Chelsey Perkins grew up in Crosslake and is a graduate of Pequot Lakes High School. She earned her Bachelor's degree in professional journalism from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. Perkins has interned at the Lake Country Echo and the Rochester and Austin Post-Bulletins and also worked for the student-run Minnesota Daily newspaper as a copy editor and columnist during college. She went on to intern at Utne Reader magazine, where she was later hired as the research editor. Before joining the Brainerd Dispatch, Perkins worked as a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal.
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Representatives from Enbridge rallied local business leaders and community members for support Thursday at a presentation on the proposed Sandpiper oil pipeline. The meeting held at Breezy Point Resort was sponsored by the Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce and billed as an informational presentation.
A new display will soon appear within the Crow Wing County Board Room which one commissioner said will honor the founding principles of the United States. The county board approved a resolution Tuesday brought forward by Commissioner Paul Thiede to emblazon a wall in the room with "In God We Trust," the official motto of the country. Thiede said his efforts stem from a nonprofit organization's drive to encourage elected officials to display the motto.
Another union representing Crow Wing County employees has agreed to move toward performance-based pay. The county reached a three-year agreement Tuesday with 79 employees represented by AFSCME, the nation's largest public services employee union.
No one commented at a public hearing on the fees Crow Wing County charges for various goods and services before approval during the county board's Tuesday meeting. The sheriff's office submitted several changes to its fee schedule, including an increase in the dangerous dog fee from $50 to $250 and the addition of a dangerous dog hearing fee of $150. The office also increased fees for non-contracted security services and deputy standby from $60 to $80 per hour and reduced first-time alarm fees from $50 to $20. Fees associated with the county's GIS mapping system were also updated.
The Crow Wing County Board certified its finalized property tax levy for 2015 at its Tuesday meeting. The action makes it official: for the fifth straight year, Crow Wing County has reduced its tax burden on residents. Based on preliminary data from the 87 counties in Minnesota, Crow Wing is one of three to lower its levy from the previous year. The county will collect $34,464,912 in taxpayer dollars next year, which will cover approximately 50 percent of its overall budget.
Tucked into a secluded area of northeastern Crow Wing County is Lower Dean Lake, a pristine haven of wild rice habitat for migrating waterfowl. Thanks to the efforts of the county's Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and one family's tradition of land stewardship, it will remain untouched for generations to come. Ben Drake, whose grandfather was a founder of the Cinosam Club near Gull Lake almost 100 years ago and owned parcels throughout the county, recently converted one of these inherited pieces of land to a conservation easement.
The Brainerd School Board lent its support to the city of Brainerd to seek another Safe Routes to School grant at its Monday meeting. Mark Ostgarden, Brainerd city planner, and Jesse Freihammer, assistant city engineer, presented maps showing where the city would like to expand sidewalks. The proposed expansions include a continuation of routes near Garfield Elementary to nearby parks along with new sidewalks near Lowell Elementary. If Brainerd were selected for the grant, the funding from the state would not come until 2019.
The portion of property taxes collected by the Brainerd School District will rise by 11.7 percent over last year, following final certification of the 2015 tax levy by the school board Monday. The rise comes after two straight years of levy reductions and deficit spending from the general fund during the 2013-14 school year. The impact for individual property owners will vary, depending upon the valuation of one's property, but Steve Lund, director of business services, provided estimates for what residents, vacationers and business owners can expect. For a residential property valued at $1
CROSSLAKE - Firefighters from three area departments responded Friday to two attached cabins fully engulfed in flames at a Crosslake resort. The fire at Beacon Shores Resort, located at 36859 Silver Peak Road on Whitefish Lake, was reported just before 11 a.m. Karen Scholz, who, along with her husband, Dan, has owned the resort for 14 years, said the cabins were not rented to anyone at the time.
Commissioner Paul Thiede will begin his service as a member of the statewide Aquatic Invasive Species Advisory Committee next week. The committee was appointed by Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr in 2012 to assure stakeholders in aquatic invasive species remain connected. Tim Houle, county administrator, said at Tuesday's board meeting the appointment will be beneficial to the county. "This is a good appointment for Crow Wing County, given of course the volume of water bodies we have," Houle said.