY= party cloudy, high 75 to 80.
TONIGHT= clear skies, low 55 to 60.
SATURDAY= sunny early, chance of PM storm, high 80, low 65.
SUNDAY= sunny skies, warmer, high 86, low around 70.
MONDAY= sunny and warm, high near 90, storms Monday night.
TWINS= Twins off Thursday. Twins host Cleveland this weekend at Target Field. Pregame starts at 6:40pm Friday, 5:40pm Saturday and 12:40pm on Sunday, with all games live on Q92 WYRQ.
REGION 8C= The Region 8C Tournament starts Saturday and Sunday at Pierz Legion Park. Saturday at 11-Freeport vs. Avon, then Sobieski vs. St. Stephen, at 5pm Lastrup vs. Nisswa followed by St. Mathias and Buckman. Another 4 games Sunday, with the elimination games at 11 and 1:30 then winners from Saturday play games at 5 and 8pm Sunday. All games live on AM960 KLTF.
HS= Little Falls Community Schools All Sports meeting is August 9th at 7pm at the High School. Pierz has their all sports meeting on August 6th, registration at 6:30pm with meeting to follow. If your student wants to play sports this year for either school, parents and students need to be at their respected sports meeting.
VIKINGS= Vikings signed #1 draft pick Matt Kalil of USC The deal is worth about 20-million dollars for 4 years this included a 12-million dollars signing bonus.
“DJ Jesse” tonight and Saturday at West Side Bar
Thursday- July 26th, 2012
--One person is dead after a 2-vehicle accident Wednesday in Little Falls. According to Police Chief Greg Schirmers, a vehicle driven by 83-year-old Roman Cichon was stopped at Highway 27 facing east and making a left hand turn north on 9th Street Northeast. The Cichon vehicle struck a 2nd vehicle traveling west on 27. That vehicle was driven by 67-year-old Ronald Wuellner of Little Falls. Wuellner later died from his injuries. The accident is under investigation.
--On Tuesday night around 7:10pm Morrison County Deputies and Scandia Valley First Responders were called to Auger’s Resort in Scandia Valley Township for a report of a female subject who had been burned over a large portion of her body. Upon arrival they treated 44-year old Kristi Valynn Kooima Stroeh from Laverne. Deputies learned from witnesses that Kooima Stroeh had been using camping fuel to light a campfire. A gust of wind blew the fuel onto her; she caught fire and was burned over a large portion of the front of her body. Kooima Stroeh was transported by helicopter to Hennepin County Medical Center and listed Wednesday afternoon in satisfactory condition with burns over 15-18% of her body.
--Benton County has set November 5th as the trial date for Angelina O’Mara. O’Mara is accused of killing her ex-husband last November in Sauk Rapids. O’Mara also faces murder charges in Wisconsin where she is accused of killing her boyfriend just 1 day after the killing in Sauk Rapids is to have taken place. Her attorney has asked for the trial to be moved out of Foley but the judge denied that request.
--The jobless rate in Morrison County rose in June as did a number of central Minnesota counties even through the state average stayed the same at 5.6%. Morrison County rose from 5.7% to 6.1%, Todd rose from 5.1 to 5.8%, Mille Lacs from 8.1 to 8.4% in June, Aitkin and Wadena also saw the jobless rate rise in their counties. Brainerd was one of the top cities in unemployment with nearly 12% of the city reportedly without work, but with the summer tourist season starting earlier than average the jobless rate in June was 9.5% now making Bemidji and Grand Rapids the top cities for unemployment in the state with Clearwater and Kanabec County having the 2 highest jobless rates at over 9%. The rates as a whole dropped with the lowest rates in the Twin Cities Metro Area and western Minnesota.
--The Department of Natural Resources, Stearns County and Sauk Rapids law enforcement aided a stranded man Tuesday afternoon near the Sauk Rapids Bridge. The man had walked out to a rock ledge to fish and was stranded after the water level rose. A jet boat was used to get to the man around 1:30pm. He was not injured.
--A 56-year-old Clear Lake man was charged in Crow Wing County on several drug counts including possession of over 34 grams of hallucinogen mushrooms and over 16 grams of methamphetamine. Breezy Point police arrested Dana McEachern on July 18th following a traffic stop for speeding. McEachern was on probation from a first degree possession of a controlled substance conviction which prevented him from having any controlled substances or alcohol. Officers found an open alcoholic beverage then after a search of the vehicle with a K9 unit, the mushrooms, methamphetamine and other controlled substances and alcohol was found. McEachern’s next court appearance in Crow Wing County is scheduled for Friday.
--A motorcyclist was hurt Tuesday morning at the intersection of Highways 371 and 210 in Baxter. Norman Armstrong of Pequot Lakes collided with a car at the intersection just after 8am, and was taken to Brainerd hospital with facial injuries. The other driver was not hurt.
--The State Auditor’s Office has asked for an investigation into a Morrison County Commissioner for reportedly receiving per diem payments from the county and a joint powers board at the same time. State Auditor Rebecca Otto sent a letter July 13th stating that District 4 Commissioner Don Meyer between 2006 and this year received per diem payments that were questionable and totaled over $3,500 to Meyer. County Attorney Brian Middendorf has forwarded the report to the Sherburne County Attorney’s Office to look over to determine if charges are warranted. This was done to avoid a conflict of interest. Once that investigation is complete, County Administrator Deb Gruber stated the county will conduct their own investigation.
--The Minnesota National Guard is conducting training on the installation from July 27th - August 9th that will cause noise that may exceed what has been heard in the local area over the past few years. On Friday the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System will fire rockets that will be seen with long white streams of smoke across the sky and loud audible noises. Starting Saturday thru August 3rd, M1A2 Abrahams Tanks as well as 120mm Mortar fire will be heard during day and nighttime hours. From July 30th - August 9th the M777 155mm Howitzer will be heard with loud audible noises similar to thunder. Firing will be heard during day and nighttime hours. Individuals with questions about the noise on Camp Ripley please contact the Camp Ripley Operations Office at 320-616-2710.
--FEMA denied the addition of the Individual Assistance Program. This was applied for by the counties of Aitkin, Crow Wing, Carlton, Lake, Pine, St. Louis and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Preliminary damage assessments were recently conducted and it was determined that the damage was not severe enough to warrant the implementation of Individual Assistance. Governor Mark Dayton late Wednesday has directed Homeland Security and Emergency Management to appeal FEMA’s denial for the individual assistance. The Governor did secure federal money for damage to public infrastructure in 13 counties for the flooding that occurred in May and June. This recent assistance was for northeastern Minnesota on an individual basis for homeowners and businesses.
--Dorothy Dubbs, age 87 of Edina.
--Jeddy I. Rocheleau, age 88 of Belle Prairie.
--Dionysia ‘Donna’ Sanoski, age 78 of Little Falls.
--Sister Mary Cordelia Bloch, age 84 of St. Francis Convent.
TODAY= scattered showers and T-storms, partly sunny, high 78.
TONIGHT= scattered showers early then clearing, cooler, low 57.
FRIDAY= partly cloudy, less humid, high 75, low around 55.
SATURDAY= mostly sunny, high 80, storm after midnight, low 65.
SUNDAY= early storms, then partly sunny, warmer, high 86.
TWINS= White Sox sweep the Twins by winning 8-2 Wednesday in Chicago. Twins off today, host Cleveland Friday night.
8C= Region 8C Baseball Tournament begins Saturday with 4 games at Pierz Legion Park, then another 4 games Sunday in Pierz. All 8 games starting Saturday at 11am will be heard on AM960 KLTF.
“DJ Jesse” Friday and Saturday, free sober cab Fri/Sat at WS Bar
Wednesday- July 25, 2012
--A Morrison County lake is to be designated as infested by the Department of Natural Resources. A conservation officer discovered Eurasian milfoil rooting in one portion of Lake Shamineau in the northwestern section of the county. The DNR plans to manage the invasive species but stated that attempts to kill it would not be realistic. Shamineau becomes the 261st body of water in Minnesota to be designated infested due to invasive species.
--The Pierz City Council met Monday night. The city received one bid for the Peter Avenue Lot. The council felt that bid was too low but a conditional offer was made by the city to the interested party for $15,500. The conditions are the legal description of the lot and price would be agreed upon by the interested party. Pierz does have a budget meeting scheduled on Monday. The council also wants to remind everyone of the upcoming butterhead meltdown from 3:00-7:00pm on August 13th at Pierz Park. All are invited.
--Area firefighters have been busy with oven and grass fires. Brainerd firefighters responded to oven fires Thursday, Friday and Sunday, in all cases there was minimal damage to the residences in question and no injuries. Firefighters did assist a personal injury accident on Highway 371 and Gull Dam Road Sunday and a car fire on Novotny Road, no other information on those incidents were released. Little Falls firefighters and police responded to a grass fire Sunday just before 1pm. No other information on that incident was released.
--A man pulled from a Wright County lake died over the weekend despite efforts from bystanders to save his life. A Sheriff's Office spokesperson said deputies were called to Sugar Lake in Corinna Township Saturday afternoon. When they arrived, they found people performing CPR on 75-year-old Edward Solomon of Menlo Park, California. Initial investigation indicates Solomon had been swimming when he went under the water. He was ambulanced to St. Cloud Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
--A Sartell man was injured Friday when 2 vehicles collided at Highway 371 and County Road 77 north of Baxter just before 9am. Joseph Zaczkowski was taken to Brainerd hospital and treated for injuries. The other driver, 23-year-old Brian Borg of Brainerd, was not injured. Baxter police are investigating the accident.
--The State Patrol is investigating a fatal crash late Monday in eastern Minnesota. A minivan collided with a car on Highway 48 near Hinckley. Three people were involved in the crash with at least one fatality. No other information was released in the accident.
--Power was out for a portion of time Monday in Sartell, St. Cloud and Waite Park and failed cables were the culprit. Over 150 customers in those areas lost power between 5 and 6am Monday until early afternoon while the cables were repaired. Xcel Energy continues to investigate why the cables failed on Monday morning.
--Last week it was reported that Royalton is looking into an operating levy referendum to be put on the November ballot with discussion on this to come up at their August 13th meeting. Yesterday Sauk Rapids-Rice Superintendent Dan Bittman stated that they are discussing a possible levy referendum vote in November for his school district. Their board meets tonight and is expected to vote to send out a survey to school district residents to gather input from the community for a possible referendum on the November ballot. Sauk-Rapids Rice School District is one of 42 in the state currently that are without any sort of operational levy.
--Morrison County deputies responded to a call last night of a woman being burned over a large part of her body in Scandia Valley Township about 20 miles northwest of Little Falls. Upon arrival deputies and first responders treated the 44-year-old female and established a landing zone for a helicopter to airlift her to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. The woman’s name was not released. Witnesses stated the woman was using a camping fuel to light a camp fire when a gust of wind blew the fuel onto her and she caught fire and was burned over a large portion of her body.
--Little Falls artist Charles Kapsner is participating in the National VFW Summer Convention in Reno, Nevada where he is presenting an update on the Minnesota Vets Cemetery Veterans Art Project. Kapsner made his presentation Tuesday. The first of five paintings was completed in 2011 recognizing the history of the U.S. Army and is permanently displayed on a wall in the Committal Hall at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls. Kapsner is currently working on the 2nd 8'x10' oil painting recognizing the history of the U.S. Navy. These paintings will be followed by the U.S. Marine Corp/Merchant Marines, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Air Force.
--A judge has ordered a North Dakota construction worker accused of killing his three young daughters to stand trial in Wisconsin. Prosecutors presented enough evidence during a preliminary hearing Tuesday to try Aaron Schaffhausen on three counts of first-degree intentional homicide. Investigators say he showed up July 10 at the River Falls home where his ex-wife lived with his daughters, aged 11, 8 and 5. Police say they received a hysterical call from Jessica Schaffhausen, who was not home. She said her ex-husband told her he had killed their daughters and that she could come home. Schaffhausen is being held on a $2 million cash bond. His arraignment has been set for August 28th.
--The first American woman to fly in space has died. Dr. Sally Ride flew into space on the Shuttle Challenger in 1983. Her office reported that Ride died this past weekend from pancreatic cancer. She was 61.
--Debora M. Noble, age 51 of Alexandria formerly of Long Prairie
TODAY= showers and T-storms in morning, then humid, high 85.
TONIGHT= mostly cloudy, isolated T-storm, foggy, low 62.
THURSDAY= showers and storms likely, turning windy, high 74.
FRIDAY= sunny and comfortable, high 75.
TWINS= White Sox rock Twins relievers for 9 runs in the last 2 innings to win 11-4 last night. One bright spot, Josh Willingham homered twice and leads the team with 25. Twins wrap up series with the White Sox today, pregame at 12:40pm on Q92 WYRQ.
TODAY IN HISTORY
IN 1854= Walter Hunt patented the paper shirt collar
IN 1966= Tommy James and the Shondell’s hit #1 with Hanky Panky
IN 1975= “A Chorus Line” opened on Broadway.
