Memorial Day weekend is the on-ramp to the summer driving season, the deadliest time on the road. Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety officials are reminding motorists to make safe, smart decisions during the historically deadly and high-traffic weekend.
Memorial Day weekend traffic crash facts from 2008–2012:
• 28 total deaths.
• 14 were drunk driving-related.
• 18 were vehicle occupants of which 10 were not buckled up.
The Minnesota State Patrol held a graduation ceremony Thursday for 42 Minnesota State Patrol cadets in Minneapolis .
Forty-two State Patrol cadets graduated, following 15 weeks of rigorous and demanding training exercises and course work at Camp Ripley. The graduating cadets will be partnered with veteran troopers to conduct field training for 16 weeks before beginning solo patrols.
■ Northbound Highway 15 lanes shift, ramps open at CR 120 in Sartell today
Motorists travelling northbound Highway 15 near County Road 120 in Sartell will encounter lower speed limits, lane shifts and improved access as the northbound Highway 15/County Road 120 intersection opens Thursday, May 23.
The May 21 traffic changes include the following.
• Both lanes of northbound Highway 15 will shift to temporary lanes that bypass the County Road 120 bridge construction area.
• The posted speed limit on northbound Highway 15 will be reduced to 45 mph.
FEDERAL DAM — Cass County Board Tuesday approved preliminary work on a continuity of operations plan for the county.
Cass County Emergency Services Director Kerry Swenson told the board he expects to complete the plan by Jan. 1, 2014.
The plan will include a succession of leaders to take over operations within each county department to ensure the county can continue to provide services in the event a disaster destroyed the courthouse or a person assigned an essential duty could not continue to provide that service.
BAXTER — Watching a crash test dummy being thrown around like a rag doll in a roll-over simulator gave 500 fifth-graders at Forestview Middle School in Baxter a good idea of what could happen if they didn’t wear their seat belts.
Forestview conducted an event entitled Safety Days Tuesday and Wednesday where students got a 30-minute lesson from professionals in the community who volunteered their time to talk about their professions that revolve around safety.
BAXTER — Small changes to a commercial property will no longer trigger a need to put in landscape islands and plant trees in the parking lots in Baxter.
The city council voted Tuesday to loosen the landscape requirements. The issue arose after the Brainerd School District decided to put on a 8,430-square-foot addition to Forestview Middle School moving the district’s food distribution center from leased space to the school.
Brainerd’s Memorial Day ceremonies will begin at 8:30 a.m. Monday at the Laurel Street bridge. A wreath will be tossed into the Mississippi River in remembrance of those veterans lost at sea. A prayer will be given by Pastor Caroline Avelsgaard followed by a rifle volley and taps.
Following will be a ceremony at the All Veterans Memorial next to the Crow Wing County Historic Court House. Walter Straka, Bataan Death March survivor, will lay a wreath at the Bataan Memorial at the National Guard Armory on Wright Street.
Jobless rates have dropped at least a little as the summer season expands into seasonal hiring.
Brainerd’s unemployment rate has been dropping steadily since 15.4 percent in January to 12 percent as of April. Since November of 2008, Brainerd’s jobless rate, which includes all of the 56401 zip code, has been lower than 10 percent just two months in the fall of 2012. Brainerd hit its highest jobless rate of 21.2 percent in February of 2009.
Everything about the car driven in the Supermileage Challenge stock class by the team from Pine River-Backus High School is original. But the most unique aspect just might be its bright pink paint-job.
PR-B's pink car stood out among all the other cars painted the more traditional black, white or green at the Supermileage Challenge on May 14-15 at Brainerd International Raceway. Team members said they chose pink to support breast cancer patients and survivors.
The color wasn’t the only unique part of the car, though.
Wet conditions have lowered the fire danger and prompted the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to lift burning restrictions in all or parts of 32 Minnesota counties. Those counties include Crow Wing, Aitkin, Cass, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Todd and Wadena.
Mark Mortensen, program forester at the Brainerd DNR office, said his office has recorded 2.7 inches of rain since Friday.
In the final hours of Minnesota’s 2013 legislative session, Rep. John Ward, DFL-Baxter, chief-authored a compromise $176 million bonding bill. The bill included $20 million for flood mitigation, $109 million for Capitol restoration, $19 million for the Minneapolis Veterans Home, and $8 million in matching clean water grants. The bill passed with broad bipartisan support 122-10.
Trisha McMonagle, USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) county executive director for Crow Wing, Cass, Aitkin and Itasca Counties, reminded producers that the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 extended the authorization of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill) for many Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) commodity, disaster, and conservation programs through 2013. FSA administers these programs.