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Goveror Dayton Appoints Smith to Senate

Minnesota News Network
Governor Dayton has selected Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith to replace Al Franken in the U.S. Senate. Smith will be appointed to serve a one-year term in the Senate, concluding in January 2019. Smith announced today she will run in the 2018 election. At that time, Minnesotans will choose a U.S. Senator to serve the remainder of the term being vacated by Senator Al Franken in a Special Election, which will be held concurrently with the 2018 General Election on November 6, 2018. Governor Dayton says, “Tina Smith is a person of the highest integrity and ability. There is no one I trust more to assume the responsibilities of this important office. I know that she will be a superb Senator, representing the best interests of our state and our citizens.”

Carleton College political analyst Steven Schier says the choice is not surprising. He says Smith has”been a stabilizing force and an ally of Governor Dayton. She’s done a lot of policy work for the governor, and she’s developed a strong reputation at the State Capitol for being a credible figure.” Schier says the selection of Smith makes good political sense, as it will likely not be a controversial choice within the Democratic party.

By |December 13th, 2017|Blog, News|Comments Off on Goveror Dayton Appoints Smith to Senate|

DeNucci Wins County Election

Ben DeNucci was sworn in Wednesday morning in the Itasca County Auditor’s office by election Administrator Vicki Martin.
DeNucci earned 959 votes to Casey Venema’s 691 to earn the right to represent Itasca County District 5 residents. Results were canvassed and approved this morning. Itasca County Board Chair Terry Snyder, Commissioner Davin Tinquist, County Administrator Brett Skyles,and former Commissioner Mark Mandich were in attendance. Mandich resigned the seat this summer.

By |December 13th, 2017|Blog, News|Comments Off on DeNucci Wins County Election|

Grand Rapids Plowing Tuesday Morning

From the Grand Rapids Public Works Department:
The Grand Rapids Public Works will be plowing overnight (4am Tuesday morning). In accordance with our Winter Parking Ordinance, no on street parking will be allowed. The crews will be starting Tuesday morning at 4:00 am. All vehicles and trailers must remain off the city roadways until street is plowed. Once the street is plowed, you may continue to park there until the next snow event.

Thank you

By |December 4th, 2017|Blog, News|Comments Off on Grand Rapids Plowing Tuesday Morning|

High Speed Chase in Stolen Vehicle

Two people are under arrest after a high speed chase yesterday afternoon in downtown Grand Rapids.
A red Honda Civic, reported stolen from Cohasset, was spotted driving on Itasca Street Tuesday noontime. A Grand Rapids police officer began pursuit. The Honda caused an accident with a white SUV on 3rd Street south and Pokegama Avenue. It turned south-bound on Pokegama and reached speeds of up to 70 miles an hour. The vehicle was damaged in the accident and the driver lost control after running red lights on 2nd Street and 13th street before ending up turned around in the grass on Pokegama Avenue South.
The driver was pulled from the vehicle. Backup from both GRPD and Itasca County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived to assist with the suspects.
The driver may be charged with fleeing a police officer, speeding, hit and run, theft of a vehicle, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Charges will be up to the city attorney.
More details are expected to be available Wednesday.

By |November 29th, 2017|Blog, News|Comments Off on High Speed Chase in Stolen Vehicle|

Itasca County VSO Quinn Resigns

Itasca County Veteran’s Service Officer Hugh Quinn submitted his resignation to the county board during last week’s board works session. Quinn said his immediate plans are, “to go to work.” Quinn submitted an application at the Veteran’s Service Administration, but, in a different capacity. He said the position wouldn’t be in a direct service role. Quinn’s last day will be January 31. But, he was quick to point out that the core of the service in the V.S.O office will remain. “There are three gals that work for me are fantastic. They’ll take care of everything.”

This week’s acting board chair,Leo Trunt, said he wished Quinn well and said applications for the position aren’t available yet. He thanked Quinn for his service. “The vets loved him and he did a great job. We just hope we can find a qualified candidate who can rise to his level.”

