News March, 2014

Monday- March 31st, 2014

--The Morrison County Commissioners heard from Veterans Service Office Paul Froncak last week who after 28 years of service to the county is planning to retire in June. Froncak addressed the County Board Tuesday regarding possible changes to the classification of that position. Several area counties have changed the organization of their veterans services office, generally reporting to either the county administrator or to the human services department. Veterans in Morrison County generated $26.3 million for the county in fiscal year 2012. An additional $14 million was spent on health care locally. The Board reached a consensus after lengthy discussion and hearing from others in attendance about the importance of the office to decrease the compensation for the position to grade 28 as recommended by the county’s human resources consultant while maintaining the department head status of the office. The issue will come before the Board for a vote at their next meeting on April 8th.

--On Friday the Midwest Medical Examiner informed the Benton County Sheriff’s Office that 31-year-old Jamie Wylie, the body found by deputies County Road 75 and Mayhew Lake Road died from homicidal violence. Wylie was reported as a missing person back in December. The investigation into Wylie’s death is ongoing. Anyone with information concerning Wylie or any suspicious activity in the area where his body was found should call the Benton County Sheriff’s Office or the 800 Crime Stoppers line 800-255-1301.

--Todd County responded to a school bus accident Thursday afternoon south of Verndale near the Todd/Wadena County line, when a vehicle slid on the snow and ice covered roads and struck the bus head on. The bus was stopped at the time of impact. There were students on the bus but reportedly no one was injured. Deputies also responded to a burglary report Thursday at the Little Sauk American Legion where deputies observed a broken window to gain access into the business. A vehicle was stopped in the area a short time later and 27-year-old Jeffrey Walker of rural Burtrum and 33-year-old Jacob Buchholz of Grey Eagle were both arrested in connection with the burglary and charges are pending with the Todd County Attorney.

--The Pierz City Council voted last Monday that fees for services provided by the Pierz Volunteer Fire Department will cost a bit more. For two of the services, the first hour of service was never billed, but will be from now on and other charges were increased by $150 per hour including use of a third truck after the first hour. The council also announced their city cleanup day will be April 26th from 9:00-11:00am at Pioneer Elementary School. Approved hiring Nancy Medek to clean City Hall and the library at $11 per hour, approved applying for a matching grant from CenterPoint Energy to benefit the Pierz First Response team and voted to increase to $1,700 per year of service for retirement for volunteer firefighters.

--Morrison County residents are near the bottom of the statewide rankings for overall rankings in health outcomes. Factors that create health are: 40 percent related to social and economic factors; 30 percent to health behaviors; 10 percent by physical environment; 10 percent by genes and biology; and 10 percent by clinical care. Morrison County was 80th out of 87 Minnesota Counties in this category. There was another category showing overall rankings in health factors where Morrison County ranked 75th in the state. These rankings can be found at

--Water shut off today on Golf Road in Little Falls from 8:00am to 1:00pm.

--Congratulations to the 2014 Morrison County Dairy Princesses crowned Saturday night. They are Mindy Rinkel, Kaitlin Harren Jessica Staricka and Katie Yorek. They will serve as ambassadors to the dairy industry for the next year. The four will also attend the May workshop at St. Benedicts College to vie for the 12 finalists that will vie for Princess Kay in August. Harren was named Miss Congeniality.

--On Thursday just before 11:00pm, Chief Charles Strack of the Randall Police Department received a report of an accident with injuries at the intersection of West 6th Street and Superior Avenue in Randall. Upon arrival, first responders observed two vehicles in the ditch and one of the vehicles had a power pole on top of it. The driver of that vehicle, 17 year old Charles Mellema, was injured and pinned in the car. The driver of the other vehicle, 54 year old Helen Pfeffer, was also injured. Pfeffer had been driving west bound on West 6th Street approaching the intersection of Superior Avenue, and Mellema was driving north on Superior Avenue. It appeared Mellema failed to stop for the stop sign and entered the intersection in front of Pfeffer’s vehicle when they collided. Mellema was taken first by ambulance to St. Gabriel’s Hospital and then airlifted to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale where Mellema died from his injuries early Saturday. Pfeffer was treated for non-life threatening injuries sustained in the accident.

--The woman fatally struck by a train in east St. Cloud Thursday was identified by police as 52-year-old Carol Jean Oltz from St. Cloud. Oltz was found on the east side of the tracks after the incident happened at about 7:00am Thursday at the Seventh Street Southeast crossing.

--Representative Ron Kresha of Little Falls presented his bill last week to the House that would give local school districts additional flexibility and control of their budgets to help improve education outcomes. The bill was laid over for consideration in a future omnibus bill. The Minnesota School Board Association is in support of the bill.

--Kathleen “Katie” LeMieur, age 55 of Little Falls
--Janice Schubert, age 67 of rural Harding
--Charles ‘Charlie’ Mellema, age 17 of Randall.
--Sheila Stevens, age 55 of Motley.

TODAY= rain mainly afternoon, high near 50.
TONIGHT= rain changing to sleet and snow, windy, low 17.
TUESDAY= snow ending 1-2 inches, then sun and wind, high 30.
WEDNESDAY= mostly sunny, high near 40, low around 15.

COL HK= Gophers beat Robert Morris 7-3 Saturday. St. Cloud State needed overtime to beat Notre Dame 4-3. Gophers shut out SCSU Sunday 4-0 to advance to Frozen Four to face North Dakota April 10th in Philadelphia. Other two are Boston College and Union (NY).
COL BB= Wisconsin, Florida, Kentucky & Connecticut in Final Four. WOMEN= Gophers fired Women’s Basketball Coach Pam Borton on Friday after 12 seasons. The women lost Thursday in the WNIT.
TWINS= Twins open regular season today at Chicago with pregame at 2:40pm, they are off tomorrow and back in action on Wednesday and Thursday with all day games in Chicago and all on Q92 WYRQ.

Meat raffles every Friday starting at 5:30pm at West Side Bar LF

Friday- March 28th, 2014

--26-year old Brandon Bedford was found not guilty Thursday afternoon of third degree murder in the heroin overdose death of Miranda Gosiak of Little Falls though Bedford was found guilty of third degree sale of a controlled substance (heroin). That charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and or a $250,000 fine. According to the Morrison County Record, the jury returned the not guilty verdict about 1:45pm Thursday after deliberating for about three hours. Juror’s were not shown that the prosecution was able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Bedford was the person who gave Gosiak the lethal dose of heroin. Gosiak snorted heroin on February 27th, 2012 at the home of Tanya Ashby and spent the night at that house. She was seen the next morning around 8:00am, but by 3:00pm was found dead in Bedford’s bedroom. Both Christian Dahn and Tanya Ashby originally had murder charges against them, but the state dismissed those charges and made deals with them for testifying truthfully at Bedford’s trial. The prosecution believed it was Bedford’s heroin that proved fatal to Gosiak, and the defense made the case Gosiak could have received the fatal dose of heroin from another person or source. Ultimately, the jury decided there was a reasonable doubt and did not convict Bedford on the third degree murder charge, but did convict him of third degree sale of a controlled substance (heroin). Bedford’s sentencing will be in 45-60 days after he takes care of other charges in other counties.

--Veronica Nelson was crowned the 2014 Crow Wing County Dairy Princess and will go on to compete for one of 12 Princess Kay finalists to be chosen in May. Anthony Hettver and Raychel Raddatz were chosen as Dairy Ambassadors. Nelson is the daughter of Ron and Barb Nelson of Brainerd. The Morrison County Dairy Princess Coronation and Banquet will be held this Saturday night at 8:00pm at the Falls Ballroom. Six Morrison County candidates are vying for the four princesses. The candidates are Samantha Welle, Katie Yorek, Kaitlin Harren, Marquie Marquette, Jessica Staricka and Mindy Rinkel. Tickets are available at the door for the event.

--St. Cloud Police and the Minnesota State Patrol investigated the death of a person struck by a train around 7:00am Thursday. Authorities stated the crossing on 7th Street Southeast in St. Cloud was closed for about 2 hours while the tracks were cleared. The identity of the deceased person will not be released until the family is notified. The investigation is still under investigation.

--Morrison County Deputies this week responded to theft of copper wiring on 213th Street in Little Falls from an irrigation system and a fight report from Main Gate Bar where a woman was hit with a pipe.

--Recent U.S. Census reports that Minnesota’s population in 2013 grew from just under 5.38 million to over 5.42 million people in one year’s time. Morrison County saw a small decline in population from 33,198 in 2012 to 33,052 in about a year’s time. Stearns, Benton, Wright and Sherburne Counties all had gains of about 1 percent or less according to the 2013 estimates.

--Joe Schmitz, a Sartell police officer died Thursday from complications from surgery. Schmitz had been a member of the Sartell Police Department since 2012. According to a statement by the Sartell Police Department, he had served 19 years with the Paynesville Police Department and worked part-time for the Cold Spring-Richmond Police Department. Schmitz is survived by his wife Stacy Landborg-Schmitz and their 4-year-old son.

--Pierz Freedomfest has been scheduled for July 19th at Genola Park. Music for this year’s festival is national country recording artists Frankie Ballard and Gloriana plus local band Loss 4 Words. Tickets are available at

--Nine Soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard's Detachment 39, Operational Support Airlift will return this afternoon after a nine-month deployment to Kuwait. The pilots and aviation operation specialists directly supported United States and coalition forces throughout Southwest Asia in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While deployed to Kuwait, the unit conducted aerial transportation and support for Unites States Central Command flying mission to Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan. With only three Beechcraft King Air 200 "C-12 Huron's," this small but very dedicated unit flew 424 missions, logged 1,844 hours of flight, hauled more than 1,600 passengers and 79,000 pounds of cargo.

--An open house for the Highway 10 Interchange Project will be held next Thursday in Rice. This is to discuss the plans for the Highway10/Benton County Road 2 interchange project in Rice. Those in attendance can view the project layout, schedule and traffic plans about the $11.3-million dollars project which began last summer and plans to restart in mid-April. The open house is 5:00-7:00pm on April 3rd at the Rice City Hall. For more information and updates on the projects you can log on to

--Minnesota employers cut 100 jobs in February, according to figures released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The loss, combined with a revised gain of 800 jobs in January, brought total job growth in the state over the past year to 44,714, a growth rate of 1.6 percent compared with a U.S. growth rate of 1.5 percent during that period. The Minnesota unemployment rate climbed 0.1 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted 4.8 percent. The U.S. rate is at 6.7 percent.

--Derrick and Krista Paulson of Little Falls, a boy born March 26th

--Melvin A. Smith, age 85 of Motley
--Mary L. Brauch, age 81 of Staples.

TODAY= mostly sunny, high near 35, cloudy night, low 10.
SATURDAY= sunny, high near 40, breezy, mild night low 35.
SUNDAY= sunny early then afternoon rain, high 50, rain/snow night
MONDAY= rain and snow likely, all snow by afternoon, high 35.

COL HK= Gophers vs. Robert Morris followed by St. Cloud State and Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament in St. Paul Saturday. Winners play in the 2nd round match on Sunday to advance to Frozen Four.
NCAA= NCAA men’s tournament continues through the weekend with by Sunday night the final four teams will be decided. In Women’s NIT action South Dakota State beat Minnesota 70-62.
TWINS= Twins finished spring play Saturday then head to Chicago for season opener Monday afternoon at 2:40pm on Q92 WYRQ.

Meat raffle tonight, Loss for Words tonight & Sat at West Side Bar

Thursday- March 27th, 2014

--Little Falls Police have received reports from several Little Falls Businesses receiving counterfeit ten and twenty dollar bills within the past few days. If businesses are unsure if they have received any counterfeit bills they can verify the bills with their own bank. Police Chief Greg Schirmers wants to warn the businesses to take the time to check these bills for their unique security features when dealing with cash transactions. So far no larger counterfeit bills have been received, but historically $50 and $100 bills are counterfeited more than any other size of bills, so businesses should continue to check those closely too. If you have any questions on what security features are on each form of currency, it is best to ask your local bank for further details.

--A reminder from Morrison County Auditor Treasurer Russ Nygren that property tax statements for Morrison County residents will be mailed by Thursday, April 3rd. The property valuation notices for taxes payable in 2015 will be included. If you have questions on the value or classification it is best to contact the Morrison County Assessors office at 632-0101.

--In order to make repairs to the water main in Little Falls water will be shut off on Golf Road between the east and west entrances of Edgewater Drive on Monday, March 31st from 8:00am-1:00pm. If you have questions contact Little Falls City Hall at 616-5500.

--Benton County Deputies responded to a report of a dead body on the side of Benton County Road 75 and East St. Germain Street on the eastside of St. Cloud. Around 2:25pm on Tuesday deputies recovered the body of an adult white male and it was transported to the medical examiner’s office for identification and cause of death. Yesterday it was reported that the man is 31-year-old Jamie Wylie of Foley who was a reported missing person back in December. The manner and cause of death is still pending on final autopsy result.  Nothing at the scene indicated there was any immediate danger to the public. Benton County Road 75 was closed until late yesterday but has since reopened. The death is still an open an ongoing case.

--Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl reports that the Lakes Area Drug Investigative Division executed a search warrant on Friday afternoon at a residence located in rural Riverton (between Crosby and Brainerd). As a result of this search warrant, agents seized approximately 2.5 pounds of synthetic cannabinoids which is commonly called synthetic marijuana. No charges have been filed as of yet, but the suspect is currently in custody on unrelated charges. In a press release Sheriff Dahl stated, “This is a significant seizure of this product and shows that this individual is heavily involved in the sale of this illegal substance which has a street value of about $18,000. We are seeing a rise in this drug and want people to know that we will continue to aggressively enforce the laws related to this substance. We are also very fortunate to have an aggressive team of drug agents and I’m very proud of the job they do each day.” The substance was sent to the MN BCA for further testing and analysis.

--Cass County Attorney Christopher Strandlie was appointed to the Minnesota County Attorneys Association Board of Directors. Strandlie has been County Attorney for 6 years and in Cass County for 13.

--St Cloud police arrested 24-year-old Joseph Karnick after an assault at St. Cloud Hospital. Officers were called just after 3:00pm on Monday and learned that a nurse and two security officers were assaulted by Karnick after an altercation. Karnick awaits formal charges from the Stearns County Attorney’s Office.

--The Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA) has signed up just under 1000 volunteers, and procured 330 tons of feed in the last 3 weeks. Due to this MDHA has determined that to make the money last until spring thaw MDHA will not be taking any new volunteer feeders at any distribution locations beginning this Saturday. Those people who have already signed a volunteer form and received feed should continue to feed until spring thaw. MDHA would like to thank those people who have stepped up to help give out feed at distributions on Saturdays and worked hard to make those distributions go smoothly.

