--Approximately 160 Soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard’s 851st Vertical Engineer Company returned Tuesday from a nine-month deployment to Kuwait in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. While deployed, the Soldiers completed construction projects in support of military units in several countries to include Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan. The unit primarily focused on general construction projects to improve living and working facilities, as well as force protection at military bases in the Central Command area of operations. The Soldiers will participate in events in the coming months that facilitate reintegration and provide resources for readjusting.
--The Crow Wing County Dairy Princess Banquet is Saturday, March 23rd at the Pierz Ballroom. There will be a meal at 7:00pm followed by a program at 8:00pm. This year both candidates running for Crow Wing County Dairy Princess Arica Caughey and Jenna Caughey will be crowned. There are four candidates running for Crow Wing County Dairy Ambassador including Hanna Caughey, Elizabeth Studniski, Isabel Erfurth and Keyahna Kurilla. The top two will be selected ambassadors with the other two as assistant ambassadors. The Morrison County Dairy Princess Banquet is Saturday, March 30th at the Falls Ballroom in Little Falls.
--After a 4 1/2-hour stand-off with authorities overnight Saturday, the alleged suspect, a 27-year old Isle area man, was found deceased inside the residence. The Mille Lacs County Sheriff's Office was called at 10:36pm Saturday for a possible domestic abuse, no-contact order violation in Wahkon. Around 12:14am Sunday they were called to the 600 block of Hennepin Avenue South in Isle. Deputies and an officer from the Isle Police Department made contact with the alleged suspect regarding the domestic assault, no-contact order violation. During the contact with the suspect, deputies were fired upon from inside the residence. A deputy returned fire before retreating to a cover position. After the shots were fired, law enforcement officers from surrounding counties responded to the scene to assist the sheriff's office. A Mille Lacs County Sheriff's Office negotiator made contact with the suspect inside the residence and communication continued for 4 ½ hours. During negotiations, law enforcement officers on scene heard a shot fired from inside the residence. Law enforcement officers entered the residence and located the suspect deceased. During the stand-off, the sheriff's office and the Isle Police Department asked residents in Isle to stay indoors for their own safety until the incident was resolved. Isle Police Department, Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office, Morrison County Sheriff's Office, Kanabec County Sheriff's Office, Aitkin County Sheriff's Office, Minnesota State Patrol, Mille Lacs Tribal Police Department, Onamia Police Department and the Mille Lacs Health System Ambulance Service. The identity of the deceased suspect is being withheld pending positive identification by Midwest Medical Examiner's Office.
--Winter load increases will end Thursday, March 14 and spring load restrictions will start Friday, March 15th on highways in the south, southeast, metro and central frost zones. The frost zones can be found on the MnDOT load limits map. Ending dates for spring load restrictions are variable and based on how weather is affecting roadway strength. For updated road condition information, call 511 or visit www.511mn.org.
--A reminder that the Thursday newsletter will have the results from Township Elections from Tuesday night.
--Last weekend's heavy snow brought down roofs at the Lion's Bingo Building on the Benton County Fairgrounds in Sauk Rapids which collapsed. Al Stemper is the President of the Benton County Fair Board. He says it happened sometime on Saturday or Sunday. The local Lion's Club will be working with their insurance to rebuild the building. Stemper says the building is locked and no one is allowed in for safety purposes. No injuries were reported. The roof of a building housing three St. Cloud business also collapsed likely due to last weekend's heavy snowfall. The building on the corner of 9th Avenue South and University Drive, known as the University Crossing building had its roof collapse Saturday. Matt Glaesman is the Community Development Director of St. Cloud. He says the roof collapsed in the Campus Book and Supply section of the building. The city has since inspected the building, fenced it off and deemed it unsafe. Glaesman says because of the extent of the damage the city has issued the building to be demolished. Also within the building is a Subway restaurant and KwikFix Electronics. No one was hurt in the collapse.
--A St. Cloud resident was one of the passengers on an Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed Sunday. 31-year old Mucaad Hussein Abdalla was on the 737 MAX 8 that went down shortly after takeoff. He was more commonly known in the community by the name Siraaj. Abdalla has lived in St. Cloud since 2006. He was a 2008 graduate of St. Cloud Apollo High School.
--This Saturday Holy Cross Parish in conjunction with the Pearl Lake Lodge in Marty, will hold their annual St. Patrick’s Day parade and festival. This has been a well-attended event in past years. This leads to cars being parked along the shoulders of the roadways. The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office is monitoring the roadway and shoulder conditions, snow packed and the changing weather conditions in the area. Please be advised the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office may restrict parking in the area on the day of the event. If parking is restricted, signs will be placed in the affected area 24 hours in advance. There are also other parades on Saturday including in downtown Brainerd starting at 1:00pm.
--David Thommes, age 80 of Pierz
DENSE FOG ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 1PM THEN A
FLOOD WATCH GOES IN EFFECT AT 1PM TODAY-7PM THURS.
TODAY= fog early, rain likely in afternoon, some heavy, high 44.
TONIGHT= rain likely, heavy at times, low 35.
THURSDAY= rain likely, changing to snow late afternoon, high 36 before 1pm then falling to 25, rain over 1 inch, snow up to 1 inch.
FRIDAY= partly sunny and windy, high near 30, low around 15.
TWINS= Twins baseball live at noon today, then Twins Hot Stove tonight at 6:00pm. Both on Q92 WYRQ.
OLY= Olympic track cyclist Kelly Catlin, a Minnesota native, who helped the U.S. women's pursuit team win the silver medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, died Friday at her home in California. She was 23. Early indications the death was suicide.