Your Monday News Brief: April 16

By: News Director Larissa Donovan

BEMIDJI– The Beltrami County Board of Commissioners will hear an update on the statewide “Toward Zero Deaths” highway campaign. According to map submitted in county documents, the most severe crashes have occurred on Highway 2, and several other historic crash sites are clustered around the city of Bemidji. Toward Zero Deaths is a campaign that aims to create a culture in which traffic fatalities and serious injuries are no longer acceptable. The leading causes of fatal and severe crashes in northwest Minnesota are alcohol, distracted driving, speed and lack of seatbelt use.

BEMIDJI– The Bemidji City Council will consider the adoption of the Parks and Rec Department’s Strategic Plan during their council meeting tonight. The plan, enclosed in city documents, focuses on programming, department promotion and improvement in the operations and management of the parks, trails and facilities. According to the report, the city operates and maintains 22 parks and 250 acres of parkland, plus ten miles of trail.

ST. PAUL– The state is accepting comments regarding an increased fee for buffer law noncompliance. Comments will be accepted through 4:30 p-m today, and can be emailed to The Board of Water and Soil Resources have proposed an amendment that would assess penalties for landowners not in compliance of the buffer law, based on linear feet. According to the BWSR, over 97% of public waters are in compliance with the law enacted last year.

EAST GULL LAKE– Authorities have identified the Nisswa man who died when his vehicle crashed into the Gull River in Cass County.  Sheriff’s deputies say 61-year-old Mark Prazak was found dead inside his car last Tuesday, which was upside down in the water.  The investigation indicates Prazak drove through an intersection into the river.  An autopsy was scheduled with the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office.

BEMIDJI– The Bemidji School Board will meet for three special sessions this week to interview superintendent finalists. The special sessions will be held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 6 p-m at the District Board office. On Thursday, the school board will select a finalist. The public is invited to open forum interviews that will be held from 5 to 6 p-m, prior to the special sessions this week.

ELY– The small town of Ely is attempting to single-handedly turn an historically unpopular day, Tax Day, into a celebration of all that Ely has to offer as The Last Great Pure Experience. The Ely tourism board is renaming Tax Day as Today is Another Xciting Day in an effort to launch their summer tourism marketing campaign. The city of Ely, well known for April Fools campaigns, is hopeful that the campaign will carry the town’s quirky reputation.

FLORIDA– A Dodge County woman wanted for the murder of her husband is reportedly the suspect in another murder. According to a release from the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office, Lois Riess of Blooming Prairie is believed to have killed a Florida woman in order to assume her identity. The Florida woman’s vehicle has been observed in Louisiana and Corpus Christi. Riess’ white Cadillac Escalade was found abandoned in a Florida park last week.


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