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Little Falls Radio News 

Wednesday, December 13th 2017   

NEWS
--The Pierz City Council met on Monday night. After a public hearing the council finalized their 2018 budget and levy. The 2018 Pierz overall budget was increased by about 1% to $2,478,290. The projected revenue for the city of Pierz in 2018 is $2,589,703 for a net positive gain of about $111,000. The 2018 Pierz levy was raised by 3% from this past year to $309,230.

--A 34-year old male from Ironton died after the snowmobile he was operating went through thin ice on Serpent Lake in Crosby. The incident was first reported by a Crosby Police Officer who heard calls for help coming from the lake on Monday around 5:30am. Dive team personnel were able to locate the body of 34-year old Anthony Bjerkness of Ironton in approximately 45 feet of water. The snowmobile had driven onto the lake from an adjoining road and traveled approximately half way across the bay before going through the ice. Bjerkness was taken to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office. Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl reminds everyone that the ice on our lakes is never 100% safe. Please do not venture out on lakes that you are unfamiliar with and be sure to let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.

--After nearly three years of research, public input gathering, review and analysis, the Brainerd Public School Board of Education has finalized the plan it will present to voters on April 10th. Among the highlights of the Board of Education’s Blueprint 181 plan: Construction of a new elementary school to replace the current Baxter Elementary; Repurposing of the current Baxter Elementary building to meet growing demand for Early Childhood programs; Renovation and expansion at Garfield, Harrison, Lowell, Nisswa and Riverside to address growing enrollment, educational adequacy needs and safety and security concerns; Renovation of Washington Educational Services Building for Early Childhood; Renovation and expansion of the current Brainerd High School North Campus to house grades 9-12, with updated pool and activities space; Repurposing the current Brainerd High School South Campus for current Lincoln Education Center (LEC) and Transitions programs; Renovation of Brainerd Learning Center to house expanded alternative programs for middle and high school students; Improving parent and bus drop-off/pick-up areas and safety and security at Forestview Middle School; Construction of a new performing arts center. The Blueprint 181 plan will be presented to voters as three ballot questions. Questions One and Two address necessary health, safety, and educational adequacy improvements at the Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary School buildings. Question Two must be passed in order for ballot Question Three regarding a new performing arts center to pass. The Board of Education is expected to formally call for the election and officially approve the language and dollar amounts of the ballot questions at their January 8th meeting.

--Zion Lutheran Church will perform their Candlelight Choir Concert this Sunday at 4pm called “Night of the Father's Love”. The concert will feature the Bell and Senior Choir. All are invited to attend with a soup supper to follow the concert in the church hall.

--The Long Prairie Chamber Orchestra will perform December 31st at Long Prairie-Grey Eagle High School with Little Falls native Kendra Sobania. Sobania will be performing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. More information on the concert is available at thelpco.org.

--Congratulations to Pam Lestico of Little Falls, who won the one million dollar prize from the Minnesota Powerball. She purchased the ticket at Casey's in east Little Falls. The store also received $5,000 from the lottery for selling the winning ticket.

--Governor Mark Dayton is expected to name today who he will appoint to replace Senator Al Franken. Dayton stated he was going to wait until the special election in Alabama was completed to name the replacement. Many still feel it will be Lieutentant Governor Tina Smith. Franken announced last Thursday he was resigning in the coming weeks after a number of allegations of misconduct and poor behavior prior to his running for the Senate in 2008.

--Cold Spring is moving forward with solving their water problems. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is hosting a public meeting at Cold Spring City Hall Wednesday from 4:00pm-6:00pm to talk about their groundwater project. DNR staff will have a short presentation on the project and then answer questions from the community. The town has been exploring ways to bring in more water for the past three years but the DNR won't let crews drill within a certain distance of a protected trout stream that runs through Cold Spring. Last year, the legislature told the DNR to develop a groundwater model for the Cold Spring area. The model is designed to help show the effects of current and future pumping on Cold Spring Creek. The DNR will then use this information to work with the city on how to manage the groundwater use in the area. In September, the Cold Spring Council voted to drill a new well next to an existing one on its current site. The city still has to work with the Department of Health to test the water coming from the new well and work with the DNR on the trout stream issue before the well can be fully operational.

--A St. Cloud man is charged with raping and assaulting a woman he let stay with him last month. 31-year old Randy Bennett Jr. is charged with two counts of 1st degree criminal sexual conduct, terroristic threats and domestic assault by strangulation.

--The Upsala Elementary School is having their Christmas concert Thursday at the auditorium. Kindergarten through third grad at 12:30 and 6:30pm and Grades 3 and 4 combo and grades 4-5 and 6 perform at 1:15 and 7:15pm.

NATIONAL NEWS
--Democrat Doug Jones has won the special election to fill a Senate seat in Alabama over Republican Roy Moore, who had come under fire of allegations leading up to the race. The U.S. Senate seat became open when President Trump named Senator Jeff Sessions attorney general earlier this year.

DEATH NOTICES
--Adrian Bugg Sr. age 38 of Onamia.

WEATHER
WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 3PM TODAY
TODAY= freezing drizzle in AM, snow and wind in PM, temps drop.
TONIGHT= cloudy, windy and colder, low 10 above.
THURSDAY= flurries in PM hours, increasing clouds, high 24, low 16.
FRIDAY= snow showers at times, partly sunny also, high 24, low 11.

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Newsletter: Tuesday, December 12th 2017

Newsletter: Monday, December 11th 2017

Newsletter: Friday, December 8th 2017

Newsletter: Thursday, December 7th 2017