By |November 14th, 2017|Blog, News|Comments Off on Itasca County VSO Quinn Resigns|

IRA Civic Center Improvements

The city of Grand Rapids held a public meeting last night at the IRA Civic Center regarding an expansion and renovation project. City Administrator Tom Pagel introduced the architects behind the proposed renovations. They discussed multiple options, including hockey needs, as well as a day care center. Right now there are 4 partners involved, however that could change. Pagel told the audience, “We should know if they the go forward with the bonding bill sometime in May, whether or not we were successful. At that point, we would really start to define who is in and whose not.”

By |November 10th, 2017|Blog, News|Comments Off on IRA Civic Center Improvements|

UPM Blandin to Close Plant 5

UPM Blandin plans to permanently close paper machine 5, eliminating approximately 150 people. According to a press release this morning, the decision was made in light of the global market situation for graphic papers, and to sustain its competitiveness and leading position in the market.
UPM Paper ENA also plans to optimize operations at its UPM Nordland Papier and UPM NorService units in Dörpen, Germany, Europe’s biggest fine paper site. Streamlining internal processes and investing in automation will enable a sustainable improvement of the fixed cost structure.

UPM Blandin’s Plant 5 closure is expected to be completed by end of quarter 1 2018, at the latest. Paper production related to paper machine 6 is planned to continue at the Blandin site.

UPM will recognize restructuring charges of approximately EUR 35 million as items affecting comparability in its 4th quarter results. The planned actions will result in annual savings of approximately 30 million euros.

By |October 24th, 2017|Blog, News|Comments Off on UPM Blandin to Close Plant 5|

Greniger Sentenced

Kayleene Danielle Greniger was sentenced Monday in Itasca District court to over 30 years in prison. Greniger pleaded guilty in February to one count of murder in the second degree in the death of David Alexander Haiman of Hibbing. Greniger admitted in court that she and Joseph Christian Thorsen assaulted Haiman with a baseball bat, knife, and a machete on June 21, 2016. Thorsen was sentenced to life in prison. Greniger’s sentence of 367 months in prison is consistent with state sentencing guidelines.

By |October 18th, 2017|Blog, News|Comments Off on Greniger Sentenced|

Two Vehicle Accident Seriously Injures Deer River Man

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, a Silverado pickup truck driven by 55 year old Timothy Dwyer of Grand Rapids was driving east bound on Highway 169. A Grand Prix, driven by 36 year old Andrew Francisco of Deer River, was driving east bound on Highway 169 on the shoulder and entered the lane, striking the Silverado. The truck lost control and rolled into the median. The Grand Prix lost control and went into the right ditch and rolled over, landing on its roof. Francisco was not belted and was found pinned in the rear seat of the Grand Prix, requiring extrication by the Fire Department. Francisco was airlifted to St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth. Dwyer was transported to Itasca Grand Hospital in Grand Rapids. A passenger in the Silverado, 42 year old Casey Dezelske of Cohasset, was was not injured.

By |October 4th, 2017|Blog, News|Comments Off on Two Vehicle Accident Seriously Injures Deer River Man|

Highway 2 Issues Complicated

Tuesday night, Grand Rapids City Engineer Matt Wegworth held a public listening session regarding access issues on State Highway 2, specifically the area between Cohasset and Grand Rapids. Some of the ideas included reducing the speed limit, adding some stop lights at various intersections, and even the possibility of going back to a 4 lanes. City Engineer Matt Wegworth said, “ we don’t really have a set plan, we need to talk through it more and determine what’s going to be best for everyone.” A long term solution was proposed of making it a 5 lane Highway with a turn lane in the middle. That is something that cannot be done quickly, so the next steps will be to determine what can be done to alleviate the problems in the short term, and then work towards a more permanent long term solution.

By |October 4th, 2017|Blog, News|Comments Off on Highway 2 Issues Complicated|