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White Earth Reservation General Election Results (official)


White Earth Chairman Michael A. Fairbanks and Laura Lee (Thompson) Erickson congratulate each other after the votes were counted on Tuesday, June 11 at the Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen, Minn. Photo credit: Gary W. Padrta

WHITE EARTH, MINN. – Incumbent Michael A. Fairbanks defeated Eugene “Umsy” Tibbetts, 1,155 to 909, for Chairman in the White Earth Reservation General Election held Tuesday, June 11.  Laura Lee (Thompson) Erickson edged incumbent Cheryl “Annie” Jackson 595 to 441, for District III Representative.  Both positions are four-year terms.  Here are the official results:

 

 

Chairman

Michael A. Fairbanks (incumbent)              1,155   55.96%

Eugene “Umsy” Tibbetts                                909      44.04%

 

District III Representative

Laura Lee (Thompson) Erickson                595      57.44%

Cheryl “Annie“ Jackson (incumbent)             441      42.57%

 

May 30 Drowning Reported by Hubbard County Sheriff's Office

On May 30 at 5:57pm the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office received a call of a possible drowning at Starlight Bay Resort on 8 th Crow Wing Lake in Nevis Township.

The caller reported that his father fell in the lake and was unconscious. Deputies and emergency personnel responded. Upon arriving, Deputies
found several Nevis First Responders providing medical care to the victim who was now on shore.

Deputies spoke to 48 year old Shane Delmore of Boston, MA who advised that he and his father, 75 year old William Delmore of Bismarck, ND had been fishing on the dock. Shane went into their cabin to use the restroom and when he returned, found his father laying face down in the lake.

Shane jumped into the water and attempted to pull his father to shore. With the assistance of another individual, they were able to get the victim out of the water and onto the beach. Medical personnel from North Ambulance arrived on scene and pronounced William deceased. The incident is being investigated by the Hubbard County Sheriff's Office.

Klobuchar, Stauber Introduce Legislation to Improve Mail Delivery in Northern Minnesota

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Representative Pete Stauber (R-MN)  announced the introduction of the Rural Mail Delivery Improvement Act. This legislation would require the United States Postal Service (USPS) to implement all of the recommendations made by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) following their audit of the Bemidji Post Office, which uncovered operational problems at the facility. 

“Minnesotans rely on the Postal Service to deliver their prescriptions, Social Security checks, and more, and they need and deserve timely service. The recent Inspector General’s report that I called for confirmed significant delays and service disruptions for those who rely on the Bemidji Post Office,” said Klobuchar. “That’s why Rep. Stauber and I are leading bipartisan legislation that requires the Postal Service to act on all of the Inspector General’s recommendations, which will improve operations for Bemidji residents, those in the surrounding communities and beyond.”

“I have been deeply concerned by the reports about postal issues in Bemidji and Greater Minnesota,” said Stauber. “Rural Minnesotans rely heavily on mail delivery and any disruption in this service is unacceptable because it can have a detrimental impact on people’s businesses, livelihoods, and health. The USPS has been having problems for a while and I have repeatedly asked their leadership to fix these issues, but my requests seem to fall on deaf ears. Enough is enough. Decisive action must be taken immediately to improve the efficiency and reliability of mail delivery, which is why I am proud to introduce legislation requiring USPS to enact all five of the recommendations made by the OIG after their comprehensive audit of the Bemidji Post Office. I thank Senator Klobuchar for joining me in this effort.”

The OIG performed an audit of the Bemidji Post Office during the week of December 12, 2023, to evaluate mail delivery in northern Minnesota after community members and postal employees in the area publicly expressed concerns about the disruptions in mail delivery. 

According to the audit report, the OIG found 78,948 pieces of delayed mail in the mail processing area, which was attributed to the lack of an adequate training program for staff. 

According to the OIG report, USPS headquarters also failed to ask the Bemidji Post Office if they could handle the expected increase in volume due to third-party shipments folding into operations. They also failed to tell the Bemidji Post Office about this agreement until eight days before third-party packages would start arriving.

The recommendations from the OIG report are as follows: 
 

  1. Develop and execute a plan to verify that all delayed mail volume is entered into the proper system for the Bemidji Post Office.
  2. Obtain and consider district and local management input on their ability to deliver all mail when assessing new opportunities for new projected drop shipment package volume. 
  3. Develop and implement procedures to promptly communicate to district and local management any expected new drop shipment mail volumes and start dates for large shippers.
  4. Coordinate with Headquarters and Central Area Human Resources personnel to identify and implement additional strategies to fill carrier vacancies at the Bemidji Post Office.
  5. Provide mail processing training that includes proper mail staging processes, managing critical mail entry and clearance times, scheduling extra trucks, staffing policies, and reporting delayed mail for all district and local managers who are responsible for mail processing operations in a delivery unit.
     

The USPS disagrees with recommendations 2 and 3.

Senator Klobuchar previously called on Postmaster General DeJoy to address staffing shortages and mail delays at the Bemidji Post Office in November 2023. Senators Klobuchar and Smith requested an audit of the USPS’s Minnesota-North Dakota District operations in December 2023.

New Minnesota Veterans Homes - Bemidji Celebrates Veterans Homes Week


St. Paul, Minn. - Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) is celebrating Minnesota Veterans Homes Week May 12-18. This annual event honors our dedicated staff who care for Veteran Residents and their families as well as each other. The new Veterans Home in Bemidji - which started admitting its first residents earlier this year--is proud to recognize ongoing efforts to ensure an optimal quality of Residential life and a workplace of choice for all.

Making beautiful memories that bring joy to Residents is what our employees do every day. During Minnesota Veterans Homes Week, residents and team members will further bolster the warm, welcoming settings through a variety of activities, including staff contests, gratitude walls, special meals and treats, dress-up days and giveaways.

"These are just a few ways to say thank you to our employees for consistently showing up to deliver award-winning care and honor our Veterans' legacies," said Simone Hogan, Senior Director, Healthcare.

Eric Meittunen, MDVA Deputy Commissioner, Healthcare, noted that, "Our employees take every possible opportunity to make memories with Veterans, be it at mealtime, during onsite activities or community outings, or just sitting and relaxing after a long day. While we are grateful for their commitment 52 weeks a year, during this week in particular, we shine the light on the sense of extended family they create and the way they deliver a safe, respectful environment for our Residents."

Brad Lindsay, MDVA Commissioner, shared that talented, compassionate employees are essential to serving the needs of state Veterans and their families. "We're grateful that our team members have found their purpose with us; Minnesota Veterans Homes Week is a great opportunity to say thank you to them for going above and beyond to meet the healthcare needs of our nation's heroes."

About MDVA

The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) is a cabinet-level
state agency dedicated to serving Minnesota Veterans and their families. In addition to overseeing the eight State Veterans Homes and four State Veterans Cemeteries, MDVA helps eligible Veterans and families secure state and federal benefits and provides programs and services relating to higher education, benefits, burial, claims and outreach. Veterans and their families are encouraged to visit https://mn.gov/mdva/  or call 1-888-LinkVet for more information about benefits.

 

Astera Health breaks ground on new cancer center

WADENA, Minn. – May 08, 2024 – A groundbreaking ceremony took place on May 7, 2024, at the Astera Health Campus in Wadena for a new cancer center. The ceremony was originally planned to be outdoors but was moved inside due to inclement weather. During the presentation speakers from Astera Health, CentraCare, and the community shared their thoughts on the new facility. 

The cancer center is a partnership between Astera Health and CentraCare. It will be a state-of-the-art facility offering a wide range of services not easily accessible in rural Minnesota, including radiation, PET scanning, and expanded infusion therapy. With the expertise of the CentraCare oncology team and Astera Health, this program will bring full-service care with better outcomes for patients.  

The goal of both organizations is to improve access to cancer care in Central Minnesota. This partnership was spurred by increased cancer rates in Minnesota and patients struggling to receive care. Many people must travel long distances while suffering from cancer symptoms and the effects associated with such intense treatment. 

Ken Holmen, CEO of CentraCare took to the podium to share his thoughts on the importance of cancer care in Central Minnesota. “We build on yesterday,” said Holmen who mentioned the immense work completed throughout the history of Astera Health laying the groundwork for the success of tomorrow. 

“There is nothing funny about cancer,” remarked Stephen Davis, MD, who serves as a family medicine physician at Astera Health. For several months, Dr. Davis has been battling a form of bone cancer and shared some emotional patient stories impacted by cancer.  

Joel Beiswenger, President and CEO of Astera Health concluded the ceremony with heartfelt words about the journey to the construction of the cancer center. “In the end, this will transform the care we deliver, the experience our patients have, who of course, are going through the toughest times in their lives,” said Beiswenger.  

Construction started May 8 and will be open to patients in July of 2025. 

For more information about the new cancer center, please visit asterahealth.org. 

 

Fatal Farm Accident Reported in Otter Tail County

On 5/7/2024, the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office and emergency personnel responded to the report of a farm accident with critical injuries at a farm site, north of Parkers Prairie. The victim in the incident had been working with others to repair a piece of tillage equipment, when a part of the machinery fell on top of him and pinned him underneath. Life saving efforts were unsuccessful, and the victim passed away at the scene. The name of the victim is being withheld, pending notification of relatives.

The Parkers Prairie Fire Department, along with the Parkers Prairie and North Ambulance services assisted with the incident.

On Thursday April 25th 2024 at approximately 3:11pm the Wadena County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a hay shed on fire located in section 23 of North Germany Township. Upon arrival of emergency personnel it was found that a hay shed containing approximately 25-30 large round bales and a skid loader was fully engulfed in fire. Fire crews responded and were able to extinguish the fire before it spread to the wooded areas nearby. The cause of the fire is undetermined at this time. The MN DNR Forestry, Wadena County Sheriff’s Office, Sebeka Fire and Rescue, Menahga Fire Department, Verndale Fire Department, Astera Health Ambulance, Gilster Excavating, and Elite Dozing and Excavating all responded to this incident.

On Sunday April 28th at approximately 12:50 pm, Wadena County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a trailer on fire located at a property in Section 6 of Thomas Township. Upon arrival of the Wadena
County Sheriff’s Office and Verndale Fire Department, it was found that a large sized RV was fully engulfed in fire. Additional fire crews responded and were able to extinguish the fire and in doing so, discovered an adult size dog along with three puppies inside of the RV that were deceased. It was reported to Sheriff’s personnel that a possible cause of the fire may have been from a small space heater that had been running inside the RV in order to keep the adult and puppies warm. The Wadena County Sheriff’s Office, Verndale Fire Department, and Staples Fire Department responded to the scene.

Prescribed Fire Scheduled for Chippewa Nat'l Forest

Walker, MN: April 23, 2024 - Chippewa National Forest fire crews plan to conduct a prescribed burn at the combined Forest Service Walker District and the Walker Chamber of Commerce office within the Walker city limits, starting as early as Wednesday April 24.  Exact date(s) of operations are dependent on current and forecasted local weather conditions.

Regular disturbance is needed every 5 years, ideally in the form of fire, to improve the vibrance of the landscaping, reinvigorate growth of a variety of prairie flowers and grasses, and reduce competition of invasive weeds and woody plant such as shrubs and small trees. The Walker native landscape is overdue for its next burn as the last successful burning of the native landscape were in the springs of 2016 and 2017.

