By Kevin Giles, Star Tribune

This winter could be the state's deadliest on the ice in more than five years, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said Friday.

So far this winter, five people have died and a sixth is missing and presumed drowned. In the 2006-2007 winter season, eight people died in ice-related incidents.


A week ago, one snowmobiler drowned in the St. Croix River near Bayport and another plunged through the ice and disappeared on the St. Croix in Pine County.

"There could be several reasons why so many people have died this year," said Kara Owens, DNR boat and water safety specialist. "It could be there are more people out on the ice because we have had a cooler winter and more snow."

All the fatalities this winter involved a snowmobile or vehicle either crashing into open water or breaking through the ice.

As the winter winds down and Minnesotans enter the last weekend in February, Owens has an urgent message for winter enthusiasts: "The bottom line is it's crucial that people do not let their guard down and recognize ice is never 100 percent safe."

The DNR measures the winter recreation season in Minnesota from November to April.

Last year, four people died in ice accidents. The same number died the previous winter. In winter 2009-2010, only one death was recorded.

Click here to read the article online.


The Dragonfly Story

Excerpted from the eulogy at Abbey Taylor's Celebration of Life Service

Below the surface of a quiet pond lived a colony of water bugs. They were happy, living far from the sun. But they noticed that occasionally, a member of their colony would climb up a lily stalk and disappear from sight, never to return. Where do you suppose she went? wondered a water bug.

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Pool Safety Tips

  • Use the Water Watchdog System to make sure children are always closely supervised in the pool area.

  • Remind kids to stay away from pool and hot tub drains.

  • Never dive into water less than 9 feet deep.

  • Keep gates to the pool area latched.

More water safety tips