One of Minnesota’s last surviving drive-in movie theaters finally reopened after being closed for repairs for nearly three months.

The Long Drive-In in Long Prairie shut down after a storm severely damaged its outdoor screen on July 17. It took months to get the repairs made to the original 1950s-era screen, which stands 60 feet high and 86 feet wide. But finally, owners Michelle and Dan Claseman of nearby Little Falls reopened the central Minnesota theater on Oct. 12.

It was the longest the theater had been closed during the seasonal business’ 61 years.

The theater will also host a special Halloween event Oct. 20-21 with kids’ movies. Michelle Claseman said the theater could stay open until the end of October, depending on weather. For an updated schedule, go to

The drive-in theater is one of only two continuously running drive-in theaters from the 1950s left in Minnesota. The state once had nearly 90 drive-in theaters during the height of their popularity, but that’s now dwindled to only six.



No criminal charges in August quarry blast

The Blue Earth County attorney won’t file criminal charges in a quarry blast that sent chunks of limestone screaming through a Mankato neighborhood this summer.

County Attorney Pat McDermott said last week that an investigation of the Aug. 8 incident at the Jefferson Quarry failed to yield evidence strong enough to present to a jury.

“We would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person acted with gross disregard for human life or property,” he said. “It’s a pretty high burden of proof.”

A barrage of rocks, some bigger than bowling balls, ripped limbs from trees and punched a hole in the wall of a house hundreds of feet from the explosion site.

In April, a blast at the quarry coincided with a massive tremor that shook dozens of homes and damaged several. Local residents blamed the disturbance on the quarry, which is operated by Jordan Sands. Company officials commissioned a report that later concluded a natural earthquake took place seconds after the blast.

City officials suspended the company’s blasting permit after both incidents and recently told the company that its permit would not be renewed.



Funding approved for water treatment plant

The Minnesota Public Facilities Authority has approved nearly $9 million in grants and loans for construction of a lime-softening water treatment plant in Breckenridge.

The funding helps communities such as Breckenridge upgrade or replace aging sewer and water facilities.

The state authority provides financing and technical assistance to build and maintain infrastructure that protects public health and the environment and promotes economic growth.

Mark Brunswick