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Low Interest Loans Available For Area County Small Businesses And Non-Profits

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01/16/2014 - 11:10 AM

Low interest loans may be available for small businesses and non-profit organizations due to a disaster declaration that covers several counties including Benton and Stearns Counties.

According to Stearns County Emergency Management, this declaration was the outcome of drought conditions that happened from September 1st through November 15th.

Loan amounts are set by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and are based on the financial conditions of each applicant.

The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that were unpaid due to the disaster. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) on SBA's website. The application may also be downloaded here and mailed to

U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center,
14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. 
 

SCSU Receives Honor For Student Mental Health Programming And Suicide Prevention

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01/16/2014 - 11:00 AM

St. Cloud State University has been honored for their mental health programming and suicide prevention for its students by a national organization.

SCSU is recognized for its commitment to the emotional well-being of its students based on an extensive survey conducted by the Jed Foundation.

St. Cloud State is one of 37 colleges and universities nationwide to receive the Jed Campus Seal honor.

The Jed Foundation is an organization that promotes protection of the emotional health of America’s 20 million college students.

Blizzard Warning Issued For Western Stearns County Thursday

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01/15/2014 - 6:00 AM

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for Western Stearns County beginning at 6:00 a.m. Thursday.

According to St. Cloud State University Meteorology Professor, Bob Weisman, Western Stearns County has enough snow from Monday’s overnight storm coupled with wind gusts up to 50 MPH that will cause near zero visibility in open areas.

With winds from 20-30 MPH and temperatures warming to the low teens road conditions will be very slick.

Weisman says areas like St. Cloud, not covered by the blizzard warning will still experience falling temperatures, strong winds and low visibility in open areas creating slippery conditions.

The blizzard warning is in effect through midnight Thursday.

A Man Is Facing Assault Charges After Allegedly Attempting To Choke A Woman

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01/15/2014 - 11:35 AM

A man is currently being held in Sherburne County Jail and facing charges of gross misdemeanor domestic assault charges after allegedly trying to choke a woman Tuesday morning.

According to St. Cloud police, a 28-year-old woman said that 30-year-old Darrell Lorenzo Dixon threatened to assault her and eventually tried to choke her. The woman also told officers that she had to stab Dixon in the leg with a pocket knife to get away from him.

The suspect was taken to the St. Cloud hospital and treated for his injuries.

The case will be reviewed by the County Attorney Office for possible charges against the victim.

Sartell Mayor Joe Perske Enters Race For Minnesota 6th District Representative

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01/14/2014 - 4:25 AM

SARTELL, Minn. (AP) - Sartell Mayor Joe Perske is joining the race to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Perske said Tuesday he'll seek the DFL endorsement to run in the 6th District.

Perske says he would "work with others to restore the middle class." He also says the U.S. House is "drowning in its own dysfunction," which he attributes in part to what he calls Bachmann's "extremely partisan conduct."

Perske was elected mayor three years ago after six years on the Sartell City Council.

He has taught and coached in the Sartell School District for 25 years.

Higher Energy Bills Expected This Winter

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01/14/2014 - 1:00 AM

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) - Being warm and comfortable in your home this winter could come with a higher price.

Greater energy usage translates to bigger bills. Xcel Energy customers used about 29 percent more natural gas this past December than in December 2012. Customers used about 19 percent more natural gas than expected for December.

Xcel Energy spokesman Tom Hoen says the system is well prepared to handle the extra usage. It's something they plan for while keeping up with the forecast.

The St. Cloud Times says CenterPoint Energy has told its customers to expect their heating costs to double. CenterPoint spokeswoman Becca Virden says they're encouraging customers to think about energy conservation.

The Tri-County Action Program provides a list of ways for consumers to conserve their energy usage, especially during the cold winter months. In addition, Tri-CAP also provides energy assistance programs for those eligible households in Benton, Morrison, Sherburne, and Stearns counties that have difficulty paying for their energy usage.

St. Cloud Area Genealogists To Discuss Diocese Records

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01/14/2014 - 11:45 AM

St. Cloud area genealogists will be gathering at the Stearns History Museum to discuss St. Cloud Diocese Church records.

Presenters Gretchen Liesen and Sarah Warmka will discuss how volunteers have spent hours searching through baptism, marriage, and burial records dating back to the 1850s. Their research includes 44 churches in the St. Cloud Diocese and is now being shared with the museum.

The free event will take place at the Stearns History Museum on January 21st at 7 p.m.

Today Marks Only The Second Day Of Measurable Snow In January

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01/14/2014 - 11:00 AM

Today Marks Only The Second Day Of Measurable Snow In January

Tuesday is only St. Cloud’s second day in January with measurable snowfall.

According to St. Cloud State Meteorology Professor, Bob Weisman, a strong low pressure system pushed through central Minnesota causing the measurable snowfall, beginning just after midnight here in St. Cloud.

Weisman says as of 6:00 a.m. Tuesday morning snow accumulations reached 3.9 inches on the SCSU campus. Weisman forecasts St. Cloud will end up with 4-5 inches of snow, making it the second largest daily snowfall of the winter.

With the significant snowfall and winds between 15-20 MPH the National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory effective until 3:00 p.m. Tuesday.