--A St. Paul man who is a Sauk Rapids native and Department of Public Safety employee says he’s running for Minnesota Secretary of State as a member of the Independence Party of Minnesota. Bob Helland announced that he will seek the party’s endorsement. State law generally allows state workers to run for and hold public office if it doesn’t conflict with their employment. Helland, a St. Cloud State University graduate, says he’d like to help the Department of Revenue and other agencies work more effectively with the Secretary of State’s Office. He also says he’d like to see the office use technology more effectively and make more information public. He is currently the only candidate for the Independence Party running for the seat. Their endorsing convention is May 17th in Mankato.

--Lucas and Crystal Jordan of Pierz, a boy born March 24th

TODAY= rain in morning, changing to snow by afternoon, windy with snow accumulating 2-4 inches by evening, temps dropping into 20s.
TONIGHT= snow early, then clearing, breezy, low 15.
FRIDAY= partly cloudy, high around 30, low around 10.
SATURDAY= sunny, high near 40, clear and mild, low around 30.
SUNDAY= sunny, high near 50, rain, sleet & snow at night low 30.

NFL=Free agent Jared Allen has agreed to terms with the Chicago Bears on a four-year deal. Allen will get $15.5 million guaranteed on a deal that could be worth as much as $32 million.  The 31-year-old Allen spent the previous six seasons with Minnesota Vikings.
COL BB= Gophers are in the NIT semi-finals for men’s basketball next Tuesday in New York. The NCAA men’s tournament resumes tonight with sweet sixteen action going down to 4 teams on Sunday.

IN 1841= steam powered fire engines first tested in New York
IN 1860= M L Byrn patented device now known as corkscrew.
IN 1939= Oregon beat Ohio State in the first NCAA men’s basketball tournament championship game held in New York City.
IN 1952= Sun Records in Memphis started producing music records.
IN 1970= Ringo Starr released first solo album, he was the first of the Beatles to release a solo album- George Harrison 3 months later.
IN 1974= Cher hit #1 with Dark Lady- first #1 after divorcing Sonny
IN 1995= Forrest Gump takes 6 Oscars at the Academy Awards including best actor Tom Hanks and best picture of the year.

Loss for Words Fri and Sat, meat raffles Fri night at West Side Bar

Wednesday- March 26th, 2014

--The pre-trial hearing for 65-year old Byron Smith who has been charged with 1st degree murder for the deaths of Haile Kifer and Nick Brady on Thanksgiving of 2012 was held Tuesday afternoon in Morrison County District Court. Motions were made by both the prosecution and defense regarding what evidence and testimony will be allowed at the trial. One notable motion by the defense was to dismiss the case based on not yet receiving requested photos that are believed to have been taken and other pieces of evidence not yet received by the defense. The court will take about a week to rule on any motions. As it stands right now, the jury selection is scheduled to start Monday, April 14th. The court estimates it will question 140 potential jurors that week and begin the actual trial on Monday, April 21st. The trial is expected to take two to three weeks.

--The 4th annual Day of Caring is on Wednesday, May 7th. Teams of volunteers including high school students will help seniors, homebound or disabled individuals, and individuals who live in the city limits of Little Falls and Randall who need assistance completing outdoor household projects. Projects must be able to be completed within three hours from 9:00am-12:00pm on Wednesday, May 7th. Projects may include window washing (outdoors and ground floor only), raking yards, clean up gardens and flower beds. Homeowners are required to be at home while the team of volunteer’s work on the projects. If you were part of the event last year you should have been given a call last night from someone at the schools. Another sign up method is to fill out the flyer that will be found in this week and next weeks edition of the Morrison County Record. For information on the Day of Caring, or if you have any registration questions, call Mary Kenna at HCC at (320) 631-5677.

--The Kinship Soup and Chili Cook-off for Kids was held Tuesday night. There were seven soup entrants and seven chili selections on hand. The judge awards for soup were: 3rd place to Old Creamery Café/Creative Catering for their Cream of Chicken Wild Rice Soup; 2nd Place to Lake Beauty Bible Camp for their Potato Corn Chowder; and 1st place to Morrison County HRA for their Chicken Dumpling Soup. The judge awards for chili were: 3rd Place to Morrison County HRA for their Loalee’s Family Chili; 2nd place to Lake Beauty Bible Camp for their Lake Beauty Chili; and 1st place to Charlie’s Pizza for their Candace’s Chili. The People’s Choice for soup was Smoked Gouda Bacon Soup from Cabin Fever Saloon and Eatery. The People’s Choice for chili was Red Bull Chili from Zylka’s Red Bull. The best theme voted by the people was Morrison County HRA for fiesta theme.

--District 5 Morrison County Commissioner Duane L. Johnson has announced he will run for re-election this fall. Johnson said his goal since being elected in 2006, has been to keep the county tax levy down and moving the county forward.

--A jury trial began Tuesday for the 19-year-old Willmar man who allegedly admitted that he killed an elderly woman during a robbery last summer who was the grandmother of his friend. Jury selection started Monday against Brok Junkermeier who is accused of stabbing and strangling Lila Warwick in her home last July 29th. Junkermeier was found to be competent to stand trial after defense argued his metal state at the time of her death. The grandson was to be the mastermind in the robbery and murder according to statements by Junkermeier to authorities. The grandson, Robert Warwick has his case still pending in Kandiyohi County District Court.

--Thrivent Financial announced Tuesday that it has been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute, an independent center of research promoting best practices in corporate ethics  and governance, as a 2014 World’s Most Ethical Company. This is the third time that Thrivent has been honored with this award, which recognizes organizations that continue to raise the bar on ethical leadership and corporate behavior. Thrivent is one of only five companies in the financial services industry honored this year.

--The Minnesota Court of Appeals denied the appeal from Ronnie Jackson who appealed his 2012 first-degree arson conviction stemming from a Brainerd fire. Jackson argued insufficient evidence and court errors in his appeal. The appeals court did not agree and affirmed Jackson’s conviction. Jackson was found guilty and sentenced to 115 months in prison for intentionally setting a fire in southeast Brainerd while two people were inside. Both Chad Holmes and a woman escaped safely.

--Fisheries managers are leaving most walleye regulations unchanged on Mille Lacs Lake this season while liberalizing the rules for taking northern pike and smallmouth bass in an effort to revive the population. The main change announced for walleye anglers is the extension of the nighttime fishing ban, which will run 10:00pm to 6:00am through December 1st instead of ending in mid-June. Daily and possession limits remain unchanged. The northern pike limit is being raised from three to 10, only one of which may be longer than 30 inches. That season will be extended from mid-February to the last Sunday in March. The northern pike spearing ban will be removed on Mille Lacs. The smallmouth season will be extended. While the limit remains six, the size restrictions are being relaxed to allow for smaller keepers. The season will open May 10th and will be exempt from the catch-and-release regulation that begins in mid-September, meaning the season will run through the last Sunday in February. Anglers can keep six fish; one of those may be longer than 18 inches. Previous regulations allowed six fish in the 17-to-20-inch range; one of those could be longer than 20 inches.

--A recent survey done for a Twin Cities Television Station chose Herbie’s Bar in Sobieski as having the best fish fry in Minnesota. WCCO television crews visited the bar recently talking to staff and customers and the piece will air Thursday night at 10:00pm during a “Best of Minnesota segment” Herbie’s Bar is owned and operated by the John Gorka family.

TODAY= partly cloudy, breezy afternoon, high 36.
TONIGHT= snow after midnight, low around 30, less than 1 inch
THURSDAY= snow changing to rain, high 34, 1-2 slushy inches
FRIDAY= sunny, breezy, high near 30.

IN 1872= Thomas Martin patents fire extinguisher
IN 1937= spinach growers in Texas erect statue of Popeye
IN 1958= The Benny Hill Show first debuted on U.S. television it was considered way to racy and pulled after a few episodes. The program would live on in England and syndication becoming the most watched show on all of television by 1969 and again in 1971.
IN 1973= The Young and The Restless premieres on CBS daytime.

Loss For Words Friday and Sat, meat raffles Fri at West Side Bar

Tuesday- March 25th, 2014

--The Little Falls Fire Department responded to a fire on Saturday afternoon to the Joshua Schneider home located at 702 12th Street NE in Little Falls. Three children were at home at the time of the fire. The smoke detectors sounded their alarm and all three children escaped without injuries. 17 firefighters were on the scene for about two hours. The fire was contained to the bedroom in the basement. The house did also sustain some smoke damage. Damage estimates are still being calculated. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

--A man believed to be responsible for a series of armed robberies in Alexandria has been arrested by police. The suspect is a 27 year old from Alexandria and police say the robberies spanned several weeks. The latest occurred last Tuesday at a gas station. Police Saturday stated that Michael Warren had been taken into custody on probable cause that he was involved in the recent robberies from February 23rd through March 18th. Formal charges are still pending from the Douglas County Attorney.

--Stearns County received info of a man in St. Cloud with three outstanding warrants for felony drug offenses. A deputy spotted the vehicle that 45-year-old Zachary Taylor of St. Cloud was driving and followed the vehicle that pulled into a gas station parking lot. Taylor saw the deputy and fled on foot running through a nearby pub before he was apprehended. Taylor was found with a substance that tested positive for methamphetamine that weighed over 2 grams and a large amount of currency. Taylor was taken to an area hospital for treatment of a broken arm then he was transported to jail.

--Friday, the Minnesota House passed legislation to cut taxes for more than 1 million middle class families and repealed business-to-business taxes. Governor Dayton signed the bill into law on Friday night. The bill will reduce taxes for hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans, largely by conforming to federal tax changes. Last session the House included federal tax conformity for tax year 2013 and beyond, but it did not end up in the final budget signed into law. More than one million middle-class Minnesotans will see $225 million in tax cuts due to federal conformity and boosting the state’s Working Family Credit. An additional $30.2 million will be spent to increase the Working Family Credit above and beyond federal conformity, providing a total of $66.2 million to 331,000 claimants earning less than $49,103. The average family will see $146 tax cut.

--A train struck a semi-truck late Sunday near Cass Lake. The 43-year-old truck driver suffered non life threatening injuries while the train operator did not report any injuries to the state patrol. The Minnesota State Patrol as of late Sunday was still investigating how the accident happened and which direction the train was going.

--With three of four child seats not used correctly and half of all traffic fatalities involving unbelted drivers and passengers, law enforcement agencies across the state will be focusing on car seat and seat belt use thru March 30th. Nearly 400 Minnesota law enforcement agencies are adding extra patrols during the Click It or Ticket campaign. While a record-number of Minnesotans buckle up (94 percent), approximately 150 deaths and 400 serious injuries annually involve motorists who are not buckled up. Preliminary 2013 data shows 94 fatalities and 247 serious injuries were reported where the motor vehicle occupant was unbelted. This count is expected to rise as 2013 data continues to come in.

--Kinship of Morrison County holds their annual Soup and Chili Cookoff for Kids tonight from 5:00-7:00pm at the Falls Ballroom. The event is nearly 20 years old. All proceeds go to Kinship to help with mentoring programs. Questions call Aaron at 632-8806.

--Nisswa firefighters battled a house fire Monday morning just after 8:00am on Gull Lake Drive. The home owned by John Taylor who is an accountant in the Brainerd Lakes area was completely destroyed though firefighters were able to save all of the tax documents from an adjacent office. Firefighters stated the fire started from a “cooking incident” and the fire quickly spread throughout the house. There were no injuries. Three other departments aided at scene.

--Dale Lueck on Saturday won the GOP nomination for Minnesota House District 10B. Lueck lost to DFL Representative Joe Radinovich of Crosby in 2012 by 323 votes. Lueck is a retired rural Aitkin cattle rancher. There was no opposition for Lueck for the GOP nomination.

--Two Pierz residents won on separate Minnesota lotteries. Thomas Lutzke of Pierz won a $100,000 prize from a ticket he purchased in Buckman. James Blaisdell of Pierz claimed a $29,000 prize from a ticket he purchased in Pierz. Congratulations to both.

--Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razar said Monday that a new analysis of electronic data shows that the missing Malaysian airlines it went down in a remote area of the Indian ocean and that there were no survivors. He said the data finds that the plane flew along a southern corridor west of Perth, Australia. The plane, with 239 passengers aboard, was last heard from on March 8. A Chinese plane had already reporting spotting "suspicious objects in the southern Indian Ocean" during its search for the missing Boeing 777 and a separate Australian plane also spotted potential debris, said to be "circular" and "rectangular," boosting hopes Monday that clues to the jet's fate may shortly be recovered.

--Alfred ‘Allie’ W. Vogtlin, age 89 of Hillman.
--Duane Ernest Smith, age 76 of Nisswa

TODAY= sunny, chilly and breezy, high near 20.
TONIGHT= partly cloudy, low around 5 above.
WEDNESDAY= partly sunny, breezy, high near 40.
WED NITE= rain/snow develops, low around 30.
THURSDAY= snow likely, possible 1-3 inches, high 35.

NIT= Gopher men vs. Southern Mississippi tonight at 8pm at Williams Arena in 3rd Round of the Men’s NIT Tournament.
HK= Gophers, St. Cloud State, MSU-Mankato, Wisconsin and North Dakota all got bids into the NCAA Men’s Hockey Tournament that begins Friday and Saturday. The Gophers have Robert Morris Saturday at 4:30 followed by St. Cloud State and Notre Dame at 8pm with the winners playing each other Sunday in St. Paul.
TWINS= Twins rained out yesterday- take on Baltimore today in a spring exhibition game at noon on Q92 WYRQ.
SPRING= see spring schedules for local teams at

Loss for Words Fri and Saturday, meat raffles Friday at WS Bar

Monday- March 24th, 2014

--Frozen drainage pipes at Royalton High School have caused water to back up on the roof and leak into the school’s hallway. The head custodian brought in a portable sump pump to drain the water, and although it kept up for a while it was not enough to handle the problem. A pumping company was called in and steamed the underground pipe open. The process continues to get the water out of the building. School has continued to be in session in Royalton while this work is being done.

--A St. Cloud man was critically injured after the vehicle he was a passenger in was hit by a vehicle that ran a red light Thursday around 1:20pm at Minnesota Highway 15 and Veterans Drive. A vehicle turning from northbound Highway 15 was hit by a vehicle that ran a red light heading south on Highway 15. 30-year-old Luke Matthew Gillitzer was a passenger in the vehicle that was hit and was in critical condition Friday at the hospital. Another passenger in that vehicle 53-year-old Jennifer Mary Gillitzer was taken to the hospital and last listed in fair condition. The driver of the vehicle that ran the red light 42-year-old Yuan Yi Li was cited for the violation. Both drivers in the accident escaped serious injuries.

--Morrison County Sheriff’s Deputies in the past week responded to a burglary report on East River Road in Pillager and a break-in report to a camper in Motley. They also assisted Motley and Scandia Valley firefighters on March 15th to a fire call where an electrical problem caused a small fire at home near Motley. There were no injuries.

--Brainerd firefighters responded to Laestadian Lutheran Church on 8th Street due to smoke coming from the building. Firefighters investigated and smelled smoke but could not find the source. The maintenance crew working in the building was evacuated and the building was ventilated. Fire crews said they would monitor it.

