21-year-old Backus woman killed in crash in Pine River


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No need to replace LEC


So, Crow Wing County’s Law Enforcement Center (LEC) is 35 years old and is considered “old.” If that holds true for people, I should have been replaced twice over. I live in a house that is 55+ years old and with a little refurbishing from time to time, is still comfortable, serviceable, and paid for.


If the LEC is crowded, perhaps they should look within to solve the problem. Why not have a sheriff’s sale to eliminate accumulated stuff that is taking up space. Maybe an independent efficiency audit should be done, as has been done in other county departments, to possibly eliminate duplication of and unnecessary services. A thorough housecleaning is in order. Maybe more deputies in patrol cars and less office staff.

There must be empty spaces in the old courthouse and social services building that could be utilized. Those services have been moved to our new “state of the art” and unauthorized (by a people’s vote)

Crow Wing County Judicial Center and Community Services buildings. We also have the Edison School building that is standing empty. With modern technology, the distance from the LEC shouldn’t be a problem.

Where is the money going to come from for this new facility? No matter how they skew the numbers, taxpayers are going to have to pay just like we are for the Judicial Center and Community Services buildings. Not to mention the unneeded Forestview Middle School. The old Washington and Franklin schools which we were told were ready for demolition are humming with activity.

I’m on a fixed income and it has become more and more difficult for me to remain in my home due to increased property taxes, devaluation of my property, and cost of living increases. I just received my estimated property tax statement for 2013 and it has gone up again. I am going backward financially, but I know there are many people worse off than I am. I’ve had to make considerable changes and cutbacks to stay afloat, but it’s a losing battle. I’ve learned to live within my means and I expect my elected officials to do the same. Make do with what you have.

You must find a better way. Might I suggest bake sales and car washes. That’s no more ridiculous than dumping more debt onto the taxpayers.

Retha Hawley


Sarah Nelson
Sarah Nelson joined the Brainerd Dispatch in April 2010 and works as a online reporter, content editor and staff writer. She is a world traveler, accused idealist and California native now braving the winters of Central Minnesota. She believes in the power of human resolve and hopes to be part of something that makes history by bringing an end to injustice in the world. Sarah has worked as a criminal background researcher, high school civics teacher, grant writer, and contributing writer with Causecast.org — tackling every issue from global poverty to bio-degradable bicycles. Her favorite thing about living in Minnesota is July. Sarah left the Brainerd Dispatch in April 2014.
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