Lakes Radio First News
Please Click here to listen to the newscast or right click the link and save as to download.
Please Click here to hear Community Watch or right click the link and save as to download.
Lakes Radio News
ETHANOL PLANT FIRE -update-
FERGUS FALLS, Minn. (AP) - Fire crews spent hours battling flames at an ethanol plant just outside Fergus Falls.
Fergus Falls Fire Chief Mark Hovland tells The Associated Press officials got a call about a fire at the Green Plains Renewable Energy Otter Tail ethanol plant at about 4:20 p.m. Monday.
Hovland said there was an explosion after firefighters arrived. Nearby communities were called in for assistance.
At about 8 p.m., he said crews were still working on putting out hot spots.
No injuries were reported.
Hovland said liquid ethanol was not involved in the fire.
Company spokesman Jim Stark says the fire was in a dryer system, which is in a separate building at the plant. The cause of the blaze was not immediately determined.
Stark says about 45 people work at the plant.
Investigators and state inspectors will be at the plant at noon today. More information may be released after the inspection.
Sebeka Police Chief Retires
At a special meeting Monday, Sebeka City Council members unanimously accepted the retirement of the town’s police chief, who was recently cited for driving while intoxicated, and appointed a part-time officer as interim chief.
Eric Swenson, 48, had been a Sebeka police officer for 28 years and the chief since 2007. According to the Wadena Pioneer Journal, a one-sentence letter to the council dated March 9, said “I hereby retire from the Sebeka Police Department.” Swenson did not attend Monday’s meeting.
After accepting the notice without discussion, the four council members in attendance approved retirement benefits, ordered new locks for city buildings Swenson had access to and discussed the future of the police department.
They agreed to advertise for a new police chief after amending the job description to require candidates to possess a valid Minnesota driver’s license. The application period will end March 31.
Minnesota law requires a part-time officers to report to a “chief law enforcement officer.” Mayor David Anderson said the Wadena County Sheriff’s Office indicated it was willing to oversee Sebeka’s part-time officers if they demonstrated the proper certifications. Part-timers that didn’t qualify would be temporarily sidelined until a new chief is hired. That happened last summer when Swenson was suspended following a domestic assault charge.
Sebeka’s three active part-time officers attended the Monday meeting and said they would put in extra hours to provide law enforcement in the city if they were allowed.
Ethanol Plant Fire
Fire trucks rolled out around 4:30 this (Monday) afternoon for a fire at the ethanol plant just outside of Fergus Falls.
Traffic is allowed to travel on Hwy 210, there may be delays or traffic backups as fire trucks are drawing water from across the highway. Traffic is not allowed to go north on Co Rd 116 at this time except to get to Life Church or Zieglers. They want to keep the road open for fire truck traffic. People living that way will need to go another way or wait it out.
Other fire departments have been called for mutual aid. We don’t have a lot of first hand information at this time.
Other media is reporting that it started in a dryer and no ethanol is involved. No injuries reported. Some are saying that there was an explosion before the fire but that is an unconfirmed report.
Cooperative Inform Customers of Additional Load Control
Electric cooperative customers with duel fuel or off-peak heating may experience more ‘load control’ this week. Dan Husted with Lake Region Electric Cooperative says some transmission lines were taken out of service for routine maintenance.
:32 “The reason for this are some unusual energy market conditions in northern Minnesota due to transmission congestion. There are some transmission lines out of service and it’s creating some high energy prices in northern parts of Minnesota and to help our exposure to some of those higher energy costs we are asking our members to accept a little additional load control.”
Husted says that normally the load control is in the evening hours between 4:30 to 9 pm. The additional times are 6:30 to 10 in the morning.
Runestone Electric and other cooperatives are sending out similar notices to customers.
Lake Superior Ice Breakers
The U.S. Coastguard is beginning to break the ice on Lake Superior. Officials are saying the process this year will be difficult. Director of the Coast Guard’s Vessel Traffic Services, Mark Gill, says it’s the most ice he has seen in 25 years. Gill says the record setting cold winter has ice exceeding 42 inches on the Superior side of the harbor and up to 36 inches of plate ice on the Duluth side. Commercial tugs will help get the boats moving by March 17. Gill says the ‘lakers’ are already asking for help in leaving the harbor later this month.
