Panel to examine Minnesota technology-citizen interaction

ST. Its membership isn’t complete, but Daudt expects six Republicans and four Democrats to be selected.”This committee may not change the world, but if it can make a small difference, I’ll call it a success,” Daudt said.Campbell reports for Session Daily, a nonpartisan Minnesota House Public Information Office online publication. Rep. Its job will be to seek input from the public, find ways technology can improve citizen interaction with government, and look for outside answers to inside problems.Daudt said he chose Baker, a small-business owner, because of his background in the hospitality industry and will bring a customer service approach.”We don’t want to just come up with some optics here,” Baker said. Instead of looking at spending, Daudt said the committee will recommend to other committees ideas to save the state money and make government more effective for Minnesotans.Prospective focuses, according to House Republicans, include legacy systems, technology and low-income residents, land use and small agencies.”We have so many computer systems and so many ways that customers, our customers, our citizens, interact with state government,” Daudt said. PAUL—A new Minnesota House committee is tasked with what House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said is a “long range” vision for improving how an ever-increasing technologically centric citizenry interacts with its government. “I think we have so many opportunities to improve that; to shorten the amount of time it takes in those interactions, to make that a more customer service-oriented process, and to use technology to make it not only more efficient but also more effective.””I think the formats and the platforms could be simplified,” Baker said.The committee will have what Daudt calls a “higher level overview” and send reports to other committees that can work through the weeds. “We want to actually do some things that work.”The lawmakers didn’t highlight specific agencies or programs, saying they want to leave efficiency suggestions to the committee’s discernment. Dave Baker, R-Willmar, has been chosen to head the 10-member Select Committee on Technology and Responsive Government.

MN Republican legislators take aim at reshaping state’s Public Utilities Commission

“We can come up with all the tax policies and incentives we want, but none of that is going to do any good if the regulatory environment is detrimental.”The bill is opposed by clean energy groups and dozens of church leaders who say the legislation takes the PUC and the public, who can attend their meetings, out of such a big decision.”We don’t have a choice as consumers about where we get our electricity or gas, the one place we get to stand up as consumers in this state is the Public Utilities Commission,” said Matt Gladue, an organizer with Isaiah of Minnesota, a faith-based coalition of Minnesota congregations.”The PUC has a bipartisan group of people appointed to it. Under that system, which still operates today, Minnesota awards exclusive service areas to certain utility companies, and in return, those companies must provide non-discriminatory service to everyone in that area, with the cost regulated by a public entity like the Legislature or the courts.Over the years, PUC responsibilities grew.For instance, in 2005 the Minnesota Legislature also directed the PUC to help with the site location, routing and permitting for large wind energy systems, high voltage transmission lines and certain pipelines. That would add some automatic rural representation to the commission, he said. Republicans say the commission has a Twin Cities-heavy representation and bogs down critical state projects with bureaucratic red tape.”This is just the tip of the iceberg,” said GOP Rep. A bill introduced in the House would require to PUC to produce semiannual reports on their progress on permitting specific projects.Another bill would allow county boards to assume responsibilities for processing large solar powered energy facility permits if the board provides written notice to the PUC. The plant would replace two coal-fired units near Becker that are scheduled to close by 2026.In early January, the PUC agreed that the plant was needed but asked the Xcel to draft a certificate of need for the new facility. “The five members of the PUC live an average of 17 miles from the Capitol.”But the bill that’s stirred up the most controversy this session would allow Xcel energy to build a new $1 billion natural gas plant in Sherburne County without approval from the PUC. Rural Minnesotans “are tired of not being represented on commissions and governing bodies,” Fabian said. “I think that we have to recognized, quite frankly, that they are responsible to the ultimate authority, that is their customer,” said Sen. PAUL—Minnesota Republicans are taking early aim this legislative session at a little-discussed state commission that has a big say on energy issues. Mark Dayton, and there’s a Republican and an independent commissioner. In the early part of last century, state officials figured a few large providers could deliver energy cheaper by eliminating redundant infrastructure and offering the lowest cost per unit. “There’s no market so the checks on that market are so important. Three of the current members are Democrats, like Gov. But church leaders and clean energy groups, among others, oppose the bills, saying they set a dangerous precedent by weakening the only check on the state’s monopoly energy system.”They all look like small changes but they all add up to a big change in utility regulations,” said Annie Levenson-Falk, executive director of the Citizens Utility Board, a newly formed organization that advocates for energy consumers in Minnesota. Currently, the PUC doesn’t have jurisdiction over setting rates for municipal energy providers or rural electric cooperatives, but can be involved in disputes involving either.A bill passed by the Senate Energy and Utilities Finance and Policy Committee would allow rural cooperatives and municipal providers to bypass the PUC when customers have a dispute or concerns about their rates. When the Legislature is in the hands of one party or another, it leaves people to the whims of one party or another.” Other proposals would put checks on the PUC’s permitting process, including for large pipelines. The state Senate has the power to confirm or deny those appointments. The PUC is that check.”Minnesota’s electric utilities have been regulated as far back as the early 1900s, but not always by the PUC. Jim Newberger, who authored one the proposals to go around the PUC. The proposals run the gamut, from changing the commission’s abilities to oversee and review new natural gas and pipeline projects to where its members come from in the state.The proposals come at a time of uncertainty over the nation’s future energy policies under President Donald Trump, and they would mean big changes to the 42-year-old commission, which impacts the pocketbooks of Minnesota businesses and homeowners by setting energy rates. Specifically, the commission asked Xcel to describe how energy would be generated and to note what kind of economic impacts the facility would have on the region.Newberger, R-Becker, said hundreds of jobs in the region are in jeopardy with the closure of the coal plants and the natural gas facility is needed to keep people working.”We have a very chaotic regulatory environment in Minnesota,” he said. ST. Bill Weber, R-Luverne, the author of the bill.Clean energy groups and some rural cooperative customers protested, saying the cooperatives can now charge people utilizing solar energy fees as high as $83 per month, the highest in the nation.The PUC, which doesn’t testify in legislative committees, had no comment on the proposals introduced this session.Bierschbach reports for, a Twin Cities-based online news source. The PUC also is responsible for setting industry-wide standards and best practices, and it can step in to resolve disputes between a customer and their provider.The commission is made up of five members, all appointed by the governor to staggered, six-year terms. Republicans, who control the House and Senate, have introduced a half-dozen bills that would change the power and makeup of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, a five-member group appointed by the governor that has the power to regulate the state’s big electricity, gas and telecommunication companies. Each is paid $140,000 per year.Fabian has introduced a bill that would require the governor to appoint one member to the PUC from each of the state’s eight congressional districts.

