Tigers improve to 8-0 in conference

on Thursday, Feb. FG 31-77 (40 percent), FT 8-14 (57 percent). 2.Laporte 13 20—33Pine River-Backus 49 25—74LAPORTEKeairah Urrutia 7, Kalei Kerby 9, Camryn Smith 3, Natalie Hadrava 13, Alyssa Moss 1. PR-B, 13-4 overall, extended its winning streak to nine games.The Tigers were scheduled to play Walker-Hackensack-Akeley on Tuesday, Jan. FG 29-62 (47 percent), FT 8-14 (57 percent). 1 / 22 / 2Bailey Wynn’s 14 points helped the Pine River-Backus Tigers girls’ basketball team defeat the Laporte Wildcats 74-33 and improve to 8-0 in the Northwoods Conference on Thursday, Jan. FG 12-40 (30 percent), FT 9-18 (50 percent). 3-point 0-10.PINE RIVER-BACKUSBailey Wynn 14, Sidney Lodge 6, Gabby Rainwater 9, Olivia Adkins 2, Vivian Bueckers 3, Shelby Adkins 13, Alyssa Semmler 6, Andrea Semmler 1, Anna Felthous 4, Rylie Hirschey 8, Emma Barchus 4, Emma Mills 4. 3-point 3-10 (30 percent). Shelby Adkins added 13 points for the Tigers, who had 12 players score. 26. 31, and then host Blackduck at 6 p.m. 3-point 4-14 (29 percent).Tigers 69, Blackduck 40Alyssa Semmler led the Tigers with 16 points while Wynn finished with a double double of 15 points and 10 rebounds as the Tigers easily defeated the Blackduck Drakes in Northwoods Conference action on Tuesday, Jan. 3-point 5-15 (33 percent).PINE RIVER-BACKUSBailey Wynn 15, Gabby Rainwater 15, Vivian Bueckers 2, Shelby Adkins 11, Alyssa Semmler 16, Andrea Semmler 4, Rylie Hirschey 6. FG 14-43 (33 percent), FT 7-14 (50 percent). 24.Gabby Rainwater 15 tallied points and Shelby Adkins 11 for the Tigers.Blackduck 20 20—40Pine River-Backus 29 40—69BLACKDUCKAlexa Sparby 2, Deja Palmer 2, Johanna Swedberg 2, Jada Landis 9, Zoey Mills 10, Selena Murray 3, Michaela Sparby 12.

Ms. Simplicity: 10 things to get rid of right now

I hope not. Or, I connect with them via Facebook or LinkedIn depending on the type of connection they are. Instead, I hand the person my phone and ask them to enter in their information right there. Stop now and do it.• Calling all out of date software. If you live in one of those areas that bans them, I applaud you! So go grab a box for donations and get ready to run around your house grabbing these 10 items.• Gather all your pens and pencils and get rid of the ones that don’t work or you don’t use. Stop reading and go now.Give yourself a gold star and give yourself a pat on the back, and I will give you a virtual high five.Organizing can be overwhelming without a plan. Frankly I think they are grateful that I am honest.• How about those promotional items that you never use? I don’t know why they distribute these anymore, but I am here to tell you that people still have a sense of obligation to keep them. In all fairness, he started dating me in high school because I was a girl who owned an Atari.) But if you are not so inclined, gather yours and find a place to recycle or donate them. Please do not fill up our landfill.• Plastic shopping bags. We knew he would never use it, so I found a friend who takes salads to work and she was thrilled with it.• Whenever I see metal hangers from the dry cleaner I have a “Mommie Dearest” moment; they aren’t good for your clothes, and they’re bad for the landfill. When I am offered pens from banks or insurance agents I say thank you and then hand the pen back mentioning my oddity. They need to leave my house.Did you grab your box and gather these 10 items? If you have stack of business cards, either enter them in your phone or toss them. If not, get those bags to a place to recycle and ask yourself why you have any of those bags. If the book buyback program didn’t buy those textbooks in 1995 when you tried to sell them back, they’re now worthless. I have drawers full of my kids’ old gaming software, and I don’t even have a slot in my computer to put them in if I wanted to be all sentimental. My husband won this cool salad container with a separate dressing compartment at work. Simply hand them back to your dry cleaner when you pick up your clothes.• Old electronics are hard for “some people” to part with. Or find another use for them.• Business cards are something I no longer take. Search your community to see if that service is offered. So for today, just start and get going with these 10 items.I hope removing these 10 items will lead to 10 more!Ms. I am here to help you get a few things out of your home and just simply feel pretty dang good. I think that 90 percent of people who look under their kitchen sink right now will have a lifetime supply of plastic shopping bags. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger is a professional organizer based out of Fargo and author of “Organizing in Simplicity: Kitchens.” Email her at melissa@mssimplicity.com. I am a weird pen girl, I like one brand and one brand only. A big hint is to keep your green shopping bags in your car and a small one in your purse so you are never without one.• I have been out of college for a long time and should not have any old textbooks or outdated reference materials. Get them to the recycling center or make a craft out of them.• When you put your holiday decorations away, did you pack your broken tree lights? (Yes “some people” is in reference to my husband. All I know is if you have any and they are covered in dust, walk them to your recycling bin right now. Did you know organizations exist that will repair broken lights? Why not? Or Google a DIY site on how to repair your own.• Gather your phone books. Melissa Schmalenberger, Ms Simplicity columnistSometime we just need a win towards our organizing resolutions.

