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Wright County News

Thursday, April 24, 2014


St. Michael City Councilmember Kevin Kasel Announces Candidacy for MN House District 30B  

A Wright County man has announced that he will be a candidate for the Minnesota House in District 30B, and will run as a Republican in the primary election later this summer. Kasel's candidacy press release noted that he is a former Sergeant with the U-S Marine Corps Reserve, a longtime St. Michael Lions Club member and a former coach and scout leader. 


Large Controlled Burn Reported 

Many residents of the area were curious about seeing a large amount of smoke, and in some cases some flames south of Buffalo late Tuesday afternoon and evening. Officials with the Wright County Sheriff's Office say the source was a large, controlled burn of some 29 acres in Marysville Township. Authorities reported no unusual circumstances or injury with the controlled burn.

Severe Weather Awareness Week (Part 4)

Safety officials in Minnesota are reminding residents of Severe Weather Awareness Week being observed all this week. Today in part 4 of our 5-part series, we focus on the dangers of floods and flash floods. While only a few portions of the KRWC listening area are generally prone to consistent spring flooding, many areas in the region have seen flash floods from time to time due to torrential rains. Flash flood watches and warnings are issued by the National Weather Service in a similar fashion to the severe weather watches and warnings when conditions have the potential of dumping heavy rains over an extended period of time. For more about severe weather safety, log onto; or, 

BNSF Addressing Farmers' Concerns Over Oil Rail Traffic 

Some Minnesota farmers are worried increased Bakken oil rail traffic may jeopardize fertilizer and propane deliveries and delay spring planting. During a recent stop in Minnesota, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says B-N-S-F Railway Company is addressing farmer's concerns. Vilsack says the railway has also announced commitments to additional line maintenance. Vilsack says he is also working with Senator Al Franken on a number of rail safety measures due to the increased rail traffic across Minnesota. Millions of barrels of oil are now being produced in the Bakken Oil Fields of North Dakota and are being transported by rail through Minnesota. This has also increased concern about more devastating accidents involving oil railway shipments.

Wildfire Prevention Week 

Governor Dayton has declared this Wildfire Prevention Week in Minnesota to increase awareness of outdoor fire hazards. Jean Goad with the Interagency Fire Center says as we've seen in recent days, the transition from a foot of heavy, very wet snow to dry grasses can happen in a surprisingly short amount of time. Goad says burning yard waste is a major cause of wildfires and that's why burning restrictions have been in effect for Wright County for more than a week, and are now in effect for much of north central Minnesota as well.

Beebe Lake Fundraising Event Saturday 

A special beer and wine tasting event this Saturday in St. Michael will benefit the work of the Beebe Lake Improvement Association. The BLIA and Cash Wise Liquor are co-hosting the 6th Annual Beebe Lake Beer & Wine Tasting Silent Auction Fundraiser this Saturday from 7 to 9 PM at the St. Michael City Center. The Beebe Lake Improvement Association is a non-profit group that is dedicated to improving the health of the lake for all users. Among the many ways the group is using to improve the lake health is managing invasive aquatic species, improving water quality, and also providing supplemental walleye stocking. Saturday's event runs from 7 to 9 PM, and tickets are available at Cash Wise Liquors in St. Michael, or by calling (763) 515-2639.

Weekend Traffic Crashes Involve Residents of the Region 

Several residents of our region were involved in two separate traffic crashes over the weekend in various parts of the state. The State Patrol says Saturday afternoon a Watkins woman died when three pickup trucks collided in Cass County near the community of Pillager. Authorities say a pickup truck that was southbound on Highway 64 crossed the center line and sideswiped another pickup, pushing that vehicle into the oncoming lane where it collided head-on with a smaller truck. Dead at the scene of the crash was 38-year-old Jackie Boulton of Watkins. She was a passenger in the small pickup truck driven by her husband, 35-year-old Michael Boulton, who also sustained serious injuries in the crash. The driver of the truck which was sideswiped, 48-year-old Daron Butzlaff of St. Cloud, and a passenger, 40-year-old David Butzlaff of Clearwater escaped without injury, as did the driver of the truck which crossed the center line, identified as 43-year-old Jeffrey Grose of Shoreview. The Pillager Police Department assisted the State Patrol at the scene. Saturday evening, a young woman from Elk River was injured in a two-vehicle crash in Otter Tail County. The State Patrol says a vehicle traveling south on Highway 59 crossed over the center line and struck a northbound vehicle head-on. The driver of the northbound car, 18-year-old Kelsey Laugen of Elk River sustained non-life threatening injuries. She was taken to a Detroit Lakes hospital for treatment. The other driver, 63-year-old Jacquelyn Burrows of Pelican Rapids was seriously injured. She was taken to Lake Region Hospital in Fergus Falls for treatment. The Becker County Sheriff's Office and the Pelican Rapids Police Department assisted at the scene.

Water Monitors Needed 

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is calling on volunteers who live or work near a lake or stream in the state. The MPCA's Lori Sovell says the information gathered focuses on water levels, clarity and transparency. She says funding from the Environmental Protection Agency to improve water quality is is allocated based on the information gathered from the samples. 
Sovell says the assessments, which run from April through September, help determine which bodies of waters need to be improved or protected.
If you're interested in the program, you can call the MPCA, or visit their website at; 

Adopt-A-Highway Season 

Now that spring has sprung many Adopt a Highway volunteers will be combing the ditches for litter. Program administrator Ernest Lloyd says on an average year, volunteers collect 26-thousand tons of trash. There are currently more than 49-thousand volunteers across the state that take part in the Adopt a Highway program.

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.