“DJ Jesse” Friday and Saturday at the West Side Bar
Tuesday- July 24th, 2012
--The Pillager Area Fire and Rescue intentionally set fire to the Assembly of God Church on Hazel Avenue and East 3rd Street Saturday. Smoke could be seen for miles and County Highway 1 was closed for a time Saturday due to the controlled burn of the church. This was part of a training practice burn that they hosted. The property was donated to the fire department for the burn. The Assembly of God Church in Pillager recently moved to a new site.
--Drivers in St. Cloud will encounter detours and delays with work on Stearns County Road 120 around the CentraCare Circle for construction of a new roundabout. Detours signs will be posted around the area to reroute traffic. The work coincides with construction of a diverging-diamond interchange at County Road 120 and Minnesota Highway 23. The first part of the construction began Monday and will continue through August. The bulk of the interchange work though will not take place until next year.
--Drivers will have to find alternate routes around St. Cloud State University this week and next. Maintenance work is being down on the University Bridge now through August 5th. University Drive will be closed from 5th Avenue South to Kilian Boulevard. Detours will be posted. This is due to earlier this month when pieces of concrete fell from the pedestrian bridge and maintenance is needed to be done prior to the fall semester beginning at the university.
--Wildfire season seems to have no end in Minnesota. Crews worked Sunday and Monday at a fire in the northwestern town of Ulen in Clay County. One structure was destroyed but a nearby farm was saved. There is a high fire danger over northwestern Minnesota. Fires were reported in 8 counties since Friday including Hubbard and Cass.
--Stearns County is investigating a motor vehicle accident Saturday in Lynden Township. Deputies say just before midnight they were called to a 1-vehicle accident on County Road 145 with injuries. The vehicle reportedly failed to negotiate a curve, overturned and struck a utility pole. 37-year-old Jason Loch and 35-year-old Kristen Krautkremer both of Clearwater were found at the scene. Krautkremer was taken to St. Cloud Hospital and listed Sunday in stable condition. There was no word if Loch was hospitalized. The Sheriff’s Office stated they were investigating on who the driver was and criminal charges are possible in the case according to the sheriff’s report.
--The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency concluded that 34 enforcement cases in 26 counties throughout Minnesota during the second quarter of 2012 were not in environmental compliance and received fines from the MPCA. Of the more than $326,000 issued in penalties in these cases, nearly $115,000 will be spent toward the completion of supplemental environmental projects. The violators included; Minnesota State Colleges and University System, Brainerd and St. Cloud, for hazardous waste violations $25,700; Rick Winter-Avon Ag Lime/Huls Trucking, St. Joseph, for water quality violations – $10,000; Jack’s Auto Parts LLC, Sauk Centre, for stormwater violations – $4,300. There were also 2 violations in Cass Lake. A complete summary of environmental enforcement actions and the full list of those in violation can be at the MPCA website.
--The Teacher’s Tea event scheduled for today at the Rural Schoolhouse at the Morrison County Fairgrounds has been cancelled due to recent hot weather. There is no make up date at this time.
--A reminder to expect heavier traffic flows on Highway 10 near Royalton later this week with Halfway Jam Thursday to Saturday.
--The names of the two Crosslake men in the plane crash Sunday morning on Upper White Fish Lake have been released. The pilot 55-year old Dan Morgan Steffen was pronounced dead at the scene after resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful. His passenger, 61-year old Frederick Graham Hammer Jr. was taken to a Crosby hospital then airlifted to Minneapolis where he was listed Monday in satisfactory condition. Sheriff Todd Dahl stated yesterday that the crash is still under investigation but witnesses stated they heard the engines then didn’t before the plane veered hard left and struck the water.
--Tailgating, unsafe passing, running lights and weaving in and out of traffic are typical traits of aggressive drivers that can turn roads deadly. The Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety is providing tips for motorists when confronted by an aggressive driver as statewide speed enforcement continues in July. Last year, common aggressive driving behaviors resulted in 61 deaths and 6,791 injuries. Traits of aggressive drivers also include honking, screaming at motorists, as well as making hand gestures. What to Do When Encountering an Aggressive Driver; Get out of their way; Stay calm; Do not challenge them; Avoid eye contact; Ignore gestures and don’t return them; and be buckled up. Motorists may report aggressive driving by calling 911 and should be prepared to provide vehicle description, license number and location. Extra speed patrols continue statewide in Minnesota in July.
--The Colorado movie theater shooting suspect made his first court appearance. 24-year-old James Holmes sat motionless, handcuffed with his reddish orange hair. He appeared in court after being accused of the shooting rampage that killed 12 people and injured 58 others last Friday morning. The judge said he would be formally changed next Monday. Prosecutors want the death penalty.
--Jim Grettum, age 84 of Little Falls.
--Kathleen K. Nelson, age 54 of Avon.
--Bernard “Bernie” Voegtle, age 86 of Pierz
--Janet I. Siegel, age 76 of Randall.
TODAY= scattered storms, then partly sunny, high 86
TONIGHT= showers and storms likely, some severe, low 67.
WEDNESDAY= showers and storms likely, some severe, high 83.
THURSDAY= showers and storms early, then sunny, high near 80.
TWINS= Chicago beat the Twins 7-4 last night. Twins and Chicago play game 2 tonight with pregame at 6:40pm on Q92 WYRQ.
TODAY IN HISTORY
IN 1933= President Franklin Roosevelt started a routine of radio shows, which would later be called “Fireside Chats”.
IN 1983= George Brett had a homerun called an out in the infamous pine-tar incident with the Yankees and Royals when Billy Martin told umpires to look at Brett’s bat. The ump ruled Martin was right and called Brett out. The play would later be overturned by MLB officials.
Enjoy lunch stick around for Happy Hour today at West Side Bar.
Monday- July 23rd, 2012
--Minnesota employers added 7,200 jobs in June keeping the jobless rate for the month the same as it was in May. The jobless rate for the state is at 5.6% meaning that Minnesota has continued a steady pace of job production despite an uneven labor market. The National Average of Unemployment for June was 8.2%. County and city totals for the state will be released later this week.
--The Morrison County Sheriff’s Office in the past week made an arrest of a 48-year-old Little Falls man during a domestic situation at a residence after a report of a female being choked. They helped with a vehicle fire reported in Pierz. The vehicle was sitting beside a shed. The vehicle was a total loss and the shed had minor damage. Pierz firefighters helped deputies. Little Falls police investigated a number of picnic tables with a stamp/logo of Little Falls on them in the Mississippi River last Tuesday afternoon. The three tables were reported missing from Maple Island Park. Anyone with information on the incident or who saw suspicious activity is asked to call police.
--A Pine River man was sentenced in Cass County District Court on felony burglary charges from a string of burglaries in 2011. 25-year-old Richard Roubal was sentenced on two separate charges of 3rd degree burglary and receiving stolen property. He was also charged with violating his 2005 probation on another burglary conviction. Roubal received 21 months in prison on the stolen property and burglary charges, plus he will serve the remainder of his 48 month sentence for convictions of burglary back in 2005 and the probation violation. Roubal was convicted for burglarizing at least 5 residences in the summer and fall of 2011 in the Pine River area.
--The Central Minnesota Violent Offender Task Force arrested several people Wednesday after citizen complaints about a St. Cloud residence where methamphetamine was being sold. 42-year-old Kelly Wallin owned the residence and was arrested on 2nd degree sale of a controlled substance, 27-year-old Nathan Johnson was arrested after a vehicle in the driveway was reported stolen from West St. Paul and Johnson allegedly told officers he was the driver. 28-year-old Brandon Rossman was arrested after officers learned he was in violation of his probation. All have been booked in Stearns County. The Violent Offender Task Force is made up of deputies from Stearns County along with officers from Little Falls and St. Cloud police.
--The Morrison County Commissioners meet Tuesday at 9am at the Government Center. Agenda items include numerous reports from county agencies including social services, extension office, public health, public works and the auditor’s report.
--Staff of Congressman Chip Cravaack will conduct a mobile office Friday at 10:30am at City Hall in Onamia. Anyone with questions for the 8th District Congressman should address his staff on Friday.
--Todd County reported a safe was taken from a Browerville residence. Sometime between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning someone allegedly entered Kevin Whiteside’s apartment along Highway 71 and took the safe. Anyone with information on the theft is asked to contact the Todd County Sheriff’s Office.
--It’s County Fair Time and a number of central Minnesota county fairs begin this and next week. Stearns County in Sauk Centre is this Wednesday through Sunday and Todd County in Long Prairie has their fair Thursday through Sunday. Benton County is July 30th through August 5th in Sauk Rapids, Crow Wing County is July 31st through August 4th in Brainerd. Morrison County and Mille Lacs County have their County Fairs August 9th through the 12th.
--A plane crash on Upper White Fish Lake near Crosslake killed one man and injured another Sunday shortly before 10:00am. The 55-year old pilot from Cross Lake was pronounced dead at the scene but his passenger, a 61-year old Crosslake man was treated at the scene and transported to Cuyuna Regional Medical Center for serious injuries. The body of the pilot has been sent to the Ramsey County Medical Examiners Office for an autopsy. The names have not been released. The cause of the crash is under investigation. Eye witnesses indicated the two found were the only ones in the small plane.
--A gunman wearing a gas mask and black SWAT gear hurled a gas canister inside a crowded movie theater during the midnight showing of the Dark Knight Rises Friday in Aurora, Colorado just outside of Denver, and then opened fire killing 12 and wounding nearly 60 others ranging in ages from 4 months to 60 years old. The gunman was arrested near a car behind the theater and identified as 24-year-old James Holmes. Authorities have given no motives for the attacks as Holmes is refusing to talk to police. The FBI has been called in and stated that there is no indication of any ties to terrorist groups and that it looks like Holmes acted alone.
--Karen A. Poff, age 45 of St. Cloud.
--Sister Mary Justina Bieganek, age 100 of St. Francis Convent LF
--Mary Burke, age 85 of Randall formerly of Wadena
--Otto Leonard Pohl, age 98 of Little Falls.
TODAY= partly sunny, high of 85.
TONIGHT= showers and T-storms, low around 65.
TUESDAY= storms in morning then partly sunny, high 85.
TUES NIGHT= storms likely with heavy rain, low around 65.
WEDNESDAY= storms in morning, then mostly cloudy, high 83.
TWINS= Josh Willingham singled home Joe Mauer in the 11th inning to lift the Twins to a 2-1 win Friday over Kansas City. Kansas City gets to Scott Diamond early and goes on to a 7-3 win Saturday. Ryan Doumit homered from each side of the plate Sunday, only 3rd Twin to do that as the Twins hold off Kansas City 7-5 to take the series. Twins open a series at Chicago tonight against the White Sox, pregame at 6:40pm on Q92 WYRQ.
VIKINGS= former Vikings General Manager Mike Lynn has died at age 76. Lynn served as the Viking GM from 1975-1990 but is best remembered for the ill-fated Herschel Walker trade in late 1988 that sent 5 players and 7 draft picks to Dallas, where they would end up winning 3 Super Bowls in the 1990s.
8C= The Region 8C Tournament is set for this weekend at Pierz Legion Park. Games begin at 11am Saturday with Freeport vs. Avon, then St. Stephen vs. Sobieski. The 5pm game is Nisswa vs. Lastrup followed by Buckman and St. Mathias. Winners and losers will then play on Sunday with 4 games again in Pierz starting at 11am. All game over the weekend will be live on AM960 KLTF.
OLY= Opening ceremonies of Olympics in London are Friday night.
Hungry! Stop in for lunch today at the West Side Bar in Little Falls.
Friday, July 20th, 2012
--The Randall City Council met Wednesday night. Dan Noss thanked the council for signing the “City of Veteran’s Memorials” proclamation and asked for the council approval to order 2 signs at no cost to the city to be installed below the City Population signs on Highway 10 which will read “City of Veteran’s Memorials”. Dan also updated the council on the Yellow Ribbon Network of Morrison County and asked for permission to hang a banner somewhere in the city for a two – three week period. It was decided to hang the banner on the West side of the fire hall building, after contacting the president of the Joint Advisory Fire Board to be sure it is ok. They announced that candidacy filings will be July 31st through August 14th for two city council positions and Mayor.
--FEMA is expected by early next week to rule if Cass County should be added to the list of counties declared a disaster area due to flooding and wind storms in May and June. State official visited Cass County Thursday to evaluate public infrastructure damage and damage to forestry and parks in the county and report back to the Federal Emergency Management Administration. The declaration would cover public infrastructure damage which is estimated near $100,000. Already the county has topped 3-million dollar in relief expenses. Crow Wing and Aitkin counties were put on the list of disaster areas earlier this month from the May and June storms.
--Minnesota House Speaker, Republican Kurt Zellers announced Tuesday at a stop in Little Falls that he is endorsing Ron Kresha for State Representative in the redistricted House District 9B. Kresha is vying for the seat this November against DFL Candidate Adrian Welle.
