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July 19, 2019
 

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Friends of Itasca will host a dedication event on Saturday, July 27, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., for the new Lake Itasca Amphitheater at Itasca State Park.

The dedication will take place at the amphitheater. Visitors should bring a blanket or lawn chair and come prepared for a day of music, a visit from Courier-de-Bois, who will take visitors back in time to explore the life of a voyageur, and an ice cream social. 

Erika Rivers, DNR Parks and Trails Division director, will dedicate the amphitheater and speak about its value and funding.

The new amphitheater is located in the picnic grounds adjacent to the swim beach and playground. It is situated along the shore of Lake Itasca and seats more than 300 people with its bench seating and open grassy areas for lawn chairs and blankets. The shape of the amphitheater, along with the sloping landscape, provide outstanding acoustics for any event. It offers lighting for night programs and a directional sound system.

“Thanks to Legacy Amendment funding and the hard work of DNR staff, architects and engineers, we now have an amazing outdoor venue for music, entertainment and events,” Rivers said. “The setting for the amphitheater is breathtaking. Every seat offers a view of Lake Itasca and a cool breeze to go with it. What better place to be entertained and enjoy the outdoors?”

Schedule:

  • 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. (or while ice cream lasts) Ice Cream Social. Enjoy a sweet treat and music concert at the ice cream social. The Friends of Itasca will be making chocolate or strawberry sundaes with proceeds going toward projects in Itasca State Park. Fee.
  • 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Nature stations. Discover information and activity stations about Itasca’s natural and cultural history.
  • 11 – 11:45 a.m. The music of Bill & Julie Kaiser—From the north woods of Minnesota, Bill and Julie’s music has been described as acoustic “folkgrass” with a mix of bluegrass, folk and original.
  • 12 – 12:15 p.m.  Dedication of the amphitheater. Erika Rivers, DNR Parks and Trails Division director, will talk about the value of the amphitheater and its funding, and thank those who worked to make it a reality.
  • 12:15 – 1 p.m.: The Voyageur. Travel back in time with a visit from a Courier-de-Bois (ranger of the woods) and learn the life of a voyageur. Discover how it might have been living many years ago by river and paddle.
  • 1:15 – 2 p.m. The music of Unpolished. The musical group “Unpolished” performs an eclectic mix of roots, Americana and bluegrass music on bass, guitar, mandolin and banjo, complete with rich three-part harmonies. The group covers many styles of folk music including music from the 1800s – Civil War, old cowboy music, railroad songs, bluegrass music and traditional gospel music.

Funding for the amphitheater is from the Parks and Trails Legacy fund, created after voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in November 2008. The Parks and Trails Fund receives 14.25 percent of the three-eighths percent sales tax revenue that may only be spent to support parks and trails of regional or statewide significance.

Beginning in 2020, the amphitheater will be available to rent hourly. For more information on the amphitheater or Itasca State Park, visit mndnr.gov/state_parks/itasca/.

Missing Children Found Safe in Cass County

07/12/2019, 2:15pm CDT
By Associated Press

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says three young children who were the subject of an Endangered Child Alert have been found in northern Minnesota.
 
The bureau said Friday the children were found in Cass County with their non-custodial parents, who have been arrested. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says someone reported seeing the parents' vehicle Thursday afternoon, and authorities saw the vehicle in a wooded area near Motley.
 
Authorities say 6-year-old Analia Essex, 2-year-old Abigail Christian and 1-year-old Michale Christian went missing under suspicious circumstances Tuesday and were believed to be with their parents, who are not legally allowed to have them.
 
The parents are being held in a Minnesota jail and awaiting extradition to Tennessee on multiple charges. Minnesota authorities are also working to return the children to Tennessee.
 

A paramedic who survived a fatal medical helicopter crash
in Minnesota has told investigators the pilot reported foggy conditions on
approach to the airport and that they needed to go around. He then noticed the
helicopter spin to the right and hit the ground. 
 
 But the preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board
Thursday drew no conclusions on what caused the North Memorial Health helicopter
to crash at the Brainerd airport June 28. The crash killed pilot Tim McDonald
and nurse Deb Schott and seriously injured paramedic Josh Duda.
 