The controlled burn will be conducted in small parcels to limit smoke production but residents in the area may still be able to smell drift smoke (not unlike a campfire).  The smoke should lift and dissipate quickly. We expect no smoke damage to private residences or property, impacts to roadways, local tourism, or business activity.

The likelihood of prescribed fire leaving the small burn areas is extremely low. The forested area between the District/Chamber office and the private property on Summit Avenue will be significantly moist from recent precipitation and a north facing slope that will limit fire spread.  The Forest Service will have ample fire personnel and equipment on scene to effectively manage the prescribed burn. Prescribed fires are conducted under specific weather conditions and are designed to accomplish pre- determined management goals. National Forest fire staff follow strict guidelines for conducting prescribed burns, and take into consideration environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and wind. If any environmental conditions are not within limits, the operations will be postponed.

Please direct questions regarding the prescribed fire to the Walker Ranger District (218) 547 -1400

For information about the Chippewa National Forest, please visit: www.fs.usda.gov/chippewa

Construction on Highway 87 east of Hubbard begins May 20

The project will be completed in three detoured stages

BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced today, construction on Highway 87 east of Hubbard will begin May 20. The project includes reconstructing Highway 87 from Third Crow Wing Lake to east of Hubbard. The project also includes shoulder widening and culvert replacements.

Staging information and detour routes are subject to change.

Estimated durations and detour routes are as follows:

Stage 1:    Hubbard CR 20 to CR 13

  • Detour: Hubbard CR 17, Hubbard CR 20, Hubbard CR 13
  • Work to complete: grading, aggregate base
  • Duration: mid May – early August

Stage 2:    179th Ave. to Hubbard CR 20

  • Detour: Hwy 87, Hwy 71, Hwy 34, Hubbard CR 20, Hubbard CR 17, Hubbard CR 13, Hwy 87
  • Work to complete: grading, aggregate base
  • Duration: early August – late August

Stage 3    Hubbard CR 13 to Blackberry Drive

  • Detour: Hubbard CR 20, Hwy 34, Hubbard CR 33, Hwy 64
  • Work to complete: grading, aggregate base
  • Duration: late August – mid September

Stage 4    179th Ave. to Blackberry Drive

  • No detour, lane closures with flagger/pilot car
  • Work to complete: bituminous surfacing, shouldering, signing
    • Duration: mid September – early October

The project is expected to be complete early-October, weather permitting. For more information as well as a detour map, visit the project website: www.mndot.gov/d2/projects/hwy87-hubbard.  

Project benefits and cost

Benefits of the project include a safer road, improved drainage, and a smoother and longer lasting driving surface. Anderson Brothers is the contractor for the $6.2 million project.

Important reminders for motorists regarding work zone safety:

  • Slow down when approaching every work zone, then navigate through with care and caution.
  • Stay alert; work zones constantly change.
  • Watch for workers and slow-moving equipment.
  • Obey posted speed limits. Fine for a violation in a work zone is $300.
  • Minimize distractions behind the wheel.
  • Be patient; expect delays, especially during peak travel times.

Please join the MnDOT District 2 Facebook group for updates on construction, road conditions and other transportation related topics. www.facebook.com/groups/mndotnorthwest/

Highway 34 Akeley construction resumes early-May

Motorists will detour utilizing Hubbard CR 25 and Highway 64

BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced today, construction on Highway 34 in Akeley will resume in early May. The remaining project elements include resurfacing and sidewalk upgrades on Highway 34 from the Hulet Avenue to Hillside Avenue. Motorists will detour utilizing Hubbard CR 25 and Highway 64.

The project is expected to be complete in mid-June, weather permitting. For more information as well as staging and detour maps, visit the project website: www.mndot.gov/d2/projects/hwy34-akeley

Stay connected

Project benefits and cost

Benefits of the project include a safer road, smoother and longer lasting driving surface, as well as intersection and pedestrian improvements to enhance safety for all users.

Young Excavating is the contractor for the $3.6 million project. Construction was paused in November 2023, with the remaining work in Stage 3 to be completed in 2024.

MnDOT invites and encourages participation by all. If you need an ASL, a foreign language interpreter or other reasonable accommodation, or need documents in an alternative format (such as braille or large print) for this email or event, please email your request to Janet Miller at ADArequest.dot@state.mn.us or call 651-366-4720.

For more information on projects in northwest Minnesota, follow us on Facebook at https://facebook.com/groups/MnDOTnorthwest and Twitter at @mndotnorthwest. For real-time traffic and travel information in Minnesota, visit www.511mn.org.

White Earth Reservation Unofficial Primary Election Results

4/3/24 Press Release:

WHITE EARTH, MINN. – White Earth Reservation held their Primary Election on Tuesday, April 2. Here are the unofficial results:

Chairperson

Michael A. Fairbanks (Incumbent)              658

Eugene “Umsy” Tibbetts                            605

Donovan G. Burnette                                      140

Karen Marie Manypenny                                21

 

District III Committeeperson *

Cheryl “Annie” Jackson (Incumbent)       

Laura Lee Erickson 

* Only two candidates were certified to run for District III Committeeperson so they bypassed the Primary Election and will compete in the General Election.    

The top two candidates for Chairperson and the two certified candidates for District III Committeeperson will now move on to the General Election scheduled for June 11.  The election results are expected to be certified later this afternoon.

Leech Lake Tribal Council Primary April 2

From a 4/2/24 facebook post by the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe:

Attention Leech Lake Band Members: Primary Election Day is Today! ️
Today, April 2nd, 2024 is a significant day for our community as we head to the polls for the Primary Election. It’s time to make our voices heard by voting for the positions of Chairperson and District 3 Representative on the Leech Lake Tribal Council.

Polls Open: 8 AM - 8 PM. Please take a moment out of your day to participate in this important democratic process.

Election Process Note: Should any candidate receive over 50% of the votes, they will be declared the winner. If no candidate achieves this, the two candidates with the highest vote totals in each race will proceed to the General Election in June.

Polling Places
DISTRICT I
Ball Club Community Center
31627 County Rd #39
Deer River, MN

Inger Community Center
53736 County Rd #146
Deer River, MN

S. Lake Community Center
59979 County Rd #4
S.Lake, MN

DISTRICT II
Bena Community Center
15032 Old Housing Drive
Bena, MN

Smokey Point-Kego Lake Community Center
6159 Kego Lake Trail NE
Longville, MN

Sugar Point Community Center
10051 Battle Pt. Dr.
Federal Dam, MN

DISTRICT III
Cass Lake – Dikinagan Center
16120 60th Ave N.W.
Cass Lake, MN

Mission Community Center
2126 Finch Lane S.E.
Cass Lake, MN

Oak Point Community
05468 107th St. N.W.
Cass Lake, MN

Onigum Community Center
08825 Co. Rd. #13
Onigum, MN

Cass River Community Center
1731 Scenic Hwy. S.E.
Pennington, MN

BEMIDJI
Bemidji City Hall
Chamber of Commerce
317 4th St. NW
Bemidji, MN

DULUTH
Dr. Robert Powless Cultural Center,
212 W 2nd St.
Duluth, MN

TWIN CITIES
Leech Lake Twin Cities Office
2438 27th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN

ABSENTEE VOTING
General Election Board
Che We Building (SE Corner)
115 6th St. Ste. E
Cass Lake, MN 56633

News release: Minnesota DNR seeks input on muskie plan update

Anglers, lake user groups, others invited to participate in online survey

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is asking people to share their thoughts on how the DNR manages muskellunge as part of an update to the state’s muskie long-range plan.

“We’re gathering input as we update our muskie plan for the future,” said Leslie George, northeast region fisheries manager. “As a first step in updating the plan, we’re asking about the experiences and interests of anglers and others related to muskie management.”

For the plan update, the Minnesota DNR hopes to hear from anglers who fish for muskies, other anglers, lake-user groups, partners in tribal nations, and anyone interested in muskies. People can share input in an online scoping survey on the Minnesota DNR muskie webpage. A webinar about the update process is planned for fall 2024, and in the winter of 2024-2025 the public will be able to review and provide input on a draft plan.

Muskies are a large, popular predator fish native to Minnesota. The Minnesota DNR manages muskies by stocking them into waters, setting harvest and season regulations, population monitoring and research, and outreach and education about muskies.

As part of the plan update, the Minnesota DNR is considering ways to enhance muskie stocking in lakes that already have muskies, how to ensure that hatcheries can produce enough quality-sized muskies to meet stocking needs in these lakes, and options for improving public education surrounding muskie biology, ecology, and management.

Muskie background
Minnesota has 102 waters managed for muskies, comprising 2% of the state’s fishable lakes and rivers and 21% of the total surface area that is fishable. Muskies have been introduced in 48 lakes and are maintained in these lakes through stocking. The state record muskie for catch-and-release length is 58 1/4 inches, caught on Mille Lacs Lake in 2022.

Recent Minnesota DNR research on muskie diets show that, on a population level, pike and bass consume much more food than muskies in the lakes where they are present. The research found that muskies consumed a wide range of prey, but the primary makeup of muskie diets are yellow perch, white sucker, bullheads, invertebrates and northern pike. Cisco can also be important in those lakes where their populations are abundant. Walleye are not an important component of muskie diets.

More information about the muskie long-range plan update is available on the Minnesota DNR muskie webpage.

$1000 Donation Supports Local Students with Nutritious Weekend Meals

PARK RAPIDS, MN (March 15, 2024) –
CHI St. Joseph’s Health is happy to announce that a local couple made a generous $1,000 donation to support the Menahga/Sebeka Backpack Program.

The Backpack Program provides bags filled with nutritious foods to children from Menahga and Sebeka on weekends throughout the school year.

More than 200 children are enrolled in the program this school year, the most there have ever been. Many families struggle with food insecurities and the hope is to be able to continue to grow and expand the Backpack Program and provide additional food for more local area children who need our help.

Robert and Sandie Nelson presented the donation to Donna Anderson, SNAP Education Health & Nutrition Program, and Christa Palubicki, Menahga School Social Worker.

The bags are assembled by students on Thursdays and then distributed to the enrolled students on Friday for the weekend. One hundred percent of all donations are used to purchase the food to fill the backpacks for deserving local area children and donations to this cause are tax-deductible.

To make a donation, contact CHI St. Joseph’s Health Foundation at 218-616-3383. Donors can also donate online at www.chisjh.org/foundation or by mail to CHI St. Joseph’s Health Foundation 600 Pleasant Avenue South, Park Rapids, MN 56470

Pursuit Ends in Intentional Crash

Blackduck, Minnesota – A 52 year old Grygla man was arrested after a pursuit and intentionally crashing into a Bemidji Police Department squad car. At 1:13AM March 16, 2024, a Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office Deputy and a Blackduck Police Officer were on patrol in the City of Blackduck when they observed a vehicle stopped at an intersection. The vehicle remained stationary despite no opposing traffic. The deputy then observed the vehicle proceed and signaled a turn but failed to execute the turn. Additional driving behavior was observed and a traffic stop was initiated.