19-Year-Old St. Cloud Man Crashes Snowmobile Outside Kimball Monday

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01/14/2014 - 10:00 AM

A 19-year-old St. Cloud man was launched from his snowmobile Monday, just before 5:00 p.m. along Highway 15 in Prairie Township.

According to the Stearns County Sheriff’s Department, Ryan Berdan was driving his snowmobile north through the ditch along Highway 15.  Berdan struck a field approach causing him to be thrown from the snowmobile a half-mile north of Kimball.

Berdan was treated at the scene by Kimball Fire and Rescue and was taken to the St. Cloud Hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

Level 3 Sex Offender Lists His Address As

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01/13/2014 - 9:55 AM

Level 3 Sex Offender Lists His Address As

A level three sex offender tells St. Cloud police, his address now lists as “homeless” in the St. Cloud area.

According to St. Cloud Police, 31-year-old Dagan Michael Lasart went through a period of incarceration out of the St. Cloud area and has now returned as of last Friday.

Lasart was convicted of Criminal Sexual Conduct afer engaging in sexual contact with an adult woman. Lasart entered the victim’s home without permission and used a weapon to gain control. He did not know the victim.

The offender is not wanted by the police at this time and has served the sentence enforced by court.

Stearns County Seeks Public Input On Electric Bicycles

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01/13/2014 - 3:00 AM

Stearns County Seeks Public Input On Electric Bicycles

Residents of Stearns County will be able to voice their opinions on the use of electric bicycles on county trails on February 11th.

The Stearns County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing to discuss the possible changes to trails ordinances being considered by the Stearns County Parks Department  to comply with new state laws.

The Minnesota Legislature has recently passed a law in which electric assisted bicycles with motors fewer than one thousand watts are exempted from motorized vehicle trail restrictions.

The county board will hold discussions to decide if electric bikes on pedestrian and bike trails are in compliance with the new law.

A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, February 11th at 9:50 a.m. in the Administration Center County Board Room in downtown St. Cloud.

Juvenile Boy Leads St. Cloud Area Law Enforcement On Chase Sunday Night

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01/13/2014 - 12:00 PM

The Stearns County Sheriff’s Department, St. Cloud Police and Waite Park Police were involved in a car chase Sunday just after 8:00 p.m.

According to the Stearns County Sheriff’s Department, a deputy pulled over a Chevy Malibu at County Road 136, north of 43rd Avenue in St. Augusta.

During the traffic stop the deputy noted the driver showing apparent signs of intoxication.  When the deputy asked the 17-year-old boy to step out of the car for a field sobriety test, the driver took off.

The juvenile driver led law enforcement west on County Road 141, then north on Highway 15 driving on the wrong side of the road, causing a truck to end up in the ditch.

On Highway 15 near the I-94 overpass, the driver jumped out of his moving car and he was injured. The boy was treated on scene and then taken to the St. Cloud Hospital, he was still hospitalized Monday.

The chase is under investigation and more information isn’t made available at this time.

Melrose Woman Found Dead In Snow In Melrose Township Friday

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01/13/2014 - 11:00 AM

A Melrose woman is dead after being found in the snow next to an out building in Melrose Township Friday.

According to the Stearns County Sheriff’s office, 68-year-old Lawrence Herman Hollenkamp of Sauk Centre found a body next to an out building on his farmsite Friday afternoon.

The body was later identified as 83-year-old Clara Barbara Pundsack of Melrose. Police recognized Pundsack as a missing person from the city.

According to family members, the Melrose native had a history of dementia.

Foul play is not expected as the investigation continues. Pundsack was taken to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office and is pending an autopsy.

St. Cloud Police Asking For Public's Help In Locating Man Wanted In Sexual Assault Case

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01/13/2014 - 10:50 AM

St. Cloud Police Asking For Public's Help In Locating Man Wanted In Sexual Assault Case

24-year-old Xavier Lamar Phillips-Freeman is wanted by the St. Cloud Police on a 1st degree Criminal Sexual Conduct warrant.

Police say a 33-year-old woman was allegedly sexually assaulted in late September while walking near the Courthouse Square in downtown St. Cloud.

The victim reported the alleged suspect said he had a gun, but it was never seen by the victim. Phillips-Freeman is named in a St. Cloud Police report as a suspect in the sexual assault case.

Anyone with information regarding Phillips-Freeman’s whereabouts is urged to contact the St. Cloud Police Department or Tri-County Crime Stoppers.

SCSU Releases Survey On Minnesotan's Views Toward Marijuana Legalization

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01/10/2014 - 11:50 AM

SCSU Releases Survey On Minnesotan's Views Toward Marijuana Legalization

St. Cloud State released its third wave of results for the annual statewide survey covering Minnesotans views on legalizing marijuana.

According to the survey, the 626 randomly chosen Minnesota adults are pretty evenly split on the legalization of marijuana for general use, 46 percent voted in favor of legalization and 48 percent voted no. Meanwhile, 51 percent of male respondents voted for legalization compared to 41 percent of female respondents. Minnesotan’s overwhelmingly support the legalization of marijuana for medical use, 76 percent voted yes for legal medical marijuana.

Among the political groups surveyed, more Libertarians voted for legalization; followed by Democrats, Indepenents, the Tea Party and the least in favor of legalization of marijuana were Republicans.

The survey also showed that 45 percent of Minnesotan’s have tried marijuana.

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