Weather Forecast


Housing briefs June 29

Ellenburg joins Edina

Realty Baxter


Nick Ellenburg joined the Edina Realty Baxter office as an associate broker real estate agent.

Ellenburg has been licensed as a real estate agent for six years and comes from a family of real estate licensees going back to his grandfather. Ellenburg grew up in the Pacific Northwest and found the Brainerd lakes area two years ago. He also has an Accredited Buyers Representative and a Graduate Realtors Institute certificate.

DEED awards 31 Small Cities

Development grants

Grants totaling $16.85 million were awarded to 31 communities in greater Minnesota to help pay for rehabilitating housing and commercial structures and improving infrastructure.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) awarded the funding under its Small Cities Development Program.

“These grants will make it possible for communities to complete projects that they could not otherwise afford,” said DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips in a news release. “The projects will create local jobs and help improve the quality of life in many of our small towns.”

The Small Cities Development Program makes grants available to cities and townships with populations less than 50,000 and counties with populations less than 200,000.

Funding is awarded to eligible communities for rehabilitating existing housing stock for low- to moderate-income residents; public infrastructure projects including sewer and wastewater treatment improvements, storm sewers and streets; and comprehensive projects that address a community need such as commercial revitalization, housing rehabilitation and improved public infrastructure.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details, go to

Area 2012 Small Cities Development program grants included: Sebeka, $635,700, owner-occupied housing and commercial building rehabilitation; Pierz, $491,700, owner-occupied housing and commercial building rehabilitation.

Crosslake in Bloom

planners announce events

CROSSLAKE — Two special events are planned in association with the annual Crosslake in Bloom Luncheon and Garden Tours, planned noon-1:30 p.m., July 19, at Pine Peaks Retreat & Event Center in Crosslake.

A Crosslake in Bloom Scavenger Hunt is under way now through July 18. Punch cards may be picked up at participating Crosslake area businesses. Locate the specially marked, garden-themed items to earn a mark on your punch card. Then bring your punch card with you to the Crosslake In Bloom Luncheon and Garden Tours. No purchase necessary. Punch cards also can be dropped off at the Crosslake Welcome Center by 4 p.m., July 18, to be eligible for prizes.

The second fun activity is a table-decorating contest for the luncheon. Get together with a friend or two and create a garden theme for a round table with seating for eight. Dishes, flatware and glassware provided. A prize will be awarded for the people’s choice winner.

The Crosslake in Bloom event includes educational exhibits, the opportunity to browse landscaped gardens of Pine Peaks Retreat & Event Center, enjoy lunch catered by Maucieri’s Italian Bistro and learn about the top perennials for central Minnesota from guest speakers with Jean’s the Right Plant Place. After the presentation, participants may enjoy a self-guided tour of five exceptional Crosslake area gardens.

For more details on the scavenger hunt and a list of participating businesses, to register for the luncheon and to register for the table-decorating contest, visit, call (218) 692-4027 or stop in at the Crosslake Welcome Center at Route 66 and Crow Wing County Road 3 in Crosslake.

Crosslake in Bloom is a spring and summer campaign to encourage the beautification of Crosslake through the use of plants and flowers. The Pine Peaks Retreat and Event Center can be found at 39957 Swanburg Road, Crosslake.

First-time homebuyer

workshop set July 25

Home Stretch is a first-time homebuyer workshop scheduled in Brainerd 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., July 25, at Central Lakes College. Registration is required and participants will receive a completion certificate at the end of the day.

“This is a remarkable time to be a homebuyer, and Home Stretch will provide the much needed information a first-time homebuyer should know before beginning the process,” said Kelly Doss, program coordinator at Central Minnesota Housing Partnership, in a news release. “We want participants to be educated and successful buyers, so we have local housing professionals as instructors to answer questions and provide the most current information about the home buying process.”

In one day, you will learn about qualifying for a mortgage, financing a home, budget and credit issues, real estate, the closing process, basic home maintenance, and affordable mortgage products that may be available to first-time homebuyers. Some affordable mortgage products, government loans, and down payment and closing cost assistance programs may require a buyer to receive a Home Stretch certificate.

Pre-purchase counseling is also available by appointment and is strongly recommended prior to taking Home Stretch. This is a free service to anyone who wants to speak with a certified homeownership counselor about their financial situation prior to buying a home.

Central Minnesota Housing Partnership, a nonprofit organization providing affordable housing services to the central region of Minnesota, coordinates the Home Stretch workshop. There is a $30 fee per household to participate in Home Stretch and registration is required. To register for the Brainerd Home Stretch workshop, download an application at, or call Doss at (320) 259-0393.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889