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Wright County News

Friday, May 29, 2015


First Cases Of Canine Flu Confirmed In Minnesota 

Even though the first cases of canine flu have been confirmed in the state, dog owners are being encouraged to carry on as normal. Dr. Paul Anderson with the Minnesota Board of Animal Health says most dogs recover within a week or so, usually with no lingering problems. Anderson suspects the dog flu popped up in Minnesota when an infected puppy being transferred from Chicago arrived at a kennel in Detroit Lakes on March 30. The facility was quickly closed when the puppy and the other dogs fell ill about a week later. It reopened after being cleared by local and state veterinarians. Canine flu cases also have been confirmed in Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana.

Boy Scout Camporee This Weekend at Buffalo Airport 

Hundreds of Boy Scouts will be in Buffalo this weekend for an Aviation Camporee. The scouts and their leaders will be camping through Sunday at the Buffalo Airport and the Buffalo Rodeo grounds. The Wright County Journal-Press reports that the Crow River District of the Northern Star Council is partnering with part of the Lake Minnetonka District for the spring Aviation Camporee. Numerous events are planned including flight simulator activities, a presentation by World War II fighter pilot, Marv Dahlgren of St. Paul, a skydiving performance, and numerous other activities in several of the hangars at the Buffalo Airport will be featured. Young Eagles flights and helicopter rides are also planned. Many aviation-related schools, businesses and military representatives will have informational booths at the airport. Scouts will be able to earn merit badges by taking part in the activities. Organizers say they expect as many as 700 scouts and leaders to take part in the weekend camporee. 

Numerous Area High School Graduation Ceremonies Tonight 

Hundreds of high school seniors will be graduating tonight during ceremonies at several area high schools. Some 120 seniors will receive diplomas tonight at Annandale High School, where graduation ceremonies will begin at 7 PM. In Becker just under 200 graduates will be honored at ceremonies at Becker High School at 7:30 PM. And in Maple Lake, 105 seniors in the class of 2015 will graduate at commencement exercises that begin at 8 PM at the Maple Lake High School. Watertown-Mayer High School held its graduation last Friday for its 109 seniors. The vast majority of graduations in our area will take place next weekend. 

1 Injured in Car-Motorcycle Crash in Wright County 

A Big Lake woman was injured Wednesday morning when the motorcycle she was riding collided with a car near St. Michael. The Minnesota State Patrol says the crash happened shortly after 8 AM at the intersection of Naber Avenue and Highway 241. A southbound car on Naber Avenue was making a left turn onto Highway 241, and the motorcycle was northbound on Naber Avenue, and was crossing the highway when the two vehicles collided. Authorities say the traffic light was changing from green to yellow when the crash occurred. The motorcyclist, 29-year-old Ashley Garcia of Big Lake, sustained a non-life threatening injury, and was transported to CentraCare Health in Monticello for treatment. The driver of the car, 70-year-old Diana Peters of Rogers, was not injured. 

FAA Ok's Xcel Energy Request to Fly Drones 

The Federal Aviation Administration recently ok'd a request from Xcel Energy to allow the company to begin using drones to inspect power lines and other energy facilities. Xcel's Michael Lamb says initially, the drones will help employees safely inspect hard-to-reach areas. Lamb says the drones will be flown at low altitudes and in the operator's line of sight. Xcel will use drones to inspect electrical and gas transmission and distribution lines, power plants, and renewable energy facilities. Xcel Energy inspects more than 320,000 miles of electricity and natural gas lines within its system. Other companies pursuing clearance for drone flights are BNSF Railway, and the CNN news network. Other proposals for drone use could eventually include crop monitoring for agriculture. 

Monticello Lions to Celebrate 40th Anniversary Friday 

The Monticello Lions Club is set to mark a major milestone Friday night. The club will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a special night of music and dancing. The Monticello Times reports that the Monticello Lions Club was chartered with 25 members back in 1975, and 4 of the original charter members, Mike Benedetto, Ron Hoglund, Dave Lofte and Ken Maus are still active in the organization. Today, the group has around 100 members. One of the first big projects for the chapter was to help the community celebrate the nation's Bicentennial in the summer of 1976. Activities included a large parade drawing some 10 thousand people. Minnesota Senator and former Vice President Hubert Humphrey was the Grand Marshal for the parade. The Lions also began an Independence Day celebration with activities in Ellison Park that have since turned into the annual city-wide event known as Riverfest. Dollars generated by the club's many activities are re-dedicated into community projects and charities. The organization reports that it has donated 1.7 million dollars back to various Monticello groups and events since 1989. Friday night, the group will celebrate the 40th Anniversary with a free dance from 6 PM to 11:30 PM at the Monticello Community Center Parking Lot. The Plott Hounds and Chris Hawkey will provide the music. Concessions will be available, no outside food or drink will be allowed. 