--The Pierz City Council meets Monday at 7pm at City Hall Agenda items include upcoming reminders on the Princess Kay Corn Feed on August 13th, a public hearing on Small Cities Development Program September 10th and a budget meeting July 30th. The council will discuss the bids that have been received for the Peter Avenue Lot.
--The Minnesota State Fair is a little over a month away and they are announcing the new attractions and exhibits for this year. A big sandbox will be in Baldwin Park, the Boy Scouts will have an adventure summit, new midway rides and an Ag Star arena. Another attraction will be the “Soaring Domes” an inflatable monumental sculpture that you can walk through and experience lights, colors and music including a Laser show every night at 9pm on a gigantic screen on the north end of the fairgrounds. State Fair begins August 23rd.
--The former vice president and bank manager of the State Bank of Bertha was sentenced Tuesday for the theft of $80,000 from the bank. 68-year-old Kenneth Ashbaugh will serve five years probation, 30 days in Todd County Jail, six months of home confinement, and 500 hours of community service. He must pay almost $102,000 in restitution. Ashbaugh reached a plea agreement with the U.S. government after admitting he stole about $80,000 from September 2010, to June 2011 from the bank. The bank manager admitted he also fraudulently obtained loans from the bank by misrepresenting the identity of a person seeking the loan or ability to pay loan back.
--You still have time to donate to your local food shelf and help them compete for matching dollars in the 3rd Annual Food Shelf $100,000 Challenge. Food shelf is highest when schools are out of session as many children don’t have free meals and families are living paycheck to paycheck. The challenge runs through July 31st. Morrison County has Food Shelves in Little Falls, Pierz and Motley.
--The Minnesota Supreme Court will make the decision if a Photo ID amendment will be added to the November state ballot. Proponents of the push to require photo ID and make other polling place changes asked the court to undo revisions by Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. The Democrat cast aside the title legislators chose to appear above the ballot question in favor of his own. Lawyers for Republican legislators and two pro-amendment groups say Ritchie didn’t have the power to scrap the Legislature’s five-word title for an 11-word substitute. Ritchie’s office contends state law gives him the power to name amendments. The case mirrors a similar fight over the title for an amendment defining marriage in Minnesota as only between a man and a woman.
--A 58-year-old from St. Cloud was sentenced in Benton County Court Thursday to 3 years 3 months in prison. Robert Pfeifer was convicted in a string of burglaries in Stearns and Benton Counties. Pfeifer took a plea agreement to have some of the charges against dismissed after admitting to at least 15 of the burglaries charged against him.
--Loud noises are expected to be coming from Maple Island Park tomorrow. Metal Fest, a music festival celebrating metal music, will be held Saturday from 2-7pm at Maple Island Park in Little Falls. The event is presented by Great River Arts Association as a highlight of its Arts in the Park summer concert series.
--Winifred ‘Winnie’ S. Galbraith, age 90 of St. Cloud and Little Falls
TODAY= partly cloudy, chance of thunderstorms, high near 90.
TONIGHT= isolated evening storms, then partly cloudy, low near 65.
SATURDAY= sunny, high around 85; partly cloudy night low 63
SUNDAY= isolated storm, mostly sunny, high near 90, low 66.
MONDAY= sunny and continued warm, high 90, low around 65.
TWINS= Another great start for the Twins spoiled by relief pitching as Baltimore rallied in the late innings to beat the Twins 4-3 to split the 4 game series. Twins travel to Kansas City tonight for a 3 game series with the Royals. Pregame coverage begins at 6:40pm tonight, 5:40pm Saturday and 12:40pm on Sunday. All live on Q92 WYRQ.
OLY= The 2012 Summer Olympics are only one week away with a number of Minnesotans competing for the United States. The Opening Ceremonies are next Friday night in London.
VL= Game of the Week Saturday, Fort Ripley at Nisswa 1:30 KLTF
TODAY IN HISTORY
IN 1903= the Ford Motor Company shipped its first car.
IN 1940= Billboard magazine published first top 10 list of music.
IN 1950= Arthur Murray Dance Party debuted on ABC TV.
IN 1964= first surf song to hit #1 on the charts, was Jan and Dean’s Surf City and it hit the top of the charts on this date.
IN 1968= the first Special Olympics was held.
IN 1969= The Eagle landed as Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins landed on the Moon. Armstrong coined the phrase “that’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.
IN 1996= 13 year old LeAnn Rimes hit #1 with the song ‘Blue’.
“North Star Entertainment” tonight and Saturday at West Side Bar
Thursday- July 19th, 2012
--The Morrison County Sheriff’s Office is warning county citizens of a recent credit card scam. Several county residents have recently been contacted by phone and have received a recorded message stating that their credit card has been deactivated. The message then asks the person to go through several prompts and reenter their credit card information in order to reactivate the card. It has been confirmed that these types of calls are a scam. As always, Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel reminds residents not to provide credit card or direct personal information after being contacted either by phone, mail, or e-mail. In the event you suspect or are notified of a problem with your credit card, you should contact your credit card company yourself. Anytime you do not initiate the contact you risk being the victim of a scam.
--The Highway 23 Paynesville Bypass will open on Friday more than a month ahead of schedule. Crews will begin removing barricades to the entrances and exits at 9:00am and motorists may access the new roadway by noon, weather permitting. Motorists traveling east on Highway 23 will now access Paynesville on Veterans Drive, formerly known as First Street, and westbound access will remain the same.
--The Royalton School Board is once again negotiating an operating levy referendum on the November ballot. The school had their referendum request voted down last year. The Royalton School District said this will be short-term referendum unlike the past ones and affect only curriculum, technology and transportation. The final decision on the referendum request and specifics to the question that would be put on the ballot will be discussed at the August 13th meeting as the deadline for referendum notification to the state is August 24th. Voters defeated a referendum that would have provided $532,000 to the district by a vote of 605 to 402 last November.
--The Crow Wing County Sheriff’s assisted the Ideal Fire Department Monday night after a gas grill exploded starting a fire in the city of Pequot Lakes. Firefighters extinguished the fire on the grill an nearby grassy areas within and hour. The fire was reported around 6pm and there were no injuries. Brainerd firefighters also investigated a propane leak on Lyndale Drive Monday night around 9:45pm. Again no injuries were reported.
--A Zimmerman man faces charges after police found an explosive device in his car near a shopping center in Milaca. The device was a bomb containing nails, gun powder, and kerosene and police think the man was going to use it to commit suicide. Police discovered the device after pulling over the car for speeding. They evacuated the area. The explosives were detonated and highways reopened.
--The Minnesota State Supreme Court is looking over the State Voter ID ballot question to see if the language is misleading. The justices questioned the lawyers Tuesday in a case that seeks to have the question thrown off the November ballot. They raised the possibility of amending the language or even using the entire proposed amendment as the question to voters rather than blocking it from appearing on the ballot. A decision is expected shortly. State elections officials have said they must know by August 27th in order to have ballots prepared.
--Rochester’s Mayo Clinic is again ranked near the top of the list as Best Hospitals in the nation. The latest U.S. News and World Report rankings include the Mayo 3rd behind a hospital in Massachusetts and Maryland. The Clinic showed excellence in many specialized fields.
--The Little Falls School Board met Monday night. The board was introduced to Larry Edgerton, the new principal of both Lincoln and Dr. S. G. Knight elementary schools, and Jay DeCann, the new Little Falls Community Middle School dean of students, activities coordinator and head football coach. The school board approved a resolution authorizing $6-million dollars in aid anticipation borrowing. Due to budget restraints from the state, school districts are allowed to borrow money by issuing aid anticipation certificates of indebtedness in an amount not greater than 75 percent of the total amount that is due for the school year. The board reviewed and approved policies dealing with harassment and violence of any nature and disciplinary action taken for the offense. They also approved wage agreements, policies and other reorganizational items for the upcoming school year. Set the filing dates for school board elections starting July 31st. Hired Sarah Filippi as a language arts teacher at the Little Falls Community Middle School and accepted resignations and retirement consents from recent school employees.
--A departure ceremony is scheduled Friday for more than 50 soldiers of Company C, 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion out of St. Cloud who are deploying in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The company is an air ambulance company and will provide medical evacuation support by use of UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters. The departure ceremony is Friday at 11am at the Army Aviation Support Facility on 45th Avenue Southeast in St. Cloud.
--The Morrison County Fair is August 9th through the 12th at the fairgrounds east of Little Falls. The grandstand events this year will be Motocross on Wednesday night the 8th, the night before the fair begins, Thursday night a Tuff Truck and Car competition, Saturday afternoon at 1pm is the 4X4 Truck and Tractor Pull and there will be 2 Demolition Derby’s one Friday at 7pm and another Sunday at 2pm. For more details on the Fair, go to www.morrisonfair.com.
--Robert and Mary Langner of Royalton, boy born July 17th
--Adam and Sarah Plumski of Randall, girl born July 17th
TODAY= partly cloudy, warmer, high of 85.
TONIGHT= clear skies, low around 65.
FRIDAY= sunny and hot, high 95, storms overnight, low 70.
SATURDAY= storms early, then partly cloudy, high near 90.
SUNDAY= partly cloudy, an isolated storm, high 90, low 70.
TWINS= Francisco Liriano struck out 10 last night but the Twins lost to Baltimore 2-1. Twins wrap up series today with Baltimore at Target Field, pregame begins at 11:40am on Q92 WYRQ.
VL= the KLTF Victory League Game of the Week will be Saturday at 1:30, Fort Ripley at Nisswa, then the final Victory League Roundup will be on Sunday at 6:30pm on AM960 KLTF.
TODAY IN HISTORY
IN 1946= actress Marilyn Monroe had her first screen test.
IN 1948= Our Miss Brooks starring Eve Arden premiered on radio.
IN 1968= Tammy Wynette hit #1 with D-I-V-O-R-C-E.
“North Star Entertainment” and free sober cab Fri/Sat at WS Bar
Wednesday- July 18th, 2012
--The activities department at Little Falls Community High School announced that Jay DeCann has been selected to become the next head football coach for the Flyers. Coach DeCann comes to the district with a wealth of coaching experience from the high school and college levels. Jay will work as the middle school dean of students and district activities coordinator in addition to his duties as head football coach. Jay DeCann will replace Aaron Sinclair as head football coach. Sinclair resigned from the head football coach position this spring after accepting the Human Resources/Activities Director position. Sinclair will continue to coach as a varsity assistant.
--The Little Falls City Council met Monday night. At the meeting there were 2 permits approved for upcoming organization raffles and several reports given. The city of Little Falls entered into an agreement with Pierz and Royalton with the Small Cities Development Program. The council passed a conditional use permit for Retka Revocable Trust junkyard. Also, the council based on the recommendation of the Park Recreation and Tree Board approved the installation of a parking lot at Pine Grove Park and Zoo and paved cart paths will be added to the golf course using funds from the Little Falls Golf Extravaganza. The City of Little Falls Tuesday took down the “We Support Our Troops” sign at Bank Square upon advice from the city attorney and will now look into the other 40 signs listed as non-compliant in a complaint given to the City of Little Falls. It was reported that owners from the buildings in question can apply for a permit to hang a sign or banner to be in compliance with ordinance.
--Back on Wednesday, May 2nd MCAF Awards Reception the Morrison County Area Foundation presented a check for $1,000 to Mayor Andrea Lauer of Royalton on behalf of the Royalton Splash Park Project Committee. The splash park committee members are all volunteers. The Royalton Park Project is a three phase project with phase one being a picnic shelter, phase two the bathroom/utility building and phase three the infrastructure/splash pad. The Royalton Lions Club built the first phase of the project in 2011.
--19-year-old Trent Pikus from Aitkin has been charged by Morrison County Attorney Brian Middendorf, with criminal sexual conduct in the third degree. Pikus allegedly admitted to law enforcement that he had sexual relations with a 15-year-old in a car parked in Little Falls. Law enforcement received information of the altercation when photos from the girl’s cell phone had photos from the sexual conduct. If found guilty; Pikus faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and/or a $30,000 fine.
--The 28-year-old Brainerd man who led authorities on June 1st through Crow Wing County pleaded guilty Monday in Crow Wing County District Court to a 5th degree controlled substance crime and others charges reduced to petty misdemeanors as part of a plea agreement. David Flannigan after the guilty plea was then sentenced to 19 months in a correctional facility and then will be placed on 10 years supervised probation with a number of conditions including not possessing firearms, alcohol, or any controlled substances. Flannigan fled police on June 1st east of Brainerd where both his vehicle and the squad car got stuck on the railroad tracks. Railroad use had to be rerouted for 3 hours back on June 1st as the 2 vehicles were removed from the train tracks. Flannigan was found the next day by using title identification of the vehicle.