The vehicle accelerated at a high rate of speed and proceeded south on US Highway 71. The pursuit reached speeds of 100mph as the suspect approached Hines. The vehicle turned east on Hines Rd and the deputy was attempting to perform a pursuit intervention technique when the vehicle entered the ditch and proceeded back to Highway 71. A Minnesota State Trooper and another Beltrami County Deputy successfully deployed tire deflation devices.

Bemidji Police Officers were at Farley Drive and Highway 71 when the suspect vehicle intentionally attempted to hit one of the squad cars. The officer was able to maneuver his squad to avoid a head on collision but was subsequently struck on the driver’s rear side of the squad. The suspect vehicle became disabled at the tree line. Deputies and officers attempted to apprehend the suspect but he resisted arrest and was sprayed to gain compliance.

The suspect was identified as Jason Moe, age 52 of Grygla and was arrested for fleeing in a motor vehicle, first degree assault use of deadly force on a peace officer, second degree driving while impaired and obstruction with force. Moe was transported to the Bemidji Sanford Medical Center and later medically cleared and taken into custody. No other injuries were reported. The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Blackduck Police Department, Bemidji Police Department, Minnesota State Patrol and Bemidji Ambulance Service.

-Sheriff Jason Riggs

Fire Fatality in Becker County

Media Release March 13, 2024

On March 12,2024, at approximately 5:01 PM, emergency personnel were dispatched to a report of a garage on fire at 25508 Brandy Lake Road. Upon arrival, the garage was found to be fully engulfed in flames. A male victim had been found in the garage by a neighbor and family members who pulled him out prior to the arrival of emergency responders. The male suffered what appeared to be life-threatening injuries.


The victim was transported by air to the Hennepin County Medical Center where he later passed away. The name of the victim is being withheld pending further notification of family.

The Detroit Lakes Fire Department, Essentia-St. Mary's EMS, Life Link III, Audubon Fire Department, and Becker County Sheriff's Office assisted with this incident which remains under investigation

Spring Conditions - Chippewa National Forest Roads and Trails

Cass Lake, Minn., March 11, 2024 - A mild winter and the start of springtime conditions have many people eager to explore the Chippewa National Forest. Despite the lack of snowfall this winter, forest officials are cautioning visitors that many forest roads may not be accessible due to wet and muddy conditions. Additionally, traveling on thawing, saturated, and muddy roads can result in resource damage and present safety concerns, especially if visitors are not prepared.

Forest officials are encouraging the public to minimize adverse impacts to natural resources by avoiding travel on roads that are susceptible to rutting due to springtime freeze thaw cycles.

Spring load limitations for all Chippewa National Forest roads will follow restriction dates as designated by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). Restrictions began on March 6 in the north central zone and on March 11 in the north zone. The Chippewa National Forest will enforce a seasonal restriction of 4-ton per axle weight limit on Forest Service (FS) roads. Individual posting of roads will not occur.

Additionally, unless otherwise noted in the Seasonal and Special Vehicle Designations table on the Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs), Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) use is prohibited March 15th to May 1st annually on all Chippewa National Forest roads to minimize the damage to forest resources. Forest officials remind users that some roads remain seasonally closed for wildlife or resource concerns. Please report resource damage if you see it.

Cross-country travel is not permitted under the Chippewa National Forest’s travel management plan. Motor Vehicle Use Maps display the open and seasonally open road system on the Chippewa National Forest. Motor Vehicle Use Maps are free and can be picked up at any Chippewa National Forest office or downloaded from the Forest website. Digital downloads of the maps are also available on the Avenza Maps website.

Springtime forest visitors should prepare for muddy trails and variable conditions. To ensure a safe and enjoyable visit, visitors should check the Chippewa National Forest website for any road or trail closures and other safety related updates.


Alternatives to hiking or biking on muddy and potentially unsafe trails in the spring are Migizi Trail, Heartland Trail, and Paul Bunyan State Trail, all of which are paved. In the summer and fall months, after unpredictable Minnesota spring conditions, visitors can enjoy over 298 miles of non-motorized trails that the Chippewa National Forest offers. One of the more popular trails on the Forest is the North Country Trail, which crosses 61-miles of forested lake country through the Chippewa National Forest as part of the larger North Country National Scenic Trail.

Klobuchar, Smith Secure Funding for Housing Project in Hubbard County

House Passes Funding Bills with Resources for Minnesota Projects Secured by Klobuchar, Smith

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that the House of Representatives passed legislation that included $3,111,000 in funding for a workforce housing development project in Hubbard County. These projects would expand access to housing through the Heartland Lakes Development Commission. The bill now goes to the Senate for final passage. 

“Employers in Hubbard County are reporting that the housing shortage is impacting their ability to recruit and retain talent. I worked to secure resources for the Heartland Lakes Development Commission to expand access to workforce housing in Hubbard County,” said Klobuchar. 

“Without a safe, decent and affordable place to live, nothing in your life works and it becomes nearly impossible to hold a job, go to school, or stay healthy,” said Smith. “This project would build 50 new affordable housing units, bolstering economic opportunities in the area and supporting working families.” 

Klobuchar and Smith have been actively involved in securing this federal funding for projects benefiting communities across the state through a process called “Congressionally Directed Spending” (CDS). During the CDS process, Klobuchar and Smith have considered project proposals and advocated for funding in close coordination with leaders from across the state.

United Way Grant Application for Hubbard County Non-Profits is Open

The 2024 United Way of Bemidji Area grant application process is now open for non-profits who serve clients in Hubbard County. Guidelines and the application materials are available online at www.UnitedWayBemidji.org/grant-opportunities.


United Way funds non-profits who provide a local community service based on documented need(s) within one or more of United Way’s community impact areas:

Education - helping children, youth, and adults achieve their full potential;

Basic Needs -promoting financial stability, increasing self-sufficiency, and providing crisis emergency
services; or Health - improving people's health and social well-being.

Applications, including financials, will be reviewed by a local volunteer committee, the Community Investment Cabinet, to ensure donor dollars are well spent and results are delivered.

Final investment decisions will be approved by the United Way of Bemidji Area Board of Directors in June.

Funding for this cycle comes from dollars raised in Hubbard County through the 2023 Campaign for the Community.


APPLICATION DEADLINE: 4:00 p.m. on Friday, March 29, 2024. - The completed applications must be emailed to grants@unitedwaybemidji.org.

Applicants will be notified of grant results in June 2024.

James Wychor MBA Scholarship Applications Accepted Beginning March 1st

The James Wychor MBA Scholarship is awarded annually to Minnesota High School Seniors who will be pursuing an education in a broadcast related field of study.
 
Learn more at this link on the Minnesota Broadcasters Association website.

Notice of Public Accuracy Test for Hubbard County

Notice is hereby given that a public test of electronic vote tabulating equipment and assistive voting equipment will be conducted on Saturday, March 2, 2024 at 10:00 a.m.

The equipment will be used for vote tabulation for the Presidential Nomination Primary Election to elect a candidate that will be held on March 5, 2024.

The test will be held on the third floor of the Hubbard County Courthouse, South Conference Room, 301 Court Avenue, Park Rapids, MN  56470.

Public accuracy testing is one layer of security to ensure our elections are fair, secure, and accurate.  Public testing is done after each piece of equipment is tested preliminarily by officials to ensure accuracy and boost transparency in the election system.  State and federal authorities test and certify all election equipment used in Hubbard County before it can be purchased.  All election equipment is stored in a secure location. 

Learn more about Minnesota’s election administration at www.mnvotes.org/facts.  

The public accuracy test will be conducted in accordance with Minnesota Statute 206.83 and is open to the public.

Kay Rave

Hubbard County Auditor-Treasurer

With deadline approaching, DNR urges fish house owners to remove shelters from the ice

Most fish house owners in the southern two-thirds of Minnesota already have removed their fish houses from the lakes, given poor ice conditions and forecasted warm weather. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds anyone who still has a fish house on the ice to start planning for its removal.

The statutory shelter removal deadline for the southern two-thirds of the state is 11:59 p.m. on March 4. In some areas, lakes are almost totally open. Others are difficult to access due to ice already pulling away from the shoreline, while on others the ice is degrading rapidly.

“Safety is the top priority, and we are pleased that many bodies of water already are clear of ice shelters,” said Col. Rodmen Smith, DNR Enforcement Division director. “However, there are still fish houses on some lakes affected by this first removal deadline, and we encourage people to pay attention to the forecast as they make their removal plans.”

If shelters aren’t removed by the deadline, they may be confiscated and removed, or destroyed by a conservation officer. Shelters may not be left at public accesses, and no trash or other materials – including wooden blocking materials – may be left on the ice.

As they venture out, anglers always should keep in mind that ice conditions vary widely, that ice is never 100% safe, and that they should check the ice thickness for themselves.

The removal deadline for shelters in the northern one-third of the state is 11.59 p.m. on March 18, though the DNR urges people to monitor ice conditions and consider removing shelters in advance of the deadline. Exceptions to the removal deadlines are Minnesota-Canada border waters (March 31), Minnesota-South Dakota and North Dakota border waters (March 5), Minnesota-Wisconsin border waters (March 1) and Minnesota-Iowa border waters (Feb. 20).

No travel advisory lifted in northwest Minnesota

Highways remain partially covered with reduced visibility

BEMIDJI, Minn. – (8:05 p.m.) The Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Minnesota State Patrol have lifted the no travel advisory on several highways in northwest Minnesota. Area highways were under no travel advisory due to heavy snow and low visibility earlier today.  Motorists are urged to use caution as highways remain partially covered with reduced visibility.

No travel advisory lifted on highways:

  • Highway 1- Thief River Falls to North Dakota
  • Highway 2- Crookston to North Dakota
  • Highway 9- Crookston to Ada
  • Highway 11- Karlstad to North Dakota
  • Highway 75- Perley to Canada
  • Highway 200- Ada to North Dakota
  • Highway 220- East Grand Forks to Highway 11

Motorists should continue to use caution when traveling, especially in open areas with no wind breaks and reduced visibility.

Firefighters needed so much water that a Minnesota town had to go without

HAWLEY, Minn. (AP) — Firefighters needed so much water to battle a huge grain elevator blaze that they had to ask the whole town to go without — even canceling school to conserve the water supply, officials said.

The cause of the fire isn’t yet known; a fire marshal had arrived Monday morning. It took firefighters responding from 17 communities about eight hours to extinguish the blaze in the town of about 2,200 people, which was reported about 11 p.m. Sunday, said Hawley City Administrator Lonnie Neuner. He wasn’t aware of any injuries.

Firefighters even used water from the local golf course because the town’s water tower couldn’t keep up, Neuner said. Their ladder hoses each use about 600 gallons a minute, about as much as Hawley’s system can pump, Neuner said. He expected the city would allow water usage to resume “pretty soon.”

The elevator was fully engulfed and destroyed. Monday morning, a backhoe began tearing down what was left of the structure as firefighters sprayed water on the smoldering remains.

Grain Elevator Fire Reported in Hawley

A grain elevator fire in Hawley is under control after several hours and work by 17 different fire departments.

Hawley residents are asked to refrain from using water at this time because firefighting efforts put a strain on the water tower. Hawley Public Schools are also closed today due to water pressure issues from fighting the fire.

No injuries reported from the fire. The cause of the fire is currently unknown. It was reported by a BNSF railroad crew before midnight.