--An Aitkin County Judge granted a defendant’s motion last week to suppress evidence seized from a search at a home on Mile Lacs Lake that was conducted without a warrant. According to documents Richard and Linda Southworth were observed by authorities fishing with an extra fishing line. The DNR asked to look into their home though the defendant twice stated for the DNR official not to look in a freezer, the DNR officer did and found excess number of taken fish from the lake. The Southworths were charged with possession over the limit of the lake which is a gross-misdemeanor. The defendants argued that the search was a violation of their constitutional rights as the DNR did not have a permit. The DNR also confiscated the Southworth’s boat and trailer which is in the works of being returned to them due to the court dismissing the charges.

--A 30 year old man will serve more than 9 years in prison after pleading guilty to second degree criminal sexual conduct in Cass County. Melvin Smith III of Walker was sentenced to 100 months in prison for sexually touching a young boy on multiple occasions in 2011 while he was taking care of the child in Remer. The heavier sentence was because Smith has two prior predatory offender convictions on his record.

--Little Falls Community High School music teacher Jonathan LaFlamme was named the Music Teacher of the Week by Minnesota Public Radio. Nominations for the honor came from Heartland Symphony Orchestra manager Fran Dosh. LaFlamme has composed and received awards for some of his pieces which have been premiered in the St Cloud area. An interview with LaFlamme will be at 7:00am and 7:00pm on Tuesday on Minnesota Public Radio.

--A former Mille Lacs County sheriff's deputy who volunteered at a summer camp in Otter Tail County pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct charges and could face 33 years in prison. Aaron Joseph Heuer of Isle pleaded guilty to four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with five victims as part of a plea agreement reached so that that the case would not go to a jury trial. As part of the agreement, Heuer will also plead guilty to one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in Mille Lacs County. The plea agreement calls for a sentence of 396 months in prison. According to the criminal complaint, the first incidents took place when Heuer was volunteering as a fishing guide at Lutheran Island Camp in Henning. As part of his plea, Heuer admits that he inappropriately touched four boys ages 8-10 and instructed them to have sexual contact with him. Additional incidents are alleged to have taken place with two of the victims on a fishing trip in Aitkin County. Investigators believe Heuer knew all of the victims prior to the incidents. Sentencing is scheduled for May 8th in Otter Tail County District Court.

--A St. Cloud woman was hospitalized Thursday night after she was hit by a vehicle. 21-year old Shoua Yang was hit while walking at First Avenue South and Sixth Street. A vehicle driving east on Sixth Street struck Yang at around 8:45pm. The driver of the vehicle was identified as 21 year old Jefferson Dennis of St. Cloud. He could face criminal charges as a result.

--Brainerd police responded to a report of a man who had shot himself in the hand at a business in Brainerd. Officers arrived and learned that the 33-year-old had removed the gun from a holster and showed it off to another person. When the man tried to push the slide from the barrel end of the gun it discharged in his hand. No one else was injured in the incident which has been ruled an accident.

--Ruby’s Pantry is 4:30-6:00pm today at Bethel Lutheran Church. Oasis Central Minnesota is reminding those who attend the cost for a box of food is now $20. If you have questions call Tim at 632-9140.

--Congratulations to Philip Hexom of Cushing who won $20,000 on a Minnesota State Lottery- the ticket was purchased in Cushing.

--Michael Prokott Jr., age 74 of Royalton.
--Verna Klemish, age 82 of Swanville.

TODAY= chance of snow showers, high 27 becoming windy.
TONIGHT= cloudy, flurries, low 4 above, wind chills near -10.
TUESDAY= sunny, high 21 and windy, clear night low 5 above.
WEDNESDAY= partly sunny, windy high 35, snow by Wed night.

NCAA= The NCAA Men’s Tournament is down to the sweet sixteen, North Dakota State was beaten on Saturday. The Gopher men and women’s basketball teams both won on Sunday and continue play in their respected NIT tournaments later this week.
COL HK= Gopher Women’s Hockey falls 5-4 to Clarkson in the NCAA Frozen Four Championship Sunday while the Gopher men found they will be a top seed in the NCAA men’s tournament later this week.
TWINS= listen to Twins baseball today at noon on Q92 WYRQ

Meat Raffles Fridays at 5:30pm, Loss For Words Fri/Sat at WS Bar

Friday- March 21st, 2014

--The jury trial for Brandon Clarence Bedford begins Monday. He has been charged with third degree murder for giving heroin to 19-year-old Miranda Gosiak of Little Falls, who died of an overdose one day later. Bedford was also charged with three counts of third degree sale of narcotics and third degree possession of three grams or more of heroin. The 26-year-old Bedford along with Christian Dahn and Tanya Ashby traveled to the Twin Cities to purchase the heroin. When returning to Little Falls, Gosiak went to the home shared by Bedford, Dahn and Ashby where she was given heroin by Bedford.

--A pair of 22-year old men were arrested in connection with a Morrison County Burglary. Wednesday night, investigators executed a search warrant at a residence located on the 7000 block of Bushman Road, Pequot Lakes in connection with a Morrison County burglary that had occurred in February. As a result of the search warrant, several firearms that were taken in the burglary were recovered at the house. 22-year old David Allen Swenson was arrested for burglary and possession of stolen firearms. Also in connection with this case, 22-year old, Isaiah Clifford Carner, from Pillager, was arrested. Both men are being held in the Morrison County jail.

--Alexandria police are looking for information about a robbery that was reported Tuesday night at a gas station. Police believe it is related to two other robberies in Alexandria. A man with a handgun entered the Super America Store and forced the clerk to hand over money. The man then forced the clerk into a back storm room where he bound her hands and ankles. The suspect left through the front doors. The suspect then saw a motorist in their vehicle outside. The suspect displayed the gun and demanded the motorist’s wallet. Officers tracked the suspect a short distance and determined he was picked up in a vehicle and left the area. The store clerk was taken to Douglas County Hospital where she was treated for minor injuries and released. Police want to identify a motorist who may have witnessed the robbery and may have information about it. The motorist drove a light-colored crossover vehicle through the Super America parking lot at about 11:55pm Tuesday. Anyone with information about the incident should call the Alexandria Police Department at (320) 763-6631.

--Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed next week as Minnesota Agriculture Week. The designation is an effort to raise awareness of the significant contributions agriculture makes to the quality of life of all Minnesotans. Dayton says it’s important to recognize the abundance of food, fiber, and renewable resources provided by Minnesota farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses. Minnesota is an agricultural powerhouse, ranking fifth nationally in total agriculture production and fourth in agricultural exports. The ag industry pumps approximately $75 billion dollars annually into the state economy and supports 340,000 jobs. Minnesota Agriculture Week is being recognized in conjunction with National Agriculture Day on Tuesday, March 25th. This year's theme is “Agriculture: 365 Sunrises and 7 Billion Mouths to Feed.” For more information on National Ag Day, visit the website

--The Little Falls Community Middle School spring one-act play will be presented to the public next Thursday at 7:00pm at the school’s gym stage. “Ten Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse” by Don Zolidis, is directed by Dave Girtz. Admission is $3, or $1 plus a nonperishable food donation to the Morrison County Food Shelf.

--Extra driving while intoxicated patrols for St. Patrick’s Day weekend resulted in 495 arrested motorists with 420 arrests made before 9:00am on Monday. The State Patrol said that this is just from their agency and the DWI totals will rise with information from county and city officials when data is received. Another enforcement effort begins today through the 30th with law enforcement out looking for unbelted drivers and improper child safety seat use.

--Two people were injured in a two-vehicle accident Tuesday afternoon on Highway 169 north of Onamia. 21-year-old Fonda Powell of Isle and a 2 year old were taken to Onamia hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Both were passengers in a vehicle driven by 24-year-old Jordan Moose of Isle, who along with another passenger was not injured. Moose reportedly was southbound on 169 when he struck snow and slush and crossed the center-line and struck a northbound vehicle driven by 41-year-old Jason Fleischhacker of Brainerd who was not hurt.

--The Pierz City Council meets Monday night at 7pm at city hall. They council will accept a Pierz First Response Team donation, discuss a clean up day for 2014, approval Renewal of Consumption of Display Permits, take cleaning proposal and discuss and vote on an item that will be discussed at a public hearing at 6:45pm before the meeting.

--A car collided with a semitrailer on Thursday morning near Paynesville that resulted in minor injuries. The car struck the semitrailer around 8:40am near Minnesota Highway 23 and Stearns County Road 33 near Paynesville. Fog was a factor in the accident and visibility was limited. The accident remains under investigation.

--Three men fled their car after being stopped by police officers in Waite Park for speeding Thursday. The Area Learning Center was put into containment for about 15 minutes after a foot chase by officers around 11am. The vehicle was stopped along Third Street North for the misdemeanor when they ran and were later taken into custody without incident. Charges are pending and why they fled the officers is still under investigation.

--Luann “Lu” Tretter age 66 of Baxter

TODAY= rain and snow showers, turning windy, high 35.
TONIGHT= rain and snow early then cloudy, windy, low 8.
SATURDAY= sunny and cold, high 18, low 0 and windy.
SUNDAY= sunny, less windy, high 21, low around 5.
MONDAY= snow showers, high 28, low around 10.

COL HK= Gophers vs. Ohio State in Big 10 Tournament tonight pregame at 6:30, if win they play Saturday both games on KLTF.
GBB= Minneota beat Browerville in Class A quarterfinals Thursday- Fergus Falls lost in Class AAA semis to Marshall. The championship games in all 4 classes of girls basketball is on Saturday.
NIT= Gopher men continue play in the NIT tournament on Sunday while the Gopher women continue play on Monday in their NIT.
TWINS= more Twins spring training baseball games this weekend live on Q92 WYRQ the season opener for Twins is March 31st.
CC= Coaches Corner Saturday at 9am on AM960 KLTF.

Meat raffle & Smoking Guns tonight, Redneck Radio Sat at WS Bar

Thursday- March 20th, 2014

--The Minnesota Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeal of the Little Falls-area man who fatally shot two teenagers who allegedly broke into his house on Thanksgiving Day 2012. 65-year old Byron Smith had petitioned the state’s highest court to review a Morrison County judge’s decision to let stand a first-degree murder indictment against Smith. The Supreme Court, without comment, on Tuesday denied Smith’s petition. Smith was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Nicholas Brady and Haile Kifer after they broke into Smith’s house north of Little Falls. Smith’s lawyers had argued that prosecutors made errors during the grand jury proceedings. They also argued that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to support the indictment and that there were other flaws that required the indictment to be dismissed. Smith has been free since posting $50,000 conditional bail. Smith’s trial is scheduled to start in April in Little Falls.

--Superintendent of Little Falls Schools Steven Jones stated on KLTF Tuesday that the school board Monday night approved a management agreement to move forward to operate and manage Educational Access Channel 12. An agreement between the city of Little Falls and the district was made March 3rd and the school board approved that this week. The agreement states the educational channel will be specifically operated as an educational channel and managed by the district. The name may change to “Flyer Media Productions.” The terms of the agreement will extend from March 3rd through December 31st, 2016 and year-to-year thereafter unless terminated earlier. Compensation to the city of Little Falls will be calculated based on a percentage of the combined total revenues the city received during the previous year from the cable franchise and other fees. Also the school district will be responsible for managing the operation of Educational Access Channel 12, attend Cable TV Board meetings and report to the city any violations of Federal Communication Commission regulations or laws. The hope is to have the TV channel up fully by this fall for the start of the school year.

--A father and son were arraigned Tuesday in Crow Wing County District Court in connection with a stabbing incident outside a Brainerd bar early Sunday morning. 42-year-old Ronald Ray Jr. and his son 23-year-old Jorie Ray were charged Tuesday. Jorie was charged with first degree assault to cause great bodily harm along with 2nd degree assault and third degree assault charges against the 24-year-old victim from Brainerd. Ronald Ray was charged with second degree assault with a dangerous weapon and fifth degree assault. Bail was set at $150,000 with no conditions for Jorie and $125,000 without conditions for Ronald. Their next court hearing is on April 8th. The victim sustained a stab wound to the chest which caused a collapsed lung and remains hospitalized in Brainerd.

--Pillager High School has been selected to participate with the University of Minnesota to help young people reach their highest potential. Ramp-Up to Readiness is a college preparedness program designed to help Minnesota middle and high school students succeed at the next level of education. High Schools in this are part of an important study funded by the U.S. Department of Education which is aiming to understand the processes and interventions that help and enhance college going students for workforce success.

--Todd County is reporting three snowmobiles were stolen from a cabin in Fawn Lake Township Anyone with information should call deputies.

--Investigators are discounting the version of events told by a man facing a murder charge in connection with a deadly shooting Thursday in Sartell. Demetreus Anthony McGinnis said through his attorney last week that he was defending himself during a robbery when a scuffle over a gun led to the shooting death of Maurice Galvin Jr. McGinnis is charged with one count of second-degree murder. He said Galvin and another man came to the Sprint store in Sartell on Thursday where McGinnis was working and were beating and robbing him outside the back of the store. He added one of the two men assaulting McGinnis pulled out a gun and the gun fired and hit Galvin as the men wrestled over the gun. An investigator in the case said that investigators don’t believe that’s what happened. He said he couldn’t comment about whether investigators had found the weapon used in the shooting. Investigators have been executing search warrants at various locations in the St. Cloud area as a part of the investigation. They are seeking any surveillance video that could tell them more about what happened behind the Sprint store in Sartell. McGinnis remains in custody on $2 million unconditional bail.

--The College of St. Benedict announced Wednesday that Mary Hinton has been selected to serve as its president. Hinton is vice president for academic affairs at Mount St. Mary College in Newburgh, N.Y. She will begin serving as the College of St. Benedict’s 15th president on June 15th.

--A fatal one vehicle rollover near Eden Valley occurred shortly after 9:30am Monday. 87-year old Harvey Chupp of Eden Valley was traveling west on Highway 55 when he lost control of his truck and rolled in the south ditch. Chupp died from the crash. There were no passengers and no one else was hurt. Road conditions at the time of the crash were considered icy by the state patrol.

--A 59-year-old Litchfield woman was rescued after her truck rolled on Highway 7 landing upside down in a water-filled ditch in Hutchinson on Tuesday night. The State Patrol was called around 5:45pm and assisted in getting the driver out who was taken to a hospital with reportedly non-life threatening injuries.

--Jeannine Daniels, age 71 of Little Falls.

TODAY= increasing clouds, morning fog, high near 40.
TONIGHT= snow mixed with sleet at times, near 1 inch low 28.
FRIDAY= snow changing to rain, around 1 inch, high near 40.
FRI NITE= rain/snow early blustery and colder low 10.
SATURDAY= mostly sunny, windy, high near 20, low near 0.
SUNDAY= sunny, less windy, high near 25, snow late night.

