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Afternoon Hits

Afternoon Hits

MDI Hires Fundraiser

Minnesota Diversified Industries, MDI, has hired Peg McQuillen as the Director of Development. McQuillen has eleven years of experience in the development at Memorial Blood Centers and Emergency Foodshelf Network. Prior to that, McQuillen spent six years in marketing.
Peter McDermott, MDI president and CEO said McQuillen is an experienced fundraiser and passionate about securing support for people with disabilities that MDI serves.
MDI provides job opportunities and progressive development for people with and without disabilities who provide products and services to business customers.

By |April 8th, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on MDI Hires Fundraiser|

Floodwood Man Injured

A three vehicle accident on Highway 169 in Mille Lacs County injured a Floodwood man. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, a vehicle driven by 55 year old Todd Nelson of Garrison was stopped to turn when it was struck from behind by a vehicle driven by 18 year old Chase Ruuska of Floodwood. The Nelson vehicle was pushed into the northbound lane and was hit by a south-bound vehicle driven by 32 year old Chelsie Krafka of Brainard. All three drivers were alone in the car. All three drivers were injured. Injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

By |April 7th, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Floodwood Man Injured|

Highway 6 Accident Injured Two

A two vehicle accident on Highway 6 in Cass County injured two Deer River residents Monday afternoon. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, a vehicle driven by 76 year old Allen Wink was traveling north on Highway 6, south of Remer, when the vehicle crossed over the center line and struck a south-bound semi. The semi was driven by 51 year old Bradley Kupser of Zimmerman. Wink and his passenger, identified as 72 year old Marcia Wink, also of Deer River, were both injured in the accident. Injuries are believed to be non-life threatening.

By |April 7th, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Highway 6 Accident Injured Two|

Power Outages

Grand Rapids, MN – Lake Country Power line crews are currently working to restore power outages throughout its service areas.  Crews repaired at least 50 outages during the day yesterday.

Nearly 4000 Lake Country Power members were without power during the day yesterday.  The outages are weather related due to the high, sustained winds that are blowing trees and limbs onto power lines. In some locations, lines have been knocked to the ground. The outages are widespread throughout the cooperative’s service area- primarily in the Mountain Iron and Grand Rapids service areas. Outages were also reported in the Kettle River service area.

LCP is working with several emergency 911 crews at various sites as grass fires are being reported as well.

To report and outage, visit the Outage Center online at for a real-time outage status.

By |April 3rd, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Power Outages|

Wirz to be Charged as Adult

The fourth defendant in the group home assault last December is set to stand trial as an adult.

The trial of 17 year old Ricky Leland Wirz of Brainerd has been moved from juvenile to adult court.  Two of the other defendants have already been sentenced.

Wirz is accused of four counts of assault on a staff member of the TNT Group Home.  The staff member sustained serious bodily injuries.  Wirz appeared in Itasca County district Court on Thursday.  At the hearing, the court set bail at $100,000 without conditions, $50,000 with conditions.  Wirz next court appearance is April 6th at 10am.



By |April 3rd, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Wirz to be Charged as Adult|

King Charged as Adult

A Cloquet man will be charged with four counts of assault in adult court after an Itasca County District Court agreed to transfer his case last Thursday.
18 year old Dakota Lee King is charged with assault in the first degree, two counts of assault in the second degree, and one count of assault in the thirs degree.
The charges stem from allegations that King and three others assaulted a staff member at a group home in December. The other three defendants have already been sentenced.
The staff member was hospitalized for his injuries.
The court set bail at ($100,000) one hundred thousand dollars with conditions, or ($50,000) fifty thousand with conditions.
King’s next court appearance is April 20 at 9am.

By |March 31st, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on King Charged as Adult|

City Councilor to Resign

At a special city council meeting Monday, the Grand Rapids City Council appointed Rick Blake to occupy the vacant councilor seat formerly occupied by Jon Toivonen. Toivonen submitted his resignation to the council last week after he took a new job. According to Toivonen’s resignation letter, he accepted a promotion within his company that will relocate him to Richfield. Toivonen thanked City Administrator Tom Pagel and city staff and wished the council good luck.
Blake will hold the position until a special election at the next general election on November 8th, 2016.

By |March 31st, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on City Councilor to Resign|

Minntac Idling

According to ABC News:
U.S. Steel announced plans to idle part of its Minntac plant in Mountain Iron. Over 680 workers will be affected.

It’s the latest symptom of the downturn in the American steel and iron mining industry. U.S. Steel cites high steel imports, dumping and low steel prices.

U.S. Steel spokeswoman Courtney Boone says the layoffs at the Minntac plant in Mountain Iron are temporary, but the company can’t speculate how long they’ll last. Mountain Iron is about 200 miles north of Minneapolis.

Earlier this month U.S. Steel said it would idle its Keetac plant in Keewatin effective May 13, resulting in 412 workers laid off. And Magnetation announced in February that it was shutting down its Keewatin plant, resulting in about 20 job losses.

By |March 31st, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Minntac Idling|

STEM Teaching at Greenway

There won’t be enough skilled labor in Northern Minnesota in 10 or 20 years.
During last month’s school board meeting for Independent School District 316, Roy Smith, of the Applied Learning Institute, briefed the board on job opportunities that may be lost if we don’t have the skilled labor force we need.
On Wednesday night, the board made a move towards more STEM, or Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics courses at Greenway Schools. Superintendent Mark Adams (Adams STEM actuality)

The board, on a five to one vote, approved the discontinuance of the Family and Consumer Sciences class. Director LaNea Johnson cast the dissenting vote. Superintendent Mark Adams told the board that this is a shift the kids are asking for.

By |March 25th, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on STEM Teaching at Greenway|

Grand Rapids New Fire Chief Sworn In

Grand Rapids newest Fire Chief Mike Liebel was sworn in at last night’s city council meeting. Second Assistant Fire Chief John Linder was also pinned, and Travis Cole was appointed as Captain for the Grand Rapids Fire Department.
Also at last night’s Grand Rapids City Council meeting, the city entered a 5 year lease agreement with Itasca County to relocate the cities Data-center into the courthouse. The council agreed to allow the Police Department to sell forfeited and impounded vehicles at the Mid-State Auto Auction. The next Grand Rapids City Council meeting is April 13th at 5 o’clock.

By |March 24th, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Grand Rapids New Fire Chief Sworn In|