--On Monday, August 13th, from 3-7 p.m. at the Pierz Park, there will be a free community-wide picnic with Princess Kay of the Milky Way Mary Zahurones and her 90 pound block of butter of her likeness that was carved last year the day after her coronation. The Butterhead Melt Down event includes The Pierz Lions Club grilling cheeseburgers, the corn from the Janson family and malts from the Morrison County American Dairy Associaton. The picnic is open to everyone to come and enjoy. Princess Kay Mary Zahurones will be relinquishing her crown on August 22nd the night before the Minnesota State Fair to the next Princess Kay of the Milky Way.
--St. Cloud will have a new police chief starting August 27th. Mayor Dave Kleis announced Monday that he has selected William Blair Anderson as the next police chief for the city. Anderson was the chief deputy for the Carver County Sheriff’s Office.
--Staples Police and Todd County deputies arrested a 32-year-old from Motley following a domestic incident Saturday. Authorities say that Shanell Dee Pipkin was arrested for allegedly assaulting a female acquaintance with a screwdriver, stabbing her and then punching and kicking her on the floor. When police attempted to arrest Pipkin Saturday, the suspect kicked out the squad car window, then ran on foot after kicking an officer before being apprehended by deputies. Pipkin was transported to jail and charged Monday with felony damage to property, assault of an officer, and domestic assault.
--The FBI and Delta Air Lines are trying to figure out how needles got into turkey sandwiches on four flights from Amsterdam to the U.S. The airline says needles were found in six sandwiches on four separate flights on Sunday. Delta spokeswoman Kristin Baur says one passenger on a flight to Minneapolis was looked at by an emergency responder, but the passenger declined to be transported by ambulance. The Plymouth man was poked by the needle and is taking prescription drugs to ward off the possibility of contracting hepatitis or HIV. His son also discovered a needle in his sandwich on a separate flight to Atlanta. The FBI's Atlanta office has opened a criminal investigation into the matter.
--William W. Mitchell Sr., age 79 of Onamia.
--Betty L. (Wooddell) Butcher, age 76 of Garrison.
--James H. Williams, age 68 of Little Falls.
--Reynoldo Godfrey, age 69 of Onamia.
--Florence Houle, age 88 of Little Falls.
TODAY= 30% chance of afternoon T-storms, high near 80.
TONIGHT= isolated storm early then clearing skies, low near 60.
THURSDAY= sunny and warmer, high 87, clear at night low 65.
FRIDAY= sunny and hot with highs into the 90s.
TWINS= Twins win 6-4 last night over Orioles due to key hits from Ben Revere and Joe Mauer. Twins and Orioles play game 3 of their 4 game series tonight, pregame at 6:40pm on Q92 WYRQ.
“North Star Entertainment” Friday and Saturday at West Side Bar
Tuesday- July 17th, 2012
--The Morrison County Relay for Life was held last Friday night in Little Falls. Organizers want to give a special thank you to all who took part in the festivities and also to all who volunteered their time in putting on the Relay for Life event. Tracy Van Hercke stated that the event raised $150,000 this past weekend up from $147,000 in 2011. Jim Kasella, Rachel Schlumpberger, Jerry Best, Kathleen Huebner, Mary Ellen Barnes were the top individual money makers for the event, Kasella raised $3,546. Ben’s Battalion raised $6,263 to be the top team finish for fund raising followed by Spirit Lifters, Julie’s Team, Bookin It for Life and Kickin’ Cancer all raising over $4,000 for their team to fight cancer. There were free haircuts for wigs to help cancer survivors recover by providing wigs. This again shows the caring attitude of Morrison County.
--Camp Ripley will host a retiree appreciation day August 25th. The event is for all Armed Forces retirees and their family members, guests and surviving spouses. The event starts at 8am. Everyone who attends gets updated information on retiree entitlement programs and other retiree activity days throughout the Midwest. For those wanting to register for the event or would like to get more information; call 1-763-441-2630.
--St. Cloud Police are investigating an armed robbery Saturday. A black man entered the JM Speedstop on Northway Drive just before 2pm showed a handgun and demanded money. He left on foot with an undisclosed amount. The clerk was not hurt. The man was described as 6’3, 240 pounds, wearing a blue sweatshirt, dark shorts, dark tennis shoes and sported a goatee. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 320-255-1301.
--Industry experts say it’s been a great summer for Minnesota’s resorts and campgrounds. Hospitality Minnesota says warm weather in the spring helped jumpstart the season. He says storms in late June and early July caused some publicity that concerned and confused people into thinking they couldn’t go to their favorite campsite. Despite the recent storms, most of Minnesota resorts and campgrounds are open and many destinations have vacancies for the rest of July and throughout August.
--The St. Cloud Diocese has settled a lawsuit with a man who accused a former deacon of sexual abuse in the 1960s and 1970s. The lawsuit was originated against Michael Weber but he was dismissed from the lawsuit before it was settled. The lawsuit was filed in Hennepin County accusing sexual misconduct against the Diocese and the defendant when he lived in Foley, he now lives in Virginia. The defendant was dismissed by the lawsuit before finalizing the settlement of the case which was done last week. Terms of the settlement were not released to the public media.
--Two men were arrested Friday after they were accused of kicking in a door after a resident refused to buy magazines they were selling. The incident occurred around 8:40 Friday night on 17th Avenue North when the two men allegedly kicked in the door and assaulted the 29-year-old resident. Neighbors called police after hearing yelling coming from the house. 21-year-old Shane Zimmerman of Iowa and 18-year-old Angel Andrade of California were taken to the Stearns County jail on assault and damage to property charges. The resident did sustain minor injuries but was not hospitalized.
--Todd County stated that a realtor sign with detachable legs was stolen from an intersection of Highway 27 and 325th Avenue between July 11th and 13th. Anyone with info should contact sheriff’s deputies.
--A number of Stearns Electric customers were without power Monday morning. The cause of the outage was being investigated by the electricity provider. Over 230 customers reported an outage in Stearns and Todd counties which included the cities of Sauk Centre and Melrose and townships of Birchdale and Kandota. The power was restored before 10am Monday.
--The Morrison County Commissioners stated that the Mud Fest in Hillman for Labor Day can go on as scheduled. Discussion about the event surfaced after Sheriff Michel Wetzel described some non-compliance to the variance request to the County Board. The Board stated that the Mud Fest can go on with the conditions in the variance request. They will then receive reports on the event after it takes place and discuss the conditions for next year’s events.
--The heat from June and July has taken its toll on the fish in the upper Midwest. High water temperatures and low oxygen levels have combined to kill thousands of fish in Minnesota, North and South Dakota and Wisconsin. Northern Pike is the most vulnerable to the warmer water as they are suited to cooler temperatures. So far, Minnesota’s most popular lakes have been spared from the fish kill.
--A number of news sources have announced the Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is expected to name a Vice-Presidential candidate before the end of the week and a number of national agencies say that former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is on a very short list of getting the nod. Pawlenty and Ohio Senator Rob Portman are the two standouts at this point with the possibility of 2 others making headway. Pawlenty has adamantly stated he was not interested in the VP position after withdrawing from the Presidential race earlier this year but in recent interviews stated that if Romney asked he would accept it. Pawlenty was a possible running mate for John McCain in 2008 but instead it went to Sarah Palin.
--Paul John Froelich, age 44 of Rice.
TODAY= partly cloudy, chance of showers & storms, high 83.
TONIGHT= isolated evening storms then clearing skies, low 62.
WEDNESDAY= mostly sunny, less humid, high near 80.
THURSDAY= mostly sunny early, PM isolated storms, high 85.
TWINS= Twins go on an offensive explosion last night, scoring 7 runs in the 1st inning and rolling to a 19-7 win over the Orioles. Twins and Orioles continue series tonight 6:40pm on Q92.
TODAY IN HISTORY
IN 1862= National Cemeteries were authorized by U.S. Government.
IN 1920= Sinclair Lewis had his book ‘Main Street’ published.
IN 1955= Disneyland opened near Anaheim, California, the amusement park created by Walt Disney was coined as “the happiest place on earth”. The TV program Disneyland also debuted from the site that day with Walt, Art Linkletter and Ronald Reagan.
IN 1990= Garth Brooks hit #1 with ‘The Dance’.
Lunches, Happy Hour, entertainment and fun all at West Side Bar
Monday- July 16, 2012
--A 52-year-old Pierz man working on a North Dakota construction project was killed Thursday near Buffalo, North Dakota when his vehicle reverse rolled into a ditch. The driver, Clyde T. Kisor was ejected from the passenger door window and pronounced dead at the scene. His passenger, 47-year-old Allan Hammer of Ashby was treated at a Fargo hospital. The highway patrol said both neither man was wearing a seatbelt. Both men were working for a gravel company in Fergus Falls. The accident remains under investigation.
--The Little Falls School Board meets tonight 5:30pm at the Morrison County Government Center. Agenda items include updating policies, agreements with business office clerks, secretaries, paraprofessionals, food services, health and safety expenditures and other annual updates for the upcoming school year. A resolution will be voted on for authorizing Aid Anticipation Borrowing, check out the 2012-2013 handbooks, give a notice of filing dates for school board election and also recognize the school on their recent School Finance Award from the Minnesota Department of Education.
--In the past week, Little Falls Police responded to reports of damage to property including the egging of vehicles in northeast Little Falls, an assault was reported at a store on 18th Street Northeast but no apparent injuries, a fraud report of someone using an ATM at an area bank who did not have authorization to do so according to the complaint, police got 2 calls of people going over the fencing area of at the Little Falls Dam, both were juveniles and were informed of the dangers of doing that. Police got a report of an accident involving a vehicle parked on 1st Street where the driver opened his door and struck a bicycle causing the cyclist to go over the handlebars and strike the pavement. The cyclist sustained injuries to his face and mouth and was treated at St. Gabriel’s Hospital. Police also investigated theft and suspicious activity calls.
--Authorities are investigating after a grave at Fort Snelling National Cemetery was desecrated, that of a World War II Veteran who died in the 1970s. Officials say that there was a considerable amount of dirt and ground disturbed but the headstone was not damaged. The county Medical Examiner had to take custody of the remains which were removed from the grave. The Sheriff says such vandalism is a felony and anyone with information is asked to call law enforcement.
--Most farmers like Minnesota’s growing season so far. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is reporting one of the best crops in years past but rain is needed for many of the crops to continue to strive to harvest. Severe drought has crept back in portions of western and southern Minnesota and wildfires have sparked in some parts of northwestern Minnesota. As of last Thursday, topsoil moisture was around 60-percent adequate but this is down from 77% on July 1st.
--Emergency management officials say time is of the essence when it comes to accounting for storm damage in northern Minnesota. The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office wants town and government officials to report all repairs that’s needed for local infrastructure so that FEMA can include it in its reimbursement. Portions of northern Minnesota are still recovering from two damaging storms earlier this month. Crow Wing County announced Thursday night that they along with Aitkin County were added to a reimbursement plan being put together by Federal agencies and flood relief is expected as part of a special legislative session later this month in St. Paul after the governor decides on calling one mainly for relief in Duluth area.
--Ninety airmen from the Minnesota National Guard's 133rd Airlift Wing started returning Friday to Minnesota in three waves with the final wave scheduled this afternoon. The 133rd had been deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While serving in both Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf region, the deployed airmen successfully flew more than 3,500 sorties, hauling an estimated 45,000 passengers and 12,000 tons of critical cargo via airdrop and airland capabilities. The Wing has deployed 452 personnel this year and since 9/11 has cumulatively deployed nearly 6,000 airmen to 36 countries in support of U.S. operations. The first wave returned Friday afternoon, the 2nd wave arrived Sunday and the 3rd wave is scheduled to arrive today at 1:30pm in St. Paul near the Twin Cities International Airport.
--The Little Falls City Council meets tonight 7:30pm at City Hall.
--An all-terrain vehicle was reported stolen Wednesday near Long Prairie. The ATV was taken from a home on Todd County Road 10. It is a yellow Honda Foreman 500. Anyone with information should call the sheriff’s office at 320-732-2157.
--The Little Falls Kiwanis Club announced that six new members recently joined the organization. The new members are Brian Berander, Jerry Pasela, Kristina Von Berge, Dan Hawley, Duane Bobick and Mike Disher.
--The Waite Park fire department is investigating a fire that damaged Independent Testing Technologies in Waite Park Thursday afternoon. Firefighters arrived around 1pm to find a fire within the walls of the building. Xcel Energy had to cut power to the building before firefighters could attack the fire. There were able to extinguish it by 3:30 and employees were allowed to return to work in the building. An estimate of damage was not released. Firefighters stated it was in the interior of the walls up against the exterior of the metal building. St. Cloud, Sartell and Sauk Rapids all assisted with Waite Park firefighters at the scene. There were no injuries.
--Chad and Theresa Sweeney of Little Falls, a girl born July 12th
--Eugene ‘Gene’ Pappenfus, age 90 of Little Falls.
--Clyde T. Kisor, age 52 of Pierz.
--Lawrence ‘Larry’ R. Heffron, age 77 of Grey Eagle.
--Sophia Bieniek, age 87 of Bowlus.
TODAY= excessive heat warnings today, sunny and hot, high 95-100
TONIGHT= partly cloudy, isolated storms late, low near 70.