Crosslake WinterFest medallion clues

CLUE #1For 14 years we’ve been doing this gig,find the medallion and dance the WinterFest jig!Businesses in Crosslake donate Treasure Hunt wares,

and ignite the spark for the fireworks flares.CLUE #2You’ll be searching & searching till the cows come home,only by foot you need to roam.The fun doesn’t stop when the treasure is found,with events and activities all around town.If you find the medallion, bring it to Lake Country Crafts and Cones, located at 36084 County Road 66, to redeem a prize package valued at more than $1,500 courtesy of Crosslake Chamber member merchants.For more information on WinterFest, go to www.crosslake.com.

Dahlberg 2nd as Warriors triumph

Cloud Apollo on Thursday, Jan. 26. She finished behind teammate Millie Klefsaas, who swept all four events and was all-around champion.Brainerd, 4-2 in the CLC and 5-2 overall, is scheduled to host Willmar at 6 p.m. Dahlberg, a Pequot Lakes junior, scored an 8.7 on bars. Hannah Dahlberg finished second on the uneven parallel bars to help the Brainerd Warriors score a season-high 143.3 points in a Central Lakes Conference victory over St. 2.Brainerd 143.3, Apollo 69.8Vault: 1-Millie Klefsaas 9.225, 2-Jaelyn Kappes 9.0Uneven parallel bars: 1-Klefsaas 9.5, 2-Hannah Dahlberg 8.7Balance beam: 1-Klefsaas 9.6, 2-King 9.25Floor exercise: 1-Klefsaas 9.45, 2-Smith 9.2All-around: 1-Klefsaas 37.775 on Thursday, Feb. The Eagles finished with just 69.8 points.

Registration opens for Miss Nisswa contestants

23, at the Nisswa Community Center.For registration forms, contact the Nisswa Youth Organization on Facebook or by email at missnisswascholarshippageant@gmail.com. Registration opened Wednesday, Feb. To be eligible, girls must be a junior or senior in high school or homeschool equivalent and must have attended Nisswa Elementary School in any grade or live within a 10-mile radius of the Nisswa Chamber of Commerce.The pageant is limited to 15 girls, but a waiting list will be started and all who sign up should attend the informational meeting from 4:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, for contestants for the 45th annual Miss Nisswa Scholarship Pageant, and will remain open until Friday, Feb. 17.