GBB= The State Girls Basketball Tournament continues in Minneapolis with semi-finals for Class 3A and 4A today and Class A quarterfinals- which includes Browerville vs. Minneota today.
COL HK= The Big 10 Hockey tournament begins today at the XCEL Energy Center in St. Paul. The Gophers will play the winner of a first round match today- tomorrow pregame 6:30pm on AM960 KLTF.
TWINS= The Twins regular season opener is March 31st and their home opener is April 7th. Another spring game tonight 6pm on Q92

Smoking Guns Friday, Redneck Radio Sat, meat raffles Fri at WS Bar

Wednesday- March 19th, 2014

--Little Falls native Katie Brenny won her lawsuit against the University of Minnesota. The decision was announced late Tuesday afternoon. Brenny who was a former state tournament champ and once Minnesota amateur champ sued the University’s Board of Regents in a wrongful termination lawsuit. Brenny was awarded $360,000 which is a combination of lost wages and compensation for mental anguish. Brenny now coaches golf in New York City.

--Thielen Meats in Pierz announced they will be closed for about 2 months as they work to rebuild after a fire last Friday. Firefighters worked for hours on the blaze Friday that did damage to the smokehouses but mostly extensive damage to the building’s north side. Proprietors of the building said a new roof is needed and over $250,000 of inventory had to be tossed out. It is believed the snow and ice from the roof Thursday night struck a gas line valve that caused a leak near the smokehouse which started the fire.

--Little Falls Police are investigating damage to property reported at Americinn of Little Falls where four windows in the pool area were damaged Sunday around 10:30pm. Police say they found holes in the windows which appeared to have been shot or had something thrown at it numerous times to cause the holes. Anyone with information is asked to contact the police department at 616-5570.

--Mitchell Schirmers, an 8th-grader at Mary of Lourdes Middle School, has been notified by the National Geographic Society that he is one of the semifinalists eligible to compete in the 2014 Minnesota State Geographic Bee. This is the second level of the National Geographic Bee competition, which is now in its 26th year. Mitchell won the school-level Geo Bee in January, and submitted a written test to the National Geographic Society. His score was among the top 100 of the hundreds of schools and tens of thousands of students who participated in school-level Geo Bees. Mitchell will compete on Friday, April 4th, at St. Cloud State University, for a chance to advance to the national meet. Congratulations and good luck Mitchell!

--Local unemployment rates in Morrison County rose to 9.5% in January up from 7.6% in December but down from 10.6% when compared to January of last year. Here is how our other area counties fared with unemployment rates of January 2014: Benton 7.3%; Mille Lacs 10.7%; Sherburne 7.1%; Stearns 5.8%; Todd 7.2%; and Wright County 6.5%.

--The snow Tuesday made for difficult road conditions with a number of accidents in central Minnesota. A number of accidents on Interstate 94 near Opportunity Drive in St. Cloud had the State Patrol close the eastbound lane of 94 until road conditions improved. Road conditions are expected to improve a bit today but still tricky with strong northwest winds and another rain/snow system on Friday.

--The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office to a car versus pedestrian accident in St. Augusta Monday morning around 7:30. A school bus, operated by Linda Rose, was traveling southbound on County Road 7 where it was stopping to pickup 3 children when a 6 year old juvenile male began to cross the road and was struck by a vehicle traveling northbound. That vehicle was driven by 60-year-old Margaret Hartnick of St. Augusta. The boy identified as Kyle Voigt of South Haven was transported to the St. Cloud Hospital for treatment of his injuries. This incident remains under investigation by the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office.

--The 16th Annual Share Sunday event will be Sunday at 1:30pm at Mary of Lourdes Middle School in Little Falls. The event features a talent show, grand raffle, gift baskets to be bid on, quilt raffle much more with the proceeds going to the Boys and Girls Club and area county food shelves of Little Falls, Pierz and Motley. For more information on the event you can contact 632-5727.

--Police say a 5-year-old reported missing in St. Cloud has been found safe and unharmed. The child, whose name is Nevaeh, disappeared Tuesday morning from her home on the 1400 block of 3rd Street North. Police issued an urgent bulletin around 11:30 a.m. asking for help in locating the girl. Less than an hour later they contacted media outlets saying Nevaeh had been found, and that no foul play was suspected in her short disappearance.

--A Kimball man died Monday morning after a collision in Sibley County. According to the Minnesota State Patrol; 43-year-old Charlan D. Kaml was heading north on Minnesota Highway 15 when he collided with a southbound vehicle driven by 33-year-old John T. Lott of Winthrop. A State Patrol report shows Kaml who died was not wearing his seat belt. Lott, the driver of the pickup, was wearing his seat belt and suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

--Todd County reported a burglary at a Hewitt residence on Sunday afternoon. The burglary apparently occurred earlier this month where two guns and antique hand tools were taken. Deputies also reported a theft in Hewitt of firewood logs from a yard. The incidents are still under investigation by the sheriff’s office.

--Wyatt and Abby Carr of Baxter, girl born on March 17th

--Joseph Woidyla, age 60 of Swanville

TODAY= mostly cloudy, some afternoon sun, breezy, high 35.
TONIGHT= mostly clear, low 14.
THURSDAY= sunny, high 43, rain and snow late night, low 27.
FRIDAY=snow likely, 2-5 inches by Friday night.

--Congratulations to Pierz graduate Clint Poster who took third place at 157 pounds at the NCAA Division II wrestling tournament held in Cleveland last weekend.  Poster won his first two matches to reach the semifinals before falling to the eventual champion. Poster wrestles for St. Cloud State, which took sixth place as a team.

-This is St. Joseph’s Day the feast day of St. Joseph it is also the day that usually means swallows traditionally return to the Mission San Juan Capistrano in California. This has been happening since 1776.
IN 1831= first reported bank robbery in U.S. occurred in New York
IN 1928= Amos and Andy debuted on NBC radio.
IN 1964= after received a contract raise for the film, Sean Connery began filming the James Bond film Goldfinger.
IN 1984= Kate and Allie debuts on CBS TV
IN 1990= first women’s world hockey tournament held in Ottawa

Meat Raffle Friday 5:30 then Smoking Guns play at West Side Bar

Tuesday- March 18th, 2014

--8Th District Congressman Rick Nolan announced that his staff will operate “Congress Comes to You” meetings Tuesday in Morrison County. The meetings are at 9:30am at Little Falls City Hall, 11:00am at Pierz City Hall and 1:30pm at Royalton City Hall. There will also be a meeting at noon Wednesday at Pillager City Hall. The meetings focus on senior issues such as Social Security, Medicare and Veterans Benefits and give an opportunity to meet with members of Nolan’s staff and they can return input to him in Washington D.C.

--Brainerd police were dispatched to a fight outside a bar around 12:30am Sunday where a male victim was stabbed with a knife. Two involved in a fight on Laurel Street were pointed out by witnesses who then were took them into custody. Officers located the 24-year-old victim inside the bar with a serious laceration to his upper torso. The victim was taken to an area hospital and as of late Sunday remained in their intensive care unit. The two arrested were 23-year-old Jorie Ray and 42-year-old Ronald Ray both of Brainerd. They are being held in Crow Wing County Jail awaiting formal charges of 2nd-degree assault by the attorney’s office.

--An Aitkin County Judge sentenced Stacaia Marie Murdoch to nearly 22 years in prison for her role in an incident where four adults and one juvenile were involved in assaulting and kidnapping their roommate back in October. The cases against the others involved are still pending. Murdoch had pleaded guilty to two counts of felony first degree assault and felony kidnapping and the 264 months are concurrent to the charges against her. The complaint states that the 23-year-old victim was hit, kicked, burned with a lighter and sprayed with a flammable liquid then set on fire. He sustained multiple injuries, a broken jaw and received treatment at both a Brainerd and Minneapolis medical facility.

--A fire was reported at Deerwood Lumber Friday afternoon. When firefighters arrived they found sparks in the furnace room and extinguished the small fire that did around $1,000 in damages. One person was taken to an area hospital with some inhalation. The cause is believed to be a spark flew up into the bin collector system of the ceiling and ignited with a lot of smoke.

--Wright County sheriff’s deputies are investigating an overnight rollover that killed a 21-year-old St. Michael man. The driver was ejected from a truck and pronounced dead on scene about 2:30am Friday. The vehicle was traveling westbound on the 8500 block of 45th St NE in the City of St. Michael and drifted off the road to the right before overturning.

--43-year-old Alice Meuissen of Annandale died from injuries sustained in the collision in Stearns County Saturday around 5:45pm. Police say preliminary investigation shows Meuissen’s vehicle was eastbound on 40th Street when it failed to stop for a stop sign. The other vehicle driven by Nathan Ray Raisanen of Dassel was traveling north on County Road 136 when it was struck by Meuissen’s vehicle causing both vehicles to go off the road. Meuissen was ejected from her vehicle and after life saving efforts were unsuccessful by first responders she was pronounced dead. Nathan and his passenger had to be extricated from their vehicle and were taken by ambulance to St. Cloud Hospital, where they were treated for their non life threatening injuries. Investigation into the crash remains ongoing.

--The Morrison County Commissioners meet at 9:00am today in the Morrison County Government Center with various agenda items.

--Slow going around the state today with heavy snow over central Minnesota dropping 7-15 inches in areas by late tonight. Another rain/snow system is forecasted for late Thursday into Friday.

--On Saturday, District 9B republicans endorsed incumbent Representative Ron Kresha for the November 2014 election. The endorsing convention was held at the Verndale High School with approximately 75 delegates and alternates from Districts 9A and 9B. By way of voice vote, the 9B delegates unanimously endorsed the uncontested Kresha. Kresha was elected to his first term in November 2012 by winning 53% of the votes.

--Democratic Representative Collin Peterson announced Monday says he’ll seek a 13th term representing western Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District. Peterson was first elected to Congress in 1990. He had waivered a bit on running again this fall. Republican State Senator Torrey Westrom is seeking the GOP endorsement.

--Benton County authorities say a man had to be subdued with a stun gun Saturday then after being arrested tried to flee St. Cloud Hospital after being checked out. 26-year-old Shawn Iees had three outstanding warrants for his arrest when police tried to stop him on Veterans Drive near 24th Avenue North in St. Cloud. Iees tried to flee on foot. He was chased and taken to the ground by police. Police say he continued to fight officers until they had to use a stun gun. Iees was taken to a hospital for treatment and then tried to escape police again striking a sheriff’s deputy and a hospital staffer who suffered minor injuries. Iees faces charges of assaulting an officer and a medical caregiver along with other charges from the chase.

--Fire officials estimate $30,000 in damage resulted from a Saturday night fire at a south St. Cloud apartment building. Firefighters rescued one of the apartment’s occupants, who was injured in the fire and transported to St. Cloud Hospital. The blaze occurred at the Beverly Apartments at 310 Fourth Ave. S just before 7:00pm. The fire originated in a wastebasket in one of the building’s apartments and was confined to that unit. The building’s occupants were evacuated during the fire but were allowed to return to their units that night.

--Margaret V. Harmon, age 89 of Little Falls
--James “Jim” O’Toole, age 84 of Little Falls
--Leonard Herbes, age 99 of Albany
--Leonard ‘Len’ Palashewski, age 86 of Little Falls
--Leo “Jim” Janey, age 63 of Little Falls

TODAY= snow, heavy at times, 7-11 inches, windy, high 32.
TONIGHT= snow ending by 2am, 2-4 inches more, low near 20.
WEDNESDAY= windy, cloudy, high 35, clearing at night, low 12.
THURSDAY= sunny skies, high near 40, snow Thursday night.

GBB= The State Girls Basketball Tournament begins today with 4A and some 3A quarterfinals with more Wednesday and the Class A quarterfinals Thursday. They will be spread out among 4 different venues through the week. Browerville will play on Thursday.
COL BB= Gophers vs. High Point tonight 7:15 in NIT Tournament.

Weekly Meat Raffles Friday at 5:30pm at West Side Bar in Little Falls

Monday- March 17th, 2014 “St. Patrick’s Day”

--An early morning fire Friday at Thielen Meats in Pierz has left the business partially open for business. About 18 firefighters responded to the fire around 4:30am Friday that engulfed the back side of the building. Firefighters worked for more than four hours to control the blaze. No one was in the building at the time of the fire. The fire is under investigation but it was not suspicious in nature.

--The suspect in a shooting Thursday that killed a 20-year-old man was ordered held in lieu of $2 million bail during a court hearing Friday afternoon. 23-year old Demetreus Anthony McGinnis is charged with second-degree murder, accused of shooting Maurice Galvin Jr. in the chest at about noon Thursday. McGinnis and Galvin knew each other. Galvin died later Thursday at St. Cloud Hospital. The shooting happened near the Sprint store in Pinecone Marketplace of Sartell. During Friday’s hearing, Stearns County District Court Judge Kris Davick-Halfen heard the prosecution request a high bail because they argued McGinnis poses a threat to public safety. Davick-Halfen set the bail in line with that request: $2 million without conditions, or $1 million if the defendant meets a series of conditions.

--A Sauk Rapids woman has been charged with manslaughter in connection with the November death of her two-month-old daughter. 26-year old Nicole Kathryn McKay faces two counts of second-degree manslaughter and one count each of child neglect and child endangerment. The charges don’t accuse McKay of trying to kill her child, but of being negligent by creating an unreasonable risk and consciously taking chances that led to the girl’s death. The complaint charging her indicates that her daughter died from positional asphyxiation in late November. The complaint indicates that McKay had used drugs the night before going to bed and that she awoke in the early hours to feed the baby. The baby apparently fell off the edge of the bed and onto a blanket that covered the child’s face. Police learned that McKay and Dennis had admitted being addicted to prescription drugs and that they were trying to stop using the drugs. Investigators found methamphetamine paraphernalia in the couple's bedroom and an orange-colored tube under a baby crib that had a white powder inside it. The powder tested positive for meth. Hair samples from their surviving child tested positive for illegal drugs.

--The ending date for Winter Load Increases and starting date for Spring Load Restrictions in the central Minnesota frost zone including Morrison County will be at 12:01am on Tuesday. The starting date of Spring Load Restrictions in the south, southeast and metro frost zones has already began Friday, March 14th. Road Restriction maps indicating the locations of weight restricted routes and those state highways open to maximum ten-ton axle weights are listed on the website at Click on “Seasonal Load Limits,” then click on “Spring Load Restrictions”. Also available is a text list of the restricted segments along with exceptions to the map.

--Todd County Sheriff’s deputies arrested two people after a traffic stop led them to 4.3 ounces of meth and about $1,100. 32-year old Sherry Grangruth and 35-year old Ryan Vry were arrested March 3rd in connection with possible first-degree possession of meth after being stopped for a traffic violation on U.S. Highway 71 north of Hewitt. Both suspects are from Menahga.

