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Students injured when truck, school bus collide

Brainerd Dispatch News - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 9:49am

RENVILLE – Seven people, including five teens, were injured Wednesday when a truck collided with a school bus on an icy road near Renville in west-central Minnesota.

None of the injuries were life-threatening.

The Minnesota State Patrol said the accident on Minnesota Highway 212 happened at 6 p.m. when a tractor-trailer driven by David R. Littlecreek-Wilbanks, 50, of Granite Falls, broadsided a school bus driven by Dennis M. Isaackson, 56, of Cottonwood.

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Police Blotter - April 17

Brainerd Dispatch Crime - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 11:33pm

Brainerd police

ASSAULT — A report at 3:17 p.m. Tuesday of complainant being pushed outside the Crow Wing County Judicial Center, 213 Laurel St.

THEFT — A report at 1:25 p.m. Tuesday of a theft of $30 in currency from a student’s locker at Brainerd High School (BHS), 702 S. Fifth St.

A report at 9:32 a.m. Tuesday of a theft from his gym locker at BHS.

A report at 8:31 a.m. Tuesday of a theft of her wallet in her locker at BHS.

A report at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday of a theft of glasses on the 200 block of North Seventh Street.

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Cass land use permit numbers up

Brainerd Dispatch News - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 8:43pm

BACKUS — John Ringle, environmental services director, reported permit applications this year reflect a normal level, being slower than expected for the rest of the year.

While land use permits for new construction and shoreland alteration permits were up compared with 2013, applications for variances and conditional uses were down.

There were 141 land use permits issued this year, up from 136 last year, but both years were lower than in 2012 when it was a milder winter and early spring. There were 159 land use permits issued the first quarter 2012.

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Cass HHVS annual report released

Brainerd Dispatch News - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 8:42pm

BACKUS — Cass County Health, Human and Veterans Services (HHVS) converted to electronic records in 2013, moved more employees closer to the public and cross-trained social services and public health employees so they can take applications for either service.

These are some of the highlights HHVS Director Reno Wells cited in presenting his 2013 annual report to the county board Tuesday.

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Region 5 director reports to Cass board

Brainerd Dispatch News - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 8:41pm

BACKUS — Cheryal Lee Hills, Region 5 Development Commission director, reported on some of the work the region has been doing.

She said the region paid off the balance of a 2006 loan in March this year. The region currently has six full-time staff. The five member counties pay a third of its operations, with the balance coming from grants and other sources.

Region 5 serves Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd and Wadena Counties and local governments in those counties with assistance in planning, securing grants and coordinating joint projects.

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Think summer: plans for Fourth of July include a few changes this year

Brainerd Dispatch News - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 8:40pm

While it may seem as though winter won’t end, summer is definitely on the horizon.

Plans for the Fourth of July celebration have a few changes in store this year because of construction at the athletic field off East River Road in Brainerd.

Traditionally the field has been a place where people gather to watch the fireworks, picnic and listen to music.

This year, construction from the football field to the bleachers and pond, is moving the location of some, but not all, of the Fourth of July events.

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Final jurors selected for Byron Smith murder trial

Brainerd Dispatch Crime - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 8:39pm

Jury selection was completed Wednesday in the Byron Smith murder trial. Smith was indicted on two counts of first-degree pre-meditated murder in the Nov. 22, 2012, shooting deaths of teens Nick Brady and Haile Kifer. Smith admitted to shooting Brady and Kifer when the pair allegedly attempted to burglarize his home Thanksgiving Day.

Seven men and seven women were selected to serve on the jury including two alternate jurors. The court did not disclose which jurors would serve on the regular jury or which would serve as alternates.

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Final jurors selected for Smith murder trial

Brainerd Dispatch News - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 8:39pm

Jury selection was completed Wednesday in the Byron Smith murder trial. Smith was indicted on two counts of first-degree pre-meditated murder in the Nov. 22, 2012, shooting deaths of teens Nick Brady and Haile Kifer. Smith admitted to shooting Brady and Kifer when the pair allegedly attempted to burglarize his home Thanksgiving Day.

Seven men and seven women were selected to serve on the jury including two alternate jurors. The court did not disclose which jurors would serve on the regular jury or which would serve as alternates.

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Brainerd Public Library meeting

Brainerd Dispatch News - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 4:57pm

Brainerd Public Library meeting

The Brainerd Public Library Board will meet at the Brainerd Public Library at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, and the Finance Committee will meet prior to the board meeting at 5:15 p.m.

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Road sweeping under way in Crow Wing County

Brainerd Dispatch News - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 4:56pm

Road sweeping under way in Crow Wing County

The Crow Wing County Highway Department has begun the process of sweeping county state aid, county roads and roads in First Assessment in Unorganized Territory.

Motorists should be aware of slow moving sweepers and the possibility of dusty conditions on various roads throughout the county during the next few weeks. Driving with your headlights on, reducing your speed near the sweepers and not driving distracted will help enhance everyone’s roadway safety, the county reported.

