Newsletter: Monday, April 1st, 2024

Newsletter: Monday, April 1st, 2024

--The Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism announced their April Employee of the Month as Ethan Ballou. Ballou is the Golf Superintendent for the Little Falls Golf Course through the City of Little Falls. Supervisor Jon Radermacher called Ethan an exceptional young leader of their organization and is a major part of managing a team to show the benefits of the golf course and facility. Congratulations to Ethan Ballou the April employee of the month.

--Chuck Zwilling stated Friday that although the 2024 I.C.E. Fest was held largely off the ice, as temperatures were too warm to safely walk on the event’s signature ice carousels, it didn’t stop participants and volunteers from having and putting on a great event while raising thousands of dollars for charity. Due to donations from participants and sponsors, the Pay it Forward Foundation was able to donate a total of $27,000 to Flyer Pride Pack, a weekend food backpack program, and the Kare Kloset, a collection of resources for students. The Pay It Forward Foundation stated “From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for making a real difference in the lives of those in need. I.C.E. Fest would not be possible without each and every one of you”. Ice Fest is already being prepared, for next year which will be held again the third weekend in February in 2025.

--Little Falls Police Department and Morrison County Sheriff's Office will be at Coborn's Pharmacy for a Prescription Drug Take Back event on April 27th from 10am-2pm. This is part of the National DEA Drug Take Back Event to help remove unwanted prescriptions and dispose of them properly. You can drop off your unwanted, unused, expired prescription drugs free of charge at this event on April 27th.

--Two people were hurt Friday at 1:22pm on Highway 23 in St. Cloud when 31-year-old Dennis Williamson of St. Cloud collided at the 14th Avenue intersection with 56-year-old Brenda Oman of Florida. Both were taken to St. Cloud Hospital reported with non serious injuries.

--A body was found in a car submerged in the Zumbro River on Thursday. In a news release sent Thursday afternoon, the Wabasha County Sheriff's Office said they received an emergency call around 9:15am Thursday about a flipped-over truck in the Zumbro River on North County Road 11 in Wabasha County. The vehicle was located upside down in the river just off the river's embankment. The man inside the truck was identified as James A. Steiner, 62, of Alma, Wisconsin. The sheriff's office said the investigation is ongoing.

--Authorities now believed a sexual assault on a 14-year-old was made up by the teenager. The St. Cloud Police Department says the 14-year-old who reported being sexually assaulted at a park on University Drive last Wednesday was not completely honest with the officers who responded to her call. The girl said she spoke briefly with two men in the vehicle and was then forced into the SUV. The girl told officers the men drove her to a park in the 1900 block of University Drive Southeast, and forced her out of the vehicle and into a wooded area where they forced sexual contact with her. Authorities say through physical evidence and statements, they have learned the teen made up the story about being abducted and everyone involved in what happened that night knew each other. The police department says investigators are still working to determine whether or not a crime was committed.

--The Heartland Symphony Orchestra presents their spring concert this Saturday in Little Falls and Sunday afternoon in Brainerd.

--The dumping of snow Minnesota received the last week has helped put a dent in the drought. The latest figures from the U.S. Drought Monitor show a decrease in the areas marked by severe or extreme drought, which went down by just under 1%. None of the state is experiencing exceptional drought. There was also a marked decrease in overall drought conditions. Moderate to extreme drought areas dropped from 74.74% to 43.37%. Most of Minnesota is experiencing abnormally dry conditions, with the latest figures showing 98.62%. Last week, that was at 99.48%. Even with the 12+ inches of snow in areas through Morrison, Benton Sherburne and Stearns County most of the counties are still dealing with abnormally dry conditions and remain in moderate drought in the state. Parts of northern Minnesota that did not get as much snow are still dealing with high drought.
The latest seven-day outlook from the National Weather Service show chances of rain and snow today in areas but then a dry pattern over the next 5-7 days melting the snow pack into the ground.

--A Waite Park man has pleaded guilty to federal charges related to a 2021 bank robbery. The U.S. Attorney's Office says 38-year-old Ray McNeary pleaded guilty to one count of armed bank robbery. Court records show on the afternoon of May 6th, 2021, McNeary went into the Wells Fargo Bank at 200 33rd Avenue South in St. Cloud claiming there was fraud on his bank account. According to the documents, the bank's manager could not find an account in McNeary's name. Records show McNeary got upset and demanded $60,000 in cash be taken from the vault, put in a bank bag, and handed over. Court documents show the manager activated the silent alarm to notify law enforcement. St. Cloud police officers arrived to find five employees of the bank being held hostage inside by McNeary. The standoff lasted nearly nine hours while police and FBI members negotiated with McNeary. Court records show multiple times during the standoff, McNeary held a pair of scissors against the bank manager's neck and back. According to the documents, four hostages were released over the course of the standoff. Officers were finally able to enter and arrest McNeary. McNeary will be sentenced at a later date.

--Award winning actor Louis Gossett Jr. has died at age 87. Gossett was in “Roots”, “An Officer and a Gentleman” and “Iron Eagle” films.

--Bernice Meyer, age 96 of Cushing.

TODAY= partly to mostly cloudy skies, high 42.
TONIGHT= partly cloudy skies, low near 20.
TUESDAY= partly sunny, rain/snow mix afternoon, high 44, low 25.
WEDNESDAY= sunny skies, breezy, high 45, low near 20.

TWINS= Twins win 5-1 on Saturday after a 4 run 9th inning. Royals blast Twins 11-0 on Sunday. Twins off today at Milwaukee Tuesday.

COL BB= Gopher women beat North Dakota State 69-65 Friday to move to the Super 8 of the WNIT and will face Wyoming tonight.

COL HK= Boston U beat Gophers 6-3 Saturday to advance to Frozen Four in NCAA Hockey action.

NCAA= Final Four for men set, women will be set tonight.