--Due to the Winter Storm Warning in effect, all Little Falls, Pierz, Royalton, Upsala, Swanville, Holdingford, Pillager, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, Browerville, Foley and Brainerd schools are closed today as well as many others in the state. Central Lakes College Campuses in Brainerd and Staples are closed. Continue to listen to Little Falls Radio throughout the day for the latest weather related announcements.
--A Winter Storm Warning is in effect through 1pm Friday. Sleet and snow started last night causing slippery roadways. More snow and sleet along with wind gusts 40-50mph are expected today with 5-9 inches of snow during the day into the afternoon and another 2-5 tonight into Friday afternoon. Blizzard Warnings are in effect from St. Cloud through Redwood Falls and into South Dakota with white out conditions and snow totals over two feet. Morrison County Sheriff's Office Emergency Management is stating that travel will be very difficult to impossible. Patchy blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. If you must travel, keep warm clothes, a charged cell phone, an extra flashlight, and food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency. Tell others your travel plans. The latest road conditions for Minnesota are at 511mn.org or call 511.
--Due to the weather today, the statewide tornado drills today have been canceled along with many events are also canceled today including the defensive driving class at the Little Falls middle school, Oasis Share a Meal tonight canceled and others also canceled today or some open houses and events have been moved to later dates.
--Though Little Falls Schools are closed today, Friday is still the scheduled deadline for those to sign up for the Day of Caring in Little Falls, Randall, and the villages of Sobieski and Flensburg on May 8th. The Little Falls Community Schools stated they have reached their maximum number on the Day but a waiting list was set up in case more teams are made before the event on May 8th. Friday is the deadline to sign up and turn in at the schools. The more volunteers that offer to help the more houses on the waiting list they can get done. If you can still help volunteering for the Little Falls Day of Caring next month, please contact Becky Abbott at the high school in the coming days and leave a message if need be. They ask that you sign up to volunteer by April 19th so that a head count and teams can be put together to make sure they can get to as many homes as possible on the Day of Caring May 8th.
--President Donald Trump is expected to travel to Minnesota on Monday, the April 15 tax filing deadline. The Federal Aviation Administration sent an advisory to pilots on Wednesday saying the President would travel to the Minneapolis area. The White House hasn't confirmed the reason for the trip as of yet. President Trump has stated that Minnesota was going to be a key state in his 2020 reelection bid as he lost Minnesota to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016 by 1.5 percentage points. Minnesota has not voted for a Republican for president since Richard Nixon in 1972.
--Grass fires started earlier this week before the recent snow-storm in areas of central Minnesota. Crosby firefighters and the DNR battled a large grass fire along the ditch of Highway 6 near the bridge north o Crosby on Tuesday. Stearns County reported a grass fire in Avon, and last week two fires in Rockville. After the recent snows melt from the storm this week, fires could again be on the rise again.
--A fatal crash that killed a 34-year old Melrose man occurred at 2:56am Tuesday at Stearns County Road 186 and Sherwood Road in Grove Township. When deputies arrived on scene they found a Dodge Durango in the south ditch of County Road 186. The Durango appeared to have been traveling southeast on County Road 186 when it failed to negotiate a curve, entered the ditch and struck a field approach. The vehicle rolled and sustained heavy roof damage. Deputies also found 34-year old Pedro Cruz of Melrose lying dead outside the Durango. While responding to assist at the crash, a Melrose Police Officer located 38-year old Luis Valencia walking eastbound on County Road 186. He suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the crash. He was transported to the CentraCare Hospital in Melrose for treatment of those injuries. The incident remains under investigation. Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash.
--A 40-year-old Bemidji man faces eight criminal charges after fleeing police last Friday with an infant in the back seat of his vehicle. He was also found to be hauling over $5,000 in methamphetamine. Bobby Lee Donnell Sr. reportedly first gave the officer a false name after a traffic stop in Aitkin. When authorities checked his information, Donnell sped off with the infant in the car, during that time he began throwing multiple items from the car. Officers from Aitkin and Hill City and members of the Minnesota State Patrol aided in the chase which ended when stop sticks along Highway 169 were used to deflate the tires and stop the vehicle. Donnell was arrested and found to have over 69 grams of meth in the car and the infant was taken into protective custody. He was charged with felony controlled substance crimes, driving under the influence, fleeing a peace officer, endangerment of a child and giving a false name to an officer along with other charges against him.
--A garage and its contents are a total loss following a fire in St. Cloud on Wednesday morning. St. Cloud Fire Department Battalion Chief Greg Newinski says the fire broke out in a detached garage at a home on the 2900 block of Aurora Lane around 11:50am. The owners were home at the time and no one was hurt in the fire. The flames spread to a small gardening shed in a neighboring yard, but firefighters were able to put them out quickly. Newinski says the fire remains under investigation and the cause was not determined.
--Sylvester “Pat” Warzecha, age 93 of Sauk Rapids formerly Bowlus.
WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT THRU 1PM FRIDAY.
TODAY= snow, sleet and very gusty winds, 5-9 inches, high 30.
TONIGHT= snow, sleet and very gusty winds, 2-3 inches, low 28.
FRIDAY= snow likely, windy, mixing with sleet and rain, high 34.
FRI NITE= snow ends after midnight, low around 22.
SATURDAY= partly sunny, high 35, low around 18.
SUNDAY= sunny skies, high 42, low around 28.
TWINS= The Mets score 6 runs in the 5th to beat the Twins 9-6 last night in New York to split the 2 game series. The Twins (6-4) are off today with a home series with Detroit beginning tomorrow night through Mother Nature may have something to say about that.
NBA= Timberwolves lose to Denver in finale last night, finish 36-46.