--The 2014 Morrison County Dairy Princess Banquet and Coronation is at 8:00pm on Saturday, March 29th at the Falls Ballroom. Candidates that registered this year are: Katie Yorek of Little Falls, daughter of Ken and Brenda Yorek; Marquie Marquette of Little Falls, daughter of Dorothy and Craig Pokornowski; Kaitlin Harren of Freeport, daughter of Jim and Cheryl Harren; Jessica Staricka of Swanville, daughter of Joe and Dianne Staricka; Mindy Rinkel of Hillman, daughter of Ralph and Nancy Rinkel; and Samantha Welle of Pierz, daughter of Bruce and Irene Welle. Four of the six candidates will be crowned Morrison County Dairy Princess. Outgoing princesses are Rochelle Herzog, Sara Roerick, Tracy Herzog and Carly Czech.

--Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl reports the arrest of 2 individuals involved in the theft of a snowmobile from a seasonal cabin on South Black Bear Road in Crosby. In the early morning hours of March 12th Wing County Deputy pulled over a pickup occupied by 2 males that were acting suspicious. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that a snowmobile in the back of the pickup had been stolen earlier in the week from a cabin in rural Crow Wing County. As a result, Crow Wing County Deputies arrested 25 year old Larry Borsch of Brainerd and 54 year old Paul Borsch of Brainerd, for theft of a motor vehicle.

--Fire swept from one north Brainerd home into another early Friday morning. Three fire departments with about 36 firefighters worked to keep the fires from spreading on the 200 block of North Ninth Street. The fire started on a gas stove in the lower level apartment at 220 North Ninth St. It then worked its way to the second floor and attic. Just after 1:00am flames were shooting out the back of the home and flaring into a column from a hole in the roof. The fire is believed to have started as food was left cooking unattended. The prevailing breeze and fire shooting from a main-floor window carried the fire the few feet between homes. Just when it appeared firefighters were making progress on the first home, the house next door started on fire. Firefighters eventually got both fires under control and both homes are still standing. There were no injuries.

--The Little Falls School Board meets tonight at 5pm at the Government Center Board Room and the Morrison County Commissioners hold their regular meeting there Tuesday at 9am.

--Mary Lou Nelson, age 73 of Little Falls
--Emma A. Kanieski, age 96 of Little Falls.
--Stephen P. Ronzheimer, age 94 of Little Falls.
--Leo Janey, age 63 of Little Falls.

TODAY= rain, sleet and snow-then all snow, high 36, low 25.
TUESDAY= snow heavy at times, high 31, 5-10 inches snow likely
WEDNESDAY= snow ending, breezy, high 33, low 15.

COL BBB= Wisconsin beat the Gophers Friday in Big 10 Tournament and Gophers did not get a NCAA bid on Sunday. The Gophers open NIT play Tuesday against High Point at Williams Arena.
BBB= Belgrade Brooten Elrosa, Esko, DeLaSalle and Lakeville North took state boys basketball titles this past weekend in Minneapolis.

St. Patrick’s Day Party going on today at West Side Bar, Little Falls

Friday- March 14th, 2014

--Little Falls Police Detective and Randall Police Chief Charles Strack announced Wednesday that he is running for Morrison County Sheriff this November. He began working part-time as a police officer in 1994 for the city of Little Falls before being hired full time as a patrolman in 1998. Strack has been a volunteer firefighter with the Little Falls Fire Department since 1996. Strack joins Tom Justin and Shawn Larsen who have also announced running for sheriff in Morrison County. Current Sheriff Michel Wetzel announced he was not seeking reelection later this year.

--Residents and businesses in the City of Pierz and Genola are asked to immediately begin monitoring the temperature of the cold water, as frozen water lines have proven to be a problem for many customers from the Rich Prairie Sewer and Water District. If the cold water reaches 40 degrees or below residents are asked to run their cold water at least a pencil-width size continuously in one sink until April 15th or until notified by the district. If you have been previously asked to run your water, please continue to do so. Water and sewer adjustments will be made during this time using the customer’s average water use for the months of November through January. Please notify 468-0268 should your water freeze up.

--Benton County Chief Deputy Troy Heck of Foley on Thursday announced plans to run for Benton County sheriff in the November election. Benton County Sheriff Brad Bennett is retiring and will not seek a third term as sheriff. Heck joined the sheriff’s office 19 years ago, and in 2007 was promoted to chief deputy.

--Downtown Brainerd will be green Saturday during their St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. The St. Patrick’s Day parade will be at 1pm complete with bagpipers beauty pageant winners and much more, there is also a costume contest, food, games and a medallion hunt which started earlier this week. While Brainerd holds their parade Saturday, St. Paul and Minneapolis have their St. Patrick’s Day celebration on Monday the 17th, St. Paul at noon, Minneapolis 6pm.

--Crow Wing County approved a plan this week to cut 1,425 acres of timber in 2014. Plans are to cut mostly aspen trees, through a number of acres of birch, oak, northern hardwoods and pine is also on the list. Limited acres of ash and black spruce will also be taken. This process will continue over the next decade to deplete the number of older mature trees so that new trees can be planted in many woodland areas and less timber in some wetland areas will actually help vegetation strive in some of the those areas.

--The 2014 Morrison County Child Care Provider of the Year is Aeron Baum of Little Falls. Aeron has been providing care to children for 27 years. Her families state that she is great at interacting and teaching young people proper manners and care for others while being understanding and genuine. Aeron is truly a great person for children to spend time with. Congratulations to Aeron Baum, the 2014 Morrison County Child Care Provider of the Year!

--Minnesota employers added 600 jobs in January, according to figures released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. As a result, the state unemployment rate was unchanged from the seasonally adjusted revised rate of 4.7 percent in December. The U.S. unemployment rate in January was 6.6 percent. The agency also revised figures from the previous 21 months that show the state gained 12,661 more jobs than originally reported. The revision put total employment in the state at more than 2.8 million in December for the first time.

--A suspect is being held in Stearns County Jail following a deadly shooting that happened just before noon Thursday at a Pinecone Road mall in Sartell. A 20-year-old man who was shot in the chest near a Sprint store was taken to the hospital but later died. Sartell Police are withholding the name of the suspect out of concern about the possibility of further violence. The victim, who died late Thursday, was not being identified pending notification of family. Officers blocked off an around the store and evacuated surrounding businesses. Officers entered the building to clear it and found evidence of the shooting. Sartell schools were secured during the incident and students were not allowed out of the building.

--Despite initial law enforcement scanner reports of an estimated 200 gallons of spilled train fuel, the Randall Fire Department crew that responded to the incident along Highway 10 said the spill was considerably smaller. The spill had stopped before firefighters arrived. A fuel line leak on the CSX Corp. train engine on a BNSF Railway line apparently caused fuel to spill through an overflow pipe. At this time it is unknown how many gallons had been spilled but believed to be less than 200 gallons initially reported. The incident was first reported at about 8:30am Thursday. The eastbound train was headed from Dilworth to Kansas City, Mo., when the fuel spill was discovered and the train was stopped. The railroad’s environmental consultants were sent to the scene and cleaned up the engine compartment. Only a very “minimal amount” spilled on to the nearby land, and no remediation was necessary by the environmental consultants.

--A man facing a lengthy prison sentence in a drug case ran from a Benton County courtroom Thursday and was tackled in the lobby of the courthouse by the county attorney. The incident happened about 11:10am during a hearing in which 36-year old Dontae Marcus Frazier of Brooklyn Park was facing a probation violation hearing for a drug charge. Frazier was sentenced to 86 months in prison and then ran from the courtroom. He was tackled outside the courtroom by Benton County Attorney Philip Miller. Bailiffs and deputies jumped in to help and had to use a Taser to subdue Frazier. He was taken to Benton County Jail and could face additional charges of escape from custody and fourth-degree assault.

--The Kindergarten Roundup registration that was postponed last week do to Upsala schools being closed will be held today in Upsala.

--The Little Falls City Council meets Monday 7:30pm at city hall.

--Melvin F. Rickhoff, age 95 of Hillman
--Margaret “Peggy” Kleinschmidt, age 77 of Little Falls
--Mary Wuellner, age 90 of Little Falls.

TODAY= few rain or snow showers, breezy, high near 40 then falling
TONIGHT= mainly cloudy, scattered flurries, low 15.
SATURDAY= partly cloudy, cooler, high 27, low around 0.
SUNDAY= sunny and cool, high 22, snow likely at night, low 17.
MONDAY= snow likely early, cloudy, high 35.

COL BB= Gophers beat Penn State Thursday and will play Wisconsin tonight in tournament with a 5pm pregame on AM960 KLTF.

Meat Raffle and Rock Godz tonight, Kings Ransom Sat at WS Bar

Thursday- March 13th, 2014

Agram- Supervisor Tom Leidenfrost, Clerk Don Tschida
Belle Prairie- Super Frances Brisk, Clerk Ginny Tembreull
Buh- Supervisor Keith Gohl, Clerk Alicia Cebulla
Culdrum- Clerk/Treasurer- Amy Carlson, Culdrum voted in
2- Supervisors Mark Kedrowski and Tom Mrozek
Cushing- Supervisor- Dan Symanietz, Clerk- Deb Symanietz
Darling- Supervisor Greg Zilka, Clerk Mary Mammenga
Elmdale- Supervisor Jerry Theisen, Clerk Neil Frieler
Green Prairie- Super Wayne Stoner, Clerk Lois Peterschick
Lakin- Supervisor Mark Bialka, Clerk Jerry Struffert
Leigh- Supervisor Larry Hebler, Clerk Wendy Tretter
Little Falls- Supervisor George Sandy III, Clerk Bonnie Biniek
Parker- Supervisor- Nathan Coyer, Clerk- Stephanie Scepurek
Pike Creek- Supervisor Ron Hirsch, Clerk Darlene Kroll
Platte- Supervisor Don Froelich, Clerk Judy Boser
Ripley- Supervisor Curt Plante, Clerk Norma Bjornson
Two Rivers- Supervisor Stan Christenson, Clerk Gina Salitros

--A state senate committee voted Tuesday to suspend the 2-year wolf hunt in Minnesota deciding that more information was needed. The 8-6 vote is to suspend not cancel the hunt and to get further discussion on it. Wolf proponents t want a milder version or to permanently end wolf trapping and hunting in the state. Farmers argued that the wolf population needs to be lowered due to wolf attacks on cattle in some areas of the state. Senate officials say they are still a long way from a final decision on the matter.

--Cass County reported a home destroyed by fire on Monday in rural Pine River. The home was in Walden Township and engulfed in flames when firefighters from Backus, Pequot Lakes and Pine River arrived around 6:40pm. The fire is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s Office. There were no injuries.

--Fire crews spent hours battling flames at an ethanol plant just outside Fergus Falls. Fergus Falls Fire Chief Mark Hovland reported they a got a call about a fire at the Green Plains Renewable Energy Otter Tail ethanol plant at about 4:20pm Monday. Hovland said there was an explosion after firefighters arrived. No injuries were reported. Hovland said liquid ethanol was not involved in the fire. Company spokesman Jim Stark says the fire was in a dryer system, which is in a separate building at the plant. The cause was not immediately determined and a damage estimate was still being processed.

--The third annual Polar Bear Plunge on Mille Lacs Lake benefiting Special Olympics Minnesota will be Saturday at 1:00pm on Lake Mile Lacs at the shore in front of Eddy’s Resort. Registration begins at 11:00am Saturday. Approximately 250 plungers are expected to jump into the lake to raise money for Special Olympics.

--Former Red Wing Mayor and State Senator John Howe announced Tuesday that he will seek the Republican endorsement for Minnesota Secretary of State this November. Two are seeking the DFL endorsement for the position. Current Secretary of State Mark Ritchie announced late last year that he will not seek reelection.

--The Live Better Live Longer Community Gathering will be held March 20th from 7:25-9:00am at the St. Francis Hall in Little Falls. The group will be discussing the June 15th Falls Festival on Foot. All community members are invited to attend the gathering.

--Spring truck weight restrictions on state highways begin March 14 for Minnesota’s South, Southeast and Metro frost zones. Winter load increases and overweight permits remain in place for the state’s Central, North-Central and North frost zones. Road restriction maps showing the locations of weight-restricted routes and state highways open to maximum 10-ton axle weights are listed at Click on “Seasonal Load Limits,” and then “Spring Load Restrictions” for the most up-to-date information.

--Two teenage boys were injured Tuesday morning in Zimmerman. 88-year-old Barney Horvath of Elk River was traveling westbound on 3rd Avenue when he struck a 14-year-old and 15-year-old walking near the road. One the boys, was airlifted to North Memorial and the other was taken to a hospital by family members. The accident is still under investigation by the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office.

--At least 12 people were killed on Minnesota roads since February 28th according to preliminary reports from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. Since January 1st, 51 people have died on Minnesota roads, two more than this time last year, but nine fewer than 2012.

--The recent warmer weather is helping the water problems caused by this year’s deep frost, but the city of Little Falls reminds residents if you are using continuous water to combat freezing pipes to call city hall and let them know. Those that do so will only pay their average bills for the month. For information call 616-5500.

--Officials in southwestern Montana say an 18-year-old Minnesota high school student has died after he was buried in an avalanche while snowmobiling. The Park County Sheriff's Office says it received a report of a snowmobiler buried about 4:00pm Tuesday. The victim, Zach Junkermeier from Lake Lillian was found under about 6 feet of snow shortly after 5:00pm. Zach was a senior at Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City High School where he played football and track.

--The Boys and Girls Club of Morrison County is holding a Strut Your Stuff Event Friday night at the Falls Ballroom. The event will feature both a silent auction at 6:30pm and a live auction at 8:30pm. There will also be a dance with music by The Roosters at 9:00pm. Tickets are $35 at the door or $30 in advance at select businesses.

TODAY= mostly sunny and mild, high 46.
TONIGHT= blustery and cloudy, low near 30.
FRIDAY= windy, sprinkles or flurries at time, high near 40, low 15.
SATURDAY= sunny and colder, high 27, low around 0.
SUNDAY= sunny, continued cool, high 25, snow Sunday night low 16.

COL BBB= Gophers vs. Penn State today at 5pm in then opening round of the Big 10 Tournament, hear the game on AM960 KLTF.
TWINS= more Twins spring training baseball today and hear the Twins Friday through Sunday, all games at noon on Q92 WYRQ.

IN 1852= New York Lantern publishes first Uncle Sam cartoon.
IN 1877= Chester Greenwood patents the earmuff.
IN 1923= first radio receivers are advertised for sale.
IN 1972= The Merv Griffin Show debuted on syndicated channels.
IN 2004= Luciano Pavoratti gives final performance at the Met in NY

Enjoy Meat Raffles each Friday at 5:30pm at the West Side Bar

Wednesday- March 12th, 2014

--Brian Middendorf, Morrison County Attorney, announced he will seek re-election this fall.  Middendorf has served in the county attorney’s office since 1998. He was first elected county attorney in 2006. Middendorf oversees an office of five attorneys.

--Benton County Sheriff Brad Bennett is retiring and will not seek a third term as sheriff. Bennett, who has worked for the sheriff’s office for 29 years, made the announcement Tuesday. He plans to retire in January after seven years as sheriff. Bennett previously worked in the Parker’s Prairie and Brown’s Valley police departments and has 33 years of law enforcement experience.