Dance Team: Revolution takes first in high kick

Monticello (6)2. Becker (11.5)Varsity jazz:1. Becker (14)5. Pequot Lakes (10) However, the team’s presentation and confidence in the routine were very good,” said Holland.The junior varsity dancers finished with a third place in jazz.”Saturday was junior varsity’s last competition of the season and they went out with their strongest performances of the year. Pequot Lakes Revolution dance teams came away with two first-place finishes at the Monticello Dance Team Invitational on Saturday, Jan. Timing in both the kick and jazz routines was very good, as was their energy and confidence. We are incredibly proud of all the junior varsity teams have accomplished this season,” said junior varsity coach Madison Watson.This week, the varsity teams are preparing for section competition.”We will take the time to clean up some areas of our routines and mentally prepare ourselves for the tough day of competition on Saturday, Feb. Pequot Lakes (6)2. Albany (7)3. Albany (7)3. Melrose (8)JV kick:1. Cloud Apollo (10)4. Both varsity and junior varsity won in high kick against a field of 12 other schools.”Varsity kick had a very strong day,” said head coach Melissa Holland. “They improved their total score once again and received high scores in the areas of execution and choreography.”Pequot Lakes took fifth place in the varsity jazz competition.”We hoped to score higher in varsity jazz, but we were up against some strong teams and we didn’t perform exceptionally well in the areas of execution and technique. Bemidji (9)3. Monticello (3)2. Albany (9)3. 4, at Rocori High School,” Holland said.Varsity kick:1. 28, at Monticello High School. Pequot Lakes (17)JV jazz:1. Pequot Lakes (3)2. St.
Pequot Lakes Revolution varsity dancers perform to "The City That Never Sleeps" at the Monticello Dance Team Invitational.
Submitted Photo

Mount Ski Gull team competes

22 Northland Junior Race Series at Spirit Mountain in Duluth. 5, at Lutsen Mountain in Lutsen.Mount Ski Gull results:Girls7-under: (1) Piper Grillo 61.318-9: (9) Gabriella Bratney 1:38.52; (10) Rhea Hoagland 1:40.50; (13), Sunnie Ruttger (DQ run 1) 59.5510-11: (2) Calia Chaney 1:02.41; (6) Bridget Collins 1:08.15; (8) Lindsey Neifert 1:10.48; (9) Millie Taylor 1:10.82; (10) Addie Ryan 1:11.14; (16) Aubrey Wiczek, 46.76 (run 1)12-13: (3) Carsyn Krassas 1:00.26; (6) Maddie Pederson 1:02.55; (7) Annika Wiczek 1:04.39; (12) Amanda Trusty 1:08.02; (13) Morgan Krieger 1:12.45; (14) Hannah Taylor 1:15.3714-15: (1) Anna Krieger 59.03; (2) Emma Hiebert 59.81; (4) Cassidy Chaney 1:07.73; (5) Rachel Trusty 1:19.6616-up: (6) Taylor Krassas 1:11.91Boys7-under: (8) Mullen Bratney 80.29; (9) Zeke Johnson 80.358-9: (4) Tucker O’Brien 1:09.33; (8) Ethan Hiebert 1:15.1610-11: (5) Eli Johnson 1:07.46; (6) Peter Breitbach 1:09.46; (9) Jameson Dale 1:11.48; (15) Brayden Tollefson 1:40.1312-13: (1) Brandon Neifert 55.63; (2) Parker Linn 1:01.20; (3) Emmett Johnson 1:02.54; (5) Max Krieger 1:04.13; (10) Sam Pikula 1:11.97; (11) Esten Hiebert 1:12.58; (12) Jack Anderson 1:18.31; (13) Gavin Hoelzel 1:19.23; (16) Evan Hutchison (DQ run 1), 29.19 (run 2)14-15: (4) Trevor Hutchison 1:01.10; (5) Ethan Johnson 1:03.47; (6) Briston Domino 1:12.76 Piper Grillo won the girls 6-7 age division. Eight members of the Mount Ski Gull Race team landed in the top three of their divisions during the Jan. Calia Chaney finished second in the girls 10-11 group while Carsyn Krassas was third in the girls 12-13 division.Brandon Neifert won the boys 12-13 division followed by Parker Linn in second and Emmett Johnson in third.Anna Krieger won the girls 14-15 group with teammate Emma Hiebert in second.The next Northland Junior Race Series event will be Sunday, Feb.

Family, children’s minister to be installed at Nisswa church

5. The church has called Kari Erikson to this position. She brings more than 30 years of experience as an educator, teacher, curriculum coordinator, coach and counselor. Lutheran Church of the Cross in Nisswa will install its new, full-time children’s and family minister at both services (8:15 and 10:30 a.m.) Sunday, Feb. A lifetime Lutheran, she has years of Christian education experience.This Sunday is called “Half-Rally Day” as it means a new start for the church’s school year.

