Power down for fifth day in parts of northern Minnesota

More than 10,000 homes in northern Minnesota were without power after Thursday’s wind and rain storm. By Monday, that number had been whittled into the hundreds, according to Chelsey Perkins of the Brainerd Dispatch. The National Weather Service recorded wind speeds ranging of up to 100 mph in northern Minnesota, including Duluth, where wind gusts hit 103 mph in the ship canal. Crow Wing Power customers in the Longville and Outing areas were the ones still waiting for power five days after the storm despite crews working 16-hour days. Lake Country Power had to replace more than 200 utility poles and restore power to nearly 27,000 customers. Minnesota Power made headway in restoring power to about 25,000 customers in Duluth and outlying areas over the weekend.

Meanwhile, crews began removing storm-damaged branches from curbsides in Duluth neighborhoods Monday, reports Peter Passi of the Duluth News Tribune. Mayor Emily Larson wants the wood picked up quickly before it becomes a fire hazard and a nuisance. “The magnitude of the amount of trees down is really pretty tremendous,” said David Montgomery, Duluth’s chief administrative officer. “When you drive around Woodland and Morley Heights and Lakeside, you just go, ‘Whoa.’ “

The state Department of Natural Resources has adjusted its muskie population program, reports Zach Kayser of the Brainerd Dispatch. The department announced Monday it will stock the Gull Chain of lakes near Brainerd and the Fairmont chain of lakes in southern Minnesota, but stop stocking Big Marine Lake in Washington County and Franklin, Lizzie and Loon lakes in Otter Tail County. The changes came after anglers complained that muskies will damage other game fish populations. The DNR believes that muskie swill attract anglers to lakes as muskie fishing becomes more popular. A bill to prohibit the DNR from stocking muskies in all six lakes/lake chains was passed by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives but failed amid the end-of-session chaos.

St. Cloud State University’s plan to save money by dumping the woman’s tennis team was temporarily nixed by a federal judge, according to David Unze of the St. Cloud Daily Times. U.S. District Court Chief Judge John R. Tunheim wrote Monday that the tennis players would suffer irreparable harm if the program is eliminated while the players’ Title IX lawsuit against the university is pending. Five tennis players sued the university and MnSCU alleging Title IX violations. The suit was filed after the university announced it was cutting six of its athletics programs. Tunheim stressed his order didn’t mean the tennis players will win their Title IX lawsuit. “The Court finds that the status quo should remain the status quo for the duration of this case, or until the Court decides otherwise,” Tunheim wrote.

Church members in Sacred Heart, in Renville County, are looking to rebuild after Hawk Creek Lutheran Church was struck by lightning and caught fire Saturday morning. The Associated Press reports that church members were able to salvage a decades-old bible and records of church members’ names.

Thanks to the state, boaters and kayakers can now get Cedar River conditions online, reports the Austin Daily Herald. Earlier this month, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources began offering river-level data online for the Cedar River State Water Trail.  

This item isn’t a Minnesota one, but it’s a good reminder nonetheless. Dave Olson of the Fargo Forum reports that a man has been sentenced to 113 days in jail for stealing a slice of pizza. Apparently, the man walked into a Flying J truck stop in April, pretended to have a gun in his pocket and demanded a slice of pizza. The judget sentenced Jackson to 113 days in jail, the length of time Jackson had already served. 

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