Classes canceled at northern MN school after bomb threat

Superintendent Rochelle Johnson said students at the school district’s combined high school and middle school building were evacuated two miles away to the district’s Area Learning Center after she heard of the threat at about 10 a.m. 2, after school district staff heard of a bomb threat there. She said this is the second time a district building has been threatened in that manner during her tenure.The Minnesota Department of Education’s website puts the district’s total enrollment at about 1,200 students, with about 560 in the middle and high school grades.Australia-US ties hit new low after reported acrimonious Trump call BEMIDJI—Students at Cass Lake-Bena schools went home early Thursday, Feb. Thursday.After investigating hockey players, Thief River Falls suspends entire programStudents in all grades were released at 11:30 a.m. School continued as normal at the district’s elementary building, Johnson said, except for the early release.”We don’t know when we’re going to get the all clear, so then we’re just going to do an early release,” Johnson said shortly before students started filing onto buses to head home.McFeely: What happened to Burgum, the tech-loving candidate?Police beefed up their presence at the high school and are currently investigating the threat.Johnson said the evacuation is the district’s standard operating procedure when it receives a bomb threat.

Wilderness supporters rally against Nolan for pro-copper stance

But this is the wrong place to do this kind of mining.”The Forest Service mining and exploration ban impacts about 235,000 acres in the Superior National Forest and would prohibit further work on the proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine along the Kawishiwi River southeast of Ely.The mine would be adjacent to the wilderness, and water near the mine flows into the BWCAW. Mark Dayton and U.S. Rep. Samantha Erkkila / Forum News ServiceDULUTH — Supporters of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness protested in front of U.S. Department of Agriculture.The earlier decision can be undone with a simple agency order.Nolan was not in the Duluth office, but Jeff Anderson, Nolan’s district director in Duluth, met with protesters Thursday and read a letter from Nolan noting that the congressman was one of the original authors of the legislation creating the current BWCAW in 1978.“I am forever committed to protecting the BWCAW,’’ Nolan wrote in the letter. 2, 2017, in front of the Technology Village in downtown Duluth, which houses U.S. Rep. 2, against the congressman’s support for copper mining near the federal wilderness. Rep. “I’m not anti-mining. Rick Nolan’s Duluth office Thursday, Feb. Supporters of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness protest Thursday, Feb. Both Gov. About 100 people packed the entryway outside the Technology Village downtown to voice their opposition to Nolan’s pro-copper position.Nolan in recent weeks has urged the new Trump administration to overturn an 11th hour move by the Obama administration to ban minerals exploration in areas adjacent to the BWCAW.Jason Zabokrtsky, owner of Ely Outfitting Co., said Nolan’s stand on the issue “is just plain wrong for Minnesota.” He said the livelihoods of thousands of Northeastern Minnesota residents who depend on tourism-related jobs is threatened by copper mining pollution if Nolan’s stand prevails.“This is the most toxic industry in America and they want to put it on the edge of the most visited wilderness area in America,’’ Zabokrtsky said. Betty McCollum say they support the Forest Service decision to keep mining away from the BWCAW. Nolan’s letter went to acting Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Dan Jiron of the U.S. Copper mining critics say any risk of acid-mine drainage into the BWCAW watershed is too much.The Forest Service decision also includes an ecological study and a two-year and potentially 20-year timeout on mining in the area.While the Forest Service said the BWCAW watershed may be too sensitive to withstand any potential pollution from a copper mine, Nolan says exploration should continue and that the Twin Metals proposals should get a chance to go through formal environmental review.Earlier this week Nolan sent a letter to federal officials in the Trump administration asking that they overturn the earlier prohibition. But “I support responsible mining.”Nolan said the Forest Service decision was premature because no formal proposal has been submitted and no formal environmental review has been conducted on Twin Metals or any other plan within the area impacted by the agency decision.Nolan, DFL-Crosby, who represents Northeastern Minnesota’s mining region, is at odds with some others in his own party on the issue. Rick Nolan’s Duluth office, against the congressman’s support for copper mining near the federal wilderness.

Jury finds 8 Dakota Access Pipeline protesters guilty, judge levies ‘unconscionable’ fines

