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Little Falls Ethanol Plant Suspends Operations

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08/14/2012 - 9:30 AM

LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) - High corn prices have forced a Little Falls ethanol plant to suspend operations.

The Central Minnesota Ethanol Co-op was idled late last month. Most of the plant's 30 employees are out of work.

The St. Cloud Times reports the high price of corn - and a low availability of corn locally - led to the idling.

General manager Dana Persson says until the plant can buy corn - or sell ethanol - at a price more conducive to doing business, "this is the course we have to take for now."

Persson thinks the plant could resume operations in September or October, once the new corn crop comes in.

The co-op began operating in 1999 and has produced about 21.5 million gallons of ethanol a year in the past.

Fire Marshal Report Says Overheated Compressor Caused Verso Explosion

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08/14/2012 - 9:30 AM

SARTELL, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota state fire marshal's office says an overheated air compressor caused a deadly Memorial Day explosion and fire at a Sartell paper mill.

According to a report released Monday, the overheated compressor ignited oil vapors in an air receiving tank at the Verso Paper Corp. mill.

The 27-page report says the cooling water supply to the compressor was severely reduced in the hour before the explosion, and that two other compressors had already shut off because of overheating.

Damage from the explosion is estimated at $50 million. The St. Cloud Times reports the case is closed. The blast killed one employee and injured a couple of others.

Verso announced earlier this month that the mill will not reopen.

Senator Franken to Tour St. Benedict's Senior Community Wednesday

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08/14/2012 - 1:20 AM

Senator Franken to Tour St. Benedict's Senior Community Wednesday

Minnesota Senator Al Franken is meeting with officials and residents of the St. Benedict's Senior Community in St. Cloud, which provides senior independent and assisted-living, as well as health and nursing services to residents. He's scheduled to visit starting at 11:15 a.m. Wednesday.

His staff support says during Franken's tour of the facility, he will discuss issues important to seniors, including his work on Medicare, Social Security, and the Older Americans Act.

Franken is a member of the Senate Health Committee.

Highway 22 South Of Richmond Will Close On Thursday

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08/14/2012 - 11:15 AM

Drivers travelling on Highway 22, south of Richmond, will encounter delays as the road closes between Highway 23 and Stearns County Road 43 this Thursday, August 16th.

A signed detour will direct drivers along Stearns County Road 43 and Highway 23. The closure and detour are needed as crews replace pipes beneath the road and resurface, repair and improve nine miles of Highway 22 between Eden Valley and Richmond.

All lanes will reopen by the end of September if weather is permitting.

Come To The First "Art Off" This Friday

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08/14/2012 - 10:10 AM

Come To The First

Visual Arts Minnesota and the Downtown St. Cloud Art Crawl are presenting the first ever “Art Off” performance this Friday, August 17th. Come celebrate the diversity of St. Cloud as they pair local artists with local musicians to create a one of a kind experience for all who attend.

The family friendly affair with hop-hop flair will showcase artistry in its purest form. The musicians include: Modern Condition, Pop Vultures, and Frosty. The artists include: Pat Jensen, Colin Jarrell, Trista Kolle and Heidi Steadman.

The event will start at 8 p.m. at the Falcon National Bank parking lot.

Alexandria Man Arrested After Driving Complaint Call

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08/13/2012 - 9:30 AM

Alexandria Man Arrested After Driving Complaint Call

The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office received a driving complaint call on Saturday afternoon after a truck was seen swerving all over the road on I-94 in Oak Township. A Stearns County Deputy was able to locate and stop the 1999 Chevrolet Silverado near Melrose.

During the traffic stop, officers found five and a half grams of methamphetamine, a loaded semi-automatic pistol, a 12 gauge shotgun and several knives. 27-year-old Seth Michael Luchau of Alexandria was driving the truck and was arrested for 3rd degree possession of a controlled substance and a controlled substance DWI. Luchau was taken to the Stearns County Jail where is he being held on felony charges.

The Melrose Police Department also assisted with the traffic stop.

St. Cloud Police Respond To Apartment Building For Burglary

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08/13/2012 - 9:30 AM

St. Cloud Police were called to a burglary at an apartment building Saturday afternoon. Officers went to the 1400 block of 45th Avenue South around 4:45 p.m. on Saturday for the burglary where they met with the 25-year-old victim who said his apartment was broken into.

The police investigation revealed that the suspects made entry into the apartment by cutting a screen and electronics were stolen. Anyone with information is asked to contact St. Cloud Police at 251-1200.

Political Campaign Signs Not Allowed On State Highway Rights Of Way

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08/13/2012 - 12:55 PM

Political Campaign Signs Not Allowed On State Highway Rights Of Way

Placing campaign signs and unauthorized objects in state highway rights of way are banned in Minnesota. Highway rights of way include driving lanes, inside and outside shoulders, ditches and sight corners at intersections.

Campaign signs also may not be placed on private property outside of the right of way limits without the landowners consent. Violation of this law is a misdemeanor; however civil penalties may also apply if the placement of this material contributes to a motor vehicle crash and injures a person or damages a motor vehicle that runs off the road.

Political campaign signs are treated in the same way as any other signs wrongly placed on a state highway property by businesses, churches, private citizens or charitable groups.

