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St. Cloud Had Its 7th Snowiest And 10th Coldest December On Record

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12/30/2013 - 1:00 AM

Old man winter has started the season off with a cold and wintery December.

The average December temperature for St. Cloud was just over 7 degrees Fahrenheit.  

According to St. Cloud State University Meteorology Professor, Bob Weisman, there were 17 days in the month of December with a registered low temperature of zero or below zero. This month was the 10th coldest December on record.

Weisman says the December snowfall total for St. Cloud was 19.9 inches, not counting today’s snow accumulation. The total of just under 20 inches of snow is 9.4 inches above the December average. In total, there were 19 days out of the month of December with measurable snowfall. Making this the 7th snowiest December on record. 

Paramount Theatre Will Host Visual Arts Minnesota Essential Art Exhibition

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12/30/2013 - 10:50 AM

Visual Arts Minnesota and the Paramount Theatre are teaming up for the Essential Art Exhibition, running January 6 through February 16 at the Paramount Theatre.

A reception will be hosted at the Paramount Theatre Friday, January 10th featuring a performance by local artists and award ceremony.

The deadline for art submissions is January 2nd. Awards will be given in 2D and 3D categories. First place prize will receive $500.

Hypothermia Victim Alyssa Lommel's Condition Upgraded to Serious

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12/26/2013 - 9:45 AM

Doctors have upgraded the condition of a University of Minnesota Duluth student found unconscious in subzero cold earlier this month. Hospital officials tell WDIO-TV Tuesday that Alyssa Jo Lommel has been upgraded from critical to serious condition. The Duluth News Tribune says family members continued to report signs of progress on Lommel's CaringBridge website. She is now breathing without the aid of a ventilator. The CaringBridge page also reports that doctors "are getting close to being ready to start doing" some amputations.

Police say Lommel, a sophomore from St. Cloud, had been out drinking with friends December 6 and was dropped off at her Duluth house around midnight. A passer-by spotted Lommel on the front stoop of the house next door about nine hours later. She suffered severe hypothermia.

A fund has been set up at Bremer Bank to assist with medical costs for Lommel and her family.

St. Cloud Police Seek Public's Help in Christmas Day Armed Robbery at CVS Pharmacy

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12/26/2013 - 11:30 AM

St. Cloud police are asking for the public's help with an armed robbery that happened on Christmas Day. Police were called to the CVS Pharmacy on Division Street West shortly after 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

The 32-year-old victim told police a man approached her as she walked outside to her vehicle located on the north side of the parking lot. The suspect displayed a handgun and demanded her purse. The suspect is described as a white man, between 25 to 30 years old, 5 foot 8 to 5 foot 9 with a thin build. He had facial hair including a dark goatee and was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and dark jeans at the time of the robbery. The victim was not injured during the robbery.

The suspect ran east from the parking lot and officers set up a perimeter in the area of the 2200 block of Division Street West to 24th Avenue and 1st Street south. The suspect was not located, but they found the victim's purse with the valuable items  stolen.

If you have any information about this armed robbery you're asked to contact the St. Cloud police at 320-251-1200 or Tri-County Crimestoppers at 255-1301. The public can report information anonymously with a potential for reward at Tri-County Crimestoppers.

Prayer Vigil Held For UMD Student From St. Cloud Suffering From Severe Hypothermia

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12/23/2013 - 9:25 AM

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) - Friends gathered to pray for a college student who had severe hypothermia after spending the night in subzero temperatures. Police say 19-year-old Alyssa Jo Lommel had been out drinking with friends Dec. 6 and was dropped off at her Duluth house around midnight. A passer-by spotted Lommel on her front stoop about nine hours later.

The St. Cloud Times reports friends gathered Friday at Cathedral High School in St. Cloud. The University of Minnesota Duluth student remains in critical condition at a St. Paul hospital. Lommel's roommate Abbie Hagen says Lommel's condition is improving. She described it as "baby steps" but that it's "very positive." A fund has been set up for her at Bremer Bank in St. Cloud.