It was the first day protesters were arrested while opposing the pipeline.In finding the protesters guilty, the seven-person jury sided with Erickson, who contends they went beyond their First Amendment rights to protest and created hazards, obstructions and other harassment with no legitimate purpose.”While I don’t doubt the sincerity of people,” Erickson said of the protester’s beliefs about the dangers of the pipeline. “We can’t have this. MANDAN, N.D. “What kind of country do you want this to be?”Four law enforcement officers testified against the protesters Monday, with evidence ranging from an officer who remembered chasing a protester through private property and an officer who recalled seeing a protester get arrested on the gravel access road. It affects other people’s rights.”Iron Eyes among protesters arrested in DAPL protest confrontationThe defense attorneys argued their clients had a purpose—exercising their free speech—and that their actions did not cause the problems law enforcement alleged.”Basically, what we have is somebody standing on a pile of rocks, in a public ditch with no one driving on it,” Thomason said of his client Jordan Walker, accused of sitting on the gravel access road built by the pipeline company.”In the U.S.A., should a person be able to walk over and peacefully stand on rocks on public property?” Thomason asked. Jay Gruebele, but was rather pushed from the agitated crowd behind him.”I did not come to be arrested,” Decker said counter to what Erickson has contended. Those with criminal histories also got 10-day suspended sentences. Defense attorney William Thomason called the fine “extremely unwarranted” and “unconscionable.”Feland insisted she was not treating the cases as special due to the ongoing protest.”This court looks at every case individually,” Feland said during the sentencing.The eight defendants, represented by six different lawyers, were tried at the same time, but the jury was to consider their charges separately. 11 protests, including sitting on a gravel access road built by the company, pushing into law enforcement and standing in the road. He said he plans to step up the fines he asks for in later, more violent cases.”There will be a reckoning for what our officers went through,” Erickson said.But the defense attorneys were aghast at the fines, which they said were very rare in B misdemeanor cases, and the imposition of $300 fees on people with public defenders.Defense attorney Alex Reichert told the judge that a $1,000 fine was more than he’d seen imposed for this type of crime in his 20-year legal career. — A Morton County jury found eight pipeline protesters guilty Wednesday, Feb. man facing 22 felonies for string of rural burglariesOn Tuesday, some of the defendants testified for themselves, proposing alternate versions of their stories and the reasons for their actions.Kevin Decker, for example, said he never pushed Morton County Sheriff’s Department Capt. They were accused of varied acts during Aug. “I came to stand up for the water.”After trial, one of the defendants, Malia Hulleman, said she believed there was bias among the jury, simply by virtue of them living in Morton County, where nearly everyone has been affected in some way.McFeely: What happened to Burgum, the tech-loving candidate?”I would have been surprised had we been found not guilty,” Hulleman said.Erickson said he is planning to continue to prosecute the cases, though he acknowledged some cases would be dismissed due at least to lack of evidence collected, as happened for one defendant on Monday. 1, of disorderly conduct in the second Dakota Access-related case to go to trial. While videos had been hotly debated in advance of the trial, the lawyers used only a few aerial shots from different points in the day.Minn. Those without got deferred sentences, meaning their record will wipe clean if they stay out of trouble for the year.The fines came after a request from Ladd Erickson, a special prosecutor for Morton County, who contends the protesters wanted to inflict harm on the state, people and police. The defendants, who ranged in age 23 to 57 years old and hailed from Hawaii to North Dakota, were all among the first arrested in the months-long protests that began along North Dakota Highway 1806 in mid-August.None of them will serve jail time, but South Central District Judge Cynthia Feland handed out fines and fees ranging from $1,250 to $1,685 — fines higher than one defense attorney said he’d seen in his 20-year career for a Class B misdemeanor. He does not see it as an option for Morton County to drop the 600-plus cases, in part because the protest is ongoing.”We’re in the middle of this,” he said.

Long Prairie man receives more than a dozen years for manslaughter

During a hearing Wednesday, Feb. 1, Judge Douglas Anderson handed out the sentence, which is below the maximum penalty of 15 years, in Todd County District Court.Williams received credit for the three years and 164 days he’s spent behind bars while his case was prosecuted.On Dec. Cloud Correctional Facility. — A Long Prairie man who was convicted of first degree manslaughter for fatally striking his ex-wife with a shoe hammer was sentenced to 12½ years in prison. The jury found him not guilty of second-degree murder.The incident began on Aug. Craig Lamont Williams, 49, will serve the time at the St. He must also supply a DNA sample. His attorney, Malcolm Whynott, described the events leading up to the shooting as a “brewing storm” between the couple.The prosecution maintained that this was a case of “brutal, intentional murder” by Williams to end a dysfunctional relationship. Craig WilliamsLONG PRAIRIE, Minn. 22, 2013 when Williams called 911 requesting an ambulance for a “gunshot wound” at a home about six miles south of Long Prairie. 6, 2016, a Todd County jury found Williams guilty of committing manslaughter — intentionally causing the death of Nancy Elaine Williams in the heat of passion. An autopsy showed that she died from multiple blows from a shoe hammer, not from gunshots.During a five-day trial in Todd County District Court, Williams claimed he was acting in self defense and that his ex-wife attacked him with a cobbler’s anvil, a knife and a fork during an argument about him having sex with Nancy’s daughter. During the call, Williams said he had shot Nancy Williams at their home.When deputies arrived, they found Nancy, 58, dead. Prosecutor Noah Cashman argued that Williams did not have marks or injuries on him and there were no signs of struggle in the house.In addition to the prison sentence, Williams was ordered to pay $140 in fines and fees.

Dayton evaluating cancer options after Mayo Clinic trip

The governor visited the Rochester, Minn., clinic Tuesday and Wednesday to get information about the cancer diagnosis he received last month.”Gov. “He expects to make that decision in several days, and it will be disclosed at that time.”Dayton revealed last week that he has cancer. That announcement came the day after he fainted while delivering his annual State of the State address.The 70-year-old governor has a history of health issues, including surgery for hip and back problems, dehydration, depression and alcoholism. Mark DaytonST. Mark Dayton’s prostate cancer was caught early and is localized, treatable and curable,” Mayo spokesman Keith Oestreich said. 2, and he can continue his state chief executive duties. Mark Dayton’s prostate cancer can be cured, a Mayo Clinic official said on Thursday, Feb. The governor should be able to carry on his duties serving the citizens of Minnesota without significant interruption.”Dayton’s staff said there are no signs the cancer has spread beyond his prostate.”Gov. Dayton is now evaluating two recommended treatment options, which are surgery or radiation,” Deputy Chief of Staff Linden Zakula said. PAUL—Minnesota Gov. “His Mayo Clinic physicians have discussed several treatment options with the governor and he is in the process of making his decision.