--Congratulations to all students who participated at the State BPA (Business Professionals of America) Contest last week. Students advancing to nationals for Pierz include Alex Lucken, Kyle Becker, Derek Spaulding, Paige Jutz, Austin Leikvoll, Kalven Schraut and Andy Schmidtbauer. Becker was 2nd in fundamentals of web design and 6th in information technology. Spaudling 3rd in fundamentals of web design, Becker, Spaulding, Jutz and Schimdtbauer 2nd in web site design team, Leikvoll 3rd in financial match, Leikvoll, Schraut, and Devin Lashinski 2nd in Computer Animation Team, Lucken- Ambassador Torch Awards and Arre Langer was 5th in business meeting management. The Nationals will be held this spring in Indianapolis, Indiana.

--Brainerd Mayor James Wallin had to cast the deciding vote on the new Brainerd city council member Monday night. Council first heard from the 11 applicants who applied for the at-large seat that became vacant due to the death of Bonnie Cumberland. After that the council began the voting process with ballots with the fewest in each round eliminated. After the first two rounds it was a 3-3 tie between Susan Hilgart and Dolly Matten. Three more rounds of voting could not break the tie so Mayor Wallin had to make the final decision and chose Dolly Matten as the next Brainerd City Council member. The seat is up for general election in November. Matten is a real estate broker in Brainerd and on the planning commission. Another item at the meeting Monday is that the council lowered the price for the Wausau Hydro dam to 2.6-million from 4.115 million dollars. The purchase still has to be approved by the legislature as state law requires state approval before the city can move forward.

--A Willmar man was ordered held in lieu of $200,000 unconditional bail after his first court appearance Monday on charges that he sexually abused a girl in Stearns County for more than seven years. 43-year old Brian Scott Schmitz made his first court appearance Monday to face two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct. A Stearns County District Court Judge set bail for Schmitz, including an alternate bail of $50,000 with several conditions. Schmitz is accused of sexually abusing a young girl in Lynden Township from August 2005 until May 2013. The victim in the case was 5 at the time the abuse started. Schmitz had been wanted since charges were filed against him in October. He was arrested Wednesday morning after a Kandiyohi County sheriff’s deputy saw a vehicle in a ditch north of Willmar and followed footprints in the snow for 3-4 miles before finding Schmitz.

--The Minnesota DNR is asking deer hunters for input to help set hunting regulations during a series of listening sessions. One is in Brainerd on March 19th from 7:00-9:00pm at Central Lakes College.

--Lulu Martinez, a student at Royalton High School had her dream come true Monday as she got to meet pop singer Miley Cyrus. Martinez is battling leukemia for the second time in her young life. Her older sister Brittany wanted to do something special for Lulu so she started a Twitter campaign to see if she could get Lulu to meet her favorite singer, Miley Cyrus. Lulu found out that Monday night at the Miley Cyrus concert she'd get to go back stage and not just her but everyone in her group got to also. Lulu gave Miley one of her own T-shirts and a team Lulu bracelet and took lots of pictures.

--The Pierz city council met on Monday night. At the meeting Nicole O’Hotto was named as the new Pierz Deputy Clerk. O’Hotto will start at $14.25 an hour with city benefits. Her preliminary planned start date is March 24th. The city will conduct a review of the hire after 6 months on the job for O’Hotto. Also at the meeting, the audit presentation was given and a veteran’s memorial discussion arose with a potential location at Billig’s Park. For the memorial discussion, nothing was finalized. Finally, Pierz made their annual contribution of $9,100 to the Pierz Fire Relief Association on Monday.

--Just one day after announcing their St. Patrick’s Day enforcement, the Minnesota State Patrol announced Tuesday that motorists will see extra patrols March 21-30 enforcing Minnesota’s seat belt and child passenger restraint laws. This extra enforcement event is a prelude to the annual May Click-it or Ticket enforcement that will be following in a few weeks, to kick off the summer safety enforcement campaigns by law enforcement. Not only should everyone be properly buckled up, but parents of young children should make sure they are properly and consistently restraining their children so that they are safe and legal, every trip and every time.

TODAY= increasing clouds, high around 25.
TONIGHT= light snow showers, mostly cloudy, low 15.
THURSDAY= sunny and warmer, high 45, low 30 and breezy.
FRIDAY= mostly sunny, high 41, low around 15.

BBB= the State Boys Basketball tournament begins today with quarterfinal play- central Minnesota teams include Alexandria, Annandale, Belgrade-Brooten Elrosa and New London Spicer. Some quarterfinals are on Thursday. The Boys tournament concludes on Saturday with girls basketball playoffs continuing later this week.
COL BB= Gophers in Big Ten Tournament Thursday at 5pm against Penn State- hear the action live on AM960 KLTF.

IN 1912= The Girl Scouts Organization was established.
IN 1933= President Franklin Roosevelt airs first ‘fireside chat’.
IN 1951= the comic strip Dennis the Menace first appeared in papers
IN 1974= Wonder Woman aired on ABC TV, the movie starred Cathy Lee Crosby- due the popularity of it, CBS opted to make a TV series which debuted in 1975 starring Lynda Carter.
IN 1990= The Los Angeles Raiders NFL franchise announced that they will be returning to Oakland- the team moved to L.A. in 1982.
IN 2012= U.S. Census Bureau reported that the 7-billionth person had been reported born to the world population.

Enjoy Meat Raffles each Friday at 5:30pm at the West Side Bar

Tuesday- March 11th, 2014

--Today there are more than 20 area townships in Morrison County conducting elections for supervisor, treasurer or both and some have contested races. For election info log on to

--Roughly 180 gallons of diesel fuel spilled after two vehicles including a semi-trailer collided on Highway 371 south of Fort Ripley Friday morning. Around 7:20am, the state patrol stated that slippery roads were a factor in the accident that caused a pickup to slide into the back of a semi-trailer causing two saddle tanks that hold 120 gallons of fuel each to rupture and poor onto the highway. The highway was closed while cleanup efforts were done and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency was called in to investigate the spill. Both drivers were checked out at the scene with the semi-truck driver taken to an area hospital where he was later released. Firefighters, law enforcement and MNDOT all assisted at the scene to prevent any other accidents caused by the fuel spill to happen.

--A small plane flipped attempting takeoff from a runway on Mille Lacs Lake Saturday morning injuring the pilot. The pilot 62-year-old Kenneth Olson of Sartell suffered minor injuries and was treated at the Onamia hospital. His passenger in the aircraft, 59-year-old Mary Olson of Sartell, was not injured. The aircraft was an experimental amateur-built aircraft. The plane was attempting to take off utilizing a makeshift runway on the lake when the left wing caught a snowbank causing the plane to flip. The FAA is investigating the incident.

--A fire late Thursday brought 50 firefighters from six departments to Cross Tech Manufacturing in Crosslake. Around 9:00pm, Crosslake firefighters received the call of smoke coming from the roof of the building and when they arrived flames were shooting out of the structure. The structure sustained extensive damage that was estimated around 1.75 million dollars. It is believed the fire was electrical in nature and started in the attic. Cross Tech is a nationwide leader in the manufacturing of hydraulic rotary brush cutters used on small to medium sized trees. The owners of the building stated they are already planning the rebuilding process.

--Two sons of the lead singer of an area band “The Roosters” were involved in a crash that killed four people Friday night, killing one of the sons and leaving the other hospitalized in intensive care. 17-year old Payton Ryan Adams of Sleepy Eye died in the crash, along with 18-year old John D. Mangen of Fairfax, 17-year old Caleb B. Quesenberry, of St. Peter, and 20-year old Tyler S. Hadley of Sleepy Eye. All four who died were in a car driven by 19-year old Kansas Taylor Adams of Sleepy Eye, who was taken to North Memorial Medical Center in Minneapolis after the crash. The Adams brothers are the sons of Rick Adams of Dilworth, lead singer of The Roosters, a local country band. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, Kansas Adams was driving west on an icy stretch of U.S. Highway 14 west of Sleepy Eye when he lost control and slid sideways into the eastbound lane shortly after 8:15pm. The car was struck on the passenger side by a truck heading east. The driver Kansas Adams was wearing a seatbelt, but the three passengers in the back of the car who all died were not. The occupant of the passenger seat in the front might have been wearing a seatbelt. The state patrol said it’s difficult to tell if the passenger in the front was wearing a seatbelt because that’s where the pickup struck the car. The driver of the truck, 43-year old Douglas Wiborg of New Ulm, and his two children were wearing their seatbelts and suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

--In order to make repairs to the water main, water will be shut off in Little Falls on Edgewater Drive on Wednesday, March 12th from approximately 8:00am until approximately 1:00pm.

--Motorists travelling Interstate 94 west of St. Cloud may encounter slow traffic, lane closures and rolling road blocks between Highway 23 and County Road 2 through Wednesday. This is needed as road crews conduct preparatory work and string power lines over the interstate as part of the CAPX-2020 project.

--Stearns County was dispatched to a one vehicle rollover with three people ejected around 4:00am Sunday in Eden Lake Township. 25-year-old Kimberly Donnay of Paynesville was northbound on 43, entered the west ditch and rolled. Two of the occupants of the three in the vehicle were taken to the Paynesville hospital for treatment of injuries. The third occupant refused medical attention.

--The Todd County Sheriff’s Office arrested two men after a burglary in Moran Township near Staples last Friday afternoon. The burglary was reported around 1:00pm on Todd County Road 81. 22-year-old Nicholas Fessenden and 23-year-old Mykal Myers both of Verndale were taken into custody and await formal charges in Todd County.

--The Minnesota State Patrol announced that troopers, deputies and officers from around Minnesota will be working added shifts all this weekend, in conjunction with St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, as well as on Monday, March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day. Drivers are encouraged to plan ahead for a sober ride, not to drink and drive, and report suspected impaired drivers.

--Barbara Reynolds, age 88 of Milaca formerly Little Falls.
--Patrick Zapzalka, age 57 of Little Falls.

TODAY= Cloudy, 20% chance of snow early, high of 35
TONIGHT= Partly cloudy, low of 7
WEDNESDAY= Sunny with a high 22, low of 14, chance of snow
THURSDAY= Partly cloudy, high near 40

VIKINGS= Jared Allen announced Monday that he will not be returning to the Vikings next season and want to test the free agency market. Allen has five teams he stated that he would like to play for next season and Minnesota is not one of them. The Vikings resigned Everson Griffen on Sunday for their defensive line and gave Brian Robison a contract extension earlier this past season. Allen joins Kevin Williams who is also testing the free agent market. Sports sources state that Tampa Bay is interested in Allen, meaning he could join his former head coach Leslie Frazier while New England was stated to be interested in Kevin Williams.

IN 1779= U.S. Army Corps of Engineers established.
IN 1918= Moscow became official capital of the Soviet Union.
IN 1958= American League ruled all AL batters must wear helmets.
IN 1971= The FCC announced that primetime programming on the three major networks at the time would be 8-11pm eastern time.
IN 1986= Popsicle stopped their 2 sticks for one flatten frozen stick.

Rock Godz Friday, Kings Ransom Saturday at West Side Bar

Monday- March 10th, 2014

--In honor and remembrance of Lance Corporal Caleb L. Erickson, Governor Mark Dayton has ordered all U.S. flags and Minnesota flags to be flown at half-staff at all state and federal buildings, from sunrise until sunset today. Lance Corporal Caleb Erickson was killed in action on February 28, 2014, while serving in the United States Marines in Afghanistan. The Waseca native was 20 and will be buried today with full military honors.

--The MN Military Museum is proud to honor Minnesota Veterans with a Featured Veteran of the Month Exhibit. This exhibit will highlight one Minnesota Veteran at a time and is a part of a larger space which includes a Veterans Support Wall and an informational kiosk for Veterans. Currently the Featured Veteran of the Month is Donald Frederick. Frederick, originally from Richfield MN was a WWII veteran and a member of the famed 34th Infantry Division. The 34th was the first to arrive in Europe and the first Division in North Africa.
Future Featured Veterans include: Norm Arvidson Little Falls June 2014, Reuel Pietz St Cloud July 2014, Norm Sterrie St Louis Park August 2014, Jerry Huntington Richfield September 2014, Ken Buettner Avon Oct-Dec 2014 and George Leach Minneapolis Jan-May 2015. The Minnesota Military Museum is located at Camp Ripley.

--A two vehicle accident Friday morning injured four people on Highway 371 at Crow Wing County Road 18. 81-year-old Irma Zimmerman of Pequot Lakes collided with 89-year-old Eugene Patch of Nisswa at the intersection. Patch and his two passengers Judith Patch and June Carlson both of Nisswa all had injuries that were not documented by the state patrol. Zimmerman sustained serious but non-life threatening injuries and taken to an area hospital.

--Morrison County Sheriff’s Deputies in the past week responded to theft reports of two Holstein heifers from property in Pierz and a burglary report on the 9800 block of 130th Avenue in Little Falls.

--Albany Area Public Schools asked Sartell-St. Stephen Principal Greg Johnson to become its new superintendent with a unanimous vote this week. Johnson oversees Pine Meadow Elementary, one of two elementary schools in Sartell-St. Stephen. Should Johnson accept the position, pending contract approval by the board, he will be the second principal scheduled to leave the Sartell district this summer. Sartell also has a new superintendent on the way--Jeff Schwiebert will start in the district July 1st.

--USDA Rural Development currently has funds available for very-low and low-income residents of rural Minnesota that are interested in purchasing a home or for current homeowners in need of essential repairs. Grants are limited to elderly homeowners over the age of 62, and grant funds can only be used to remove health or safety hazards or remodel dwellings to make them accessible to household members with disabilities. The maximum grant is $7,500. For more information, contact the local Rural Development office in Cambridge at (763) 689-3354, ext. 4.

--Melrose firefighters were called to Greenwald around 7:15am Friday after a significant leak was reported in a 500 gallon propane tank. Melrose police and fire secured the scene at Rahn’s Oil and Propane at First Avenue and Third Street North and got people out of the area. A service technician found a faulty valve and repairs were made. A small amount of propane had to be burned off.

--Check out for details on area businesses to think spring, a link is also at

--Congratulations to an 8th grader from Ironton winning the Brainerd School Districts Regional Spelling Bee in January and then last week winning the Central Minnesota’s Regional Spelling Bee. She will now go to Washington D.C. in May for the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition. 13-year-old Lauren Crabtree, daughter of Eric and Bridget Crabtree, of Ironton has competed in spelling bee competitions for the past 3 years and recently outlasted 29 other students winning herself a trip to D.C. Good luck to her.

--Pierz City Council meets tonight at 7:00pm at the Pierz City Hall.  Agenda items include an audit presentation, quick claim deed for Lot 9, resignation of Jeff Riley from the Pierz Volunteer Fire Department, approval of Corporate authorization resolution at F&M Bank, approval of Fire Department Relief Association Retirement Contribution and hearing from city officials including police, fire, public works and parks superintendent.

