The Legionville School Patrol Camp, which has trained Minnesota school patrol members since 1935, is canceling its summer programs because of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The announcement was made last week by the American Legion Department of Minnesota, which runs the camp on North Long Lake near Brainerd.

“It is with a heavy heart that this decision is made,” said Legionville President Eugene Leifeld. “Legionville is central to what it means to be a Legionnaire in Minnesota. We hope to return to full strength in 2021.”

The camp trains more than 1,000 students each year in grades 4-6. Students learn about school-safety patrol procedures, guidelines for intersections and bus patrols, emergency bus safety and water safety.

It’s the second time in recent years that Legionville has had to cancel its summer programs. In 2018, the camp was forced to shut down after a monster bog broke free on the lake and came to rest squarely on Legionville’s beach.

“The safety and health of our campers is our No. 1 priority,” said Department Commander Mark Dvorak. “The decision to cancel was a difficult one, but it had to be made.”

john reinan


7 deer positive for wasting disease

Seven deer in southeast Minnesota have tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said.

The DNR recently completed work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services to perform targeted culling of deer in localized areas where the disease has been detected in wild deer in southeastern Minnesota. The seven deer with CWD were among 463 culled, an infection rate of 1.5%.

For the 2019-20 season, 36 deer statewide tested positive for chronic wasting disease out of 18,540 tested, an infection rate of 0.2%. Tests were performed on deer taken through licensed hunting, opportunistic testing and targeted culling

Ongoing detection of CWD in wild deer in southwest Wisconsin and northeast Iowa prompted the DNR to begin voluntary surveillance in southeast Minnesota in 2016.

The DNR has created CWD management zones to increase hunting opportunities with liberalized bag limits, to reduce deer densities, limit the potential for disease transmission and remove additional positive deer from the landscape.

john reinan