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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: DNR lifts burning restrictions statewide for Memorial Day Weekend

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. --  The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has lifted burning restrictions statewide. 

Jean Goad with the DNR's Interagency Fire Center in Grand Rapids says you do still need to obtain a burning permit.  They are available from state and federal foresty offices, a local fire warden or online for five dollars a year.  Goad says fire danger can change quickly, so if we get a dry, windy, warm day and the fire danger increases DNR foresters will turn off burning permits for that day where the conditions warrant. Daily updates on burning restrictions can be found on the DNR's website.


The owner of Pine Ridge Golf Course in Motley has been sentenced to year and a day in federal prison on tax evasion charges.  Roger Pedley pleaded guilty to evading taxes from 2006 through 2009 and was ordered to pay nearly 490-thousand dollars in restituion.  Pedley admitted that he failed to declare cash income generated by the golf course and other business ventures on income tax returns filed jointly with his wife.  He also engaged in cash transactions with area banks in ways that avoided triggering federal currency reporting requirements.    


Minnesota State Patrol says a 13-year-old riding a bicycle was seriously injured in Gaylord Thursday night after being hit by a car.  Troopers say the teen went through a stop sign before being hit.  There is no word on the current condition of the victim.  


Essentia Health of Duluth is planning a major improvement project that will benefit mental health patients.  Work on the five-million dollar project will start this summer and focus on the Adult Inpatient Behavioral Health Unit on the 4th floor of the former Miller-Dwan Medical Center.  The unit's transformation will include more open spaces for patient care, better views of Lake Superior from patient's rooms, additional meeting space and a central desk for staff. 


A Moorhead non-profit is celebrating Mental Health Awareness month.  The Social Connextion held a "Day of Hope" to help support adults living with mental illness.  The group helps them become members of the community by providing a safe and supportive environment.  The Social Connextion currently assists 180 adults living with mental illness in Clay County.