Quick Response Leads to Located Children in Menahga

From the Menahga Police Department Facebook page:

On Sunday, February 25 the Menahga Police Department responded to a call of two missing children in the City of Menahga. With a quick response from several agencies, the children were located approximately a half mile from their residence, cold, but unharmed. A HUGE thank you to the Wadena County Sheriff's Office, the Menahga Fire Department, Menahga First Responders, Sebeka First Responders, MN DNR, MN State Patrol, Becker County Sheriff's Office, Hubbard County Sheriff's Office, Park Rapids MN Police Department, Astera Ambulance and NUMEROUS local community members.

Death Reported at Crow Wing County Jail - Investigation Ongoing

February 23, 2024 Press Release from Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office:

On February 22, 2024, at approximately 9 PM, Crow Wing County Jail Staff discovered an unresponsive male in a jail cell. The male had been booked in earlier in the evening for a DWI. Life saving measures were attempted by jail correctional officers, jail medical staff and paramedics, but they were unsuccessful. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Minnesota Department of Corrections is investigating the incident.

Leech Lake Tribal Council Primary Voting Info

A Primary Minnesota Chippewa Tribal Election of the LEECH LAKE Reservation Business Committee a/k/a Tribal Council will be held on April 2, 2024 to fill the following positions:

CANDIDATES FOR CHAIRPERSON- 4 Year Term
Branden Bowstring
Calvin Howard
Faron Jackson Sr. (Incumbent)
Michael Reyes
Tami Jackson
Gerald White
Dawn Litzau-Staples
Terri Finn-Goggleye
Walter “Frank” Reese
Raymond “Skip” Lyons

CANDIDATES FOR DISTRICT III COMMITTEEPERSON- 4 Year Term
Kari Fisherman
Leon Staples Jr.
Delmar Jones III
Jennie Reyes
John Johnson
Donald “Mick” Finn
Herschel Ogema
Diane Osceola
Peter “Big Pete” Jackson
Glen “Tuffy” Fisher
Kyle Fairbanks Sr.
Julian Molash
Thomas Brown
ELECTION DATE: April 2, 2024
POLLS OPEN: 8:00 AM
POLLS CLOSE: 8:00PM

POLLING PLACES:
DISTRICT I
Ball Club Community Center
31627 County Rd #39

Deer River, MN
Inger Community Center
53736 County Rd #146
Deer River, MN
S. Lake Community Center
59979 County Rd #4
S.Lake, MN

DISTRICT II
Bena Community Center
15032 Old Housing Drive
Bena, MN
Smokey Point-Kego Lake Community Center
6159 Kego Lake Trail NE
Longville, MN
Sugar Point Community Center
10051 Battle Pt. Dr.
Federal Dam, MN

DISTRICT III
Cass Lake – Dikinagan Center
16120 60th Ave N.W.
Cass Lake, MN
Mission Community Center
2126 Finch Lane S.E.
Cass Lake, MN
Oak Point Community
05468 107th St. N.W.
Cass Lake, MN
Onigum Community Center
8825 Co. Rd. #13
Onigum, MN
Cass River Community Center
1731 Scenic Hwy. S.E.
Pennington, MN

BEMIDJI
Bemidji City Hall
Chamber of Commerce
317 4th St. NW
Bemidji, MN

DULUTH
Dr. Robert Powless Cultural Center,
212 W 2nd St.
Duluth, MN

TWIN CITIES
Leech Lake Twin Cities Office
2438 27th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN

ABSENTEE VOTING
General Election Board
Che We Building (SE Corner)
PO Box 578
115 6th St. Ste. E
Cass Lake, MN 56633

Information Session on Foster Families

Beltrami County is collaborating with Leech Lake Child Welfare and North Homes Children & Family Services to recruit foster homes in the area. Two informational meetings will be offered on the Zoom platform to provide information to those who may be interested in serving in a number of capacities.


Any individual or family considering foster care licensure for emergency placements, respite, ongoing placements as well as permanency placements/transfer of custody/adoption are encouraged to attend.

The first session will be held Tuesday, March 5, 2024 at 12:00pm. A second session is being held Thursday, March 7, 2024 at 6:00pm.

You only need to attend one session. The Zoom information is available below and on the Beltrami County website under public notices.
If you would like additional information, please contact:
Beltrami County: 218-333-8317 or 218-333-8318
Leech Lake Band: 218-335-8270

North Homes Children and Family Services: 218-368-4899

Zoom Information: Visit Zoom and using the following meeting id and password:

Tuesday, March 5, 2024 at 12:00pm: Meeting ID: 778 1893 0048; Password: H3Da5U
Thursday, March 7, 2024 at 6:00pm: Meeting ID: 790 8006 5008; Password: J9rnmC

Motor Vehicle Crash with Injuires Reported in Otter Tail County

On Saturday, February 17th, 2024 at approximately 0145 hours, the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to a Motor Vehicle Crash with Injuries in Ottertail Township. The driver sustained minor injuries. The passenger had serious injuries, which are not believed to be life-threatening at this time.

The passenger was flown from the scene by air ambulance. The Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office was assisted by Ottertail Fire and Rescue, Perham Ambulance and Life Link III. Alcohol is believed to be a factor. Additional information will be released at a later date.

Area Ice Updates

Date: February 17th 2024
Contact: Bryan Welk, Sheriff
CASS COUNTY, MN – UNSAFE CHANGING ICE CONDITONS

Cass County Sheriff Bryan Welk reports that the Cass County Sheriff’s personnel has received reports of quickly changing ice conditions on large bodies of water, including Leech Lake. The high winds that we have been experiencing for two days, has shifted ice, creating large open cracks and heaves. It is extremely important if you are travelling on the ice, especially during the dark, to know and understand the conditions and check ahead as the path you might have taken out is no longer safe to be travelled on. If you travelled out through a resort access or landing communicate with the resort operator to understand the conditions and a safe path back to shore. Gusty winds are forecasted again for Sunday February 18th, 2024, and we expect conditions to continue to deteriorate making any ice travel unsafe and unpredictable.
 

2/18/24 from Hubbard County Sheriff's Office
 

The Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a crack in the ice that has opened up on 11th Crow Wing near the access. Please use caution if you are venturing out on the lakes with the varying ice conditions and today’s winds that may be affecting them.

Austin Miller and Ryan Cook selected for 2024 Statewide 6th-8th Grade Honor Band

The Park Rapids Area Schools band program is excited to announce that Century School 8th grader Austin Miller and 7th grader Ryan Cook have both been selected by the Minnesota Band Director's Association for membership in the 2024 Statewide 6th-8th grade honor band. Miller, on alto sax, and Cook, on clarinet, were selected from among some of the top middle school musicians from across the state of Minnesota by completing a recorded audition last December.
 
The MBDA honor bands are one of the premier opportunities for highlighting musical talent among young instrumentalists across Minnesota, focusing their efforts on providing top-tier musical honor experiences for middle level musicians.
 
According to Century Middle School band director John Cook, "Austin and Ryan are both very deserving of this accomplishment. They are among my hardest working students. They each spent 5 months preparing for this audition. Austin actually submitted auditions for both bass clarinet and alto saxophone, and was selected to play alto saxophone in the band. Ryan, as a 7th grader, was up against 6th, 7th and 8th graders from around Minnesota."
 
Another exciting fact is that this ensemble represents the entire state of Minnesota, but most participants come from the larger schools in the metro area. "I can count on 1 hand the number of students in this ensemble who were selected from smaller schools outside the metro area," Cook explained "It's pretty awesome that 2 of them are from Park Rapids!."
 

Austin and Ryan will participate in the MBDA Statewide Honor Band Festival in Edina on April 13th and 14th, with a public performance on the afternoon of April 14th.

New Fire Management Officer Hired for Superior and Chippewa National Forests

Duluth, Minn., – February 13, 2024 –— The Superior and Chippewa National Forests are excited to announce the hiring of Nick Petrack as the new Forest Fire Management Officer for the Superior and Chippewa National Forests.

Nick started his career working summers as a wildland firefighter for the USDA Forest Service while attending college at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He continued advancing his career working at different national forests including the Plumas National Forest/Los Padres National Forest in California then to New Mexico and finally Montana. But the Superior had a special place in his heart, and he moved back to Minnesota to work on the Superior National Forest. Nick has held several positions including assistant engine captain, captain, fuels, zone fire management officer and recently Superior/Chippewa National Forest Fire Management Officer-Staff.

“The national forests of Minnesota are very unique, challenging and provide lots of fire related challenges within the boreal forest landscape. I really enjoy and look forward to working with all of our agency partners including county government, State government such as the Minnesota DNR, federal government with the National Park Service, Tribal government, and our neighbors, Ontario”–Nick Petrack.

The Forest Fire Management Officer is responsible for providing leadership and program direction for the Forest’s fire and aviation management program. They are part of the Forest Leadership team and the Regional Cache/National Symbols committee. They coordinate and develop long-and short-range fire management program plans, management activities and projects, and integrate the programs and activities with other resource departments, partners, Tribes, and other agencies for landscape fire and fuels management.

MN DNR Requesting Fishing Regulations Feedback

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is seeking public feedback on fishing rules and regulations associated with lake trout seasons, native rough fish daily and possession limits, and daily and possession limits and seasons for the inland portion of Pool 3 (Mississippi River) and Lake Rebecca near Hastings.

If you are interested in completing the questionnaire, please utilize the link below. This questionnaire is within the “Engage with DNR” website. To access the questionnaire, you will need to sign in. For those that choose to complete the questionnaire – thank you! Your feedback is important to us.

2024 Fishing Rules and Regulations Questionnaire

Cass County Sheriff's Corner

Source: Cass County Sheriff's Corner on the Cass County Sheriff's Office facebook page 2/13/24
 
This month, I would like to provide you with an update on drug investigation and enforcement efforts in Cass County. As we were preparing our Annual Report, we noted several instances of successful drug enforcement work being carried out in Cass County. These efforts resulted in the seizure of illegal drugs, firearms, and proceeds from gun sales. We have also observed a significant correlation between increased drug enforcement activity and lower burglary and theft rates in Cass County. In 2023, the burglary and theft rates were lower than they have been for several years, and we can directly attribute this to the diligent work of our drug investigations and enforcement team. In total, 44 arrests were made as a result of these investigations, along with 21 warrant arrests. $36,785.00 in US currency was seized and 58 firearms were confiscated.
 
 
Two investigators have been assigned to work with the Narcotics Investigation and Enforcement team in Cass County and the surrounding region. Since many of these drug investigations expand beyond county lines and even statewide, Cass County is a member of both the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force and the FBI Headwaters Safe Trails Task Force. The Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force is a state-funded task force that is a collaborative effort on behalf of various entities, including Beltrami, Cass, Hubbard, Koochiching, and Mahnomen Counties, the White Earth and Leech Lake Reservations, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the cities of Park Rapids and Bemidji. Working with local and regional partners has enabled complex drug investigations, particularly those that aim to target the source of the drug supply, to be conducted effectively across the region and state-wide.
 