Chef’s Hat: Bring nontraditional snacks to Super Bowl party

Mix well. Super Bowl Sunday is right around the corner. Place into small serving bowls.Serve the sausages warm along with the bowls of dipping sauce. Top with top of bun and serve.Cajun Pigs in a BlanketAdapted from delish.com1 can refrigerated crescent dough12 ounces Andouille sausage cut into 1-inch pieces (use an Italian sausage if you can’t find Andouille)1 egg, slightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water½ cup mayonnaise4 teaspoons Dijon mustard1 teaspoon hot sauce½ teaspoon Cajun spice1 tablespoons chopped parsley1 green onion finely mincedNon-stick cooking sprayPreheat the oven to 375 degrees. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.Place the crushed corn flakes on a large plate. To save time, buy shrimp that is already peeled and deveined.If you want the recipe with more kick, add more hot sauce. Do not overcook the shrimp or it will become rubbery.To make the sauce: Whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, hot sauce and green onions.If desired, buns can be toasted in a 350-degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes.To prepare the sandwiches: Spread sauce on bottom of buns. Set aside. Place a sausage piece on the wide end of the dough triangle and roll up until the sausage is fully wrapped. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the parsley over the top. Make a grownup version of this dish by using sausage instead of plain hot dogs. Add the cut up chicken and turn to make sure all pieces are coated. Happy Eating.Shrimp Poor BoyAdapted from delish.com1/2 cup milk, whole or 2 percent2 eggs½ cup flour½ cup cornmeal1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning1 teaspoon thyme½ teaspoon salt¼ teaspoon white pepper1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removedCanola oil, for fryingSmall hamburger buns (or slider buns)Lettuce and tomato slices, if desiredSauce:1 cup mayonnaise1 tablespoon Dijon mustard1 tablespoon lemon juice1 tablespoon hot sauce2 green onions, thinly slicedIn a large bowl, whisk together milk and eggs. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Top with shrimp. In a separate large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, Cajun seasoning and thyme. Lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper.Spray a large cooking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Lightly brush the egg wash over the rolled up sausages. Press to make sure pieces are coated. Let the chicken sit a few minutes to make sure the marinade drains off. If desired, place lettuce leaves and tomato slices on top of the shrimp. If desired, serve with your favorite bottled blue cheese dressing. The ends of the sausage will be poking out the dough.Place on the prepared pan. Set aside.Unroll the crescent dough. Mix well. Place onto the cookie sheet. Dredge the chicken pieces in the corn flakes. With a little bit of shopping and prep time, you can bring a variety of new dishes to your get-together.Shrimp Poor Boy sandwiches are a great alternative to hamburgers. Fry shrimp until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Spray a cookie sheet lightly with nonstick cooking spray. The top snacks for the day include:• Over 1 billion chicken wings consumed.• Approximately 278 million avocados eaten.• Over 48 million pizzas ordered, keeping pizza restaurants hopping.• Over 11.2 million pounds of potato chips munched.• 3.8 million pounds of popcorn popped and eaten.• 14 billion hamburgers served.Add a little pizzazz to your Super Bowl party by forgetting those typical appetizers. That number breaks down to about $80 per person!What types of foods are consumed? Dredge shrimp in the milk mixture, then toss in flour mixture and keep tossing until shrimp is evenly coated.In a large skillet over medium heat, heat about 1 inch of oil until the oil is shimmering. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator. These do take a bit of preparation as they need to be marinated at least 30 minutes before cooking. Let marinate at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.Remove from refrigerator and strain into a colander. Lightly drizzle olive oil over the chicken pieces.Place into oven and cook 15 to 20 minutes, just until the chicken pieces are golden brown. There is some prep time, but the recipe comes together quickly. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. For some people it is about the game, but for a lot of people it is more about socializing with friends and eating elaborate snacks. Cut each segment into three smaller triangles. Place in oven and bake until golden brown, approximately 10 minutes.While the sausage is cooking, in a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, hot sauce, Cajun seasoning, parsley and green onion. If your guests do not care for the dipping sauce, serve with yellow mustard.Baked Popcorn Chicken2 pounds skinless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch nuggets (you can also use chicken thighs, if you prefer)2 cups buttermilk1 teaspoon jarred garlic1 teaspoon oregano½ teaspoon thyme¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper2 cups finely crushed corn flakesSaltPepperFresh parsley, chopped2-4 tablespoons olive oilNonstick cooking sprayBlue cheese dressing, optional, for servingIn a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, garlic, oregano, thyme and cayenne pepper. Remember to plan accordingly.Get ready for some football by forgetting about those old standby snacks and trying new recipes. This dish is served with a Cajun dipping sauce that can be made as hot as your guests desire.If you’re looking for a twist on traditional chicken wings, try popcorn chicken bites. Just keep in mind, some of your guests might not care for the sandwich if it has too much of a bite.Pigs in a Blanket seems like an ordinary dish. It may or may not surprise most people, but Super Bowl Sunday is the second biggest food day (or holiday, depending on your point of view) of the year – right behind Thanksgiving, of course.The numbers vary depending on whom you ask, but most sources agree that over $15 billion is spent on food on Super Bowl Sunday.

