We are thankful that despite some close calls, we had no serious personal injuries when an EF 2 tornado passed through the Bay Lake and Deerwood area last weekend. There was significant damage from fallen trees including a young family temporarily trapped in their home when a large pine tree crushed their mobile home. This is the time of year to be alert for serious storms: When in doubt, take shelter.
On Monday I visited with the Aitkin City Council. Tuesday I met with Aitkin County and area township officials to discuss a local water control project and how to deal with beaver dam issues.
Also did a little fishing with members of the Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance on Mille Lacs Lake out of Terry’s Boat Harbor at Garrison. We had great luck landing lots of trophy-class bass and caught and released a nice walleye that must have been confused since he was hanging with the bass, instead of with his walleye colleagues.
Later that day I attended the Alliance’s meeting at the Garrison VFW where they took local input on outdoor issues including the status of Mille Lacs Fishery, management of wolves, Second Amendment concerns, clean water issues and the Lessards-Sams Fund.
Thursday, I attended a breakfast event in Brainerd put on by the Legion and VFW members from that area. They featured House Veterans Committee Chair Bob Dettmer and Rep. Josh Heintzeman. Chair Dettmer updated everyone on the change to state tax law that ended Minnesota’s practice of taxing military retirement pensions. Minnesota was one of only six states that was still doing that. That evening I also met with the leadership of the Aitkin and Crow Wing County Farm Bureau chapters to discuss agriculture issues.
A reminder that June 30 is an important deadline for teachers to submit applications for the new Minnesota teacher shortage loan forgiveness program. Those who qualify can receive up to $1,000 each year for up to five years. This is legislation we put in place to help mitigate a shortage of teachers in many parts of Minnesota, including rural regions. Click here for a link on program details.
Enjoy this nice summer weather, be safe on the road, around the water and always be alert for the occasional summer storm.