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Update: Monticello Man Facing Criminal Charges In Kidnapping Death Of 5-year-old Girl

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08/23/2016 - 10:40 AM

LITCHFIELD, Minn. (AP) - Criminal charges are expected soon against a suspect in the kidnapping and killing a 5-year-old girl from central Minnesota.

Zachary Todd Anderson, of Monticello, is being held in the Crow Wing County Jail in the death of Alayna Ertl. Alayna was last seen around 2 a.m. Saturday when she was put to bed at her home in Watkins, about 70 miles northwest of Minneapolis. Her mother reported her missing at 8 a.m. Anderson, a family friend, was also missing. The 26-year-old Monticello man had been spending the night with the Ertl family.

Her disappearance led authorities to issue an Amber Alert Saturday.

Anderson was found later Saturday at a cabin his family owns near Motley, about 80 miles to the north. Authorities say he provided information that led to the discovery of Alayna's body, which was found near the cabin.

Monticello Man Jailed As Suspect In Kidnapping Death Of 5-year-old Girl

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08/22/2016 - 9:00 AM

LITCHFIELD, Minn. (AP) - A Minnesota man is jailed on suspicion of first-degree murder and kidnapping in the death of a co-worker's 5-year-old daughter.

Twenty-six-year-old Zachary Todd Anderson, of Monticello, is being held in the Crow Wing County Jail in the death of Alayna Ertl, who was reported missing from her home in the central Minnesota town of Watkins Saturday morning. Her disappearance led authorities to issue an Amber Alert.

Alayna's body was found nine hours later in a rural area near Motley in Cass County. Authorities arrested Anderson in the same county.

Meeker County Sheriff Brian Cruze says the suspect was a family friend and co-worker of Alayna's father who spent the night with the family in Watkins.

Investigators have not disclosed details of how the girl died. Autopsy results are pending.

St. Cloud State University Hosts Minnesota's First Police And Social Services Conference

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08/16/2016 - 1:00 AM

St. Cloud State University along with the St. Cloud Police Department are hosting Minnesota’s first ever Police and Social Services Conference.

The goal of the conference is to develop new ways police and community partners can work together to strengthen their communities.

Topics will include: collaborative strategies, community policing, strengthening trust and collaboration with police, and psychological first aid for first responders.

The conference is being organized by SCSU’s Center for Continuing Studies and the St. Cloud Police Department’s Campus Area Police Services team.

The conference will be on September 8 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Holiday Inn & Suites, located at 75 S. 37th Ave. in St. Cloud.  

SCSU Reveals Blizzard T. Husky Mascot's New Look

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08/16/2016 - 1:00 AM

Just in time for the new school year, St. Cloud State University has unveiled the new costume for their beloved mascot, Blizzard T. Husky.

Blizzard’s new costume features the husky authentic bright blue eyes, longer black and white fur, and the trademark sickle tail. You can see Blizzard’s new look on campus during the Huskie First Four weekend and at most Huskies athletic events. Blizzard will also be at the Minnesota State Fair.

The Blizzard Mascot is also available for personal appearances. For more information, contact Nate Swenson in Husky Athletics.

St. Cloud Area Is Opting Out Of Minn. Law Allowing Shot-Term Housing For Elderly Folk

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08/16/2016 - 11:50 AM

BIG LAKE, Minn. (AP) - Many cities and counties in Minnesota are opting out of a state law allowing small dwellings that can be short-term housing for aging people who aren't quite ready for assisted living or a nursing home.

The St. Cloud Times reports that the Minnesota Legislature passed a law last session permitting the housing, called granny pods.

The spaces are similar to a tiny house or recreational vehicle. They provide a small but functional living space for someone using a walker or wheelchair.

The state law gives cities and counties the option to opt out of it, and many are doing just that, including St. Cloud and Sherburne and Stearns counties.

Stearns County environmental services director Chelle Benson says it opted out of the law because it already has ordinances allowing manufactured homes to be used for the same purpose.

Visual Arts Minnesota Is Hosting Free Painting Events During Summertime By George

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08/15/2016 - 1:40 AM

On Wednesday during Summertime by George, Visual Arts Minnesota is offering a free painting event in St. Cloud.

The nonprofit organization has a corpse sculpture on display and is inviting the community to come paint the pieces such as legs, torsos, and heads that will be displayed and rearranged.

Paint and materials will be provided.

Visual Arts Minnesota will offer the free painting events for the next two Wednesdays during Summertime by George. 

Summertime by George kicks off at 5 p.m. at Lake George.

First Archery Range In Stearns County Opened Saturday With Help From One Boy Scout

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08/15/2016 - 11:10 AM

SARTELL, Minn. (AP) — The first archery range in a Stearns County park has opened at Mississippi River County Park north of Sartell thanks to a 15-year-old Boy Scout and bow hunter who developed the plan for his Eagle Scout project.

Brian Amundson, the third of four brothers to pursue the Eagle Scout distinction, will enter ninth grade this fall at Sartell High School with project management experience under his belt.

He put in about 200 hours working on the range with his dad and more than 50 others. Stearns County says the targets are posted at 10-80 yards away.