Wind Chill Advisory In Effect for Central Minnesota

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12/23/2013 - 9:15 AM

We're currently under a wind child advisory in St. Cloud and for most of central and eastern Minnesota. The conditions are so cold there is a warning for other parts of southwestern Minnesota and the Red River Valley.

Meteorology professor at St. Cloud State University Bob Weisman says temperatures fell to the minus single digits Monday morning in the St. Cloud area and the minus teens in Alexandria, Morris, and points northwest. With a northwest wind blowing at 5-15 MPH, there are wind chills in the -25 to -15 category in the advisory area and in the -35 to -20 range in the warning area. 

In the advisory area, wind chills will be in the -30 to -20 range through late morning and in the -40 to -25 range in the warning area. All the wind chill notices are in effect until noon Tuesday.

Here is Weisman's specific forecast.

Stearns County Man "Pursued" Deer in Court of Appeals Ruling On Hunting License Case

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12/23/2013 - 4:50 AM

The Minnesota Court of Appeals says a man who had a loaded weapon while he was concealed in a deer blind was "pursuing" deer under state law - and he needed a hunting license. The ruling issued Monday stems from a 2011 case in which a man was cited in Stearns County for hunting without a license.

Roger Schmid appealed his conviction, claiming he was not "pursuing" deer, because he wasn't directly chasing or tracking game. But the Appeals Court disagreed, saying deer hunting involves entering the animal's habitat, anticipating when a deer will come, and waiting to take a shot. The judges say intentionally intercepting and awaiting prey constitutes "pursuit" under state law. A message left with Schmid's attorney was not immediately returned Monday to the Associated Press.

St. Cloud Man Arrested Saturday And Facing Felony Assault Charges

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12/23/2013 - 11:00 AM

Early Saturday morning, police say a 22-year-old St. Cloud man allegedly threatened his girlfriend with a knife if she touched their baby.

Just after 2:00 a.m. Saturday, St. Cloud Police responded to a domestic assault complaint at the 1000 Block of East St. Germain Street.

According to the police report, 22-year-old Timothy James Sommerville assaulted his girlfriend, threatening her with a knife and saying he would kill her if she touched their baby. The woman received minor injuries from the incident.

Timothy Sommerville was arrested on two assault charges, including felony domestic assault as well as charges for terroristic threats.

Sommerville is being held for Court at the Benton County Jail.

St. Cloud Police Respond To St. Cloud Hospital For Juvenile Boy With Gunshot Wound

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12/23/2013 - 10:10 AM

St. Cloud Police Respond To St. Cloud Hospital For Juvenile Boy With Gunshot Wound

St. Cloud Police were called to the St. Cloud Hospital, just after 1:30 a.m. early Saturday morning, in response to a juvenile boy suffering from a gunshot.

According to St. Cloud Police the juvenile boy had a lower body gunshot wound.  The shooting happened in the 100 block of 6th Avenue South. Police say they are not currently looking at any suspects. The case is being investigated by the Criminal Investigation Unit of the St. Could Police Department.

No further information has been released on the boy’s condition or the investigation.

Central Minnesota Arts Board Grants More Than $113,000 in Arts Grants

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12/20/2013 - 9:45 AM

Central Minnesota Arts Board Grants More Than $113,000 in Arts Grants

20 arts organizations from Benton, Sherburne, Stearns and Wright counties are benefiting from more than  $113,000 in grant support from the Central Minnesota Arts Board. The board determined the recipients at their December meeting based on the following criteria: Artistic quality and merit; ability of the organization to carry out the proposal; and the needs of the community.

Some of the organizations receiving funds include the Chamber Music Society, Buffalo Community Theatre, Land of Lakes Choirboys, Minnesota Dance Ensemble and the St. Cloud Municipal Band. Organizations were required to have either 30 or 50 percent in matching funds to receive the grant, depending upon the criteria and amount requested.  CMAB grant funding is provided through an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature and the Legacy Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.

