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Updated: 4 hours 38 min ago

Christmas tree project underway at Chippewa forest

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 8:56pm

Christmas tree project underway at Chippewa forest

CASS LAKE — Chippewa National Forest employees partners and community members have been building up momentum to secure a 65-foot tree to Washington, D.C., where it will grace the front lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

Supervisor Darla Lenz announced last December the forest will provide the 2014 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to highlight Minnesota’s vast natural and cultural resources.” noted Lenz.

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CLC media department moving to Brainerd, expanding

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 8:33pm

Community members and business professionals will soon be able to take individual media classes at Central Lakes College (CLC).

CLC is moving its photography, videography and graphic design programs from the Staples campus to the Brainerd one.

The move means the programs will now be able to expand to reach more than just enrolled students, such as photo hobbyists or business professionals looking to expand certain skills, said Mark Ambroz, CLC videography instructor.

The move also means students will get a taste of each aspect of the media major.

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MOCK CRASH - students see it all

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 8:33pm

The gruesome scene was set.

Two vehicles driven by teenagers crashed Wednesday on Don Adamson Field at Brainerd High School (BHS) and a male student was ejected from the vehicle. He laid motionless on the ground in blood.

Students in the vehicles screamed for help — one of the students was unconscious and another injured. They were trapped.

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Smith's monologue revealed in audio recordings

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 8:32pm

LITTLE FALLS — Audio recordings captured conversations Byron Smith had alone in his home following the Thanksgiving Day 2012 shootings of Nick Brady and Haile Kifer.

Several law enforcement agents testified Wednesday that two digital recorders were recovered from Smith’s home. One found in the workroom space of Smith’s basement was found with dead batteries.

The second recorder was discovered on the top shelf of a bookshelf in Smith’s basement living room with six hours, 24 minutes and 58 seconds of audio recording from the day of the shooting.

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Miss Minnesota performs at Minnesota House

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 8:32pm

Rebecca Yeh, Miss Minnesota 2013, on Tuesday performed at the Minnesota House of Representatives. Yeh, a Nisswa native and fourth runner-up for Miss America, was introduced by Rep. John Ward, DFL – Baxter, and performed “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America” on the violin.

“It was an absolute honor to recognize Rebecca and have her visit the Minnesota House of Representatives,” Ward said. “Rebecca is an incredible role model and a sign that with young people like her, our future is bright.”

Yeh said she was honored to be invited to the House by Ward.

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Crow Wing County to host land sale May 16

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 5:32pm

Crow Wing County will be holding a public land sale of tax-forfeited property at 10 a.m., May 16, in the Land Services Building located at 322 Laurel St. in Brainerd. Ninety-six tracts of land valued at more than $1.5 million will be offered for sale at public auction.

Properties are located throughout Crow Wing County from the Mille Lacs Lake area in Garrison to Ideal Township, with many lots in the Brainerd and Baxter area.

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Board tables talk on leasing government office space

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 5:32pm

Anticipated discussion on a leasing policy for vacant government office space was met with silence Tuesday as Crow Wing County Board Chairwoman Rosemary Franzen moved to table the issue until the first week of May.

In addition to tabling the tenant and lease agreement policy, the board tabled discussion on a potential lease with The Nature Conservancy until May as well.

In other business, the board:

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Colorado lawmakers move to tighten edible marijuana laws

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 5:26pm

DENVER, April 23 (Reuters) - Colorado lawmakers are moving to tighten laws governing the sale of marijuana-infused edibles, an issue that has gained attention following two deaths possibly linked to the ingestion of cannabis products, the measures' main sponsor said.

The state House of Representatives this week unanimously passed a bill limiting the amount of concentrated marijuana that can be sold, and another bill requiring more specific labeling of pot-laced products, such as candies and baked goods.

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Texas mom bites off pit bull’s ear to save 2-year-old daughter

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 5:16pm

A mother in Texas allowed her animal instincts to take over when a dog attacked her two-year-old daughter.

Chelsey was dog-sitting a friends pitbull. Her daughter came over to where she and the dog were sitting and the dog smelled the young girl, possibly picking up the scent of another dog, and that's when it attacked.

Chelsey had to fight the dog to get off her young daughter. Lacking physical strength she forced her hands and arms into the dogs mouth and bit off a part of the dogs ear.

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Testimony reveals Byron Smith had active cellphone jammer in his home

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 3:49pm

LITTLE FALLS — Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) investigators discovered a cellphone jammer in the days after the 2012 Thanksgiving Day shooting at the home of Byron Smith, according to court testimony Wednesday.

BCA agent William Bennett told the court that the device — which he referred to as a “cellphone interrupter,” was discovered on the kitchen counter of Smith’s rural Little Falls home.