MN House panel moves to rein in commissioner severance pay

Current law caps severance pay at an amount equal to six months of the employee’s salary.The Anderson bill would set maximum severance compensation at the same six-months-of-salary figure, or an amount equal to 35 percent of the unused sick time an employee has banked, whichever is less.Sparking the bill was Dayton’s approval of three month’s severance pay for three former members of his cabinet. Sheila Wright got $18,064 after leaving as director of Higher Education Services Office after eight months on the job in 2011. PAUL—Payouts to departing state workers who make top salaries could be trimmed under a provision put forward by a critic of Democratic Gov. There is no Senate companion to her bill.At issue are payouts to highly compensated state employees who leave their posts. Sarah Anderson, R-Plymouth, legislation would add provisions to current law that could lower the maximum amount of severance pay. The House Government Operations and Elections Policy Committee approved the bill Wednesday, Feb. Mark Phillips received $27,097 after stepping down in October 2012 as head of the Department of Employment and Economic Development after 20 months of service; and Katie Clark Sieben, who replaced Phillips, got $33,750 after she left the same DEED post in April 2016.The severance payments came to light in a Sept. ST. 20, 2016, report by American Public Media that noted eight other departing commissioners had not received similar payouts.Republican reaction to the report was swift and strong.In a statement at that time, House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said Dayton had “disrespected taxpayers and used their money to inappropriately reward his top officials who are already making six-figure salaries.” Commissioner pay has been a bone of contention between Dayton and legislators in recent years. As defined by statute, a “highly compensated employee” is a state worker earning annual compensation greater than 60 percent of the governor’s $127,629 salary. In 2015, the Legislature resolved a spat over the governor’s plan to raise commissioner salaries by passing a law that left him with one day to institute the pay hikes that he sought but many legislators opposed.Steller reports for   Session Daily, a nonpartisan Minnesota House Public Information Office online publication. 1, and sent it to the House State Government Finance Committee, which Anderson chairs. Anderson said her bill “tightens the language” of current law, which does not expressly authorize severance payments. Mark Dayton’s past actions regarding severance packages. Sponsored by Rep. Sixty percent is $76,577.The “highly compensated” category includes non-union state workers such as engineers, administrators of higher-level state programs, and people in information technology and health-care positions, Anderson said.

Supersized snack stadium hosts game munchies

(Opening the box first will leave a hole that will make it tougher to make the stands uniform). Then cut a diagonal line from that line to the top of the box to create the stands. I also printed colored logos of each team and laid the paper on top of the salsa.Super Bowl Snack StadiumWhat you need:6 fridge packs (whatever pop you like)1 package striped or colored straws2 (12- by 8-inch) foil cake pansTapeLogos of each teamGuacamoleSour creamSalsaCarrotsCeleryTortilla chipsPopcornPretzelsFun-sized or mini chocolate candyOther preferred snacksDirections:With soda still inside, cut the fridge pack boxes in half. Set the boxes on end and tape together.Place one foil cake pan in the center of the stadium. Cut the other pan in half to create each end zone. Super Bowl snacks Dave Wallis / The ForumFARGO — No matter who wins the Super Bowl on Sunday, one thing is certain: many Americans will go back to work on Monday with a post-game food hangover. I also made flags to decorate the top of the stadium. (If you have time you could get the logo laminated so it doesn’t soak up the water from the salsa or you could cover it carefully in Cling Wrap).Fill the stands with snacks of your choice.I chose to line the stands with straws and make goal posts out of yellow straws. (You can use the pop cans as “pillars” on the outside of your stadium.)Measure three inches up from the bottom of each box end and draw a horizontal line upwards. Put guacamole in the center tin and use sour cream to create yard lines.Put salsa in each endzone and top with photocopy of each team’s logo. You will need four halves for each side of the stadium and two halves at each end zone (for a total of 12 halves). After cutting the box, remove the cans and set aside. Use the fun-sized or mini candy bars to hold the goal posts and flags upright.You can adorn your stadium however you like for very little money. That’s a lot of chicken wings, guacamole, pizza and beer.If you’ve been on Pinterest lately, you’ll see that football fans are starting to find new ways to display the obnoxious amounts of food they’ll serve at this year’s party.Snack stadiums have been around for awhile, but like many teams in the NFL (including the NFC champion Atlanta Falcons), serious snackers are opting for new and elaborate stadiums.Unlike NFL teams, however, state-of-the-art snack stadiums don’t need to be expensive at all.You can find many examples on Pinterest, but the one I based this snack stadium on comes from the site Upstate Ramblings.I love that it uses pop can fridge packs for stands because most likely you’d buy pop for your party anyway. Everything in this photo, snacks and drinks included, cost less than $50.Let your imagination run wild and enjoy the Super Bowl!Stadium designed and modified slightly from Upstate Ramblings According to the National Retail Federation, last year Americans spent roughly $15 billion on Super Bowl celebrating. So why not use the containers they come in?Other than that, the only other items (besides the food) that you’ll need to buy are two 12- by 8-inch foil cake pans, striped straws and some tape.As for the food, choose what you like, but I would recommend guacamole with sour cream stripes for your “football field.” Because both teams this year have some red in their uniforms, I’d suggest salsa for the endzones.