Elk Management Plan Revision
Wildlife managers are scheduling a public meeting in northwestern Minnesota discussing revisions to the state’s elk management plan. Three elk herds roam northwestern Minnesota in Kittson and Marshal Counties. The Department of Natural Resources says a recent survey shows the elk population at 108 animals, a stable number in recent years. The meeting is set for Thursday, March 13 at Greenbush High School.
House Passes Tax Cuts
The Minnesota House passes, on bipartisan vote, $500 million in tax cuts for middle class Minnesotans and business. The House tax bill would simplify the income tax code by conforming to the federal tax code with retroactive provisions benefiting current tax paying Minnesotans. 70 percent of Minnesotans have yet to file their 2014 taxes so there is urgency to get these tax cuts signed into law. Gov. Mark Dayton has signaled his support to move quickly in passing these tax cuts.
North Dakota transportation officials say seasonal load limits for truckers could go in effect next week on all state and federal highways in North Dakota. Weight restrictions prevent damage to roads because of warming temperatures during spring. The limits will lift when roadbeds have stabilized enough to handle normal traffic, usually around May. Current seasonal load restriction information is available on the Department of Transportation website or by dialing 511.
Burglary Links with Couple in Deputy Shooting
Police are linking a burglary at an animal hospital to a North Dakota couple who died after a sheriff’s deputy was shot in western Minnesota. Alexandria police say evidence shows 24-year-old Devin Blowers and 29-year-old Katie Christopherson, both of Fargo, broke into the Douglas County Animal Hospital and stole veterinary medicine. The burglary is reported after the couple were involved in a shootout with a Douglas County Sheriff deputy near Alexandria. Police link items recovered at the shooting to the burglary. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says Blowers shot Deputy Dustin Alexander. The deputy was wearing a bullet-resistant vest and returned fire. Blowers and Christopherson fled in their car and were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide.
Single Vehicle Accident
The Richland County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a single vehicle rollover on 182nd Ave four miles south of Wahpeton just before 10PM Friday. 18-year-old Robert Bladow was southbound in a 2005 Dodge Ram with four other passengers. Robert lost control of the pickup and entered the east ditch. The vehicle rolled end over end coming to rest on its right side. Bladow and the four passengers were taken to St Francis Medical Campus in Breckenridge in a private vehicle. None of the occupants was wearing seat belts and none was ejected. All were treated and released for minor injuries. The accident remains under investigation.
Star Spangled Forever Stamp Issued by USPS
The Postal Service is commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner with a new Forever Stamp. The stamp honors the country’s most powerful symbols, the flag and national anthem. Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics for the national anthem in 1814. The Star-Spangled Forever stamp is now on sale at post offices nationwide and online at usps.com/stamps.
Delivery Roll Over
A single vehicle accident involving a Fed-Ex van occurred near Ashby on County Highway 26 due to weather conditions yesteday afternoon. A slush trail pulled the van into the ditch where it then tipped on its side. The driver received no injuries and the van has minor damages. The van drove away after being pulled out of the ditch.
Vehicle Break In
Two different reports of vehicle break-ins were called to the Fergus Falls Police Department yesterday. One incident occurred at Springen Ave where two vehicles were entered and miscellaneous items were taken. The items include flash light, social security and birth certificate. The other incident occurred at Auto Value on Vernon Ave. Three company vehicles were entered and the items taken include gas cards and a sales book. The gas cards hold no monetary value and have been canceled. Every single vehicle in both incidents were unlocked.
I-29 SUV Crash Update
Highway Patrol identifies two sisters who died when a sport utility vehicle crashed on Interstate 29 in eastern North Dakota. Twenty-three-year-old driver Holly Nadeau from Fargo and 20-year-old passenger Ivy Nadeau from Grand Forks died mid-afternoon Wednesday. The patrol says their SUV was traveling north when it went into the median and rolled several times, just north of Hillsboro. Both women were thrown from the vehicle and died at the scene.
