News

Wed
01
Mar

Wright County to impose weight restrictions

Anyone who has lived in Minnesota can pay testament to the severity that can be associated with Minnesota winters. In the 2016-17 season, however, it hasn’t been your grandfather’s winter by any stretch of the imagination.
There have only been a couple of prolonged warm snaps and the recent temperatures have been more indicative of late March or early April, not mid-February. So it came as a mild surprise when Wright County Highway Engineer Virgil Hawkins came before the board looking to set the annual spring road weight restrictions in February.

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Wed
01
Mar

Mild winter altering parks department offerings

Over the last two winters, Minnesotans have had to – happily or begrudgingly – deal with a lack of snow. For the Wright County Parks Department, that has changed how it has done business over the last two winters.
At the Feb. 21 meeting of the Wright County Board of Commissioners, the board received the parks department 2016 annual report. Among those things noted by Parks Administrator Marc Mattice was that many of the winter activities that are part of the annual schedule had to be cancelled due to a lack of snow. A key part of parks department programming, it has caused some headaches for outdoor enthusiasts who ski, snowmobile or snowshoe during the winter months in county parks.

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Wed
01
Mar

State looking to step in county’s behalf in lawsuit

For the better part of the last year, Wright County has been in a legal dispute with State Auditor Rebecca Otto, having been named along with Becker and Ramsey counties as plaintiffs in a lawsuit brought by Otto to assert the Constitutional powers of her office.
On Feb. 15, Commissioner Charlie Borrell, Auditor/Treasurer Bob Hiivala and Assistant County Attorney Brian Asleson attended a hearing of the State Legislature’s Committee of State Government Finance, where a pair of bills by lawmakers representing Wright and Becker counties – one by Representative Eric Lucero (R), Dayton, District 30B, and another by Representative Paul Marquardt (D), Dilworth, District 4B.

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Wed
01
Mar

Wet conditions force temporary road and trail closures

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will need to close many roads and trails temporarily in state forests, state parks, recreation areas and wildlife management areas due to wet conditions.
Some roads and trails have already been closed.
Conditions are deteriorating rapidly, and many roads and trails are not firm enough to support vehicle traffic without being damaged. The temporary closures could remain in effect until sometime in May, depending on weather conditions.
“These are normal spring closures that happen when roads and trails become wet and fragile,” said Dave Schuller, state land programs supervisor for the DNR’s Forestry Division. “We ask that people use good judgment, obey the closures and check the DNR website for updates.”

Wed
01
Mar

DNR urges caution on rapidly deteriorating ice

As unseasonably warm weather quickly deteriorates ice conditions on lakes across much of the state, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources urges lake recreationists to take caution.
Over the past week, public safety officials have reported more than a half-dozen ice emergencies across the state involving anglers and snowmobile or ATV riders breaking through thin or weak ice.
“The freeze-thaw cycle produces extremely weak ice that is dangerously deceptive in its appearance and how thick it measures,” said Lisa Dugan, recreation safety outreach coordinator with the DNR’s boat and water program. “Considering the continuous number of days with above freezing temperatures the ice is rapidly melting, even clearing in many parts of the state.”

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Wed
01
Mar

2,170 new cases of colon cancer expected in MN this year

The American Cancer Society estimates there will be an additional 2,170 new cases of colon cancer diagnosed in Minnesota this year among people mostly 50 years old and older. Approximately 760 will die from the disease. March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness month.
Hardest hit will continue to be communities of color, including African Americans, Hispanics, Asians and American Indians.
It is the nation’s second-leading cause of cancer among men and women combined. However, it is also one of the most preventable cancers, and can often be successfully treated if diagnosed early. The five-year survival rate is around 90 percent for colorectal cancers caught in their earliest stage.
However, many list one or more of the following as the reasons why they hesitate being screened:
Concerns about affordability,
The so-called embarrassing nature of a colonoscopy
Some believe if it doesn’t run in the family they can’t have an issue

Wed
22
Feb

Bus drivers honored with their own day


For 11 years Marilyn Blizil has been getting students safely to and from school in Maple Lake. On Wednesday, Feb. 22, Governor Mark Dayton will officially recognize dedicated drivers like Blizil by declaring it School Bus Driver Appreciation Day.

Gov. Dayton declares Wednesday, Feb. 22, Bus Driver Appreciation Day

What do you call 70 youngsters on a big yellow bus? You could call them students, but the drivers at M&M Bus Service in Maple Lake think of them as “precious cargo.”
Every day, twice a day, M&M’s 16 bus drivers deliver 500 to 600 students to school and home again, traveling about 300 square miles each day through the city streets and down the country roads of the Maple Lake School District.
“They become like our own kids,” said Marilyn Blizil who has driven for M&M for the last 11 years. “We’re responsible for them, and it’s a huge responsibility.”

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Wed
22
Feb

Maple Lake celebrates Red Cross Month by giving blood


Victoria Rollings, with the help of Meghan McDaniel, watches the process while holding a red stress ball to alleviate any fear. This is the fourth time Rollings has donated blood. (Photos by Bob Zimmerman)
Wed
22
Feb

A tradition of fun St. Patrick’s Day Celebration turns 40


A crowd of more than 3,500 people jammed the streets of Maple Lake to watch the second annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Above, St. Tim’s school displayed their Irish tradition with a message via sign cards. The words said, “Irish or not, may God Smile on you.”

To the left are Maple Lake’s royal family of Colleens chosen at the second annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. They are, from left, Mary Jo Paumen, Chris Mavencamp and Carol Beaman. (Photos from Maple Lake Messenger archives)

They say the show must go on, and when you have a good one like the Maple Lake St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, that’s especially true.
Through snowstorms and wind chills, and once an 80-degree heat wave, in 40 years the show has gone on without a single cancellation. Why? Because everyone likes to be Irish for a day.
Harold Brutlag, retired publisher of the Maple Lake Messenger, was part of that first St. Patrick’s Day Celebration in Maple Lake. Up until then, the city had celebrated Snow Daze. It was a smaller affair, Brutlag said, where snowmobile races were enjoyed instead of a parade.

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Wed
22
Feb

MLFD Pancake Breakfast is a blast


The line for the MLFD Pancake Breakfast was a hearty one as was the breakfast. Firefighters helped plate food and gave the line some conversation as they made their way through.

Enjoying their breakfast was front to back on left: Jim Peterson, Greta Piotter, Samara Peterson and Jack Peterson. On right, front to back: Marge Peterson, Sophia Piotter, Deb Geyen and Ryan Peterson. (Photo by Bob Zimmerman)

Many people young and old enjoyed the Pancake Breakfast, which was held at the American Legion Club Feb. 19.

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