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City prepares for congested Nisswa for Fourth of July holiday

Nisswa police chief Craig Taylor said the Freedom Day Parade on July 3 may be more challenging this year because of the Highway 371 road construction.

“When the parade’s over, patience really needs to be exercised,” Taylor said, noting the restricted accesses into and out of downtown Nisswa.

Taylor said police have been educating motorists about the construction. There has been only one minor accident, he said.

Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl visited the council June 19, saying law enforcement has been quite busy in the last few weeks with the increase in summer tourism traffic and an increase in crashes. Fatalities are up compared to last year, he said.

“You’re going to see those squad cars out there” as part of the Toward Zero Death initiative, not to tag people, but to get the message out to drive safely, Dahl said, specifically mentioning the July 4 holiday.

He mentioned the recent tragic loss when a child drowned in Lake Edna, reminding people to wear life jackets and be careful of the still-cold water.

Dahl also promoted fireworks safety with the upcoming holiday.

High grade marijuana and methamphetamines are still the drugs of choice in the area, Dahl said.

Heroin is on the rise in the state and country, he said, because it’s cheaper than methamphetamines. While not prevalent here, it is prominent in St. Cloud and the Mille Lacs Indian Reservation, he said.

Police report

In May in Nisswa, police reported 26 agency assists, 225 calls for service, 14 criminal citations, 41 traffic citations, 105 traffic warnings, eight medicals and four alarms.

Fire report

Fire chief Richard Geike said firefighters had a busy month for fire calls and training. The department is receiving grant money for training sessions.

Crow Wing County asked the fire department to submit a bid to cover Unorganized Territory. Those talks are continuing to determine which areas of Unorganized Territory would make the most sense for the Nisswa department to cover.

Geike said a fire substation may be built in Lake Edward Township as well.