--Morrison County Sheriff Shawn Larsen announced that his office, in cooperation with all local police departments in the county, have recently completed the annual Predatory Offender Registration (POR) verifications for Morrison County. Each year the sheriff’s office organizes a verification check for all predatory offenders who are on the registry and residing within the county. Only those offenders who have been sentenced to prison and who were released after January 1st, 1997 have been assigned a risk level. Offenders sentenced to probation or juvenile offenders are not assigned a risk level. Level 1 offenders are those deemed by Department of Corrections officials as those least likely to re-offend while Level 3 offenders are considered most likely to re-offend. During the most recent round of checks, multiple predatory offenders were checked in Morrison County. 53 predatory offenders were checked by the Morrison County Sheriff’s Office, Pierz Police Department, Motley Police Department and Royalton Police Department. Of that number; 23 were Level 1 offenders, 8 were Level 2, 1 was Level 3 and 21 offenders were not assigned a risk level. 45 predatory offenders were checked by the Little Falls Police Department, which are not part of the breakdown. All but four individuals were found to be compliant with conditions imposed upon them. 40-year-old Amanda Ann Tesch, 52-year-old Terry Lee Lind, 45-year-old Lee Allan Oppegard, and 52-year-old Mickey Joseph Morisch have been charged for failing to register their current addresses, which is a felony. According to Sheriff Larsen it is important for us to keep tabs on the predatory offender registry.
--Little Falls Community Schools Superintendent Stephen Jones on Thursday stated after their consultation with Minnesota Department of Health and approved the plan to allow Preschool through 5th Grade back to the three elementary schools (Lindbergh, Lincoln and Dr. SG Knight) this coming Monday to all in class learning 5 days a week and their secondary students back January 19th for grades 6 through 12. There is item that still has to be address is that the Governor has asked to bring back 3 grade levels only at one time period so Stephen Jones is working on how this will effect high school students starting on the 19th. Jones stated that athletic practices started Monday and their first games are on the 14th but again Jones said there is still questions on spectators that will be addressed soon. Jones said that the big changes will be transportation, stating if you were on the bus for 30 minutes coming or going from school and someone on the bus got ill and had to be quarantined, the who bus would have to be quarantined. They refined the rules is that the bus route and activity route students will have assigned seats so if someone become ill than the 6 foot barrier between the driver and a student and assigned seats to make it easier for if a student or driver becomes ill the whole bus does not have to face the same situation as the one student. Jones said if you have questions about busing, transitioning away from distance learning to in class learning, also they will be removing hybrid learning as a choice option, call him at 632-2001.
--Royalton Public Schools announced their back to school plan beginning next week. On Monday, all students Pre-school through 5th grade will be in classrooms 5 days a week. Grades 6 through 12 will have to remain in distance learning for this time being as per the governor asking that schools not change their learning methods until after January 18th. The hope is in the coming weeks the school will be able to return to a hybrid or more in class method.
--The Bishop of the St. Cloud Diocese responded after Governor Walz addressed places of worship in his briefing Wednesday. Bishop Kettler said that the Catholic Churches in the St. Cloud Disocese (including Morrison County) will remain at 50% capacity, with safe distancing and mask use requirements in place. Bishop Kettler stated for now he is keeping his decision of no in person gatherings or activities (which included fundraisers, breakfasts and other items inside the church) to not take place until at least February 1st. The Bishop gave guidance on the blessing of the throats (St. Blaise) on February 3rd there will be no individual throat blessing with the candles instead a prayer (like which is used for those not taking communion at this time) will be read from the blessing books for all at one time. Bishop Kettler is allowing rehearsals of vocal ensembles and choirs to return starting January 18th, small vocal ensembles (1 singer with 1-3 on insturments wearing masks) may still play at churches at the discretion of the parish and Bishop Kettler is granting permission for more singers (up to 6) to perform with others on insturments wearing masks by the start of the Lenten Season. Bishop Kettler is expected to send out more information soon on Ash Wednesday (February 17th) and how ashes will be distributed and other details for the Lenten season.
--Morrison County website Thursday reported 117 active cases, 172 hospitalizations from COVID-19 since testing began, Little Falls zip code up to 57 cases, Royalton still at 16, Pierz still at 15, all other zip codes under 10. Minnesota Department of Health reports 2,004 new cases, 44 new deaths and 20 new cases in Morrison County.
--The Little Falls School Board meets Monday at 5pm at the Middle School Media Center to approve budget assumptions, enrollment projections and approval of policies for the 2021-2022 school year and make a resolution from Superintendent Stephen Jones on eliminating, reducing and modifying district services, staff, positions, programs and other offerings for the upcoming school year.
--The Pierz City Council holds their first meeting of 2021 on Monday night at 7pm at Pierz City Council.
--This is the final weekend of the candle-less hike at the attractions in southwest Little Falls. Lindbergh State Park did state this week that due to restrictions they could not do the scavenger hunt they wanted.
--Bernadine I. Wimmer, age 93 of Little Falls formerly of Randall.
--Ricky Turner, age 62 of Randall.
DENSE FOG ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 11AM TODAY.
TODAY= freeze fog and hazy, cloudy skies, high 22.
TONIGHT= fog and haze, cloudy skies, low 15.
SATURDAY= AM fog, then PM partial sun, high 29, low 20.
SUNDAY= partly sunny skies, high 30, low around 18.
MONDAY= sunny skies, high 33, low around 20.
NFL= The NFL Wild Card Weekend starts Saturday with 6 games in the two days. Indianapolis at Buffalo, LA Rams at Seattle and Tampa Bay at Washington on Saturday, Baltimore at Tennessee, Chicago at New Orleans and Cleveland at Pittsburgh are Sunday's games. Catch the action of the NFL Playoffs all weekend on AM960 KLTF.
NFL= former Vikings Defensive End Jared Allen has been named a finalist for the NFL Hall of Fame, inductees announced at Super Bowl.