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Pine Tech receives grant for youth workforce development training, and more news

Pine Technical and Community College in Pine City has received a grant from the state Department of Development and Economic Employment to provide young people with workforce development and training opportunities.

PTCC received $50,000 in grants to aid in training economically disadvantaged or at-risk youth ages 14 to 24.

In a release, Governor Tim Walz says this grant opportunity will help grow the state’s workforce by giving thousands of kids opportunities to fill open positions.

In total, seven million dollars were given out by the state for this program.

State legislator arrested on suspicion of DWI in Kanabec County

State representative Dan Wolgamott was arrested on suspicion of impaired driving in Kanabec County on Friday.

According to the State Patrol incident report, a trooper was seeking a vehicle involved in a complaint of an individual drinking in a liquor store parking lot on Highway 23 in Arthur Township.

The trooper located the vehicle driving erratically eastbound on 23 without a front license plate.

A traffic stop was conducted near milepost 261, and the driver was identified as Wolgamott, a DFL legislator representing St. Cloud.

Wolgamott was booked at the Kanabec County Jail on suspicion of fourth-degree DWI.

The investigation is ongoing.

North Branch to hold special election on Water & Light Commission

The North Branch City Council narrowly adopted a resolution to hold a special election on the future of the city’s Water & Light commission during Tuesday’s meeting.

The November 7 referendum will include two ballot questions. The first concerns whether jurisdiction over the water utility should be transferred from the commission to the city council.

The second is whether the Water & Light Commission should be abolished.

According to city administrator Renee Fry, the council can’t advocate for residents to vote yes in the special election.

"The city itself cannot advocate a 'vote yes' type of campaign, but the commission can," Fry said. "The city, however, does have to remain neutral, and no city dollars can be spent toward such a campaign."

If the referendum vote is successful, North Branch would see salary and benefit savings of about $130 thousand dollars.

The utility’s electrical assets were sold to East Central Energy earlier this year.

Spooner woman arrested for vehicle theft in Burnett County

A 34-year-old Spooner, Wisconsin woman is facing criminal charges after she allegedly took law enforcement on a car chase on Saturday.

According to the Burnett County Sheriff’s Office, deputies received reports of a car stolen out of Spooner that was spotted by a DNR warden and deputy traveling on Highway 35 in Swiss Township and attempted to stop it.

Sheriff Tracy Finch said the chase went on for nearly three dozen miles before coming to an end.

"They quite obviously didn't know the area, because they kept driving in circles and loops," Finch said. "And every time they'd get the tire-deflation stop sticks out somewhere, then the person would turn a different way. The chase went on for just over 33 miles."

Finch says that the chase ended at a business on County Road U in the town of Oakland.

The suspect, identified as Katrina Boyle, was booked in the Burnett County Jail and is facing multiple criminal charges.

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