Weather Forecast


Bike nights set in Aitkin

■ Highway 27 closes temporarily near Mississippi River in Little Falls

LITTLE FALLS — Motorists traveling Highway 27/Broadway Avenue in Little Falls will encounter a detour as the road is closed at the BNSF railroad crossing after 8 a.m. Thursday, July 11. The railroad crossing is located just west of the Mississippi River.

A detour will direct motorists along Paul Larson Memorial Drive, Ninth Avenue Northwest and Second Street Northwest.

The road is scheduled to open by 8 p.m. Friday.

The closure is needed as crews repair the approach to the railroad crossing.

For real-time travel information anywhere in Minnesota, visit

■ Ward lists board openings

Rep. John Ward, DFL-Baxter, is encouraging area residents to apply for an appointment to a number of councils, committees, boards, and commissions. Application forms may be found at: or may be obtained from the Office of the Secretary of State, Open Appointments, 180 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155-1299, or in person at Room 180 of the State Office Building.

■ Panel on

controlled substances conducts hearing

ST. PAUL – The Select Committee on Controlled Substances and Synthetic Drugs conducted a meeting Tuesday in the State Office Building in St. Paul. Rep. John Ward, DFL – Baxter, is a member of the committee, which is studying the issue of growing synthetic drug problem. Rep. Ward and the other committee members were appointed by Speaker Paul Thissen.

Synthetic drugs are chemically laced substances similar to marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine that are sold over the counter at some convenience stores, gas stations and tobacco shops. The Drug Enforcement Agency has cited synthetic drugs as an “imminent threat to public safety.”

The committee will examine how other states are dealing with the problem. One state that has the committee’s attention is Indiana, which this year banned “look-alikes,” which are drugs substantially similar to substances earlier banned by the legislature.

The Select Committee on Controlled Substances and Synthetic Drugs will conduct a committee meeting in Brainerd on Aug. 22. More details and information will be announced soon.

■ Two Brainerd women to be in Komen walk

Jane Johnson and Lottie Oehrlein, both of Brainerd, are walking the 60-mile, three-day walk for breast cancer on Aug. 23, 24, and 25. The walk is the Susan G. Komen three-day walk in the Twin Cities.

Anyone interested in donating may go to For participants, contributors may list either Jane Johnson or Lottie Oehrlein.

■ MnDOT comment

period ends July 31

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) invites the public and transportation stakeholders to review and comment on the draft Minnesota 20-year State Highway Investment Plan (MnSHIP) through July 31. This will be the final opportunity for the public to provide input on the plan.

MnDOT will conduct a public hearing from 4 to 5:30 p.m. July 29 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in Room G15 at the MnDOT Central Office, 395 John Ireland Blvd., in St. Paul. The public also may participate via videoconference at MnDOT offices statewide including the Baxter office at 7694 Industrial Park Road.

MnSHIP connects the Minnesota GO 50-year vision and policies established in the Statewide Multimodal Transportation Plan to capital improvements on the state highway system. MnSHIP establishes priorities for spending projected capital revenue, identifies planned investments during the next seven years based on these priorities, and details strategies to ensure the effective use of available resources.

MnSHIP can be accessed electronically at

■ ATV club meets

Saturday in Ironton

The Cuyuna Iron Range Riders will host its monthly meeting 9 a.m. Saturday at the American Legion, 232 Fourth St. in Ironton.

A club ride and potluck picnic will follow in the Miller/Black Bear trail area. The club will provide brats and hotdogs. Non-members are welcome to join. The club is actively pursuing grant-in-aid trails in Crow Wing County, supports responsible riding, youth safety training and trail ambassadorship. The club offers memberships to anyone interested in trail riding and exploring nature, Free all-terrain vehicle trail maps are available.

For more information about the club, contact club President Russ Heittola at 825-0441 or Check trail/road closures before heading out at

■ Habitat for Humanity bike event set for Aitkin

AITKIN — Aitkin will be loaded with bikes beginning on Monday. About 135 Habitat for Humanity 500 bike riders and 20 of their volunteers will stop there overnight on Monday before they head to Grand Rapids.

Dinner will be served to the bikers at Aitkin City Park at 6:30 p.m., followed by the dedication of the Aitkin leg of the Cuyuna Lakes Bike Trail. People will assemble at the park shelter at 7 p.m. to walk to the dedication along the trail. Aitkin City Council members will be present, along with other officials. Aitkin County Habitat for Humanity, Fit City Aitkin and other civic groups and churches are partnering on the project.

The Habitat 500 cyclists will finish their stay in Aitkin with an early breakfast at First Lutheran Church and then wheel their way to Grand Rapids for the next leg of the bike tour. This year’s goal is to raise $350,000 to support affordable housing in Minnesota.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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