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Photograph of the Week

Thursday night, May 4th, 8:30pm, one more for dinner. This Cinnamon Bear came up on the deck on Andrus Lake in Outing. The bear had a scar on the front left shoulder. Beautiful and scary. - photo by Vern & Colleen Williams


New outdoor garden scale model railroad on display at NMRHA

Summer is neartly here and the Garden Scale outdoor train is running at the Northern Minnesota Railroad Heritage Association (NMRHA). That is, if it’s not raining or too windy.

A large outdoor layout, shown in part in the photo, has been built with trestles, a carnival, a small town, waterfall, mining pit, and many awesome G scale model trains. This layout is a work in progress, with new features being added on a regular basis.

The indoor interpretive exhibits highlight an explanation of model railroad scales and gauges; framed historic “Cross Crossings Cautiously” posters that promote safety around trains and tracks; and Operation Lifesaver posters and information that teach children and adults how to keep safe around trains and tracks. These exhibits were just put on the walls, and they offer a fresh look around the large HO Scale layout.

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Crosslake Council affirms land use authority in face of pending legislation that could limit local control

The Crosslake City Council has gone on record supporting its authority to make local decisions for its local residents in the face of proposed state legislation threatening that authority.

At the May 8 Council meeting, Public Works Director Ted Strand reported that the legislature is considering legislation that would allow unregulated access to city right-of-way land for installation of small cell wireless equipment and antenna systems. According to the League of Minnesota Cities, private wireless and cellular services would be the only for-profit unregulated industry allowed unfettered access to these public lands should the legislation pass. A fact sheet from the League states “Automatic approval provided by the legislation ties the hands of cities who are responsible for managing these public spaces and considering elements of public health, safety and aesthetics. The legislation would supersede many existing zoning ordinances and comprehensive plans that cities have enacted over the years.”

City Administrator Dan Vogt noted that the bill has yet to pass and added that Crosslake should have some control over its right-of-way land. Both Strand and City Attorney Brad Person said the city needs to have a right-of-way ordinance. “There are many reasons that is a good idea,” Person said. “This is one of them,” he said. Strand said he will work with the City Public Works Commission to research ordinance language.

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Gospel artist Ginny Owens performs at Log Church

Blind from the age of three, Ginny Owns has become a force in gospel and mainstream music in America. She performed Sunday, May 7 at the Log Church in Crosslake.

“I fell in love with music as a kid but I was very shy about singing in public,” she said. Her first performance was singing a solo in church during her senior year in high school. She attended Belmont University in Nashville with a music education and performance major. But when an advisor told her that her voice was too weak she dropped her performance studies and got an education degree. But jobs were hard to find. “Administrators were reluctant to hire a blind music teacher,” she said. Eventually, she became a songwriter with a publishing company.

One Sunday during a church service where the congregation was being asked to raise money for Belmont, a Christian-based university, she was asked to sing a solo. “I guess they thought if they let the blind girl sing they could raise more money for the cause,” she said. Someone in the congregation was impressed with her voice and helped her get her first recording job.

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Crosslake sewer expansion

Crosslake Public Works Director Ted Strand briefed the Crosslake City Council on the potential impact of future economic development projects on the city’s wastewater treatment plant at a meeting Thursday, May 11. The meeting was a continuation of a recessed meeting held on May 8.

The wastewater plant is rated to treat 150,000 gallons of water a day. Currently, the plant  handles an average of 50,000 gallons per day and 100,000 gallons a day on peak days. However, projects now being discussed could increase that flowage by 60 percent.

John Graupman of Bolton and Menk, the Mankato engineering firm the city is working with on a plant improvement project scheduled to go on line next year, said the plant is currently operating with no problems. But a 60 percent increase in water flows would put the plant close to its limitations, he said.

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