Minn. man facing 22 felonies for string of rural burglaries

Jordan Anthony BredeWILLMAR — Overnight, $9,000 worth of tools went missing from a rural Kandiyohi farm shed.It was Oct. This resident along the 1500 block of 105th Street Southeast had a suspect in mind.”One of the Brede boys,” he told the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office, naming his neighbors a mile away, according to court documents.Three months later, Kandiyohi County authorities charged Jordan Anthony Brede, 23, of Willmar, with 22 felonies, two gross misdemeanors, and three misdemeanors for the burglary and theft of over $27,000 worth of tools and equipment from rural farm sheds and garages, as well as shoplifted items from the Willmar Runnings store.Brede made his first appearance on the charges Monday in Kandiyohi County District Court.Criminal complaints filed with the charges allege Brede took to the properties at night, using the same truck.The second burglary was reported Oct. ties to new low after tense Trump call He did not specify which, other than denying stealing guns or archery equipment.He allegedly said he loaned his vehicle to other people he knew were going to commit burglaries.He also reportedly told the detective he would stop stealing, but did not have any of the stolen items, claiming they were at a “stash house” filled with stolen property in St. The seller? 10 search warrant of Brede’s vehicle found a chainsaw inside. The buyer of the auger contacted the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office after the sale, suspecting it had been stolen property.On Dec. Nine more burglaries would be reported in the area over the next two months, most within a five-mile radius. A single set of footprints led to and from the garage door.That same morning, another homeowner on the same block noticed his shed door open. Thinking it had blown open from the wind, he didn’t think much of it.Then he heard his neighbors had been burglarized.When he checked the shed Dec. Cloud and sold on local “sell-and-swap” Facebook pages. Cloud pawn shop.Using serial numbers to verify, the detective determined that many of the pawned items had been reported as stolen, including various tools and a compound bow.Dilworth woman accused of scamming hundreds of thousands of dollars from people around the worldAgain on Jan. Cloud.After investigating hockey players, Thief River Falls suspends entire programOn Dec. All were within five miles of each other, near the 1400 block of 15th Avenue Southeast in rural Atwater.As one family slept the night of Dec. Four properties were hit within a few days in December. 15, and showed him 10 theft and burglary criminal files he had been investigating.According to the criminal complaints on the charges, Brede allegedly said he had been involved in some of the files, but not others. 20. 13, a Kandiyohi man on the 100 block of Second Street North noticed $2,600 worth of tools missing from his unlocked garage, along with a set of tire tracks in the alleyway near his home that he did not recognize.So a detective met with Brede again on Dec. He said someone else had given him the tools.The burglaries did not stop. 8, hunting equipment, bows and a firearm, worth in total over $4,000, were stolen from a garage attached to their home on the 15600 block of 15th Avenue Southeast in Atwater.The homeowner discovered the burglary the next day as he let the dog out. 30 at the 9800 block of 37th Avenue Southeast in Kandiyohi. The bulk of the charges came much later, filed Jan. One detective believed the pictures looked like Brede.He took a list of the stolen items from the Kandiyohi burglary to a Willmar pawn shop, where he determined that Brede had sold two of them.So after a Dec. 5 probation meeting for an unrelated crime, the detective met with Brede, who denied stealing from either farm. There, over $2,000 worth of tools were reported stolen overnight from an unlocked shed, left visibly ransacked the next day with its door wide open.Trail camera footage confirmed that an individual had burglarized the shed. The door to his fish house was left swinging in the wind, and a $400 ice auger and $300 fish finder were gone from inside it.That ice auger showed up a few days later on a local “sell and swap” Facebook page. 30.Brede is now behind bars at the Kandiyohi County Jail on $75,000 bail.His next court appearance is set for March 20.’Dumb deal’ drags Australia-U.S. The serial number for the chainsaw determined its owner was a New London man who had no idea that it had been stolen, according to the criminal complaint.The shoplifting charges were filed Jan. 10, he found $400 of tools had been stolen, with drawers of his toolbox left open.Another man on the 1700 block of 172nd Street decided to check his property after hearing of the burglaries. The stolen goods were pawned in Willmar and St. Along with the generator were many tools, which police later linked to a yet-to-be reported burglary at a residence on the 17600 block of 105th Avenue Northeast in Atwater.There, a burglar had gained access to two sheds by backing a truck up to each door and ramming it with the ball hitch and bumper.Jury finds 8 Dakota Access Pipeline protesters guilty, judge levies ‘unconscionable’ finesDamage on Brede’s truck appeared consistent with the damage to the sheds, according to the criminal complaint, and the treads of his tires allegedly matched with the tire tracks on the scene.A Jan. Brede, court documents say. 5 after he allegedly shoplifted a generator and chainsaw, valued at nearly $2,000 from the Willmar Runnings store, put them in his pickup truck, and drove away.Police located the suspect vehicle at a Willmar residence, with the stolen generator still in the bed of the pickup truck. 6, and he made his first appearance on those charges that day. 2, the detective discovered that a Willmar pawn shop had bought a chainsaw from Brede that was determined to have been stolen.Brede was arrested Jan. 21, another home was hit, this time on the 4300 block of 78th Avenue Southeast in rural Willmar.Gone were $3,135 worth of tools, plus golf clubs, chainsaws, a leaf blower and leaf trimmer.Then, a break in the case: A Kandiyohi County detective discovered that Brede had allegedly pawned 21 separate items at a St.

Rising prices set to bite U.S. bacon lovers

prices for the greasy salty meat are set to jump in the coming months due to dwindling supplies.Wholesale prices for U.S. This is a real crisis America! pork bellies that are sliced into bacon on Wednesday, Feb. But strong demand for bacon to serve on sandwiches, next to eggs and in other dishes has propelled wholesale bacon prices and reduced stocks in cold storage.Bacon eaters will likely see the higher prices in about three months, said David Maloni, president of research firm American Restaurant Association.Part of the current shortage stems from big promotions on bacon by restaurants and grocery stores last summer, when pork belly prices fell to 80 cents a pound, the lowest in more than a year, Maloni said.In a November call with analysts, restaurant chain Wendy’s touted sales of Baconator sandwiches featuring six strips of Applewood smoked bacon as helping business. Forum News Service file photoCHICAGO – Bacon lovers beware: U.S. Recommended for youWalleyedan looks to future in lakes areaCatch and release only for Mille Lacs walleye this summer, DNR announcesInside the Outdoors: Could 2016 be the Year of the Bear? In January, prices climbed 56 cents – the largest monthly spike in at least four years, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. Current PollPrevious PollsMany other pork cuts, from ribs to loins, are falling in price as the number of hogs in the United States rise to the largest level since World War II. The company also said it had offered Baconator fries at “an attractive price point” of $, which sells dozens of varieties of bacon and bacon-themed products online, will assess whether to raise its prices over the next 90 days, Chief Executive Rocco Loosbrock said.”Of course as pork bellies increase in cost, our margins shrink,” he said.Pork belly inventories in cold storage in December were 17.8 million pounds, the smallest for that time of year since the USDA began tracking the data in 1957.Inventories typically expand in the fourth quarter as consumers favor other cuts, such as ham. 1, touched $1.73 per pound, the highest since August 2015. Bacon eaters will likely see the higher prices in about three months, said David Maloni, president of research firm American Restaurant Association. Recommended for youWalleyedan looks to future in lakes areaCatch and release only for Mille Lacs walleye this summer, DNR announcesInside the Outdoors: Could 2016 be the Year of the Bear? Food companies also store belly supplies for the summer to use on bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches.The Ohio Pork Council, which represents hog producers, on Wednesday said “there is not a shortage of bacon.” The council sparked media reports on the issue and concern among consumers after registering the website last week.The council registered the website as part of an apparent promotion. We’re having a #BaconShortage!” Kathi Yeager (@KathiYeager), a radio personality in Oklahoma City, tweeted on Wednesday. The council did not respond to requests for comment beyond its statement.But its statement did not stop bacon lovers from commenting.”Forget the political unrest.