Warriors triumph at Lutsen Mountain

Brainerd and Duluth Marshall were tied with 166 points after their top four skiers, and the tiebreaker was decided by the Warriors’ fifth skier, Anna Krieger, who placed 32nd to give Brainerd the win at the Cook County Invitational on Thursday, Jan. on Thursday, Feb. “It’s not a lot at stake at this point in the season, but in the sections, when it’s the difference between going to state and going home, it could be huge.”Brainerd is scheduled to compete at the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton Invitational at Spirit Mountain at 10 a.m. 26, at Lutsen Mountain. 2.Girls team scores: 1-Brainerd 166, 2-Duluth Marshall 166, 3-Hermantown 163, 4-Cook County 158, 5-Hibbing 146, 6-Duluth East 134, 7-Virginia Area 62, 8-Cloquet-Esko-Carlton 57, 9-Duluth Denfeld inc.Individual winner: Alex Stone (Brd) 53.17Other Brainerd results: 10-Grace McGuire 1:00.72, 12-Payge Fitterer 1:01.35, 23-Emma Hiebert 1:05.85, 32-Anna Krieger 1:08.90, 33-Madison Kalenberg 1;09.52, 34-Lindsey Proctor 1:09.57, 37-Whitney Fink 1:15.17, 38-Hannah Taylor 1:15.35, 42-Allison Krantz 1:18.56 The Warriors’ Alex Stone, a Pequot Lakes senior, won for the fourth time in five races while teammate Grace McGuire, a Pequot Lakes junior, finished 10th.”We always try to make our kids understand how important to finish two clean runs is because you never know when that fifth skier will come into play,” Warriors coach Jim Ruttger said in a Brainerd Dispatch story.

Chocolate added to coffee offerings in Nisswa

Here, she makes caramel. Kate Stumvoll recently began selling her Wildflower Chocolates at Adirondack Coffee in Nisswa, where she also crafts them. Travis Grimler/Echo Journal
“We live on a gravel pit. Not only are they made locally, but Stumvoll makes them with as many local ingredients as she can. She plans to make only about 100 boxes, some of which are already spoken for. Those boxes should be available approximately Feb. “Having chocolate and making sure my product kept on hot summer days was difficult.”Stumvoll found that Adirondack was not only willing to sell her products, but also to be host to her in its commercial kitchen, a requirement if she is to sell in places other than farmers markets. Recently, however, she moved her operation from the local farmers markets to the commercial kitchen of Adirondack Coffee.”I’ve been able to grow a little bit, but it was limiting to determine how much inventory to bring (to farmers markets) and also as far as the weather,” Stumvoll said. Kate Stumvoll, of Nisswa, has been selling her homemade, locally sourced chocolates for approximately a year. Given that her plan is to start selling online, the commercial kitchen was a necessity, more than a convenience.”I’m not going to any more farmers markets as a vendor,” Stumvoll said. 6 at Adirondack. She is a certified sign language interpreter by education, but when she decided she wanted to connect with more of the community, she decided to shift her focus. 1 / 2Kate Stumvoll recently began selling her Wildflower Chocolates at Adirondack Coffee in Nisswa, where she also crafts them. The change also came as a sort of commitment to local life.”My husband’s family has had their excavation business here,” Stumvoll said. Travis Grimler/Echo Journal 2 / 2In addition to getting a caffeine fix, visitors to Adirondack Coffee in Nisswa will now be able to sate their sweet tooth with Wildflower Chocolate. Chocolate doesn’t grow locally, but many of her other ingredients do.”I’m trying to use ingredients and things from our region of Zone 3B as far as strawberries, blueberries, honey and maple syrup,” Stumvoll said.Her chocolates are an extension of the sense of care she sees when two neighbors or friends exchange foods they have grown.”Growing things in a garden as far as fruits and sharing them with friends and family, that’s always been fulfilling so I’m trying that out as a business,” Stumvoll said.Stumvoll hasn’t always been in the chocolate making business. After a while I realized we would be living here for life, so I am looking for something to contribute to my community and have a long game plan with all the visitors to our area. Here, she makes caramel. “I will continue through Adirondack, and then I’m hoping to launch an online store in September and keep growing it that way until I get into my own space.”It could take years before Wildflower Chocolate has its own space.Stumvoll’s chocolates are different from other sweets available locally. It’s something nice that will complement the businesses that are already here.”In addition to her chocolate bars, truffles, caramels and other sweets available at Adirondack Coffee, Stumvoll has also been focusing recently on specialty treats and boxes of treats for Valentine’s Day.

