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Paramount Arts Resource Trust Receives Grant From Xcel Energy Foundation

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12/22/2014 - 5:50 AM

The Paramount Arts Resource Trust Incorporated has been awarded an arts and culture grant from the Xcel Energy Foundation.

The $15,000 grant will be used by the Paramount to fund outreach programs such as Teen Night/Open Studio, Gallery St. Germain and the annual Arts Camp for artists and educators.

Executive Director for the Paramount Arts Resource Trust Tony Goddard says the Xcel Energy Foundation grant will further the mission of the Paramount Arts Resource Trust of “providing opportunities for artistic production, creative exploration, arts education and the enjoyment of arts and entertainment.”

Gray Wolves Put Back On Endangered List In Minnesota

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12/22/2014 - 11:35 AM

Gray Wolves Put Back On Endangered List In Minnesota

A federal judge has reversed a decision made by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to allow the hunting of wolves in the state.

Minnesota DNR contact Chris Niskanen says effective immediately; Minnesotans can no longer legally kill a wolf with the exception being in the defense of human life.

This decision was handed down as a federal judge decided to reinstate the Endangered Species Act protections for the gray wolf in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

Wolf status in Minnesota is now returned to its former federal protection. Wolves are federally classified as threatened in the state and endangered elsewhere in the Great Lakes region.

St. Cloud Community Rallies Behind Muslim Community After Mosque Attacks

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12/22/2014 - 11:25 AM

St. Cloud, Minn. (AP)--Religious leaders from the St. Cloud area are standing with the Muslim community after a mosque was damaged by vandals four times in one month.

Faith leaders met Sunday at the Central Minnesota Islamic Center to discuss the issue and see the damage, the St. Cloud Times reports.

St. Cloud police are still investigating and patrols have been increased. The vandalism has included broken windows on the center and vehicles. In one incident, a window was shot 10 times with a pellet gun.

Center spokesman Mohamoud Mohamed says he doesn't understand why someone would target a building meant for peace.

The Rev. Randy Johnson is associate pastor at First United Methodist Church. He says a small minority is causing the damage, and those voices don't speak for the community.

SCSU Recovery Community Receives Otto Bremer Foundation Grant

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12/22/2014 - 11:15 AM

SCSU Recovery Community Receives Otto Bremer Foundation Grant

St. Cloud State University’s Recovery Community has been named one of the recipients of a grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation this month.

Receiving $77,000 from the St. Paul based foundation, the grant will help fund a recovery community coordinator to help lead SCSU’s program.

The Recovery Community at SCSU provides housing and assistance to students recovering from substance abuse. Currently, the community serves seven residents and 30 students participating in the program.

The grant will be used to hire another full time staff member to help the community grow and serve more students.

St. Cloud State University is one of 110 organizations in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Western Wisconsin to receive grants from the Otto Bremer Foundation this year.

Two Willmar Men Seriously Injured In Rollover Near Paynesville

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12/22/2014 - 11:00 AM

Two Willmar men are in serious condition after a rollover accident on Highway 23 near Paynesville.

The Minnesota State Patrol says 19-year-old Mohamed Omer of Willmar was travelling eastbound on Highway 23 when his car veered off the road way and rolled several times. Omar was also travelling with another man, 22-year-old Mohamed Mohamed, also of Willmar. Both men sustained serious injuries in the rollover.

The Minnesota State Patrol was assisted by both the Paynesville Police Department and the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office throughout the investigation.

St. Cloud Police Arrest One In Connection To Burglary, One Man Still At Large

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12/22/2014 - 10:45 AM

St. Cloud Police Arrest One In Connection To Burglary, One Man Still At Large

One man is in custody and another is on the loose in connection to a burglary early Saturday morning.

St. Cloud Police Sergeant Jason Burke says officers were called to a possible burglary in progress in the 600 block of 8th Avenue South around 7:40 a.m. Saturday morning. The caller had told dispatch they had seen two men trying to get into several homes in that block.

Police found the men and arrested 20-year-old Montate Caprice Thomas after a short foot chase. During their investigation, officers recovered evidence that led them to believe Thomas had a connection to a burglary earlier this year in the 500 block of 8th Avenue South. In that burglary, the victim, a 21-year-old woman, was at home.

Thomas is being held at the Stearns County Jail on charges of first degree burglary. Police are still trying to identify the second man.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the St. Cloud Police Department at 320-251-1200 or Tri-County Crimestoppers at 320-255-1301.

St. Cloud City Council Wraps Up Business With Last Meeting Of 2014

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12/18/2014 - 3:50 AM

The St. Cloud city council will be hosting their last meeting of the year on Monday.

Council members will discuss resolutions on outdoor advertising rights and the purchase of a new LED Outdoor Marquee for the Municipal Athletic Complex and on the emergency purchase of a reverse osmosis water system for the ice arenas at that facility.

Other items on the agenda include a discussion on the open space lease agreement with the Minnesota Department of Corrections and applications for liquor licenses for area businesses including the new Beaver Island Brewing Company.

The St. Cloud City council meeting is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. in the downtown council chambers.

Stearns County Increases 2015 Budget Levy

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12/18/2014 - 11:30 AM

The Stearns County Board of Commissioners approved the final budget and levy for 2015.

The commissioners approved a budget of about $131 million including a 1.61% reduction in spending. County Auditor-Treasurer Randy Schreifels says the budget sees a levy increase of 1.6% amounting to $69.5 million because of increased caseloads in Human Services and a reduction in federal and state aid. The budget also asks for an additional spending of $1.8 million on roads which comes from the recently enacted wheelage tax.

