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Blue-green algae confirmed on Knife Lake, and more news

A blue-green algae bloom is pictured on Lake Crystal. | Courtesy of MPCA website

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has confirmed the presence of blue-green algae on Knife Lake in Kanabec County.

According to the MPCA, cyanobacteria are common in Minnesota bodies of water. Kanabec County Sheriff Brian Smith said recent conditions have been right for the bacteria to form blooms.

"You know, a June without rain, or very little rain up until a couple days ago, that's really not very normal," Smith said. "We usually have plenty of rain. But when you don't have rain and you have plenty of heat, that's when these blue-green algae things can bloom."

Some varieties of blue-green algae can produce toxins that lead to illness in humans and animals.

Smith also warned anglers that the bacteria can get into fish.

"From what I understand, it can even get into fish," Smith said. "So you've got to be careful of eating the fish, and, since it's there, you might want to taper back your intake. Maybe more catch and release right now."

Coming into contact with blue-green algae can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and eye and skin irritation. Symptoms generally start up to two days after exposure.

Pine City approves gambling ordinance amendment

The Pine City Council approved amendments to its gambling ordinance during a recent meeting.

The council held a public hearing in early June, where City Administrator Scott Hildebrand said there had been a lack of enforcement by the city and the amendments set by the ordinance review committee removed language around reporting earnings to the city.

The changes don’t impact regulations already set by the state. Instead, it just removes the city from the reporting since they don’t collect anything.

The Pine City Council approved the amendments during its regular meeting on June 22.

Milaca crash sends one to hospital

A two-vehicle collision in Milaca sent a 78-year-old Princeton man to the hospital on Wednesday afternoon.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, a Ford Escape traveling southbound on Central Avenue ran a red light at the Highway 23 intersection around 1 p.m.

The vehicle struck a Ford F-150 traveling eastbound on 23, causing the pickup truck to collide with a traffic pole.

The driver of the Escape was transported to M Health Fairview Northland Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries.

The Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office and Milaca Police Department assisted at the scene.

State DNR lifts deer feeding ban in Pine and Kanabec counties

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has lifted its deer feeding ban in Pine, Kanabec, and surrounding east central Minnesota counties.

The ban was put in place in 2020 after a deer infected with Chronic Wasting Disease was found on a farm in Pine County.

According to the DNR, the ban was an attempt to stop the unnatural crowding of white tail deer to prevent the spread of the disease.

Other counties included in the lifted ban are Isanti, Chisago, Carlton, and Aitkin counties.

The DNR says the plan is to focus on areas where the disease spreading is their greatest concern.

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