Current drug trends that we continue to see are that the Minneapolis-St. Paul area continues to be a major hub of large quantities of controlled substances. Individuals from Northern Minnesota will travel to this area to ascertain quantities of controlled substances, including methamphetamine and fentanyl, to traffic back north for the purpose of sales. Drugs are cheaper in the metro, and people can often double their money by selling drugs within the task force boundaries. People will use USPS, FedEx, and other shipping companies in an attempt to conceal their products and mitigate their risk of traveling with controlled substances. With our federal partners, we can take a proactive approach to locating these controlled substances during the delivery process.
 
A major concern affecting a majority of Indian Country but spreading outside the reservation boundaries is the opioid crisis, namely fentanyl. Numerous overdoses, including deaths, continue to occur at an alarming rate. Fentanyl is being cut and mixed with methamphetamine and other controlled substances, and we have been seeing an increase in fentanyl-mixed narcotics. Fentanyl can come in pill form, powder form, and numerous different colors to conceal its identity. We are seeing more of a trend of meth being mixed with fentanyl. Fentanyl pills and powdered fentanyl continue to be a major uphill battle. It is responsible for dozens of overdoses this year, including a few fatal overdoses. The powder can come in many colors to disguise it. In pill form, it comes in a small blue pill we call M-Box 30 or fake Percocet. It's disguised to look like a Percocet 30 pill. These pills are coming from cartels in Mexico which throw them together so one pill could be pure fentanyl and make it extremely easy to OD on. These pills and powder fentanyl are commonly ingested through smoking, usually on tin foil strips.
 
Cass County continues to see an increased level of reported overdose medical calls. In 2023, 80 medical overdoses were reported and responded to, with Naloxone, also known as and referred to as “Narcan,” being used in 64% of these calls by first responders. Naloxone is a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose. It is an opioid antagonist. This means that it attaches to opioid receptors and reverses and blocks the effects of other opioids. Naloxone can quickly restore normal breathing to a person if their breathing has slowed or stopped because of an opioid overdose, but naloxone has no effect on someone who does not have opioids in their system, and it is not a treatment for opioid use disorder.
 
Cass County is promoting the safe disposal of prescription drugs through its Take It to the Box collection sites. There is a permanently mounted drop box located in the lobby of the Law Enforcement Center in the Courthouse in Walker, as well as at Lake Shore City Hall, Cass Lake City Hall, and Pine River City Hall. Additionally, a portable drop-off box is available during our Community Outreach Days and other countywide events. In 2023, we collected and properly disposed of 889 pounds of unwanted prescription medications.
 
We are dedicated to ensuring the safety of our county by actively engaging in drug investigation work and other related efforts. As well as committed to aggressively combatting the ongoing drug and opioid epidemic that is not only affecting our local community but the entire region and state as well.

Kyle Edward Tysver Found Guilty

Hubbard County Attorney’s Office
News Release
January 26, 2024

The criminal case of State v. Kyle Edward Tysver was tried by jury in the Hubbard County District Court on January 24th and 25th, 2024. After deliberation the jury of 12 Hubbard County citizens found Tysver guilty of 1st degree criminal sexual conduct for the 2017 rape of a young child. The jury also found aggravating facts supporting an upward departure. At sentencing Tysver faces up to 30 years in prison.

The case was tried by Hubbard County Assistant Attorney John Olson, with the assistance of the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office, Hubbard County Human Services, and the First Witness Child Advocacy Center. The Hubbard County Attorney’s Office would like to especially thank the victim and the victim’s family for their strength and perseverance through this difficult process.

MnDOT to host Feb 8 public open house for 2024 Hwy 34 Osage to Park Rapids project

BEMIDJI, Minn.—The Minnesota Department of Transportation invites the public to an open house on Thursday, Feb. 8, from 5 to 7 p.m., to get more information about the upcoming shoulder-widening project on Highway 34 between County Road 47 near Osage to Western Avenue in Park Rapids. The open house will be held at Northwoods Bank of Minnesota, 1200 First Street East in Park Rapids.

Residents, business owners, and area visitors and commuters are encouraged to attend. There will be no formal presentation. Please stop in whenever it is convenient. Project staff will be available to share information and answer questions about the upcoming work, detours and construction plans.

Construction on Highway 34 between Osage and Park Rapids is currently scheduled to begin in May, and will address pavement concerns, shoulder widening, culvert replacements, snow fence installation and some sidewalk improvements in Osage. For more information about the project, visit mndot.gov/d4/projects/hwy34osage.

MnDOT invites and encourages participation by all. If you need a reasonable accommodation in order to fully participate in this event, such as an ASL or spoken language interpreter, or need documents in an alternate format, such as braille or large print, please contact Janet Miller at 651-366-4720 or email ADArequest.dot@state.mn.us as soon as possible.

Wadena Deer Creek School Cancelled Monday January 22 - UPDATED

NO SCHOOL on Monday, January 22!!
 
School at WDC will be canceled tomorrow, Monday, January 22 for all grades, including Little Kids Club and Kids Krew.
The school was made aware of a threat that we are currently investigating. We are working hand in hand with area law enforcement to resolve the situation.
 
Student and staff safety is our number one priority, so we will be taking tomorrow to work with law enforcement to ensure the situation has been handled appropriately. Staff should not report to work.
 
This is a precautionary measure, with the plan of having all students back in our buildings on Tuesday, January 23.
 
January 24, 2024 UPDATE
 
The purpose of this statement is to provide more information to WDC families and staff about the “threat” that was perceived to be directed toward Wadena-Deer Creek Public Schools and/or our students.
WDC is committed to the safety and education of all our students and staff. We also want to clearly communicate with parents about safety issues when they arise.
“On Sunday, January 21, a student sent an inappropriate picture through social media,” said Tyler Church, WDC Middle/High School principal.
WDC school officials and area law enforcement began an investigation and worked to resolve the situation. A decision was made to close school at all levels on Monday, January 22.
“Our top priority aligns with the WDC School District’s priority – students and staff,” stated Chief Naomi Plautz of the Wadena Police Department. “Our team immediately began investigating and we appreciate all the help from WDC school staff to work through this. There are a few law enforcement agencies that are working together on this investigation and the extra ‘day off’ from school was extremely helpful and necessary.”
“We are thankful that someone came forward with the information as quickly as they did,” said Lee Westrum, WDC superintendent.
Classes and school operations resumed as usual today (Tuesday, January 23), with an increased police presence in and around the school. Counselors were available for any students that wanted to talk to someone about this event.
“All threats to our school or students are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly,” Church added. “Unfortunately, this is the stuff we have to deal with in today's world (especially with social media).  Local law enforcement is handling the situation. We understand that there may be questions, but at this time we are limited as to what information we can disclose due to data privacy laws and the fact that this is still an active investigation.
“We want families to have as much information as possible so you can discuss the situation with your child(ren) and emphasize the seriousness of this issue. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at: tchurch@wdc2155.k12.mn.us or 218-632-2155.”
If you have any information that can assist in the investigation, please contact the Wadena Police Department immediately at 218-631-7700.
“Please talk to your children and remind them to always say something if they see something that appears concerning,” Chief Plautz said.

First Baby of the new year at Astera Health

WADENA, Minn. – Jan. 08, 2024 – After much anticipation, Astera Health celebrated the first birth of the new year. On Jan. 5 at 7:50 a.m., Jennifer Furman gave birth to Edward John Lalone Jr. in the Obstetrics department at Astera Health. Her delivery doctor was Hala Madi, MD, OB/GYN.


Furman is no stranger to the birthing process. This was the third child she had delivered at Astera Health. “Never had it happen before,” exclaimed Furman when asked about being a part of the commemorative first baby of the new year moment.  


Lalone Jr. weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces, and was 19 inches long at birth. Additionally, the newborn was greeted by Edward John Lalone Sr., and siblings Jace, Lillian, Jayden, Logan, Lelan, Izabella, Bentley, and Nevaeh, and grandparents Bruce and Kim, Howard and Tammy, and Susan.
 

Otter Tail County Searches for Missing Person

UPDATE: 01/09/2024 @ 8:46 am--Alexandria Bricker has been found safe. Thank you for all your assistance.

On 1/8/24 the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office was contacted by the Perham Police Department to assist their agency with a missing person. The missing person is Alexandria Bricker, described as a white female with medium length brown hair, 5'7" 180lbs who lives in Waseca MN but was staying with family in Perham.

She was last seen on a trail camera near the Ottertail River South of Perham on 12/21/2023 at about 5:30pm. We are asking the land owners in the area to check their property and outbuildings. A search of the area has been conducted and a more extensive search is being planned. Alexandria was last seen wearing gray sweatpants, dark gray sweatshirt and a tan stalking cap.

If you have any information about Alexandria's whereabouts or have had contact with her since 12/21/2023 please contact the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office.

Clarification on NOAA Weather Radio Broadcast

The Grand Forks National Weather Service is considering discontinuing the regional weather summary at the end of December 2023. The regional weather summary is a brief statement that is broadcast on
the NOAA Weather Radio and the information is also delivered in many other products issued by the NWS. There is a public comment period open through December 2023. Comments or concerns can be
emailed to the NWS Grand Forks at nws.grandforks@noaa.gov.


Some NOAA Weather Radio users have mistaken the statement as the discontinuation of the NOAA Weather Radio broadcast. The NOAA Weather Radio will continue to function as normal with all other
weather information provided. Bemidji’s NOAA Weather Radio has a call sign of WXM99 and broadcasts at a frequency of 162.425mghz. The radio broadcast is also rebroadcast on cable television

Park Rapids Blood Drive

Blood Drive January 2 & 3 at Calvary Lutheran Church.

Tues Jan 2nd Noon - 6 PM

Weds Jan 3rd 12:15 - 6 PM

To sign up to donate blood, go to donors.vitalant.org use blood drive code: parkrapids or call Kathy @ 218 255-4098

Eligibility Questions: Call 1 800-289-4923

City of Walker Holding Work Session

NOTICE: The City of Walker will hold a work session beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 2, 2024 to listen to the presentation from MnDOT regarding the Highway 371/34 Corridor Study.

The work session will take place in the Walker Fire Hall meeting room, located at 701 Elm Avenue, Walker, Minnesota.

Hubbard County Property Tax Correction Notice

2024 Property Taxes will include correction for 2023 collections for cross-county school districts. 

Property owners in Bemidji, Cass Lake Bena, Walker, and Menahga School districts will see a correction to their 2023 taxes on their 2024 tax statement distributed in March 2024. The property tax rates collected in 2023 were not updated with the correct tax rates, leaving a shortfall in the levies these school districts approved in 2022.

The preliminary tax estimates sent in November of 2023 for proposed taxes in 2024 showed a correction to these rates that unfortunately collected tax based on 2023 values often resulting in excess increases.  

The 2024 rates have been corrected, and the actual shortfall from 2023 will show up on 2024 tax statements as a separate line item “2023 school tax correction” and will be based on 2022 values. In most cases, the taxes assessed for school district levies will be less than what appeared on the preliminary statements received in November.

Please contact the Hubbard County Auditor with specific questions. 

Brainerd Police Department Reports School Threats

On December 6, 2023, at approximately 9:47 a.m., the Brainerd Police Department learned of a bomb threat involving the Brainerd School District. This threat was initially reported to the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center. The Brainerd Police Department immediately started to investigate the threat, working collaboratively with the Brainerd School District.