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Scams hitting Pierz area

Brainerd Dispatch Crime - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 2:35pm

PIERZ – The Pierz Police Department is cautioning residents about several scams.

One of the computer scams is where someone calls a victim, claiming that they have computer problems and that they can resolve the problem if the person wires money to the caller.

The second scam involves online phishing, in which a computer user will see a pop-up screen with a button to click on, where they then would be routed to chat with a suspect, who then would obtain the victim’s banking information needed to wire money payments to fix the computer issue.

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Scams hitting Pierz area

Brainerd Dispatch News - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 2:35pm

PIERZ – The Pierz Police Department is cautioning residents about several scams.

One of the computer scams is where someone calls a victim, claiming that they have computer problems and that they can resolve the problem if the person wires money to the caller.

The second scam involves online phishing, in which a computer user will see a pop-up screen with a button to click on, where they then would be routed to chat with a suspect, who then would obtain the victim’s banking information needed to wire money payments to fix the computer issue.

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Area students place in state speech tournament

Brainerd Dispatch News - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 2:16pm

Area students place in state speech tournament

Several area students have placed in the 2014 Minnesota State High School League Class A State Speech Tournament.

There were 96 Class A teams represented at the tournament, conducted at Blaine High School on Saturday. There were 187 Class A teams that competed in speech statewide this year.

Walker-Hackensack-Akeley (WHA) still tops the Class A list with 40 state champions between 1969 and 2014, which is good for a third-place tie on the list of Most State Champions-All Classes.

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BPSF seeks Hall of Fame nominations

Brainerd Dispatch News - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 2:13pm

BPSF seeks Hall of Fame nominations

The Brainerd Public Schools Foundation (BPSF) is seeking nominations for the Distinguished Achievement Hall of Fame.

Anyone can nominate a Brainerd graduate. The deadline is May 1.

For a nomination form, visit www.bpsf.org.

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North Korean embassy complains to UK after salon mocks leader's hair

Brainerd Dispatch News - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 2:01pm

LONDON (Reuters) - North Korea failed to see the joke when a London hair salon used a picture of its leader Kim Jong Un to try to attract more customers and has written to Britain's Foreign Office asking it to stop what it calls a "provocation".

A hair salon in west London put up a giant poster of the North Korean leader in its window after reading unconfirmed media reports that men in the reclusive Asian state had been ordered to have the same hairdo.

The promotional poster read: "Bad Hair Day? 15 percent off all gent cuts through the month of April."

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Oh Baby: Scientists find protein that lets egg and sperm hook up

Brainerd Dispatch News - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 1:51pm

WASHINGTON, April 16 (Reuters) - You can forget about the birds and the bees. If you really want to learn how babies are made, you need to know about Juno and Izumo.

Fertilization takes place when an egg cell and a sperm cell recognize one another and fuse to form an embryo. But how they recognize each other in order to hook up had remained a mystery.

Researchers said on Wednesday they have identified a protein on the egg cell's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of a sperm cell, allowing the two cells to join.

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Federal judge strikes down North Dakota 'heartbeat' abortion law

Brainerd Dispatch News - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 1:43pm

(Reuters) - A federal judge on Wednesday permanently blocked North Dakota from enforcing the country's most restrictive abortion law, a ban on ending a pregnancy once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks after conception.

North Dakota's only abortion clinic had challenged the law approved by the state legislature in 2013, and U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland last July had temporarily blocked it from taking effect.

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Report shows sharp increase in some Minnesota STD rates

Brainerd Dispatch News - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 12:31pm

A new report from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) shows significant increases in the rates of some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) from 2012 to 2013. While the state's overall STD rate increased 10 percent, the increases were much higher for syphilis (up 64 percent) and gonorrhea (up 26 percent).

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Spring snow spreading over Minnesota

Brainerd Dispatch News - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 12:06pm

AccuWeather Global Weather Center - AccuWeather.com reports a mid-April snowstorm will focus on the northern Plains and Upper Midwest through Thursday, spreading snow from the Dakotas to Ontario.

The biggest impacts from this system will be felt on Wednesday evening and into Thursday morning when snow will have the greatest chance of accumulating under the cover of darkness.

This could lead to slick, slushy roadways for the Wednesday evening and Thursday morning commutes along portions of I-94 and I-35, as well as around the Twin Cities.

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Dairy Queen worker accused of dealing cocaine at mall

Brainerd Dispatch Crime - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 11:40am

FARGO – A Dairy Queen employee at a Fargo shopping mall faces felony drug distribution charges after police allegedly found cocaine and drug-dealing paraphernalia in her purse following a report that she had been dealing drugs there.

Alyssa Kathleen Weisbeck, 21, of Fargo, was charged in Cass County District Court with one count of Class A felony possession of cocaine with intent to deliver, and one count each of possession of hydrocodone and possession of drug paraphernalia, both Class C felonies.

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