The region’s first solar-plus-battery storage system will be installed in the city of Grand Rapids by the end of 2021.

The $6 million project, a collaboration with Minnesota Power, the Itasca Clean Energy Team and US Solar, aims to give the city’s Public Utilities Commission a way to store energy on sunny days to be dispatched at times when demand is higher or skies are cloudy.

In addition to the battery, which could power 1,000 homes for 2 ½ hours, a 2-megawatt solar array is under construction. The development will also include a pollinator garden.

Katie Galioto


Public input sought on proposed ATV trail

The state is seeking written public comment on a proposed all-terrain vehicle route in northern Minnesota’s Beltrami County.

Sponsored by the city of Kelliher, the project is seeking $8,900 in state Grant-in-Aid money to put up signs and improve roadway for 98.8-mile ATV trail that would be maintained by the Tri-County Dirt Devils ATV Club.

The trail, on existing roads and forest access routes, winds north of Kelliher to the shores of Upper Red Lake, linking into other trails. More information is at

Comments must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. Dec. 23 to

Pam Louwagie

St. Cloud

Phone scammers impersonating police

St. Cloud police warned that several residents have received calls that purport to be coming from the police department and demand payment for overdue fines.

The callers have used a spoofing app that make it appear that the phone number is actually coming from St. Cloud police, and in some cases the callers identify themselves with names of actual St. Cloud police officers.

The department noted in a release last week that it doesn’t engage in activities such as collecting back taxes or demanding payment of overdue fines.

“This scam is quite common statewide and has been for years,” said St. Cloud Police Cmdr. Martin Sayre. “This one was a little different by using names of actual officers. Ironically one of the scammers called a potential victim that is friends with the officer he was impersonating — and it didn’t work.”

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the actual St. Cloud police at 320-251-1200 or

Reid Forgrave