 The report says the helicopter hit left of the runway. The damage was
 "consistent with a high velocity vertical descent'' but the helicopter was
upright and nearly intact. Ground scars indicated the main and tail rotors were
turning when it hit.

Source:  Associated Press

White Earth Police Dept, Mahnomen County Sheriff's Office and TRUST Task Force Coordinate Sex Trafficking Sting

07/01/2019, 5:00pm CDT
By Press Release from White Earth Reservation Business Committee

The operation lead to 3 arrests

WHITE EARTH, MINN.The White Earth Police Department and Mahnomen County Sheriff’s Office assisted the TRUST (Tribes United Against Sex Trafficking) Task Force in an undercover sex trafficking operation that led to three arrests on Friday, June 28 in Mahnomen, Minn.

According to the TRUST Task Force, during the operation, sex buyers communicated on several social media platforms with undercover agents and investigators who posed as sex trafficking victims.

Investigators arrested the suspects as they arrived at an arranged meeting place for an encounter.

The sex trafficking operation provided an excellent opportunity for multiple jurisdictions to collaborate together in an effort to combat sex trafficking in the area.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger of being trafficked, call 911.

Cited were:

Steven Bergren, 46, of Lake Park, Minn.

Shane Lehn, 35, of Rothsay, Minn.

Michael Skjerven, 59, of Thief River Falls, Minn.

State Patrol Investigating Fatal Crash

06/21/2019, 11:30am CDT
By Incident Report

The State Patrol is investigating a fatal crash that occurred at Hwy 71 and Sprucewood Lane NE, Hines Twp in Beltrami County.  The crash involved a 2001 Buick Regal and a 2019 Jeep Wrangler. The crash happened in the early hours of June 21, 2019.
 
The 42 year old male driver of the 2019 Wrangler was taken to Sanford Medical Center with Non-life Threatening injuries.  The 41 year old Ponemah male driving the Regal suffered fatal injuries.
 
More information on the crash will come out after the State Patrol is able to reconstruct what happened.  Outside agencies that responded to the crash are Beltrami County Sheriff's Office and Blackduck Fire and Ambulance.

Foothills State Forest ATV Crash Results in Serious Injury

06/18/2019, 9:30am CDT
By Cass County Sheriff's Office Press Release

Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch reports that on June 16th 2019 at 2:06 PM, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office received a report of an ATV crash with injuries in the Foothills State Forest near the Spider Lake Recreation Area in Ansel Township, rural Backus MN. Deputies and EMS personnel responded and learned that the victim, Mary Hedstrom, age 58, of Alexandria MN was operating a 2004 Sportsman 600 ATV when she attempted to negotiate a sharp turn and lost control, leaving the trail and rolling down an embankment. The victim was taken from the scene by ambulance and transported to a Brainerd MN hospital with serious injuries. The investigation continues. Assisting at the scene were the Sebeka Fire Department, Pine River Fire Department, Pine River Police Department, North Memorial Ambulance and North Memorial Air Care.

Taken from a Cass County Sheriff's Office Press Release

ATV riding can be a safe and enjoyable hobby, here's a link to basic requirements and where you can take a safety course:

ATV Safety Requirements and where to take an ATV Course

©2015 Learfield News And Ag LLC

Foothills State Forest ATV Crash Results in Serious Injury

Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch reports that on June 16th 2019 at 2:06 PM, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office received a report of an ATV crash with injuries in the Foothills State Forest near the Spider Lake Recreation Area in Ansel Township, rural Backus MN. Deputies and EMS personnel responded and learned that the victim, Mary Hedstrom, age 58, of Alexandria MN was operating a 2004 Sportsman 600 ATV when she attempted to negotiate a sharp turn and lost control, leaving the trail and rolling down an embankment. The victim was taken from the scene by ambulance and transported to a Brainerd MN hospital with serious injuries. The investigation continues. Assisting at the scene were the Sebeka Fire Department, Pine River Fire Department, Pine River Police Department, North Memorial Ambulance and North Memorial Air Care.

Taken from a Cass County Sheriff's Office Press Release

ATV riding can be a safe and enjoyable hobby, here's a link to basic requirements and where you can take a safety course:

ATV Safety Requirements and where to take an ATV Course