The board of commissioners voted to make cuts to the Sentence to Service program. STS is a program that gives alternatives to jail or fines through community service work at non-profits or government agencies. The commissioners eliminated one of the two STS crews and cancelled the lease on the STS building. The county says the reduction in STS saves them about $100,000.

Although the new budget includes an increase in the levy, most property taxpayers in Stearns County will experience a reduction in their county property tax. This reduction is due to a 2.6 % spike in tax capacity generated from new utilities which are the new power lines running through the county.


Annandale Woman Injured in Accident on Highway 15

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12/18/2014 - 10:20 AM

Annandale Woman Injured in Accident on Highway 15

An Annandale woman received serious injuries in a rollover accident Wednesday evening on Stearns County Road 142.

The Minnesota State Patrol says a driver was travelling southwest at 6: 30 p.m. and over-corrected at the sharp turn of Highway 15 leading to a roll-over accident. 46-year-old Angela Carter received serious, but not life-threatening injuries.

6-year-old Shelby Carter and 4-year-old Quinn Ruby, passengers of the vehicle, were not injured.

Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, St. Augusta Fire and Rescue, Gold Cross Ambulance, Kimball Fire Department and Paynesville Ambulance assisted the Minnesota State Patrol.

Stearns County Commissioners Vote To Freeze Salaries For 2015

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12/18/2014 - 10:20 AM

Stearns County Commissioners unanimously voted to freeze their salaries for 2015 at a County Board Meeting Tuesday.

Stearns County says this is the eighth consecutive year commissioners voted in favor of a pay freeze. Salaries for 2015 will stay at $35,500. Commissioners’ will receive additional pay for attending meetings with no other per diems.

Salaries in Stearns County fall below commissioner salaries in neighboring and other comparable counties, which average $41,000 per year, plus per diems.

Vandalism At Central Minnesota Islamic Center Continues In St. Cloud

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12/17/2014 - 11:40 AM

Vandalism At Central Minnesota Islamic Center Continues In St. Cloud

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) - Leaders of a St. Cloud mosque are voicing fears for the safety of its members after another incident of vandalism.

A window at the Central Minnesota Islamic Center, located at the 300 block of 4th Avenue South, was broken Monday night. Center spokesman Mohamoud Mohamed tells the St. Cloud Times it was the fourth incident in the past month. He says this one was particularly disturbing because it appeared that someone used something heavy to break the window.

Mohamed adds two people were inside when it happened but were on the other side of the building and were not hurt.

St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson says investigators don't have proof that the incidents are connected, but he doesn't believe they're a coincidence. He says police have increased their presence in the area with special details in recent weeks.

St. Cloud Man Faces Arson Charges After Laundry Room Dispute

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12/17/2014 - 10:30 AM

A St. Cloud man was arrested Tuesday evening after arguing with a neighbor over the use of a shared laundry room.

St. Cloud Police Sergeant Jason Burke says officers and the St. Cloud Fire Department responded to a call of an alleged fire at the 1200 block of 15th Street North. Burke says 59-year-old Richard Hoglund deliberately started his sock on fire in the hallway outside an apartment because of an argument with another tenant over the use of a communal dryer.

Burke says no injuries were reported during the incident. Hoglund was booked at the Stearns County Jail and is facing arson charges.

Two Men Arrested After Reported Assault And Standoff With Police Monday

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12/16/2014 - 4:30 AM

Two Men Arrested After Reported Assault And Standoff With Police Monday

A 22-year-old St. Cloud man was the victim of an assault and robbery incident in the 1500 block of 15th Avenue South East Monday afternoon.

The St. Cloud Police Sergeant Jason Burke says officers responded to an assault incident at just before 4:00 p.m. Burke says 22-year-old Rashawn Devon McBridge and 22-year-old Martell Dionte Burson assaulted the victim and took property from him. Officers located the suspects in a vehicle just before 8:00 p.m. at the intersection of 9th Avenue and University Drive South.

Burke says the suspects then stopped the vehicle before the traffic light changed, got out and ran into a house in the 1300 block of 9th Avenue South. Officers then set up a perimeter around the house when Burson and another man exited the house after negotiations with police. McBridge also left the house two hours later.

Both of the suspects were taken to the Sherbune County Jail and are awaiting for a court hearing.  McBridge and Burson are facing on charges of aggravated robbery and second degree assault. Burke says McBridge was also arrested on charges of his outstanding warrants out of Stearns County, authorities had recently asked for the public's help to locate him.

St. Cloud Hotel Will Offer Free Rooms For Those With Loved Ones Hospitalized Over Christmas Eve

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12/16/2014 - 11:50 AM

A local St. Cloud hotel is offering free hotel rooms on Christmas Eve to people visiting friends or family members in a hospital, nursing home or treatment center.

The St. Cloud Fairfield Inn and Suites is partnering with TMI Hospitality to offer the free rooms as part of their holiday giving program, 'Room in the Inn.'

The program is designed to meet the needs of friends and family members separated from their loved ones because of health issues.

More Than 600 St. Cloud State University Students To Graduate Sunday

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12/16/2014 - 11:10 AM

Congratulations to more than 600 St. Cloud State University students who are graduating Sunday in ceremonies held at Halenbeck Hall.

Speaking at the commencement ceremony is graduate Tashiana Osborne, who will earn a double-bachelor’s degree in hydrology and meteorology, and SCSU Alumni Association president and former Huskies Football player Ramon Nunez.

Representing the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system will be trustee and CEO of a Minneapolis-based management advisory firm, Michael Vekich. St. Cloud Mayor and 1989 SCSU graduate, Dave Kleis, will bring greetings from the city, and Professor Roland Specht-Jarvis will be representing faculty.

Commencement for undergraduate and graduate students begins at 2 p.m. in the Halenbeck Hall gymnasium on campus.

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