TUESDAY= partly cloudy, isolated storms at times, cooler, high 82
WEDNESDAY= mostly sunny, high 85, low around 60.
TWINS= Oakland beat the Twins 6-3 Friday then Oakland routed the Twins 9-3 on Saturday. Not much better as Oakland gets the sweep winning 9-4. Twins (36-52) open a series tonight with Baltimore at Target Field, pregame starts at 6:40pm on Q92 WYRQ.
VL= see what happened in the playoffs of Victory League over the weekend at www.fallsradio.com then click on Victory League.
The West Side Bar, Little Falls has lunches and happy hour daily.
Friday- July 13th, 2012
--The Morrison County Relay for Life will be held tonight at the Little Falls Community School track. The Cancer Survivor Dinner begins at 5:30pm in the Little Falls Community Middle School and a silent auction will be run from 5-9:00pm also in the middle school. The opening ceremony begins at 7:00pm on Flyer Field and the luminary ceremony will be at 10:00pm. Anyone interested in donating hair to cancer wigs there will have a chance to receive free haircuts from 8:00-10:00pm on the field. Speakers this year include Greg Zylka of Coborn’s Superstore and Steve Emblom of the Emblom Brenny Funeral Service. The event is fundraiser to help with cancer research in hopes of someday finding a cure for a disease that has taken and continues to affect so many lives.
--19-year old Jett Alan Schaffer of Little Falls was sentenced to 120 months in prison for two drive by shootings and a burglary of a firearm. Schaffer was found guilty for driving by a house in Little Falls Township in October, 2009 and firing a gunshot from the road into his home. The path of the bullet traveled into the home through the living room and lodged in a kitchen cabinet. The path of the projectile passed between 2 people and there was also a six-year old child in the room at the time. A second Little Falls Township home was also reportedly fired later that same night. The gun used was found to be from a burglary the day before the shooting. Schaffer admitted stealing the gun and altering it and then admitted to firing at some signs and knew there were houses nearby. The Morrison County Attorney's office immediately filed papers to have Schaffer tried as an adult. The District Court initially ruled that that matter should remain in juvenile court. The matter went all the way to the Minnesota State Court of Appeals before Schaffer was ordered to be tried as an adult. The case finally came to a close Thursday.
--Motorists will encounter lane closures, flaggers and work zones along Highway 210 and Highway 371 in the Brainerd/Baxter area beginning Monday and last through the end of the August. The lane closures will occur in the daylight hours Monday through Thursday. There will be no closures Friday through Sunday due to the heavier traffic load on weekends. The closures will occur along Highway 210 at the intersections of County Road 48, Knollwood Drive, Gillis Avenue and Highway 25. Along 371, the closures will be at the intersections of Crow Wing County Road 48 and College Drive. Motorists are reminded to slow down and be alert in work zones.
--Area residents, business owners and other interested individuals are invited to an open house to discuss plans to improve Highway 371 in Nisswa. The open house is at 4:30pm, July 17th at Nisswa City Hall.
--Todd County reported a hit and run property damage accident early Wednesday morning. According to the report just after midnight, a vehicle heading west on County Road 12 turned south and lost control driving through a lawn at a residence in Burnhamville Township west of Swanville. The suspect damaged property in the yard then fled the scene. The vehicle in question should have damage to the driver’s side and front end of the vehicle. If you have information, contact the Todd County Sheriff’s Office.
--The dedication of the new Wadena-Deer Creek Middle/High School will take place on August 29th at 5:30pm in the new gymnasium. The old school was destroyed by an EF4 Tornado on June 17, 2010. After the ceremony an open house to students’ grades 5-12 will take place.
--Check out recipes and weekend events at www.fallsradio.com.
--The trial of Angelina O’Mara will not be moved from Benton County. O’Mara is accused of killing her ex-husband last year in Sauk Rapids. The judge in the case ruled Wednesday that the news coverage of her case likely will not prevent her from getting a fair trial. The judge also denied a request from O’Mara about suppressing evidence in the case from a statement she gave to police on November 3rd of last year and also evidence that was taken from her SUV during that time. James O’Mara was found dead in his Sauk Rapids apartment November 1st, O’Mara’s ex-boyfriend Michael Pies was found dead in a Wisconsin apartment the next day. Angelina was found November 3rd in South Dakota. She has been charged with 1st degree murder in the death of both men. A Benton County judge set her next court appearance in the Benton County charges on July 25th.
--The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe held swearing in ceremonies on Tuesday in Onamia. Melanie Benjamin was sworn in for a third term as the Mille Lacs Band Chief Executive and Sandra Blake was sworn in as the Band’s District 1 Representative. Both were recently elected to four year terms from the Band’s general election held in June.
--Harmony House of Little Falls will host its 3rd Annual Dog Show on July 31st at 3pm at 1201 Hilton Road in Little Falls. Prizes will be awarded to the cutest dog selected by the Harmony House residents. For more information contact Michele at 800-224-6451.
--The Minnesota State Patrol has enhanced speed enforcement patrols through the end of July as part of a statewide campaign coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety. The statewide July effort includes around 400 agencies — State Patrol, county sheriffs’ offices and municipal agencies — and supplements an ongoing, 12-month enforcement campaign that launched in October 2011.
--Scott and Shelby Orians of Little Falls, girl born July 10th
--Jesse Witucki and Cassaundra Holenko of Little Falls, boy July 11th
--James H. Williams, age 68 of Little Falls.
TODAY= partly cloudy, scattered showers and storms, high 85.
TONIGHT= a storm early, then clearing skies, low 65.
SATURDAY= mostly sunny, an isolated storm, high near 90, low 65.
SUNDAY= sunny, warm and humid, high 92, low around 70.
MONDAY= partly cloudy, isolated PM storms, high 95, low around 70.
TWINS= after 4 days off, minus Joe Mauer in the All Star Game, the Twins (36-49) start the 2nd half of their season at home tonight against Oakland. Pregame tonight at 6:40pm, Saturday at 5:40pm and Sunday at 12:40pm, all games live on Q92 WYRQ.
VL= Game of the Week Sunday 1:30, roundup at 6:30pm on KLTF.
TODAY IN HISTORY
IN 1832= Henry Schoolcraft discovered the source of the Mississippi River which is now Lake Itasca in Minnesota.
IN 1898= Guglielmo Marconi received a patent for the radio.
“Hot Hits” tonight and Saturday at the West Side Bar
Thursday- July 12, 2012
--The Morrison County Attorney's Office has filed Third Degree Murder charges against 44-year-old Warren John Okerman of Little Falls stemming from the methamphetamine overdose death of Leslie Peterson on June 1, 2012. Murder in the Third Degree – Providing a Controlled Substance is punishable by up to 25 years in prison, a $40,000 fine, or both. Okerman made his first court appearance Wednesday morning in front of Judge Douglas P. Anderson. Bail was set at $150,000 unconditional bail and $75,000 bail with conditions.
--The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is sponsoring a waste pesticide collection on August 21st and 22nd in Foley and Pierz. Dispose of unusable or unwanted herbicides, insecticides, mice and rat poisons, fungicides and other pesticides. The Foley drop off is August 21st 9am to 11am at the Foley City Garage and the Pierz site will be on August 22nd at the Pierz Coop Association from 9 to 11am. For more information on either event call 651-201-6562.
--The Sartell Police department has released interviews and data received following the explosion at the Verso Paper Mill. The report revealed that on Memorial Day the plant had been shut down due to a water pipe leak that was being worked on. The plant was being put back online when the explosion occurred. The shutdown caused the plant to switch its source of cooling water to the compressors. Around 10:50am that morning the plant restarted operations where 3 employees stated they first spotted smoke and then flames coming out of one of the compressors in a room near the roll wrap area of plant. The plants fire brigade was called into to check out the flames, then according to interviews Jon Maus, the employee killed in the explosion, grabbed a fire extinguisher and headed toward the burning compressor but was told not to use it due to the chemicals in the extinguisher. Maus and another person then turned to leave the compressor area when the explosion occurred just after 11am. The State Fire Marshal has not released its investigation into the cause of the fire and most of the 250 employees at the plant have been laid off since May 28th when the explosion occurred. Governor Mark Dayton is considering aid for the Verso Paper Mill to be added to the special session he plans on calling later this month, though it is not formally on the agenda yet, for now the session is for flood relief to the Duluth area.
--A 25-year-old Cass Lake man was sentenced to 108 months or 9 years in prison on charges of attempted murder and burglary in Cass County District Court. John Lutgen pleaded guilty to the charges earlier this year from an incident in December, 2011 where he entered the residence of his ex-girlfriend, then assaulted her current boyfriend repeatedly as he slept. Lutgen informed police that he did intend on killing the man that night.
--Due to the flooding in northern Minnesota over the past weeks, six teams of bridge engineers will inspect at least 180 bridges in 13 different counties across northern Minnesota after many concerns were raised about the safety of some bridges. The teams consist of Mn Dot engineers, consultants of LHB Corporation in Duluth an architectural firm in Minneapolis and other firms are also helping out due to the number of counties in the checking out process. Some bridges in the Duluth area are already in need of being repaired before the heavy rains occurred. The bridge inspections include over 70 bridges in northeastern Minnesota but also some bridges in Aitkin, Beltrami, Itasca, Cass and Crow Wing Counties.
--The flood warning remains in effect for the Mississippi River at Fort Ripley through the upcoming weekend. The river level was at 10.9 feet Wednesday morning and will continue to recede slowing into the weekend. If no significant rainfall over the next 3-4 days, the river level should drop below flood stage by Sunday night/Monday morning. However, thunderstorms are forecasted for Friday with the possibility of heavy rains that could extend the warning. Aitkin and Crow Wing County remain in flood warnings along the Mississippi River through Monday and again they could also be extended.
--A crash south of Annandale killed two people Tuesday afternoon. The Wright County Sheriff reports a 911 call came in to his office at 4:14 p.m. Emergency crews responded to the 5800 block of County Road 5 Northwest in Albion Township. The Sheriff’s Office indicated that the vehicle was northbound on County Road 5, went off the roadway into the west ditch, hit a driveway approach, went airborne and landed on its side. Both occupants died at the scene. The Sheriff said the driver was 88-year-old Gordon Robinson. The passenger was his wife, 87-year-old Louise Robinson. They lived in Annandale.
--The Foley City Council approved a tax increment financing district for the construction of a memory care facility by Prairie Senior Cottages of Foley. The facility will have 18 units to house people with Alzheimer’s disease dementia and memory loss. The city committed $169,000 plus interest to the developer in an agreement with estimated total payout around $225,000 to be paid back by 2023, but could go on up to 15 years if a revote is needed. The new facility would bring 25-30 jobs to the Foley area when completed next year.
--The Little Falls, Sauk Rapids-Rice and Big Lake School Districts were awarded 2012 School Finance Awards by the Minnesota Department of Education. The award is given annually to recognize the school that meets statutory deadlines for submissions of audited financial data. More than 350 districts qualified, of those 97 got awards.
--Maria Kegg, age 47 of Onamia.
--Andrew H. Boser, age 99 of Pierz.
--Raymond Benedett, age 91 of Little Falls.
TODAY= an isolated storm possible, otherwise sunny, high near 90.
TONIGHT= storms possible by midnight, mostly cloudy, low 67.
FRIDAY= showers and storms likely, some heavy, high 84, low 66.
SATURDAY= partly cloudy, an isolated AM storm, high 85, low 65.
SUNDAY= sunny skies, high 85 to 90, low around 70.
VL= Victory League begins playoff action in all 4 divisions this weekend. There will be a KLTF Game of the Week Sunday at 1:30 that will determined after Saturday’s game and the roundup with all the action from this weekend games 6:30pm Sunday on KLTF.
TODAY IN HISTORY
IN 1862= The Medal of Congress established by Congress.
IN 1960= The Etch-A-Sketch first went on sale.
IN 1996= Kirby Puckett officially announced that he was retiring from the Minnesota Twins. Puckett started in 1984, all years with Twins.
“Hot Hits” Fri and Sat, free sober cabs Fri/Sat night at West Side Bar
Wednesday- July 11th, 2012
--Todd County reported that a quick moving storm Sunday afternoon caused a number of trees to be toppled down on the north end of Big Birch Lake. The downed trees damaged multiple vehicles and a boat trailer on Arctic Drive near the boat access to the lake. No injuries were reported and the sheriff’s office stated Monday that the trees have already been moved and the boat access was opened again.
--A former Pequot Lakes math teacher was sentenced in Crow Wing County District Court for stealing money from the teachers union. Larry Lightner pleaded guilty earlier this year to felony theft and sentenced to 5 years supervised probation, ordered to pay restitution of over $21,000 which included a number of fees. The judge also ordered Lightner to serve 45 days in the county jail where he will be eligible for work release and sentence to serve. The judge also handed down a list of requirements that Lightner was to abide by during his probation period or face more jail time and stiffer fines.
--A Garrison woman was sentenced to more than 32 years in prison for intentionally running over her estranged husband and killing him back in 2010. 62-year-old Helene Mitchell-Abraham was found guilty of killing 64-year-old Wendell Abraham after she struck him with their van then backed up and ran him over intentionally afterwards. Helene then used a rope to drag his body into the woods. Mitchell-Abraham was found guilty by a jury at a trial back in May.
--Last week the Aitkin County Board of Commissioner had to cancel the Aitkin County Fair due to the flooding of the fairgrounds from heavy rains last month. On Monday, Aitkin County announced that the Midway that was to be used at the fairgrounds this week will be at the airport in McGregor for rides only Wednesday through Saturday. No other fair events will be scheduled for Aitkin County.
--The 29-year-old Cloquet man injured May 30th when he was backed over by an excavator while working on the College Drive project behind the Brainerd High School has improved and is in good condition at North Memorial in Robbinsdale. Andrew Jutila suffered significant injuries to his pelvic and leg areas in the accident.
--Authorities say a man was shot dead by a Chisago County deputy ignored warnings to put two guns down then lowered his barrel of one gun to point it at the officer. The BCA says 46-year-old Robert Elias had threatened his wife with a gun and that is why officers were called in Sunday night in North Branch. The incident remains under investigation and the deputy remains on administrative leave.
--The FDA Bill signed into law by President Barack Obama outlaws a number of synthetic drugs and chemicals used to make them. Senator Amy Klobuchar says the federal ban includes 2-C-E, the drug that killed a Blaine man, which was not on the illegal list under the previous list. Klobuchar says the ban is a good tool for prosecutors to crack down on synthetic drugs. Some bans are also on bath salts and spices. Klobuchar continues on to say that these substances five years ago were not heard of and now dozens of calls to poison control are due to overdosing on substances now on the illegal list.
--There have been no reports of illness but a popular ice cream has been pulled from the shelves in Minnesota stores. Fargo-based Cass-Clay Creamery has recalled varieties of its peppermint bon bon ice cream due to the presence of egg yokes, which are not listed on the label. The Department of Agriculture says the Cass-Clay brand is also used for Hornbacher’s, Schroeder and Sunnybrook brands of Ice Cream sold in many areas of Minnesota.
--The Pierz City Council met Monday night. The Council approved the hiring of 3 new fire department members on the recommendation from the Fire Chief. The new members are Robert Gruber, Josh Andrea, and Mark Dzieweczynski. Greg Fuhrman retained assistant chief position and Todd Preimesberger retained the secretary position. Public Works Director Bob Otremba recently conducted sidewalk inspections and there is about 2,000 feet of sidewalks that need to be replaced in Pierz. The cost will be a 50-50 split between homeowners and the city. Otremba plans to send out mailings with more information to those affected. Finally, the bids are due today for those interested in the Peter Avenue Lot the city owns. If you have any questions on the meeting, call Pierz City Hall.
--The teenager seriously injured in an accident that happened around 6pm Monday in St. Cloud has died. 17 year old, Joseph Kuntz of Clear Lake collided with a van driven by 26-year-old Amanda Binkley of Royalton on Third Street North and 26th Avenue in St. Cloud. Binkley was treated at the scene. Kuntz was found pinned under his pickup truck when authorities arrived and was taken to St. Cloud Hospital with serious injuries. It was reported by the hospital Tuesday that Kuntz died from his injuries. The accident is under investigation.
--A federal analysis ranking states on how they’re delivering health care puts Minnesota at the top. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality looked at hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and other medical providers in its annual review. Minnesota scored 67 of a possible 100 and improved in many types of care. But, the analysis shows the state is weak in home health care and maternal and child care. The state ranks first in care at medical clinics, fourth in care at hospitals, eighth in nursing homes, but 43rd in home health care. Home health care is the state’s lowest rank and a category that has puzzled state officials for years.
--A Vergas man amazingly suffered only minor injuries when his Ottertail County home exploded Monday. First responders were called to the home off Highway 41 just before 5:00pm on reports of an explosion. They pulled 67-year-old Peter Hansen from the wreckage and found that he had suffered only minor injuries in the explosion. The home is considered a total loss. The Minnesota State Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of the explosion.
--For news and weather 24/7 log onto www.fallsradio.com.
--Shelly Strahl, age 62 of Maryland formerly of Little Falls
TODAY= mostly sunny, high around 85.
TONIGHT= clear skies, possible storm north, low around 65.
THURSDAY= mostly sunny, warm, high 91, storms at night, low 66.
FRIDAY= thunderstorms likely, some strong, high 85.
ALL STAR GAME= The National League routed the American League 8-0 as the NL scored 5 runs off of starter Justin Verlander. Joe Mauer had a single in his only at bat and played first base in the late innings. With the win, the National League for the 3rd straight year will have home field advantage in the World Series. The Twins are off until Friday when they host Oakland.
“Hot Hits” Friday and Saturday, great lunches daily at West Side Bar
Tuesday- July 10th, 2012
--The Morrison County Sheriff’s Office has arrested 44-year old Warren John Okerman of Little Falls in connection with the death of 41-year old Leslie Peterson who died June 2nd in Little Falls Township. According to Sheriff Wetzel, the Ramsey County Medical Examiner ruled that Peterson had died of methamphetamine overdose. On July 9th, a Morrison County Investigator interviewed Okerman, who confessed to providing Peterson methamphetamine the evening she died. Okerman is being held in the Morrison County Jail. The case has been referred to the Morrison County Attorney for formal charges.
--Governor Mark Dayton voiced interest in providing aid to the Verso Paper Mill in Sartell when an explosion occurred Memorial Day that killed one worker, Jon Maus of Albany, injured 4 others and since then have laid off 250-plus workers. The Governor last week confirmed he plans on a special legislative session by late this month or early August to address the flooding issue in Duluth and stated he is interested in helping Sartell but hasn’t made any commitment yet to add it to the special session when that happens. Last week 13 counties, including Crow Wing and Aitkin and 3 Tribal Nations including Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe were put in a federal declaration for flood relief. More information about the special session should come later this week.
--The 2012 Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association Summer Beef Tour and Trade Show is today. The event begins at the Morrison County Fairgrounds with registration at 6:00am. The first bus leaves at 6:40am and busses will leave every 25 minutes after that until 9:00am. Busses will goes to a number of farms throughout Morrison County from Sobieski to Hillman, Camp Ripley and back into Little Falls for a steak dinner. For more information call 745-2431. A reminder also that excess traffic will be around the fairground this morning and tonight during the event.
--Little Falls police last week responded to reports of shoplifting, damage to property at a number of businesses, bulbs damaged in the historic street lights near Le Bourget Park and police responded to theft reports from garages in Northeast Little Falls.
--St. Cloud Police are looking into information about a shooting on their city’s south side. Around 4am Saturday officers were called to the hospital where a 30-year-old man had 2 gunshot wounds to his leg. The victim said he got into an argument with another man who then shot him twice and fled the scene. The victim’s injuries were not life threatening. The suspect according to police was not identified. Anyone with information should call 320-255-1301.
--A 53-year-old Rush City man was sentenced in Morrison County District Court on charges of making terroristic threats. Boyd Cummins was arrested after a domestic disturbance call at a residence in February after Cummin’s girlfriend informed police that he struck her and choked her. Cummins was sentenced to 21 months in jail also for having prior convictions in St. Louis and Stearns County.
--A 20-year-old from Staples was injured over the weekend in an accident in Todd County. Deputies stated that Dylan Hales was north on 277th Avenue when he drove off the T-intersection and struck the ditch, causing his vehicle to continue through a string of trees into a trucking yard where the vehicle struck a stationary motor and a large over head door. Dylan was taken to Staples hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries. Todd County stated it appears the accident happened late Saturday into Sunday and reported later on.
--The Little Falls Fire Department responded to a fire in the garage Sunday just after 10am, owned by Jeremy Brausen located at 416 3rd Street Southwest in Little Falls. The fire was contained to the garage area. Fire Chief Mike Nieman stated extensive damage was done to the garage. Firefighters were on the scene about an hour and a half. Noone was injured and the cause is under investigation.
--A 42-year-old Sauk Centre was injured Saturday after being pinned against a wall by a bull. Deputies responded to Raymond Township around 5am and found Harold Marthaler in a pen on the family farm. Marthaler sustained injuries to his left side. He was taken to Sauk Centre hospital, treated and released.
--Todd County responded last week to a burglary report on 404th Street where several bank checks and personal records were taken, damage to property in Clarissa where a yard of a Pleasant Avenue home was tore up, a tent and other items valued at $200 were also damaged and deputies responded on 2 occasions to pontoons that had broken adrift on Big Birch Lake due to the high water currents.
--Proponents of a constitutional amendment defining marriage in Minnesota say they’re suing two state officials for changing the title of the question that will appear on the November ballot. The pro-amendment group, Minnesota for Marriage, says it has filed a petition with the Minnesota Supreme Court because Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and Attorney General Lori Swanson “unlawfully” changed the title of the amendment that voters will consider. Last week, the Democratic secretary announced his intent to substitute the original title of the amendment from “recognition of marriage solely between one man and one woman,” to “limiting the status of marriage to opposite sex couples.” Swanson approved the change. Republicans who back the amendment want wording that focuses on the traditional definition of marriage.
--The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has scheduled a public hearing today to discuss the safety performance of the Monticello nuclear plant for 2011. The NRC found that the Monticello plant owned by Xcel Energy operated safely in 2011 and the also announced that the plant will continue to have normal inspections and will require no additional oversight from the NRC. The public meeting will go more into detail about the findings and will be from 4-6pm today at the Monticello Library.
--The Morrison County Relay for Life is Friday at the Little Falls school track. Event starts at 7pm, luminary ceremony at 10pm Friday.
TODAY= mostly sunny, high around 85.
TONIGHT= mostly clear, low around 65.
WEDNESDAY= mostly sunny, high 85, low around 65.
THURSDAY= sunny and hot, high 91, storms Thursday night.
MLB= Prince Fielder of Detroit outslugged Jose Bautista of Toronto to win the Home Run Derby last night in Kansas City. The Major League Baseball All Star Game is tonight in Kansas City at 7:30pm. Joe Mauer is the lone Twin at the game. The winner gets home field advantage in the 2012 World Series.
OLY= Kevin Love of Timberwolves, Seimone Augustus, Lindsay Whalen and Maya Moore of Lynx named to Olympic basketball teams.
Grab a cool one during Happy Hour today at the West Side Bar.
Monday- July 9th, 2012
--Governor Mark Dayton Friday secured a major federal disaster declaration for thirteen Minnesota counties and three tribal nations following severe storms and flooding that struck areas of the state in June. Preliminary damage assessments revealed more than $108 million of costs and damages in Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Crow Wing, Dakota, Goodhue, Kandiyohi, Lake, Meeker, Pine, Rice, Sibley and St. Louis counties along with the Fond du Lac Tribal Nation, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and the Grand Portage Tribal Nation who are all included in the disaster declaration. The declaration includes two categories of aid. Public Assistance: Assistance to state and local government and certain private non-profit organizations for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities. This applies within the counties in the disaster area. Hazard Mitigation Grant Program: Assistance to state and local government and certain private nonprofit organizations for actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards. FEMA will fund 75 percent of the approved cost; the remaining 25 percent is a state/local match. Eligible work includes debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster and repair or replacement of damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, buildings, utilities and recreation areas.
--A Flood warning continues for the Mississippi River as water levels continue to go down slowly. As of Sunday, the water level was at 11.2 feet still over a foot from flood stage. Water levels will continue to drop with warm and dry conditions to near flood stage by Friday.
--A reminder that children need to be watched at area parades. A 3-year-old had her arm ran over at the Crosby Parade on the 4th of July. Authorities say the tow truck did not see the girl and ran over her arm. The girl sustained fractures which were considered non-life threatening injuries. Crosby Police are reminding parade goers and parade entrees to watch each other, drive slowly around children and spectators watch to make sure children are not running through the streets unsupervised when vehicles are going by.
--Staff from Congressman Chip Cravaack will be in Motley Tuesday from 2-3pm at the Countryside Restaurant. Anyone with questions or concerns for the 8th District Congressman should address his staff.
--Brainerd firefighters were busy on the 4th of July, most of the reports were alarms that went off mainly due to heat related issues and no fires were detected. They responded to black smoke on Business Highway 371 and St. Mathias Road around 9pm Wednesday, it was reported that lightning had struck a pine tree and caused about an acre of land to burn. They received 2 other reports of lightning strikes around 10:30pm at Lakewood Evangelical Free Church and a residence on Norwood Street, in both cases there was some smoke but no fire had started from the strikes. Nisswa firefighters and Crow Wing County deputies were called out around 11:30pm Wednesday after lightning struck an underground propane line causing the ground to start on fire on Moody Lane. Firefighters monitored the area for over 2 hours, but any fire was extinguished by the rains and there were no signs of threats to the nearby public.