Be a shining light on Facebook

Let your light shine before others. It is just not my calling. It is a simple and fun way to stay connected with people.Someone once said to me, remember with social media the key is to keep it social. May the glory in the end then be given to our Heavenly Father.I scroll in the morning and the evening. I enjoy the opportunity to keep up with the happenings in my friends’ lives; it can be a very enjoyable social experience. I don’t get sucked into it, but I don’t allow myself to be ignorant either.In the midst of the sharing I try to drop a light so that others may see. May God bless you and may Jesus Christ be praised, my friends! I get a sense of where people are at with issues we face and the dynamics happening around the world. On Facebook I try to let my light shine through sharing the good news that God is working in and around my life. But, I confess (we Catholics are good at that, ha!), I check Facebook faithfully in the morning and at night. Unfortunately, it has become something a bit different than that for a number of Facebook junkies.OK, so as is usual, you may be thinking already, “Where are you going with this, Father Ryan?” Well, I want to share with you how I view my “presence” on Facebook.The world needs light. In that sermon he says, “You are the light of the world … It would be beautiful to see more people starting to do this. I am not an addict and it is not central to my day. PineandLakes.com illustrationLike many of you, I am a Facebook regular. Chapter 5 of the Gospel of Matthew is Jesus preaching the sermon on the mount. I do that in other arenas if necessary.But on Facebook I try to let my light shine through sharing the good news that God is working in and around my life.So, consider shining your light in a Facebook world that could use more beauty from our everyday lives. Makes me wonder and hope.Do not be afraid to shed some light on the wonderful world of Facebook! Would it not be great if we took Facebook back by shining the light of the simple, beautiful graces in our personal lives more? I admittedly scroll through posts a few times a day.I am not an addict and it is not central to my day. I see a lot of various news and opinion sources that are floating around out there. It is OK to let others see your good deeds. your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Heavenly Father.”This is my disposition toward being on Facebook.I attempt to not get dragged into the worldly arguments on Facebook, or even the Church arguments on Facebook. But, I confess (we Catholics are good at that, ha!), I check Facebook faithfully in the morning and at night.

Pages from the Past – Feb. 2, 2017

60 years ago, Feb. Cass County was selected along with three other counties.25 years ago, Feb. 1, 1957(Headline) Four youth caught after tapping community oil company cash box(Headline) Earl Swift home destroyed by fire in Sunday blaze

50 years ago, Feb. 1, 2007(Headline) Area artist to show 30 years of painting stamina at Park Rapids spring showArtist Wayne Shilson is persistent. 6, 1992(Photo) Mark Grater, left, gets out of the way of Bill Pestello sliding into second trying to prevent a double play at the Granny’s on the Channel ninth annual softball tournament on Gull Lake Feb. Department of Agriculture has selected Cass County for the Food Stamp Program. 1-2.(Headline) Thirteen straight years: Pine River hosts pout feed10 years ago, Feb. 3, 1967(Headline) Janice Ackerman named Betty Crocker Homemaker winnerThe Cass County Welfare Board was informed last week that the U.S. He’s continued with the painting style divisionism (or pointillism) by producing more than 500 paintings in the last 30 years.- Compiled by Travis Grimler, Staff Writer

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 MinnPost.com, 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.