Brainerd Police Department investigators communicated with the MN Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and other law enforcement agencies throughout the state. Investigators learned this specific threat also targeted at least ten other school districts in Minnesota. Specific details on how this threat was made had similarities to past threats made to school districts, and in those incidents the threats had been determined to be a hoax.

Investigators haven't identified any credibly threat to the school district's students or staff. The Brainerd Police Department has increased their presence around the school facilities.

The safety of the students, staff, and community will continue to be the driving factor in all the decisions that are made. Law Enforcement continues to follow up on any new information pertaining to threats involving the Brainerd School District and will continue to communicate with school staff.

This incident is still an active investigation.

Assisting the Brainerd Police Department: MN Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office, Baxter Police Department, Crosby Police Department, and Deerwood Police Department.

 

Bemidji Schools Moves to E-learning Day in Response to Credible Threat

9 AM Update from Bemidji Police Department:

"In the evening of  *12/5/2023, the Beltrami County Emergency Communications Center received several text-to-911 messages which indicated a specific threat to an ISD 31 school and specific staff member within the City limits of Bemidji. After initial review and investigation of the threats, Bemidji Police Officers were not able to identify a suspect nor where the messages were coming. As a result, BPD staff recommended that area schools close for the day.
 
At approximately 11pm, BPD patrol officers and detectives were able to identify the telephone number from which the threats had originated and began to determine who was using the number. After an extensive search involving several 3rd party cellular re-sellers, BPD officers and detectives were able to identify the account holder and traced the phone number to a residence in the City of Bemidji. Officers responded to the identified location and were able to arrest a juvenile male for Felony Terroristic Threats.
 
Without extensive pre-planning, collaboration and partnership between the Bemidji Area Schools and the Bemidji Police Department, communication and safety decisions would likely have been greatly delayed. Bemidji Police Officers and Detectives worked extensively throughout the night and into the early morning hours to ensure the safety of students and staff members of all Bemidji Schools.
 
The Bemidji Police Department was assisted by ISD 31 Staff, Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Captain David LaZella
Bemidji Police Department"
 
*The Bemidji Police Department originally wrote 12/6/2023 in their press release, we have corrected it on our News page for clarity.
 

8: 10 AM  12/6/23

Bemidji Schools opted to have an E-Learning day on Wednesday, December 6th in response to a "credible threat made against ISD #31" according to a communication from Bemidji Area Schools. The school was informed of the threat by law enforcement.

There has been an update already this morning from Jeremy Olson, Superintendant of Bemidji Area Schools:

"I wanted to give you an update on our current situation: Law enforcement has apprehended the individual responsible for making the serious threats that we responded to last night. Law enforcement has confirmed that there is no longer any threat to Bemidji Schools. Based on the communication and logistics challenges to get all staff and students back into place after a closure has been announced, we will remain in an e-learning day. I know that this causes challenges for our parents and families. Our highest priority during this situation was to ensure that our students and staff remained safe and that we follow the recommendations of law enforcement. I also want to commend our law enforcement partners for their swift response and attention to this serious matter. "

There will be more information forthcoming by this afternoon. We will keep track of the situation and further updates as they come out.

Hubbard County Sheriff Reports Medical Emergency While Driving

Press Release:
On September 28th at 8:51pm Hubbard County 911 Dispatcher #5245 answered a 911 call from a 13 year girl from rural Laporte. The caller reported being the passenger in a vehicle driven by her mother on Hwy 200 near Kabekona.

She told the dispatcher that her mother was not responding to her and she was worried about getting her mother to slow down. Hubbard County Dispatch quickly began sending Deputies and medical response units to the area in an effort to intercept this rolling medical call.

Dispatcher #5245 then began talking to the young passenger, giving her instructions in how to communicate with her mother and how to slow the vehicle down as the child was now forced to steer the vehicle.

The child was eventually able to get the vehicle stopped and medical staff began providing care to 54 year old Barbara Foss. Foss was transported to Sanford Hospital where she was treated for her medical emergency

Akeley Regional Community Center Free Thanksgiving Dinner

Akeley Regional Community Center will be hosting a free Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, November 23.

Serving from Noon to 1:30 PM

Menu: Turkey, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Sweet Potatoes, Larry's Beans, Green Beans, Corn and lots of extras. Assorted pies for dessert. Beverages: Pop, Coffee and Milk.

No need to RSVP, just show up and let them cook for you at the Old Akeley School!

United Way Allocates Funding to 7 Hubbard County Agencies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 17, 2023
United Way Allocates Funding to 7 Hubbard County Agencies

HUBBARD COUNTY - United Way of Bemidji Area’s Board of Directors recently approved the United Way’s Hubbard County Community Investment Cabinet’s recommendations for grant allocations to 7
non-profits serving residents who live in Hubbard County.


The Hubbard County Community Investment Cabinet is comprised of local volunteers who vet the grant requests, interview the agencies’ directors, tour their facilities, thoroughly review financials, and come
to a recommended consensus for the Board of Directors to review and approve.

The Community Investment Cabinet included Kathy Henry, Ben Koppelman, Bill Steen, Brian Hall, Connie Carmichael, Derek Ricke, and Brian Ophus.

Funded agencies include the Akeley Regional Community Center Emergency Shelter, Park Rapids Armory and Events Center, Support Within Reach, North Country Food Bank, Family Safety Network, Kinship of the Park Rapids Area, and Hubbard in Prevention Coalition.

100% of the funds raised through the Hubbard County Campaign for the Community is from the area’s community residents, businesses, and foundations.

To learn more about how you can get involved, visit
www.UnitedWayBemidji.org/hubbard-county or www.VolunteerHeartlandLakes.

Toys for Girls and Boys and Tiny Tots

Toys for Girls and Boys and Tiny Tots donation boxes are out. Drop off a new unwrapped toy at any of these businesses to help out:

Coborns, Cwikla Ace Hardware, Deblieck Tire and Auto, Hugos, Jake's Barber Shop, TruStar in Park Rapids and Nevis, Walgreens, Citizens National Bank, Walmart and here at De La Hunt Media.

Gifts are collected as long as the boxes are up.

If you have questions or are able to adopt a family, call Tanja at 218 255 6056.

Bright Flash and Explosion Sound Unlikely to be a Meteor

November 14, 2023 - Initial speculation of a meteor sighting over Beltrami County proving to be unlikely.   


After receiving numerous reports of a large flash in the sky and subsequent large explosion sound that was seen and heard across much of southern Beltrami County and adjacent areas, steps to determine the source began.  Shortly after 6:40PM Monday, November 13, 2023 numerous reports were made to the Beltrami County Emergency Communications Center reporting the explosion.  Initially, law enforcement checked the area and didn’t find anything.  A resident in Nymore captured the flash and boom on a security camera.  With the widespread reports of seeing the flash and hearing the boom across the region, assumptions were made it was possibly a meteor and the video shared with the public.


Tuesday morning, additional video from the Bemidji Regional Airport was provided and showed an object appear to be streaking across the video frame.  This video was provided to an astronomer and a scientist from NASA.  They analyzed the video frame by frame and determined the object is too horizontal to indicate it was a meteor and additional data needed to be collected to further eliminate possible other interfering objects. 

It is undetermined if the two videos are related.
Through additional conversation, reviewing the initial video and applying mathematics to the timing of the flash and boom, it was calculated that the source of the flash and boom were less than a mile away.  Whether the source was stationary or mobile is also undetermined, but numerous witnesses reported seeing it over an area of approximately 50 miles and hearing the boom even a greater distance away.  The sound was loud enough to rattle windows, shake houses and set car alarms off.


“This has certainly been an interesting puzzle to try and solve, and we still don’t know exactly what it was. “ said Christopher Muller, Beltrami County Emergency Management Director and Public Information Officer.  “We appreciate the assistance we’ve received from federal agencies and science community in ruling out what it wasn’t and will continue to provide any subsequent information that is learned.”  He continued, “The fact this was seen and heard across such a large area is what is a mystery.  What was it?”


There have been no reports of any damage or objects identified that have made it to the ground.  Unless there is significant development or definitive determination there will be no further updates.
-Christopher Muller
Beltrami County Public Information Officer
Beltrami County Emergency Management Director

Loud Explosion Possibly a Meteor in Bemidji Sky Monday

Information from Beltrami County Emergency facebook page:
 
Monday night the Beltrami County Emergency Communications Center started receiving numerous reports of loud explosion and bright flash in the sky.  Initially it was concentrated to Nymore in Bemidji, but additional reports started coming that it was seen, heard and felt across much of southern Beltrami County and even adjacent counties.


Law enforcement checked the area as well as power substations and didn't find anything out of the ordinary, there hasn't been any power outages reported.
It is possible this was some type of meteor.  We checked with the National Weather Service and they didn't receive any other inquiries about this.  No indication there is any concern to public safety.

Beltrami County Emergency Management was provided a video from a residence in Nymore that clearly shows a very bright white/blue flash over the sky. Moments later a single thunderous boom is heard. This boom rattled windows, shook houses and was heard across much of southern Beltrami County.


Based on all the details and now video, it is looking likely this was a meteor.  This video was captured at approximately 6:40PM 11/13/2023.

Click to see the video on Beltrami County Emergency Management facebook page

 

CHI St. Joseph's Health Hospice Care Light of Hope


In memory of David “Larry” Johnson

PARK RAPIDS, MN (NOV. 13, 2023) – The memory of David “Larry” Johnson, will be honored this holiday season during CHI St. Joseph’s Health Hospice Care Light of Hope celebration.

For 36 years, CHI St. Joseph’s Health Hospice Care has been honored to provide compassionate end-of-life care for patients - no matter where they call home. As part of our commitment and dedication to serve through our ministry, we also play a pivotal role in supporting the patient’s family and caregivers throughout their hospice care journey.

As we enter this holiday season, we are grateful to partner with another one of our special families to share their hospice experience. This year we honor David “Larry” Johnson, a longtime resident with a “huge” sense of humor who knew everyone and enjoyed life to the fullest.

Larry’s first adventure was patriotic. He joined the US Army and served with distinction, receiving two Army Commendation Medals for heroism and, as a Sergeant, earned two medals in one day. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry when he returned home.

Back in Minnesota in the early 1970s, Larry vowed to serve and protect as a police officer with the Park Rapids Police Department and Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office. Larry retired as Sheriff in January 1999, but didn’t sit long. Boredom set in and he started a new adventure as a United Nations Peacekeeper, deploying to Bosnia-Herzegovina for 18 months. Larry was happy to fulfill his duties there and returned home eager to enjoy his many hobbies.

His love for his family and the outdoors were calling and many meaningful moments were spent riding on his ranger, golfing, hunting, telling stories with friends, and being with his best canine friend, Molly. His fun, competitive side showed when Larry sang to his plants during tomato growing wars with his daughter.

In January 2021, Larry was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. He fought hard with a strong love of life and will to live. His aggressive treatments helped to tackle the cancer, but also took a toll on his heart.

Larry lived each day to the fullest before falling ill unexpectedly with congestive heart failure and passing away on September 25, 2022, with his daughter Jill and dog, Molly, by his side. Jill shared that Larry had gone out bow hunting in early September and how happy he was to be outdoors doing what brought him joy.