Crosslake WinterFest medallion clue #1

Should you find the medallion, bring it to Lake Country Crafts and Cones, located at 36084 County Road 66, to redeem your prize package valued at more than $1,500 courtesy of Chamber member merchants.For more information on WinterFest, go to Businesses in Crosslake donate Treasure Hunt wares, and ignite the spark for the fireworks flares. Clue #1: For 14 years we’ve been doing this gig, find the medallion and dance the WinterFest jig!

Card games: Feb. 2, 2017

John Holloway won the door prize.Bridge scoresMonday, Jan. Anyone interested in joining the bridge game at the Crosslake Community Center can call the center at 218-692-4271. 25Maucieri’s, 11 a.m.No scores.Thursday, Jan. TuesdaysTuesday, Jan. 500Pine River American Legion1 p.m. 24Whitefish Golf Course, 12:30 p.m.DuplicateJim Thompson and Scott Krupke, 32; Ginny Hersey and Carolyn Thompson, 29.5 Dick and Doreen Jordan, 23.5.Wednesday, Jan. 26Whitefish Golf Course, 12:30 p.m.DuplicateJim Thompson and Lane Weber, 47.5; Bruce Peck and Joe Heal, 45.5; Sandy and Bob Crozier, 44.5; Ruthann Gottwaldt and Barb Bretz, 43.5.Friday, Jan. 24Carol Furnstahl, 3050; Bill Ellis, 2540; Ted Ebnet, 2420; Les Dupont, 2250. 27Crosslake Community Center, 1 p.m.Jim Thompson, 6470; Pam Graves, 6130; Guy Emmons, 5130; .Anyone interested in joining any of the bridge games can contact Jim Thompson at 218-543-4688. 23Jenkins VFW, 11 a.m.Bruce Peck, 5880; Mary Lu Dietz, 5380; Butch Lodin, 5190.Tuesday, Jan.

Calendar of events: Feb. 2 – 11, 2017

FEBRUARY2 Cultural Thursday presentation, “Nicaragua: The Biggest Little Country in the World,” noon in Chalberg Theatre, 7 p.m. in lecture hall E354, Central Lakes College, Brainerd

2 Fabulous Armadillos present “Yacht Rock: Blue-Eyed Soul,” 7:30 p.m., Tornstrom Auditorium, Brainerd, Central Lakes College Performing Arts Center presentation11 Back to Basics, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Pine River-Backus School11 Author Lisa Sellman, 10:30 a.m., Pequot Lakes Library11 Benefit for Shelley Bartella, 4-9 p.m., Nisswa American Legion

Patriots’ JV team 14-1 overall

24. The Patriots bounced back with a 55-38 win at Staples-Motley on Tuesday, Jan. Pequot Lakes trailed early before rallying midway through the first half with a strong defensive effort to take control of the remainder of the game. 27. Tyler Manley netted 14 points to lead the scoring with Chase Larson adding nine. The Patriots led start to finish with 12 players scoring – led by Chase Larson with 12, Manley and Kade Kitzman both with 11. The Pequot Lakes junior varsity boys’ basketball team improved to 14-1 overall after winning two of three recent games.The Patriots undefeated season came to an end with a 51-43 loss to visiting Detroit Lakes on Tuesday, Jan. The Lakers grabbed a 14-point lead early in the first half before Pequot Lakes rallied and eventually took a four-point lead with five minutes left, but were unable to convert on some free throws and offensive opportunities down the stretch that allowed the Lakers to pull out the victory. 17. Owen Seidl had his best offensive game of the year scoring 16 which included four 3-point baskets, and Manley chipped in 10 points.Pequot Lakes also beat Park Rapids 71-36 on Friday, Jan.

Give Kids a Smile Day is Friday at CLC

Friday, Feb. 3, on the Staples campus of CLC as well.To schedule an appointment at either location, call 218-855-8106. 3, on the Brainerd campus of Central Lakes College as part of Give Kids a Smile Day. Dominic Gagnon from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Children ages 4-16 can get a free dental check-up with Dr. Friday, Feb. Children ages 3-18 can get a free dental check-up from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Area legislators discuss healthcare, taxes with business owners

Lueck encouraged constituents to contact the governor and his administration directly if they feel inclined, as Dayton is a good listener and pays attention to citizens. “I have not seen that (level of) cooperation in a long time.”Shifting the discussion to taxes, Poston and Gazelka said their main areas of focus for relief are agriculture property taxes and business property taxes, though they may not be on the same page as Dayton.”Those are two that are really important to me,” Gazelka said. Dale Lueck discussed issues such as healthcare and taxes with local business owners at the Brainerd Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce's Eggs and Issues panel Friday, Jan. John Poston, Sen. That’s where most of the laws come from.” Gazelka said he believes there will be a bonding bill near the end of this legislative session.Audience members got to ask legislators their own questions, which dealt with local government aid, gas taxes, schools and pass-through income.To close, Kilian asked the legislators to let the business owners in attendance know what they can do and what the chamber can do to help government officials.The consensus among the legislators was that communication is key. Carrie Ruud, Rep. He is working with Central Lakes College, Region Five Development Commission and the National Joint Powers Alliance to possibly open a culinary school in Staples that would greatly increase the number of available employees for the restaurant industry.Both Heintzeman and Lueck, in their second terms, mentioned the importance of tax reform, with the former focused on business property taxes and the latter concentrating on the state general tax.Veteran senators Ruud and Gazelka expressed their optimism for this session, especially relating to business owners, as Gov. “The governor does not have any of that relief in his bill, and so that’s where the tension will be.”Ruud added that reduced taxes are the biggest economic driver there is and would allow more businesses to come to the area.Perhaps the biggest issue for many Minnesotans right now is healthcare. John Poston, R-Lake Shore.Chamber President Matt Kilian led the discussion and began by asking legislators about their priorities during this session, primarily relating to the business community.Poston, a first-term representative who has been in the restaurant and catering industry for many years, said his focus is training new workers for that business. The local representatives, though, also want to hear from the public.”We need to hear from you,” Poston said. Dale Lueck, R-Aitkin; and Rep. That’s what we’re here for.”Gazelka added that being proactive is the best thing citizens can do if they feel strongly about any issues.”If you find a problem, tell us the problem; and if you have solutions, tell us the solution,” he said. Josh Heintzeman, R-Nisswa; Rep. 27, over breakfast at the chamber’s annual Eggs and Issues panel at Madden’s on Gull Lake. “(Dayton) has committed to me that we will get that done together by March.”Focus then shifted to bonding, as Aaron Hautala, president of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew, spoke about the importance of the Cuyuna Trail expansion, for which funding was in last session’s failed bonding bill.Legislators agreed the trail is important to the community because it brings in not only tourists, but also businesses. “That’s how it works. “Please give us a call, send us an email, come visit us when you’re down in St. Kilian asked legislators what the state’s future looks like in that regard.Heintzeman said the Legislature is simply working to get the best proposals signed into law and noted there was an amendment in the recently passed tax bill that allows for-profit insurance companies to come into Minnesota and offer packages for businesses and families that fit everyone individually.Other parts of that bill, Gazelka said, were continuation of care for patients with serious conditions, early disclosure of premiums and group plans for agricultural co-ops.”The thing that we didn’t get done that the governor wanted to wait on is reinsurance,” Gazelka said. 27, at Madden's Resort.Area legislators gathered with Brainerd Lakes Chamber members to discuss issues such as business property taxes, employee wages and benefits, and health insurance Friday, Jan. Josh Heintzeman and Rep. Paul Gazelka, Rep. Mark Dayton has already signed a tax bill and a health care reform act.”Never before have we had major bills come through in January,” Ruud said. You guys have great ideas. Paul and let us know how we can help you. Carrie Ruud, R-Breezy Point; Rep. Legislators present were Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Cass County (Fairview Township); Sen. Zach Kayser/Brainerd Dispatch
From left, state Sen.

