--More details on the February 14th fire in Albany Township have been released by the Stearns County Sheriff's Office. Deputies that afternoon responded to a building fire at 23864 360th Street in Albany Township and found an SUV inside a machine shed engulfed in flames. Albany fire and rescue were able to extinguish the flames to keep the damage to the shed as minimal as possible though the SUV was a total loss. The owner of the property was identified as the Krebs Family Farms, LLC. Deputies spoke to a member of the LLC who was on scene and determined that the vehicle did not belong to the LLC and was left at the location by an unknown person. The vehicle was later found to have been reported stolen in Stearns County and that portion of the investigation is continuing. The owners of the farm site where it was recovered are not considered suspects in the stolen vehicle case or subsequent fire. The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Minnesota State Fire Marshall while the sheriff's office is investigating the stolen vehicle.
--Father Ben Kociemba of the Haven of Mercy Area Catholic Community which includes the churches in Little Falls, Randall, Flensburg and Sobieski stated Friday that the Bishop is allowing a few more items back into the Catholic Churches. Musicians and singers can be brought back in to sing at church, non-singers are asked to be masked and social distancing guidelines will need to be done. Father said that they will be getting more guidelines in the days ahead about Holy Week and how capacities and others items can be done before Holy Week and if they need to add more masses like they did back in Christmas time as more of the parish are likely to come to Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday masses and services. Bishop Kettler said the obligations of Lent and Easter must still apply and is asking if you able to return to church as right now the numbers are very low and still less than 1% of all cases have had any contact with the Catholic Church. He however does understand if you are ill or at high risk still of getting the virus there should be virtual means to continue the Mass and that if ill you should stay home. On funerals, weddings, social gatherings and outside groups using the church a reminder from Bishop Kettler that as of now no food is being allowed to served still at these functions in the churches and that goes for Fish Frys also in the Catholic Churches and schools they have to be drive thru, pick up and take out only for now. If you have questions or concerns on the church schedules and restrictions right now contact your local church office for assistance.
--Earlier this month on AM960 KLTF Deb Boelz from the Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce announced the Large Business of the Year as Thielen Meats, Small Business of the Year as The Falls Ballroom and Volunteer of the Year as Ron Kresha. Due to recent restrictions that chamber's annual dinner would have been this Thursday but no in person event this year. Deb stated on Friday that Mark from Great River Television has completed the awards video this year for those to watch the award winners receiving their awards with special accolades. You can call the Chamber 632-5155 for info.
--On Friday, the Morrison County website reported 22 active cases, 14 of the cases of COVID-19 were in the Little Falls zip code.There were 1,001 new state cases Friday and 8 new deaths linked to the virus. Morrison County had 4 new cases on Friday's report. Another four cases Saturday and 5 on Sunday for Morrison County.
--The Pierz City Council meets tonight 7pm at Pierz City Hall.
--An Avon woman was jailed Thursday after leading police on a chase and damaging a squad car. St. Cloud Police were called to investigate a vandalism complaint involving a woman with a knife. Officers arrived in the 400 block of 8th Avenue South where the woman was spotted walking, when they tried to stop the suspect, she fled on foot, got into a car, and headed south on 9th Avenue. Police called off the pursuit for safety reasons but a short time later spotted the suspect in the Cenex parking lot at 1030 33rd Street South. The woman, identified as 22-year-old Alexis Gielen, then allegedly drove over a curb and through a snowbank before fleeing south on the frontage road. Police spotted Gielen in the Burger King drive-thru on Clearwater Road near Interstate 94. Officers performed a felony stop and commanded Gielen to exit the vehicle. Records show she stayed in her vehicle and began ramming the squad car blocking her in. Police say even as they smashed out Gielen's passenger window, she continued hitting the gas and ramming the squad car. Officers physically removed her from the car and arrested her.
--Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner Laura Bishop announced recipients of the state’s first round of recycling market development grants during a statewide conversation on expanding recycling markets and jobs. Grant recipients included area companies GreenForest Recycling LLC in Brainerd and Employment Enterprises Inc. in Little Falls. The other two recipients were Northfield Curbside Compost Cooperative in Northfield and P.E.C.E. Recycling LLC in Cosmos. The four recycling companies were awarded grants because of developing innovative projects that help drive stronger markets for recycled materials while also creating more than 200 new jobs.
--A mother and her son escaped injury in a destructive house fire during the early morning hours on February 14th in Pequot Lakes. The house fire was reported at 1:47am on the 4700 block of Olson Road, south of Pequot Lakes. The garage attached to the home was engulfed when firefighters arrived. The residents, Amy Moyer and her son, rented the home. The fire started in the garage, but it is not known at this time how the fire started. The cause of the fire is not suspicious, but the Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s Office will investigate to determine the cause. The fire also destroyed a vehicle parked outside, an estimated property loss is to be near $140.000.
--Russell Nutz, age 77 of Little Falls.
--Renee Welinski, age 87 of Little Falls.
TODAY= cloudy, scattered sprinkles in afternoon, breezy, high 42.
TONIGHT= cloudy skies, low around 28.
TUESDAY= cloudy, scattered rain/snow showers possible, high 37
TUES NIGHT= freezing drizzle to snow likely, 1 inch, low 20.
WEDNESDAY= becoming sunny, breezy, high 32, low near 9 above.
--Today (by the calendar still used since 1752) is the birthday of the First U.S. President George Washington (February 22, 1732). In 1889 it was named the first Federal/Legal holiday in the United States, however since 1971 President's Day on the 3rd Monday of February is to remember Washington and also Abraham Lincoln born February 12th. Virginia still holds this day as a legal holiday along with some other cities and towns across the United States of Washington.