--Former professional wrestler Eugene Otto ‘Buck’ Zumhofe was found guilty last week of 12 counts of criminal sexual conduct in Kandiyohi County District Court then after the verdict was read the 62 year old Zumhofe attempted to run from the courthouse but was detained by county security officers. He remains held pending sentencing and now also faces a pending felony charge of escape from custody. Zumhofe was convicted on six counts of first degree and six counts of 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct for molesting a close female relative over a period of years. He was also convicted of criminal sexual conduct twice before in 1986 and 1989.

--More talk about trying to get Sunday liquor sales legalized in Minnesota. Two legislators proposed a bill that offers options to get around or straight out repeal the blue law that prohibit the sale of alcohol on Sundays. One idea is that local governments would be given the right if their liquor stores could be opened on Sundays and another would be a constitutional amendment to decide this which could to the voters in November. Some smaller liquor businesses are against the Sunday sales as they would have to be open a 7th day of the week for competitive reasons and see only a small profit from it. All this is still in the talking stages and being put to committees to decide if any vote from the legislature on it will take place.

--Jonathan and Desirae Welle of Little Falls, girl on March 6th

--Richard A. Miller, age 58 of Hillman.
--Henry R. Rahn, age 86 of Little Falls.
--LeRoy G. Czech, age 72 of Little Falls.

TODAY= sunny and mild, high 47.
TONIGHT= clouds increase, drizzle or light snow late, low 30.
TUESDAY= cloudy, breezy, temps steady around 34, low 10.
WEDNESDAY= partly sunny, colder, high near 25.

GBB= Upsala and Foley eliminated in playoffs Saturday night.
HK= East Grand Forks and Edina win state titles in boys hockey.
VIKINGS= Vikings sign quarterback Matt Cassel to 2 year deal.

Rock Godz on the 14th, Kings Ransom 15th at West Side Bar

Friday- March 7th, 2014

--Remember to Spring ahead this weekend as Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday at 2:00am. Remember to turn the clocks ahead one hour before bed Saturday night or before 2am Sunday. Daylight Saving Time will then be in effect until November 2nd.

--On Monday, the Staples police department received word of a man traveling by train from Washington State to Staples via Amtrak who was in possession of a large amount of methamphetamine. Agents from the Central Minnesota Violent Offender Task Force arrested 29-year-old Samuel Woods of Lake Stevens, Washington at the Staples train depot for possession of a small amount of meth and possession of a loaded handgun. 37-year-old Robert Owen of Wadena was also arrested for possession of the drug. Both were transported to the Todd County Detention Center awaiting formal charges from the Todd County Attorney’s Office.

--A jury returned a guilty verdict Wednesday evening against Richard W. Petty on seven of eight counts related to illegal gambling at a Stearns County business. Petty was one of four owners of Triple Crown Sweepstakes, a former business that was raided by state gambling enforcement officials. Petty and three other co-owners contended that the company was offering a sweepstakes that raised money for a charity and was not operating an illegal lottery. One of the co-owners was convicted at trial on all eight counts and sentenced to 20 days in jail and a $900 fine. Charges were dismissed against the other two. Last year, Petty, the former Clearwater city attorney, was suspended from practicing law for at least two years. The reasons were not related to the gambling charges.

--A shelter in place order has been lifted at the University of Minnesota-Duluth following the declaration of a campus emergency Thursday morning after police responded to a report of a person with a weapon. Duluth Police stated that they were called to assist UMD Campus Police shortly after 7:15 a.m. after someone reported seeing someone carrying a gun near the science building. Officers responded and shortly afterwards took 2 juveniles into custody. One of them was carrying an airsoft gun. Students and staff were under a "shelter in place" order, which means staying in classrooms, offices or dorms until the all-clear is given. That order was lifted shortly before 9am.

--Watab Township voters will decide Tuesday whether to divide their township into two separate fire districts. The ballot question will ask residents whether they want to create two districts, one served by the Rice Fire Department and the other by the Sauk Rapids Fire Department. Under the current system, property taxes levied for fire protection are pooled for the entire township, but levels of service and costs are different in the two areas. If the ballot question passes, township sections 1-12 would become District 1, which would be served by the Rice Fire Department. Sections 13-36 would become District 2 and would continue to be served by Sauk Rapids. Residents in the southern 2⁄3 of the township likely would see a reduction in their property tax, while those in the Rice area might see an increase. Voting will take place at the Watab Town Hall Tuesday 11am-8pm.

--The Wright County Sheriff’s Office is looking for help identifying two people after an assault in St. Michael on Saturday. The assault took place in the early morning hours at the Corner Bar in St. Michael. Photos of the men are available to view at the Wright County Sheriff’s Office website.

--In order to make repairs to the water main, water will be shut off in Little Falls on 1st Ave. NW from Lindbergh Drive to 6th Street on Saturday from approximately 8:00am until approximately 1:00pm.

--The Morrison County Dairy Princess Banquet and Coronation will be at 8:00pm on Saturday March 29th at the Falls Ballroom in Little Falls. The deadline to sign up is by this coming Monday, March 10th. Sign up by contacting any Morrison County ADA member. There are currently five candidates and they are seeking a few more. Get information by calling Laura Fellbaum at (320) 630-4039.

--An update from an earlier story this week. The Little Falls City Council passed a $2,000 donation towards updating the facilities at Green Prairie Fish Lake. The vote was 5-3 in favor on Monday and passed. However, the mayor used her veto power Thursday to veto the action. It is expected to be brought up again at the next council meeting. After a veto, it now needs 6 Alderman vote’s to override the veto and pass instead of a simple majority.

--Participate in the Habitat 500 Bike Ride July 13-19, a 500-mile journey through central-Minnesota lakes region. The Ride is a fully supported, family event which raises money and awareness for Habitat for Humanity. Limit of a 135 riders. Register by March 31st to receive the early-bird registration rate of $225. Learn more at The event begins in St. Joseph and heads through Osakis, Menahga, Bemidji, Pine River, and Little Falls before ending again in St. Joseph. So far two Little Falls residents signed up.

--A gas leak at Crossroads Center forced the evacuation of parts of it and prevented some employees from entering the St. Cloud mall on Thursday morning. The northside of the Mall was open to the employees and some businesses that were opened at 8:00am. The all clear to enter or return to the mall was given by 8:45am after the problem was corrected.

--Kevin and Erin Zellers of Swanville, girl on February 27th

--Irene Marie Schlegel, age 78 of Brainerd.

TODAY= icy conditions, freezing rain to snow, windy, temps falling from 30 early on down into the teens by late afternoon.
TONIGHT= partly cloudy, windy, low around 0.
SATURDAY= sunny, high 25, clear at night low around 10.
SUNDAY= mostly sunny and mild, high 42, low near 30.
MONDAY= sunny high 43, rain and snow Monday night.

GBB= Upsala advanced in girls playoffs last night and will face BBE Saturday night around 7:45pm in Pierz, hear the action live Saturday on Q92 WYRQ.  Pierz, Holdingford, Royalton and Swanville were all defeated while Staples-Motley and Foley advanced on in playoffs.
TWINS= listen to Twins spring training baseball today, Saturday and Sunday at noon on Q92 WYRQ. Regular season opens March 31st.
BHK= State Boys Hockey Tournament wraps up on Saturday.
COL HK= Gophers at Ohio State Saturday 5pm on AM960 KLTF.

Loss for Words tonight, Redneck Radio Saturday at West Side Bar

Thursday- March 6th, 2014

--The Pierz Fire Department responded to a barn on fire Tuesday morning around 8:40 on the 29000 block of 231st Street in Pierz. The property owner was able to get his animals out of the building which was mainly filled with hay. Firefighters were able to enter the barn through a side door and extinguish the fire. The barn sustained minor damage. The Pierz Fire Chief reported that the heat inside the barn likely caused the hay bales to self ignite. There were no injuries.

--A 14 year old Milaca girl was injured Monday afternoon when two vehicles collided in Mille Lacs County. State Patrol stated that Jennifer Berg of Milaca was northbound on Highway 169 when she attempted a turn onto Central Avenue and was broadsided by a vehicle driven by 47-year-old Jeffrey Johnson of Milaca. Both drivers and Johnson’s passenger were not hurt. Aleiah Ronning in Berg’s vehicle was taken to an area hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries.

--A St. Cloud man was arrested after St. Cloud police officers were led on a car chase through the city Monday. The pursuit began at about 3:30pm in the area of 33rd Avenue and Second Street South after police spotted a vehicle that had previously been reported stolen. The vehicle driven by 19-year-old Brandon Knowlen fled the scene after noticing the police car. Police lost the vehicle at Cooper Avenue South near Coborn’s before the vehicle was later spotted near Riverside Park. The vehicle struck stop sticks placed down by officers but officers lost sight of the vehicle again. Thanks to a tip, police discovered that Knowlen parked the vehicle in a tenant’s detached garage at an apartment building. Police set up a perimeter around the apartment building and garage and eventually arrested Knowlen after a short struggle. No one was injured, and no other vehicles or property were damaged during the pursuit. Knowlen was taken to Stearns County Jail and faces possible charges of being in possession of a stolen vehicle and obstructing the legal process.

--The Todd County Sheriff’s Office has released a report that states this year they have had several serious incidents with snowmobiles colliding with trees, motor vehicles and each other resulting in property damage and in one case a fatality. They have also had many reports of snowmobiles leaving trails and ditches damaging the property of others. The sheriff’s office urges snowmobilers to operate their machines in a safe manner wearing proper safety equipment, operating a safe speed, not operating when consuming alcohol and respect the property of others. The snowmobile safety patrol does actively enforce appropriate laws and regulations for snowmobiling.

--The Cold Spring City Council has scheduled a special meeting for Monday to discuss its police chief hiring process, possibly starting a new search. The meeting will be at 6:00pm at City Hall. The city’s hiring of a new Cold Spring-Richmond police chief is in limbo after a no confidence vote in Eric Johnson, who was offered the job. That offer came into question after learning that his CPR and first responder certifications had lapsed. Johnson’s attorney has said that when Johnson learned about the lapse and that it raised concerns in Cold Spring, he immediately got re-certified.

--The city of Melrose has a new police chief. Melrose Police Sgt. Craig Maus has been appointed chief and starts as chief on May 17th. Police Chief John Jensen retires at that time. The Melrose City Council appointed Maus on Monday. Maus was hired with the city in 2001 and was promoted to sergeant in 2007. Jensen has served with the city since 1983 and has been chief since 1999.

--Seven people were arrested Monday after a drug bust in Hewitt resulted in the discovery of more than $5,000 worth of methamphetamine. After executing search warrants at 521 Wisconsin St. N and 712 Second Ave. E, agents from the Central Minnesota Violent Offenders Task Force, the West Central Minnesota Drug Task Force and the Todd County Sheriff’s office recovered more than 2 ounces of methamphetamine and items for distributing the drug. Arrested were: 28-year-old Dale Jeremy Camacho, 39-year-old Charles Arthur Biksen, Erin Elizabeth Biksen and 24-year-old Jennifer Marie Tentler — all of of Hewitt — along with Sebeka residents 50-year old Darrell Leigh Biksen, and 53-year old Jeffrey James Blaha, along with 35-year-old Jessie Allan McManigle of Wadena. Each of the suspects were taken to Todd County Jail to await charges.

--Crow Wing County Landfill has been fined for accepting and disposing of 15 barrels of liquid hazardous waste in the municipal solid waste portion of its facility just east of Brainerd. The hazardous waste has been removed and properly disposed of at a hazardous waste facility. The county has paid a 12-thousand dollar civil penalty and taken required corrective actions in response to these hazardous and solid waste violations.

--Garrison residents will get a chance to find ways to fight off the long winter Saturday with Cabin Fever Day. Events in Garrison Saturday include a soup fest, softball on ice, sledding on the lake, bonfire, food and beverage specials, many indoor games and fireworks at dusk. Get more info at

--Andrew and Megan Amstutz of Randall, girl born March 4th

TODAY= mostly cloudy, high 33 and breezy.
TONIGHT= snow, sleet and drizzle, temps stay steady around 30
FRIDAY= falling temps, morning snow and windy- temp 15 by 3pm.
SATURDAY= sunny, windy, high 25, low around 10.
SUNDAY= partly sunny, very mild, high near 40.

GBB= Pierz at Sauk Centre in playoffs tonight 7pm on FM94 KFML
GBB= Oglivie at Upsala tonight 7pm in playoffs on Q92 WYRQ
HS= Swanville, Royalton, Holdingford, Staples-Motley, Long Prarie-Grey Eagle and many others are in playoff girls action tonight.
CC= Coaches Corner is in studio this Saturday, Al Windsperger talked to the wrestlers who were at the state tournament including State Champion Mitch Lange and State Runner-up Colton Eischens, listen to those interviews and others Saturday at 9am on AM960 KLTF.

IN 1899= Felix Hoffman patents the name and compound for aspirin
IN 1973= Larry Hisle of Minnesota Twins is credited for being the first designated hitter to hit a homerun as DH started in AL in 73.
IN 1981= millions tuned in for the final CBS Evening New Broadcast with Walter Cronkite who retired after that newscast.
IN 1983= The United States Football League (USFL), started up by Donald Trump and other businessmen, began their first season-The league folded after 3 seasons but made many future NFL stars.

Loss for Words Friday, Redneck Radio Saturday at West Side Bar

Wednesday- March 5th, 2014 ‘Ash Wednesday’

--More than 1,100 Minnesota townships will hold elections March 11th including 21 townships in Morrison County. Morrison County Townships that have elections next Tuesday, March 11th are Belle Prairie, Bellevue, Buckman, Buh, Culdrum, Cushing, Darling, Elmdale, Granite, Green Prairie, Lakin, Leigh, Little Falls, Motley, Parker, Pike Creek, Platte, Ripley, Swan River, Swanville, and Two Rivers townships. Voters are encouraged to use the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State polling place finder at to see if they have an election and find out where to vote. View the full list of townships that are holding elections. There are also special elections on March 11th in towns of Beltrami, Dodge, Olmsted and Scott counties. Eligible voters may register at their polling place on Election Day as long as they can provide proof of residence. There are many options for same-day voter registration, including: valid Minnesota driver’s license, learner’s permit, Minnesota ID card and more.

--The Little Falls City Council met on Monday night. At the meeting the council approved a dual agreement with Little Falls Schools and the Great River Arts Association for the local Cable TV Management Agreement. The council also approved a request for $2,000 funding towards updating the restrooms at the swimming beach area of Green Prairie Fish Lake. Funding for this project was already well under way but these funds should speed up the process of updating the facilities at the widely used local beach. Lucy Tanner was appointed to the Library Board. Little Falls Police Captain Mike Casillas who was on the force for 31 years retired last Friday, February 28th. The council on Monday unanimously approved the hiring of Kyle Johnson as new Captain and hiring Josh Andrea as a full time officer. An item that did not pass because of a split 4-4 vote was having the golf course fall under the park recreation and tree board. A public hearing was set for April 7th for tax exempt refinancing for Little Falls Health Center & Franciscan Health Center.