Below are a list of grant recipients:
1.  Buffalo Community Theatre,  $6,000, "The Dixie Swim Club" February 7 - 16 at the Buffalo Senior High School Performing Arts Theatre.

2.  Chamber Music Society, $8,000, "Tapestry Vocal Ensemble" Concert and Residency. Vocal group, Tapestry, will be in residence in St. Cloud from March 13 to March 16 conducting workshops for 6-8th grade girls' choirs, women's and Slavic choirs, and school age students. 

3.  Elk River Arts Alliance, $6,000, "Arts in Harmony FY14 Juried Exhibition" for two and three-dimensional art in Minnesota with over 600 entries, 200 works accepted and over $10,000 in awards.  The exhibition will be held February 3 to March 27th at Sherburne County Government Center in Elk River, MN.

4.  Great River Chorale, $3,087, "Salute to Freedom" a collaborative concert with the East Central Minnesota Chorale and the 34th Infantry Division Red Bull Band to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day, April 27 at the Paramount Theatre in St. Cloud and at the St. Cloud VA Medical Center Chapel on May 4.

5. Great River Educational Arts Theatre, $6,000, "To Kill a Mockingbird" January 31-February 9 at the Paramount Theatre in St. Cloud featuring a culturally diverse group of community artists ages ten through senior citizen.

6. Land of Lakes Choirboys, $4,157, "A Choirboy Experience", three, one-day workshops and performances for boys and girls in rural communities with participants drawn from local schools and churches. 

7. Minnesota Center Chorale, $3,578, "Let's Go to the Movies" joined by Tech High School Jazz Ensemble to perform highlights from big screen movies on February 16 at the Paramount Theatre, St. Cloud.  

8.  Minnesota Dance Ensemble, $6,000, "Blind Ambition" featuring innovative choreographic works for modern dance production on March 28 at the Paramount Theatre, St. Cloud.

9.  Paramount Arts Resource Trust, $8,000, "H.M.S. Pinafore", performed by New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players on Saturday, March 15 at the Paramount Theatre, St. Cloud.

10.  Pinecone Central Park Association, $6,000, Music in Pinecone Central Park series of four free community concerts will feature musicians from the region in live outdoor concerts July through September 2014 in Sartell.

11.  SOAR Regional Arts, $6,000 Beauty and the Beast Jr. for youth 5-18 years of age February 27th, 28th, March 1st and 2nd,at the Saint Michael Middle School West Auditorium.

12.  St. Cloud Municipal Band, $6,000, Summer 2014 concert series consisting of a Memorial Day Concert at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in St. Cloud; a Fourth of July Concert in conjunction with Fireworks at Hester Park; and six open-air concerts at Barden Park, St. Cloud.

13.  St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra,  $8,000, "Spirituality" Dr. Smith, the musicians of the orchestra and special guest performers will share the journey of the human condition in a concert on March 22 at 7:30 pm in Ritsche Auditorium at St. Cloud State University.

14.  St. John's University - Fine Arts, $8,000, Veteran's Administration Partnership performances and residencies with three multidisciplinary artists: pop culture humorist/actor Pat Hazell, Griffin Theatre Company, and a cappella group, Take 6. The activities will primarily involve Veterans from the St. Cloud VA.

15.  The St. John's Boy's Choir, $3,927, "HymnFest 2014" featuring the Junior Varsity and Concert Choirs of The St. John's Boys' Choir and special guests the Twin Cities Community Gospel Choir. A concert to celebrate the rich American tradition of hymn-singing, focused on shared human experiences interspersed with readings from classic and modern writers and musical numbers January 26.

16.  Visual Arts Minnesota, $5,054, "34th Annual High School Art Exhibition" Featuring young artists from high schools throughout central Minnesota for an exhibition in the Great River Regional Library in St. Cloud, MN March 24 to April 26.