The word joy was shared by Larry over and over in his last days. JOY was the feeling Larry wanted to embrace before passing into a new chapter in his life. To him, it meant laughter, smiles, story sharing, and making memories with family and friends…

Larry cherished time with children Jill Christenson, JoLynn Johnson, and Buck Johnson along with eleven grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Larry also enjoyed his visits from the hospice care team and was fond of the conversations and stories shared.

Jill and JoLynn expressed their appreciation for the comfort and guidance hospice provided during a time when they wished life would stand still.

“The care team was a lifesaver for us. They were all so wonderful, patient, welcoming and provided relief in a hard time. We felt comfortable asking questions and they took control when we needed their help the most,” said Jill.

“We were always kept in the loop, which gave us comfort during the times we couldn’t be with dad. We were more prepared and allowed dad to be at home, where he wanted to be,” said JoLynn. 

Light of Hope.

You can honor your friends and loved ones by supporting CHI St. Joseph’s Health Hospice Care this holiday season. Your donation of $25 or more will help provide transformational care now and for years to come. Thank you for shining your light with others. To donate online go to chisjh.org/shine.

Community tree lighting.

Join us as we celebrate and remember loved ones during the Heartland Lakes Community Tree Lighting ceremony on November 24, 2023. Held in downtown Park Rapids, the ceremony will begin at 6pm. You can also join us virtually on our Facebook page or the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce website at parkrapids.com. 

We also invite you to place an unbreakable ornament on the memory tree, which will be located in Pioneer Park on Main Street, in honor or in memory of a loved one this holiday season.

Thank you for choosing us to care for your loved ones and for your continued support of CHI St. Joseph’s Health Hospice Care. Our dedicated team is inspired by the strength of our patients and the families we support.

Park Rapids Community Thank Meal

Park Rapids Community Thank Meal, Thanksgiving Day - November 23. Hosted by Community Volunteers at Riverside United Methodist Church
 
The Park Rapids Community Thank Meal is a non-profit Thanksgiving meal started in 1982 by four Park Rapids women. This event relies completely on volunteer participation and is supported financially by donations or free-will offerings. Immediately after the meal, the excess food is distributed where there is need. The central theme is to provide a full Thanksgiving meal to anyone who may be alone or having difficulty sharing this traditional holiday with others.
 
Three options will be offered for our Community Thank Meal:
1. Full Sit down Meal: at Riverside Fellowship Hall: 11:30 - 2 PM
 
2. Home Delivery: within a mile of Park Rapids City Limits: 10 - 11:30 AM
Call 218 237-TRKY (8759) by noon, Wednesday, November 22 2023
 
3.  Curbside Pick-up: Look for signage directing to pick up on North Side of building: 10 AM - 11:30 AM
Call 218 237-TRKY (8759) by noon, Wednesday, November 22, 2023
 
or call Riverside's Office: 218 732-5205
 
There is NO Charge for Dining
(Free Will Offerings are gratefully accepted)
PLEASE DO NOT SPEND THANKSGIVING DAY ALONE JOIN US!

 

Able to donate? Monetary Donations can be dropped off at the church or mailed to:

Riverside United Methodist Church

P.O. Box 128 - 1005 N. Park

Park Rapids, MN 56470

Make checks payable to: RUMC  and put Thank Meal in the memo line.

Able to Volunteer your time? They need volunteers Wednesday to carve turkeys and to help with food prep. On Thanksgiving Day they need a lot of help at the church and to deliver meals.

They are also looking for donations of pie, jello or salad. Deliver to the church NO EARLIER than Wednesday.

Call 218 732 5205 to sign up to volunteer.

 
 

12 year old Corbin Myhrer of Guthrie wins 70" HD Smart TV at BSU Men's Hockey Home Game

(Bemidji, MN) (October 31, 2023) – For the first time since 2021, there was a winner of the Paul Bunyan Communications Hockey Hot Shots Promotion during a Bemidji State University men’s home hockey game.

Corbin Myhrer of Guthrie made his shot at center ice during the 2nd period intermission at the Beavers game Saturday, October 28 against St. Thomas to win a 70” HD Smart TV.  Corbin is 12 years old, attends Bemidji Middle School, and is a Bemidji Youth Hockey player.

“I’ve seen the contest at other Beaver games I’ve gone to and was excited to get chosen to give it a try.  It’s harder than it looks but I just let it rip and it went right in!” said Myhrer.

“You would think if you play hockey the odds would be higher you can make the shot but that’s not the case.  We’ve had plenty of experienced hockey players through the years who missed, it’s a narrow target to hit from center ice.  Corbin’s shot looked good the whole way.  He sure has bragging rights among his youth hockey buddies for a while, not to mention a huge TV to enjoy!” said Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor.

You can see video of Corbin making the shot on the Paul Bunyan Communications YouTube page at https://youtu.be/M17J3WbSVX0

The Paul Bunyan Communications Hockey Hot Shots contest is held during an intermission at select Bemidji State University Men’s Hockey home games.Three contestants are selected at random to participate each night. All contestants receive a coupon for a free PBTV On Demand movie rental, any contestant hitting the board receives a Paul Bunyan Communications Bluetooth speaker, and a contestant who puts the puck in the net through the middle of the Hockey Hot Shots board wins up to a 70” HD Smart TV.

Becker County Asking for Information on Investigations, Missing People

RUSNESS
On April 2, 1976, a fire engulfed the residence of Bernard Rusness, his wife, Peggy McKay, and their 8-year-old son, Brian, near Wolf Lake, MN. The body of Brian was recovered at the scene of the fire, but Bernard and Peggy’s remains were not identified after the fire. If anyone has any information regarding this incident, please contact the Becker County Sheriff’s Office at 218-847-2661.

EAGLESHIELD & MCQUILLAN
On October 5, 2014, at the age of 42, Melissa Eagleshield was visiting friends at a residence near Co. Rd. 126, near Island Lake. After family and friends did not hear from her the next day, she was reported missing to authorities.
On June 17, 1975, at the age of 71, Milda McQuillan left her residence on Round Lake in northern Becker County in route to visit friends on the west side of Bad Medicine Lake. Although her vehicle was located in a heavily wooded area west of Bad Medicine, McQuillan has been missing since that day.

There have been numerous searches for Eagleshield and McQuillan over the years, but neither have been located. If anyone has any information regarding Eagleshield or McQuillan’s disappearance, please contact the Becker County Sheriff’s Office at 218-847-2661, or your local law enforcement agency immediately.
Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with their families.

Bemidji Man Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison

From Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Investigation

A Bemidji man has been sentenced to five years in prison for attempting to hire a juvenile for sex. In November 2021, Eric Kolkin, age 42, used a social media platform to contact a Florida juvenile female and her mother and arranged to purchase the girl for sex, including providing bus fare to Minnesota. Turns out he was chatting with undercover investigators. Our agents and Bemidji investigators executed a search warrant at Kolkin’s home and made the arrest. Kolkin is currently in the Beltrami County Jail.

Hubbard County Capital Plan

Hubbard County Jail Updates Planned

 Hubbard County is planning for some updates to the Jail and Law Enforcement Center that will provide safer working conditions for county staff and more secure intake services to the public.

When the county created its current Strategic Plan in 2021 several buildings were at the top of the list for repair, maintenance, or remodel to continue to provide the best possible services to the community. When the county developed a Capital Plan in 2023, the proposed Jail and Law Enforcement Center updates were on top of the list on the five-year project plan.

The county is working with the BKV Group out of Minneapolis to identify needs and determine the scope of the proposed project. The primary objectives of the project are to address space and flexibility issues, increase security and safety for staff and the public, provide better working conditions, and increase overall operational efficiency. Several areas in the Government Center are also scheduled to be remodeled within the scope of the same project. Space needs for the County Attorney’s office are on top of this list.

The Hubbard County Board will review a proposal for the next phases of design and architectural development in November. Design and Planning will take approximately one year with a proposed two year phased construction schedule to begin in 2025. The approximate cost of the improvements is estimated to be $7.2 to $8.6 million dollars in 2026 dollars. The timing of this project will be coordinated with the retirement of current debt service so that there will be no new tax impacts to county residents.

Nisswa, Baxter communities invited to Highway 371 open houses Oct. 25

BAXTER, Minn. –  The Minnesota Department of Transportation invites the traveling public, area residents and businesses to public meetings in both Nisswa and Baxter on Wednesday, Oct. 25, to provide feedback and learn more about an ongoing Highway 371 study of the area.

Two sessions will be held:

  • 11 a.m.–1 p.m. at Baxter City Hall, 13190 Memorywood Dr., Baxter
  • 5–7 p.m. at Nisswa City Hall, 5442 City Hall St., Nisswa

There will not be a formal presentation; attendees are encouraged to come and go at their leisure. The same information and materials will be available at both events.

Highway 371 between Nisswa and Baxter is a critical roadway for both the local community and the greater Brainerd Lakes region. The purpose of the study is to gain an understanding of transportation needs, identify potential future improvements, and determine how and when these improvements should be implemented. The study will include an analysis of traffic, safety, land use and demographics.

Visit the MnDOT Let's Talk Transportation project web page to learn more about the project and sign up for email updates at https://talk.dot.state.mn.us/hwy-371-nisswa-baxter-study.

MnDOT invites and encourages participation by all. If you need an ASL, foreign language interpreter, or other reasonable accommodation, or need documents in an alternative format (such as braille or large print), please email your request to Janet Miller at ADArequest@state.mn.us or call 651-366-4720.

Open house on Oct. 19 for Hwy 371 and Hwy 34 study in Walker

BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation invites residents and business owners to an open house on Thursday, Oct. 19 to learn more about a new corridor study on Highway 371 and Highway 34 in Walker.

The open house will be held 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. at Walker Fire Hall, 710 Elm Avenue. There will be no formal presentation and attendees are welcome to attend at their convenience. Participants can meet the project team and ask questions about the upcoming study. Individuals unable to attend the open house can give feedback via a short survey by visiting the project website https://talk.dot.state.mn.us/hwy-371-walker.

About the project

The study will identify transportation improvements that could be implemented on Highway 371 and Highway 34 in Walker when these corridors are reconstructed in 2029-2030.

To learn more about the project visit the study webpage where you can sign up for email updates, review information and submit comments and questions.

MnDOT and the City of Walker invite and encourage participation by all. If you need an ASL, foreign language interpreter, or other reasonable accommodation, or need documents in an alternative format (such as braille or large print), email your request to ADArequest@state.mn.us or call 651-366-4720.

Hubbard County Sheriff's Office Locates Missing Man


Depute Kritzeck and Ace (picture from Hubbard County Sheriff's Facebook)

October 11, 2023 Press Release:

On October 8 th at 11:38am the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office received a report of an individual that was missing near Lake Belle Taine in the Dorset area. A 70-year old man with Alzheimer’s had reportedly been missing from his rural Hubbard County residence for the past hour.

Deputies responded to the area and began collecting information from the family and searching the immediate area. Hubbard County dispatchers sent out an Everbridge emergency notification to people’s phones in a 2-mile radius of the residence providing a description of the missing person and asking people in the immediate area to report any sightings to the Sheriff’s Office.

