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Little Falls Radio News 

Thursday, May 28th 2020

--Little Falls Radio learned Wednesday morning from Father Ben Kociemba of the Little Falls Catholic Community of the passing away of longtime Pastor and local priest Father Nicholas Landsberger. Father Nick was ordained a Priest in 1961, served as an Assistant Pastor for Father Voigt at St. Joseph's Church in Pierz, taught at St. Cloud Cathedral High School, was the Pastor at St. John's Church in Lastrup during the years of 1967-1979 where he also drove bus, then he went to St. Mary's in Little Falls until 1983, then the Cathedral of St. Mary's for 12 years and returned to St. Mary's in Little Falls in 1995 until he retired in 2014. Father Nick would continue to help area churches after his retirement and still return each year on Christmas Eve Mass at 4pm heard live on Q92 WYRQ (including also this past December) to sing O Holy Night. Funeral arrangements are being set for Father Nicholas Landsberger who died Tuesday at the age of 84.

--The latest numbers of COVID-19 positive cases as of yesterday morning from the Minnesota Department of Health show 40 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Morrison County with 0 deaths linked to the virus. Statewide 22,464 positive cases with 932 deaths. Total hospitalizations at 2,796 with 598 hospitalized today including 260 in ICU. Surrounding counties positive cases: Benton 169 (2 deaths), Cass 12 (2 deaths), Crow Wing 57 (1 death), Mille Lacs 17 (1 death), Stearns 1,984 (12 deaths) and Todd now at 196 with no deaths.

--The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will take a phased approach to open campgrounds at state parks, forests and recreation areas. The first 75 remote campsites with existing reservations were opened for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Another 80 remote sites will be open by Friday. Starting June 1st, 20-30 campgrounds within state parks will open with another 20-30 opening June 8th. All campgrounds should be open by June 15th. Some amenities may not be available, and you should come prepared with hand sanitizer, wipes, and toilet paper for the available bathrooms. Once the sites are open, they will have the water turned on and bathrooms open. Several facilities will remain closed including visitor centers, beaches, housekeeping cabins and amphitheaters. You're asked to follow the State of Minnesota campground guidelines.

--It was the deadliest Memorial Day Weekend in a decade on Minnesota’s roads. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says there were eight fatalities from six crashes around the state over the long weekend. It's the highest number of crash deaths since 2010, when nine motorists were killed during the same time period. Minnesota reached 100 traffic fatalities for the year on May 22nd. Preliminary numbers show 108 people have died on Minnesota roads, compared with 104 at this time in 2019. Of the 108 traffic fatalities: Five people died in distracted driving-related crashes, 32 people died in speed-related crashes, 26 people died in alcohol-related crashes, 27 people died who were not wearing seat belts, 14 were pedestrians, two were bicyclists, eight were motorcyclists. On the flip side, the number of motorists arrested for driving under the influence over the holiday weekend dropped. This year, a total of 292 drivers were arrested for DWI, down about 26-percent from 2019 at 393.

--College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University students will return to on-campus learning this fall. The news was officially announced in a letter sent to students, faculty and staff Tuesday. Classes will reopen on campus as planned on August 31, 2020.

--Bowlus Fun Day announced that they have cancelled this year.

--Recently a Pierz area business was given a counterfeit $50 bill. In the past, when one counterfeit bill is used it can be more common for similar circumstances at nearby businesses. Thus, employees are warned to be more careful when accepting cash at this time.

--On Wednesday Governor Walz signed 21 bills into state law. Amongst the bills he signed included a bill that exempts people who perform only hair styling (washing, drying, arranging, and styling) and makeup services from cosmetology licensing requirements, provided they complete a four-hour safety and sanitation course; allowing people 16 and 17 years old to operate amusement park rides and increases safety and training requirements for Amusement Park owners; Expands the definition of “modular home” from only single family to include two family dwellings; Includes transportation policy provisions that will streamline the driver’s license renewal process, improve safety around meteorological towers, and modify school bus inspection procedures; Provides funding for farm safety and mental health; funds grants for meat processors affected by COVID-19; appropriates money to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Lab to help prepare for African Swine Fever; funds grants to aid with origination fees associated with debt restructuring for farmers; and provides financial assistance to food retailers for the purchase of PPE; Appropriates dollars from the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage fund and provides extensions to grants from the Clean Water Fund, Parks and Trails Fund, and Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund; Directs the commissioner of human services to award specific grants using funds in the opiate epidemic response account and numerous other bills.

--Governor Tim Walz also stated at a briefing Wednesday that they are continuing to look at the data when it comes to dialing up Minnesota's economy this summer. He says while the numbers appear to be steady, the data shows we have still not reached the peak. When they run these models they run them 10,000 times. We now take these four major models, with 10,000 runs each, into a picture of all the lines and what they look like. In most of those it still looks like we are on the front end of that. Walz says they have two areas where the state is in the yellow, including ICU bed capacity. He says how we move forward with social distancing, masks and staying home will have an impact in how the dials turn in the future. Again if we were past the peak and on the other side, these decisions would be easier to make. We're not there yet. Starting Monday, the state will move into the next phase of the Governor's Stay Safe Minnesota order for more businesses to reopen with guidelines.

--More graduations this week, Holdingford will graduate with a drive up style on Friday night and Foley High School will graduate also with a drive up style event on Saturday for the Class of 2020.

TODAY= becoming sunny and windy, high 73, low around 45.
FRIDAY= sunny and cooler, breezy, high 65, low around 40.
SATURDAY= sunny and cool, high 68, low around 45.
SUNDAY= sunny and a bit warmer, high 72, low around 48.

BAB= It was reported that some baseball leagues like Northwoods for St. Cloud Rox and the leagues where teams like St. Paul Saints play are going to play this year and could be going as early as June 15th if all is approved by state and baseball guidelines.

Newsletter: Wednesday, May 27th 2020

Newsletter: Tuesday, May 26th 2020

Newsletter: Friday, May 22nd 2020

Newsletter: Thursday, May 21st 2020