17.  Whitney Senior Center, $2,348, "Senior Arts Programming Initiative" offers seniors in the St. Cloud area opportunities to engage in unique arts programming with five arts courses provided in 2014, consisting of jewelry making, dance, painting, drawing, and photography.

18.  Wirth Center for the Performing Arts,  $7,875, "School of Rock" for students in grades 6-12 to learn the art of being a rock musician.  The camp led by professional musicians and held at Calvary Community Church July - August.

19.  Youth Chorale of Central MN, $4,000, "Collaborative Concert" with Twin Cities artist, Jearlyn Steele. This concert will also feature a world premiere performance of a commissioned piece by former St. Cloud composer, Robert Sieving and will be held March 2 at the Paramount Theatre in St. Cloud, MN.  

20.  Youth Theatre Workshop, $6,000, "Winnie the Pooh", which incorporates four popular stories adapted by Katie Wolf will utilize a cast of 1 adult and 75-80 local youth from grades K-12 and will be held February 7- 16 at the Elk River High School Historic Little Theater.

Northway Drive To Temporarily Be Reduced To One Lane Monday

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12/20/2013 - 1:05 AM

Starting Monday, traffic will be reduced to one lane on 15th Street North between 24th Avenue North and Northway Drive.

According to the City Engineer’s Office, soil borings will be conducted in the area with flaggers present.

The closure will last one day.

Coffee With Commissioner Bromenschenkel Slated For January 4

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12/20/2013 - 11:40 AM

Coffee With Commissioner Bromenschenkel Slated For January 4

Stearns County residents are invited to discuss county issues and have coffee with Commissioner Mark Bromenschenkel.

Coffee with Commissioner Bromenschenkel will take place at the American Burger Bar from 11-12:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 4 in St. Joseph.

Commissioner Bromenschenkel represents the cities of St. Joseph, Sartell, Waite Park, as well as Le Sauk and St. Wendel Townships.

Citizens may stop in to meet the Commissioner or to discuss county related issues.

Central Minnesota Homebuyers See Increase In Average Sale Prices In November

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12/19/2013 - 11:30 AM

Central Minnesota Homebuyers See Increase In Average Sale Prices In November

While potential homebuyers had fewer choices in November, area sellers saw increases in both the average and median sales prices which are contributing to the area’s market recovery.

According to the Minnesota Association of Realtors, new listings in Central Minnesota were down 4.2 percent or 20 units over November 2012.  However, in year to date listings as of December 11th, 8,459 homes were recorded, which is an 11.3 percent increase compared to this time last year.  Of that number, 5,501 homes have closed their sales. 

While area buyers had less inventory in November, sellers were watching their values continue to recover; receiving 94.6 percent of their original list price.

On a statewide level, sellers are seeing the average sales price rising month after month. The average sales price increased to just over $212,000 a 10.5 percent change. The average sales price has increased each month over the last 12 month period.

Kimball Woman Dies After Head-On Crash Tuesday Morning On Highway 24

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12/18/2013 - 9:10 AM

A 62-year-old Kimball woman died Tuesday after being involved in a head-on crash.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, the crash took place just after 9:00 a.m. Tuesday morning on an icy segment of Highway 24 and 670th Avenue in Meeker County.

Authorities say Barbara Root, of Kimball was traveling westbound on Highway 24 when an oncoming car driven by 20-year-old Matthew Bohach of Litchfield began to swerve. Root turned her small SUV to avoid Bohach and crashed into an eastbound traveling pickup truck head-on.

Barbara Root died at the scene.

Bohach didn't suffer any injuries. The driver of the pickup truck, 50-year-old Douglas Hughes of Litchfield suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Northbound Lane on Cooper Avenue North To Close Due To Water Main Break

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12/18/2013 - 4:30 AM

An emergency water main break will close the northbound lane of Cooper Avenue North from County Road 75 and Roosevelt Road to the intersection of University Drive and Cooper Avenue beginning 9:00 a.m.Thursday morning. According to the City Engineer’s Office, the closure is expected to last two days.

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