Photos submitted as evidence showed the device, approximately the size of a cigarette box, was near a window hidden behind what appeared to be a bottle of cooking oil.

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Man sets self on fire during drug trip, steals car

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 3:42pm

DICKINSON, N.D. - A Mandan man is recovering from severe self-inflicted burns after a drug trip went awry Monday.

David Kissee, 33, lit himself on fire near a gas station about noon Monday, authorities say. He ran through the car wash, which put out the fire.

Kissee then stole a car parked next to the entrance of the car wash, and abandoned the vehicle blocks away. He then entered a Dickinson residence. The homeowner reported hearing someone enter his home and detecting a “strong odor of gasoline,” Dickinson Police Captain David Wilkie said.

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A simple prescription to patient health needs: food

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 2:46pm

Hungry children are hospitalized more often. They're at a higher risk for developmental problems and their moms are more likely to be depressed. Yet, hunger rarely comes up when those kids and their families see a doctor.

"We are blind to [hunger] as clinicians," said Dr. Diana Cutts, a pediatrician at Hennepin County Medical Center who has researched the ties between food and health for more than 15 years. At any given time at least a quarter of her patients don't have enough food, she said.

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Minnesota political parties use anti-bullying law to fire up voters

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 2:41pm

Minnesota's newly-enacted anti-bullying law is designed to help school kids, but both political parties think it could also help them this election year.

Gov. Mark Dayton signed the legislation a few weeks ago that requires schools to have a detailed bullying policy that outlines how they will respond to and track bullying complaints, as well requiring each school to have one employee who receives reports of bullying.

In part, the bill was prompted by concerns over gay children being bullied in school. One of the law's primary backers is OutFront Minnesota.

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Online gambling games called 'lottery gone wild' by lawmakers

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 2:29pm

Minnesota's online gambling initiative ran into stiff resistance at the Capitol on Tuesday, as lawmakers grilled state lottery officials about the Internet games.

The Minnesota Lottery started selling draw tickets in 2010. It added online scratch off games on Feb. 6, allowing gamblers to play the games right on their computer or smartphone.

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DNR to restrict debris burning in 11 northern counties

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 2:14pm

BEMIDJI - Dry and windy conditions have increased the fire danger for much of north-central and northwest Minnesota.

Starting Monday, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will restrict debris burning in 11 northern counties. As snow continues to melt, what is left behind is a lot of dead grass and brush that can light easily and spread quickly, fire officials said.

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IRRRB approves financing for biochemical project in northeast Minnesota

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 1:55pm

VIRGINIA - A Twin Cities biochemical company promising to turn trees from Minnesota forests into valuable chemicals will get $28.2 million in public financing after action Tuesday by the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board.

The IRRRB unanimously approved its share of the public loans and grants for Segetis Inc. to build a $105 million project in the Laskin Energy Center industrial park in Hoyt Lakes.

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Remains found in Duluth confirmed as missing woman's

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 1:52pm

DULUTH - The St. Louis County Medical Examiner’s Office has positively identified a body found last week as that of Dale Elizabeth Gerard, a Duluth woman missing since last summer.

Duluth police announced last week that a person had discovered the remains about 100 yards north of an intersection, along a fence and brush line.

The news came as a blow to her family.

“It was tough finding out the body belonged to my mom,” said Kim Gerard, one of Dale Gerard’s sons.

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Woman charged in Nobles County horse deaths appears in court

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 1:50pm

WORTHINGTON - A Worthington woman facing 11 felony counts of animal neglect resulting in death and nine misdemeanor charges of mistreatment of animals appeared Tuesday in Nobles County District Court.

Joan Mary Moore was summoned to court after Nobles County deputies investigated a report of remains of 15 horses on her property in Reading.

The criminal complaint alleges the deaths occurred between November and December, and that the horses were in various states of decay when discovered by deputies.

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Defense in Byron Smith trial requests mistrial for second day in a row

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 12:03pm

LITTLE FALLS — Judge Douglas Anderson denied Byron Smith’s defense attorney’s request for a mistrial for the second time Wednesday.

Defense counsel Adam Johnson addressed the court during a morning break following testimony from BCA forensic scientist Nathaniel Pearlson.

Pearlson testified regarding the initial processing of Smith’s home following the shooting.

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Sunshine means savings for home builder

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 8:40pm

BAXTER — Neal Lesmeister’s smile on Tuesday was as bright as the sunshine that hit the roof of his home on Earth Day. The sun’s powerful rays enhanced the view from the Mississippi River ridge where his home is located but also meant money in the bank for the Baxter home builder.

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