News Director: I’m a lifelong resident of this great state of Minnesota. I grew-up in the small west central community of Maynard. I began my professional radio career working nights at KDMA in Montevideo. Then, after a 10 year stint in Redwood Falls working at KLGR, I moved to St. Cloud. I’ve been working here at WJON since 2005, and have been the news director since 2007. The main beats that I cover include: politics, education, and local government. I'm also the early morning news anchor on WJON, and I host the News @ Noon show weekdays on WJON.
Banaian: St. Cloud Unemployment at 17-Year Low, 7,000 Open Jobs
We learned Tuesday that Electrolux will be shuttering its freezer making plant here in St. Cloud at the end of 2019.
Over 40 Corporate Jets Will Land in St. Cloud for the Super Bowl
Look for a lot of extra traffic in the skies over St. Cloud the rest of this week. St. Cloud Regional Airport Director Bill Towle says, as of Monday, over 40 planes have confirmed they're coming here for the Super Bowl. And, he says a few more should trickle in the rest of this week.
St. Cloud Police Officers, Sergeants Part of Super Bowl Security
As we get closer and closer to Super Bowl Sunday more security is needed in and around downtown Minneapolis. The St. Cloud Police Department is one of many agencies around the state that has signed on to help with security.
Electrolux to Close St. Cloud Plant in 2019
Electrolux announced Tuesday they are planning to close their plant here in St. Cloud. The freezer maker says production is expected to continue through the end of 2019.
Three Cheers for Craft Beer: Federal Government Approves Tax Break
The changes to the tax law passed in December by the federal government will have a direct impact on small brewers. Part of the change included the "Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act". It cuts the federal excise tax in half from $7 a barrel to $3.50 a barrel on the first 60,0…
Tom Brady has Ties to Central Minnesota
The sting of the Vikings missing their chance to play in Super Bowl 52 can still be felt but some fans are now throwing their support behind the Patriots and Quarterback Tom Brady -- who has strong Minnesota ties.
Experience a Night Market During ‘Malaysian Night’ at SCSU
Night markets are famous in Malaysia, and you'll have a chance to experience what they're like this weekend in St. Cloud. The Malaysian Student Association is hosting "Malaysian Night" on Saturday at St. Cloud State University.
Grand Casino Mille Lacs to Start Serving Alcohol
Later this week, guests at Grand Casino Mille Lacs will be able to order a glass of beer or wine while they try their luck. Up until now, it has been a dry casino ever since it opened in 1991.
St. Cloud Police Searching for Bank Robber
St. Cloud Police are looking for the man who robbed the TCF Bank inside the Cashwise East store at 1001 4th Street Southeast Sunday morning. Sergeant Jason Burke says it happened at about 11:30 a.m.
St. Cloud Musher Ready for the John Beargrease Sled Dog Race
Some of the best mushers in the country will be heading to the north shore this weekend, and among them will be a St. Cloud man. Mike Bestgen is one of about 60 competitors in the various races during the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon.