Echo Journal Staff
Tax conformity and a bonding bill are among the top issues on the minds of local legislators as they started the legislative session Tuesday, Feb. 20, in St. Paul. Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Fairview Township/Cass County Gazelka, serving as Senate majority leader, said before the session's start that getting legislative funding passed would be the first item of business after Gov. Mark Dayton line item vetoed that funding last year. Otherwise, the Legislature would run out of money soon.
The prospect of Sunday liquor store sales in Minnesota is all but certain after both the Senate and House voted to end the ban on such sales. Though area legislators split on their votes, Gov. Mark Dayton has indicated he will sign the bill. The Senate passed a bill Monday, Feb. 27, on a 38-28 vote to allow liquor stores to be open between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sundays as soon as July. The House bill to allow Sunday liquor sales to begin at 10 a.m. passed 85-45 Feb. 20.
Area liquor store owners and managers shared their thoughts on being allowed to be open on Sundays for the first time in the state's history, with some on both sides of the "bar." The Minnesota Senate passed a bill Monday, Feb. 27, on a 38-28 vote to allow off-sale liquor stores to be open between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sundays as soon as July. The House bill to allow Sunday off-sale liquor sales to begin at 10 a.m. passed 85-45 Feb. 20. The opening time must be established. Minnesota has never allowed liquor stores to be open Sundays.
Summer vacation has come to a close for area children as local schools opened their doors for the first day Tuesday, Sept. 6. Pequot Lakes Schools The Pequot Lakes School District welcomed more than 1,600 students Tuesday for a stress-free first day, said superintendent Chris Lindholm. "It's been very smooth so far," he said. "Can't ask for a better start." High School Principal Chip Rankin said the school registered about 50 new students this year, which brings minor challenges.
After the Aug. 18 edition of the Echo Journal published with a comprehensive list of area people who filed for city council, school board and township positions, it was learned that a few more people had filed. Following are complete lists for Fifty Lakes and Backus city councils, as well as Pine River-Backus School Board and area townships that didn't include full listings last week. All other area races had complete listings in the Aug. 18 Echo Journal. CITIES Fifty Lakes Mayor: Incumbent Tim Anick.
Though there is no guarantee which way votes will go Nov. 8, changes for some local government offices are a sure bet. Filing for city, school board and township seats opened Aug. 2 and closed at the end of the business day Tuesday, Aug. 16. Though late-day filers may not be accounted for here and will be listed in the Aug. 25 edition of the Echo Journal, the following was known as of late Tuesday afternoon.
After a two-year break, Nancy Adams is seeking to become mayor of Pequot Lakes again. And Kevin Egan, a newcomer, filed for mayor in Lake Shore. Both filed for office Tuesday morning, Aug. 2. Filing for city, school board and township seats opened Tuesday and will close Tuesday, Aug. 16. Adams served as Pequot Lakes mayor for six years, from 2009-14, before opting not to seek re-election in 2014. Dave Sjoblad, longtime Sibley Township board member, then Pequot Lakes City Council member and then mayor the past two years, said he wouldn't run for re-election to the council.
All four incumbents have filed to retain their seats on the Pequot Lakes School Board. Kim Bolz-Andolshek, Curt Johnson, Mike Erholtz and Susan Mathison-Young all filed for re-election. Filing for city, school board and township seats opened Aug. 2 and will close at the end of the business day Tuesday, Aug. 16. The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. The following area people filed in the past week: CITIES Crow Wing County Breezy Point Mayor: Incumbent Tom Lillehei. City council: Jeff Helland. Emily City council: Incumbents Bill Spiess and Gerhart (Gary) Hanson. Fifty Lakes City council: Vernon O'Bryan, Linda Steffens. Pequot Lakes Mayor: Nancy Adams. City council: Maury Graham, Mimi Swanson, Jason Baca, incumbent Scott Pederson. Cass County Chickamaw Beach Mayor: Incumbent Bob Hanson. City council: Incumbent Douglas Barchus, Ed Henk, incumbent Michael Sandy. East Gull Lake Mayor: Incumbent Dave Kavanaugh. City council: Incumbents Carol Demgen and Dennis Lang. Hackensack Mayor: Incumbent Larry Ciha. City council: Incumbent Charlene Wilkes. Lake Shore Mayor: Kevin Egan. Pine River City council: Appointed incumbent Troy Gregory and incumbent Tammy Hoppe. TOWNSHIPS Cass County Birch Lake Supervisor 1: Erik Jacobson. Fairview Supervisor Seat 2: Jim Weizenegger. Hiram Supervisor Seat 1: David Morris. Clerk: Laurie Swanson. Pine River Supervisor Seat 2: David Smith. Supervisor Seat 3: Kerry David Krumwiede. Treasurer: Karen Bresnahan. Ponto Lake Supervisor 1: Michael Prososki.
As a result of the severe thunderstorms early Thursday morning, Aug. 4, the County Road 115, Ojibwa Road and County Road 127 areas near Nisswa sustained heavy damage. Emergency crews are working in those areas to open roads and restore power. Anyone who is not part of the emergency crews or residents of these areas must stay out. There have already been numerous reports of people in the area taking photographs and driving through road closed signs. Anyone located in these areas who doesn't belong there at this time may be cited by law enforcement.
A 21-year-old Backus woman who was valedictorian of the Pine River-Backus High School class of 2011 died Thursday, July 31, in a car accident in Pine River. Caitlyn "Caity" E. Daudt died in the two-vehicle collision. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, the collision occurred at the intersection of 24th Street and 16th Avenue Southwest in Pine River.