Good Neighbor Days Fundraiser Friday in Howard Lake 

A spaghetti dinner with numerous other activities is planned for Friday evening in Howard Lake to benefit this summer's Good Neighbor Days events. A silent auction, craft and bake sale, kid's games, and live music by Jason Dieter of the Rize Band will be among the highlights of the event that will begin at 5 PM Friday at the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted High School. All proceeds from the fundraiser will help to support the many events planned for the 2015 Howard Lake Good Neighbor Days celebration, scheduled for June 25th through the 28th. More information on Good Neighbor Days 2015 is available online at;

Dayton, Lawmakers to Take Second Look at Vetoed Bills 

State leaders are beginning talks about three major funding bills vetoed by Governor Dayton. It's back to the drawing board for the K-12 education, ag/environment and jobs bills ahead of a special session. DFL Governor Mark Dayton says in addition to the main bills that need to be addressed in a special session, transportation issues were also left unresolved. GOP State Senator Bruce Anderson of Buffalo told KRWC Radio News on a recent edition of "Spotlight" that there was plenty of agreement among lawmakers that investments need to be made in transportation infrastructure. The difference, Anderson said, was how to provide the funding. He says most Republican lawmakers, and some DFL'ers did not buy into the governor's proposal for a hike in the state's gas tax. It's unclear whether or not transportation issues will come forward in the special session. Many political analysts doubt it, as lawmakers will face some tough questions on the budgetary matters at hand. If agreements on the mandatory bills are not reached by June 1st, notices will go out to more than 10,000 state workers indicating they could be laid off in a month. No deal by July 1st could mean a government shutdown, though very few lawmakers would be likely to steer toward a repeat of the costly state shutdown in 2011. 

Older Americans Act: Helping MN Seniors Stay at Home 

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar has signed on as a co-sponsor of a measure to reauthorize the Older Americans Act, something that Congress hasn't done in years. John Michaelson has a full report in our on-air news. You can find more on the Older Americans Act bill at; 

Minnesota's Jobless Rate Holds Steady 

Minnesota employers added 7,400 jobs last month according to figures recently released by the Department of Employment and Economic Development. State job analyst Steve Hine says following revisions to April's numbers, the unemployment rate held steady at 3.7 percent. Construction led all sectors in April with 6,600 new jobs, followed by professional and business services up 34-hundred and trade, transportation and utilities up 2,200. Wright County's unemployment numbers for April should be known in the next week or so when the county by county figures are released. 

Wright County Highway Department to Host Public Open House on CSAH 3 Improvements 

The Wright County Highway Department has announced a public open house regarding proposed improvements to County State Aid Highway 3 in Southside Township. The proposal outlines reconstruction of CSAH 3 from Highway 55 to CSAH 2 in 2016. Among the features of the highway reconstruction are horizontal and vertical curve corrections to meet current MnDOT State Aid Highway standards, and to improve stopping sight distances. The new road is proposed to have a paved surface with 6-foot paved shoulders, along with a 42 foot safe zone, and flatter ditch sloping. The project will require right of way acquisition of 55 feet on each side of the centerline. Additional temporary construction easements will also be needed to accommodate construction operations, utility company relocations, and yard restoration. Area residents and public agencies are invited to Public Open House to be held from 4:30 to 6:30 PM on Wednesday, June 10th at the Southside Township Hall at 8209 County Road 3 Northwest, just south of Minnesota Highway 55. Wright County Highway Department staff will be on hand to discuss the design options and to hear residents' concerns on the project. Public comments on the project are encouraged. For more information on the project, contact Chad Hausmann or Mark Johnson with the Wright County Highway Department at (763) 682-7386. 

BBB Warns of Charity Scams 

The Minnesota Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about untrustworthy charitable organizations. Just last week the Federal Trade Commission charged four cancer charities with bilking nearly two million dollars from consumers. The BBB's Dan Hendrickson says the Cancer Fund of America, Cancer Support Services, Children's Cancer Fund of America and the Breast Cancer Society all face charges. He says unfortunately, often times the charities to watch out for have names that are very similar to the legitimate ones. Hendrickson encourages anyone donating to charity to first go to; to read up on reputable charities. 

Dayton, Smith Taking Pre-K Push On the Road  

Governor Mark Dayton says he and Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith will be visible around Minnesota pushing for universal pre-kindergarten. Opponents argue there are better and more cost-effective ways that target students who most need help.

More Volunteers Needed for Let's Go Fishing Outings  

Buffalo's Let's Go Fishing chapter is gearing up for its 8th season, and additional volunteers are needed. Let's Go Fishing provides free fishing and boating activities on a specially designed and outfitted pontoon boat that is docked for the summer on Lake Pulaski. The organization says their fishing and boating outings enrich the lives of individuals of all ages, and especially seniors. More volunteers to drive the pontoon and to be a deck hand to ensure the passengers have an enjoyable experience are needed. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact the Buffalo Community Center at (763) 682-6036. 

These stories and more follow CNN and MNN network news in our Wright County News at 6:10, 7:10, &  8:10 AM and 12:10, 4:10, 5:10, & 6:10 PM on AM 1360 / KRWC.