--Stearns County reported that 2 motorcycles crashed on County Road 32 in Lake Henry Township Thursday night. Around 10:30, Kolby Bushman of Paynesville and Jericho Bushman of Wykoff were injured in the collision. Kolby sustained a severe leg injury and was airlifted to North Memorial in Robbinsdale. Jericho had non-life threatening injuries and treated at the Paynesville Hospital.
--A Lions member from Seattle Washington Mark Mansell is biking from Portland Oregon to Portland, Maine to raise money for the Leader Dog School for the Blind. He is asking a penny a mile for the 3500 mile trip. Mansell will be in Randall this afternoon around 2pm. Bikers are encouraged to ride with Mansell from Randall to Little Falls this afternoon. He will be in Little Falls through tomorrow and appear on KLTF Party Line tomorrow morning at 10am. For more information contact Bunny at 632-8373 or cyclingforleaderdogs.org.
--The U.S. House Farm Bill unveiled has 35-billion dollars in cuts versus about 24-billion dollars in the Senate version. 7Th District Congressman Collin Peterson says it eliminates controversial direct payments and redirects some of the money back into the countercyclical program and others. Peterson says the main thing he was concerned about was keeping the countercyclical program because it protects farmers against a price collapse, something that might not be a problem now, but will likely become one later. The farm bill also caps conservation reserve program acres at 25-million. Peterson says it completely overhauls the dairy program and ends up going to a more market-oriented margin-insurance program.
--A Princeton man was arrested Thursday after a homeowner interrupted a burglary in Sherburne County. The homeowner heard noises in his garage around 7:15am and found a man with a weapon that the homeowner owned. The burglar fled the garage. The homeowner’s description then led deputies to 29-year-old Duwayne Leese in a nearby wooded area. He is currently jailed in Elk River.
--The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency continues to collect water samples at Moosehead Lake and at the river access near the City of Sturgeon Lake due to local wastewater collection system overflows. The most current lake advisory information is available at www.MNBeaches.org or by calling 218-302-6660.
--Francis “Franny” Stangl, age 64 of Buckman
--Gerald Hartman, age 86 of Little Falls.
--Marjorie A. Czech, age 72 of Bowlus.
--Sylvester Lehner, age 84 of Upsala.
--Sister Mary Maristell Schanen, age 93 of St. Francis Convent LF.
--Lucy Jacobson, age 52 of Park Rapids
--Trady E. Yetzer, age 72 of Hillman.
TODAY= mostly sunny, high in the 80s.
TONIGHT= clear skies, low around 60.
TUESDAY= mostly sunny, high around 85, clear at night low 65.
WEDNESDAY= mostly sunny, high 85, an isolated nighttime storm.
MLB= Francisco Liriano shut down Texas Friday as Twins win 5-1. Texas rallied to win Saturday 4-3 in 10 innings. Twins battled another long delay, another 9th inning blown save and another loss as Texas rallied from 3-0 in the 9th to win 4-3 in 13 innings Sunday. The Twins are off for All Star Break. The All Star Game is Tuesday in Kansas City. The lone Twins representative is Joe Mauer as a reserve player.
VL= get the latest info on the Victory League by logging on to www.fallsradio.com then click on Victory League.
Lunches and happy hour daily, stop in and stay cool at West Side Bar
Friday- July 6th, 2012
--On Monday night the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of Draft #10 of the sign ordinance in Little Falls. During the public hearing many people expressed their opinions on the new ordinance, some positive and others negative. The council met after the public hearing and did pass the amended sign ordinance. One item discussed will be that this ordinance and others will be reviewed and adjusted as necessary to match the wants and needs of the community. Some suggestions were made Monday from citizens and will be considered. Before the new ordinance takes affect it must be published in the paper followed by a specific waiting period which follows the voting on any ordinance.
--North central-Minnesota continues to clean up after storms Wednesday night dropped heavy rains, lightning, large hail and damaging winds. The National Weather Service surveyed areas from Sebeka in Wadena County down east of Staples and Motley toward Leader and over to Pillager. Then another area in portions of Crow Wing, Mille Lacs and Aitkin County where winds were clocked at 50 to 75 miles per hour. Survey crews from National Weather Service were checking to see if a tornado touched down in those areas. Golf ball sized hail was reported in Wadena and Cass County Wednesday with power lines and trees down in many areas. Fort Ripley to Harding reported 2-3 inches of rainfall, damaging winds and hail. Thunderstorms are forecasted again today, but drier and cooler temperatures are forecasted through the weekend and next week.
--Minnesota Power is asking boaters to use extreme caution when boating near area dams as safety buoys have been washed away due to high water from recent rains. There may be unseen hazards with high currents causing dangerous conditions.
--The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office responded to an apparent attempted abduction on Pamela Lane in St. Wendel Township approximately 2 miles north of St. Joseph Monday around 3:40pm. A 10-year old girl reported that she was out front of her residence sweeping the driveway when she was approached by an adult male. She indicated that the male grabbed her wrist and told her to get in his car. She said she was able to pull away and ran back inside her residence. The suspect is described as a white male, about 6 feet tall, 180 pounds with brown hair. He appeared to be in his 30’s and was wearing a blue short sleeve shirt with a blue and red superman symbol on the front, black pants with white shoes and black laces. She described the car as a blue car similar looking to an older style Chevrolet Lumin or Caprice. The incident remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call law enforcement.
--Sauk Rapids Mayor Dave Saunders reported Wednesday that a split in a wastewater pipeline early that morning caused untreated sewage to go into the Mississippi River for several hours. Saunders stated that work was continuing last night in pumping a line that was moving the sewage to the St. Cloud treatment plant. The high water helped dilute the sewage and the Minnesota Pollution Control has been called in to investigate. Saunders stated that there shouldn’t be any health risks to area residents from the pipeline split.
--A semi-truck flipped on its side Wednesday on the Highway 371 bypass south of the Brainerd/Baxter area. The rollover occurred on the ramp blocking traffic for some time. The Brainerd Fire Department extricated the driver, no name released, was taken to the Brainerd hospital, treated and released.
--The Morrison County Commissioners meet Tuesday 9am at the Government Center. The Memorial Day mudfest in Hillman will be discussed following the post-action report recently by Sheriff Michel Wetzel. The sheriff’s recent reports are also on the agenda Tuesday.
--The trial for a Freeport farmer charged with distributing raw milk products has been postponed until September. Alvin Schlangen is now scheduled to have his day in court on September 17th in Hennepin County on 4 misdemeanor charges of violating Minnesota’s food safety code. The trial was scheduled for May but postponed it due to the unavailability of a state witness.
--Local Olympian Amanda Theischafer Smock will be in her hometown of Melrose Saturday to shake hands and sign autographs. Smock recently qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics later this month in London and is the American woman to qualify for the women’s triple jump. She will be at the Central Minnesota Credit Union’s Melrose Branch from 11am to noon on Saturday.
--The Pierz City Council meets Monday night 7pm at Pierz City Hall. Agenda items include utility billing upgrade/training proposal, a Peter Avenue update, police department policy approvals and hear reports from city departments such as police, fire and public works.
--The number of people who have drowned this summer is the highest statewide in a decade. With the recent 5 year old who drowned earlier this week near Rush City that makes at least 25 people who have died of non-boating related deaths in Minnesota waters. Last year there were only 13 reported deaths by drowning in Minnesota lakes. Tim Smalley of the DNR says that more people are taking to the water with the hotter weather but has a few major tips, watch the water for high current before going in, it is best not to swim alone, watch small children at all times around water and if boating or being in high water, make sure to wear a lifejacket.
--Due to recent flooding rains, the Aitkin County Fair has been cancelled this year. It was to start next Wednesday in Aitkin.
--The 50th Annual Swanville Mid-Summer Carnival is tonight through Sunday. Music, carnival rides and a parade Sunday at 11:30. More details on events at www.fallsradio.com/communitycalender.
--Jason and Sara Witucki of Little Falls, parents of twins, born 7-3.
TODAY= partly sunny, showers and storms in afternoon, high 84.
TONIGHT= showers and storms likely, then clearing, low 60.
SATURDAY= partly cloudy to sunny, high 77, clear at night, low 55.
SUNDAY= sunny skies, high 83, clear at night, low around 60
MONDAY= sunny skies, high near 80, clear at night, low near 60.
TWINS= Prince Fielder blasted a 3 run homerun as the Tigers came back to beat the Twins 7-3 Thursday to split the 4 game series. The Twins are in Texas tonight for a 3 game series before the All Star Break next week. Pregame coverage begins at 6:35pm tonight, 5:45pm Saturday and a night game on Sunday starting at 5:35pm, all the games heard live on Q92 WYRQ.
VL= The Game of the Week is Saturday at 1:30pm on AM960 and will be St. Wendel at St. Stephen. Roundup Sunday at 6:30pm
“North Star Entertainment” tonight and Sat, free sober cab at WS Bar
Thursday- July 5th, 2012
--Little Falls Police has released information on receiving a call to aid the sheriff’s office with a capsized canoe and rescue of 2 children last Thursday near Blanchard Dam. Police were cancelled on route after a report that the 2 children were safely out of the water. They do remind residents that the waters around Little Falls and the surrounding areas are still high with strong currents that can make canoeing and other water events difficult to operate.
--Upsala and Holdingford fire departments responded to a barn fire Tuesday morning in Krain Township. Just before 3, firefighters were called to the Robert and Judith Theisen farm near Freeport. The 60 by 40 foot barn was engulfed in flames and ended up being a complete loss. A grain box next to the barn was also destroyed. Firefighters kept the fire from spreading to other outbuildings or the house. Lightning is believed to have started the fire. No injuries.
--A 58-year-old Brainerd man was injured last Thursday in a motorcycle accident on Evergreen Avenue in Brainerd. Police say around 1pm Leonard Wheeler lost control at an intersection and fell from the cycle. He was treated and released at an area hospital.
--Crow Wing County deputies responded to a rollover accident Monday morning in Lake Edward Township. 34-year-old Scott Meyer of New Hope left the roadway around 10:30 and crashed into the ditch. Meyer was taken to Brainerd hospital with reported non-life threatening injuries. The Nisswa Fire Department assisted the sheriff’s office at the accident scene.
--Brainerd Police investigated a 2 vehicle accident with injuries on Highway 210 east of Brainerd Monday afternoon. Authorities only stated that at least one person was taken to a hospital. No other information has been released.
--A 24-year-old Pillager woman charged with burglary and vandalism at the Heartland Animal Rescue Team in Baxter appeared in a Baxter courtroom Monday. The judge set Samantha Jo Martin’s next hearing for August 29th. Martin allegedly admitted to police that she went to HART after it had closed, stealing a dog without paying the $600 in fees, let other dogs loose, spray painted the building, damaged the locks to the building and also fencing and phone lines were damaged. There was no word if a plea was made by Martin in the case only that the next hearing would be August 29th in Baxter.
--Authorities are investigating the death of a 16-year-old girl from St. Michael found on a Wright County bike path. Michaela Olson was found unresponsive just after 9:30 Sunday morning and pronounced dead at the Monticello hospital. An autopsy is being performed to determine the cause of the death. The Wright County Sheriff’s Office stated that she was alone, and there is no evidence of foul play.
--Otter Tail County reported that one person is dead and another injured after a tractor rolled over in the town of Erhard. Deputies were called to Highway 24 Sunday night and found a juvenile female and an adult male pinned underneath. 53-year-old Dennis Kubitz was pronounced dead at the scene. The 8-year-old girl was taken to a hospital in Fergus Falls with serious injuries. Authorities say the tractor was cutting grass when it entered a driveway ditch and rolled.
--The Minnesota State Patrol will have extra DWI patrols at several local events including Moondance Jam, Friday July 20 – Saturday July 21, near Walker in Cass County and for Emily Day, June 21, in and around Emily in Crow Wing County. Additional troopers and other area officers will be on the roads during these times to combat impaired driving during the busy weekend.
--Storms pounded the state Monday night and Tuesday morning. Storms hit Crow Wing, Cass, Aitkin counties from 8pm to 12am Monday then Todd and Morrison County from 12am to 3am Tuesday. More than 6,500 people north or Brainerd were without power Tuesday for many hours. More storms affected the area last night with the heaviest in a line from Wadena to Staples then north and east of Motley to Pillager and over to Brainerd then into Aitkin and Carlton counties. Tornado warnings were issued for many areas but due to darkness it was unclear if any touched down. Little Falls Radio had .25 rain Tuesday morning and another .25 rain last night. An excessive Heat Advisory remains in effect through tonight with temperatures in the 90s today then storms late tonight into Friday cooling us down. Flooding is also a major concern again in Cass, Crow Wing and Aitkin Counties from heavy rains dropping 4-9 inches of rain between Monday and Wednesday. Flood warnings are in effect through Saturday for many areas including Fort Ripley where water levels are still above flood stage today but will ease under the 10 foot flood stage now until after the weekend.