After approximately an hour of searching, Deputies requested the assistance of a K9. Deputy Kritzeck arrived on scene with his K9 partner “Ace”and began their own search of the area. After 20-minutes of searching K9 “Ace” located the missing individual in a wooded area. The person was checked by staff from North Memorial Ambulance service and was then returned home to his family, unharmed.

MnDOT, White Earth Nation seek public input for Hwy 113 pedestrian study

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation and White Earth Nation are currently seeking the public’s feedback for a pedestrian safety and improvement study of Highway 113 between Highway 59 and Highway 71 within the White Earth tribal boundaries.

The public can share their experiences walking or biking along or across Highway 113 via an online survey on the study website. The survey will be open to the public until Oct. 27, 2023, and can be taken using a phone, tablet or computer.

MnDOT and White Earth Nation have partnered to study the existing pedestrian infrastructure on Highway 113, between Highway 59 and Highway 71 with the White Earth tribal boundaries. The purpose of the study is to identify existing issues and develop short-term and long-term solutions that can help improve safety for people who walk, bike or roll in this area. 

For more information about the study and to take the survey, please visit the study website at mndot.gov/d4/projects/hwy113elbowlake/

MnDOT invites and encourages participation by all. If you need an ASL, foreign language interpreter, or other reasonable accommodation, or need documents in an alternative format (such as braille or large print), please email your request to Janet Miller at ADArequest@state.mn.us or call 651-366-4720.

CASS COUNTY, MN – SEARCH TO REVISIT PETER ACHERMAN CASE

Cass County Sheriff Bryan Welk reports during the next month, officials will revisit the area of 85th Ave SW in Becker Township, rural Staples MN, in Cass County Minnesota, where missing person Peter Achermann’s vehicle was located on July 25th, 2009.
 
Sheriff Welk reports that over the past 14 years since the disappearance, numerous tips have been received and leads followed up on but nothing significant to the ongoing investigation has been revealed.
 
During this time, the landscape and terrain of the area that Achermann’s vehicle was located in has changed. The ongoing drought has provided an opportunity to search dried ditches and lowlands that were once filled with water, and timber harvesting has been done on neighboring parcels, with some parcels changing ownership. Initial Investigators assigned to this case have retired or moved on, both at the County and State level, and reassignments to the case have been made.
 
Revisiting the initial search area will give officials an opportunity to learn about and reorient themselves with the area and the search that was done for months following the disappearance of Peter and the locating of his vehicle.
 
Sheriff Welk reports that it is important to note that while nothing significant has been recently learned about the case, the public will see officials and a number of agencies searching in the area this fall as the foliage changes.
 
The Sheriff’s Office is not requesting any additional assistance from the public while searching and revisiting the area over the next month. While many of the original staff who responded to the disappearance and search of the area are still involved, several new staff have joined departments and agencies.
 
Working together to re-familiarize ourselves with the area and investigation that has been conducted will give agencies the opportunity to continue to work together to seek answers to this case and hopefully someday bring closure to the Achermann family, Welk states.
 
Peter Achermann, age 82, was last seen in the Staples Motley area on July 24, 2009. His vehicle was located the following day on a minimum maintenance road in Becker Township in Cass County. Any information regarding the disappearance or case can be directed to the Cass County Sheriff’s Office at 218-547-1424 or by submitting an anonymous Crime Stoppers Tip through a web portal HERE.

Low-Level Airplane Flights to Image Geology Over Parts of Minnesota

RESTON, Va. — Low-level airplane flights are planned over a broad region in central Minnesota to image geology using airborne geophysical technology. The survey will be conducted from Oct 2023 to Nov 2024 for approximately 7 months, weather and wildfire restrictions permitting, with a hiatus during the winter months.

Flights will cover an area of more than 10,000 square miles (28,000 square kilometers) and will include areas within St Louis, Carlton, Aitkin, Itasca, Hubbard, Cass, Crow Wing, Wadena, Morrison, Stearns, and Kandiyohi.

The flights will be based out of Alexandria Airport (Chandler Field) as well as the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport and Grand Rapids-Itasca County Airport (Gordon Newstrom Field). The flights could shift with little warning to other parts of the survey area as necessitated by adverse flying conditions.  

The purpose of the survey is to provide images that expand the fundamental knowledge of geology the Cuyuna Iron Range, a region known for past production of iron and is also known to have unusually high concentrations of manganese.

The new geophysical data will be processed to develop high-resolution three-dimensional representations of bedrock composition and structure to depths more than 3,280 feet (1 kilometer) below the surface.  

The 3D models and maps are important for improving our understanding of critical mineral resource potential, water resources, groundwater pathways near legacy mining areas, parameters for infrastructure and land use planning, and potential risks of naturally occurring radon.  

The airplane will fly along pre-planned fight paths relatively low to the ground at more than 300 feet (100 meters) above the surface. The ground clearance will be increased to 1,000 feet (300+ meters) over populated areas and will comply with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. Flights will follow north-south lines spaced about 650 feet (200 meters) apart and east-west lines about 3,280 feet (1 km) apart.  

The USGS is contracting NV5 Geospatial in association with EDCON-PRJ Inc., to collect the data.

A map of the survey area for the Minnesota Earth MRI airborne geophysical survey.

The survey will use a Cessna Grand Caravan C208B fixed-wing aircraft, equipped with an elongated “stinger” mounted to the underside of the cabin extending behind the airplane. Instruments in the stinger and inside the cabin will measure variations in the Earth’s magnetic field and natural low-level gamma energy created by different rock types.  

The scientific instruments on the airplane are completely passive with no emissions that pose a risk to humans, animals, or plant life. No photography or video data will be collected. The data collected will be made freely available to the public once complete. The aircraft will be flown by experienced pilots who are specially trained and approved for low-level flying. The company works with the FAA to ensure flights are safe and in accordance with U.S. law. The surveys will be conducted during daylight hours only.  

The survey fits into a broader effort by the USGS, the MGS and many other state geological surveys and other partners, including private companies, academics and State and Federal agencies to modernize our understanding of the Nations’ fundamental geologic framework and knowledge of mineral resources. This effort is known as the Earth Mapping Resources Initiative, and it includes airborne geophysical surveys like this one, geochemical reconnaissance surveys, topographic mapping using LiDAR technology, hyperspectral surveys, and geologic mapping projects.  

More information can be found here. To learn more about how the USGS is investing the resources from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, visit our website. To learn more about USGS mineral-resource and commodity information, please visit our website and follow us onTwitter.

Free fall, spring CNA classes offered at M State

MEDIA RELEASE
Date: Tuesday, September 12, 2023
For Release: Immediately
Minnesota State Community and Technical College
Contact: Marie Johnson – 218.846.3722 – marie.johnson@minnesota.edu

 

Free fall, spring CNA classes offered at M State
 

Minnesota State Community and Technical College will again be hosting free Certified Nursing Assistant courses as part of the Next Generation Nursing Assistant – Train, Test, Work initiative.
M State has previously hosted free CNA courses multiple times as a part of the Next Generation initiative, which offers resources and support to Minnesotans pursuing a CNA certification to work in a long-term or senior care facility in Minnesota. The initiative covers costs for tuition, fees and materials.

 

Nearly 208 students have already completed their CNA classes at M State as part of the initiative, and the college has been approved by the state to offer more such classes this fall and upcoming spring. The classes are coordinated by M State’s Workforce Development Solutions division, which specializes in the skills and technology training needed to meet regional workforce demands.
 

M State’s Moorhead, Fergus Falls and Detroit Lakes campuses will host classes this fall, as follows:
• Moorhead, Sept. 26 – Oct. 26
• Fergus Falls, Sept. 26 – Oct. 26
• Detroit Lakes, Sept. 26 – Nov. 16

 

Dates are yet to be set for the spring classes. For more information, visit www.minnesota.edu/health or email BreAnna Tracy at Workforce Development Solutions, at breanna.tracy@minnesota.edu.

Local Board of Appeals Meetings Extended

Park Rapids, MN, June 7, 2023:
Due to the number of appeals received by the Hubbard County Assessors Office, the Hubbard County Board of Commissioners has scheduled continuations of the County Board of Appeals meetings.
If you are planning to attend, you may attend any of the scheduled sessions. Meeting dates and
starting times are as follows:
▪ Monday – June 12 – 5:00 p.m.
▪ Tuesday – June 13 – 5:00 p.m.
ALL MEETINGS ARE BEING HELD IN THE HUBBARD COUNTY BOARD ROOM
301 COURT AVE., PARK RAPIDS
If you have already made an appeal in writing, you DO NOT need to appear in person.

Group Meets to Discuss Possibility of a Community Center

A group of approximately 25 people gathered at the Armory Arts Center to discuss the possibility of a Community/Wellness Center. The attendees broke up into groups and wrote down things they felt the community was doing well, things the community would like to see and 3rd things that are problems/barriers.

Several talked about forming a small group to visit with other community centers to understand the financial stability and identifying stakeholders in the community for funding support. Ideas thrown out included if individuals would be willing to set up endowments that could help with continue funding.

This is just the start of planning and more meetings will be scheduled said, facilitator Donna Anderson.

De La Hunt Media in the News: We Double Flipped!

If you tuned into KQ 101.9 FM this morning, you're not imagining things! We've switched to a Classic Hits format. A few weeks ago, we changed KAKK to a Fox Sports affiliate. Here's more info, as written in Radio Insight:

"De La Hunt Media has performed a double flip at its stations in Walker MN.

Classic Hits 1570 KAKK/93.7 K229DJ Walker has flipped to Sports utilizing Fox Sports Radio. KAKK is running the national lineup around the clock as well as carrying Minnesota Wild hockey.

Concurrently, Soft AC “KQ 102” 101.9 KQKK Walker has picked up the Classic Hits mantle as it is now branding as “101.9 The Arrow” positioned as “Leech Lakes’ Classic Hits”.

What do you think of our new sound? Love it? Hate it? Think we need to play more Foghat? We'd love to hear your thoughts at butch@delahuntmedia.com

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Displaying Results 41 - 50 of 1133

ATV Accidents in Becker County

12/18/2017, 12:45pm CST, By Nicole Zimmerman

Suspect Arrested in ND after Fatal Minnesota Shooting

12/11/2017, 1:00pm CST, By Nicole Zimmerman

Teen Operating Buggy Struck, Killed by Semi

12/01/2017, 2:30pm CST, By Nicole Zimmerman

3 Year old Accidentally Shot by 5 Year Old Brother in Deer Creek, MN

11/21/2017, 10:30am CST, By Nicole Zimmerman

Two Dead in Menahga, MN

11/13/2017, 12:30pm CST, By Nicole Zimmerman

Benefit for 8 Year Old Burn Victim

11/08/2017, 2:45pm CST, By Nicole Zimmerman

Police Chase Suspect in Little Falls, MN

10/17/2017, 12:30pm CDT, By Nicole Zimmerman

MN Man who Aided Kidnapped Girl Gives her his Reward.

10/10/2017, 11:00am CDT, By Nicole Zimmerman

Highway Pursuit Ends when Suspect is Shot by Authorities.

09/29/2017, 10:30am CDT, By Nicole Zimmerman

16-year-old boy hurt in duck hunting accident in Minnesota.

09/25/2017, 10:15am CDT, By Nicole Zimmerman

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