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Monthly Archives: May 2014


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Wear your Seatbelt

If you’re driving in Grand Rapids, you’d better be wearing your seat belt. During the Memorial Day holiday, Grand Rapids police wrote out 35 seat belt violations. On Tuesday, 13 citations were issued.

By |May 28th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Wear your Seatbelt|

Car Accident on Highway 169

A 23 year old Kentucky woman was injured in a one car accident on Highway 169 Tuesday afternoon. Michelle Brush was driving south-bound on Highway 169 when her vehicle drifted into the left shoulder and hit the guard rail head-on in the median, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. Brush and her passenger, 3 year old Hunter Brush, also of Louisville Kentucky, were transported to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

By |May 28th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Car Accident on Highway 169|

Grand Rapids Adding Two New Police Officers

The City of Grand Rapids has hired two new police officers. During last night’s city council meeting, the council approved the hiring of Justin Edmundson and Gregory Lease in June. Mayor Dale Adams.
Also at last night’s Grand Rapids City Council meeting, Mayor Dale Adams swore in Officer Shaun Pomplun and they awarded the purchase of a Chevrolet Tahoe for the Grand Rapids Police Department to Grand Rapids GM, with final cost not to exceed $43,000. The next Grand Rapids City Council meeting is June 9th

By |May 28th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Grand Rapids Adding Two New Police Officers|

Northome Fatality

A Northome woman died in a two car collision on Wednesday morning in Beltrami County.  According to the Minnesota State Patrol, a vehicle driven by 71 year old Karen O’Laughlin of Northome was traveling east-bound on Anne Street north west and collided with a vehicle driven by 46 year old Cory Honer of LaPorte, which was traveling north-bound on Highway 71.   A passenger in the O’Laughlin vehicle, identified as 80 year old Loretta Willard, was killed.  O’Laughlin suffered non-life-threatening injuries and Honer was not injured in the accident.


By |May 22nd, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Northome Fatality|

Pokegama Water Recedes

Good news if you live on Pokegama Lake, the Mississippi, or Big Sandy lake in McGregor.  US Army corps of Engineers water management officials say the water levels have crested and water should begin receding.  The Corps original forecast for additional rain for Big Sandy never materialized, so water levels are expected to resume normal summer levels in the next few weeks.

By |May 22nd, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Pokegama Water Recedes|

Madsen Sentenced

Forty-two year old Donny Edward Madsen of Grand Rapids will serve 12 months in the Itasca County jail for a string of church burglaries between August and December of 2013.  Madsen was sentenced yesterday on six counts of felony attempted second degree burglary.  He also received a 57 month stayed prison sentence and was placed on ten year probation.   The issue of restitution will be addressed by the court on June 30th.

Churches robbed include:

Grace Community Church in Bigfork, Calvary Pines Baptist Church, Independent Apostolic Church in Deer River, Bigfork Assembly of God Church, West Cohasset Chapel, Balsam Bible Chapel in Bovey, Crossroads Family Church in Penguilly, and Itasca Bible Church in Grand Rapids.

By |May 20th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Madsen Sentenced|

Aitkin Accident

A two car accident Saturday evening on Highway 47 in Aitkin left one person injured.

A vehicle driven by Derek Simonson of Aitkin was north-bound Highway 47 when Simonson attempted to pass a vehicle preparing to turn left.  That vehicle, driven by 16 year old Emma Plagge of Aitkin, was hit in the driver’s door.  Plagge sustained non-life threatening injuries.  Her passengers, 16 year old Taylor Bright of Aitkin and 46 year old Marie Gordon was not injured.  Simmonson and his passenger, 31 year old Gina Isaacs, also of Aitkin, received no apparent injuries.


By |May 19th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Aitkin Accident|

Pokegama to Rise

If you live on the Mississippi river, get ready for rising waters.  The US Army Corps of Engineers has cut water releases from the Pokegama Dam to reduce rising waters over the flood stage at Aitkin.   As a result, the Corps anticipates Pokegama Lake levels will rise an additional 6 inches before cresting in approximately 10 days.   The current Mississippi River stage at Aitkin appears at or near the crest. Additional precipitation may require a revision of these forecasts.  The current Mississippi River stage at Aitkin appears at or near the crest.  Additional precipitation may require a revision of these forecasts.

Corps staff at Big Sandy Lake Recreation Area, near McGregor, recorded 3.18 inches of precipitation during the past seven days.  This rainfall fell directly on the entire watershed and will increase the lake levels on Big Sandy. The Corps has the dam fully open in an effort to lower the lake level.



By |May 19th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Pokegama to Rise|

Facilities an Issue for School District 318

Independent School District 318, like most schools in the area, is facing a number of challenges.  Superintendent Bruce Thomas said both the aging elementary facilities and technology will be something the district must focus on.

The latest improvements are at the Robert J Elkington middle school.

The school board meets in regular session tonight at 7pm at the Administration building.

By |May 19th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Facilities an Issue for School District 318|

Itasca County Vets Not Having Same Trouble as National Vets

The National Veteran’s Affairs office  is under scrutiny for poor service to veterans, long waiting lists, and even hidden waiting lists.  In some states, veterans may have to wait up to 2 years for a claim to be processed.  In Minnesota, wait times for claims to be processed are about 90 days, according to Itasca County Veterans Service Officer Hugh Quinn.  Quinn said last fall, there were about 10,000 cases shipped into the Minneapolis VA office.   Those cases were at the 2 year mark.

The Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs took those old claims from other states and sent them to the regional office Minnesota office in Minneapolis.  While the Minneapolis VA worked to help other state’s backlog, Minnesota claims were put on hold.  The Secretary of the VA will probably do that again.  Even so, Quinn urged any veteran who has questions about claims, procedures, or services to contact his office.

The Itasca County Veterans Service office serves almost 4800 vets.

By |May 16th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Itasca County Vets Not Having Same Trouble as National Vets|