The grand opening was held Saturday, August 13. It will be open to the public during the summer months May-October.

Stearns County Deputy Delivered Baby In A Parking Lot Wednesday

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08/12/2016 - 11:40 AM

A Stearns County Deputy delivered a baby in a Waite Park a parking lot Wednesday evening.
Sheriff John Sanner says about 5:50 p.m. Wednesday Isaac Hawksworth of Paynesville flagged down a deputy while in a parking lot just off 28th Avenue South. The Deputy was notified that Hawksworth’s wife, Kendra Hawksworth was having a baby.
The Deputy called for an ambulance, but after assessing how close the woman was to birth the Deputy saw the baby’s head and determined that the birth was imminent. Kendra Hawksworth was then placed on a blanket in a safe location. Minutes later baby boy, Will Hawksworth was born at 5:52 p.m.
Both the mother and baby were later transported to St. Cloud Hospital for further evaluation.


St. Cloud Great River Regional Library Is Hosting Capitol Restoration Project Sneak-Peek

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08/11/2016 - 2:40 AM

On Wednesday the public is invited to hear about the Minnesota State Capitol Restoration Project at the St. Cloud Great River Regional Library.

Commissioner Matt Massman of the Department of Administration will present a behind-the-scenes look at the restoration transformation process, which includes marble carving, fine-art conservation, and a glimpse at the new and expanded public spaces.

This is the capitol's first restoration since its completion in 1905, and it is set to reopen in 2017.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and is free to the public.  

St. Cloud State Welcomes New International Students For Fall Finance Program

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08/11/2016 - 2:00 AM

St. Cloud State’s Herberger School of Business is welcoming over 60 new students from China.

The students from Nankai University Binhai College will be attending classes in the new two-and-two Bachelor of Science in Finance program.

The students have already completed two years of college at Binhai College and will finish the program in St. Cloud, and receive degrees from both universities.

The arrival of the international students has taken almost 10 years of work by the SCSU and Binhai College faculty and staff to make this program a reality. 

One Year After Construction Q-Lot Pollution Reduction Project Is Showing Results

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08/10/2016 - 4:40 AM

Last year St. Cloud State University's "Q" parking lot was renovated into a storm water pond with soil and native flowers to help control runoff to the Mississippi River. 

The Q-Lot Pollution Reduction project is now showing improvement. Facilities Management Safety Administrator Joe Teff says cleaner water is entering the river.

The project has reduced flooding, removed pollutants, controlled runoff volume and flows, recharged groundwater and provided a more natural habitat for wildlife.

Stearns County and SCSU oversaw the construction project funded by a $196,000 grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).

Q-lot is located south of the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.

To learn more about the renovation process, visit KVSC's podcast page for an in-depth news feature.  

Bernick Company In St. Cloud Celebrates 100 Years At Stearns History Museum

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08/09/2016 - 2:00 AM

On Wednesday, as a part of its Breakfast Club program, the Stearns History Museum will present “The Bernick Companies: The First Century.”

Jason Bernick and Ruth Larson will share stories of the humble beginnings of the company when production equipment only included a bottle filling and capping machine, a washer, and a few hundred wooden cases to haul products.

They will also talk about the challenges the company faced during war times, the Great Depression, and prohibition.

Breakfast Club begins at 9 a.m. and is free for Stearns History Museum members and $7 for nonmembers. 

A 27-Year-Old Man Was Killed In A Semi Crash Tuesday Morning In Swift County

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08/09/2016 - 11:40 AM

A 27-year-old Appleton man was killed after running into a semi-truck early Tuesday morning.

The Minnesota State Patrol says Dalton Schmidt was driving his SUV north along Highway 119 in Swift County just before 1 a.m.

He ran a stop sign and hit the semi, driven by 62-year-old Brian Heidt of Fridley, who was traveling west along Highway 12. Heidt was not injured in the crash.

The State Patrol received help from the Appleton Police Department and Swift County Sheriff’s Office.

SCSU Fills Executive Director Position In Career Services, Announced Tuesday

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08/09/2016 - 11:30 AM

St. Cloud State University is announcing Michelle Schmitz as the new Executive Director of Career Services.

Schmitz has been in the Career Services office since 2003 and previously worked as the associate director, according to Vice President for Student Life and Development Wanda Overland.

She’s also devoted her time to multiple campus, system, local and regional committees. Her hard work is demonstrated through awards presented to her from her profession association.

Schmitz’ position was announced to the public Tuesday after a national search.

Resolution Vote On Iron Range Mining Has Been Delayed, One DFL Party Candidate Is Relieved

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08/08/2016 - 9:40 AM

SAUK RAPIDS, Minn. (AP) - A key DFL committee has delayed a vote on a resolution opposing all mining on Minnesota's Iron Range.

The Mesabi Daily News reports that a coalition of union leaders and Iron Range legislators convinced the DFL Central Committee to hold off on voting on the resolution during a meeting Saturday. Delegates voted unanimously to form an ad hoc committee to work out compromise wording to be presented at a December meeting.

The delay marked a win for DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin, who said last week he was frustrated with the issue and that it was jeopardizing party unity heading into the November election.

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