The Regional Report: Grant arms Pierz PD with non-lethal weapon, Staples barn quilt to appear in calendar
The Aitkin School District will soon have a new leader following the resignation of its superintendent, the Aitkin Independent Age reported. Brad Kelvington stepped down from the post after he agreed to enter negotiations with the Rocori School District as its superintendent. Kelvington assumed his role as Aitkin superintendent in April 2017. The school board accepted the resignation and approved a contract with School Exec Connect to search for candidates, but in the meantime intends to install an interim superintendent by Aug. 13.
In what seems like a near-constant refrain, another area city is experiencing troubles with its recycling bins, the Crosby-Ironton Courier reported. The Emily City Council passed a motion to move its recycling area, establish set hours and install a gate after recurring problems of garbage dumping. Council members said the seasonal problem attracts animals to the site and could pose a public health hazard.
A cemetery caretaker estimates thousands of dollars worth of graveside vases were stolen from St. Mary's Cemetery in Little Falls, the Morrison County Record reported. This report, combined with vases reported stolen at Our Lady of Lourdes Cemetery, means about 50 graves were robbed of decorative items. Caretaker Buddy Gau said bronze vases cost $400-$800 depending on the retailer, and can be melted down for their copper content.
Ever wondered what it's like to work at the zoo? Pine Grove Zoo in Little Falls may be able to answer some questions with its Zookeeper for a Day Experience, the Morrison County Record reported. Offered 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 11, adults will have the opportunity to step behind the "Employees Only" gate and experience the zookeeper life. For more information, call the zoo at 320-616-5595.
Amari Riley of Little Falls recently represented the United States in a track and field event in Australia, the Morrison County Record reported. Riley, entering her senior year at Little Falls Community High School, competed in discus and shot put at the Down Under International Games. She placed second out of 14 competitors in discus, achieving her personal best at 125 feet, 7 inches, and placed fifth out of 14 in shot put at 42 feet, 5 inches.
A bog accumulating on Lake Onamia the past two summers broke loose in mid-July following a significant rainfall, the Mille Lacs Messenger reported. The bog floated and became lodged on a rock dam, blocking an outlet considered the beginning of the Rum River. This caused the water level in the lake to rise by more than 1 foot, while the river's water level dropped by the same measure. This concerned Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials, who noted the bog dam could threaten the wild rice crop, create potential sewer problems and pose public safety concerns.
The DNR used excavators to dredge the bog a few days after the rain, allowing water to flow freely again.
The Pierz Police Department added a non-lethal shotgun to its arsenal thanks to a grant, the Morrison County Record reported. Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures provided $1,000 to the department for the purchase, which Chief Eric Hanneken told the Pierz City Council would shoot beanbags intended to take a suspect down without killing them. Hanneken said the weapon could be used in situations involving those experiencing mental health issues who might not be complying with officer commands, but deadly force is not justified.
A new wastewater treatment plant appears to be on the horizon for the city of Staples, the Staples World reported. A report prepared by engineering firm Bolton & Menk indicated a new facility—rather than updates to the old one or combining resources with another municipality—would be the most economical option. A new treatment plant is expected to cost $8.46 million, of which the city is hoping $6 million would be covered by grants.
A barn quilt near Staples is about to get its five seconds of fame in a national 2019 calendar, the Staples World reported. The quilt, painted by Judy Halverson for Max and Kathy Sibbert, was the only one selected from Minnesota. See the "American Star" barn quilt at 21736 Highway 210, west of Staples—one of 77 quilts tracked on a trail map by Barn Quilts of Central Minnesota. Visit www.barnquiltsmn.org/trail-map to view the map.
-- Compiled by Chelsey Perkins, community editor. Perkins may be reached at 218-855-5874 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @DispatchChelsey or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dispatchchelsey.