■ MnDOT reminds
public to use caution around railroad tracks
The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) reminds snowmobilers and motorists to always use caution and observe the law when near or crossing railroad tracks.
Preliminary 2012 data shows 12 fatalities involving pedestrians trespassing on railroad property and four fatalities at rail crossings. No fatalities on railroad property or crossings have been reported in 2013.
MnDOT urges the public to be aware of the following rail safety tips:
Snowmobilers and motorists should:
• Stop when crossing gates are down or lights are flashing.
• Wait for the crossing gates to rise and lights to stop flashing, look both ways, listen and proceed with caution.
• Get out of the vehicle/off the snowmobile immediately if it stalls while crossing the tracks, and call 911 or the emergency notification number located on the railroad signal equipment.
• Be aware that trains may operate any time throughout the day and night in either direction.
• Cross only at designated, public crossing areas.
• Know that riding on railroad property is illegal and unsafe. Railroads generally own the land that extends about 50 feet on each side of the center of the track.
• Always keep the vehicle behind the white lines when stopping at or near railroad tracks.
■ Only one plan
submitted for Whittier; deadline is Friday
Only one request for proposal (RFP) had been submitted to the Brainerd School District for a repurposing of the closed Whittier Elementary School as of Thursday morning.
Steve Lund, director of business for the school district, said the proposal from Northern Pines Mental Health Center to establish a center for health and wellness was the lone proposal.
Deadline for submission of RFPs is 4:30 p.m. Friday. Lund said members of the Whittier Task Force and the Brainerd School Board would score all proposals on such criteria as whether they are appropriate and conducive to the neighborhood, financially sustainable, a time table that ensures the property will not remain vacant and jeopardize the integrity of its current condition.
■ Mille Lacs Kathio State Park to host archaeology/snowshoeing activity
Archaeologists David Mather and Jim Cummings will share the latest research information on their excavations at the Petaga Point archaeological site during an activity Saturday at Mille Lacs Kathio State Park.
Participants are invited to view artifacts and see high-tech survey results, including ground-penetrating radar and botanical studies from ancient soils. Following this indoor update, those in attendance will go on a short snowshoe hike to locations where archaeologists found remains of a village from the 1600s and a campsite from over 3,000 years ago.
Snowshoes and a “how-to-snowshoe” lesson are provided. This special program will begin at the park’s interpretive center at 1 p.m.
Registration is recommended to reserve a pair of snowshoes. To register, call the Kathio Interpretive Center at 320-532-3269 and leave your name, phone number and number of people attending.
The activity is free of charge. A vehicle permit is required to enter Minnesota State Parks. Permits may be purchased at the park office. Cost of a daily permit is $5. An annual permit, which allows entry to all Minnesota State Parks for a year, is $25.
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park is located 8 miles north of Onamia and 14 miles south of Garrison, on U.S. Highway 169.
■ Airport commission meeting scheduled for Thursday
The Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport Commission will meet at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in the Airport Conference Room, at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport.
Any individual needing special accommodations may call 218-825-2166.