Newsletter: Wednesday, November 18th 2020

Newsletter: Wednesday, November 18th 2020

--Governor Tim Walz plans to announce a new round of COVID-19 restrictions with a prime time address at 6pm which is expected to include guidance for fall and winter youth sports, and the high school sports schedule that could effect the remaining football and volleyball schedule and winter sports for high school teams in an effort to slow the virus' spread in the community.

--Morrison County website numbers on Tuesday were 1,484 total cases, 93 needed hospitalization and 410 are active cases. Pierz zip code at 115, Little Falls 113 active cases, Royalton 41, Motley 38, Hillman 22, Swanville 17, Bowlus 16, Cushing 14 and Randall 10 reported cases from the Morrison County website Tuesday. Minnesota Department of Health on Tuesday reported 5,945 new cases and 26 new deaths linked to COVID-19. There were 42 confirmed and 3 more probable cases of COVID-19 in Morrison County yesterday.

--The Little Falls Fire Department was called out Monday at 8:20pm to 17414 153rd Street in Belle Prairie Township on a report of a shed fire. Upon arrival they found heavy fire on one end of the building. The fire caused extensive damage to the building and contents. The exact cause of the fire is under investigation but is believed to have started near a wood stove in the shed. A reminder as we get into heating season; have your wood burning stove or fireplace chimney checked on a regular basis. Chimney fires can be a common cause of structural fires this time of year. Also make sure to keep all combustible items away from space heaters.

--Royalton Public Schools was notified of several confirmed cases of COVID-19, affecting the MAP Before and After School Child Care Program. These confirmed cases had exposure dates of November 10th and 11th. We have worked with MDH to identify those people that were in close contact with the cases and have communicated with those affected directly by phone. The risk of exposure for other individuals in the before or after school MAP program present on November 10th or 11th poses no greater risk of contracting the virus in the general community. We are confident that all close contacts have been identified and communicated with. Royalton schools are in distance learning for grades 6-12, hybrid for 4-5, and in class K-3.

--A Little Falls man was airlifted to a Duluth hospital last week after an apparent ATV accident in St. Louis County. According to a statement by the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office, 70-year old George Cermak of Little Falls suffered serious injuries when he was ejected from the ATV he was riding near Zim, about 25 miles southeast of Hibbing. Deputies were dispatched to a location near the 1900 block of Lavell Road in response to a man who had called 911 and requested help. They eventually found Cermak on a trail through a wooded area near a hunting shack. Cermak was the only occupant of the vehicle and was able to use his cellphone to call for help following the accident. Cermak was stabilized at the scene and taken to a Duluth hospital for treatment of what deputies called serious injuries.

--Faith Lutheran Church in Little Falls is once again serving as a collection site for Operation Christmas Child. Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered over 175 million shoeboxes to children in more than 150 countries and territories. They will be on-site at Faith Lutheran collecting shoeboxes according to the following schedule tonight and Thursday 5-8pm, Friday and Saturday 9am-noon, Sunday 9-11 and next Monday 8-10am. Curbside drop-off is available for those who prefer. For more information call Faith Lutheran Church at 320-414-0533.

--The Little Falls Community Thanksgiving meal is taking a different form this year. The Little Falls Area Ministerial Association is teaming up with Will and Tiffany from the Falls Ballroom as well as Representative Ron Kresha and other members of our community to provide free meals to anyone who calls to put in a request. They cannot have the inperson inside event this year due to restrictions but meals will be picked up at the Falls Ballroom or may be delivered to those who don't have transportation. Volunteers will be needed to package the meals and place them in the trunk or back seat of cars as they come to pick up their meals. We are limited to 500 meals so call Ron or Wendy at (320) 761-6133 to request a meal. To volunteer, call Tim at 320-632-2540 to donate a couple of hours of your time. For those who would help financially, donations may be made to the Little Falls Ministerial Association and dropped off when picking up a meal or calling Tim at 632-2540.

--Authorities have identified the man whose body was found near the St. Cloud Regional Airport Saturday. The Sherburne County Sheriff's Office says the man has been identified as 25-year-old Tyler Ecklund. Ecklund, who has no permanent address, was found in a vacant lot in the 1000 block of 55th Avenue Southeast by a passerby. Sheriff Joel Brott says Ecklund's death is considered suspicious and investigators are awaiting the results of an autopsy to determine his cause and manner of death. The sheriff's office is the lead investigating agency and is being assisted by the St. Cloud Police Department and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Anyone with information on Ecklund's whereabouts prior to his death is asked to call the Sherburne County Sheriff's Office at (763) 765-3500.

--One person was taken to the hospital with minor injuries after a two-vehicle crash in rural Benton County. The Minnesota State Patrol says the crash happened Friday just before 6pm at the intersection of Highway 23 and County Road 4 in Gilman Township. 41-year-old Mark Mehr of Sauk Rapids was westbound on Highway 23 and attempting to cross County Road 4 and struck a pickup driven by 20-year-old Cody Negaard-Neumann of St. Stephen. Mehr was taken to St. Cloud Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

--Sister Mary Maureen Blenkush, age 98 of St. Francis Convent.
--George Sobieck, age 98 of Royalton.
--Josephine “Josie” Walsh, age 79 of Little Falls.

TODAY= partly sunny and breezy, high 47, wind gust 30mph.
TONIGHT= cloudy skies, freeze fog overnight, low 30.
THURSDAY= sunny and mild, high near 50, clear night low 27.
FRIDAY= sunny and cooler, windy by PM hours, high 35.

HS FB= Pierz remains unbeaten 28-19 win over Cathedral last night, Upsala/Swanville beat Benson 22-15, Willmar beat Little Falls 56-8, Eden Valley routed Holdingford 40-6, Staples-Motley beat Wadena 20-0, Foley 48-18 win over Henry. Wait and see if playoffs continue.
TWINS= The Minnesota Twins announced they have cancelled the 2021 Winter Caravan and TwinsFest for January of 2021 due to the recent COVID-19 restrictions, no TwinsFest of caravan next year.
COL FB= Gophers host Purdue Friday night at 6:30pm on KLTF.