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Spring 2018 . . . Keeping Your Cabin Safe

Q: I heard about the cabin break-ins recently. Times have changed! Got any hints to prevent these break-ins?

A: Yes, times have changed. Without going into specific products or services there are a few suggestions we can make. Cass County Sheriff Burch had a few other suggestions as well:

  1. Keep your driveway plowed. Ask a neighbor to walk around your place so there are obvious tracks.
  2. Have someone check your mail, so it doesn’t pile up. Stop the newspaper.
  3. Have an inside radio or TV on a timer.
  4. Have various inside lights on different timers, so they come on at different times in the evening/morning.
  5. Consider multiple outdoor motion-activated lights, dead bolt locks and heavy-duty padlocks.
  6. You might want to have someone put your garbage can out…. Anything to make it look like someone is there.
  7. Have an alarm system. We find that burglars usually don’t bother places with alarms. Consider a service or signage.
  8. If you see something, say something.

A big deterrent is having someone keep his or her eyes on your property. There are several ‘cabin watch’ services that TMLA members use. (We don’t make recommendations but ask around.) Make a habit of watching your neighbor’s homes as you walk. If you are gone over the winter or for long periods, inform the Sherriff’s Office so they know to keep an eye on your place. If you see any suspicious cars or people you do not know ALWAYS call the Sherriff’s Office – day or night. They patrol often and need our assistance in this safety effort.

A current statement from our sheriff:

“One item from a Cass County burglary was located with a suspect in Crow Wing County. Cass County has been unable to tie this suspect to burglaries in our county (only possession of stolen property). We have possibly identified the suspects; however, at this time, we do not have enough to charge them.

The location of this suspect was due to an observant resident seeing a suspicious vehicle and reporting it to law enforcement. The burglary in the Ten Mile Lake area remains open and the Sheriff’s Office is continuing to identify suspects in the case.

We encourage our residents to report suspicious happenings in their neighborhoods. This is a prime example of how our observant neighbors can assist law enforcement in our efforts to fight crime and keep our communities safe.

If you have any questions, please contact me.”

Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch
Cass County Sheriff’s Office – 218-547-7308
PO Box 1119 – 303 MN Ave
Walker MN 56484

Fall 2017 . . . Lake Friendly Soaps

Q: We would like to know what body soaps and shampoos are environmentally friendly to our lake.

A: Sadly, there really is no environmentally friendly way to lather up in a lake.

A few generations ago, taking a bar of Ivory soap down to the lake for a bath created a fairly small human impact on a big body of water. But there are more people now, more pollutants in the water, and more chemicals from the shore washing into the lake.

Soaps can create algae blooms, which greatly alter the health of a lake. Even products that contain only natural ingredients may affect ecological balances in unintended ways.The University of Minnesota’s Extension Service provides a list of “Shoreline Stewardship Best Practices.” Prominent among them are “Stop washing dishes, laundry and self in lake while camping” and “Quit using soap or shampoo in the water.”

If you must bathe in your lake, choose personal care products that are at least biodegradable. (But there are no guarantees that biodegradable products are completely non-polluting or that the elements they break down into are harmless to our particular ecosystem.) And absolutely avoid antibacterial soaps or anything containing phosphorus.

What soaps are okay to use in the lake? Several Google searches tell us that using any soaps in our lake is not a great idea. However, if you must, check your labels! If your soaps have PHOSPHATE, SURFACTANTS, TRICLOSAN, OR ARE ANTIBACTERIAL … DO NOT USE THEM IN TEN MILE! The first two chemicals spike algal growth, and triclosan (hand sanitizers and hand soaps) is toxic to aquatic life. Some soaps recommended on camping and environmental sites include: Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Castile Soap for body, teeth, and hair. It is vegetable-based and organic. Other product makers: Kiss My Face, Live Clean, and Down Under.

Further information can be found at and

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