--Lindbergh Elementary School will be transitioning to Distance Learning immediately. Today will be a Transition Day for staff at Lindbergh no school for Lindbergh students. Distance Learning for students at Lindbergh will begin on Tuesday. This is from the school notified of a number of positive COVID cases at Lindbergh which are impacting students and staff. All close contacts of the positive cases have been contacted today. Because of the number of close contacts we discovered through the investigation, we are unable to staff Lindbergh effectively this week for In-Person learning. The other Little Falls Community Schools (besides Lindbergh) will transition to Distance Learning Preschool -Grade 12 effective Monday, November 23. This Friday will be a "Transition Day" for staff with school canceled for students. Distance Learning at the secondary level will remain in effect through the end of the first semester (January 21). Distance Learning at the Preschool and Elementary levels will remain in effect through at least January 8, and will be reassessed in late December / early January. Preschool, which was originally scheduled to return from its current Distance Learning format on November 18, will instead be full Distance Learning throughout the rest of November and December, at least until January 8. This decision is based on the best practice health and safety measures necessary in the current state of the rapid and increasing spread of COVID in our county, state, and nation. Students and staff are experiencing increased rates of infection as well as frequent and lengthy absences due to testing protocols and quarantine mandates.The ability to operate the district in a safe and beneficial manner in either In-Person or Hybrid models while positive virus rates continue to surge is just not sustainable.The District is aware that any Learning Plan transition is potentially disruptive to students and families. However, the continuing increase in COVID numbers in Morrison County is driving the necessity to transition to Distance Learning at Little Falls Community Schools. The school will also continue to have childcare for Tier 1 for workers and free breakfast and lunchs on Mondays to be picked up at the high school for the entire week by signing up.
--Royalton Public Schools announced they are going distance learning for grades 6-12 starting today, grades 4-5 in hybrid learning and preschool through 3rd grade remain in class 5 days week. Pierz schools go to Distance Learning today for grades 5-12 and K-4 are still in class, Upsala goes hybrid for grades 7-12, K-6 are in class.
--The Morrison County website Friday reported 1,317 positive cases of COVID-19 since testing began, 78 of those hospitalized, 337 active cases of the virus. Pierz cases rose to 103, Little Falls at 77, Royalton at 39, Motley 30, Hillman at 22 and Bowlus at 16 cases on Friday. The Department of Health for the State of Minnesota Friday reported another 5,552 cases of COVID-19 and 46 new deaths including two in Morrison County 1 in their 70s and another in the 100+ range. Morrison County had 35 new cases on Friday. Crow Wing 112, Benton 101, Mille Lacs 30, Stearns 331 and Todd had 50 new cases Friday. There were two deaths reported in Todd and Benton and 1 in Stearns County on the report Friday from the Department of Health. Another large number of 8,703 new cases of COVID-19 Saturday with 35 new deaths. Morrison County had 47 new cases confirmed and 2 more probable cases of COVID-19 on Saturday's report. Sunday there were new cases of 7,559 and 31 new deaths linked the virus. Morrison County had another 36 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday's report.
--On Thursday night at 6:24pm the Little Falls Fire Department was dispatched to 1343 Highway 371 in the city of Fort Ripley on a report of a pole shed fire. Upon arrival they found fire throughout the attic of building. The fire was contained mainly to the attic with some damage inside the building due to the ceiling falling. The Fire Department was assisted by Camp Ripley Fire, Brainerd Fire Department, North Ambulance, and the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
--Governor Tim Walz says were are in for a "deep dark winter" if we don't get control of the significant surge in new cases of COVID-19 we are seeing throughout Minnesota. Walz says we are in control of our own destiny. We owe it to our neighbors, our healthcare workers, teachers and children to do the things we know that can slow this thing down, make a difference and get us to the other side of this. Walz reiterates the importance of masking, social distancing and to get a tested until a vaccine becomes available. On a testing front, Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says starting Monday they are launching a new text feature for people who have tested positive for COVID-19. The idea is to more effectively reach and inform those who test positive for COVID-19, and their close contacts, about what they need to do to prevent further spread and to better protect the states most vulnerable population through improved outreach and communication. Malcolm says the message will let the person know to expect a call and what number will call them, making it more likely people answer their phone and reduces the number of repeated calls to notify them.
--Authorities are investigating a shooting, following the death of a child in St. Cloud on Friday. The St. Cloud Police Department says shortly after 3pm officers responded to a report of a 5 year old child who died at St. Cloud Hospital after sustaining a gunshot wound at another location. After some investigation, police determined the shooting took place at a home in the 800 block of 10th Avenue North. A suspect, 35-year-old Roberto Williams of Chicago, Illinois, was arrested in connection to the incident and taken to the Stearns County Jail. He faces charges that include felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm, and negligent storage of a firearm. Authorities say they believe the shooting was accidental.
--Herbert “Herb' Stumpf, age 98 of Pierz.
--David E. Larsen, age 80 of Little Falls
--Gary S. Mazacek, age 64 of Little Falls.
--Sister Eileen Ghesquiere, age 96 of St. Francis Convent, Little Falls.
--Arlene C. Turner, age 87 of Randall.
--Evelyn I. Ledbetter, age 98 of Little Falls.
--Joyce E. Wise, age 83 of Randall.
TODAY= morning snow showers then clearing skies, high 37.
TONIGHT= clear skies, cold temps, low 10.
TUESDAY= sunny skies, cooler, high 32, low around 18.
WEDNESDAY= sunny skies, warmer, high 45, low around 25.
COL FB= Iowa rocked Minnesota Gophers Friday 35-7. The Gophers fall to 1-3 in Big 10 and host Purdue Friday at 6:30pm on KLTF.
NFL= Vikings at Chicago Bears tonight 6:30pm on AM960 KLTF.