To find out where proper placement of campaign signs can be place and where to find signs that have been removed, contact MnDOT's Baxter office at 218-828-5700 or their St. Cloud office at 320-223-6500.  You can also click here.

Minnesota Legacy Amendment Fund Heats Up

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08/13/2012 - 11:55 AM

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) - The battle between Greater Minnesota and the Twin Cities over state funding for parks and trails is heating up again.

At stake is about $40 million annually from Minnesota Legacy Amendment funds that are divided among Twin Cities parks, state parks and regional parks in Greater Minnesota.

Earlier this year, 10 Twin Cities agencies passed a resolution calling the current split unfair. In response, cities and counties in Greater Minnesota have passed their own resolutions calling for an even greater share.

The St. Cloud Times reports it's likely to be a contentious issue that spills into next year's legislative session.

Republican state Sen. John Pederson of St. Cloud says metro residents have "an abundance of parks," while "a lot of catch-up" needs to be done in Greater Minnesota.

Primary Election Day Is Tomorrow

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08/13/2012 - 10:35 AM

Primary Election Day Is Tomorrow

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is reminding voters that the State Primary Election is being held tomorrow; Tuesday, August 14th. This is the first election since redistricting and those changes directly impact many Minnesota voters.

A state primary election serves a different purpose than a general election. For partisan races, a primary election narrows the field of candidates for the three major political parties who will be on the general election ballot. Primary voters also narrow the field for nonpartisan candidates for judicial, county and local offices.

Minnesota has an open primary, which means that voters are not required to register with a political party however, primary voters cannot vote for candidates in more than one political party. Most polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.  To find who is going to be on the ballot click here


Division Street To Close Between Lincoln And Wilson Avenue

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08/10/2012 - 9:30 AM

Drivers traveling on Division Street in St. Cloud will experience a detour and delays as work on the pedestrian bridge continues. Division will be closed between Lincoln Avenue and Wilson Avenue starting at 5 a.m. on Monday, August 13th.

Drivers are asked to find alternate routes or follow the detour that will be posted. The closure is needed while crew work on a portion of the street as part of the ongoing pedestrian bridge project.

All lanes will reopen by Friday, August 31st if weather is permitting.

Avon Man Injured In Car Accident

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08/10/2012 - 1:30 AM

On Thursday night the Stearns County Sheriff’s office was called to County Road three in St Wedel Township for a car accident with injuries. According to the police report, 20-year-old Scott Ryan Pueringer of Freeport was driving on County Road three when 18-year-old Aaron Rocklin Vowles of Avon failed to slow down when Pueringer was slowing down to make a turn which caused Vowles to hit Pueringer.

Vowles was treated by Gold Cross Ambulance and taken to the St. Cloud Hospital for his injuries.

The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the St. Joseph Fire and Rescuse and Gold Cross Ambulance.

St. Cloud Man Faces Racial Bias and Other Charges

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08/09/2012 - 9:30 AM

St. Cloud Man Faces Racial Bias and Other Charges

A 34-year-old St. Cloud man is in the Stearns County Jail after allegedly shouting racial slurs and threatening to kill four St. Cloud residents. Police were called to 435 33rd Avenue North Tuesday about 10:30 p.m. Officers found Nehemiah Mathews outside of the apartment building where he does not live. Police tased him after he did not follow their orders.

The police investigation says Mathews had been shouting derogatory and racial slurs at the victims’ door. He also threatened to kill the four apartment residents and burn their vehicles. The victims’ were not hurt in this incident.

Mathews was treated for minor injuries at the St. Cloud Hospital. He is being held on multiple charges including making terroristic threats and 4th degree racially biased assault charges.

Richmond Man Killed After Car Hits Him and Throws Him From Motorcycle

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08/09/2012 - 5:00 AM

A Richmond man was killed Thursday afternoon after being hit by a car, throwing him off his motorcycle.

52-year-old Paul Hiltner was killed at the scene of the accident that happened just before 1:30 p.m. The Waite Park police were called to the accident at the intersection of 2nd Street South and 28th Avenue South.

Police say a car driven by 31-year-old Erick Bardeaux of Sartell was travelling eastbound on 2nd Street South and drove through a stop sign 28th Avenue. Waite Park Police Chief David Bentrud says the accident happened near Traut Wells and the Stearns County Service Center West. Bardeaux's car hit Hiltner, throwing him from his motorcycle and into the path of a semi-tractor tanker traveling north on 28th Avenue.

Bardeaux is facing possible charges as the crash is under investigation. The intersection was closed down for several hours while the Minnesota State Patrol reconstructed the scene.

St. Cloud Man Arrested For Drug Possession After Traffic Stop

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08/09/2012 - 4:00 AM

St. Cloud Man Arrested For Drug Possession After Traffic Stop

A St. Cloud man was arrested on Monday for second and fifth degree controlled substance charges after being pulled over by the Central Minnesota Violent Offenders Task Force.

The Task Force arrested 35-year-old Donald Eugene Watson on a felony Morrison County warrant for a 5th degree controlled substance charge. Watson was also charged with 2nd degree controlled substance possession after officers found 16.6 grams of methamphetamine, packaging materials and a 22 caliber handgun in his vehicle.

Watson was taken to the Stearns County Jail.

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