Crosslake WinterFest on tap this weekend

The second of three daily clues will be released at local merchants and online at p.m.: Cabin Fever Carnival at Crosslake Community School, 36974 County Road 66, featuring kids games, bake walk, food and fun. 29 a.m.: Find the lost medallion. Army Corps of Engineers Campground, 35507 County Road 66, featuring bonfire, s’mores, coloring contest, water safety T-shirt color-ons and Bobber the Water Safety Dog.1 p.m.: Italian Outdoor Olympics at Maucieri’s Italian Bistro, 34650 County Road 3.1 p.m.: Bar bingo for ages 18+ at Manhattan’s, 39051 County Road 66.1-4 p.m.: Radar runs on the bay at Moonlite Bay Family Restaurant & Bar, 37627 County Road 66.1:30 p.m.: Bar bingo at Crosslake-Fifty Lakes American Legion, 35112 County Road 3.2 p.m.: Free meat raffle at The Bourbon Room, 38136 County Road 66, featuring one free ticket.3 p.m.: Frozen T-shirt contest at The Bourbon Room, 38136 County Road 66.4 p.m.: Wine & Beer Tasting with appetizers ($10 per person) at Maucieri’s Italian Bistro, 34650 County Road 3.4-6 p.m.: Salsa, snacks & cider sampling at Passages of Time.4-8 p.m.: Live music featuring Drunk ‘N’ Stupid at Manhattan’s, 39051 County Road 66.6 p.m.-close: Live music featuring MoeDell at The Bourbon Room, 38136 County Road 66.8-midnight: DJ music at The Wharf, 12986 County Road 16.10 p.m.: Music featuring DJs JP and Chad at Moonlite Bay Family Restaurant & Bar. Meet Bobber the Water Safety Dog.6:30 p.m.: Meat raffle at the Crosslake-Fifty Lakes American Legion, 35112 County Road 3.7-9 p.m.: Celebrate WinterFest at the Crosslake Community Center at 14126 Daggett Pine Road, featuring pond skating, snow mountain, bonfire and s’mores, horse-drawn sleigh rides, Crosslake fire trucks on display, scavenger hunt, warming house, hot apple cider and music with DJ JP. 39 a.m.: Find the lost medallion. The first of three daily clues will be released at local merchants and online at, Feb. Following is a complete schedule of events:Thursday, Feb. 4, at establishments across town. WinterFest gear, including sweatshirts, beer koozies and wristbands, will be on sale.9 p.m.: Fireworks display.9 p.m.-close: Live music featuring MoeDell at The Bourbon Room, 38136 County Road 66.10 p.m.: Music featuring DJs JP and Chad at Moonlite Bay Family Restaurant & Bar, 37627 County Road 66.Saturday, Feb. Tasting begins at participating businesses across town.Noon: Ice car racing on Big Pine Lake at The Cedar Chest, 33350 County Road 3.Noon: Bocce ball tournament at Riverside Saloon & Eatery.Noon-3 p.m.: Tasting event at Barstock Liquors, 35579 Pioneer Drive.Noon-3 p.m.: Family fun at U.S. 48-11:30 a.m.: Crosslake firefighters pancake breakfast at Crosslake Lutheran Church, 35960 County Road 66.8-11 a.m.: StoneHouse coffee tasting at Lake Country Crafts & Cones.9 a.m.: Find the lost medallion. 2-4. The final of three daily clues will be released at local merchants and online at a.m.-2 p.m.: Bingo for a Cause (CASA Herbalife Foundation for Kids) at The Crossfire, 36184 County Road 66.11 a.m.: Tiki bar and beach bonfire at Manhattan Beach Lodge, 39051 County Road 66.11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Kids games at Moonlite Bay Family Restaurant & Bar, 37627 County Road 66.11 a.m.-dusk: Helicopter rides (weather permitting) at Moonlite Bay Family Restaurant & Bar, 37627 County Road 66.Noon: 14th annual SoupFest. The 14th annual SoupFest will begin at noon Saturday, Feb. Crosslake WinterFest events are scheduled Thursday-Saturday, Feb.