New Lecture Series launches March 7 in Wadena with author, Jerry Mevissen
Author, Jerry Mevissen, will talk about his latest book "Good Shepherd" tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Harvest Thyme Bistro in Wadena. The event launches a new free lecture series from the Wadena County Historical Society called “Speaking of the Past”. Future speakers include Dean Urdahl, Rhonda Fochs and Dale Blanshan. To learn more about the series which is sponsored in part by the Jackpine Writers’ Bloc and Cozy Theatre of Wadena visit www.wadenacountyhistory.org.
Regional Jail in NW North Dakota
County officials in northwestern North Dakota are discussing the possibility of building a regional jail. People have been flocking to the oil patch and crime has been rising. A jail built in Williams County in 2008 was supposed to handle inmate growth for 50 years but filled up shortly after opening. Officials from surrounding counties are considering the possibility of a regional jail managed by a single county or two smaller regional facilities. The cost estimates more than $11 million.
Red River Sportsmen’s Show
The 2014 Red River Valley Sportsmen’s Show opens Thursday and runs through Sunday March 9 at the Fargodome. The 49th annual event covers everything from camping and boating to fishing and hunting. Speakers will share information on bow hunting Whitetail deer and new tricks for landing walleye. Special attractions include the Great Bear Show, Fur-Ever Wild and kids’ fishing workshops. More information is online at fargosportshow.com
Lifting Sunday Prohibition
A pair of bipartisan lawmakers are unveiling plans to repeal the Sunday prohibition on liquor sales. Senator Roger Reinert of Duluth and Representative Jenifer Loon of Eden Prairie are introducing a range of bills. Ideas include a full repeal statewide, leaving the decision to cities and counties, and leaving Sunday sales to beer growlers at local taprooms. Proponents of lifting the ban have struggled in building legislative support though Senator Reinert and Representative Loon say they see growing support from the public.
SUV Crash on Icy I-29 in Eastern ND Kills 2 Women
HILLSBORO, N.D. (AP) - Two people died when a sport utility vehicle crashed on an icy Interstate 29 in eastern North Dakota.
The Highway Patrol did not immediately identify the 23-year-old female driver from Fargo and the 20-year-old female passenger from Grand Forks.
The crash happened about 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, 2 miles north of Hillsboro. The patrol says the SUV was traveling north when it went into the median and rolled several times, throwing both women from the vehicle. They died at the scene.
Delivery Driver Found Deceased
A delivery truck was found running near the intersection of 260th Street and Co Hwy 83 north of Battle Lake. A man that lives in the area stopped to check on it when he returned from an errand and the truck was still there. The 55 year old male driver was found deceased. An autopsy will be done to confirm a possible medical cause for the death.
NYM Plans After Prom Party
Parents of the Junior Class in New York Mills are working on plans for the After Prom Party. An organizational meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 17, in the school commons at 7 pm. New York Mills Prom is April 26th. Parents will plan, organize and sponsor the Chemical-free After Prom Party. Parents that are willing to help but unable to attend the meeting should contact Charlene Norton or the school.
East Otter Tail County Horticulture Day March 15
The 27th annual East Otter Tail County Horticulture Day will be held on Saturday, March 15th in Perham. Registration begins at 8:00 p.m. Keynote speaker, Meleah Maynard, the Everyday Gardner, will speak at 9:00 a.m. on "Decoding Garden Advice". The day long event includes a selection of classes with 25 different speakers talking about everything from Bird Feeding, Frugal Gardening, Attracting Wildlife While Maintaining Your Garden, Tomatoes, Perennials and Annuals, to Growing Vegetables, Straw Bale Gardening and Adding Whimsy to your Garden. Classes start at 10:30 a.m. and conclude at 4:00 p.m. No pre-registration is required. The cost is $25 which includes the keynote speaker, all classroom sessions and lunch. For more information, contact Vicki Schwanke at the University of Minnesota Extension Office, New York Mills: firstname.lastname@example.org The Horticulture Day is sponsored and hosted by the East Otter Tail County Master Gardeners, Lady Slipper Garden Club and the University of Minnesota Extension Office.