--The cold winter has impacted the water consumption of local residents. Recently the city of Little Falls recommended that area residents run their water continuously at a pencil sized stream to avoid frozen water pipes. The council Monday night approved for local residents who do this, your monthly water and sewage bill will be an average of your consumption in December, January and February for the upcoming March and potentially April bills depending on the weather. The city of Little Falls will also waive any flat fee for both water and sewer for accounts that had frozen pipes and no water available. This service will only be available to residents who call city hall at 616-5500 between 8:00am-5:00pm weekdays to alert the city that you are running continuous water.

--Crow Wing County deputies responded to a fire call Sunday night around 11:00pm on Robison Street in Emily. A roof of a residence was on fire and extinguished with minimal damage to the home. They also responded to two accidents, one Saturday with Baxter police around 1:00pm on Highway 371 at Excelsior Road. 59-year-old Diane Long of Brainerd and 58-year-old Robert Mueller of Nisswa collided at the intersection. Both drivers were not hurt. A passenger in Long’s vehicle 31-year-old Scott Phoenix of Brainerd was treated for injuries at the Brainerd hospital. The second accident reported at Ward Road in Brainerd involved a snowmobile colliding with a car. Peter Gustafson was on the snowmobile and treated for injuries. The driver of the car was not injured.

--Former GOP state Representative Jim Knoblach has announced he’s running for the Minnesota House seat now held by freshman DFL Representative Zachary Dorholt. Knoblach becomes the second Republican to announce a run for the seat in House District 14B, joining Paul Brandmire. Dorholt, a mental health counselor from St. Cloud, won the seat in 2012, defeating Republican King Banaian. Republicans in House District 14B are set to endorse their candidate for the seat at a convention on Monday. The district covers east, central and north-central St. Cloud and Haven and Minden townships.

--Authorities say a small child has died in a fire at a home in Itasca County. The sheriff’s department said two adults were injured in the fire Sunday night at a home in Harris Township. They were taken to Grand Itasca Medical Center. The child’s age and identity have not been released. Two fire departments, several ambulance services, sheriff’s deputies, the Minnesota State Patrol, and State Fire Marshal’s Office responded to the scene about 9:30pm. The cause of the fire was not determined.

--Today is Ash Wednesday which is the first day of Lent starting the season that leads up to Easter on April 20th.  According to the Gospels, Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the desert enduring temptation by Satan meaning Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of this 40-day liturgical period of prayer and fasting or abstinence. Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads as a sign of mourning and repentance of God. The ashes used are typically gathered from the burning of the palms from the previous year's Palm Sunday. Many churches will hold services today and tonight to commemorate Ash Wednesday.

--Charles Christensen and Brittany Smith of Rice, a girl born 3-3-14

--Marlene M. Griffith, age 80 of Little Falls.

TODAY= increasing clouds, high 23.
TONIGHT= light snow late, turning breezy, low 12.
THURSDAY= light snow, some mixed precip, breezy, high 32.
THURS NITE/FRI= light snow 1-2 inches, low 18, high near 30.

HK= The State Boys Hockey Tournament begins today with Class A State Quarterfinal play. St. Cloud Cathedral will take on Totino Grace in the final game of the day around 8pm tonight in St. Paul.
TWINS= Twins baseball tonight at 6pm on Q92 WYRQ from Florida

IN 1872= George Westinghouse patents the airbrake for trains.
IN 1934= Amarillo, Texas celebrated first Mother-in-Law Day.
IN 1946= Winston Churchill delivered his Iron Curtain speech.
IN 1956= King Kong was presented on CBS TV- first time televised.
IN 1963= Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas and Hankshaw Hawkins were killed in a plane crash in Camden, Tennessee.

Loss for Words Friday, Redneck Radio Saturday at West Side Bar

Tuesday- March 4th, 2014

--The cold weather did not stop the heartwarming annual story of the Polar Bear Plunge. This year around 300 plungers battled sub-zero temperatures but raised locally approximately $93,000 towards Special Olympics Minnesota. The event Saturday was at Breezy Point Resort in Pelican Lake. This is one of several Polar Bear Plunges annually in Minnesota.

--A fire Sunday afternoon destroyed a double-wide manufactured home east of Foley. The home was located on Minnesota Highway 23 Northeast and ruled a total loss. Firefighters arrived around 12:20pm and were on the scene for five hours. Two teenagers were home at the time and got out without injuries. The cause of the fire is under investigation but the fire was deemed not suspicious.

--Two people suffered minor injuries after icy roads caused an accident just after 8:00am Monday morning in Todd County. The icy conditions caused a vehicle to slide through a stop sign at the intersection of First Street South and Ann Avenue East in Clarissa striking another vehicle. Both drivers were treated at Long Prairie Hospital for their injuries and released.

--A U.S. Marine from Waseca in southern Minnesota was killed in Afghanistan Friday when a suicide bomber attacked his convoy. 20-year-old Lance Corporal Caleb Erickson was the gunner in the last truck of the convoy that was attacked and he was pronounced dead at a nearby medical facility. No one else in the convoy suffered life-threatening injuries. Erickson was a 2012 graduate of Waseca High School and joined the Marines immediately after high school.

--A Becker police investigation resulted in the arrest of three people Sunday. Police received a tip early Sunday about possible drug activity and arrested 33-year-old Jesse Allan Bodendrier of Princeton after they say he was in possession of a stolen vehicle. Police then used search warrants at the residence and arrested Priscilla Marie Trepanier from Buffalo and Shawn Lee Gums of Monticello. Police said they recovered 2.5 grams of methamphetamine. Sherburne County Social Services took a child into custody at the scene. The three suspects were taken to Sherburne County Jail.

--Some programs have been moved at the Whitney Senior Center while crews investigate a ceiling problem in Clemens Hall. At least one beam truss in the roof support has cracks that have compromised the strength of the roof support system. On Monday the St. Cloud City Council approved spending no more than $25,000 on a preliminary investigation to look at the problem. The city believes the repairs could cost $25,000-$100,000. The problem is located on a main beam going through the width of the room. The cause is still being investigated. The city’s insurance provider has been notified. There are some dollars set aside from Community Development Block grant for Whitney that could be used for the repairs, but the city would need to get approval to do that.

--A snowmobile accident at around 4:40pm Saturday claimed the life of a 53-year-old Eagan man. Paul R. Schanno II was operating a snowmobile on a trail north of Savannah State Park when he collided with a tree at a curve in the trail. Schanno was pronounced dead at the scene. No one else was injured in the incident.

--The Morrison County Commissioners meets today at 9am at the government center. Swanville and Royalton City Councils hold their regular meetings tonight at their respected city halls.

--A Benton County man has decided to build a 50 foot snowman and it is bringing some major attention to the town of Gilman. Farmer Greg Novak has been interviewed by a number of media outlets recently on the large scale snowman that is giving many kids in the area much joy to view. Novak said people are coming from over 100 miles away just to view the 50 foot snow sculpture. The snowman took 5 weeks to make and many hours of manpower. He mainly go the idea after pushing all the snow he had into one pile and then thought of something creative to do with it all.

--12 Years a Slave took home the Oscar Sunday for Best Picture at the 86th Academy Awards. Best Actor Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto Best Supporting Actor for Dallas Buyers Club, Best Actress Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine and Lupita Nyong’o won best Supporting Actress for 12 Years a Slave. Best Animated Film was Frozen and Best Song- was Let it Go from the movie Frozen.  

--Today is Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday which is considered a day to enjoy pancakes, pastries and other treats that in early days were forbidden to be eaten during the 40 days of Lent leading up to the Easter Holiday in Catholic and Christian faiths. Today is the finals days of Mardi Gras in New Orleans and Carnival in Brazil. Dozens of countries or cities throughout the world hold parades, celebrations and feasts to commemorate Fat Tuesday. Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday the official beginning of the Lenten season.

--Travis and Amber Schnobrich of Randall, girl born March 2nd

--Deana Hoefler, age 57 of Buckman.

TODAY= snow showers at times, cloudy, high 17.
TONIGHT= few snow showers, low around 0.
WEDNESDAY= mostly cloudy, high around 20, low around 10.
THURSDAY= a rain/snow mix by afternoon, high around 30.

GBB= Little Falls at Fergus Falls tonight in playoffs 7pm Q92 WYRQ
TWINS= more Twins spring training baseball today at noon on Q92.

=From 1797-1933 today was inauguration day for elected U.S. Presidents starting with John Adams in 1797 through President Franklin Roosevelt in 1933. Inauguration Day was moved to January 20th in 1937 when President Franklin Roosevelt won reelection.
IN 1925= Calvin Coolidge first President to have his inauguration read live over the radio.
IN 1950= Cinderella was released in theaters by Walt Disney.
IN 1966= John Lennon got himself and the Beatles in a bit of trouble for the line We (Beatles) are more popular than Jesus Christ. Lennon would later apologize for his comments.

Loss for Words Friday, happy hour and lunch daily at West Side Bar

Monday- March 3rd, 2014

--The City of Brainerd announced that 11 applied for the vacant city council seat to finish out the late Bonnie Cumberland’s term. Next Monday, March 10th the city council will hold a special meeting starting at 6pm where they will hear from each of the applicants, who will have the same allotted amount of time to speak on why they should sit on the council. Following that the council will vote to fill the spot left by Cumberland’s untimely death. The applicant would fill the seat until the November election when that at-large council seat was already up for election.

--The Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce has announced that Caroline Wadman is the March Employee of the Month. Wadman has been an in-store banker for US Bank for about 25 years.

--Firefighters battled a house fire Wednesday night on Welton Road in Baxter. The two-story garage was totally engulfed in flames when they arrived on the scene around 11pm and was making its way into the home. Firefighters were able to salvage the home from being completely destroyed. Jennifer Kiffmeyer was the lone occupant in the home and was not injured. Brainerd, Nisswa and Crosslake firefighters were on the scene until late Thursday morning making sure that no hot spots reignited. The cause is still under investigation.

--A 19-year-old from Baxter was injured last Tuesday in a 2-vehicle accident on Highway 210 in Baxter. Dacotah Koloski was taken to the Brainerd hospital treated and released. No others involved were hurt.

--60-year-old Larry Bolton of Crosslake was sentenced in Crow Wing County to 10 years supervised probation and a stay of execution sentence of 36 months. That means for now Bolton will not serve any prison time for being convicted of shooting 31-year-old Robbie Lee Bjerkness in Crosslake following a heated argument between the two men. Bolton pleaded guilty to second-degree assault with a deadly weapon thus having attempted murder and first degree assault charges dismissed from the case under a plea agreement.

--Police have collected surveillance video from area businesses and evidence from a vehicle in which a woman was kidnapped late February 12th and forced to drive before being assaulted and dropped off in Sauk Rapids. Police haven’t made any arrests and are waiting on test results of evidence found in the vehicle. They also haven’t established any connection to a handful of kidnappings that happened in the Twin Cities metro area after the February 12th incident outside the McDonald’s restaurant near Minnesota Highway 15 and Stearns County Road 1. A 56-year-old area woman told police she went into the restaurant and returned to her vehicle to find a masked man in the back of the vehicle. The woman was forced to drive around, and at one point a second person got into the vehicle and joined the first man in demanding money from her. She told police that she was choked at some point during the abduction and passed out. She eventually was pushed from the vehicle near the Coborn's Superstore in Sauk Rapids, where she called police just before 2:00am on February 13th. Sauk Rapids police later located the woman's empty vehicle and found the interior had been set on fire. The woman was treated at St. Cloud Hospital for her injuries and released. Investigators gathered surveillance video from areas where the woman believed she had been driven that night, but the video was of limited help. The victim was unconscious for an undetermined amount of time during the abduction. That complicated efforts to recreate a timeline of what happened that night. Anyone with information about the incident can call Sartell police at 251-8186.

--A 4-year-old central Minnesota girl has died after authorities say she became wedged between her bed and her bedroom wall. The Meeker County Sheriff’s Office calls the death an accident. Anca Altenburg of Watkins told officials that her daughter, Brianna, had gone upstairs Wednesday evening to play in her room. When the mother went to check on her daughter 20 minutes later, the girl was unresponsive. Emergency crews brought Brianna to Meeker Memorial Hospital, but she could not be revived.

--Scott Saehr has accepted the city administrator position in Pierz. The city council approved a contract for Saehr who replaces Anna Gruber who took a different job. Saehr was hired to be Deputy Clerk in January. Interviews are expected to start this week for the open position of Deputy Clerk in Pierz.

--A fast-burning fire destroyed a building in Mahnomen and turned the town's mainstreet into a sheet of ice early Friday. Mahnomen County Sheriff Douglas Krier said the burnt building contained an empty barber shop and apartments. Firefighters from nine area departments were called in to rotate due to the extreme cold and windchills. There was also the danger of falls as water sprayed on the fire immediately froze. Krier says the building burned so quickly because it is a wood-frame structure that he believes is more than 100 years old. The building was a total loss. No one was injured.

--Parent teacher conferences today 3:30-7:30 at Upsala schools.

--Jacques P. Sebasky, age 64 of St. Cloud
--Sister Mary Celine Jonas, age 95 of St. Francis Convent, Little Falls
--Harold Schmidt, age 77 of Randall.
--Harold Thiesse, age 83 of Brainerd
--Ramon A. Hall, age 82 of Little Falls.

TODAY= cloudy, snow likely in afternoon- high 12.
TONIGHT= snow likely 1-3 inches by midnight, low -2.
TUESDAY= mostly cloudy, high 17, snow at night low around 0.
WEDNESDAY= mostly cloudy, high around 20.

WRE= Congratulations to Mitch Lange of Royalton/Upsala wrestling team who became a State Champion at 160 pounds Saturday night. He is the first state champion for Royalton/Upsala since their merger and the first in Royalton’s team history. Kolton Eischens of Pierz, Carter Nielsen and Mitch Struffert of Foley finished 2nd at state, 4th place finishes for Christopher Ortman of Pierz, Tyler Midas and Tyler Funk of Foley, 5th place for Trysten Ross of Little Falls and Luke Kelvington of Foley, and 6th place finishes for Justin Jenks of Little Falls, Zach Scott and Nathan Brinker of Holdingford. Foley finished 3rd as a team while Pierz finished 5th.
BBB= a rough Saturday night in playoffs as Upsala, Swanville, Staples-Motley, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, Sartell-St. Stephen and Albany were all defeated in playoff action ending their seasons.
GBB= Girls Basketball playoffs begin for some teams like Swanville tonight, Little Falls on Tuesday and Pierz, Upsala, Royalton and Holdingford begin on Thursday of this week.
TWINS= Twins vs. Toronto in spring play today at noon on Q92.

Loss for Words Friday, best lunches in town are at West Side Bar