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Brainerd Lakes area cleaning up after storm damage

ALSO: Japanese chefs visited rural Worthington cattle producer; volunteer firefighters in short supply; and more.

About 8,500 homes were without power in Crow Wing and Cass counties.

Blocked streets and downed power lines were the order of the day in northern Minnesota after the storm early this week brought in tornado-level winds to the Brainerd Lakes area, reports the Bemidji Pioneer. Pine trees were uprooted, north of Brainerd, leaving entire root balls exposed. About 8,500 homes were without power in Crow Wing and Cass counties. There were also reports of a propane leak in Nisswa. “It hit us pretty hard,” said Mike Kedrowski of Staples. “The north side of Staples is down. I thought we were going to lose all our windows. A tree fell on my neighbor’s house.”

The Fargo Forum picked up a review for the trailer of the second season of “Fargo.” It features “Patrick Wilson’s state police officer Lou Solverson (whose older self was played by Keith Carradine in season one) lamenting the moral breakdown of society amid a backdrop of shootings, beatings and donut eating. The trailer also follows Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons as Peggy and Ed Blomquist, who look set to get themselves into just as much trouble as Martin Freeman’s Lester Nygaard did last season. Rounding out the main cast are Ted Danson and Jean Smart, with stars including Jeffrey Donovan, Bruce Campbell, Nick Offerman, Brad Garrett, Keir O’Donnell, Kieran Culkin, Bokeem Woodbine, Michael Hogan, Cristin Milioti and Adam Arkin also set to recur. Season two takes place in 1979 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Luverne, Minnesota, and will follow the investigation into the local mob, a crime syndicate and Lou’s assignment to protect Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan (Campbell) during his campaign stop in Fargo. … Season 2 of “Fargo” will bow on FX in September.”

A delegation of Japanese chefs visited rural Worthington cattle producer Matt Widboom as they embarked on the first day of a weeklong tour of southwest Minnesota agricultural businesses and farms this week, reports Julie Buntjer of the Worthington Daily Globe. The chefs won their trip in a beef cook-off contest hosted by their employer, Japan’s Prince Hotels and Resorts. Each won in a different category — one for western cuisine, one for Japanese cuisine and one for Chinese cuisine, explained Takemichi Yamashoji, U.S. Meat Export Federation senior marketing director. Yamashoji said they were here to learn about U.S. farms, processing facilities and food service establishments. Stops include PM Beef in Windom and other crop and livestock farms the remainder of the week.

There’s a dearth of volunteer firefighters, according to a story by Grace Pastoor of the Duluth News Tribune. The U.S. Fire Administration reported that 87 percent of the country’s departments are volunteer or mostly volunteer, including 97 percent in Minnesota — the second-largest percentage in the country. But the state is 21st in the United States for the number of non-career firefighters per 10,000 people at 32.89, according to a study conducted for the Minnesota State Fire Chiefs Association. Grant Gimpel said the Grand Lake department is allowed to have 40 members, but only has 21. The overall lack of firefighters makes it difficult for the department to do its job. Mike Marshall, chief of the Hermantown Volunteer Fire Department, said his department also is allowed 40 members, but is stuck at 20. Marshall said the call volume in Hermantown creates challenges.

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Minnesota’s congressional delegation wants the U.S. Postal Service to honor the legacy of Twins Hall-of-Famer Harmon Killebrew by putting him on a stamp, reports the Associated Press. “Both of Minnesota’s senators and all eight representatives have sent a joint letter to the USPS Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee urging it to honor the Twins’ late home-run king, who was known for his good sportsmanship and his work for charities. … Killebrew played for the Twins from 1961 to 1974. He retired in 1975 with 573 career home runs, more than any other right-handed hitter in American League history at the time. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984. He died in 2011.”