Ice Fishing Extravaganza: Northern pike takes top spot

The Brainerd Jaycees have donated nearly $3.5 million to over 50 charities since the first extravaganza in 1991.The 2018 event is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza on Gull Lake.4 / 7Travis Grimler/Echo Journal
Les Laidlaw, of Mankato, who won the 27th annual Ice Fishing Extravaganza, recounts to the Power Loon's Brian Moon how he hooked the winning fish of the day, and how it hooked him back. Laidlaw said this year was his sixth time fishing the extravaganza but the first time he caught a fish at the event. The Brainerd Jaycees invest nearly 25,000 volunteer hours in the year-long planning of the contest.Amongst the 350 volunteers was this year’s chairperson, Brandon Freihammer. Unhooking the fish, Laidlaw took a treble hook to the hand.5 / 7Travis Grimler/Echo Journal
Thick ice made for a solid platform at the 27th annual Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza on Gull Lake's Hole-in-the-Day Bay in Nisswa, seen here from above.6 / 7Travis Grimler/Echo Journal
The 27th annual Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza was popular in spite of biting winds and slick ice on Gull Lake's Hole-in-the-Day Bay in Nisswa.7 / 7Over 11,000 anglers gathered at Hole-in-the-Day Bay on Gull Lake in Nisswa for the 27th annual Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza on Saturday, Jan. 27.For complete results from this year’s contest, visit 28, at Hole-in-the-Day Bay of Gull Lake.3 / 7Theresa Bourke/Echo Journal
Mike Vold (left), Xavier Nadeau (9) and Robert Hirschman, all of Bird Island, see if they can score any fish that will win them prizes Saturday, Jan. the first angler entered the weigh-in tent, the release said, noting 826 fish were weighed in this year.The extravaganza is entirely volunteer organized and run, and 100 percent of the proceeds are donated to charities. The news release said tullibee was the name of the game on the leaderboard throughout the day, taking 137 of the 150 spots.The contest runs from noon to 3 p.m., and at 12:03 p.m. He said in the news release: “The enormous impact of this event on our community and the charitable organizations we donate back to is the reason we are all here. Unhooking the fish, Laidlaw took a treble hook to the hand.1 / 7Theresa Bourke/Echo Journal
Ava Lizakowski (7), of Ramsey, helps her uncle, Tod Suhsen, of Eagan, find the perfect lure to catch fish Saturday, Jan. The commitment and dedication of the volunteers is impressive, and I am humbled to be at the helm of such a large event.”The largest beneficiary is Confidence Learning Center, a lakes area outdoor education facility for individuals with cognitive and developmental disabilities. Travis Grimler/Echo Journal
Les Laidlaw, of Mankato, who won the 27th annual Ice Fishing Extravaganza, recounts to the Power Loon's Brian Moon how he hooked the winning fish of the day, and how it hooked him back. 28, where Mankato’s Les Laidlaw took the top prize of a Ford truck with his 5.54-pound northern pike. 28, at the Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza.2 / 7Theresa Bourke/Echo Journal
Chris, Drew (3) and Jack (11) French, who have a cabin in Nisswa, test their luck on the ice at the Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza on Saturday, Jan. Though he accidentally hooked his hand in the process, Laidlaw’s minnow and Jammin’ Jig did the trick.Brian Dubois, of Afton, Michigan, came in second with a 5.44-pound northern pike, and Owatonna’s Florence Anderson took third with a walleye weighing in at 3.96 pounds.Preliminary estimates indicate that over 11,000 people were in attendance at this year’s event, according to a news release, which noted that as always, contestants came from as far away as Western Europe and from across the country, including Hawaii, New York, California and Texas.All fish species and sizes are eligible to win, and prizes are awarded to the top 150 weights of fish, as well as other random prizes totalling nearly $40,000.

Lightning skate past Eveleth-Gilbert – NL wins for 10th time in 11 games

Dan Determan/Echo Journal
Alyssa Koslowski skates past a Storm defender in the Lightning's 6-1 victory over Morris-Benson on Tuesday, Jan. 3.Eveleth-Gilbert 1 1 – 2Northern Lakes 2 1 – 3First period: EG- Katie Scherf (Avrielle Schneider) 0:03Second period: EG-Kallie Olson (Bekah Davidson) 15:53 NL-Alyssa Koslowski (Caitlyn Gutzman) 9:33, NL-Mandi Soderholm (Sam Gutzman, Chelsea Skluzacek) 4:49Third period: NL-Soderholm (S. Gutzman, Skluzacek) 9:16; NL-Koslowski (Skluzacek, Savannah Abear) ppg 6:14, NL-Mandi Soderholm (Sydney Tietz, S. 31, and then travel to Wadena-Deer Creek on Friday, Feb. Northern Lakes rallied from a 2-0 deficit late in the second period to win for the 10th time in the past 11 games.Alyssa Koslowski added a goal for Northern Lakes, Sam Gutzman recorded two assists and Lightning goaltender Chaia Tulenchik had 22 saves.The Lightning, 16-6 overall, were scheduled to play River Lakes (Cold Spring Area) on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at Hallett Community Center in Crosby. Gutman) 5:40Shots on goal: NL 52, MB 12Goalies: NL-Chia Tulenchik (11 saves); MB-Abbey Hoffman (44 saves) Gutzman, Sydney Tietz) 16:49Goalies: NL- Chaia Tulenchik (22 saves)Lightning 6, Morris-Benson 1On Tuesday, Jan. Gutzman, Elli Saxerud) 14:42; MB-Rachel Berens (Megan Kirkeide) ppg 5:49Third period: NL-LeMieur (S. 24.Mandi Soderholm scored two goals for the Northern Lakes Lightning girls’ hockey team as they rallied for a 3-2 non-conference win over the Eveleth-Gilbert Golden Bears on Thursday, Jan. 24, Koslowsky scored twice as Northern Lakes defeated the Storm in a non-conference game.Alexa Holm, Caitlyn Gutzman, Ari LeMieur and Mandi Soderholm also scored for Northern Lakes.Tulenchik stopped 11 of 12 shots while the Lightning had 52 shots on the Morris-Benson goal.Morris-Benson 1 0—1Northern Lakes 2 1 3—6First period: NL-Alexa Holm (Ari LeMieur, Chelsea Skluzacek) 10:33; NL-Caitlyn Gutzman (Sam Gutzman, Michala Stangle) 5:27Second period: NL-Alyssa Koslowski (C.