Newsletter: Tuesday, March 24th 2020

Newsletter: Tuesday, March 24th 2020

--Little Falls Mayor Greg Zylka spoke on KLTF Monday and wanted to thank all of the essential services that continue to help in need from truck and bus drivers, store owners (that remain open) and service men and women who all are being used to help keep the city working during the trying times of COVID-19. Zylka said that the city is calling an emergency meeting Wednesday to declare Little Falls in a state of emergency to help to lighten the burden on small businesses and families that are affected by the virus outbreak with funding. Zylka stressed that the priority is to first use proper hygeine, second if at all possible stay away from others using the social distancing especially the elderly who are the most vulnerable at this time. Any questions can be directed to Little Falls Mayor Greg Zylka at 320-232-9336.

–Superintendent Stephen Jones of Little Falls Community Schools announced Sunday that he wanted to provide an update to our school community and also a preview of the week ahead. Certainly it has been an emotional and encouraging week. Please know that the education professionals at Little Falls Community Schools–our teachers, paraprofessionals, kitchen staff, custodial staff, bus drivers, office staff, support personnel, administrators–have all worked incredibly hard under never-before-seen circumstances to meet the Governors challenge laid out one week ago. Amazing things happened this week and more is in store as we prepare to launch distance learning in the near future. Teachers and office staff have been contacting students and families to determine the best ways to deliver the distance learning curriculum, and more direct contact is in store for this week as final preparations are made. The food service staff, our transportation professionals, and many other district employees prepared and distributed approximately 10,000 meals last week to children, delivered right to their homes or picked up at school. Please contact the Transportation Office at 632-2029 or the District Office at 632-2002 if you would like to have your child receive breakfast and lunch free of charge. We would like nothing better than to welcome our students back to our buildings; unfortunately, that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anytime soon. We continue to vow to you…our students, our families, and our communities, that Little Falls Community Schools is here to do whatever we can to assist you in this time of uncertainty. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly if we can be of service to you. That was an update from Superintendent Stephen Jones of Little Falls Schools. Jones will AM960 KLTF on Wednesday morning at 8:30am.

--According to a news release Sunday, March 22, from Cass County Health, Human and Veterans Services said they have their first patient with COVID-19. The resident is an older person with no known travel history. The patient developed symptoms on March 9 and sought treatment March 16. The Minnesota Department of Health informed the county of the confirmed case Saturday evening. Cass County Public Health officials will not release the location within Cass County where the resident resides. On Monday it was reported that there were 235 cases, 1 in Cass, 5 in Stearns, 1 in Benton, 2 in Clay and 2 in St. Louis. Still no cases confirmed in Morrison County.

--Father Ben of the Tri Parish of Little Falls will be a guest via the phone on KLTF Party Line today to address the church's concerns with the COVID-19 virus and what precautions can be done, also he will answer questions that he has received from those in the parish. That is today at 10:05am on AM960 and online at

--At 2:38pm Saturday the Little Falls Fire Department was dispatched to Highway 10 near the Mississippi River Bridge on a report of a grass fire. Approximately 24 firefighters responded. The fire was extinguished by law enforcement by the time they arrived. A reminder that with the majority of snow melted, there will be an increasing danger of wildland fires. Around 2:00pm Monday the Little Falls Fire Department was dispatched to 315 7th St SE on a report of smoke coming from the garage. Approximately 22 firefighters responded to the scene. They found smoke in the garage and discovered that the electrical line from the house to the garage had shorted out underground just prior to entering the garage. There was no damage to the garage. The fire department stood by until MN Power arrived and disconnected the power to the garage.

--A Wood boiler and shed started on fire in Avon Township Saturday afternoon. Stearns County Sheriff deputies responded to the 34000 block of Smiley Drive in Avon Township on Saturday, March 21st, around 3:56pm for a shed fire. The homeowner, Brian Gertken, 47, of Avon, reported hearing a boom and then seeing his outdoor wood boiler and a 30’x60’ shed on fire. Mr. Gertken also reported there was a barn nearby with cattle in it. Upon firefighters’ arrival, the shed was fully engulfed. Mr. Gertken’s house was near the shed and sustained damage to the siding. The barn sustained heat damage was smoldering, but never started on fire. Mr. Gertken was able to get all four cattle out of the barn. The shed’s contents included two vehicles and two 4-wheelers, which were considered a total loss. No one was injured and the fire remains under investigation.

--Morning flames destroyed a partially finished house on South Long Lake Saturday. Brainerd Fire Chief Tim Holmes said his crew responded to a call at 7:19am Saturday on the 8000 block of Mogensen Shores Road in Long Lake Township. The caller said they could see heavy black smoke and flames from across South Long Lake. The smoke was also visible from highways 18 and 25. Law enforcement reported the house was engulfed in flames upon arrival. Holmes said the house burned very quickly, as it was still under construction, and was a total loss. No one was around at the time of the fire. Construction crews last worked on the house Friday. The State Fire Marshal’s Office is still investigating the cause, but foul play is not suspected. Firefighters at the scnee for over 3 hours but there was no report of any injuries.

--Parts of Highway 23 and Lincoln Avenue in East St. Cloud were shut down for several hours Sunday afternoon and evening due to downed power lines. Lincoln Avenue was blocked off starting at East St. Germain Street past Highway 23 to the Woodcraft Industries. Xcel Energy reports over 2000 customers were without power. Power was restored to the area by 9:30pm Sunday night.

--Another cancellation has been reported to Little Falls Radio as the Retiree Seminar at Camp Ripley for April 16th has been cancelled.

TODAY= drizzle early, then cloudy and breezy, high 48.
TONIGHT= chance of rain/snow overnight, low 30.
WEDNESDAY= snow showers early, some rain, then PM sun, high 37.
WED NIGHT= partly cloudy skies, colder, low 18.
THURSDAY= sunny early, clouds in PM, freezing mix late, high 41.

OLY= very likely the summer Olympics will be postponed one year.