--The City of Little Falls is sponsoring a curbside appliance, tire and bulk garbage clean up for 1 and 2 unit residences. This will take place Friday, July 13th rain or shine, have items on the curb by 6am, again items will be picked up on your curbside, NOT in the alleys. You must pre-register your items with the city of Little Falls and pre-pay any additional items you may have before pickup as they are allowing 1 appliance, one electric item or 4 car or truck tires, after that there will be a charge for additional items. Doors must be removed from refrigerators and freezers. Forms must be completed and returned to City Hall by tomorrow. Questions call 616-5500.
--Famed actor Andy Griffith died Tuesday at age 86.
--Gladys M. Hedin, age 88 of Duluth formerly of Upsala.
--Earl D. Nelson, age 80 of Little Falls.
--Margaret Tepley, age 97 of Swanville.
--Mrs. LaVern Masog, age 97 of Little Falls.
EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING UNTIL 10PM TONIGHT
TODAY= partly cloudy, hot, high 92
TONIGHT= partly cloudy then storms after midnight, low 65.
FRIDAY= showers and storms likely, some severe, high near 80.
SATURDAY= partly cloudy, PM storms develop, high 80, low 60.
SUNDAY= sunny skies, less humid, high 83, low around 60.
WILD= The Wild Wednesday inked Zach Parise and Ryan Sutter to big 13 year deals worth 98 million each for a big franchise jolt to bring the two together to play for the Wild this fall.
TWINS= Twins win 8-6 Tuesday as Willingham, Plouffe and Mauer hit homers. Tigers win 5-1 Wednesday ending Twins 5 game winning streak. Both of the games had long rain delayed starts. Twins wrap series with Detroit today, pregame at 11:35am on Q92 WRYQ.
VL= St. Stephen at St. Wendel Saturday at 1:30 on AM960 KLTF.
“North Star Entertainment” Friday and Saturday at West Side Bar.
Tuesday- July 3rd. 2012
--Convicted of kindness, dozens people raised money for Minnesota babies last week at a March of Dimes jail in Little Falls. The jailbirds served their time behind bars Thursday at the Little Falls Pizza Ranch. The only way for jailbirds to get out of the big house was to raise a big bail. Money raised at the Little Falls Jail and Bail will provide funding for the March of Dimes to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. The jailbirds raised nearly $10,000. That total includes money raised online to date and money pledged to jailbirds from friends, family and co-workers. Jailbirds who raised more than $1,000 include Kari Nelson, Amanda Zimmerman, and Mike Wood. Money will go to fund research, education, advocacy and community programs to help moms and babies. Nearly half a million babies are born too soon in the U.S. each year. In Minnesota, 1 in 10 babies is born premature.
--Royalton was recently honored as a Minnesota GreenStep City. This honor is bestowed upon cities that have completed steps toward environment sustainability goals. GreenStep Cities is a free and voluntary program designed to help Minnesota cities achieve their environmental sustainability goals through implementation of 28 best practices. Royalton was honored for completing 2 of the steps in the GreenStep program.
--4th of July celebrations begin tonight with fireworks in Randall and also in Scandia Valley then fireworks on Wednesday night in Baxter and also in St. Cloud. Parades on Wednesday include Randall at 11am, Hillman at 11am and Baxter hosting the parade at 4pm. More details on 4th of July events got to www.fallsradio.com.
--With the new parade route and fireworks site for Baxter instead of Brainerd tomorrow, the Department of Transportation and city of Baxter are reminding motorists along Highway 371 in Baxter that there will be excess traffic and pedestrians in that area to view the parade around the Baxter golf course and the fireworks behind the Mills Ford building. MN Dot is urging 4th of July goers to park on the eastside of Highway 371 so you do not have to cross the highway and to follow traffic rules. Law enforcement will be out watching the area for motorists and pedestrians to help them get to their destination safely. Also those that usually drive Clearwater Road near the golf course on a daily basis should be advised that the road will be closed at times as will Cypress Drive and Excelsior Road east of the Golf Course anytime after 8am on July 4th for set up of the events that day and also the parade scheduled at 4pm.
--St. Cloud police had to close a section of University Drive after a piece of concrete fell from the city owned pedestrian bridge that connects sections of St. Cloud State’s campus on Saturday. Nothing was hit and no one was injured. The walking bridge and section of the highway was to be worked on Sunday and Monday, with plans to have the work done by tomorrow for the 4th festivities in St. Cloud.
--The City of Rice along with Benton County and the Minnesota Department of Transportation are holding public hearings this week to discuss the Highway 10 and Benton County Road 2 interchange plus the overpass and ramps on the intersection planning to be built in 2013-2014. The project was designed to improve safety and remove left turn median movements. A special planning commission on the project is tonight at 5 at Rice City Hall then another joint council and planning meeting is Thursday at 5 at City Hall.
--News, weathers, recipes and events all at www.fallsradio.com.
--A reminder that the offices of Little Falls Radio will be closed on Wednesday, July 4th for the holiday and reopen at 8am on Thursday, July 5th. There will be no Little Falls Radio newsletter on July 4th due to the holiday.
--Tomorrow is Independence Day or the 4th of July, a national holiday. All federal, state, county and city offices will be closed. There is no regular mail delivery. Many banks and businesses may be closed Wednesday so it is best to call ahead.
--A motorcyclist was killed Saturday in Baxter. Baxter police responded around 3pm to Dellwood Drive and found 30-year-old Matthew Abel of Brainerd had crashed into a personal watercraft trailer. According to witnesses, Abel attempted to pass several vehicles when the vehicle with the trailer turned left and struck the cycle. Abel was taken to an area hospital but died from his injuries. The driver of the other vehicle, 60-year-old Paul Heath of St. Cloud was not injured. The crash remains under investigation.
--Two people were hurt Saturday afternoon in a motorcycle accident in Maine Prairie Township of Stearns County. 44-year-old Thomas Winter of Avon was riding with a group of motorcyclists on County Road 48 at 155th Street when he had to brake hard and caused the cycle to skid on its side. Winter and his passenger 41-year-old Rosemary Dobis of Avon were both thrown from the cycle. Both were treated at the Kimball hospital for injuries.
--A Lake Elmo man was injured Sunday in a watercraft accident. Stearns County reported the incident happed around 2:45pm in Avon Township. Robert Platz, age 37 of Lake Elmo fell off the personal watercraft he was in and was struck by another watercraft while in the water. Platz was taken to shore by a bystander and treated at the scene. He was taken to St. Cloud Hospital for further treatment.
--A correction from yesterday’s newsletter. The Morrison County Commissioners do not meet this week. They will meet next Tuesday.
--Daniel J. Carwell, age 52 of Little Falls formerly of Pierz.
--Winifred ‘Winnie’ Galbraith, age 94 of St. Cloud formerly Little Falls
TODAY= mostly sunny, high near 90.
TONIGHT= partly cloudy, humid, low around 70.
4TH OF JULY= hot and humid, an isolated storm, high 94, low 70,
THURSDAY= hot and humid, storms heavy at night, high 95, low 66.
FRIDAY= some heavy storms early, then partly cloudy, high 84.
TWINS= Twins win 4th straight with a 6-4 win over Detroit last night on 13 singles. Twins continue series with Detroit, tonight and Wednesday at 5:35pm then Thursday the Twins wrap up the series with a day game, pregame at 11:35am on Q92 WYRQ.
JULY 4th HISTORY
IN 1776= the Second Continental Congress signed The Declaration of Independence which announced that the 13 American colonies were independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire.
IN 1802= U.S. Military Academy opened in West Point, New York.
IN 1862= Lewis Carroll began writing Alice in Wonderland stories.
“North Star Entertainment” Friday and Saturday at West Side Bar
Monday- July 2nd, 2012
--A Pierz woman has been charged with criminal vehicular homicide in the death of a Buckman man on June 21st. 55-year-old Linda Lou Hiemenz was charged in Morrison County District Court also with failing to stop at a traffic accident and failing to notify police of personal injury. Ashley Schraut was killed in the accident. The Sheriff’s Office stated they investigated the accident as a hit and run and an alleged witness informed them that Hiemenz was the driver of the vehicle that struck Schraut’s ATV and that it fled the scene. If convicted, Hiemenz faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.
--The Morrison County Commissioners discussed the Memorial Day Mud Fest event near Hillman at their recent planning meeting. Sheriff Michel Wetzel had presented his after-action report at the June 6 County Board planning meeting. The report described a more orderly Mud Fest than in years past, but highlighted some concerns and noted the fact that some of the conditions to the permit were not met. Since it was only a planning meeting, the board could only accept the sheriff’s report and listen to possible options on the Labor Day event coming up at the same residence. The issue will be brought up at the next Regular County Board meeting scheduled for Tuesday at 9am at the Government Center.
--Area lawmakers continue to express their approval or distain for the Supreme Court ruling Thursday to uphold The President’s health care “Obamacare” and rule it constitutional. DFL Governor Mark Dayton said the ruling is an affirmation of the reform efforts currently underway in Minnesota to improve health and lower the cost of care. DFL Senator Amy Klobuchar said the law is the beginning, not an end and she believes that improvements still need to be made but this is a move forward not back. 8th District Republican Congressman Chip Cravaack said the Supreme Court ruling means small business owners, doctors, patients and consumers will be forced into a government-run health care system that limits out freedom while driving up costs on all Americans and went on to say this is a huge slap in the face to every American who believes in free market and limited government principles. District 12 State Senator Republican Paul Gazelka stated that he is disappointed in the ruling by the United States Supreme Court as for the first time in our nation’s history as the Supreme Court has given Congress the power to levy a tax on a human being simply for being alive. Analysts feel that the DFL party considers it a win for the upcoming November elections while Republicans will have more ammunition to use in their campaigns for the upcoming elections later this year.
--Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl reports that a large scale federal drug investigation is in the final stages with the sentencing of numerous defendants from the Brainerd Lakes area. A Centerville, Minn. man at the center of a methamphetamine distribution ring has been sentenced to 23 years in prison. Craig Joseph Thompson led an organization which funneled methamphetamine throughout Minnesota and North Dakota. Thompson admitted he conspired to sell more than 500 grams of a substance containing meth. Ten defendants have been charged as part of this investigation. Seven of them including 4 from Pillager have been sentenced already with the others expected in the next month.
--Randall has their 4th of July celebration with street dance and fireworks Tuesday night and more events Wednesday including their parade at 11am more details at www.fallsradio.com.
--The Little Falls Chamber of Commerce has named Mary Brutger as July employee of the month. Mary is a personal lines representative at Marshik Insurance Agency. She has worked there 5 ½ years. She also enjoys walking, reading, going to her brother’s lake cabin and spending time with family, grandkids and friends. Congratulations to Mary Brutger, July employee of the month.
--The City of Little Falls Planning and Zoning Commission is holding a public hearing on the sign ordinance at 6:30pm tonight at City Hall.
--Minnesota Governor. Mark Dayton sent in a federal disaster request today detailing more than $100 million in flood damage to public infrastructure and said he expects to call state lawmakers into special session in late July or early August. Dayton said he hopes to hear back on the disaster request within two weeks. It aims to unlock federal money to help local governments fix roads, schools and other public assets after intense rains fell in portions of Minnesota, especially the Duluth area in June.
--A 20-year-old Brainerd man has been charged with criminal sexual conduct and felony domestic assault for allegedly trying to strangle a woman at their Brainerd home. Joseph Clark is accused of assaulting the woman on June 24th. The woman was treated for her injuries and Clark was taken into custody. Clark’s next omnibus hearing is scheduled for tomorrow morning in Brainerd.
--The DNR reported last week that two test gill nets set in Lake Charlotte in Todd County were taken. The nets are used to survey the lakes fish population and valued at $2,000.
--The Violence Prevention Council (VPC) of Morrison County received the “2012 Rural Health Team” award at the Minnesota Rural Health Conference last Tuesday in Duluth. The statewide honor was rewarded for their outstanding contribution to rural health. The council is a collaborative effort among St. Gabriel’s Hospital, Hands of Hope Resource Center and a broad spectrum of individuals throughout central Minnesota. The VPC received the award both for its collaboration and innovation.
--Refat Dodin and Aseel Numan of Little Falls, a boy born June 28th.
--Fred L. Klinker, age 90 of Little Falls
--Connie Dailey, age 65 of Verndale.
--David V. Okroi, age 52 of Little Falls.
TODAY= hot and humid, slight chance of storms, high 95
TONIGHT= storms likely, some severe, low near 70.
TUESDAY= sunny, less humid, high near 90, low 67.
4th of JULY= hot and humid, slight chance of storms, high 95.
TWINS= Kansas City beat the Twins 4-3 on Friday. Scott Diamond held Royals in check Saturday to win 7-2 in game 1 of a double-header. Josh Willingham and Joe Mauer homered in the nightcap Saturday for a 5-1 win for the Twins. Twins slug out 4 homers Sunday to win 10-8 and take 3 of 4 from the Royals. Twins are in Detroit tonight, pregame at 5:35pm on Q92.
Lunch, happy hour, entertainment, find it all at the West Side Bar